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Right About Now
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The Webcomic of the Occupy Movement
The Webcomic of the Occupy Movement

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For my long time readers, you know I grew up with Jim Hightower. I remember the Karl Rove smear campaign that ended his political career, giving a young Democrat named Rick Perry a chance to beat Jim Hightower in the primary. (Go a head, look it up if you don’t believe me, Rick Perry was a Democrat and it was Karl Rove’s first campaign.)

I remember Jim Hightower doing the occasional editorial on local TV after that.

Jim Hightower, lost in the political landscape, inspired by I.F. Stone, who was lost in a similar fashion when he was blacklisted in the 50s, started his own small media company, publishing his ideas. (And doing so before the internet.) His folksy populism has made him into someone who the Democrats should emulate while they center on the most marginalized in our society. 

If you don’t follow Jim Hightower, you should. I also think his book “If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They'd Have Given Us Candidates” is worth reading even though it focuses on the 2000 election. It’s about the history of how the Democratic establishment became a right-wing corporate owned party and some smart ideas of how to start winning elections again. 

Also, check out his bi-weekly podcast “The Jim Hightower Radio Lowdown.” It’s where this quote is from and is the type of editorial I remember back in the early 90’s on my local Texas station.

There is a long history of the political swamp filling in Washington. I hate the excuse of “both sides do it,” because it’s not 50/50. When I was in DC during the recall election of Scott Walker, I ended up getting invited to the National Democratic Club with one of the Solidarity Singers from Wisconsin. We got to watch the returns at the bar at the club.

We were invited by a staffer who saw my friend’s button. I picked a Republican hang-out to go to. (Bullfeathers, it’s the closest bar to the Capitol and I had an amazing burger there. It’s decorated in a Teddy Roosevelt theme.) 

I was wearing a Darth Vader tee shirt, plaid shorts, and sandals and everyone else was in a suit because they were working on the Hill all day, I really stood out. I ended up drinking with a lobbyist. (Also, a former Wisconsin congressman joined us as well.)

The lobbyist was actually really cool and worked on actually progressive legislation, but I was taken aback at how he was just chilling there watching the Wisconsin race (He was friends with someone who was running in the recall.)

That is how Washington DC is.

That also needs to change.

However, there is one important thing to remember, and it’s in part why Clinton and the Democratic party keeps losing: When Trump said he was going to “Drain the Swamp,” those who supported him was convinced he meant something different than what he was saying. They thought he meant he was talking about Democrats.

This is why Clinton putting out ads of quoting Donald Trump and just relying on facts is a losing strategy. This is also why we need to look at Jim Hightower. The Democratic party, if they want to win, must talk about what they believe in and frame it around how it will help, in Jim Hightower’s words, “work-a-day people.”  They must turn their back on Bill Clintonism, which opened the floodgates before the Supreme Court tore the whole dam down, and center their politics on the most marginalized.

Only then can we turn Washington DC from Hightower’s “exclusive jacuzzi for the rich” into what it’s supposed to be, the people’s house.

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I make a comic with my kids and you should read it. Check it out! #Kiddisms #parenting

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Before I say my opinion of Adam Brodsky, let me say his songs since the election have been amazing. “This Is Not Normal,” like most Adam Brodsky songs, is songwriting at its best, each line not only fits the meter but it says more upon inspection than when you first hear it.

I do find it hard to be an Adam Brodsky fan. His singing voice makes it hard to tell people “You guys, you gotta check this song out.” I will say that hasn’t stopped him. He sounds like Bob Dylan trying to perform like the Sex Pistols at times. He does a mix of novelty songs, great folk songs, and political songs. His album “Folk Remedy” is the best place to start. As a producer, he’s also fantastic.

You should also listen to his irregularly released podcast Rhymes Against Humanity with Adam Brodsky.

There is a Facebook video of Adam Brodsky playing this song. (http://buff.ly/2o5oXit) I’m also linking it to his website. The song starts at the 14:23 mark. (http://buff.ly/2o5o3me)

I have written a lot about normalizing Trump. I think that a few points need to be examined. Trump’s tactic is nothing new. John Ralston Saul once called this “Classic Business School Take Over Strategy.” He continues, “You move in, you change everything in 24 hours and in the confusion, you get power.”

The problem lies in the set up of this idea from Saul where a dictatorial government ignores the standards of democracy (In his case he was talking about Mike Harris’s Government) and as long as the media accepts it, we will continue to see the problem. Saul says that “The whole approach is a prima fasia case of contempt.”

This idea is nothing new. I first came across it in 2000 and the speech was given in 1996. (I hope you can listen to the speech right here. There is a part 2, however, I think there is something cut from it for the album. It’s called No Mega CD and it’s worth a listen, but good luck finding it.) In part 2 of the speech Saul says that this idea is from “25 years of American Neo-Conservative ideology.” (Making this idea almost 50 now.)

This “Classic Business School Take Over Strategy” is nothing new in politics, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Saul lays out at the beginning of the speech what a normal democracy is supposed to do, go issue by issue and find the consensus with the people. Or you build the consensus. Either way, citizens run the government.

Sadly, we have been normalizing this failure of government for the past 50 years. Trump did not appear from a vacuum. He is the result of the works of Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, William F. Buckley, both Kristols, Irving and William, all the way up to Fox News, Glenn Beck, and the rise of the alt-right. By having fascistic leaders like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, along with corporate democrats like Harry Truman and Bill Clinton, we arrived at the inevitable conclusion of Trump.

Saul also alluded to that the idea of strong leadership, of the sort that the right-wing tends to praise, is that from Nazi Germany. And the “strong leaders” like Nixon and Reagan are nothing new, but they aren’t normal. Just because something is not new, it doesn’t make it okay.

Let me end by saying this singular focus on Trump’s Russia connections is not helping. There are two reasons for that, 1) Nixon committed Treason with Vietnam to help him win in 68 and got away with it. Reagan committed treason with Iran in 1980 and got away with it. History has shown us that this alone can’t topple these people. What we need to do is offer an alternative (Something Clinton failed to do in the election.) Because it wasn’t Russia why Martha Cockley lost to Scott Brown and Charlie Baker, she ran the same type of campaign as Clinton did, one with no ideas and no alternative. Russia isn’t why the Democrats lost so many state houses and seats in government, it is a failure of the Democratic party to actually participate in democracy. Polls show that the ideas of the Democratic party win every time, but the leadership doesn’t want to talk about the ideas or even listen to the people.

If the Democrats ever want to start winning elections, we need to return to normalcy. We need to say “This is not okay!” We need to return the governing to the people and stop acting like Republicans from the 70s. Should we pursue Trump’s Russia connection? Absolutely, but not at the expense of telling the American people the ideas of what our progressive ideas are and building up the next leader of the party. Because when we forget to do that, we lose.

Don’t lose that idea now that the Cheeto dust has settled.

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I make a comic with my kids and you should read it! Don't forget to like and share! #Kiddisms #kidisms #parenting

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Remember the time a Scott Walker supporter punched Solidarity SingAlong? Relive the #WisconsinUprising #Solidarity

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In a way, you can argue Woody Guthrie was the first punk rocker. He was a hobo rebel who stood up against fascists foreign and domestic and was the spiritual father to Bob Dylan and Joe Strummer. He toured with Pete Seeger and wrote the songs that would later be co-opted by Republicans who carefully edit out his socialism.

He was an activist, a labor leader, and he and I share the same birthday. I don’t make music, but I hope my pen, my pencil, my brush, my computer, like Guthrie’s guitar, kill fascists.

He passed away in 1967, leaving us “This land is your land,” “You Fascists are Gonna Lose,” and of course the now classic “Old Man Trump,” where these lyrics came from.

That’s right, over 60 years ago Woody Guthrie wrote a song about how Old Man Trump was a dirty racist. Granted he was talking about his father, but whatever; racists gotta hate.

I am fed up with the “Opposition” normalizing Donald Trump. I am exhausted. If the Democrats can't mount an effective opposition, then those in power need to step down and let those that can step up. Clinton won because of the tactic of the Sanders’ supporters of “Shut up and vote for Bernie, he’ll eventually take care of you.” Students of history will remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” when he said:

Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."     





To double down on this reinforcement of white supremacy, they cried “but Bernie Sanders marched with King.” As Mychal Denzel said “If you are using King as a cudgel for the maintenance of the status quo, then you are doing it wrong.”

Because of the systemic racism, we nominated the only person who was incapable of defeating Donald Trump. Hilary Clinton had no agenda, no vision, and no charisma. She needed two of the three to win. But apparently, that’s all Wikileaks, James Comey, and Russia’s fault.

The opposition in power, like Clinton, has no vision. Like the “Berniecrats” who told people of color to wait their turn, they are making the people wait for them to act because they can’t disrupt the order of the establishment. Democrats in the Senate don’t have enough votes to stop Trump, I get that. But there is something about a noble failure.

The idea of a noble failure is out there, yet it is defined definition to the phrase, so I’m going to define it as I mean it. A noble failure means that you try to stop something, knowing you can’t stop it, by defining your alternative vision for it and laying out how the long road to victory can be achieved in the opposition. (Someone needs to Wikipedia this shit, stat!)

Because Democrats are out of power, they must be noble failures. Instead they are showing indifference to side of oppression. They are doing that because they are more beholden to the rules of the institution than the American people. Because of this, they are normalizing Donald Trump and normalizing the hate he is stirring up in the bloodpot of human hearts.

My apologies for missing posting this last week. My computer had a virus. Next week is a living musician who has a song about Trump.

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I make a comic with my kids that you should follow and share! This week is all about Easter! #Kidisms

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Remember when Right-Wing Fascists started assaulting protesters? Relive the #WisconsinUprising #Solidarity #wiunion

Sorry, no graphic tonight. It will return next week without my computer problems. Thank you.
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