“A Path I’m Not Willing To Take”

By this time, any American even minimally interested in politics is aware of the speech made a week or so ago by Senator Jeff Flake. Flake took to the Senate floor to announce that he would not be running for re-election, because in the party of Trump, such a campaign would require him to go down “a path I’m not willing to take.”

Vox reported on the speech and its reception.

“Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” he said, referencing President Trump. “And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else. It is dangerous to a democracy.”

Flake’s remarks were met with a standing ovation from those in the room, including Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), who have both made their fair share of biting comments about the president.

The Huffington Post was among the numerous outlets reporting on Flake’s denunciation of “Trumpism.”

“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end,” he said.

In a stunning takedown of President Donald Trump, Flake pleaded with his colleagues to “respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared facts and shared values” and called the president’s behavior “outrageous” and “dangerous to democracy.”

“I will not be complicit or silent,” Flake said. “When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say?”

It was a great speech. But–as many others have pointed out–it wasn’t accompanied by meaningful action. Flake has obediently voted for virtually all of the measures supported by Trump and Ryan, and worse still, he isn’t going to stay and fight.

The other two Republican Senators who have spoken out–Bob Corker and John McCain–are also leaving the Senate. It raises the question why Republicans who plan to run for re-election (many of whom we know to be equally appalled by Trump) aren’t speaking publicly.

I think we know the answer to that question. It’s what is known as a lack of cojones–not to mention integrity– when contemplating the current GOP “base.” The number of Americans who identify as Republicans keeps shrinking, but those who remain include most of the voters who still support Trump. The radicalization of the party’s base has gone so far, it has eclipsed even Senators whose own opinions lie on the far edge of sanity.

A superficially unrelated article, also from Vox, provides a window into the “thought process” (a generous description) of that base.

“We’ve had this view that the voters were with us on conservatism — philosophical, economic conservatism,” said conservative intellectual Avik Roy in an interview with Zack Beauchamp. “In reality, the gravitational center of the Republican Party is white nationalism.”

The article looked at a phenomenon called “rolling coal.” The New York Times reported  on it in 2016; it’s the name given to the practice of modifying a truck’s diesel engine “so that it spews thick, toxic black smoke in order to … well, to be obnoxious.”

Entire dissertations could be written about rolling coal. Even more than Trump’s ascension, it seems to perfectly capture a moment in time, an inarticulate yawp of protest from angry white men. They feel disdained and overlooked and they will blow thick black smoke in your face until you pay attention….

What FOX and talk radio have been teaching the right for decades is that native-born, working- and middle-class whites are locked in a zero-sum struggle with rising Others — minorities, immigrants, gays, coastal elitists, hippie environmentalists, etc. — and that the major institutions of the country have been coopted and are working on behalf of the Others.

There’s much more in the article, and I encourage you to click through and read it, but its relevance to the silence of so many GOP elected officials is in its description of the hostility of a significant percentage of today’s Republican base. These are voters who don’t care about policy, or civility, or traditional Republican positions. They can’t define conservatism.  They just want to stick it to those “others.” In the immortal words from Network, they’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.

And they frighten–and cow– Senators and Representatives for whom job security is more important than the country, the public good or self-respect.

 

39 thoughts on ““A Path I’m Not Willing To Take”

  1. Had an extended exchange with three such folks yesterday. They were on an anti-Antifa rant – threatening civil war. Here, in Indiana. The really scary part: they are in law enforcement. #takeaknee

  2. And don’t think for a moment that rolling coal practitioners are only from the Hillbilly Elegy crowd. Many of them have paid $75,000 or more for their diesel pickup trucks, to which they add a $50 switch to create the desired effect on demand. Not long ago I watched one of them blow a massive cloud of black smoke as he passed a high-school cross-country squad out on the road for practice. As I’ve said here before there is no middle-ground to be found with these people. There is no room for consensus. To my knowledge several states have made this practice illegal and more are in the process. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Indiana to join them.

  3. Maybe Flake’s actions can be explained by his desire to sell books. I’ve seen some interviews and the video of his remarks to the Senate, but after his book was published (Conscience of a Conservative). I also questioned his speaking out followed by his willingness to excuse himself from the fight. Maybe the rest of us just haven’t realized yet that there is no stopping the Trump train until it jumps the tracks.

  4. “Talk is cheap!”

    “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    What “path” is being taken by sending the nation’s stop White Nationalist and life-long racist, Sessions, to Indianapolis to speak with Rev. Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition? The Channel 6 news reported this morning that the organization has made headway dealing with juvenile crime but has not effected the crime rate here. (Those of us paying attention here are well aware that our local media in all forms, are all right-leaning) The fact that their presence in Butler-Tarkington area resulted in not one murder in over a year, in an area rife with killing, is a very positive effect. What “path” have Trump and Pence scheduled for Sessions to take here today? Pence ignored Rev. Harrison, the Ten Point Coalition and the escalating murder rate in Indianapolis during his administration. Is Sessions here to stop the Ten Point Coalition? No one in the current administration is open to learning anything about anything.

    Trump announced to the world yesterday after the largest number of killings in a “place of worship” in this entire country’s history that the issue is NOT guns, it is mental illness. He could be right about this; the NRA, the entire gun lobby and the gun lawmakers are all crazy. As for their defense of the 2nd Amendment…per my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary:

    “militia, 1. a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call ONLY in emergency, 2. the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service.”

    Exactly when and where did all these killers register for the “militia”? What “path” is the current, and previous, administrations leading us down regarding the 2nd Amendment. As with the entire judicial system throughout this country and on all levels; we victims have fewer rights than the criminals and justice is rarely part of the judicial system – beginning with the new version of SCOTUS. I did see a Trump post stating he wants Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg GONE; apparently he doesn’t like the “path” she is taking.

  5. As has been mentioned before, good people are unwilling to run for office because they cannot stomach the thought of the emotional and financial beatings that they will have to endure if they are anything other than an obedient or radical conservative.

  6. William Henry,

    “Had an extended exchange with three such folks yesterday. They were on an anti-Antifa rant – threatening civil war….#takeaknee”

    In the old days, it was called “Jew-baiting.” It’s putting someone in a lose/lose position. That’s exactly what they’re doing with the protests by the African-American NFL players in their tactic of taking a knee during the national anthem. In other words, if you “take a knee” you LOSE [your livelihood]; If you don’t take a knee you LOSE [everything your African-American community has accomplished in the last 50 years].

    THREAT OF CIVIL WAR is a major part of the strategy pursued by the real owners in America….. the Bush/Koch RACIAL OLIGARCHY. The problem goes much deeper than the game the RACIST NFL owners, McNair of the Houston Oilers and Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, are willing to play.

    Four little words say it all: DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS! I strongly suggest that the African-American might have no other choice than to do just that.

    As I’ve been warning all along: “Screwing” the Jewish Community is one thing; “Screwing” the African-American community is entirely another.

    I’m reminded of the old slogan: “Remember the Maine.” Just as importantly, we need to remember, as we switch to a new creative ??? form of FASCISM under Donald Trump, that the Jews of Germany were less than 1% of the population.

    Do I need to say more? I don’t think so.

    .

  7. How long will it be before the republican working and middle class base figure out that the enemy is not the “others” but but the ultra rich who extract the value of their labor, leave them without healthcare, breathing polluted air and drinking toxic water?

  8. I think 45’s adminsytration “jumped the tracks” as soon as he took the oath of office.
    We need to get out the vote, people!

  9. What will it take to convince that “white, male, middle-class worker” to understand that they have voted time and again for laws and policy that has put them in the very position they complain about? Right to Work laws have taken away unions, bad trade deals have taken away fair trade, coporate tax laws allows for jobs to be taken out of the country while the GOP steals our public schools, takes away our healthcare and eliminates everything that made the middle class grow. I am around these people all of the time and all I ever hear is Hillary, Obama and yada, yada, yada.

    I would love to hear an idea of how to communicate effectively with this group.,

  10. Yes, our politics are tanking. In Naomi Klein’s chilling book, “Shock Doctrine”, and in George Lakoff’s informative tome, “Don’t Think of an Elephant”, you can see this demise of our environment coming. Ideological purity is, as it was in Germany in 1933, is the only political conversation from the right. They have purposefully lost their ability and desire to compromise (ironic in view of what Gen. Kelly has said recently).

    The cabal of Sessions, Pruitt, DeVos, Mnuchin, Ross, Cohn, Carson, et. al., are symptoms of the sickness that has suddenly taken over our government. We are seeing the results of ignoring decades of warning about letting big money and corporations have excessive influence on government.

    That whining class of intransigent fools who have given in to their hate and racism have always been there, but are now enabled by the Trump-ite takeover. Combine that with the REAL loss of hope and a good future by the craven abandonment of the working class by corporate America and you have the wedge that could indeed drive us to civil war.

    Marx must be grinning/weeping in his grave as his prophecies about capitalism come true. And Osama bin Laden must be smiling in his watery grave at how easy it was for terrorism to disrupt Western life to the point of turning it into an armed camp. It’s all been about the oil, you know.

  11. Teresa,

    ” I would love to hear an idea of how to communicate effectively with this group.”

    Present an OPEN AND SHUT CASE that the actions of their LEADERS are going to cause a MASSIVE BLOWBACK and that they cannot escape from its DESTRUCTION as much as they would like to believe otherwise. It’s that simple.

  12. I fear racism will win the day in Virginia tomorrow. If that happens the crazies will be even more emboldened than they are today. Democrats have to STAND FOR SOMETHING. Taking a principled stance will take them much farther than they get by trying to be all things to all men.

  13. I highly recommend reading “The Whitest White House” by Ta-Nehisi Coats in the October 2017 issue of The Atlantic. They might as well start using the slogan “White people vote Republican”.

  14. Thank you so much for this Sheila!! Trying to get my mind around where these people are coming from, those who are otherwise sane that I know personally, is getting harder and harder for me. I guess I should consider myself fortunate that it is hard for me to understand their peculiar brand of “I am a Victim” super conservatism and that my brain is still fundamentally intake. Nevertheless, we have two Americas headed away from each other at warp speed and the person that is in the unique position to try to reconcile them is egging it on.

    If this isn’t a complete disaster I don’t know what is.

  15. One of the things that we tend to leave to others then second guess is how to organize the DNC in order to step away from the bridge that the country seems poised to jump off. Where is the cavalry, where are the heroes?

    Among the very few things that Trump knows how to do is to fill the news, a fact that’s making “normal” politics obsolete. Operating in the wreckage of America is unknown territory – what works now? When Republicans are winning hands playing the crazy card, what strategy beats them?

    I can’t claim to know those answers. I don’t know if anyone does. It is clear however that devisiveness in liberal ranks will not.

    There is no date more important in American history than Election Day 2018 and 2020. We will either climb back on the traditional road to success or, I believe, have given up that choice forever.

    Because of that we all have to back the same candidates even if they are imperfect, or more likely hardly satisfactory. Almost anything even slightly liberal is a vast improvement over what we are facing now.

    We have to end this as soon as possible and as decisively as possible. Unity can. Every person for themselves won’t.

  16. I see yesterday where a member of our well-regulated militia exercised his right to bear arms by mowing down worshippers in a church. The local sheriff this morning ascribes such an appalling situation to a pattern of conduct of the militiaman indicating mental illness, and in another show of mental illness, a president half a world away tells us the problem is mental illness, not gun laws, as though the two are mutually exclusive. If he wants to stick with that story, which deliberately confuses mental illness with unhampered means to kill, a classic NRA response, then perhaps he can tell us why his proposed budget cuts funding for mental illness in the face of the continuing and accelerated pace of slaughters of innocent Americans.
    The idea behind the Second Amendment is found in its language on the right to bear arms as “being necessary to the security of a free state.” The horrid demonstration yesterday does not comport with such language; the victims and their families were neither secure nor free in real world terms under our current judicial language of the meaning of this Amendment. I can’t imagine that Madison and his cohorts envisioned that such as yesterday could ever have happened given what they had in mind when they laid out the language of this Amendment two years after adoption of the Constitution itself.
    The Supreme Court got it right in 1939 when they found that militia meant militia, but the court abandoned such a finding later, and here we are > an NRA-sponsored society that demands licensing of beauticians and roof contractors but not terrorists and the psychotic who demand automatic weapons under the mantle of a constitutional right to bear arms which, by the way, is at odds with another constitutional right, to wit: the right to “life, liberty and property.”
    Would that Madison could somehow be resurrected for a discussion among the “originalists” on the Supreme Court today as to what he and his fellow “originalists” had in mind when agreeing on the language of the Second Amendment. I am certain that it would not give license to homicidal maniacs to go into schools and churches and country music festivals to kill innocent Americans and then have politicians such as Trump pass it off as a mental health issue. Thus we have people killed by guns every day who are not deranged, like kids who find them in a drawer, people who use them in road rage situations, holdups, accidents while hunting etc. Mental health is not involved in thousands of such horrors every year, and speaking of mental illness, Trump should look in the mirror and apply the old dictum of “Physician, heal thyself.” When will this NRA-fed insanity end?

  17. And don’t (bike) ride up next to the President’s motorcade in DC and flip off the President because that too, will get you fired. Especially, if you’re a female. Our country is a joke and Flake turned around a few hours after that speech and voted to remove protections for consumers from banks that defraud us. We have more regulations on that bike than we have for gun owners. We’re the laughing stock of the world.

  18. Theresa – I am thinking of twittering this piece for broader consumption. Trump said yesterday (or today considering his presence on the west side of the International Dateline) that the slaughter in Texas was a matter of mental health and not guns and that all countries have mental health problems. He is correct that all countries have mental health problems and, I presume, statistically proportionate with ours, but how does he explain the fact that murders by guns in Japan and the UK are virtually unknown while our murder by guns rate is stratospheric? He can’t; nor can any other unbiased observer. The obvious answer is the availability of guns, especially automatic guns. He is, of course and as usual, lying for political advantage (see NRA contributions). Worse, he is in effect telling us that murder is just the price we must pay for enforcement of a constitutional provision that I do not believe was adopted for such a purpose since the language of the Amendment also limits the right to bear arms to “a well-regulated militia” and not NRA-approved psychopaths and terrorists bent on mass homicide.

  19. And in “normal” times, an explosive revelation like this might even dominate the news (only a whimper in times like this): After joining the Trump administration, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross retained investments in Navigator Holdings, a shipping firm he once controlled that has ties to a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a Russian oligarch facing U.S. sanctions.

    Another sign of corruption and dishonesty in the senior leadership of the government with no Congressional action to resist or stop it.

  20. The Republican Party has a dilemma. The Establishment Republicans, Senator Flake, etc., are happy with the Trumpets plans to privatize public education, cut medicaid, medicare, lavish the Defense Department with billions of dollars, neuter the EPA, repeal ACA, lower taxes for the 1%, etc. The Trumpet does represent the “ugly face” (loud mouth, obnoxious, greedy, threatening, etc.) of the Plutocracy, which the Establishment Republicans would prefer to hide. The Establishment Republicans would prefer an empty suit like Pence, who would carry out the same plans and theocracy to boot, without all the drama.

    On the other hand it is the ugly face of the Trumpet has attracted a following, i.e., voters.

    Just recently, the Guardian and other news outlets have revealed, Paradise Papers a leak that reveals secrets of the world elite’s hidden wealth. The details come from a leak of 13.4m files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.

    Extensive offshore dealings by Donald Trump’s cabinet members, advisers and donors, including substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross.

    How Twitter and Facebook received hundreds of millions of dollars in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions. Aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations, including Nike and Apple. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/05/paradise-papers-leak-reveals-secrets-of-world-elites-hidden-wealth

    I suppose the Democrats will use this information to attack the Trumpet and his gang. The far greater issue of why and how the the 1% elite and multi-national corporations can avoid taxes will be ignored by the Establishment Democrats that inhabit the DNC.

    I expect the Paradise Papers will prove the statement by Eugene Debs:
    The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.

  21. Don’t have much to add to this conversation except it is much needed among as many of our fellow citizens as possible. For my own part, I am trying to have such conversations among relatives and friends, trying to have a dialogue in private chats. I find this effective but are such discussions happening across the country? They need to happen in millions of households, among friends at coffee shops, wherever dialogue can really take place. I ask a simple question: what is most important in terms of personal behavior? Can you list those things? And when they do, I say, are those values being followed by our elected representatives and by our president? Most people will pause, and then say no. That is when a dialogue is possible.

  22. Brian – You are right, but why isn’t anybody talking about the fact that Ross was a co-manager along with a Russian for the Bank of Cyprus, a well-known means for Putin and his kleptocrats to launder their ill-gotten rubles into Western investments? I strongly suspect but cannot prove that Trump himself is involved in such money-laundering scheme and can only wonder if Mueller is looking into this situation, which I hope he is. I note in passing that Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, is in charge of the enforcement of sanctions against Russia and others and wonder if Trump chose him to cover his own behind and, additionally, that of Ross, since the latter is now proven to currently hold major private interests in companies doing business with Russian companies, one of which has Putin’s son in law on its board. These tax-evading connections with shell corporations based here and there, including Singapore, are in need of intensive investigation. In all events, I believe that Ross is, politically speaking, a dead man walking, and can now join Sessions and Tillerson and perhaps Mueller on that list, though firing Mueller might bring us our first 100 million person march on Washington.

  23. The language of the Second Amendment was written to allow Southerners to arm themselves agains slave uprisings and to arm posses hunting down runaway slaves. Otherwise, the South wouldn’t sign on to the Constitution. How’s that for cynicism? Well, we’re still paying the price for slavery in ever so many ways.

  24. ” I would love to hear an idea of how to communicate effectively with this group.”

    Theresa Kendall and Marv; have you not yet learned that the only effective way to “communicate” with this group would be to use the same attention-getter and language the young man used yesterday in that Baptist Church. That is the language they fully support so must be the only language they understand…backed by Trump and Congress.

  25. “One of the things that we tend to leave to others then second guess is how to organize the DNC in order to step away from the bridge that the country seems poised to jump off. Where is the cavalry, where are the heroes?”

    Pete; if you watched the questionable actions of the DNC chairwoman during the presidential campaign, and realize they ousted her far too late to help anyone but Hillary, you were aware the DNC has deeply buried problems. Debbie Wasserman-Schult’s replacement, Ms. Basille, was not an improvement and weaker than DWS but has now published a book touting her successful time as chairwoman. She stated during an interview on MSNBC, “I should have appointed Biden to run.” WTF is she talking about; she could not “appoint” a presidential nominee and Joe Biden stated loud and clear he would not run. Our own government worked against the Democratic party on all levels throughout the 2016 campaign; the racism in this country is deep and strong. The Democratic members of Congress have become the worst enemy of the Democratic party and we are struggling to find strong candidates with few options to replace them. They are “going down that same path” of talking out of both sides of their mouths and walking backwards.

  26. I have never believed in “thoughts and prayers,” but now find myself in tears and despair. Here in Virginia we have a vote tomorrow for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. The distinction between the candidates couldn’t be more sharply defined. And yet, the outcome is projected to be a toss up.
    Grassroots workers have worked diligently to change the landscape: in the last general election, 69 seats in the VA state legislature were uncontested (mostly republican); this number has been whittled down to 19, although whether this will change the outcome is unclear.
    But grassroots efforts at the local level aren’t enough. We have a DNC that cannot provide any kind of effective leadership. There is no vision, no set of principles, no priorities for the party to attract voters, many of whom have become either discouraged by or resigned to the daily erosion of our civil liberties, our environment, and our physical and financial security. It is not enough for the party to be against trump and his administration; what does the Democratic Party stand for and how do they propose to bring us back from the abyss? All they seem able to do is send out hysterical emails requesting money on a daily basis. Never is there a call for volunteers (with some concrete idea of what they could do) or ideas.
    No, Flake and Corker won’t run again because they know they can’t win, but they will continue to vote their party’s line like the good sheep they have always been. And McCain, who has once again found his moral compass, will not be with us for long. So are we doomed to a congress with the likes of a senator Roy Moore?

  27. Still waiting for the Democrats to unify against a common threat (contemplated using the word “enemy” here instead of threat, but still am somewhat reluctant to label fellow citizens and even neighbors as “enemies”). Hillary’s gone (but not forgotten). Whatever happened between the Hillaryiltes and the Bernieites and the DNC should be buried. If the Democrats keep kicking that can back and forth between them, instead of focusing on winning the next election — well I think the outcome won’t be good.

    The critical 2018 midterm elections are now just a year away. Don’t see any momentum building on the Democratic side, except for anti-Trumpism. But it’s going to take something more than just being anti-Trump (although one would think that alone should be enough). Where do the Democrats want to take the Country ? Old saying about it’s not enough to be against something; you have to be for something.

    Maybe that’s happening. But since the only thing, not only the conservative news outlets but the mainstream media as well, report on is Trump, Even those Democrats who are trying seem to be unable to and aren’t being heard to get their message out. It’s Trump 24/7. And as in the advertising world, it doesn’t matter to him whether it’s good or bad, as long it’s all about him.

    So how do the Democrats break through? Only by finding someone who can out-Trump Trump? So far — think the GOP primaries as well as the general election — the “old style” politicians (just about all of them pre-Trump) haven’t been able to make a dent in Trump.

    No answers here. Just questions.

  28. Linda (and anyone else) > Go for it. I just twittered it out to the ether so it’s in the public domain in all events. I think it is past time to go to the mat with those who cover one atrocity after another with their constitutional chatter that was never designed to facilitate such recurring atrocities.

  29. I’ve said elsewhere that any “Never Trump” Republican has to really mean what they say, or it’s just a self-soothing (and self-indulgent) delusion to utter the words. That means not throwing away your vote on a candidate who has no meaningful chance of beating the short fingered vulgarian in an election (or not voting at all), and not turning around and handing him a legislative victory after excoriating him while on record. And, you have to stay in and do everything you can to stop his destruction of the country and its foundational democratic principles and norms. (Didn’t you all spend 8 years rabidly and in lockstep obstructing President Obama because you thought he was destroying the country, dragging democracy into the muck, and wasn’t fit to govern?)

    The modern Republican Party now consists of oligarchs and plutocrats on one end, the white nationalist movement on the other, and their respective craven, sycophantic enablers. To the conservatives in the middle who still want to salvage some self respect and dignity, and this hopefully would be a large constituency, no, you can no longer call yourself a Republican and not own the bigotry, misogyny, anti-intellectualism, racism, shameless fact-free subservience to donor-class interests, and embracing of demagoguery and authoritarianism we see on display on a daily (almost hourly) basis. The party is unsalvageable. You can leave the GOP and wander in the wilderness until you can reform a rational conservative party, or you can continue to cover yourselves in its disgrace.

  30. The Republicans want a “MAJORITY APARTHEID”, which at one time, not that long ago, was called Jim Crow. How are they going to accomplish that without their guns? Get real, until we can convince them otherwise, I’m sorry to report, it’s just a waste of time and energy. Taking the easy way out, for the most part, is ultimately, a waste of time and energy, and plays right into the hands of the opposition.

    Many of the NFL players understand that, but they’re not in a position, as we have observed, to do anything about it. If they can’t stand-up who is going to? The Boy Scouts of America?

  31. The REALITY is that we are not fighting for our democracy, we’re fighting to REGAIN it. That’s a different battle altogether. Until a sufficient mass realizes the depth of our problems, the situation will only continue to deteriorate day after day, as it has been doing for almost a year.

    The prognosis is not looking very good. We continue to a reject a ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS, without which a favorable outcome is an impossibility.

  32. There is absolutely no chance for success if you can’t control the machinations of the DEVIANT ELITE. Attempts to go around them, because of fear, or lack of know-how, or both is worse than doing nothing, as it creates competition against any and all efforts to accomplish real results.

  33. Bernie Sanders has warned that the world is rapidly becoming an “international oligarchy” controlled by a tiny number of billionaires, highlighted by the revelations in the Paradise Papers.

    In a statement to the Guardian in the wake of the massive leak of documents exposing the secrets of offshore investors, Sanders said that the enrichment of wealthy individuals and companies in tax havens was “the major issue of our time”.

    “The major issue of our time is the rapid movement toward international oligarchy in which a handful of billionaires own and control a significant part of the global economy. The Paradise Papers shows how these billionaires and multinational corporations get richer by hiding their wealth and profits and avoid paying their fair share of taxes,” the US senator from Vermont said. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/06/bernie-sanders-paradise-papers-leak-international-oligarchy
    ================================================================
    I saw a T-Shirt the other day on the Internet – It said, “Hindsight is 2020” with a picture of Bernie on the front.

  34. For what it is worth, I have seen an Ad on CNBC calling for Trump’s impeachment – Citizen’s for the American Way. It caught me rather by surprise and my Wife Nan said, ” Oh yes it has been on about three times now!” and smiled broadly. But when I think of Impeachment – I think in terms of the impeachment of the whole Administration – those he brought with him as well including Pence! but guess what… then we are left with… drum roll please: a worst case scenario – Paul Ryan UNTIL A NEW VOTE CAN BE DONE = that is unless they change the rules for that as well…!

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