SocraticGadfly: 7/17/16 - 7/24/16

July 23, 2016

#DNCLeaks — religious bigotry of DNC and presumably Hillary Clinton

Via Mediate, as shown in this email that's part of WikiLeaks' new trove of Democratic National Committee email leaks, it's clear the DNC was at least mulling over the ideas of smeaering Bernie Sanders as a secularist.

So, secularist Clintonistas, and "my Democrats right or wrong," you're OK with this .... bigotry?

And Clintonistas, don't try to pawn this off on the DNC. Wikileaks is making clear its collaboration with the Clinton campaign.

And, as Mediate explains, emailer Brad Marshall is the party’s chief financial officer; this was NOT a low-level bad apple staffer. And, per the paragraph above, this wasn't spoken into a vacuum, nor idly.

Now, at least one Hillbot blogger, who I loathe more by the day, as a secular humanist, does deep knee bends of hypocrisy by saying, in essence, "but this was only talked about," while ignoring that Marshall is now lying, saying this wasn't about Sanders, just some generic Jewish guy.

Hell, for all we know, the question Sanders faced about his religion at the one Dem debate, even though two months before the Marshall email, may have been due to media prodding by Camp Clinton, the DNC, or both.

Yes, Denise Ghattas was speaking from the audience, but ... the question seemed peculiar.

Ghattas is 'connected,' the niece of Helen K. Persson of some $$$. (She gave millions in her will to a performing arts center named after the father of Henry Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts fame.) She's very "plugged in" to the philanthropic world in Flint, as shown in part on her Facebook page. Her Facebook friends include ABC's Bob Woodruff. Her husband is a doctor an attorney. She runs an educational consulting business but that link is the most I could find about it.

It's more likely, though, going by her FB friends, that she's religiously fairly conservative. It's been a long time since I lived in Flint, but I'm guessing she and her Arab-American husband are moderately conservative Catholics. I don't see any campaign contributions in her name, but another Ghattis gave to Michigan GOP Senator Spence Abraham.

And, for that matter, she could have lied about being undecided, or at least about being decided for one party but undecided for an individual candidate. Her question could have given Marshall ammo, though, on the flip side.

(Turns out she's a political independent, Orthodox not Catholic, and the question had a First Amendment backgrounf which wasn't explained by Anderson Cooper not having her explain the background to the question.)

Clintonistas will try to explain this away, of course, and fail, just as they try to explain away, and fail, her active membership in the secretive, right-wing leaning prayer group The Fellowship. Oh, and yes, involvement of Jim Wallis of Sojourners in the National Prayer Breakfast aside, The Fellowship is conservative, both religiously AND politically, per the start of a long Clinton profile.

And, Dems, if we're going to hint at smearing somewhat secular Jews, just how observant is Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

Update, and speaking of her:

1. Sanders has surrendered the rest of his backbone by trying to pin this all on her. In an interview with Jake Tapper, he didn't even mention Marshall.
2. Per that same link, DWS will not preside over the convention.
3. DWS has now resigned. That said, many Berners probably didn't realize Clinton wasn't a total fan of hers. And, at least for the convention, she's being replaced by cleat Clintonista Donna Brazile.

Update 2: Still without admitting the email was about Sanders, Marshall has apologized.

July 22, 2016

More anti-Stein, anti-Green bullshit from Dan Savage, #Kossacks other #Hillbots

First, here's a Kossack calling Dr. Jill Stein a "dictator in waiting."

Shock me, from a site that banned me a full decade ago for being too Green. And from a proprietor who believes in unicorns, I mean, secret liberals in the CIA.

As for her executive fiat claim? The two worst "offenders" on executive orders are Democrats FDR and Wilson. Wiki has the goods. Among recent occupants of the White House, Dems and Republicans are equally bad.

Before that, it was Dan Savage claiming Greens do nothing but run for president every four years.


Here's local- and state-level featured and all Green officeholders.

Savage has now doubled down on lies by claiming Stein is an antivaxxer.

July 21, 2016

#RNCinCLE parody day 3

Two words: Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz clearly refused to endorse Trump, in prime time, at the Republican National Convention. And won't this year.

Two more words: Donald Trump.

How he can be that idiotic to not get an explicit endorsement pledge before allowing Cruz to speak shows how idiotic he is in political management terms. He then claimed it was "no big deal" on Twitter.

Cruz said Thursday morning that Team Trump saw his speech several hours in advance, didn't pull his gig.

That after ALLEGEDLY (the Onion, could be Photoshopped quite easily) accidentally Tweeting during the speech of Veep choice Mike Pence that Pence was boring.

That will surely not be the case with Trump tonight.


Hillary Clinton is truly inept if she loses to him.

July 20, 2016

#RNCinCLE parody day 2

You can't really parody Nevada's state GOP chairman getting his own capital city wrong during roll call, can you?

Well, actually, you can, per the screen grab from my Twitter feed, of the video embedded above.

Speaking of, Ralston, the alleged dean of Nevada political journalists and known apparent liar about the behavior of Bernie Sanders at the Nevada Democratic Convention, has been shit-canned by PBS over this. A bit late perhaps, but much better than nothing.

Meanwhile, there's still time to troll more on the Donald's wife, Melanin Trump. Fashionistas were cooing over her dress.

That led me to say, editing what I had on Twitter:

The speech was fake. The dress is real. The contents are fake.

Seriously, why isn't there a Trump line of breast implants? I mean, this is right up his alley. Put a 14K (that's all) Trump signature on them and hawk them on "The Apprenctice."

And, in news of GOP affiliate Faux News, we know that Megyn Kelly's been sitting on a 10-year secret: Her own alleged sexual harassment by Roger Ailes. What makes this all more disgusting is that Kelly was a corporate lawyer before coming to Faux, so she knows exactly what sexual harassment is.

File this under "self-hating conservative women," guess. A couple of years ago, due in part to believing too much of a few non-Faux MSM puff pieces, I thought she was above the cut of Ailes' normal blond bimbos. Looks like I might have been wrong.

I'm just disappointed there's no story about Ailes sexually harassing Bill O'Reilly with a loofah.

Jill Stein, closet #antivaxxer? (Versus uncloseted #Hillbots, #Hillary woo-loving)

Editor's note: This is one of those blog posts that I start a full week in advance, to give me time to research.

I'm not sure which is worse, that Dr. Jill Stein, in this statement, put out a mix of political pander and pablum worthy of a Republican or Democrat, or that that triple-P led to accusations she is  hiding being an antivaxxer. (She's not; the images is from her FB site.)

Or that a self-described Hillbot is mischaracterizing part of her stances.

But the triple-P still has scientific issues and problems, as well as other issues, setting aside that Stein is not an antivaxxer.

Let's talk the actual medical side, first.

EVERY STATE has some sort of medical exemption. contra her implication that such things don't exist in the US. She may not be an antivaxxer per se, but she's either willing to pander to them or else GROSSLY under/misinformed for someone both an MD and a presidential candidate. 

And, a number of other countries either have modified mandatory vaccination or else cash incentives.

(Update, Feb. 13, 2022: In the midst of a Twitter threat about a Movement for a People's Party kerfuffle over vaccines, the Green Party's stance arose, as I noted it's had problems with this issue, and mentioned Stein's pandering on the issue. Dave Schwab, but of course, pointed to the Snopes article that claimed to exonerate her. Well, Dave, you're strawmanning, like it kind of did, though not totally. Amanda Marcotte (yes, Hillbot and I know that) addressed that at Salon. Claims never were that Stein was antivaxx, but that she was pandering, or playing footsie as I phrased it to Schwab. Marcotte notes that.)

Next, yes, funding for the FDA isn't perfect. But, you know what, Stein? (I'm dropping the "Dr." for right now.) But? The supplements industry isn't regulated AT ALL. People die from tainted supplements, from supplement overdoses and from mixing supplements.

Know what else? The supplements industry is big money itself Ask Orrin Hatch. Let's hashtag #BigSupplements just like #BigPharma. No, Sundown or GNC aren't as big as Pfizer, but they're not nothingburgers, and I haven't even mentioned wingnut cult supplements shiller Amway.

Here's the bottom line, on reality, on what's problematic about Stein bashing #BigPharma while turning a blind eye to #BigSupplements. Note two quotes.
"Drugs are considered unsafe until proven safe."
"Dietary supplements are considered safe until proven unsafe."
Waiting for somebody to call the American Cancer Society a shill for #BigPharma. (And on one thread, seriously or facetiously, somebody did.)

Orrin Hatch pushed for supplements regulation to be weakened, and it was in 1994, with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Besides lobbying bucks, this was good general business for Hatch's Utah. Ever since they discovered the ephedra in Mormon tea made a good church-legal replacement for caffeine, Mormons have been big on supplements.

Don't believe me that this weakened regulation, and badly so? Read then-FDA commissioner David Kessler.

Stein either knows all this, and is sadly pandering AGAINST consumer safety and FOR hypercapitalism to satisfy fringe (or not-fringe?) Green voters, or else she's horrifically clueless. I know she's carefully dodged both regulatory and testing issues on a variety of pseudomedicine, including homeopathy, and the aforementioned supplements industry.

Related to this is that Stein doesn't separate health safety issues from business issues. We could allow reimportation of drugs from Canada or other things to lower prices.

Besides, the CDC showed last week that it's NOT in the pockets of #BigPharma by yanking a nasal flu vaccine from shelves. (Yes, it's not the FDA, but it is a federal agency with some regulatory powers in the health world.)

As for the degree of mistrust people have of the FDA, the Green Party platform contributes to that rather than fighting it. Individual Green voters, many of who ARE antivaxxer, irrationally contribute even more. And Stein, with her political pander and pablum, at a minimum, doesn't help fight the trust issue in a good way.

And, for good measure, let's hashtag #BigOrganic, which funds a lot of opposition to #GMO crops. Which crops, by the way, the USDA allowed to be called organic, if farmed in organic fashion, until the early 1980s.

Oh, and Jill, it's lobbyists paid by #BigSupplements and #bigOrganic that have lead to that.

And, if you actually do think GMOs as food (not talking the Big Ag business model) are evil, Frankenfoods or whatever, I suggest you read with an open mind the set of brief pieces by liberal environmental magazine Grist, collectively entitled "Panic-Free GMOs." Again, I'm seeing Greens who either haven't read it or else refuse to read it — which is sadly nothing new.

Beyond that, on GMOs, many individual Greenies smack of upper-middle-class type white elitism. (Some are also among the types, I'll venture, that didn't know, until Obamacare, that Whole Foods is owned by a thoroughgoing libertarian.) Co-op farms can't raise the same amount of produce as modern commercial truck farming. What they do raise is more expense. Urban poor and working class, largely of color, can't afford most of that, can't find it in their groceries and don't have the time to hunt for farmers' markets. Even if we worked to partially address 2 and 3, 1 will still be an issue.

That said, I've long been aware, and blogged about, the Green Party's pro-homeopathy stance, as well as its anti-GMO one. I've cut it slack on both.

Another blogger claims she opposes homeopathy. Rather, to me, the changes she got the party to make look more like PR than opposition. Sorry. I can't honestly say whether she's anti-homeopathy or not. At a minimum, nobody's shown me a link to something clear and unequivocal.

But, antivaxxerism, unless Stein clarifies just what she believes or not, may well be a bridge too far. And, even if Stein's not an antivaxxer herself, I honestly doubt she'll pull back from the political pablum pandering of that Reddit piece. (A good anti-hypercapitalist would also, like me, recognize her narrow-/simplemindedness on only Big Pharma.)

Sadly, many Greens are turning as tribalist on this issue as Hillbots.

Otherwise, outside the actual medical issues, the mix of pablum and pandering in her statement is something I expect from Democrats and Republicans, but definitely don't want in third-party candidates.

Otherwise, I blogged about my reservations about the Green Party's platform in some depth in 2008, and shorter in 2012. I called for a Science and Reason Party a full decade ago.

I've cut it more slack, as a third party in a duopoly-driven system and because no Socialist party has ballot access in Texas. But I have limits and boundaries.

If Stein's even "half an antivaxxer," she needs to be honest so I can cut my ties now rather than dangle.

On the third hand, at least one self-identified Hillbot (same link as first reference near top; read to bottom of piece and laff) is doing shit-stirring over this. I'll vote for Stein, personal and party imperfections included, just to piss off someone like that, for reasons I explain here.

On the fourth hand, another Patheos blogger is in Stein spin mode.

On the fifth hand, California's Democratic Party (shock) also supports pseudomedicine:
California Democrats will…support generally accepted holistic healing practices and alternative medicine, particularly those areas licensed by the state such as acupuncture and medical cannabis and utilized to relieve intractable pain without the side effects of conventional controlled drugs.

Acupuncture has no scientific support. (I will note that Big Pharma is probably going to double down on its fight against pot.)

And Hillary's own medical guru is a celeb doctor who flirts with quack ideas and has also worked with Rick Warren.

On the sixth hand, Stein has a surprisingly sexist view of motherhood.

I'm near the point of either:
A. Voting Green for the primary purpose of pissing off Hillbots and little else, or
B. Not voting, to piss off BOTH Hillbots and the lunatic fringe, or maybe lunatic semi-mainstream, of Greens.

However, Option A is better.

This all said, I feel kind of sad for Stein. She's a semi-true believer on a fair amount of Green woo, I think, but not a total true believer on all of it. And now, she's trying to straddle two horses.

As for the Green Party? It might do well recruiting "Berniecrats," given the percentage of conspiracy theorists in both groups.

July 19, 2016

TX Progressives talk conventions

The Texas Progressive Alliance urges the people of Cleveland to stay strong as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff notes that even white people don't much like Donald Trump.

SocraticGadfly, using a simple tool on an NPR webpage, shows that Hillary Clinton doesn't need Green votes, unless to riff on band Rush, she's today's Tom Dewey.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme does not celebrate Texas' miserable child well being ranking.  Republicans don't like children.

A prediction PDiddie at Brains and Eggs made about the outcome of the SD-13 special election to replace Rodney Ellis was dead on.

Neil at All People Have Value spoke to a longtime friend on the phone over the past week. Neil says longtime relationships add a great deal of meaning to life. APHV is part of

Egberto Willies notes we can support both police officers and Black Lives Matter.

Lewisville Texan Journal decries the Corps of Engineers not issuing an environmental impact statement on Lake Lewisville dam changes.

Texas Sharon talks about the federal woes of "frack master" Chris Breitling.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Jay Blazek Crossley notes that in 2016, transportation decision-making bodies in the state of Texas continue to be overwhelmingly dominated by older white men.

Paul Woodruff ponders the ethical implications of using a robot to kill the Dallas sniper.

Juanita wades into the DOnald Trump-RBG war of words.

Kyle Shelton delves into the history of taking protest to the streets.

Kiko Martinez looks at Elena of Avalor, the first Latina princess from the Disney machine.

Amanda Woog dissects that Harvard study purporting to show racial bias does not exist in police shootings.

Lone Star Ma recommends a few books for people who would like to be less ignorant on racial matters.

Doyen Oyeniyi reminds Dan Patrick that his words matter, too.

Somervell County Salon notes that vaccination exemptions in Glen Rose ISD are on the rise.

#RNCinCLE, parody day 1

And parody I shall, from noting that some Robinson guy from Dick Dynasty is looking like a hippie while violating the US Flag Code with a flag headband, through noting that the screwed-over Trump University grads obviously failed to show up to fill the convention hall in Cleveland Monday night, to noting Charles is NOT in Charge.

Give it up for Scott Baio, folks!

That's all this convention is worth. Texans, if you saw the doofus pic of Lite Guv Danny Goeb wearing a Stetson, you know that.

I haven't even mentioned Steve King's racism and 'subgroups.' Or black wingnut sheriff David Clarke, who makes Tim Scott and Allen West look sane. Or Melania Trump's alleged plagiarism of Michelle Obama, an issue that itself can blow back up in an accuser's face. Besides, per Doug Henwood, if anything was plagiarized, it was all sterile cliche. But it still sucked.

Which gets back to the reality of Hillary Clinton not needing Green Party votes like mine. If she screws this up, she is today's Tom Dewey.

July 18, 2016

#Exxon head-fakes on a #carbontax, part two

Last week, I did a first blog post advising people, including Houston-area Green Party legislative candidate Joe McElligott, to be very skeptical of eXXXon's support for a carbon tax with a 100 percent rebate of that tax. I said that a full rebate would remove the necessary " bite" from a carbon tax, with noting that most places in the world with a carbon tax do NOT rebate it.

Well, I didn't even think of one angle, whihc probably is eXXXon's ultimate bank shot on this.

How the hell are you going to cut rebates, as nearly exactly as possible, for 320 million Americans? You imagine how massive a bureaucracy that would take?

I suspect eXXXon already HAS imagined just that, and envisions a full rebate as a black knight, lead anchor, or whatever. Something that would make a carbon tax prohibitively expensive.

Mainstream biz media, why don't you ask old Rex Tillerson about that, next time he talks up a carbon tax? Why don't you also ask him why his company continues to fund climate change denialist groups? That alone should tell you the carbon tax proposal it has on the floor is a head fake, a big biz move, or both.