30 September 2018

What to do about Republican minoritarian power politics?

 I say pack the court. Win the House, Senate and presidency and then expand the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, by 25+%. Can only work if we take and hold power for at least 8 years, long enough to change the demographics, and the conversation. Ultimately a Constitutional Amendment to adjust Senate minority rule will also be necessary.
Part of this strategy needs to be to add DC and Puerto Rico and maybe Guam as states, and pass the National Popular Vote compact to defang the Electoral College.

This needs to be the Democratic game plan for 2020 and beyond.
I realize this is an ambitious agenda, far beyond what most Democrats are willing to support at this time, but think about it. Are we not at the point where radical, even fundamental change, is necessary to break the stranglehold of minoritarian power? If we do not stand up for major changes, we will stand no chance at all that they will ever occur. 

20 September 2018

weird coincidence, or what's in a name?

I am friends and former colleagues with a very smart and capable lawyer who was born and raised in the Indian community in Malaysia. Which is quite extensive. She lived in London for a while before immigrating here about 25 years ago. She's ethnically Telugu, if I remember correctly. Anyway, her name is Meena Nachiappan. So imagine my surprise to receive a request to join my piano meetup group from a Meena Nachiappan, a young woman from Hillsboro, Oregon, complete with profile picture (not of the Meena I know). At first I thought it was some weird software glitch, but it's not. Turns out Nachiappan is fairly common among the Chettiar caste, and Meena, short for the goddess Meenakshi, is also a pretty common name. Both of them got a kick out of learning about the other. 

Help flip WA-03

If you have a few nickels to try to help flip the House, there aren't really any districts among Oregon's five that are in play. But just across the river is WA-03, currently held by Republican Jaime Herrera Butler. Very good prospects for flipping this seat. The Democrat, Carolyn Long, is more centrist than I tend to gush over, but we have to win the NUMBERS, and she's decent on most issues.

19 September 2018

Kavanaugh... two points

I'm probably repeating myself, but I posted this as a comment on social media, and it sums up my thinking on the current Kavanaugh controversy, so I'm sharing it anyway. 

 If a person, even a 17 year old, did something bad while blackout drunk, and realized at the time that he didn't remember what he did or didn't do, he should have the probity and integrity for the rest of his life to realize that he is not in a position to make any categorical denials about what others say he may have done. Big black mark, totally disqualifying. Second, this is not just a job. I agree that even very bad behavior in youth, if acknowledged and responsibility taken for it, should not disqualify someone for 99% of jobs, even elected office, even, probably, judgeships. But the Supreme Court is different. Only people of totally unquestioned probity, exemplary integrity, and lifelong reasoned and controlled demeanor should come anywhere near such awesome power, that they hold far longer than any other officeholders. This man has clearly lied under oath several times, and has treated these accusations in a grossly irresponsible manner. And the accusations are indeed credible. No one has some kind of golden passport to a supreme court slot. This guy, if he had any concern for the dignity of the court and its ability to have the credibility to stand above all other law, should simply withdraw right now (as Clarence Thomas should have... and HIS continuing conflicts of interest and obvious bias has merely reinforced that he should never have been confirmed to the office in the first place).  

18 September 2018

Kavanaugh and the Senate

 I think the chances of defeating the Kavanaugh nomination are a little better than the chances of Dems retaking the senate... but still not too good. However, one thing I'm pretty sure about. If Repubs succeed, it will cost them. In fact, the second thing may be the RESULT of their going all out on the first. Likely it will indeed turn on Murkowski and Collins, neither of whom is a reliable foil to the worst undemocratic power politics practices of the Far Right Party. Possibly, just possibly, Flake or Corker. From those 4 we need 2. Looks pretty forlorn. It does look pretty good for keeping the Democratic caucus 100% unified, which you couldn't say two weeks ago.

11 September 2018

Fear and Loathing in the White House

Woodward tells us that even Trump's own lawyer told Mueller that Trump was "disabled," and that's why he couldn't testify. My question: did he, as any right thinking person would, suggest to Pence or other cabinet members that they should invoke the 25th Amendment? Somehow I doubt it. But if you seriously believe the president is too disabled to sit down for two hours and tell the truth, then it's your patriotic duty to warn people in a position to begin the process of removing him from office that they'd better do that, post haste. Our nation is at risk with a mental deficient occupying an office of such largely unchecked power. No wonder Woodward titled his book Fear.

07 September 2018

Brett Kavanaugh is a big fat liar but will probably be confirmed anyway

Rachel Maddow just laid out a compelling case that Kavenaugh lied in his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings about 1) his role in the Pickering appointment; and, even more important, his knowledge and role in the use by the Bush administration of STOLEN Democratic judiciary committee documents in relation to judicial appointments. Will this, as it clearly should, mean his confirmation is completely scotched and he has to withdraw? Not in the crappy cesspool Republican Washington has become.