Friday, July 29, 2016

Dangerous Donald

The video above was played at the Democratic National Convention, and highlights a small number of the people who have spoken out about how Donald is unfit to be President of the United States. More reasons are added every day.

North Korea endorsed Donald for president. Let that sink in for a moment: One of the most repressive and corrupt nations on earth thinks Donald should be president. It’s only fair, after all: Donald has praised the country’s dictator. Donald doesn’t have a clue.

Donald has talked about pulling US troops out of Korea unless they pay for money to the USA. North Korea would love the opportunity to invade South Korea unopposed. Donald is dangerous.

This week, too, Donald said that if he becomes president, he’s willing to reverse global consensus and recognise Ukraine’s Crimea as Russian territory—even though the world opposes that after Russia invaded Ukraine to seize Crimea. But this is only the latest in his declarations that he’d let Russia do whatever it wants. Donald is dangerous

This is only the latest in a string of pro-Russian declarations from Donald. Last week, Donald said he wouldn’t defend the Baltic countries if Russia invades (as Russian dictator Putin is clearly planning to do). Thanks to Donald, ALL of the counties in NATO have to wonder if the United States can be counted on as an ally. Donald is dangerous.

And then, of course, he invited the Russians to hack an American’s emails to further Donald’s political ends. That’s as close to treason as any major candidate for president has ever come. Treason or not, it could be a felony. Donald is dangerous.

Donald loves Vlad Putin—LOVES him. He’s repeatedly praised the Russian dictator, but the question is, WHY? Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, recently published seven specific alarming connections between Donald and Putin, any one of which is concerning, but taken together, it suggests that Donald is in Putin’s back pocket. Donald is dangerous.

Donald must never be allowed anywhere near the White House, not even as a tourist.

Donald is dangerous.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Republicans dumped their legacy

The video above from Vox outlines the history of how the Republican Party abandoned its proud heritage, descending from Abraham Lincoln to the depths with Donald. The video also outlines some of the history of the Democratic Party along the way, and explains why things are so very different now.

One of the things that this video shows is how the Democratic Party evolved from the party of the southern states to one based in the North, Midwest, and Pacific states, and how it moved from supporting slavery to championing civil rights and progress.

The Republican Party, meanwhile, moved from a party of the North to one in the South and some Great Plains States. It has become older, whiter, and more male as time has gone on—that’s not news or beyond question.

Because of all these shifts, the Democratic Party has become more diverse, and much of that has been because of minorities flocking to the party. It is why the Democratic Party is a party of all Americans and the Republican Party is now the party of very narrow-minded, angry, older, white, mostly male voters.

This reality is why Republican politicians across the country have fought hard to try and suppress the voting rights of minorities: The party cannot attract enough minority votes to win, so their strategy is to keep minorities from voting at all. While for some racism is their motivator, for most it’s probably more about power—gaining it and keeping it.

I don’t know how the Republican Party comes back from this, but continuing to cater to old, angry, white men won’t do it. If it’s even possible for them to return to the real world where facts and reason matter, it’ll take a lot of hard work and a fair amount of pain as they expel their irrational, usually bigoted, extremists.

We need a rational conservative party to provide balance and to keep Democrats moving forward. If the Republican Party can’t return to its proud heritage, if it can’t abandon fear and hatred, then it’s time for the party to die and a new conservative party to rise in its place.

Will the Republican Party become the Whig Party of the 21st Century? That’s up to them. Keeping them out of power until and unless they return to the real world is up to all of us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s video appearance at the Democratic Convention

The video above is a recording of live coverage of the Democratic National Convention today. At the time, I was struck by the visual imagery of the presidents, man after man, until glass “breaks” and Hillary Clinton appeared. It was striking imagery and very well done.

I’ve studied political messaging, formally and informally, for decades. While much can be horrible, there’s some that’s outstanding, and this one of them. The historic nature of Hillary’s nomination was palpable, and the visual of the glass breaking, pieces “falling” to the screens below, and revealing a beaming Hillary Clinton was precisely on-message, and very well done.

I felt very good watching all this live (I was streaming C-SPAN’s coverage today so I didn’t have to deal with the insipid and annoying pundits on CNN), and throught the clear joy in supporters’ faces was pretty contagious.

Then, this evening, I checked Facebook, and saw a friend post a status celebrating the history. He’s a white gay man, and noted that the opposition he’d seen on Facebook was from white heterosexual men, who, arguably, have nothing personal to lose if Donald wins. However, he also said several women he knew were frightened to express their happiness because of the shit they’d get from others—again, mostly white men.

We must do better. I get that some people, for whatever reason, will never support Hillary Clinton. But aggressively telling someone how “wrong” they are for supporting her will NOT change anyone’s mind! If only we could have civil political discussions based entirely on verifiable facts and the opinions we form arising from those facts. That could happen someday, maybe, but certainly not this year.

Despite all that, and despite the fact that some people do hate Hillary Clinton, we now have “the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet”. Hillary accomplished that, and that will benefit us all.

History is made

The Democratic Party has just made MORE history: It just nominated Hillary Clinton for president, becoming the first major party to nominate a woman as their presidential nominee. I was watching live. This is huge, just as when Democrats became the first party to nominate an African American as their nominee. It means that from now on, it will always be a given that any American child, whether a boy or girl, can grow up to be US President.

As a child, I assumed that, apart from John F. Kennedy, one had to be an old white man to be president. I took that for granted. It was obvious. But so much has changed, especially in the past few years, that true equality now seems possible.

And yet, the work has only begun.

When Barack Obama was elected president, the rightwing and far-right worked hard to try and make him fail. Despite all that, and going on to be one of the most successful presidents, his opponents still attack him and lie about him because they cannot accept a Black man being president. It really is that simple.

Now they will do everything in their power to try to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president. They will absolutely resort to sexism and misogyny as they wage their regressive campaign, and we know that because of their Republican Derangement Disease (see my previous post where I talked about that). Republicans have had decades to bake their hatred of Hillary Clinton, so they simply won’t be able to engage in rational debate: They will launch gender-based attacks. It’s inevitable.

Electing Hillary Clinton President is not enough. We must elect Democrats to the US Congress, too, so that President Hillary Clinton will be able to move America forward. Democrats have a strong chance of taking control of the US Senate—which is VITAL—and have a shot at retaking the US House, IF people work for it.

Democrats will have help, of course: The Republicans’ T.P. Ticket is the most extremist and frightening they have ever nominated—and I’ve seen a fair few awful nominees coming from their party over my lifetime.

But one thing is absolutely certain: Today, history was made.

I'm with her.

Meanhwhile, stuff happened

I’ve been distracted lately, and that’s led me to miss commenting on a number of things I’d normally have talked about. I thought I’d catch up on a few of them, but it turned out that I’m not in a charitable mood, not that Republicans deserve charity, but still. So, this post is what it is.

Hillary’s Choice

Tim Kaine wasn’t my first choice for vice president, but neither was he someone I opposed. What little I knew of him, he seemed good, but I frankly didn’t know that much. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about him, and I now see him as a very solid choice.

I know some Progressives are disappointed in the choice (and many of those on my own personal “short list” were progressives they’d approve of), but some of the progressive antipathy toward him is because of deliberate disinformation from opponents.

The fact is that the list of his ratings on his Congressional record is pretty impressive—and often ratings that any progressive would be proud to have (like 100% from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Human Rights Campaign, and an “F” from the NRA along with 100% from the Brady Campaign). The point is, he has had a solidly Liberal Democratic record.

He’s also from s swing state, is fluent in Spanish, and compared to the two peas in an extremist pod that is the Republicans’ T.P. Ticket, he’s calm, safe, and non-threatening. Given the need to win over Centrist voters, who are the majority of the general electorate, and with the strong possibility of winning over even some disaffected (and frightened or disgusted…) Republicans, this is a very good thing.

So, Tim Kaine is a good, solid choice—and lightcenturies better than his equivalent on the Republicans’ T.P. Ticket, of course.

Republican Derangement Disease

The video at the top of this post from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (which I actually saw on  TV for a change…) talks about the fundamental problem with the modern Republican Party: They truly believe that “feelings” about issues are the same as facts about them. This had never occurred to me before, though it’s so bloody obvious, and it explains why Republicans always say things that are flat-out not true, yet act is if they are.

Like, for example, their ongoing lies about Hillary Clinton. I’ve known about Republicans’ “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” pretty much since the 1992 election. This led Republicans to be willing to lie about the Clintons, to defame them, and smear them to try and destroy them.

Republicans raised that derangement to a whole new level with their “Obama Derangement Syndrome”, questioning his citizenship, his religion, among other things, and declaring every single year that President Obama was coming for their guns—though that last one may have been a cynical ploy to increase sales of guns and ammunition, it’s hard to tell. In any case, this derangement syndrome led them to eight years of pure partisan obstruction, no matter how much harm their partisan games did the country.

No one is a saint, not Hillary Clinton, nor President Obama, nor Bernie Sanders—NO ONE. But neither are they the caricatures hawked by Republican politicians. But Republicans and their allies in their media been so good at spreading lies, smears, and distortions that many of those lies are now taken as truth, even by those who should know better.

The cure for Republican Derangement Disease is simple: Seek out facts. Whenever we see a Republican attack on Hillary Clinton, we should start out by assuming it’s false even as we attempt to verify it. We’ll seldom be able to verify Republican attacks, of course, but we can speak out with truth and facts, anyway. A lie repeated often enough can become the truth, but declaring that the emperor has no clothes can also eventually get through to those who usually refuse to look.

The Republicans Circus

I watched some of Day One of the Republican shit show—aptly called that because it was such a fiasco, not just because of the norovirus outbreak. Every speech contained stuff that was factually wrong, usually on purpose, or extremely misleading. I stopped watching at some point, mainly because I didn’t want to frighten the furbabies by "talking back" to the TV. I didn’t watch any other coverage, since they wouldn’t and couldn’t possibly say anything I’d want to hear, and their constant lying and smears were making me far too angry.

However, one thing that did happen was extraordinary: After Donald delivered his “I’m a strongman, I can protect you” speech at the end of his circus convention, there were five major news organisations that fact checked him—and those are just the ones I saw. I can’t remember that ever happening before. But, then, Donald has earned a reputation as a habitual liar, so maybe it’s not that surprising. The gist of all that fact checking is that Donald was lying or misleading much of the time. No surprise, of course.

Finally, a lighter moment.

The video below is of Jon Stewart on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In Jon’s classic style, he criticised Donald and the Republican media machine. Best line to Lumpy and his mates in the Republican Propaganda machine and all their enablers: “This country is not yours!”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bella’s journey

I've been putting off this post about our cat Bella (All posts that mention her are tagged "Bella"), partly because we didn't have all the information at first, and also because I wanted to avoid it. I felt that maybe if I didn’t say anything, it would just go away. But, it hasn’t, and we must face reality: Bella’s journey is coming to an end.

On Sunday, I took Bella to the vet because she wasn’t eating much, and she’d lost a lot of weight. The vet said she did have a couple bad teeth—the reason I’d made the appointment—but before treating them he needed blood tests, first to make sure there weren’t any other problems, and also as an assessment to see if she could tolerate the general anaesthetic.

We got the results on Tuesday, and it turned out that her liver was fine, she wasn’t diabetic, but her kidney function was awful. We brought her in that afternoon and they gave her a subcutaneous injection of fluids, and put her on renal diet food. Fortunately, she loved that food, and by the evening, and again in the morning, she was a bit better.

We took her back to the vet on Wednesday morning, and she stayed there the next two days on an IV drip in the hope the protein levels in her blood and urine might return to normal levels. That didn’t happen: Except for a tiny improvement, she remained about the same. This means her kidneys are barely functioning.

So, this afternoon we brought her home so we can care for her, and so she can spend her last days in her home, with her family. We have drugs to help keep her comfortable, but there’s nothing the vet can do, so the end of her journey is now inevitable.

The vet thinks she may have a few days, a couple weeks at the very most, but even with more invasive support (like daily subcutaneous injections of fluid), it would at most merely delay the inevitable by maybe a couple months if we were lucky, but not even that would prevent this. And she’d need to be on drugs twice a day for pain, among other drugs throughout the day, her special diet, and she’d be jabbed with a needle every day. And all of that wouldn’t change anything, just give us a little more time with her, which seems to us to be selfish and cruel.

Our first reaction on receiving the news was to try and think of something—anything—we might have missed that could have tipped us off earlier that there was a problem—but there was nothing.

We first noticed there was a change when she started eating less, but she often does that when she has a furball, and she coughed one up last week. So, at the time, we thought nothing of it. But her eating didn’t improve, and she took to sleeping outside—even in the rain. We thought she had tooth problems, which made it painful to eat, so we gave her tinned cat food, and she gobbled that right up, reinforcing the idea that it was her teeth. Turned out, of course, that it was her teeth—but so much more, too.

There was nothing else that tipped us off that anything was seriously wrong. Her fur had thinned a bit, especially her bushy tail, but that coincided with the change of seasons, and she’s about nine or ten, so we also thought it might be ageing. As recently as three weeks ago, when I was taking photos for Sunny’s birthday, she seemed completely normal.

What all that means, really, is that we can’t think of anything in her behaviour that could have alerted us that there was a problem—up until this week, the week before at most. But it was just this past weekend that we became worried and decided to take her to the vet. Up until that point, she seemed a bit off colour, but otherwise not sick or anything.

So we’d been expecting a simple resolution, then, after the first results, we remained hopeful that Bella would recover, probably requiring a special diet, but have a good life all the same. It wasn’t to be.

The vet told us that over the next few days, she may actually improve a bit, partly from being home. If so, we can have the vet give her those injections to keep her comfortable. But we still know how this story ends, because we’ve been there before, of course.

And so, we’re profoundly sad. The little girl who chose us to be her family back in April, 2010 after a life as a stray, will soon leave us, and, damn it, we don't want her to go. Such is the way with furbabies, who steal our hearts and refuse to give them back. And despite the pain, we wouldn’t be without them.

Right now, I need to go give Bella a cuddle. There’ll be a fair bit of that in the days ahead.

The photo montage of Bella up top is from January 2015. It’s always been one of my favourites of her.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Internet Wading - Delayed Miscellany

This collection of miscellany has been months in the making. I started it for March, added to it for April, and again for May, and again for June. Mainly, I kept forgetting about it. As time passed, I needed to check to make sure the links were still working, and that kept delaying things. I very nearly gave up.

The thing is, I run across all sorts of things on the Internet that I’d like to share. While I sometimes now share such things on the AmeriNZ Facebook Page, mostly I don’t. That’s a shame because there are a lot of good things about the Internet, like, for example, it can teach us all kinds of things, if we want it to, and it can be a tremendous resource. Other times, it’s just fun or interesting. And then other times…

In “I shower once a week. Here’s why you should too”, Donnachadh McCarthy tells us, “The daily bath or shower… is terrible for the environment and our bank balances.” He goes on:
“It is clear my daily shower habit resulted from falsely imposed cultural norms, rather than any legitimate health benefits. We do need to wash our hands frequently, for obvious hygiene reasons. But our skin has its own natural cleansing mechanism and it is generally only our armpits, feet and privates that produce any odours if unwashed.”

“So let’s ignore the advertising bullies and revert to the traditional weekly shower or bath, plus a daily sink-wash. Apart from anything else, think how much time we’ll save.”
A commenter added: “I have found life without washing hair is so much more pleasant. For showering, only as needed, determined by smell and/or feel. An minimum that is 1/week at max it is about 4 times a week, but even then soap is only used in the armpits.” Um, “determined by smell and/or feel”?!

Speaking of health, the Netherlands Nutrition Centre issued new nutritional dietary guidelines suggesting that people eat no more than two servings of meat per week. It seems the trend these days.

And for health things people obsess about, “An Engineered Protein Can Kill Cancer Cells in the Bloodstream”. And something helpful for the times in which we live: “How to change someone’s mind, according to science”.

Now, here’s some of that edumacation: “48 Hours of Joseph Campbell Lectures Free Online: The Power of Myth & Storytelling”. Originally posted August 31st, 2015, this is one of those things I stumbled across. The study of myth and storytelling is behind some of the great stories that millions enjoy, like Star Wars, for example.

“Metallic Ink Shines in Ancient Herculaneum Scrolls”. This could be huge.

And, let’s not forget about really important things: “Trash for Cash: An Oral History of Garbage Pail Kids”. I was too old for what they mocked, but the humour appealed to me. A lot.

But wait—there’s MORE free stuff! “The New York Public Library Just Unleashed 180,000 Free Images. We Can’t Stop Looking at Them”. As Mother Jones warns, “Say goodbye to your afternoon.”

And speaking of visual things, 3D printing is growing rapidly, and this sort of thing will become more popular: “Now You Can Have New York In The Palm Of Your Hand”.

And while we’re wasting using time looking at old photos (or random Intgernet sites…), it’s good to know that “Scientists May Have Just Figured Out Why Time Moves Forward, Not Backwards”.

Not everything can be serious, so maybe a look at “The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy”. They say, “From the Marx Brothers to The Simpsons, Richard Pryor to Amy Schumer: 100 bits, sketches, and one-liners that changed humor forever.” Even I thought many were funny.

Speaking of funny (because I think I’m secretly still 13…): “If the 2016 Presidential Candidates Had Beards”. Mind you, I also have a beard, so that could be it.

Or, maybe “Ancient Greek sculptures dressed up in hipster clothing”. Just because.

“Here are 35 colorized photos that will completely change how you see history”. I’ve seen several of these before, but I’m always fascinated by them because they do tend to make the past seem more real than black and white images—no matter how beautifully done—can do. At least sometimes.

And speaking of photos, “Why people never smiled in old photos”:

That’s it for this month—well, these months, actually. Maybe I’ll remember to do this again next month—or eventually.

Compare and contrast

Every summer, the two main parties bring in young people to serve as interns. The idea is that they’ll be inspired to take on a career in politics, and the programme also provides a sort of orientation for those who will be leaders in their parties eventually.

Recently, two very different photos of this year’s interns were posted. For people trying to understand the differences between the Democratic and Republican Parties, those two photos provide a strong visual contrast.

First, the Republicans (click to enlarge):

Shared by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) on his Instagram, the photo shows the Republicans 2016 summer interns. All those fresh white faces! GQ Magazine has just published a mocking list of the names of the interns, which I think is awfully unfair. It's not their fault that their party's leaders are completely uninterested in diversity, now or for the future of their party.

Now, let’s compare and contrast that with the Democrats’ 2016 summer interns (click to enlarge):

The photo, by Cameron Trimble, was made available by US Rep Eddie Bernie Johnson (D-TX) on her Facebook Page. These faces look like America.

When the Democratic National Convention begins, we’ll see that again in the faces of the delegates. The people chosen to speak will reinforce that fact.

The two parties have vastly different ideologies and agendas, and starkly different presidential candidates. But for a quick, easy to understand visual explanation of the differences between the two parties, look at the faces.

The two parties could no be more different.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Remote options for U.S. exiles

Several months ago, an Internet meme began, saying that a small Irish island called Inishturk would accept American refugees if Donald becomes president. The short film above, released about three weeks ago, asks the Irish, especially the people of Inishturk, what they think about that. It’s a well-made film.

There have been many articles published for those interested in fleeing the USA if Donald wins, and there are actually several options, including Ireland. All that is mostly a bit of fun, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

The reality is that it’s now a given that around the time of every presidential election, people will say they’ll leave the USA if the candidate they don’t like wins. However, there’s something very different about this year: How early that talk started. After Donald won the Republican contests in Super Tuesday last March, Google reported that searches for "Move to Canada" were the highest they’d ever been in Google’s history. I imagine such searches would break the Internet if he actually wins.

Still, I’m not sharing the film because I actually think Americans would really move to Inishturk if [insert the name of the despised candidate here] wins the US presidential election. I just think this is a very well-made film, with interesting cinematographic techniques that aren’t either cliché or pointless, but rather add feeling, mood, and interest, while also helping to move the narrative forward.

History has shown that very few people ever follow through on their declaration and actually leave the USA. Will this year be any different? Well, if Donald won, it would be more than usual. But hoards leaving? I doubt that. So, Inishturk doesn't have to worry about mass migration, I’m sure.

But if people really do leave the USA after the November elections, that would make for an interesting film, too.

Worth Quoting: Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California and former Mayor of San Francisco, posted this on his Facebook Page, and it's part of my own reaction to the Republican Party daring to play a Queen song as the grand entrance music for Donald and Mrs. Donald yesterday:
“It's important to note that tonight's RNC convention ended with a song, We Are the Champions, sung by a gay man, Freddie Mercury. Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991. His music was played at a convention where the most anti-LGBT policy platform was adopted, just today. His music, which he famously labored over, which was intricate and complex, was played at a convention where Mike Pence, a man who has spent his political career actively looking for opportunities to pass laws that would give others the legal framework to discriminate against LGBT people, sat comfortably in a VIP box. I'm not sure what Freddie Mercury would think of his music being played at the RNC convention, but I do know that if he weren't a famous rockstar, he would have probably been greeted by a wall, a really high wall, because he represented everything that Mike Pence and Donald Trump are scared of.”
Related: This Internet meme is—rightfully—making the rounds today:

Queen responded to Donald’s theft appropriation unauthorised use of their intellectual property:
"We are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign. Queen does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country. Nor does Queen want 'We are the Champions' to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party. We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I did have to laugh…

I’m a fair-minded guy, really, despite my partisanship, and when it comes to politics I always try to go to original sources before I comment on things. The Republican Party Platform is a good example: Before I commented, I wanted to read up on it, and, well, it didn’t go well. It turned out the party was stuck in the past—literally!

It all started because this morning I’d been reading about how awful the Republican Party Platform is, like “6 Ways The RNC Platform Is Already Shaping Up To Be Crazy”, and “A GOP Governor’s Unbelievable Defense Of Her Party’s Anti-LGBT Platform” (tl;dr version: It’s really about promoting all Americans’ rights by excluding LGBT Americans from having any legal rights).

But rather than merely reading commentary from others, even those I find to be reliable, I wondered, what, exactly, the platform actually said.

So, I decided to see if the Republican Party had posted their platform online yet so I could read it for myself. I realised it might not be available, since it hadn’t yet been officially adopted, but I decided to check, anyway.

However, I did NOT expect to see the party was literally stuck in the past.

The screengrab above was the landing page for every link to the platform on the Republicans’ site, as well as from a Google search. Wouldn't you think they'd have put in a placeholder there instead of THAT?! (And, isn't it odd that the Statue of Liberty is looking to the Left—and that's where the light is coming from?)

Now, I realise that much of their platform is recycled, like the pandering to the Cliven (or is it Al? I do get confused…) Bundy Faction of the Republican Party, “GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests”, among other old planks, but surely a link to their 2012 platform should have been in an archive section or something, not at the end of the links to what one would expect to be their current platform?

Still, considering how very far in the distant past the Republican Party’s politics are stuck, I suppose 2012 is actually as up to date as we could possibly expect from them.

And, I did have to laugh. Of course.

Addendum: Today the Republican Convention approved the party’s platform for 2016, and the links now go to a blog post about it (seriously!) that includes a link to a PDF of the 2016 platform. Still amusing us, the file was called “DRAFT_12_FINAL[1]-ben_1468872234.pdf”, which is a really helpful and descriptive file name, as I’m sure we’ll all agree. The filename for 2012’s was “2012GOPPlatform.pdf”, so they obviously can’t learn from their past. Clearly.

This post is revised and extended from what I posted this morning on the AmeriNZ Facebook Page.

Mike Pence: Even Worse than Trump

Back during the fight for marriage equality in the USA, I frequently turned to videos by Matt Baume to explain some of the intricacies of the fight. I’m doing that again, with Matt’s latest video, above, “Mike Pence: Even Worse than Trump”.

Matt lays out all the reasons why Mike Pence is so truly awful for LGBT Americans, and “a far more diabolical candidate than your usual Republican”. I made a few of the points in my highly mocking post about Pence, but Matt lays them out so clearly.

One interesting point is Matt’s assertion that Donald is “one of the most impeachment-ready candidates ever”. That caught my attention because I’ve seen people who hate Hillary Clinton (self-described Republicans and Democrats alike, sadly) arguing that if Donald was elected president, it wouldn’t be so bad because he could always be impeached. Putting aside that no president has ever been successfully removed from office, Matt’s right that it would mean that Pence would become president. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

Mike Pence is absolutely far more extremist than Donald, with a consistently far-right theocratic agenda, contrasted with Donald’s ideological flexibility. But comparing and contrasting their extremism is a race to the bottom, and one not worth engaging in: They’re both truly awful.

The T.P. Ticket must be defeated. Not only must Hillary Clinton be elected US President, the US Congress must be returned to Democratic control. That's the only way to get the USA moving forward again. Only a massive defeat could force the Republican Party to finally dump its racism, sexism, homophobia and other bigotry, to get rid of its lunatic fringe, and to finally move into the 21st Century. It’s a big job accomplishing that, one that may not succeed in every aspect.

We must try.