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Kanye West opposes public health and supports religious discrimination

Kanye West, who is running for President on the right-leaning Birthday Party ticket, has promoted anti-vaccine extremism in regards to a potential future COVID-19 vaccine and wants to use the public school system in this country to promote religion:

Regarding the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, he said: “It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralysed … So when they say the way we’re going to fix covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast.

“They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”

[…]

On education, he said he wanted to reinstate “the fear and love of God in all schools and organisations” and criticised Black History Month as “torture porn”. He added: “The schools, the infrastructure, was made for us to not truly be all we can be, but to be just good enough to work for the corporations that designed the school systems. We’re tearing that up … we’re not going to tear up the constitution; what we will do is amend.”

Source

We already have a President in the White House who opposes public health and religious freedom in Donald Trump. Replacing Donald Trump with Kanye West would fix none of our country’s problems, and a Kanye presidency would be as much of an unmitigated disaster as the Trump presidency, if not worse.

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Is THIS the post-COVID-19 normal?

Four now-former Minneapolis (MN) Police Department (MPD) officers killed George Floyd in broad daylight. Riots are occurring, or have occurred, in multiple U.S. cities, including one in Minneapolis where the 3rd MPD precinct was overrun by rioters. The President of the United States sent out a highly inflammatory tweet calling for the military to kill U.S. civilians. In Grand Forks, North Dakota, a police officer was among two people who were killed while the officer was trying to serve an eviction notice. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, police officers fired tear gas into a group of peaceful protesters. In Minneapolis, a CNN news crew that was covering the unrest was arrested for no valid reason whatsoever. In Louisville, Kentucky, a news crew for NBC affiliate WAVE-TV was attacked by law enforcement.

As America slowly reopens while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim lives, there is one question on my mind. Is this chaos a preview post-COVID-19 pandemic normal in America?

America has faced turbulent times before, and America is facing turbulent times right now. Racism is as old as America, but it is now being recorded on video, and it is horrifying the sensible people of this great country. The sight, forever recorded onto video, of Officer Derek Chauvin forcing his knee onto the neck of George Floyd, depriving him of air and killing him, is horrifying to watch.

Use of lethal force by law enforcement should be the last resort, not the first resort, and should only be used when officers’ lives are being clearly threatened by suspects. Those who have the responsibility for enforcing the law in this country should not be above it, and that those in law enforcement who abuse their power and hurt or kill others in doing so should face very serious consequences.

While journalists should not be above the law, they shouldn’t be arrested or attacked for simply doing their jobs. The American system of government and way of life is dependent on an existence of a free and adversarial press. By free and adversarial press, I mean that journalists should be free to hold those in power accountable to the truth in a journalistic manner.

The President and other political leaders in this country should not be using the trappings of their offices to incite violence and encourage authoritarian behavior by themselves and others in positions of power. Use of the military against U.S. citizens should be reserved for armed rebellions against the United States by treasonous individuals or in self-defense of their own lives. I do not, in any way, encourage rioting and looting, but looting property, while a serious crime, shouldn’t automatically result in the perpetrators being killed.

These past few days have led part of me to believe that America might simply be better off if we went back to full stay-at-home orders across the country, like the ones we were under just a couple of months or so ago. However, there will be, someday, a new, post-pandemic normal, but hopefully not one where chaos, racism, destruction, brutality, violence, hate, and tyranny rules over justice and equality.

America is burning. It is past time for justice and equality to prevail over racism and brutality. However, chaos, destruction, violence, and tyranny isn’t going to make America a more just and equal union one second sooner.

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Federal Politics United States White House

The Trump Administration has gone into the Jim Jones stage of culthood

AUTHOR’S NOTE #1: Consuming bleach and/or other disinfectants, by ingestion, injection, or any other method, can be fatal. Please do not ingest, inject, or otherwise consume disinfectants into your body.

AUTHOR’S NOTE #2: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.


Earlier today, Donald Trump publicly suggested that those infected with the coronavirus COVID-19 inject bleach and other disinfectants, which are commonly used to disinfect clothing and/or hard surfaces like tables and countertops:

President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested exploring disinfectants as a possible treatment for coronavirus infections — an extremely dangerous proposition that medical experts warn could kill people.

After a Homeland Security official mentioned the ability of disinfectants like bleach to kill the coronavirus on surfaces, Trump remarked on the effectiveness.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” Trump said during his daily briefing at the White House. “Because, you see, it gets on the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.”

What the President of the United States told COVID-19 patients to do is extremely dangerous and should never be attempted by anyone under any circumstances. This is a comparison that I hoped that I would never have to make, but Trump’s actions are comparable to Jim Jones ordering the Jonestown cult members to drink a cyanide-laced beverage. I hope that not a single American takes Trump’s advice.

This is not the first time that Trump has promoted extremely dangerous medical quackery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, sadly, it probably won’t be the last.

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Elizabeth Warren may have just ended Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign tonight

Just when the corporate media thought they could get away with trying to erase U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) from the field of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, Warren, at the ninth Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle, delivered a debate performance that will be remembered for a very long time, and, in doing so, may have just ended any chance of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

This is just one minute of Warren’s debate performance tonight:

This is only part of a debate exchange between Warren and Bloomberg over Bloomberg’s history of sexually harassing women and discriminating against women:

Those two video clips only consist of part of Warren’s debate performance tonight, but those two clips should give everyone a general idea of how phenomenal Warren’s debate performance was tonight. Furthermore, Warren reminded us all how Donald Trump can be defeated in the general election.

Bloomberg may be worth tens of billions of dollars, but no amount of money and no amount of television ads can hide the fact that Bloomberg has a long history of sexism, racism, and opposing efforts to increase access to affordable health care, among other things. Furthermore, no amount of money is going to hide the fact that Bloomberg’s response to Warren pointing out that Bloomberg has a long history of disgustingly sexist behavior, including sexual misconduct, was absolutely insulting to those who were wronged by Bloomberg.

Elizabeth Warren wasn’t the only person on the debate stage tonight who held Mike Bloomberg to account, but she did the most effective job tonight of holding Bloomberg accountable.

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The last great American is Elizabeth Warren

In March of 1965, Esquire magazine published this article about auto racing legend Junior Johnson, who was described in the article by its author, Tom Wolfe, as “the last American hero”.

Well, if Junior Johnson was the last American hero, then Elizabeth Warren is the last great American.

As far is as known, Warren, born in the heart of Oklahoma and now represents Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, never hauled moonshine whiskey down backroads while trying to evade federal agents or found ingenious ways to bend the rules to her advantage. Instead, Warren has been a steadfast advocate for saving the capitalist American economy from its own greed and penchant for putting poor and middle-class people at a disadvantage to the wealthiest people.

American heroes are popular and win fights that conventional wisdom would lead one to believe is winnable. Great Americans aren’t always popular, especially at first, but they win fights that conventional wisdom would lead one to believe is unwinnable.

Abraham Lincoln wasn’t always a figure who was widely revered. In fact, multiple states seceded from the Union in response to his victory in the 1860 presidential election. What made Lincoln a great American is that he was able to lead the Union to victory in a war to reunify our great country and lead the effort to abolish the horrific institution of slavery in America as it existed before and during the Civil War. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., another great American, was detested by many Americans during his lifetime, but his steadfast advocacy for civil rights in the face of oppression helped make America more of a democracy than it was during the segregationist Jim Crow era of Dr. King’s lifetime and before.

Elizabeth Warren finds herself in a moment in our country’s history where a great American often arises. America is far from the proverbial “shining city on a hill” that Ronald Reagan spoke of in reference to America. America has massive wealth inequality, a criminal justice system that is fairer towards white people than people of color, crumbling infrastructure, a political and electoral system that gives far-right voters and interests disproportionately more political power than their share of the electorate, and failed, authoritarian-like leadership from a Republican Party that, in no way, shape, or form, resembles the Republican Party that nominated Abraham Lincoln for President 160 years ago.

Warren faces many barriers on her path to the Presidency. The most obvious barrier of all is Republican President Donald Trump, who would waste no time using the office of the presidency as a political weapon against Warren or whoever else wins the Democratic nomination. Warren’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination are also barriers on her path to the presidency. However, the toughest barrier for Warren to overcome on the presidential campaign trail isn’t in the form of a political candidate, but rather the media. The news media in this country, dominated by right-wing political punditry disguised as journalism and paid for by corporate advertising, is seemingly alternating between trying to erase Warren from the public conscience and trying to drive a political narrative that is unfavorable to her campaign.

Let’s not pass up this opportunity to elect a great American like Elizabeth Warren to the White House, because we won’t have another great American like her.

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Elections Federal Politics Iowa United States White House

Elizabeth Warren wins Drake University mock caucus

Tonight, students at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa participated in a mock Iowa Democratic Caucus. Here are the caucus results, courtesy of NBC News’s Maura Barrett:

Results of first alignment
Results of second alignment

With 193 students participating in the mock caucus, the 15% viability threshold was 29 students. This meant that Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg were the only two candidates viable on the first alignment. In a total surprise, Bernie Sanders was among those who failed to make the viability threshold on the first alignment on a college campus, falling seven students short of viability on the first alignment. Additionally, five candidates had more first-alignment support than Joe Biden (in addition to Warren, Pete, and Bernie, Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar had more first-alignment support than Biden; Biden was tied for sixth with Mike Bloomberg, who isn’t even contesting the actual Iowa Caucuses that will take place one week from today, on first alignment).

While Iowa Caucus rules allow for a candidate who failed to make the 15% viability threshold on the first alignment to make the 15% viability threshold on the second alignment, no candidate that wasn’t already viable became viable on the second alignment, so Warren and Pete were the only two candidates viable on the second alignment, and, on the second alignment Warren had 87 students in her corner to Pete’s 66 students in his corner. Had this been an actual precinct-level caucus, Warren would have received five county convention delegates, and Pete would have received four county convention delegates.

While tonight’s mock caucus at Drake was not the actual Iowa Caucuses, and Drake University students might be a demographic that is more favorable to Warren than Iowa as a whole, tonight’s Drake mock caucus is a good omen for Warren’s campaign, and could be a sign that recent polling in Iowa could be drastically underestimating Warren’s support in Iowa.

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My attempt to analyze a junk Iowa Democratic caucus poll that was done for Breitbart

Earlier today, an obscure polling firm called Neighborhood Research and Media released a poll of Iowa Democratic voters in the lead-up to the February 3rd Iowa Caucuses. You can view the results of the poll here if you wish to do so.

Anyways, the poll was enough to move the FiveThirtyEight poll aggregate to show a narrow Joe Biden lead in Iowa; the aggregate prior to the poll showed a narrow Bernie Sanders lead in Iowa. FiveThirtyEight lists Neighborhood Research and Media as a B/C-graded pollster, so the pollster is deemed by FiveThirtyEight to have not conducted enough polling to receive a proper grade.

I will now make several observations about the recent poll out of Iowa.

The poll was conducted for the far-right website Breitbart

Any attempt by a right-wing organization, such as the far-right, pro-Donald Trump website Breitbart, to poll Democratic voters about an upcoming Democratic nomination contest is immediately suspicious in my view. Breitbart may be trying to drive a Democrats-in-disarray political narrative, a narrative that benefits Republicans politically, in more mainstream media outlets, and, at the very least, has certainly influenced FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregators, by paying Neighborhood Research and Media to poll Iowa Democrats.

The poll sample was DRASTICALLY older than the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucus electorate

The poll sample was drastically older than recent Iowa Democratic caucus electorates, including the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucus electorate. In 2016, entrance polls, the caucus equivalent of exit polls, showed that 37% of the Democratic caucus electorate in Iowa was 44 years of age or younger, with 28% older than 65 years of age. The pre-2020 caucus poll for Brietbart had a sample with less than 19% of likely caucus participants under the age of 50, with more than 58% of likely caucus participants over the age of 65. The median age in poll for Breitbart was likely more than a decade older, maybe as much as a decade and a half older, than the median age in the 2016 entrance polls!

The poll included Donald Trump as if he were a Democratic presidential candidate

Donald Trump is seeking re-election as a Republican presidential candidate. However, the poll for Breitbart listed Trump as if he were a Democrat and a candidate in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, which he is not. While Iowa Democratic caucus participants may have an uncommitted option (I’m not sure if the Iowa Democratic caucus rules allow for that), Trump will not be a candidate in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. The poll had Trump, who is not a Democrat and is not seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, at 4.7% among likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants.

The poll was in the field during the January 14 Democratic presidential debate

The poll for Breitbart was in the field from January 14 to January 17. This means that the poll was in the field during the January 14 Democratic presidential debate that was televised by CNN and sponsored by the Des Moines Register. One day of sampling, January 14, was pre-debate, with the other three days being post-debate. The poll had Biden losing a ton of support from the pre-debate sample to the post-debate sample, with Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, respectively, being the largest beneficiaries of an apparent loss of support for Biden. The pre-debate sample was a one-day sample that included 103 likely caucus participants, whereas the post-debate sample was a three-day sample that included 197 likely caucus participants, or an average of 66 likely caucus participants sampled per day. Given Iowa’s population, samples of less than 200 individuals have a very high margin of error.

Conclusion

This poll that was conducted for Brietbart is complete junk, in part due to the poll’s sample being drastically older than what an Iowa Democratic caucus electorate would be expected to be.

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Joe Biden opposes making government work for the American people

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of this blog post is not an attorney and does not claim to be an attorney.


In an interview by The New York Times, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden publicly opposed replacing the Electoral College with national popular vote presidential elections, expanding the size of the U.S. Supreme Court, setting term limits for U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and abolishing the U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule:

An important history lesson here involves Biden’s first run for federal elected office, the 1972 U.S. Senate election in Delaware. Biden defeated Republican incumbent J. Caleb Boggs a little more than two years after the Bayh-Cellar Amendment was debated in Congress. Had Congress sent the Bayh-Cellar Amendment to the states, and had it been ratified by 38 states, it would have abolished the electoral college and replaced it with a national popular vote presidential election. I am unsure as to whether Boggs had supported or opposed the amendment, as I’ve not been able to find information on any of the Senate roll call votes related to the Bayh-Celler Amendment. Keep in mind that, unlike today, Delaware was a bellwether state in presidential elections for much of the latter half of the 20th century. Nowadays, Delaware is, given increased political polarization and the expected partisan leans of each state, one of the least important states in presidential general elections under the current Electoral College system, as Delaware only has three electoral votes and is usually a Democratic stronghold nowadays.

With that history lesson aside, let’s talk about Biden’s opposition to making government work for the American people.

By saying only one word, Biden announced his opposition to fair presidential elections, term limits for federal judges, ideological fairness on the Supreme Court, and allowing the U.S. Senate to be an actual legislative body that is capable of passing legislation with majority support. Biden’s stated reason for opposing making government work for the American people is that it would create more problems than it would solve, which is absolutely false.

Also, Biden’s claim that constitutional amendments would be required to achieve all four goals is partially incorrect. The total number of Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court can, and has, been determined by passing an Act of Congress setting the size of the Supreme Court at a certain number of Justices, and this number can be raised or lowered by an Act of Congress. The Senate’s filibuster rule is not mentioned in the Constitution at all; the Senate can, if it wants to, change its own rules to abolish the filibuster and require only simple majority passage of any measure before it except for measures where the Constitution explicitly requires a different standard to pass a measure before the Senate. While abolishing the Electoral College as an institution would require a federal constitutional amendment, if enough states were to ratify the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC), the Electoral College would be effectively converted into a body responsible for ratifying the ticket that received a plurality of the national popular vote as President and Vice President. However, the constitutionality of the NPVIC would likely be subject to legal challenges if enough states joined the compact for it to go into effect. Term limits for federal judges at any level of the federal judiciary would clearly require a federal constitutional amendment.

Furthermore, if Biden thinks he can get political support for any kind of political agenda from Mitch McConnell, he’s absolutely delusional. McConnell will find any reason to oppose the political agenda of any Democratic president, no matter how much Democrats co-opt the Republican Party’s agenda. Seeing Biden hilariously try to seek Republican support for his agenda is quite depressing, since Biden was Vice President of the United States when Republicans obstructed Barack Obama’s agenda at virtually every opportunity, including refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland and shutting down the federal government.

Unlike Biden, Elizabeth Warren has promised to make the 2020 presidential election, in which she could be elected President, the last presidential election under the Electoral College system, and that is why I support Warren’s presidential bid.

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Elizabeth Warren breaks the fourth wall of American politics

Normally, politicians in this country don’t break the fourth wall of American politics. You usually don’t hear one politician explicitly point out that another politician is preparing to commit war crimes in an attempt to boost their approval ratings at home. You usually don’t hear one politician explicitly mention that the sitting President is bombing a foreign country in an attempt to distract from political scandals at home.

Well, Donald Trump is not a conventional President, and Elizabeth Warren is not a conventional challenger.

Last night on Twitter, Warren directly called out Trump for wanting to commit war crimes by bombing cultural sites in Iran:

Earlier today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Warren pointed out that Trump ordered the strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani to distract from the upcoming impeachment trial of Trump:

Usually, you don’t hear politicians be brutally honest admit the cold hard truth about their political opponents. However, Elizabeth Warren isn’t afraid to admit the cold hard truth about how Donald Trump puts his own political and financial interests first and is willing to commit war crimes to do so.

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Did Donald Trump just start a major war against Iran?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a blog post about a breaking news event. Any information and analysis in this blog post is based on information of the author’s knowledge at the time of the blog post being published.


In response to a recent attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, the United States launched a strike in Iraq that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The Quds Force is Iran’s primary vehicle for carrying out their military and intelligence operations outside of Iranian territory; as a result, Soleimani was one of the most powerful people associated with the Iranian regime.

If the United States is not already at war against Iran, it likely will be in the very near future, and this would be a logistical nightmare for the United States and/or any other country, in no small part due to Iran’s geography, which has long been an obstacle for Iran and its predecessor states, as well as, conversely, any entity that has tried to invade Iran:

It is not immediately clear how this will impact Donald Trump’s re-election chances here in the U.S., although the recent events in the Middle East will likely have massive political ramifications not just in the United States, but in many other countries as well.

In a scenario that is more politically favorable to Trump, Trump would get a sizable rally around the flag effect, similar to the affect on U.S. public opinion that politically benefited George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. Remember that defeating a sitting U.S. president while he is up for re-election during a major war has historically been extremely difficult, and, in many cases, virtually impossible. One thing that would likely benefit Trump politically is if a large coalition of nations is assembled for a large-scale war effort against Iran.

In a scenario that is less politically favorable to Trump, few nations would decide to formally support a U.S. war effort against Iran and/or significant domestic political opposition to a U.S. war effort against Iran forms. There is already some evidence of domestic political opposition to a U.S. war effort against Iran trying to form, with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) issuing this statement via Twitter voicing concerns about potential consequences of the strike against Soleimani. It is not immediately clear how traditional U.S. allies like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada will react, nor is it immediately clear how nations like Russia and China will react, to a looming war in Iran.

One advantage that Trump has, from a political standpoint, is that it is easier for Trump to, despite serious concerns about the strike’s legality, portray the strike against Soleimani as justified than, for example, George W. Bush’s attempts to justify his war against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. The strike against Soleimani was in response to an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad perpetrated by groups aligned with the Iranian regime, whereas it was harder for GWB to portray the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq as a threat to U.S. national security before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

However, Trump probably has more political disadvantages than political advantages going into a war against Iran. First, due to Iran’s geography, invading Iran would likely result in another U.S. military quagmire. Second, the U.S. is a more war-weary nation nowadays than it was in the early 2000’s. Third, the Vietnam War, the post-9/11 War in Afghanistan, and the 2003 Iraq War serve as cautionary tales of military quagmires that are relatively fresh on the minds of many Americans. Fourth, Trump is seen as a far more unstable leader than most previous U.S. presidents. Fifth, Trump is facing a pending impeachment trial over trying to use the U.S. foreign policy apparatus for his personal political benefit, and many Americans will view Trump’s actions in the Middle East as an attempt to distract from his political corruption. Sixth, Trump’s actions are expected to have ramifications threatening U.S. national security, as retired U.S. Army Captain Jason Kander pointed out on Twitter.

I am a loyal American and always will be, but I have grave concerns about a war against Iran under Donald Trump. While Soleimani was a bad guy and a half, the strike that killed Soleimani may have just gotten the United States into a situation that jeopardizes our nation’s national security in a huge way.