31 December 2017







18 December 2017


THIS is a great analysis of one of the reasons Senator elect Doug Jones D AL defeated roy moore. From the Daily Beast.....

How Doug Jones Destroyed Roy Moore’s Whole Shtick with One Well-Chosen Verb

For years, Republicans have been expert at using just the right words to demean Democrats. Doug Jones turned those tables in a big way. Democrats should take notice.

Virtually every aspect of Doug Jones’ victory over Roy Moore on Tuesday has already been studied, quantified, and analyzed. But as a former speechwriter and current sometime comedy writer, I couldn’t help but notice an element of the campaign that’s gone overlooked: Jones’ deft use of political rhetoric.
There’s one line in particular I can’t stop thinking about. It was a week before Election Day. The GOP base was beginning to come home. With polls tightening, Jones reminded voters of the time Moore had pulled out a pistol at one of his events. “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment,” Jones declared. “When you see me with a gun, folks, I’ll be climbing in and out of a deer stand or a turkey blind, not prancing around on a stage in a cowboy suit.” 
“Prancing around on a stage in a cowboy suit.” At first it looks like a standard, if slightly harsh, political insult, one of the gazillion interchangeable jabs thrown during a campaign.  But parse that phrase closely, and you realize it’s a body blow – not just to Moore, but to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and the politics they champion.
Nearly everything Trump does comes with a single, unspoken assertion: I’m a Real Man. It’s not about gender or chromosomes. For Trump, masculinity is wrapped up in a kind of Archie Bunker nostalgia for days when, in the words of the All in the Family Theme Song, girls were girls and men were men. He waxes poetic about the days when NFL players could freely concuss each other. One of his go-to insults for male rivals, from Bob Corker to Kim Jong Un, is “short.” Before he became a politician, he bragged about sexual exploits(and assaults) to demonstrate virility. For Trump, life is an endless series of chances to assert alpha-male status.
And every campaign is a fight against, to borrow one of the alt-right’s favorite slurs, a “beta”—that is, a weakling. As far as Trump and Bannon are concerned, the culture war of 2017 isn’t about abortion or gay marriage. It’s a battle between real men on one side, and effete, sensitive men (Obama) and nasty women (Hillary) on the other.
It’s a retrograde worldview – but also a surprisingly effective campaign tactic. Just look at what happened to Marco Rubio during the 2016 primaries. After being dubbed “Little Marco” in Trump’s tweets and speeches, he tried to give as good as he was getting. “You know what they say about men with small hands …” he jeered in one of his speeches.
Here’s the thing about trying to out-Donald the Donald. It never works. “I guarantee you there’s no problem,” our now-president fired back during a debate, in reference to, well, a part of his anatomy that was definitely not his hands. As they say, you shouldn’t mud-wrestle with a pig, because you both get dirty and the pig likes it. As they also say, you shouldn’t turn a presidential debate into a literal dick-measuring contest.
But how else can you stand up to a bully obsessed with a cave-dweller’s notion of manhood? How do you punch back against these insults without validating the worldview behind them?
Enter Doug Jones. If there’s one person on Earth whose view of gender is less enlightened than Donald Trump’s, it’s Roy Moore. And like the president, Moore loves playing the tough guy. Hence the gun at the rally. Hence the ten-gallon hat. Hence the decision, however questionable, to ride a horse to his polling place on Election Day.
Jones could have gone the Rubio route and tried to prove he was the alpha of the race. Roy Moore pulls out a pistol? Doug Jones pulls out a shotgun! Roy Moore rides on horseback? Doug Jones rides bareback! And so on, and so on. But instead of fighting on the culture warrior’s turf, Jones turned to ridicule.
“Prancing around on a stage in cowboy suit.”
Look at the word choice in that sentence. Not “walking” or “marching,” but “prancing.” Not at a rally, but “on a stage.” Not dressed like a cowboy, but “in a cowboy suit.” These were precise, cutting words. They didn’t just make fun of his opponent. They went straight at the central conceit of his public persona – his toughness. Words like “prancing” and “cowboy suit” suggest the opposite of masculinity. Where Roy Moore presented himself as an alpha male, Doug Jones exposed him as a kind of right-wing cabaret act.
I suspect Jones’ words had even more impact because he spoke them in Alabama, a state where cultural-war politics can easily thrive. To his credit, Jones never turned the campaign into a test of manliness. He never called his opponent a sissy. But after hearing him, any voter concerned about sissy-ness would think twice about Roy Moore.
Diction is not the reason Alabama is sending a Democrat to the Senate. But even if rhetoric made a difference only on the margins, it made a difference – the race came down to about 21,000 votes.
And progressives across the country should take notice. No, most 2018 races won’t feature an (alleged) child molester. But in the age of Trump and Bannon, plenty of them will feature ersatz tough-guys eager to turn politics into a pissing contest. By making his opponent look ridiculous, Doug Jones reminded us that Democrats don’t have to play that game to win elections. With carefully-chosen words, and a healthy appreciation for the power of mockery, they can corral the pigs without getting mud on their hands.  


To see several pix of the interior, go HERE.




13 December 2017

Democrat Doug Jones Defeats Republican Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race 12DEZ17

Democratic candidate for Senate Doug Jones and his wife, Louise, wave to supporters before giving his victory speech in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday.
John Bazemore/AP

WAY TO GO ALABAMA!!!!! You have shown the politicians of both parties that the people can and will put morality and the the nation before party politics when push comes to shove. Sen elect Doug Jones D AL, you have just won the right to represent the people of Alabama in the US Senate. God Bless and start working today to prove to them they will not be sorry for the way they voted. From NPR.....

Democrat Doug Jones Defeats Republican Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race

Updated at 11:59 p.m. ET
Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, according to The Associated Press. The victory is a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, who backed Republican Roy Moore explicitly in the final days of the campaign despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault.
The win by Jones is sure to send shock waves through Washington. The special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions was upended in November as multiple women came forward to say Moore had pursued them romantically as teenagers when he was in his 30s. Some alleged he had sexually assaulted them, including one woman who said he had initiated sexual contact with her when she was just 14. Moore has denied the accusations.
The unfolding controversy made what should have been a safe GOP race anything but. It's the first Democratic Senate victory in the state in 25 years and now gives Republicans an even narrower 51-49 Senate majority that could imperil GOP legislative priorities in 2018.
"Alabama has been at a crossroads. We have been at crossroads in the past, and unfortunately we have usually taken the wrong fork," Jones said in his victory speech. "Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you took the right fork."
It's the first major electoral blow to Trump since his own upset victory just over a year ago, giving Democrats a special election win after several near misses. Democrats were victorious in November in the Virginia and New Jersey governors races, but the win in such a red state that Trump won by almost 30 points is a political earthquake.
The president had come to Moore's defense, casting doubt on the women's allegations — much as he has done with the multiple women who have accused him of sexual assault. While Trump didn't campaign with Moore, he did hold a rally just across the border from Alabama in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday evening and recorded a robocall on his behalf, urging voters to choose Moore because he will support his agenda in the Senate. And after Trump endorsed Moore last week, the Republican National Committee reinstated its financial support for the GOP nominee after pulling it following the accusations.
Trump was unusually restrained on Twitter late Tuesday, congratulating Jones and refraining from placing blame.
Moore refused to concede Tuesday night, saying that his campaign would "wait on God and let this process play out." He pointed to the uncertain write-in totals he believed could still change the outcome and trigger a recount. However, there has to be a difference of 0.5 percent between the two candidates to trigger an automatic recount, and with almost all the votes in, Jones's margin was about three times that.
"The problem with this campaign is we've been painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light," Moore said.
Alabama Republican Secretary of State John Merrill said on CNN that the race will be certified between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3, and he cast doubt on the idea that the margin could change substantially even after write-in votes are totaled and validated.
Democrats were quick to point to the reversal by the RNC to renew support for Mooreand indicated they would use it as fodder heading into the 2018 midterms.
"Today, in one of the most Republican states in the nation, the people of Alabama chose common decency and integrity over partisan politics," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in a statement."Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee did the opposite, siding with a candidate who wanted to drag Alabama back to the days of George Wallace and faced a mountain of credible evidence that he had engaged in child sexual abuse. ... President Trump, Republican Senate candidates and the Republican National Committee showed us exactly who they are by standing with Roy Moore — and we will make sure voters do not forget it."
Other national Republicans had been far less hospitable. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes Moore's accusers and called on him to step aside, though he had softened his stance in recent weeks by saying the choice was up to Alabama voters.
McConnell's allied superPAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, had spent heavily to support appointed Sen. Luther Strange in the primary, fearful that a Moore win would put the seat in jeopardy even before the sexual assault allegations against him surfaced.
Trump had backed Strange then, too, but Steve Bannon — his former chief strategist who has since returned to lead Breitbart News — supported Moore and rallied with him in the closing days. Bannon had long touted Moore as part of the "war" he had promised to wage on the GOP establishment, backing challengers to sitting incumbents who would take on McConnell and back Trump's agenda. But other national strategists warned Bannon's civil war would cost them winnable seats — something that came to fruition on Tuesday night.
"This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running," Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law said in a statement. "Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco."
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who is in charge of protecting the GOP's Senate majority in 2018, had withdrawn funding from Moore's campaign and at one point said he should be expelled from the Senate if he won.
"Tonight's results are clear — the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate," Gardner said in a statement soon after Jones was declared the winner. "I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority."
Even the state's senior GOP senator, Richard Shelby, had admitted he didn't vote for Moore, saying "the Republican Party can do better" and revealing he had instead written in another candidate. That may have pushed other on-the-fence Republicans to also write in a candidate, and that margin could have helped ultimately tip the race in Jones' favor.
Condoleezza Rice, a Birmingham native who served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush, cut a robocall in the race, not-so-subtly urging voters in her home state to "reject bigotry, sexism, and intolerance."
Jones is a former U.S. attorney who is best known for prosecuting KKK members decades later for the killing of four young African-American girls in a 1963 Birmingham church bombing — a background that likely helped him spur a heavy black turnout that was critical for the Democrat to win.
Jones also ran a far more visible race than Moore in the final stretch. He had outspent Moore almost 10-1 and had an active campaign schedule, while Moore had been largely absent from the campaign trail in the final stretch — including leaving the state over the weekend to attend the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia. Jones also had an active field operation, while the GOP nominee's staff was a skeleton crew.
Moore had remained defiant, however, using a very Trumpian strategy of running against the media and the D.C. establishment he says has conspired against him and are behind the allegations. And he won the GOP primary over the appointed Strange earlier this year, despite being heavily outspent by both Strange and the Senate Leadership Fund.
But even before the accusations of sexual assault surfaced Moore was a controversial figure in Alabama politics who narrowly won election in the past and lost nominations for governor. He is a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who was twice removed from the bench, the first time for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments he'd had erected in the state judiciary building. Later, he was re-elected to the court but then suspended after he directed state judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
Moore's Christian nationalist positions are something that he hoped would resonate with many of the state's white evangelical voters, and he never backed off his controversial positions against same-sex marriage and transgender rights. He had hammered home his opposition to abortion rights, in contrast to Jones. Ultimately, however, it wouldn't be enough for Moore to overcome the damaging accusations against him.

12 December 2017


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DEMOCRATIC and republican representatives and senators need to be called and / or e mailed and told by the people, the 99%,  to vote against the republican tax plan that takes from the middle class, the retired, the poor, the working poor, from students and children and military veterans to give tax breaks to the 1%, to the greedy American oligarchy that has bought and paid for the drumpf/trump-pence administration and is demanding a return on their corrupt "investment". Find your representative here and your senators here and remember DEMOCRACY IS NOT A  SPECTATOR SPORT so if you do not contact your elected officials and the republican tax legislation is passed so every day becomes a BOHICA day for you and your family just remember to be looking in the mirror when you are complaining about it. From UltraViolet....
Some think the fight to defeat the tax bill may be lost, but it's far from over.
The bill is still headed for one final vote, and Republicans in Congress are already facing a barrage of protests.
Constituents shut down Sen. Susan Collins' office in Bangor, Maine. Folks in Toms River, New Jersey marched to The Beatles' "Taxman" to urge Rep. Chris Smith to vote no. And at over 60 colleges and universities in 33 states, students protested the Republican tax bill's plan to make college unaffordable.
Your Representative, your Senator, may be one of the few who isn't entirely convinced by the tax plan, is facing a ton of constituent outrage, too. That's why Republican leaders are frantically trying to rush a final vote. Your call could actually swing their vote--and kill this bill.
When you contact your Representative and Senators it's best to speak in your own words, but here are some points to get you started.
  • Hi, my name is ___ from [your location]. I'm calling to demand the Representative vote NO on the final tax plan.
  • 83 million middle- and working-class families will get a tax hike to pay for an additional 20% tax break for corporations and the 62% of tax cuts that will go to the top 1%. 
  • How can the Representative plan on ending individual tax cuts for middle-class families while giving corporations a permanent tax giveaway? 
  • Women and their families will end up paying for this plan. The plan will gut Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance, and other services millions of women rely on so billionaires and corporations don't have to pay their fair share.
  • Under the Senate tax plan, 13 million people will end up without health care. Don't let that happen!