How did we get here? – Part 2


I started to write a short post to wish everyone a happy 2019 and take a shot at the few remaining Birthers but as I was writing and thinking about where we are at the end of the second decade of the 21st century it got me thinking. Just how did we get here?

How in 8 short years did we go from electing a wonderful, articulate, honest, intelligent young black man who was a wonderful father to electing an immoral, lying, clueless, racist scum bag? Almost no one saw this coming but in hindsight I think we should have seen the signs it could happen beginning with the way the election in 2008 played out.

I can remember the night of November 4, 2008 as if it were yesterday. I was out of town for some business meetings in northwest Ohio having dinner with a group of coworkers. I had heard some early returns as we were driving to dinner. Of course the traditional early red states went for McCain like Kentucky. Oh well, I tried but my vote was futile as I knew it would be. By 8:00 PM the big states started coming in for Obama and McCain’s path to victory started getting less and less likely.

When Ohio came in fairly early I knew it was over. The networks waited until the polls closed on the west coast at 11 PM ET to make it official. Barack Obama was going to be the 44th President.

I recall John McCain’s statesmanlike concession speech where Palin almost had to be physically restrained because she was determined to give her own spin on the defeat and immediately grab the mantle as the leader of the Republican party. I remember Obama’s wonderful acceptance speech and his calls to come together as a country. We should have known that the Republicans like Mitch McConnell had other ideas.

Those were euphoric times. Change was in the air. Gone were the incompetent puppet George W. Bush and the puppet-master Dick Cheney. The Democrats had solid majorities in both chambers in Congress. Yes, we had big problems. The economy was in terrible shape and was probably far worse than we knew. We still had troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite Obama’s solid victory we can now see that the seeds for 2016 were sown in 2008 and before. First was Obama’s choice of Joe Biden to be Vice President. By picking Biden Obama removed one of the Democratic champions in the Senate. He then caused another loss in the Senate when he picked Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. While both seats were going to be replaced by appointees chosen by Democratic governors (not to mention that Obama’s seat was also being vacated) I think the choices weakened the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Obama’s choice of Biden and Hillary almost ensured that the vice president was not going to be the clear successor if Obama were to win a second term in 2012. Biden was going to be almost 74 years old by November 2016. By picking Clinton as Secretary of State he enhanced her resume as a future candidate too.

Well that was a good thing wasn’t it? Not necessarily. One clear lesson from the 2008 Democratic nomination battle was that Clinton was not a great candidate. It was her nomination in 2008 to lose and she lost to a relatively unknown junior Senator from Illinois. I supported Hillary Clinton early on in the 2008 cycle. However, after watching Barack Obama speak a few times I saw he had the “it” factor and Clinton did not. He connected to people in a way that Clinton did not.

Would Clinton still have been the nominee in 2016 had Obama made other choices? Possibly. However, had Obama chosen a young up and coming Democrat to be his running mate in either 2008 or 2012 they would have been the clear front runner in 2016.

I had hoped that Obama would choose a younger running mate in 2012. Someone who would be seen as the front runner in 2016. I think it was a mistake that he didn’t. It would have been a difficult decision to drop Biden though in part because he had done such a good job as VP. Obama had developed a close friendship with Biden and I think Obama leaned on him often in making difficult decisions.

It is possible that Biden intended to run in 2016 when Obama picked him again in 2012. However, fate stepped in when Biden’s eldest son, Beau Biden, who was the Attorney General in Delaware died from brain cancer in 2015. I think if Joe Biden had any thoughts of challenging Clinton for the nomination his son’s death probably pushed him to decide not to run.

Clinton again proved to be a weak candidate in 2016. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders ran in the Democratic primaries and caucuses and made it impossible for Clinton to wrap up the nomination until the end of the primary season in June. Although Sanders supported Clinton in the general election many of Sanders supporters thought somehow Sanders had been cheated and that the Democratic leadership had unfairly supported Clinton.

It is still hard to imagine she lost. Of course it was not entirely her fault. She entered the campaign with high approval numbers and high likeability ratings. However, the Republicans, who regained Congress in 2012 had had four years to hold nonstop hearings on the Benghazi incident in Libya. This lead to the discovery that then Secretary of State Clinton had used an external email server to conduct some government business.

Of course we now know the Russians were working overtime to support Trump. They set up a company in Florida with over 300 people working full time to attack Clinton and support Trump on social media using thousands or millions of fake accounts. In a coordinated attack Wikileaks released stolen internal DNC emails on the eve of the Democratic convention. Democratic Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign the same week.

Another factor working against Clinton was the outrage of a large fraction of white voters. Obama failed to get close to majority of white voters in either 2008 or 2012. In 2008 he got 43% and that dropped to 39% in 2012. Obama won with overwhelming support of minorities (blacks for the first time turned out at rates higher than whites to vote for Obama). He also won a majority of younger white voters. Whites were scared that the demographics of the country were changing and disturbed that a black could be elected.

Hillary’s demise was due to her failing to improve upon upon Obama’s fraction of white voters. She only got 38% of whites in 2016 while also not doing as well as Obama among blacks and especially Hispanic voters. Would a young Democratic or more progressive candidate without the Clinton baggage have done better with young white voters? I think the answer is yes.

This breakdown might provide a clue as to how Democrats can win in 2020 and beyond. More on that next time.

Part 1

To be continued …

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Happy New Year to all of you! How did we get here?

RoseBowlStadium-BW-500
The Rose Bowl

At some point I quit being amazed at how quickly the years go by after you reach some arbitrary age. It does hit home on New Years Day how quickly another year has passed. I remember when all there was to do on January 1st was watch the boring Tournament of Roses parade in the morning while waiting for the bowl games to start.

There used to be four played on New Years Day and they were the only ones we actually cared about. The Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl were all played in the afternoon and then “the grand daddy of them all” the Rose Bowl followed the others. Now there are so many bowls, most of them named after products I don’t use or even knew existed, that I couldn’t name them all  even if my life depended on it. I’ve watched a few of these dogs this year played in nearly empty stadiums that ESPN carefully tries to avoid showing.

Enough about football. We find ourselves nearing end of the second decade of the 21st century. Chew on that for a minute. The Millennium was almost two decades ago!

I have been listening to a podcast series called The Wilderness. It is about how the Democratic Party found itself completely out of power and how it can get back to where it once was. That story is a big part of the history of the last couple of decades in America. Their story starts in 2008 but I wanted to go back to the turn of the century.

What a couple of decades it has been. Unfortunately, it begin with the mess of an election in 2000 when the Supreme Court decided to insert itself into the election in an unprecedented way with a decision that many Constitutional scholars considered to be pure horse hockey. It was so bad that even the conservatives on the court said it should never be used as a precedent.

That decision gave us President George W. Bush and the truly evil Vice President Dick Cheney for 8 years. Bush is considered by most historians to be in the running to be remembered as one of the worst presidents in history.  He will be remembered for starting a war in Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction that never existed and leaving office with the economy in the throes of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

In 2008 on the heels of a successful midterm election in 2006 the Democrats seemed poised to retake the presidency. What was unclear was just who the standard bearer would be. The favorite was Senator Hillary Clinton from New York. She was upset in a hard fought primary campaign by the young black Senator Barack Obama from Illinois.

The Republicans nominated the elder Senator from Arizona John McCain. McCain, a war hero who had been held captive and tortured by the North Vietnamese after his fighter had been shot down, had run before. He lost to George W. Bush in 2000. The Bush campaign led by dirty trickster Karl Rove employed some nasty tactics against McCain by spreading rumors right before the key South Carolina primary that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock. Funny how benign that indiscretion seems in hindsight in 2019 when compared with the current President’s lack of morality.

McCain made a major blunder by choosing the unknown Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin to be his running mate. That move will go down in history to be filed under the chapter titled “WTF were you thinking?”. Palin became the darling of the far right wing of the Republican party but scared the crap out of many moderate and independent voters who could not imagine electing McCain, who at the time was 72 years old and had a history of skin cancer, with Palin “a heartbeat from the Oval Office”.

Barack Obama had chosen as his running mate Senator Joe Biden from Delaware. Biden made a good running mate for several reasons. He was a veteran campaigner and ling time Senator. The contrast between Biden’s acumen and intelligence provided quite a contrast with Palin’s downright ignorance about almost every facet of government.

Obama ran a tireless campaign. He was easily the best orator the Democratic Party had produced since John Kennedy. McCain continued to pay for his mistaken choice for running mate as Palin grabbed most of the headlines good and bad. Obama was able to pin the Iraq War and the terrible economy on McCain and the Republicans. He swept to an easy electoral victory by winning almost all the swing states and even some previously Republican states like North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana.

Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009 and also the first non-white resident. Almost 2 million people attended. America appeared to be headed towards a new age of enlightenment.

So what happened? How did the shit show of an election in 2016 occur and how did we end up with a racist clown in the White House?

I think some of the signs of the calamity can be traced back to the 2008 election. I will discuss that and more in the next installment.

To be continued …

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Birther Cody Robert Judy ran for senate and did not get a single vote

I have written before about Birther Cody Robert Judy.  He is a truly pathetic Birther from Utah who ran for president in both 2008 and 2012 and filed lawsuits against Barack Obama claiming his candidacy was harmed by the “ineligible” candidate Barack Obama. The cases went nowhere but Judy appealed his cases all the way to the Supreme court. (Judy also filed a suit against John McCain in 2008 based on similar nonsense claims.)

He ran again was a write in candidate for the seat in Utah that was held by retiring Senator Orrin Hatch, a seat that was won by Mitt Romney in the recent election. In Utah you can register as a write in candidate merely by filing a form with the Lt. Governor’s office.

Judy was making noise the other day about how Utah had not listed his vote total or even acknowledged he was a write in candidate. In a  Tweet  posted on Wednesday Judy called for a special election because he couldn’t find his name listed in the published vote totals.

Ironically, the very same day Utah posted the final results of the canvassing and Judy failed to collect even a single vote. Now if you have been paying attention you might ask why Judy bothered to to write in his own name. I would speculate that he was not eligible to vote because he is a convicted felon and not eligible to vote in Utah.

What is even more mind boggling is that Judy doesn’t even have a friend or two who were willing to cast a vote for him. After all Judy is pretty well known in Utah as the guy who pretended to be wearing a bomb and scared a entire arena full of Mormons by threatening to blow himself up. He is also a frequent guest author at the Post & Email where he writes about the progress of his important Birther cases against Barack Obama. But no, Judy couldn’t muster a single vote.

I am sure we haven’t heard the last from Judy. As long as he can file his cases filled with word salads and gibberish for free, and register as a write-in candidate for free he will continue to do so. He seems to otherwise live a pathetic life.

Posted in Birther Cases, Birthers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Former Guest on Reality Check Radio Will be a United States Senator

ABC-15 Arizona

Kyrsten Sinema

I would like to offer my congratulations to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9) who yesterday was declared the winner in a very close election to fill the  Senate seat  now held by retiring  Republican Senator Jeff Flake. Sinema was losing on election night to her opponent Martha McSally but began gaining as the last batches of early ballots and ballots handed in on Election Day were counted. She erased McSally’s lead last week and built up an insurmountable lead over the weekend.

As a many of my readers and listeners may recall Kyrsten was a guest on Reality Check Radio back in 2011 at the time Arizona and some other states were considering passing “Birther bills” that would require candidates running for president to present various forms of proof that they met the natural born citizenship requirement. Then Arizona  State Senator Sinema appeared along with GA Rep. Mark Hatfield who was sponsoring his own Birther bill in Georgia.

It was a memorable show. Sen. Sinema helped school Rep. Hatfield on the problems with his Birther bill. Since I  already wrote a detailed article that included a full transcript of the show I will not rehash the stupidity of these proposed bills. We mostly discussed Rep. Hatfield’s bill in Georgia but similar arguments would be valid against all of the bills that were proposed during the 2012 election cycle.

This is the link to the show that aired on March 11, 2011:

Reality Check Radio with Mark Hatfield and Kyrsten Sinema

This is the post show article that included a full transcript of the show:

Transcript of the interview with Mark Hatfield and Kyrsten Sinema

 

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Joe Arpaio Finishes Last in Arizona Republican Senate Primary Race–Will Zullo Now Release His “Secret Evidence”?

Courtesy The Daily Beast

Courtesy The Daily Deast

Joe Arpaio’s race to win retiring Senator Jeff Flake’s seat ended last night when he was only able to garner 19.5% of the Republican vote. Arpaio finished behind the winner Martha McSally (52.2%) and Kelli Ward (28.3%).  Arapio was leading in only one county, the one containing Yuma in SW Arizona, with 59% of the precincts reporting. See the New York Times Arizona Primary Results

[Update September 2, 2018: The current total with about 95% of the precincts counted has  McSally with 52.9%, Ward with 28.2%, and Arpaio with 18.9% statewide.  Arpaio only managed to poll 17.5% in Maricopa County. He held on in Yuma County to win by around 250 votes. ]

Meanwhile on the Democratic side Representative Kyrsten Sinema easily won over her opponent Deedra Aboud picking up 80.8% of the vote. You may recall that then state Senator Sinema was a guest on RC Radio back in 2011. She dismantled George state Rep. Mark Hatfield and his Birther bill.   Sinema has a real shot at winning in November in her race against McSally.  She could make history by not only flipping a senate seat to the Democratic column but become the first openly Atheist person elected to the United States Senate.

With Arapio’s loss one of ex Cold Case Posse Lead Mike Zullo’s excuses for not releasing all the evidence from his five year long investigation into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate has disappeared. Arapio had said that he might bring up the Obama birth certificate matter if he were elected to the Senate.

I am not confident Arpaio’s loss will change Zullo’s position however. This was just the latest in a long line of excuses for not releasing items like Reed Hayes’ report and the report from the FORLAB firm in Italy. Zullo will cook up another convenient excuse for not releasing those.

I encourage all my readers to kick in a few bucks to Rep. Sinema’s campaign. She did a great job fighting the Birthers in Ari9zona when they were pushing a stupid Birther bill there. She would make a fine senator.

Edited August 30, 2018 to add:

Arpaio’s defeat even brought Stephen Lemons back to the Phoenix NewTimes to write an article about what is probably the end of Joe’s political career:

Goodbye, Joe Arpaio: Last in the Senate Race, First in ‘Blood, Slime, and Misery’

It is a good read. Lemons doesn’t get into the Birther stuff or the Cold Case Posse however.

Posted in Birther Bills, Birthers, Mike Zullo, RC Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Last Birther Case Scheduled to be Executed on March 16th.

H/T to Bob at the Fogbow for this one. The last active Birther case is now dead-listed at the Supreme Court and will be dismissed at conference on March 16th.

Here is the docket for the case:

Laity Case

The case is Robert C. Laity v State of New York, et. al.  It is an appeal filed by long time Birther Robert Laity, a New York state resident, of his case against the state and 2016 presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.  Both Cruz and the New York Attorney General’s office have filed waivers to respond and as we know from previous Birther cases at SCOTUS that means the case is dead as a door nail and will appear on the denied list on Monday, March 19.

Laity’s case is the last Birther case from the 2016 election cycle that was still technically breathing in any court system. All the previous Birther cases previous election cycles in 2008 and 2012 have long since died.

Laity has some particularly crazy notions. He believes that Barack Obama could still be prosecuted, convicted and executed under the UCMJ. Yep, he is that crazy. Laity is a coward when it comes to arguing his position however. He hides behind Sharon Rondeau’s comment moderation at the Post & Email and blocks anyone on Twitter who dares point out his ideas are nonsense.

In his current petition Laity couldn’t resist taking one last shot at President Obama. He claimed that Obama too was ineligible. He even gets in a shout out to Joe Arpaio and the Cold Case Posse.

His Birth certificate has been proven to be forged, in any event. This
assertion is public knowledge substantiated by the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joseph Arpaio, Cold Case Posse which released the findings of at least two independent forensic document examiners.

Laity also had filed a Birther case during the 2012 election cycle against Barack Obama and the state of NY. It too was denied all the way up.

Laity’s first try in SCOTUS was in 2008. He filed some sort of case against James Peak, Secretary of Veterans Affairs under George W. Bush. I don’t have any details on this case but it might be related to a much older case where Laity was officially reprimanded in 1991  for using profanity while he was an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

You can read a description of the 1993 case here:

Laity v. Department of Veterans Affairs

A H/T to W. Kevin Vicklund for finding the details on this one.

Update 4/30/2018: As mentioned in the comments below Laity filed a Petition for Rehearing on 4/6/2018. It was scheduled for conference on Friday 4/27/2018. It was shown as denied on the order list published this morning.  LaityThe case docket is usually updated within a day or two.

Bob at the Fogbow forum noted this is the first time since August 2008 when Phil Berg filed a lawsuit to attempt to postpone the Democratic Convention that there has not been an active Birther case in a court somewhere. However, I expect some of the usual suspects to return in 2020 with lawsuits against potential candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Kamala Harris.

Update 5/3/2018: The SCOTUS docket for Laity v NY State, et. al. has been updated to include the denial of the Petition for Rehearing:

Laity Rehearing denied

Could someone please post a link to this article for Sharon Rondeau at the Post & Mail? The  great journalist seems incapable of doing a simple SCOTUS Docket search without help.

Posted in Ballot Challenge, Barack Obama, Birth Certificate, Birthers | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

The Post & Email Lies about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Robert MuellerSince the Post & Email blog editor Sharon Rondeau has a phony comment policy at her fake news site I thought I would comment from time to time about some the idiocy she publishes there and the ridiculous comments that she approves.

One of Sharon’s heroes is Tennessee resident Walter Fitzpatrick III, the former Navy Lt. CMDR who has the distinction of being convicted of crimes as both a member of the military and as a civilian.

Sharon and her band of clueless commenters can always be counted on to connect the dots even when the dots exist only in what passes for brains at the P&E. That’s what she and Fitzpatrick are doing in regards to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In a recent article Rondeau questioned why Mueller was named as Special Counsel. In a  series of articles on Mueller she quoted her special bud from Tennessee Walter Fitzpatrick who thinks that Robert Mueller was personally responsible for the fact that he and his pal Darren Huff went to prison for threatening to take over Madisonville, TN back in 2010. At the time Mueller was the Director of the FBI you see.

Yep, that is the connection. It is all because the FBI was justifiably concerned about right wing nut jobs like Darren Huff boasting that they were going to “take over” Madisonville after Fitzpatrick was jailed in April 2010 for trying to arrest the grand jury foreman Gary Pettway. Fitzpatrick claimed Pettway was serving as foreperson illegally and also would not allow the grand jury to vote on Fitzpatrick’s petition to arrest President Obama for treason.

The FBI had been alerted by a bank teller back in Huff’s hometown in Georgia. Huff bragged to the teller that he and some other militia members were going to take over Madisonville and get Walt out of jail. The FBI coordinated with Tennessee state and local law enforcement authorities to make sure this promised takeover didn’t happen. Huff was arrested and charged with carrying weapons across state lines for purposes of causing civil unrest.

The rest of the article is a dredging up of every right wing complaint about Mueller that Rondeau can find using Google. What Rondeau doesn’t tell you is that both Fitzpatrick and Huff were convicted by juries of their peers and that they really are criminals. They aren’t innocent victims of Robert Mueller or anyone in law enforcement. They made their own messes. It wasn’t the first time for Walter either.

Fitzpatrick-Walt-101027-lgFitzpatrick has a long history of not working and playing well with others. He graduated near the bottom of his class at the US Naval Academy in 1975. While serving as XO aboard the Destroyer USS Mars in 1989 Fitzpatrick was left in charge of the ship while Captain Mike Nordeen attended his bother’s funeral in Washington, DC. His brother. William Nordeen was a Naval attaché with the American embassy in Greece. William Nordeen was killed when his armor plated sedan was hit by a remotely detonated car bomb next to his vehicle. The Marxist group 17 November claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Some time after the funeral an audit was initiated into Fitzpatrick’s administration of the USS Mars Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund for which he as the XO was responsible.  Among other things money from the fund had been used to pay travel expenses for officers’ wives to attend Nordeen’s brother’s funeral.

Eventually, Fitzpatrick was charged and convicted at a court martial of one charge, an Article 92 violation in that he was derelict in the performance of duties as the person in charge of the MWR, was derelict in the performance of those duties in that he willfully failed to follow proper procedures for the accounting and expenditure of Morale, Welfare and Recreation funds on board USS MARS (AFS 1), as it was his duty to duty to do. The willful part later was downgraded to negligently in a review.

Walt was offered a non judicial punishment under Article 15 (Captain’s Mast) but Walt being the hard headed moron that he is refused to accept it. Walt’s punishment was an official letter of reprimand and he was eventually beached. After being passed up three times for promotion he was forced to retire from the Navy.

That is a brief explanation of how Fitzpatrick’s Naval career ended. For a much more detailed account I recommend reading blogger nbc’s post about the Fitzpatrick court martial at the Fogbow forum. nbc took the time to find the official records and review them. Fitzpatrick claims someone forged his signature on a letter acknowledging that he received the letter of reprimand. Whether or not this is true really had no effect on how Fitzpatrick’s Naval career was going to end.

Fitzpatrick’s court martial and disgraceful end of his Navy career seem to launch Fitzpatrick on a destructive path in life. Blogger Patrick McKinion at his now dormant Bad Fiction blog documented his many run ins with the law while he resided in Kitsap, WA: Doing the Walter Fitzpatrick Rap. Note that several complaints for spousal abuse show up in his records.

Now back to Special Counsel Mueller …

Mueller is just the latest in a long line of government officials, judges, grand jury forepersons, and law enforcement personnel at all levels whom Fitzpatrick with his deluded mindset blames for his abject failure of a life. Sharon Rondeau seems to have anointed herself as Walt’s official cheerleader.

In an article Rondeau published at her blog but not written by her Mueller’s investigation into Russia and events surrounding the 2016 election is called a “with hunt”. The author of course is just parroting what the Liar-in-Chief Trump has said.

Let’s look at the facts:

  • Mueller, a Republican,  was appointed as Special Counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Republican appointed by Donald Trump.
  • Mueller had been appointed as Director of the FBI by Republican President George W. Bush and is considered by most sane people to have done a good job running the agency in the post 911 era.
  • So far the Mueller investigation has gotten indictments against nineteen people and three companies including three guilty pleas.
  • He uncovered a well financed Russian operation run inside the US to use hundreds of people to interfere with the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump.
  • He found that the former campaign director for the Trump for president organization Paul Manafort and former deputy director Rick Gates were acting as unregistered agents for a foreign country and engaged in laundering millions of dollars overseas to avoid paying US taxes.

That’s some witch hunt!

It’s hilarious that Rondeau would hold up the criminal and loser Walter Fitzpatrick as a hero while trashing Mueller. Mueller was a war hero, a successful US Attorney, Director of the FBI, and is now running an efficient and critical investigation that is exposing crime at the highest levels of government.

Fitzpatrick on the other hand has been convicted twice for menacing local officials because of his wrong headed belief that he can take over his local grand jury and use it to push his personal fantasy charge that President Obama committed treason.

Rondeau and Fitzpatrick are free to comment in rebuttal of anything I have written here. However, she is a coward who hides behind comment moderation at her blog. The last thing she wants let slip into her Birther cocoon are facts.

Posted in Birthers | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments