First of all, how about some heartfelt thanks to the Jill Stein voters.
You stood by your convictions and voted your conscience and by golly, you won’t have to tell anyone you voted for Hillary Clinton. We got Donald Trump to be our next president, but your conscience is clear because you didn’t vote for him or the only other candidate in the race that had a chance of winning.
Just like your candidate Jill Stein said: What Donald Trump says is less dangerous than what Hillary Clinton did … although I’m just going to say: now that Trump is the president-elect, try and grab a woman’s pussy without her consent — surprise her even — and see what happens?
But that’s not as bad as Hillary Clinton working for the Children’s Defense Fund or opposing the new Jim Crow laws (voter I.D.). Oh yeah, Clinton rattled some sabers at Iran and Syria — not to mention Russia — what have any of those countries done to us? Oh yeah, Clinton voted to authorize use of force against Iraq in 2002 — in case Saddam Hussein didn’t comply with U.N.-backed inspections. And then Bush went back on his word and invaded Iraq before the inspections could be finished.
So clearly Jill Stein was right: Donald Trump was the better choice in this presidential election, even though he bragged about sexually assaulting women — and underage girls — to Billy Bush and Howard Stern. Clearly Trump was the better choice because he knows how to foment violence at his rallies and threatens the freedom of the press, the freedom of expression and of course religious freedom.
Not to mention, with his new found alliance with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Trump is looking to end Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He wants to end the V.A. as we know it and force veterans to rely on the for-profit health care system for their health and medical care.
Trump has a published racist as his top advisor, a number of Wall Street, big business and bank billionaires tapped to be in his cabinet with influence over the economy, jobs and the regulations that are trying to keep our air, water and land clean — but Jill Stein supporters didn’t have to vote for Hillary Clinton. Feel proud of your choice.
But hey, Jill Stein is pushing ahead with a recount in Wisconsin! Maybe she feels guilty about helping to elect Donald Trump. Now, according to Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, Jill Stein is officially the Ralph Nader of 2016. Stein’s vote totals are greater than the Trump margin of victory in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Wasserman put it in a tweet.
No one expects the Electoral College results to change after the recounts are completed, if they even take place in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Jill Stein has absolutely no clue how government works, how the Constitution works or why — Jill Stein could possibly be a worse choice for president than Donald Trump. She actually believes it just takes the “stroke of a pen” to change election laws. She has nice, pleasing ideas of course …
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore had been telling us for months before the election Donald Trump could and would win. No one wanted to believe it, although Bill Maher didn’t completely laugh off Moore’s prediction. After the election Moore told a number of news outlets the Democrats lost because they have ignored the Middle Class of the “Rust Belt” for too long, focusing on just the women voters (which only 60 percent voted for Clinton) and the minority vote (30 percent of Hispanics did not vote for Clinton).
Moore does have optimism about the future though, telling The Hill, “We are going to resist, we are going to oppose. This is going to be a massive resistance. Women are calling for a million-women march on Inauguration Day and there is going to be the largest demonstration ever.”
Michael Moore predicted back during the primaries, Trump would win so I’m not going to be cynical about his predictions again, including his belief that Trump won’t serve a full four-year term. “Here’s what’s gonna happen, this is why we’re not gonna have to suffer through four years of Donald J. Trump, because he has no ideology except the ideology of Donald J. Trump. And when you have a narcissist like that, who’s so narcissistic where it’s all about him, he will, maybe unintentionally, break laws. He will break laws because he’s only thinking about what’s best for him.”
Like the fact that his family will still control his business empire, a clear conflict of interest. He “took” a call from the president of Taiwan — that the Taiwanese said was arranged by the Trump team — a reversal of long standing — 37 years — U.S. policy that we recognize one China and that government is in Beijing, not Taipei. His transition team spokesperson, Jason Miller, didn’t even know the call was being made. He learned about it from the press when he was asked about the phone call. The White House — the administration that is still in charge of our nation’s diplomacy — wasn’t told about the call and had to reassure the world we were sticking to our “One China” policy, at least while Barack Obama was still president.
He has business ties in the Middle East, in Turkey and the Philippines; one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s U.S. envoys just bought the Trump name to put on some Philippine hotels. And then Trump spoke to the “Killah of Manila” by phone and invited Duterte to the White House next year.
Duterte has said he’s had about 4,000 suspected drug dealers killed. “Suspected,” because none of them were ever brought to trial, just killed in the streets. One of them was a mayor and nine people in his entourage.
Trump has bragged about taking calls from many world leaders — on an unsecured cell phone — without any prior discussions with the state department for information on what the diplomatic relations are like with these countries. The only common thread being Trump has business ties to these countries and so far there is no indication Trump is divesting from his personal business.
This is why Michael Moore expects Trump to leave his term as president early. He is already breaking laws. His hotel in the old U.S. Post Office building in Washington is leased from the U.S. government and a clause in the contract says, “No member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the Government of the United States or the Government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.”
Unless the GSA — the General Services Administration — terminates the lease before January 20, Donald Trump will be in violation of the law. But good luck trying to get a GOP led House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to investigate Trump’s illegal activities, let alone impeach the man.
Someone suggested it is time for the nation to heal the wounds of this election and work to form an opposition to the incoming regime. I disagree with the first part, but Democrats, liberals, progressives, stay angry about the result of this last election. Use that anger to motivate yourself to change the country, in your district, city, state and then at the federal level. Form that opposition to Trump and the GOP.
My second to last item: I never understood why the progressives were angry about what the hacked DNC emails said and not about the fact that a foreign power meddled in our federal elections. Yes, those emails painted a dark picture of the DNC, but now the guy who benefited from the foreign espionage is going to be president and could very likely align himself — and our nation — with Russia and the Syrian government, who have been indiscriminately bombing civilians in Syria. Putin, who has jailed or had killed journalists and those who oppose him; that’s who Donald Trump aspires to be — but what the heck, you stayed pure to your conviction and didn’t cast your vote for Hillary Clinton. Yay.
My next to last thought: the one sane thing Trump has done so far has been to pick General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense. The Warrior Monk (as he is known) is a good, well-read guy with an understanding of why we don’t send troops into war without a good, last choice reason. He doesn’t sugar coat what it is our troops do when we send them into wars: their job is to kill the enemy. A lot of Americans might find Mattis’s … hmmm, Marine Corps attitude … a little off-putting, but that’s what we need in our warriors. We want our enemies to know that if you fuck with us we will kill you all, to paraphrase Mattis. And you know, maybe we need a defense secretary who says it feels good to kill the bad guys because that’s what our troops are supposed to do: kill the enemy soldiers without mercy until their leaders capitulate.
Mattis doesn’t like Putin, thinks we need to keep the nuclear deal with Iran and definitely does not approve of torture as a means of national defense or intelligence gathering. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mattis told his troops, “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.” He also told them, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” You know, just in case some of the people they met had a plan to kill them.
There are about three or four revered men in U.S. Marine Corps history. The most memorable would be Lewis “Chesty” Puller. He was a hero of Guadalcanal during World War II and the Korean War, during the infamous Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. It was there Puller said, “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.” And then there’s Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone, who, after Guadalcanal, could have spent the rest of World War II barnstorming around the nation selling war bonds — but he chose to return to the war and was killed during the battle of Iwo Jima.
And then there is Mad Dog Mattis, whose most famous quote from the Iraq War, that most respectable news outlets won’t print or utter, at least not without editing: “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
Unfortunately there is that seven-year rule. Military people cannot serve in some positions on the civilian side of government until they have been out of the military for seven years. How ironic. The best pick Donald Trump has made for his cabinet is forbidden by law from serving on his cabinet. As much as I like Mattis, the law that is designed to keep the Pentagon under civilian control shouldn’t be waived. Pick another Marine to run the DoD. I would offer to serve in that capacity, but I’d hate to live in Washington through those cold and snow-filled winters.
And this absolutely last thought of the day: Michael Moore said the Democrats didn’t do enough to reach out to “Rust Belt” voters, despite the campaign rallies the Clinton campaign had in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania (for some inexplicable reason Clinton didn’t campaign in Wisconsin). There’s some truth to that. Hillary Clinton should have been more direct with white middle class voters, but to understand why many people voted against their best interest and for the GOP, read this from Forsetti. I get it, he gets it. You should as well.
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UPDATE: The Green Party has removed Jill Stein, or any mention of having a 2016 presidential candidate, from their website. Apparently the Green Party isn’t on board with Stein trying to flip the election to Hillary Clinton, whose campaign has joined the recount efforts. One of the more popular hashtags on Twitter: #jillsteinsellout
Top photo: YouTube screen shot from CNN Green Party Town Hall
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.