erik lundegaard

Politics posts

Monday November 05, 2018

Vote As If Your Country Depends on It

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Posted at 03:53 AM on Nov 05, 2018 in category Politics
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Friday October 26, 2018

‘Vote as if Democracy Depends on it, Because it Does’

While searching for information about the Trump Foundation trial, I came across this letter to the editor from a guy in Lower Paxton Township, in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

Vote November 6I like it. I like it alot. One, he's been paying attention. Two, he gets at the heart of the corruption:

From the treasonous comments Trump made in the Bill O‘Reilly interview on Superbowl Sunday 2017 to treating our NATO allies as enemies and Putin as our friend, this is the most disloyal President we’ve ever had. Add to this that Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort has been found guilty in one trial with another one to follow, and Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer pleading guilty to 8 criminal charges including 2 that names Trump as a co-conspirator. Add in the Emoluments trial, the Trump Foundation trial, and a number of other scandals involving Trump minions, including cabinet members Scott Pruitt and Wilber Ross, and you have a 3 ring circus, the likes which has never seen before in this country. And it still remains what the Mueller investigation has fully uncovered. ...

The most infuriating part is we have a Republican Congress who are complicit with this President. Congress is supposed to be a third leg of our government, acting as a check and balance against the other two branches of government.

Senator Bob Corker, Rep. from Tenn. has gone as far to say, “The Republican party is a Trump cult.” The Republicans have become nothing more than a bunch of Trump lackeys and minions. They are a pathetic, corrupted, and hollowed out version of their former selves. To the point, they have now become the Trumplican party. This is why, even though I‘ve been a registered Republican for over 40 years, I feel it is critical that voters go to the polls this November and vote for Democratic congressmen and women who will stand up to this President. Vote as if our democracy depends on it, because it does.

Last weekend, campaigning for Dr. Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th district, I came across a lot of different types—Kent is more diverse than I realized—but the guy that stood out is, like the letter writer above, a lifelong Republican who is breaking with the party and voting a straight Democratic ticket. 

Here's hoping there are many more of them—people who see the danger and are moving to counteract it. 

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Posted at 01:17 AM on Oct 26, 2018 in category Politics
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Thursday October 25, 2018

Lock Him Up

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them. ...

The issue of secure communications is fraught for Mr. Trump. As a presidential candidate, he regularly attacked his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 campaign for her use of an unsecured email server while she was secretary of state, and he basked in chants of ‘lock her up’ at his rallies.

— from the article, ”When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn," in The New York Times

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Posted at 04:37 AM on Oct 25, 2018 in category Politics
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Monday October 22, 2018

Caravans

Yesterday, after listening to NPR, I checked to see how often The New York Times wrote about the caravan to Mexico this month.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 12? Bupkis.

The first time the story appeared was on Oct. 13, an AP piece entitled “Spontaneous Caravan of Migrants Winds Way Through Honduras.” What did the migrants want? What they usually want: “...reaching a better life in the United States.” Also this tidbit: They organized via WhatsApp chats. Trump isn't mentioned.

The second time, from the same day, Reuters mentions an earlier caravan in April, along with Trump's zero-tolerance policy. 

The next day, the caravan was “growing” and “swelling” as it crossed the Guatemalan border. The day after is when Trump politicized it and the story exploded. 

I don't know what the answer is. You can't let in everyone who wants to come to the U.S. But demonizing the group is obviously a political stunt by Trump to stir up hatred for the midterms—or just generally. Because that's what he does: stirs up hatred. See Stephen King's reaction:

Last night, I came across the following in Jill Lepore’s ”These Truths: A History of the United States,“ about the settling of the Oregon territory, where I live. 

More immediately, [Pres. James K.] Polk wanted to acquire Oregon, an expanse of achingly beautiful land that included all of what later became Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, and much of what later became Montana and Wyoming.

”Our title to the country of Oregon is clear and unquestionable,“ Polk announced, as if willing this to be true. Britain, Russia, Spain, and Mexico had all made claims to the Oregon Territory. Americans, though, had been staking their claim by moving there. They'd been heading west from Missouri along the arduous Oregon Trail, a series of old Indian roads that cut across mountains and unfurled over valleys and snaked along streams. In 1843, some eight hundred Americans traveled the Oregon Trail, carrying their children in their arms and pulling everything they owned in wind-swept wagons. With Polk's pledge behind them, hundreds became thousands. They traveled in caravans, guided by little more than books like Lansford W. Hastings's Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California...

A group of people moving in caravans to new lands and, rather than assimilating, taking it over. Either we don't know our history, or what we fear is ourselves.

Extra credit: They Might Be Giants' ”James K. Polk,“ and Van Morrison's ”Caravan." 

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Posted at 03:21 AM on Oct 22, 2018 in category Politics
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Friday October 19, 2018

These Machines Kill Fascists

These machines kill fascists

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Posted at 07:47 AM on Oct 19, 2018 in category Politics
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