Voices from Russia

Thursday, 6 November 2014

6 November 2014. Here’s Another Thing that the Pundits are Overlooking… Initiative 594

00 Political Cartoon. 05.12. Guns

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Firstly, read this. Note the author… David Frum. You heard me right… David Frum. Yes… an anti-NRA piece written by DAVID FRUM. Note well that the rightwing punditocracy isn’t trumpeting about this… for it goes against their narrative for this election. Here is first major victory against the NRA… a political earthquake, really. Look at what happened Tuesday… the Greens emerged as a political force in New York State (and maybe the nation, as well)… Personhood failed in Colorado… the Dems handily won in PA… Al Franken beat the Koch Dollars… and the NRA received its first major setback in decades. That is, the “Republican Sweep” not only didn’t occur… it only resulted in control of the US Senate, which is bootless, as the Prez will veto all their lunacy. Congress already has an approval rating FAR below that of the Prez. His is 42 percent… theirs is 13 PERCENT. Let me repeat that… 13 PERCENT! If it goes much lower, it’ll be in single digits. The GOP has two equally distasteful options open to it. The first is to cooperate with the Prez… loons like Rubio and Cruz will scupper that. The second is to be obstructionist. Obstructionism led to the present abysmal approval ratings for the Congress… more of the same will shove their numbers truly into the shitter.

The GOP has a shitty hand to play this turn. Several spectres haunt the GOP… and oil prices are in the dumpster (their Big Oil sugar daddies won’t have the gelt to give them). Gun Control… Personhood… Anti-Fracking… if the trends continue, I wouldn’t want to be the GOP candidate in 2016. They’ll be left as the party of the Evangelical, the ignorant, and the racist… which would give them a permanent 25 percent national minority (but with control of the Southeastern USA). Will they dodge the bullet? I think not…

BMD

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Howie Hawkins Looks Toward a Green Future After Historic Night

ballotbox

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It was a red dawn in the New York State Senate and across America, but voters here were also seeing plenty of green. Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor, won 5 percent of the vote last night… a historically high number for a third-party candidate and enough to move the Green Party up the ballot, to Row D, for the next four years. In a conference call with reporters today, Hawkins promised to help build the party in a way to run competitive elections across the state in the coming years, saying, “I think it’s safe to say we’re the third-party in New York politics. Only the three of us, Democrats, Republicans, and Greens, got that ballot by running our own candidate. The election was one event and the politics is a process that continues”.

Hawkins was taking a dig at the numerous third parties in New York who cross-endorse candidates, like the left-wing Working Families Party or hard right Conservative Party. Hawkins won more votes on his Green Party line than Governor Andrew Cuomo did on the WFP line, allowing the Green Party to leapfrog the WFP on the ballot… a relevant accomplishment on a ballot jam-packed with many minor parties. Hawkins said that he’d go back to the donors who funded his gubernatorial bid to tell them to contribute to the Green Party so they can build the field organisation needed to compete against Democrats and Republicans. After running a more bare-bones symbolic campaign four years ago, Hawkins was able to pay for staffers and operatives this time around to vastly improve his vote total. Pointing to liberal New York City as a place where the Greens can grow, he said, “We want to organise county organisations in every county. I was talking with our supporters in Bronx County. Turnout there is so low and the perception of party insiders in the Bronx is they feel they can run good candidates”.

Hawkins, a Syracuse resident, wouldn’t rule out another run for governor, but insisted that the party has a deep bench of candidates. He also said that he’d continue to advocate on several core issues… more funding for public schools, a higher minimum wage, and a ban on hydraulic fracturing… in the next legislative session. He said that he was still open to an alliance with the WFP, which is also trying to strengthen the political left in New York State and resents Cuomo. However, his campaign manager, Ursula Rozum, cut in to point out that he’d offered himself as a candidate on their party line this year and was rebuffed. Hawkins said, “What we’ll have to do is get more Green voters”.

5 November 2014

New York Observer

http://observer.com/2014/11/howie-hawkins-looks-toward-a-green-future-after-historic-night/

Editor:

What’s amazing is how little coverage the Hawkins achievement is getting in the corporate media. Of course, Fox is ignoring it… so did Rush… nothing on CNN… nothing on MSNBC… I just googled “Howie Hawkins”. Remember, the most effective form of censorship is simply not to mention something… “It wasn’t reported… it didn’t happen”. This knackers all the commentary in the mainstream media… as does the decisive defeat of Prop 67 in Colorado. The Republicans did NOT gain a decisive victory. The Dems gave up early and conceded the election. It’s almost as though they WANTED a GOP-controlled Congress… to stymie the GOP in 2016. I don’t think that’s what happened (it has the redolence of “conspiracy theory” thinking about it)… I think simply that they were buffaloed. However, there’s time for the Prez and his team to formulate a strategy. After all, no bill becomes law without the Prez’s signature.

The Hawkins achievement and the Prop 67 defeat are a beacon for 2016… the Right did NOT steamroller the Left. The Repugs are chortling now… what’ll they do when the Prez vetoes their initiatives? The USA isn’t a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, after all…

BMD

5 November 2014. There’s a Lot in Them There Tealeaves…

00.00k Politics Through a Cartoonist's Eyes 09.11.11

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Editor:

I posted this in the commboxes of another site under my full name…

BMD

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Here’s the GOOD news…

Howie Hawkins did FAR better than expected. In my area (the Capital District of NY State), he polled over 12 percent in Albany County, 10 percent in Schenectady & Rensselaer Counties, and 8 percent in Affluent Effluent Saratoga County.

Lesson: People WILL vote for a socialist… get over it.

Prop 67 went down to (deserved) defeat in Colorado. This was coupled with a GOP win for the Senate, so, that means that many GOP voters didn’t vote “Pro-Life”. Watch the GOP put in a harsh Pro-Life plank in ’16… that’ll knacker their chances of winning the White House.

Lesson: Roe v Wade is here to stay. Touching it is a Third Rail.

Steve Southerland got defeated in Florida. Racism and misogyny bit the dust! This is in a so-called “GOP Sweep”. This election was less a GOP victory than a self-inflicted Dem defeat.

Lesson: If Dems want to win in ’16, they should go after Wall Street (even if they lose) and Main Street will vote for them.

Corbett lost the governorship in PA. Wolf won with 55 percent of the vote… a convincing win… the GOP needs to win PA to win the White House in ’16. That doesn’t look possible now.

Lesson: Koch money buys ads… not elections.

Jerry Brown won his re-election bid handily. That means that CA is easily in the Dem column for ’16… with 20 percent of the “electoral votes” needed to elect.

Lesson: Fox News and Rush ignore everything that doesn’t fit their playbill… why should you attend to them, then?

One last thing… Al Franken won in Minnesota despite MILLIONS thrown in the pot by the Kochs et al. Yowza! That means that money isn’t the only thing… if you vote; we can win!

Lesson: Don’t get buffaloed by Faux News and attack ads.

Here’s one other titbit of interest. Oil is now trading below the 80 USD (3,600 Roubles. 490 Renminbi. 4,910 INR. 91 CAD. 93 AUD. 64 Euros. 50 UK Pounds) per barrel breakeven point for shale oil and deep drilling. If that continues, that means that Big Oil won’t have as much cash to give the GOPers. It makes them more dependent on Big Pharma… which means an early attack on the ACA… the Prez will veto… the GOPers can’t override.

Lesson: The GOP will get a BIG defeat when they need a convincing victory.

In short… it was far less a GOP blowout than advertised. If the Dems run Warren/Sanders in ’16, they’ll sweep the field. Remember, Liz doesn’t have Chilly Hilly’s baggage and Bernie won the Northeast Kingdom (after “experts” told him that he’d lose it, fer shure). Keep it focused, and keep it strong… the car WILL turn left. There be many shades of “victory”… one is a Pyrrhic Victory. Google it…

BMD

5 November 2014. The BIG Election News… No, Not the GOP Senate… Howie Hawkins and the Defeat of Prop 67

00 Politics. Merry Christmas... There's No Room at the Inn. 02.01.13

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The BIG news in yesterday’s election WASN’T the Republican takeover of the US Senate. Firstly, Howie Hawkins won at least 5 percent of the vote for NY State governor… and that’s only initial, as there’s precious little on his achievement in the corporate media. I noted that official election returns from the Capital District of New York (Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties) all showed Howie’s vote to be well above that. Albany County gave him nearly 13 percent of the vote, Rensselaer and Schenectady Counties gave him around 10 percent, and he even got 8 percent in Saratoga County. Howie’s a self-described LEFTIST… a SOCIALIST. That is, the Left never died… the Democrats merely sold out to Wall Street… Chilly Hilly is the poster child of that perverted treason. Tons of people would vote for Elizabeth Warren… hell, I’d LOVE to see an Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders ticket. The Hawkins result means that the Left still lives and that it can motivate people. If the Dems were to look past Hilly (as they did in 2008), we have the potential for a NEW New Deal. That’s what really scares the Righties, kids. The GOP has already maxed out its support… there are no more Evangelical Know Nothings to recruit, and the Tea Party is dying out (literally), as it was always a geriatric movement. This was the high-water mark of the GOP. Thus far, and no farther. The Republicans are all jockeying for 2016 slots… which means that there’ll be no action from the Congress. The Prez will veto all their loon initiatives… and they don’t have the votes to override him.

Secondly, Prop 67 went down to defeat in Colorado. It wasn’t even close. It was a 64-36 tsunami, kids. The GOP will have a strident anti-abortion plank in its 2016 platform, if not an explicit “personhood” one. What’s significant about this is that a moderate Dem went down to defeat in Colorado this year, yet, the Personhood Prop went down in flames. This means that not only Dems reject this folderol… so do many Republican voters. I believe in keeping abortion to a minimum, but criminalising women isn’t the way to do it. That’s what Personhood laws do. However, the GOP isn’t exactly full of Einsteins, so, they’re not going to draw the right conclusions from this. They’re going to ignore Prop 67 and act as though the entire country was full of Know Nothing Evangelicals. Outside of the Evangelical ghetto, Personhood laws are dead on arrival. Even though Catholic extremists like Dolan are for them, most Catholics aren’t… after all, even though contraception is supposedly off limits, most Catholic married couples use the Pill, and that’s that.

In short… the GOP didn’t win as much as the ballyhoo will have it. Expect Fox News to downplay the two items I reported. These are the most important takeaways of the evening, kids. If I were a Republican, I wouldn’t be smug. There’s a spectre haunting the mansions of the Affluent Effluent… and there are NO exorcists about. Fancy that…

BMD

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