Sunday, May 29, 2016

#ChickenTrump And The California Smelt


#ChickenTrump backed out of his debate with Bernie because he's unfamiliar with-- and basically, uninterested in-- policy. His idea of a debate is name calling or arguing with an intellectual weakling like Marco Rubio over which one of them has a smaller penis. I wonder when he'll start worming out of general election debates. He knew he couldn't stand up to Ted Cruz-- and never debated him-- and he knows he can't standup to Bernie, which is my he chickened out of that one after agreeing to it; but I bet he won't even be able to get on a stage and debate with Hillary. And if he does get forced into doing one debate, it will rapidly degenerate into his calling her names and reciting National Enquirer stories about her adopting an alien child from another galaxy and murdering Vince Foster and rolling him up in a rug.

Friday he told Californians that there's no drought, just a government plot to sacrifice them on the alter of Sacramento Delta smelt. The sad thing is that there are people Republicans who hang on his every absurd word and swallow his fact-free bullshit. 2015 was one of the driest year's ever measured in California. It didn't rain; it didn't snow. Californians know it, even if Trump denies it to make a point about a fish as small as Rubio claims Trump's dick is. Stephen Solis, writing for USA Today, seemed shocked that Trump told a crowd in Fresno that there was no dry spell.
Trump said state officials were simply denying water to Central Valley farmers to prioritize the Delta smelt, a native California fish nearing extinction-- or as Trump called it, "a certain kind of three-inch fish.”

“We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the campaign event... At least we know where Trump stands on the issue: “If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive."

Yesterday,author Joe Conason, explained the absurdity of a fact-free Trump to New York Daily News readers. "Whenever Donald Trump lies," he wrote, "which he does almost every day, the American media listen. Sometimes journalists debunk the Republican presidential nominee-to-be, and sometimes they fail to do so... The urge to smear is apparently irresistible to Trump, as he proved repeatedly during the primaries with his nasty assaults on the family of Ted Cruz. But if he still insists on going there, then news outlets must hold him accountable for all his slurs and slanders." It's not even June yet and sole because of Trump, his approach and his fan base among's life's losers, it's already getting nearly impossible to write about the presidential campaign without using the word "sewer."

Help flush Trump and Trumpist congressional candidates down into the sewer of his own making by clicking on the ActBlue thermometer below:
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Sanctimonious Turd Alert: Ken Starr


- by Noah

Were you under the misapprehension that you would never have to hear the name Ken Starr, ever again? Fear not! Sure, one could only hope that Ken Starr and his bad name would slither back under the rock from which he came, but the evil ones never really disappear. At the very least, they leave a trail. Thanks to a recent article in the New York Times, however, we are offered a glimpse at Starr’s pathetic attempt to reinvent himself as a normal, well-adjusted human.

Starr was once a federal judge in the Reagan administration and he was once the Solicitor General under the first President George Bush. After being named by Congress as an independent counsel in 1994 to investigate the suicide of Clinton White House deputy counsel Vince Foster when Republicans across the Republican political and media landscape were claiming Foster was somehow murdered by the Clintons, he rapidly expanded his investigation to peep into President Clinton’s sex life.

In a classic example of NY Times understatement and reserve, the Times article, slyly titled Kenneth Starr, Who Tried To Bury Bill Clinton, Now Only Praises Him, begins-
An unlikely voice recently bemoaned the decline of civility in presidential politics, warned that “deep anger” was fueling an “almost radical populism” and sang the praises of former President Bill Clinton-- particularly his “redemptive” years of philanthropic work since leaving the White House.

The voice was that of Kenneth W. Starr, the former Whitewater Independent counsel, whose Javert-like pursuit of Mr. Clinton in the 1990s helped bring a new intensity to partisan warfare and led to the impeachment of a president for only the second time in the nation’shistory.
Let that sink in. One of the major architects of the “decline of civility in presidential politics” is now bemoaning that decline of civility. This is like some psycho arsonist with mommy problems lighting several small fires in a packed movie theater and then bolting the doors from the outside before leaving to go find the fire department so he can tell them there’s a fire down at the movie theater.

As he should be, Ken Starr will always be known as the twisted holier-than-thou chronicler of President Bill Clinton’s sex life, a sex life that obsesses Republicans to this day in the same way that people who buy 20 lottery tickets a week fantasize about what it would be like to be rich beyond their wildest dreams. It’s a fixation.

In the 18th century, another attorney, a Scotsman named James Boswell (1740-1795), chronicled English writer Samuel Johnson in his The Life Of Samuel Johnson” (1709-1784) in what amounts to staggering detail. In fact, to this day, it is the most famous biography in English literature: giving the reader a fine glimpse at a segment of 18th century life. Boswell did the world and historians a service. Not so, Ken Starr.

Starr took the Boswell idea a whole lot further, taking it down a much narrower and darker road, compiling and chronicling what should be called The Sex Life Of Bill Clinton. Cheered on by his fellow crotch-clutching Republicans, he did his exhaustive research all in an effort to find a way to impeach President Clinton. His chronicle even went so far as to describe the size of and any “spots” on the presidential penis.

Starr also wrote of the most cherished garment in Republican World: Monica Lewinsky’s semen stained blue dress. To this day, Lewinsky’s dress is revered by Republicans and spoken of in hushed tones as if it is a modern day Shroud of Turin. It is a holy relic of their self-righteousness. It would not shock me if it now resides in some sort of private Republican museum, where it is viewable only to six figure donors to the party’s candidates and causes. When Bill O’Reilly starts selling merchandise on his show, replica Lewinsky dresses will be near the top of the list of items for sale. Herr Trump is, even now, bringing it all up in a sick effort to trash the very woman who was the victim of her husband’s affairs.

Back then, the salivating House and Senate Republicans flogged themselves into a fervor and demanded that the fruits of Starr’s investigations and inquisitions, The Starr Report, be released, not only to them so they could eagerly read it and quote from it, but published in book form for all to see. They really, genuinely thought that the great silent majority of the American population would be filled with such revulsion at the idea that a president got a blow job and then lied about it that they would demand he be sent packing immediately. They guessed wrong. You see; we assume that our presidents, at least the non-Republican ones, have sex. Some might even see it as one of the perks of the job.

Imagine if Ken Starr had been around in JFK’s day. The Kennedy White House might have been so preoccupied with defending itself that JFK couldn’t have properly dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis. None of us would be here today, but the Republicans of the day would have gotten their pound of flesh so it would have been worth it, to them.

Republicans are always obsessed with other people’s sex lives in a major OCD kind of way. They see perversion or impropriety in others when it would just be better if they just looked in the mirror. Newt Gingrich was having at least one affair while he was persecuting Clinton for his. Gingrich’s replacement as Speaker, Bob Livingston, had to resign in mere hours when if became known that he was having an even more “sordid” sex life than Gingrich and Clinton combined. After Livingston in the Republican pantheon of 1990s House Speakers came Dennis Hastert, an admitted serial child molester. But, none of this mattered to Peepshow Starr and his creepy cohorts.

Ken Starr and his sicko like-minded Republican brethren have done more damage to this country than any of our 10 mass-murderers you care to mention. Think that’s harsh or even tasteless? Yeah, well, I’m mindful of the hurt that our nation’s mass murderers have caused; the pain the victims’ families have suffered. But, let’s put this in a bigger context: How many of our citizens have died and/or suffered horrible disease or economic setback due to extreme hateful partisan politics that Ken Starr and the likes of Newt Gingrich (who’s currently busy inflating himself up like a puffer fish as the logical choice to be Trump’s VP), his partner in crime, engendered? Benedict Arnold was a blip on the screen of American history next to Ken Starr. In the late 1990s, Ken Starr was nothing short of a major capo in the American Taliban.

Now, all these years later, Ken Starr claims he has regrets. He refers to the damaging partisan ugliness that he helped mastermind merely as “unpleasantness.” At a recent panel discussion on the presidency, held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, he expressed regret that so much of President Clinton’s legacy remained viewed through the lens of such “unpleasantness.” No, Kenboy, your proudest creation is way beyond “unpleasantness.” There are better words. Douchebaggery is just one that comes to mind. You really are a sanctimonious turd, Ken Starr; and that’s me being understated and reserved.


As an example of Ken Starr’s lack of sense and lack of character, take a look at his handling of sex assault charges at Baylor University in Texas, where he is Chancellor and, until he was demoted a few days ago, was President of the school!

Baylor is a conservative, Baptist university, by most accounts, a good one, yet, when news of at least eight accusations of sexual assault spread across the campus, Starr, the man who so feverishly investigated President Clinton, said and did little of meaning to address them. He had no comment at all the night when hundreds of students, praying and carrying candles marched on his house back in February.

The sex assault allegations involved several Baylor football players. Campus sexual violence is an extremely big issue on today’s college campuses, but not, apparently, to Ken Starr. This isn’t even the first time there have been criminal problems at Baylor. The year 2003 (before Starr took the job) even saw a murder within the school’s basketball program. It’s peculiar that a man who pursued Bill Clinton’s sex life in such painstaking detail wasn’t more vigilant and sensitive to more serious issues in his own backyard.

Apparently, to Starr, Baylor campus rape is not so bad, but, consensual sex between two adults, however childish, in the White House? Now, that’s something to go after full throttle.

Starr’s approach to this very real crisis at Baylor was to hire a law firm known more for investigating and making policy recommendations for the future, not for doggedly investigating alleged perpetrators for indictment purposes. Under Starr’s guidance of the school, no Title IX representative was even named until 2014. One of the purposes of Title IX is to help protect the civil rights of female students.

Unfortunately and all too predictably, Starr took the ol’ ‘sweep it under the rug’ approach to the problems at Baylor: no “unpleasantness” here. Move along! At this point, there is nothing Ken Starr can say or do that would be credible. Attorneys have been disbarred for less important moral infractions.

Now, Baylor football coach Art Briles has been fired. Players, past and present are being arrested. Things have finally heated up at Baylor. Judging by their twitter accounts (see the article), however, Baylor’s players don’t see why their coach had to go.

So, as I said, of a few days ago, Starr is no longer the president of the university. He has been “removed from office” as it were. However, Starr remains, not as the school president but as one of the university’s law professors. What parent would want a man like Starr teaching law to and influencing their child?

Incredibly, Ken Starr is also still the University’s Chancellor. The school describes its Chancellor position as one “centered around development and religious liberty.” As Chancellor, he’ll, doubtlessly be heavily involved in fund raising activities for the school. Maybe he can offer would be big donors a look at that blue dress, through a keyhole, of course. He’ll even have time to answer his true calling and write for the National Enquirer.

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Economic Climate Change-- A Guest Post By Bob Poe


By now, everyone knows we need to focus on climate change. The threat is real, the science is clear, and the effects are happening now. Combating climate change will take action from Congress, and from people willing to hold them accountable.

But there’s another threat facing our nation that’s just as serious. One that could swallow a generation of American workers, like climate change threatens to swallow our coasts. And one that comes with a great opportunity for the future.

I call it “economic climate change.”

With a median wage of $29,781, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says my hometown of Orlando, Florida has the lowest wages in the top 50 metro areas. Sadly, it turns out, that might be the good news.

The bad news is that advances in technology-- automation, robotics, 3D printing and Artificial Intelligence-- that are specifically designed to eliminate whole categories of jobs may mean there won’t be enough of those already low-paying jobs to go around.

This isn’t theoretical. It’s already begun. Just as rising sea levels from global climate change will be disruptive to our safety and security, rising unemployment levels from economic climate change have the potential to be equally disruptive to every aspect of life as we know it.

Want proof? Visit your local home improvement or neighborhood grocery store--chances are, you’ll find fewer live cashiers, and more self-service checkout lanes. Head to the airport, and you’re directed to the self-service check-in kiosk. At the bank, ATMs began replacing tellers years ago.

Need more? Just this month, Wendy’s announced the introduction of automated, self-service ordering kiosks across 6,000 restaurants. Some distribution warehouses already have driverless forklifts. And Uber and Lyft are testing driverless cars that will soon send your friendly taxi driver the way of the blacksmith and his horseshoes.

The stakes are high. As Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan put it recently:
Let’s further assume that automation begins eliminating large numbers of jobs not just in the restaurant industry, but in all sorts of service industries. Millions of lost jobs. Millions of workers that no longer fit into our modern economy. Millions of families without a way to pay the bills. Automation may be an opportunity for corporations and shareholders, but it is a threat to the American middle and lower classes.
But, just as the horse and buggy made way for the automobile, new technologies that eliminate some jobs will also create a whole host of new jobs. Jobs that require an entirely new set of skills. Skills that many in today's workforce don’t currently have.

As we moved from an agrarian society to the Industrial Revolution, people could take their skills from the farm to the factory. Moving from the plow to the lever wasn’t a career-ending leap. But those same skills aren't as easily transferred from the factory to the Digital Age.

This is where the opportunity to write America’s next great chapter begins. But it won’t happen without political and policy leadership to get it done. So how do we do it?

As our economic climate changes, we need an all-of-the-above strategy to make sure everyone has a chance of getting in the economic lifeboat. Here are a few ideas:

Increase the minimum wage to $15

I’m a businessman. I’m fortunate to have built some wonderful businesses over the years. And I get what higher wages mean for a business. But I also get what those wages mean for working people. A decent living wage means more money in a family’s pockets-- and that means more buying power for businesses and their products. It’s also the right thing to do.

Reinvest in infrastructure

It’s not hard to see-- America’s infrastructure is crumbling. Our roads, bridges and other infrastructure is falling apart. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our nation’s current infrastructure a D+ grade, citing a “significant backlog of overdue maintenance across our infrastructure systems, a pressing need for modernization, and an immense opportunity to create reliable, long-term funding.”

Quoting Gawker’s Nolan again:
This is an unusually good time for the government to spend a great deal of money rebuilding our national infrastructure. This could create millions of jobs for people automated out of work, at least for a while. And the money would be well spent. We should do this no matter what.
Provide tuition-free career training

Guaranteed public education ending at the 12th grade isn’t enough anymore, if we want to stay globally competitive and stave off economic climate change. The effort is already underway to provide tuition-free community college through state and federal partnerships. We should make sure that includes tuition-free training for the careers of the future.

Expand Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

What’s one of the best ways to ensure a basic standard of living, as we cope with the coming upheaval from economic climate change? Expand three of the most successful American ideas ever-- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These programs have kept millions of Americans from suffering the indignity of crushing poverty and lack of access to healthcare. They need investment and expansion to keep working for the most vulnerable of our society-- seniors on fixed incomes, and low-income individuals and families.

Of course, conservatives will howl and say we can’t afford it. I don’t believe that.

The greatness of America is that we've always been able to do what we put our minds to. And the truth of the matter is, as we face the specter of economic climate change, we simply can’t afford not to.

Bob Poe is a progressive Democrat, businessman, husband and proud father running for Congress in Florida’s 10th Congressional district. Join his fight for fair wages, equality and economic opportunity for all at You can contribute to his campaign by tapping on the thermometer below:
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Patrick Murphy's Out Of Control Corruption-- A Perfect Symbol For Reid's Clouded Departure And Schumer's Ominous Arrival


I only ever had one argument with Keith Ellison. He wanted the Congressional Progressive Caucus to endorse Patrick Murphy when Murphy first ran for Congress against war criminal Allen West in 2012. I pointed out that Murphy was a rich, spoiled, drunken Republican without a single Democratic value-- let alone progressive value-- in his simple, fogged little mind. Ellison didn't dispute the obvious but claimed that Murphy would take direction from him. Fortunately, not enough CPC members agreed and they didn't endorse Murphy. Many Democrats did however. The DCCC loved everything bad about Murphy and spent $548,517 on the election, coordinated with a $2,375,691 expenditure from Nancy Pelosi's House Majority PAC, some of that money coming from the powerful Al-Rashid family from Saudi Arabia, which has taken a gigantic role in financing Murphy's political career. (Murphy managed to get himself assigned to the House Intelligence Committee, which is exactly what the Saudis wanted of him.)

Murphy went on to beat a stunned West, who remarked during the campaign that Murphy "doesn’t want to be in front of the public, he has no ideas, he does not address any of the issues, he is the emptiest of an empty suit-- I think he’s just a name on the ballot." That was a perfectly accurate description. And as soon as Murphy took his seat, he joined the New Dems and started amassing an incredibly reactionary voting record-- the 4th worst of any Democrat in the House, featuring votes to remove President Obama from the Keystone XL Pipeline decision-- he wasn't following Ellison on that one-- and joining the Republicans to establish an anti-Clinton witch-hunt called the Benghazi Committee-- again, not following Ellison.

In 2013, the Shark Tank reported that Murphy "Boehner granted Patrick Murphy’s request to a private meeting to discuss Murphy’s possible defecting to the Republican Party" and then turned down his conditions and told him to stay with the Democratic Party. Friday I confirmed this story with a former Boehner staffer who told me he had first had knowledge of the meeting.

Now Murphy is being heavily pushed by Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, the Wall Street banksters and, of course, the Al-Rashids for the open Florida Senate seat Marco Rubio is giving up. His Democratic primary opponent is independent-minded progressive champion Alan Grayson, who is loathed by corruptionists on Wall Street and their Beltway puppets-- namely Schumer and Reid. When Reid publicly announced he wanted Grayson to lose, Mitch McConnell chimed in that he agrees and that he also wants Grayson to lose. Steven Law, the CEO of McConnell's Senate Leadership Fund said. Grayson's "Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders agenda of more government may appeal to uncompromising liberals, but it's the wrong direction for our country." Last week, Josh Holmes, McConnell's former chief of staff talked about the Florida Senate race with the media and said he "can envision a scenario where the balance of the Senate tips to the Democrats with the election of Alan Grayson. And I'm not the least bit kidding about that...Grayson could beat that entire field of Republicans."

Friday, the Courage Campaign noted that Wasserman Schultz, like Murphy a corrupt New Dem, was getting too much of the blame for the pay day lender scandal. Sure, she took massive amounts of money from the finance sector and she "is pushing to gut a rule by Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to crack down on predatory payday lenders" BUT "it turns out she's far from the only corporate Democrat attacking the CFPB while cashing in on Wall Street. Representative Patrick Murphy, the lead Democrat sponsoring the bill, received $1.4 million from the financial sector this year alone, the fifth-most of anyone in the entire House of Representatives... Wall Street is stuffing millions into the pockets of corporate Democrats who are attacking Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."

Writing for the Washington Post last week, Jennifer Rubin, gave more "credit" for the disaster that Murphy has turned into to Reid than to the real culprit, Chuck Schumer, who has vowed to the Wall Street banksters that he can "deliver" Murphy as a way of "balancing" Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley and other progressives. Rubin, writing that the Dems will find it nearly impossible to take back the Senate without winning Florida, asserted that Reid "set out to crush" Grayson on behalf of Patrick Murphy.
Reid’s handpicked candidate turned out to be a nightmare. One GOP operative gleefully said, “Murphy has had the worst month of any Senate candidate.” That could well be true, considering the stream of revelations and stumbles that suggest Reid and the Democratic establishment did not vet Murphy very well.

Murphy was caught embellishing his academic record. In and of itself, that might not raise concerns, but it comes amid a slew of other issues.

Local media have seized on a swirl of controversies about his wealthy father’s campaign support:
The Democrat has seen an avalanche of news headlines and political attacks in the last week surrounding: money his family-owned company and father gave to a super PAC that supports him; donations he received from an admitted felon; and a House bill he co-sponsored that would have benefitted political donors and his family business.

Most of these facts aren’t new, but Republican groups and primary opponent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson have latched onto them.
Two Federal Election Commission complaints have already been filed concerning allegations about illegal coordination between his campaign and his super PAC. One of his donors was Ibrahim al-Rashid, who is the son of a shady adviser to the Saudi royal family and who pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-wife. (Murphy was compelled to return the donation from Rashid, whose father has given huge amounts to the Clinton Foundation.)

That’s not the only fishy donor, according to local press accounts:
Murphy also played down questions about his support for the EB-5 visa program. His campaigns have received contributions from Florida developers who tap into the funding source. Foreigners who invest at least $500,000 are given green cards; many participants are from China. The program has enjoyed broad support but also come under scrutiny for fraud and a perception it sends the wrong message about the country’s immigration system.

Nicholas A. Mastroianni II, a major EB-5 player based in Florida, has along with family members given Murphy about $25,000 and he has used companies to give at least $50,000 to the pro-Murphy super PAC. Another EB-5 developer and Murphy donor is Jeffrey Berkowitz, who is developing SkyRise Miami, a $430 million entertainment and observation tower... Murphy said Mastroianni and Berkowitz are friends and he gives them regular updates on the campaign. But he said he did not recall specific conversations with them about legislation he sponsored in 2014 to make the EB-5 program permanent. He also did not recall meeting with Liu Yu, a New York based lawyer who specializes in the field. The two appeared in a 2014 article on a Chinese-language website.

As if that were not enough, yesterday the Tampa Bay Times reported:
“Immediately following the BP oil spill, Congressman Murphy spent six months in the Gulf of Mexico leading cleanup efforts with his small business, Coastal Environmental Services,” reads his official House website.

But a review raises questions of whether Murphy exaggerated his role in the catastrophe... His campaign refuses to make public contracts he says he secured to clean up oil, or to characterize how much oil the company’s skimmers cleaned up and how much the firm earned.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the records from Murphy’s first congressional race is pouring through the money trail of maxed-out donors to determine whether there are irregularities. (Patterns of low-income voters related to or employed by the candidate or candidate’s close associates and family can raise the issue of so-called “straw” donors.)

One wonders whether Reid could have benefited from a cursory Google search about Murphy before going out on a limb and going to war with Grayson. The primary is now turning into a lose-lose for the Democrats. If Grayson wins, Reid is humiliated and is stuck with a gadfly candidate. If Murphy wins, he’s a sitting duck for Republicans in the general election. Maybe Reid needs a new handpicked candidate to take out his first handpicked candidate.
Better idea: maybe Reid-- and, more important, Schumer-- should stop interfering with Democratic primaries outside of their own states. Contributors to the DSCC have been furious that Schumer and Reid have directed Jon Tester to spend immense sums against progressive Democrats and in favor of the kinds of corrupt conservatives Schumer and Reid prefer. Please consider contributing to Grayson's Senate campaign here:
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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our Bipartisan Corrupt Congress Is Choking On Lobbyist Bribes


Progressives were sickened to learn that #DebtTrapDebbie Wasserman Schultz had not just invited the lobbyists that Obama had banned back into the inner sanctums of the Democratic Party but that she was even putting some on the platform committee of the National Convention. That's another reason she just has to go. (Please help Tim Canova defeat her by contributing to his campaign here.) Corporate lobbyists are the scourge of honest government and they gravitate to the most corrupt politicians. You can always tell who are the worst and most dishonest members of Congress are by how in cahoots with K Street they are. Most DC insiders will tell you no one ever compared to John Boehner (R-OH) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) when it came to gross lobbyist corruption. But when it comes to flat out cash contributions, Hillary has taken more from lobbyists than any other member of Congress in history-- and by far.

Since 1990 lobbyists have given nearly a quarter billion dollars in campaign contributions-- $242,409,524. Think of the most notoriously corrupt members of Congress. Invariably they're the ones who always take the most money from the lobbyists and they;'re the ones who scream the most loudly that they would never, never, never trade a vote for the money they gobble up. These dozen corrupt politicians are all known for their chronic bribe-taking and for their coziness with K Street. America would be better off if all of them were in prison for soliciting bribery.
Hillary Clinton- $3,135,205
John McCain (R-AZ)- $1,934,713
Harry Reid (D-NV)- $1,765,601
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- $1,395,110
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $1,364,244
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $1,069,470
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)- $1,038,690
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $1,037,382
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)- $1,016,142
Roy Blunt (R-MO)- $966,813
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)- $943,689
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $917,266
Those are career long totals. Interested in knowing who's bathing in corruption today? These are the dozen most corrupt politicians getting the biggest bribes from K Street this cycle-- and, yes, America would be far better off if all of them were rotting in prison cells instead of infecting Congress with their corruption:

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $349,167
Marco Rubio (R-FL)- $329,746
Patty Murray (D-WA)- $257,159
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $244,813
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $225,897
Paul Ryan (R-OH)- $222,600
Roy Blunt (R-MO)- $216,713
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $212,273
Michael Bennet (D-CO)- $209,851
John Thune (R-SD)- $190,156
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)- $180,428
Patrick Murphy (D-FL)- $176,413
Lobbyists are far more helpful to corrupt politicians than can be measured just by the transfer of cash. Hillary's whole stinking campaign is staffed by lobbyists, as her administration will be. Lobbyists throw fund-raisers for candidates and raise many millions from their clients and business associates. Lobbyists may have only bribed McConnell to the tune of $1,395,110 but they've raised tens of millions for him over the years. Same for Hoyer, Schumer, Reid, Portman and the other egregiously corrupt members of Congress. And this week libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican, Thomas Massie, went on the record with another little trick lobbyists use to worm their way into the good graces of members of Congress-- using their influence with criminal leadership figures like John Boehner. Massie told the Cincinnati Enquirer that criminally-minded lobbyists approached him as soon as he was elected and taught him a lesson he's never forgotten.
Massie, a Republican who represents Northern Kentucky, said he was approached by a lobbyist who told him he could help the congressman raise enough money to get on the Ways and Means Committee. That's a powerful committee which oversees tax policy and is one of the most coveted panels in Congress. Massie declined to name the lobbyist but said he represents the medical device sector.

“He pulled me and my chief of staff into a meeting,” Massie told The Enquirer. “He offered to raise the money that would be required to get me on Ways and Means. This is a lobbyist telling me he can get me on Ways and Means.”

The unstated implication, Massie said, was that if the lobbyist succeeded in helping Massie get a seat on that panel, the congressman would return the favor with legislative goodies.

“It was one of the scummiest meetings I’ve ever been in,” Massie said. “I left just reeling, thinking about the implications for how this place works, when you realize that the lobbyists pick who goes on which committee.”

...Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, which supports campaign finance and ethics reform, said she had never heard an “explicit” proposal like the one Massie described. But it’s hardly surprising, she said, that a lobbyist would offer to help a lawmaker raise money.

She said the “dues” system puts enormous pressure on lawmakers to raise money for the party committees, and they naturally turn to lobbyists for help. Lobbyists have the ability to “organize and direct money” from their clients, she said, and it’s in their interest to help ambitious lawmakers secure positions of power.

“There’s an enormous amount of pressure on the K Street-type lobbyists to deliver, and if you don’t your clients get hurt,” she said. She and others said it’s also common for lawmakers to rely on lobbyists for advice and assistance as they try to move up the congressional ladder.

That was clear during last fall’s race for the gavel of the Ways and Means Committee between Tiberi and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. As they were campaigning for the post, both lawmakers quietly wooed a cadre of Washington lobbyists to support their respective candidacies.

Tiberi said he consulted with lobbyists, including one of his own former staffers, to get advice and support.

“It’s not something nefarious,” Tiberi said. They offered “some suggestions on marketing myself” to the steering committee, he said. And they had “relationships that I don’t have” with key lawmakers.

Others said it’s not unusual for lawmakers to ask lobbyists to weigh in with party leaders on their behalf for plum committee posts.

“You just can’t run (for a committee chairmanship) and say ‘I’m a nice guy and I should get this because I’m qualified’,” David Hobson, a former Ohio congressman who is now a lobbyist, said in an interview last fall. Hobson said lobbyists can make or break a committee chairman’s campaign by whispering nice or negative things into the right ears.

...AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said: "Speaker Ryan gives zero thought to K Street's preferences for committee assignments."
And Hillary has never voted for anything a lobbyist asked her to vote for-- never. Neither have Harry Reid, John McCain, Chuck Grassley nor Chuck Schumer-- nor any of the criminals in congressional leadership positions. Never! I mean... never vote for any of them, no matter how lesser of two evils they try to sell themselves as in their next election. If you do... you're part of it too. Lobbyist-free zone:
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Trump And Shkreli Have Something Else In Common-- Multiple Campaign Contributions To Hillary Clinton


Thursday, when Herr Trumpf pontificated that "you have to be wealthy in order to be great" how offended were you? What a disgusting little man! I wonder how many evangelicals who voted for him are doing penance. But he certainly excited greed-driven drug maker, scam artist and self-proclaimed arch-villain Martin Shkreli who tweeted "all you people who don't like trump are jealous, stupid and poor! don't make me laugh! and if you are employed by media you are worthless." Something tells me worthless media employees in Shkreli-world would include all the writers at Jacobin and certainly Matt Karp, whose political analysis would likely consign predatory parasites like Shkreli to a one-way trip to Madame Guillotine.

Way back in February, Karp was already ignoring the elites-- from Shkreli to Maddow-- and re-assuring progressive true-believers that Bernie could win. Bernie, Karp pointed out, sure wasn't turning out to be a protest candidate who, at best, could push the Republican-lite Clinton a little to the left.
Last fall, Sanders’s early momentum may have pushed an ambivalent Clinton to reject the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But after this half-step to the left, Clinton has spent the winter furiously digging an ideological trench between herself and Sanders-- opposing his major Wall Street reforms, attacking his proposed tax increases, and declaring that single-payer health care “will never, ever happen.”

While Clinton continues to talk up her personal credentials as a “progressive,” in substantive terms the primary campaign has deepened rather than narrowed the ideological gulf between the two candidates.

Her forthright opposition to the Sanders agenda has won Clinton praise from some liberal elites, unable to disguise their hostility toward even the most basic social-democratic reforms. Yet unfortunately for Clinton, most actual Americans do not inhabit the pundit class, and their professional credentials do not depend on gravely denying the existence of puppies, rainbows, and successful single-payer health programs.

In fact, Sanders’s ideas remain extremely popular with voters. As a result Clinton has been forced to rely more than ever on a dryly pragmatic case for her nomination: only she can defeat the Republicans in November.

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia is likely to heighten this discussion of “electability” in the weeks ahead. “If anyone needed a reminder of how important it is to elect a Democratic president,” Clinton argued last weekend, “look at the Supreme Court.”

Leftists sometimes compare this election-year pitch to a species of blackmail. Vote for us, Democrats tell voters, not because we’ll do anything positive for you, but because if you don’t, the other guys will break your legs and take away your abortion rights.

This may not be an inspiring argument. But like most forms of blackmail, it has undeniable force. And so far, many Democrats seem to agree that Clinton, not Sanders, is the best bet to win in November: in both Iowa and New Hampshire, she claimed over 75 percent of the voters who put a premium on “electability.”

But let’s consider the argument on its own terms. Why should we believe Clinton is more likely to defeat a Republican than Sanders?

Notably, the case that Clinton has the best chance to win in November does not seem to depend much on Clinton herself. This is no coincidence: by a number of measures, she profiles as a comparatively weak general election candidate.

According to national polls, nearly 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of Clinton, which would make her the most disliked presidential nominee in modern history. Even if incumbents are included, the only candidate with worse numbers was Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Public perception of Clinton has been shaped by the intense sexist and right-wing attacks that she has endured since the 1990s. These polarizing assaults, along with Clinton’s own partisan record, have helped make her very popular with loyal Democrats, but unpopular with everyone else.

The problem is that the loyal Democratic vote is simply not enough to win a general election. In 2012, Democrats made up only 38 percent of the general electorate, while registered independents accounted for 29 percent. On his way to defeating Mitt Romney, Barack Obama won almost half of them.

Clinton’s appeal among these non-Democratic voters is extremely limited. Just 29 percent of independents hold a favorable view of her, according to an average of three YouGov surveys taken since January; over 61 percent view her unfavorably. In the most recent poll, Clinton’s count was 24 to 67, with 50 percent saying they hold a “very unfavorable” opinion. These are numbers that should make even Supreme Court-first liberals feel skittish.

It’s too soon to conclude that Clinton’s historic unfavorability will spell defeat in November. Yet as Nate Silver noted with regard to Mitt Romney’s (less pronounced) unpopularity in April 2012, we should not dismiss these early numbers either. At the very least, they make it plain that Clinton faces an image deficit greater than any challenger in recent memory, including landslide losers like Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, and John McCain.

...Some gleefully apocalyptic liberals have likened Sanders to Michael Dukakis, who held an early polling lead over George H. W. Bush before ultimately losing by a large margin in 1988. Yet the comparison falls apart before it begins.

A stiff technocrat, Dukakis won the Democratic primary not by packing arenas with passionate supporters, but chiefly by having more impulse control than Gary Hart and being whiter than Jesse Jackson. And his early polling strength was clearly a mirage, as contemporaries noted: only 52 percent of voters even had an opinion of him in May 1988. Dukakis was John Kasich, not Bernie Sanders.

None of this means we should expect to see the end of the “wait until the Republicans get him” argument any time soon. It’s a staple of the Clinton primary arsenal.

In February 2008, then-Clinton chief adviser Mark Penn discounted early polls that showed Barack Obama performing well in a general election: “Sen. Obama has never faced a credible Republican opponent or the Republican attack machine, so voters are taking a chance that his current poll numbers will hold up after the Republicans get going.”

Penn was writing about an African-American candidate whose middle name was Hussein, and who had spent much of his childhood in a Muslim country. A month later, a video surfaced showing Obama’s longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright saying, “God damn America!”

Did the vaunted “Republican attack machine” fail to take advantage of what Vox’s David Roberts might have called Obama’s “glaring vulnerabilities”? Of course not: an independent super PAC spent $2.5 million on Wright-themed advertising in swing states. None of it had much impact on Obama’s poll numbers against John McCain, which rose considerably between February and Election Day.

The attacks aimed at Obama may have reinforced his unpopularity with right-wingers, but they did little to dent his appeal among Democrats and independent voters. Why does anybody believe that red-baiting will succeed where racist innuendo failed? When the Berlin Wall came down twenty-seven years ago, today’s median voter was not old enough to drink alcohol.

In addition, this year’s polls show little sign of an electorate ready to abandon Sanders at first exposure to right-wing talking points.

Only 35 percent of Virginia independents said they would be less likely to vote for a “Democratic-Socialist” candidate. And when a conservative push-poll asked Nevada Democrats and independents how they felt about Sanders’s plans to spend “$15 trillion dollars” for “a government run health care program,” 53 percent replied that it made them more likely to support him.

Another and even less persuasive claim is that Clinton, unlike Sanders, has already withstood every right-wing attack she can possibly face. Mark Penn also made this point in 2008-- and today Clinton’s unfavorability is even higher than it was then.

Sanders has famously refused to discuss Clinton’s emails. He has denounced her Wall Street speaking fees, but has largely refrained from discussing the much larger hoard of cash connected to the Clinton Foundation-- an area that Republicans seem eager to exploit. That same Nevada push-poll showed that 64 percent of Democrats and independents were less likely to back Clinton after learning about “foreign donations” given to the foundation while she was secretary of state.

Republican candidates have already made various scattered attacks on these subjects, but we’ve seen nothing like the tornado of Clinton scandal-mania likely to follow if Hillary is nominated.

A final line of argument, exemplified by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post, insists that Sanders’s platform is simply too left-wing for a “moderate” American electorate. Usually this is trotted out amid broad national surveys that find the country divided between ostensibly coherent blocs of “liberal,” “moderate,” and “conservative” voters.

But as political scientists Shawn Treier and D. Sunshine Hillygus have argued, two-dimensional surveys of voter ideology do not provide a useful guide to the American electorate. To the great disappointment of the Post editorial board, many self-identified “moderates” are not sober Beltway centrists but in fact “cross-pressured” by a mix of strong liberal and conservative beliefs.

The unstable and multidimensional identity of the “moderate” voter helps explain why Sanders’s own polling numbers have regularly confounded the prejudices of pundits. In New Hampshire, for instance, where experts repeatedly stressed his strength with “liberals,” Sanders actually did even better with “moderate/conservative” voters.

It might also help explain why Sanders polls well in places like Nevada and Alaska-- states not known as liberal bastions, but home to a large number of independent voters.

Who are these independents and “moderates” voting for Sanders? It seems reasonable to believe that they are not confused centrists, but “cross-pressured” voters with a wide range of views, all drawn to Sanders’s left-wing economic message. In fact, Sanders has a long record of winning over these kind of populist “moderates.”

...Sanders has shown an undeniable ability to connect with the same kind of lower-income and less-well-educated white voters all over the country, from Iowa to West Virginia to Oklahoma.

Democrats have been slowly losing these voters to Republicans since the 1970s; in the last decade, they have almost abandoned them entirely. But non-college-educated whites still represent over 40 percent of the electorate in key swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Many of these poor and struggling voters-- however “moderate” according to Gallup-- seem very receptive to Sanders’s call for universal health care and a living wage. A Sanders campaign that made deep inroads with working-class whites across the Midwest would be well-prepared to defeat a Republican in November.

It’s difficult to find an equivalent category of voters where Clinton might outperform Sanders in a general election. Women? Clinton’s most recent favorability ratio with all women voters is strongly negative: 41 to 54 percent. Sanders’s mark stands at 44 to 41 percent. In a general election, those numbers might shift-- but would it be enough to give Clinton a significant advantage?

Clinton’s strongest support in the primary campaign seems to come from the most loyal Democrats, including African-Americans. But in a bitter campaign against an ethnic nationalist like Trump... would loyal party voters refuse to turn out for the Democrats, just because Sanders rather than Clinton was the nominee? It doesn’t seem likely.

None of this is to suggest that Sanders should take loyal non-white Democratic votes for granted. That is exactly what Clinton-style New Democrats did when they pivoted to the center in the 1980s. In a general election campaign, Sanders would have to do the opposite, and build a populist coalition that depended on solidarity between black, Latino, Asian, and white working-class voters.

Unquestionably, it would be difficult work. But the opposition of an ever-more-reactionary Republican Party would surely help. And a successful left-of-center coalition would be well positioned-- in both ideological and electoral terms-- to mount the much larger, long-term struggle necessary to achieve even Sanders’s social-democratic goals.

...[T]here’s no question that Bernie Sanders can win in November-- and there is good reason to believe he would actually be a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton.
And by the way, over the years, Trump and Shkreli have contributed multiple times to Hillary Clinton campaigns. I guess they liked the cut of her jib. Please consider a contribution to Bernie's campaign or to the campaign of any of the progressive congressional candidates who have endorsed him and are running on his platform by tapping on the thermometer below:
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Forget Neil's Ambivalence To Trump Using "Rockin' In The Free World;" Loudon Wainwright's "I Had A Dream" Is A Potential Nightmare


-by Denise Sullivan

Shaking my head as usual at the headlines and poor excuses for news, Wednesday's trumped-up report that Bernie Sanders booster Neil Young "excused" Donald Trump for using "Rockin' In The Free World" turned out to be a non-starter and almost as out of context as the right appropriating rock 'n' roll for their own diabolical purposes. If you remember last year around this time, non-voting Canadian but Californian Young asked that Trump not use the song during his campaign, and that was the end of that. Young, to his credit, joined the long line of rock 'n' roll heroes from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, and John Mellencamp who just said no to their music being misappropriated by the real forces of evil. We have indeed been over this territory a few times before and there was no news here.

By Thursday however, there was music to our ears in the form of a new single by advanced topical songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Same generation as the aforementioned musicians raised on rock 'n' roll, though instead of spending time and resources fending off the advances of the GOP, Wainwright's stayed busy amassing a whole catalog of work that at times has specialized in sticking it to both sides of the two-party circus and how. Skewering the likes of Jesse Helms, Newt, the Clintons and more, this week Wainwright sings, "I Had A Dream," which happens to be about the ultimate nightmare. You can hear it here and download it on iTunes. Here's a live version he did at Portland's Alberta Rose Theater on March 30:

A righteous pundit, Wainwright has been pursuing music since the late sixties, debuting with a self-titled album in 1970. Aside from his honest and deeply felt songs on relationships and life circumstances, he's long written satirical work, a style he calls "musical journalism" and is best demonstrated at album length on 1999's Social Studies (he gives it to O.J. Simpson, Tonya Harding, and Helms). For awhile he was the in-house songsmith for Nightline and is occasionally commissioned songs for NPR. Ol' Loudo, as he sometimes calls himself, originally hails from Helms territory; dad Loudon Wainwright Jr., was a columnist for Life magazine, while the name Loudon comes from A. Loudon Snowdon, a 19th Century politico who was Loudon III's great-grandfather. Wainwright is also father to musical children Rufus and Martha Wainwright (their mother was folksinger Kate McGarrigle), and Lucy Wainwright Roche, whose mother is Suzzy Roche of the Roches. Wainwright's also pursued acting through the decades and his film and television credits, often comedic, are mighty, from M.A.S.H to Judd Apatow's Knocked Up.

Wainwright's 23rd studio album, Haven't Got The Blues Yet, was produced by longtime collaborator David Mansfield, and released in 2014, though some still remember him best from the novelty, "Dead Skunk (In The Middle of the Road)," a Top 40 hit in 1972. Interestingly, that was the same year rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry had a number one record with "My Ding-A-Ling." And it was of course the year of Richard Nixon began his ill-fated second term. You might say it's a coincidence that Wainwright nailed the exact moment in time where the listening public lost all discernment, the world went to hell in a hand basket, and the door was opened for us to march toward the time when a buffoon might win the presidency. But I'm not foolish enough to make that claim. I'm simply suggesting it.

Denise Sullivan writes about music and gentrification issues from San Francisco for DWT. Her most recent book is Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music From Blues to Hip Hop.

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De-Criminalizing Marijuana-- Long Overdue


Lou and Lieu

The vote in the House to approve the ability of doctors in VA hospitals in states that have legalized medical marijuana-- 41 and counting-- to prescribe it to patients is a tiny baby step along the road to legalization. There have been many baby steps in recent years. But 14 congressmembers have decided to go for a giant step. I'll explain in a moment. These are the Members:
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Denny Heck (D-WA)
Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
So the giant step is a letter to President Obama asking him to remove marijuana from Schedule I and reassign it to Schedule III or lower, or consider de-scheduling altogether. Among other things, the letter also asks the Obama Administration to allow for more marijuana research and to fix the federal impediments to problems legalized marijuana companies are having with banking issues.

Ted Lieu, one of the leaders in legalization efforts: "It is far overdue for the Obama Administration to bring an end to a draconian marijuana policy. Forty-one states have legalized medical cannabis to varying degrees, and four states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana. As other states look to legalize this fall, including California, it makes zero sense for marijuana to still be placed on Schedule I, a group which includes dangerous substances such as heroin and LSD. With a majority of the American public now embracing legalization, I hope the federal government will follow their lead."

Ted endorsed Lou Vince in the neighboring 25th CD-- Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley. And Lou sees the way forward on marijuana very much the way Ted sees it. This morning he told us, "In my 21 years as a police officer, I've had more encounters with marijuana than probably any member of Congress. I know first hand how devastating it is to have marijuana listed as a Schedule I drug, right there with heroin. Any cop can tell you that there is a huge difference between dealing with marijuana-related crimes versus other drug crimes. Not only do we need to de-list marijuana, the federal government needs to stop interfering in states that have legalized medical marijuana and recreational marijuana and permit greater research into the benefits of marijuana. Unlike Congressman Knight, who panders to his base and completely disregards the evidence and research, I know that marijuana policy is completely broken. While Congressman Knight will never say it, the War on Drugs has failed and it needs to be re-thought. Our money is far-better spent on prevention and tackling addiction, not incarcerating our citizens and breaking up families over a little bit of pot. Those costs to society are enormous. I know that in November, I will personally be casting a vote in favor of legalizing marijuana here in California. I think the legalization of recreational marijuana is a decision best left to the states to implement for now and I will support that initiative in California."

If you'd like to help make sure Lou replaces crackpot wing-nut Steve Knight in Congress, please consider making a contribution to his campaign by clicking on the thermometer:
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Putting #DebtTrapDebbie Wasserman Schultz Out To Pasture-- A Decade Late


These 2 self-serving careerists have wrecked the Democratic Party

#DebtATrapDebbie Wasserman Schultz has been squawking like a stuck pig in her e-mails about the rivers of small contributions flowing into Tim Canova's campaign to defeat her in South Florida. She has to work hard for the money she gets from special interests for Big Sugar, pay day lenders, Wall Street banksters, the private prison industry, the alcohol lobbyists. All the special favors she's done for them have made her name poison to a growing cadre of good government types. In another one of her misleading and hysterical e-mails, titled Mystery Million, ole #DebtTrapDebbie brays, "Ok, friends. Here’s what we know so far. We know that one of my opponents has raised $1 million, which is nothing to take lightly. Some political pundits are saying that he has cash 'pouring in.' We know that 90% of the money is coming from donors outside Florida. My opponent went searching far and wide for support from people unfamiliar with my record of fighting for South Florida’s families." The only South Florida families she fights for are the various branches of the Fanjul family, the corrupt sugar barons who have financed her sleazy political career.

As for cash "pouring in," that's the power of Tim Canova's grassroots which has harnessed over 85,000 individual donors from every part of Florida and every part of America who think #DebtTrapDebbie should have been put out to pasture years ago. The "mystery millions" she whining about come from 1,048 students, 3,230 teachers, 1,473 nurses giving an average of $18 each... while the $1,774,270 she had brought in by the March 31 FEC filing deadline came overwhelmingly from the Finance Sector ($194,600) and from lawyers and lobbyists ($136,725). Her one biggest single donor, the slimy Fanjul Corp., has given a thousand times what the average Canova donor gave! But, as I said, she works hard for the money-- and you'd never hear Pepe and Alfy complain about the service.

Goal Thermometer Yesterday DFA joined Blue America, the Nurses Union, the Communication Workers of America, the Transportation Workers Union and Bernie Sanders in endorsing Canova's campaign. DFA has 73,136 members in Florida and a million members nationwide. (You can contribute to Canova's awesome grassroots campaign by hitting the thermometer on the right.) Jim Dean, chair of DFA: "DFA members are backing Tim Canova in this race for Congress, not for who he supports or who supports him, but because he has spent his life challenging the power of Wall Street banks, multinational corporations, and the systemic political corruption that keeps them profitable at the expense of everyone else. From her vote in support of fast track authority for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership to her unabashed protection of a payday lending industry that makes billions off the back struggling working families, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has aligned herself with the wealthy interests who are making income inequality worse in our country. Simply put: If Democrats are going to be the party that confronts the wealthy and powerful who dominate our political process and enable growing income inequality, we need political revolutionaries like Tim Canova in the U.S. Congress."

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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Men Who Live As Dogs


-by Noah

I’ve heard of women who think all men are dogs. Even Hillary Clinton famously once said that her husband was a “hard dog to keep on the porch.” So, when my wife sent me this article from England’s Guardian newspaper today about men dressing up as dogs and going about their day, naturally, my ears perked up.

It seems that in England, there are more than a few men who like to take being a good little doggie to bold new dimensions; literally donning rubber doggie suits and plastic dog face masks to dress up as dogs-- big, life size human dogs or “Human Pups,” to use the proper terminology. Read the article. Better yet, if you are extra curious, there will soon be the release of a documentary on the subject called “The Secret Life Of The Human Pups.”. To quote the Guardian’s article-
Secret Life Of The Human Pups is a sympathetic look at the world of pup play movement that grew out of the BDSM community and has exploded in the last 15 years as the internet made it easier to reach likeminded people. While the pup community is a broad church, human pups tend to be male, gay, have an interest in dressing in leather, wear dog-like hoods, enjoy tactile interactions like stomach rubbing or ear tickling, play with chew toys, eat out of bowls and are often in a relationship with their human ‘handlers’.
Far be it from me to be judgmental. After all, there are far, far worse things to be. I don’t have to name them but, having worked for four major corporations, I can tell you that the halls of our glass towers are rife with much dog-like activity, complete with an alpha male or (once in a while) alpha female in the corner office. There is lots of panting, eager to please lapping, rolling over, begging for treats, and most of all butt sniffing, lots and lots of butt sniffing; and don’t forget the quizzical, ear-twitching blank stares or those who just don’t get it, whatever it is. So, at least these Englishmen who dress up as dogs are being a little more honest about who they really are.

In fact, although this activity seems quintessentially English-quirky to me, it’s just another form of happiness-inducing escapism from one’s office job or the other tedious or mundane aspects of one’s life. One man, Tom, a theatre engineer who was interviewed for the article says as much when he says of his puppy time, ”You’re not worrying about money, or food, or work.”

For Kaz, another pup in the article, being a pup is more than just a fun mask. It’s how he identifies. It’s who he see himself as.
Even when I worked in PC World, I would sometimes walk up to people and nip at their shirt. I got in trouble once. Someone walked into the PC repair centre and I had part of their dad’s computer in my mouth. But other staff knew I was like that to everyone. They didn’t find it weird.
Of course, they didn’t find it weird. It happened in England! England is where weird was invented! I’m a big fan of Monty Python and I’ve always said that those genius Monty Python guys were just writing about what they saw every day, all day. Two of the companies I worked for were English. I know this first hand.

I can’t imagine nipping at your co-worker’s shirt would go over at a PC World computer place in America, and, certainly, ol’ Kaz the dog should not bother applying for a job at Chick-fil-A or volunteer for a Republican Party job any time soon.

But, being a natural born Snark, I do have some questions to pose. These questions came to my mind as I read the Guardian’s article. The first three are especially relevant given the current Republican obsession with all things urination. Here goes:
1) Where do people who self-identify as dogs pee?

2) Can they use human rest rooms, or must they pee on fire hydrants?

3) If they can use human rest rooms, which ones?

4) When traveling, are they restricted to flying only in the cargo compartment?

5) Would Mitt Romney tie them to the roof of the family car?

6) Eating: Do they live on Alpo and, if so, are they getting proper nutrition?

7) Has their sense of smell vastly improved?

8) If they shit on the sidewalk, must their “masters” pick up after them?

9) Are the British Queen’s famous corgis real dogs or just royal relatives in puppy costumes?

10) How long before there is a restaurant in some posh London suburb that caters to human pups?

I may not wear dog-like hoods or masks but I myself often eat from a bowl. I play with my toys. I have more than a few leather jackets and, I’m certainly in a relationship with a human handler. At least, I’m sure that’s how she looks at it. So, live and let live; dog years or human years.

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