In the gallery – comments – part 6

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“The Poetry of Protest” our show in the Gallery of Art and Design at the University of Central Missouri of large prints of photographs from rallies, protests, marches, and demonstrations opened on September 26th.

We left an open notebook with blank pages and pencils on a podium next to the exhibit title wall. We get comments.

Everything is propaganda

“Propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker, but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all” – protest sign, circa 2003- 2004.

Here’s the thing – if something makes you question or think it defeats the whole purpose of propaganda.

Life sucks as it is, so why does trump have to make it worse???

Because he can.

Previously:

The Poetry of Protest (September 9, 2017)

In the gallery (September 21, 2017)

In the gallery – part 2 (September 23, 2017)

In the gallery – part 3 (September 26, 2017)

In the gallery – comments (September 30, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 2 (October 3, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 3 (October 4, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 4 (October 6, 2017)

In the gallery – today (October 10, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 5 (October 16, 2017)

“Is there a proper blessing… for Newt Gingrich (r)?

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“A blessing for Newt Gingrich (r)? Of course! May God bless and keep Newt Gingrich (r)… far away from us!”

Maybe they can lecture the Vatican on the intricacies of right wingnut republican family values.

Question: On the Nomination (Confirmation Callista L. Gingrich, of Virginia, to be Ambassador of the U.S. to the Holy See)
Vote Number: 217
Vote Date: October 16, 2017, 05:30 PM

Required For Majority: 1/2
Vote Result: Nomination Confirmed

Nomination Number: PN523
Nomination Description: Callista L. Gingrich, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Holy See
Vote Counts:
YEAs 70
NAYs 23
Not Voting 7
[….]
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
[….]

Really, Claire? We know that grifters got to grift, but you don’t have to enable them with your vote for confirmation.

We should probably warn the Vatican to count their silver place settings after each visit. Nah, they already know.

Claire McCaskill: An adult responds to Richie Rich Trump’s tax cut proposals

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I usually try not to use the privilege of writing on SMP to do no more than reprint salient parts of news reports or editorial content without some “value” added. Reporters and pundits do a fine job, reach far more readers than I, and don’t need to be reprinted here unless their reportage and observations help me make what I hope is a related but separate point.

However, I’m making an exception today. The following text is taken from a Washington Post article about Trump’s overtures to red state Senate Democrats who may feel threatened enough to deal with the devil when it comes to his plans to slash taxes for businesses and wealthy folks such as himself. Specifically, I’m including a small section of the article dealing with the response – to date – of our Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, widely considered to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrat, because I think it is so important to those of us in Missouri:

Wednesday’s meeting is expected to include Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a member of the Finance Committee who has  been critical of Trump’s approach so far. McCaskill has spent weeks pushing the White House to work more closely with Democrats on the tax plan, saying that a failure to work with Democrat doomed their efforts to make changes to health care rules.

But even though McCaskill is up for reelection in 2018 and comes from a state Trump won handily, she is digging in against the White House’s tax plan more than many of her colleagues, convinced voters will see it as a big handout for the rich.

During a meeting last week with constituents in Washington, Mo., McCaskill asked everyone to put a question on a slip of paper and drop it into a fishbowl.

The third question McCaskill plucked from the bowl asked simply, “Will you help get tax reform done this year?”

“I hope so. I would love to get tax reform done,” she said. “But here’s the issue. The issue is what is the tax reform bill? Now, I haven’t seen a final plan. We’ve seen an outline and the outline is very troubling to me.”

She explained that she’s “not interested in reducing taxes for the [wealthiest] 1 percent. I am very interested in reducing taxes to the middle class and to families that are living paycheck to paycheck. … That’s where my focus is.”

McCaskill then turned to notes on a lectern, telling the audience that she had asked staffers to determine how much money a Missouri family of four earning $50,000 would end up paying under the Republican proposal.

“Under the current law, their tax bill with the personal exemptions and the standard deduction and the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit, currently they’d pay $107 in taxes,” she said. But because the Republican plan would eliminate personal deductions, that same family would pay $887 in taxes if Trump gets his way.

Many in the room gasped.

“The family of four making $50,000 is going to pay more for taxes — that’s not middle-class tax relief,” she said, while noting that Republicans had not yet determined what they will do about the child tax credit.

So far, McCaskill is doing what she is able to do so well: take a stand and explain it clearly and honestly in terms that everyone understands. She’s also, wisely, acted proactivley,  touring the state and getting the message out before she’s irrevocably slimed by the Kochbots – who will still be able to do lots of damage, the political climate in Missouri being what it is. She’s doing what she can to get the word out while making it clear that she’s one of the adults in the room – something that is sorely lacking in Trump’s Washington.

Nevertheless, McCaskill’s going to need active progressive support – and she’s showing signs that she’ll earn it. We need to encourage her to keep on keeping on in this way, let her know that we’ll back her up – as the WaPo article makes clear, there are several other “vulnerable” Senators who may be persuaded to give the oligarchy a win that will be paid for by the middle and working class. We have to do our bit to make sure that our Democratic Senator knows that we’ll work hard to support her come 2018 if she works equally hard to support us – and we need to let her know that we appreciate her efforts.

*Addendum: Want to know how the GOP is going to try to scam us in order to give their donors big tax cuts – and the narrative we’re asking McCaskill to stand up against? Read this Greg Sargent column from the WaPo. If you want a teaser, here’s Sargent’s  conclusion:

This whole debate is entirely off the rails. Nothing that leaders say on any side — whether they’re the “establishment” or the “insurgents” — about what is going on among Republican voters makes even minimal logical sense. One persuasive explanation for this through-the-looking-glass state of affairs was recently offered by Ross Douthat, which is that there is an enormous void at the core of the GOP right now when it comes to what the party is supposed to stand for. Each side, I would add, is employing its own scam designed to fill that vacuum. This is not normal, and it isn’t possible to have a rational political debate under these conditions.

In the gallery – comments – part 5

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“The Poetry of Protest” our show in the Gallery of Art and Design at the University of Central Missouri of large prints of photographs from rallies, protests, marches, and demonstrations opened on September 26th.

We left an open notebook with blank pages and pencils on a podium next to the exhibit title wall. We get comments.

Thank you for hard work. A picture is worth a thousand words. Each and every photo is telling me stories.

Love the emotions displayed in these photographs.

Thank you for giving these people a voice on campus without even having to speak. A picture is worth 1,000 words!

The heart is there, but maybe add some other views. It would be more fair to represent the U.S. a whole.

Seriously? More fair? Corporations and billionaires aren’t out in the streets – they don’t have to be to get what they want.

We repeat ourselves:

1. “A gallery exhibit is not a vehicle for the ‘all opposing views are equal’ mantra in some circles of old media.”

2. “It would be impossible to cover and ‘show all sides of American protest’. Again, some protests were so minimal or obscure and there was no public notice. We’re not omniscient, nor do we claim to be…”

3. “Right wingnuts in America now have everything they’ve ever wanted – they control the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court. For the most part they’re not in the streets protesting in any significant numbers…”

4. “Here’s the thing. You want a gallery show about those particular subjects? Go get a decent full frame camera, drive all over the state and the Midwest to cover these types of events, photograph them in some competent manner, make aesthetic choices about which images will work, start a discussion with a gallery over a period of two years, make numerous test prints on various papers, make the exhibit prints, and put the show up. Knock yourself out. But you won’t, will you? You’ll just complain about the unfairness of it all.”

5. “All art is biased.”

Thus endeth the lesson (for today).

Unpopular opinion: I don’t think Trump is Hitler 2.0

Wait, was it the Tiki torches, the raised arm salutes, or the swastikas that gave it away? Just asking.

There’s so much to unpack in just the first two words. Trump is unpopular, eh?

We don’t recall a single image in the exhibit labeling Donald Trump as “Hitler 2.0”.

From December, 2001:

Aaron McGruder, creator of “The Boondocks”

[….]

….I wanted to ask you specifically about the Thanksgiving strip where Huey compares President Bush to Osama bin Laden. Do you think that’s crossing the line on a holiday like that after a major tragedy such as Sept. 11?

A couple of things about that: One, I stole that joke from an Internet forward that was going around. I don’t even know who originated it. Two, the best thing about that strip is that it never says G.W. Bush. The reader has to make the connection. If the reader reads what I wrote and thinks about G.W. Bush, that means it’s fucking true! So I didn’t make it up; you came to the conclusion as well. And if it’s true, why are you mad at me? If he’s not all those things, then what are you mad at? (Laughs.)….

[….]

Hitler 2.0? We didn’t say it, you did.

I lose brain cells every time I look @ Trump :/

So does he.

Previously:

The Poetry of Protest (September 9, 2017)

In the gallery (September 21, 2017)

In the gallery – part 2 (September 23, 2017)

In the gallery – part 3 (September 26, 2017)

In the gallery – comments (September 30, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 2 (October 3, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 3 (October 4, 2017)

In the gallery – comments – part 4 (October 6, 2017)

In the gallery – today (October 10, 2017)

That’s not going so well…

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This has been boiling up for a few days. A women’s convention. A keynote speaker. Pushback.

Peter Daou‏ @peterdaou
Lots of snark and humor on the #BernieWomensHistory hashtag, but here’s a very serious assessment of his spotty record on women’s issues.
[….]
7:17 PM – 14 Oct 2017

Bernie Sanders [2016 file photo].

A media release from Emily’s List

EMILY’s List Statement on Bernie Sanders’ Planned Appearance at the Women’s Convention
October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock released the following statement:

“This announcement sends the wrong message to women everywhere. We have reached out to the organizers of the Women’s Convention directly to share our surprise and disappointment, and to offer our help to strengthen the program. We have more women leaders in elected office than ever before, and they are forcibly leading the resistance against Trump and his allies in Congress who are intent on attacking women. EMILY’s List is proud to have supported many of those women every step of the way, and we know that there is a tidal wave of rising stars coming behind them. The choice of Senator Sanders sends the wrong message.”

“Women are already leading in the United States Senate, and this is a moment where we have the opportunity to lift them up. We have to come together as women against the dangerous agenda that Donald Trump and Republicans are pushing.”

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $500 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making them one of the most successful political organizations ever. Our grassroots community of over five million members helps Democratic women wage competitive campaigns – and win. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research the issues that impact women and families, and turn out women voters. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 116 women to the House, 23 to the Senate, 12 governors, and over 800 to state and local office. Forty percent of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Since the 2016 election, thousands of women and counting have reached out to us about running for office. To harness this energy, EMILY’s List has launched Run to Win, an unprecedented effort to help more women run and win at the local, state, and national levels.

Oh, I dunno, I seem to recall there are a lot of highly qualified women active in American public policy, public service, and politics these days.

Homecoming: What, no Trump?

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And no Representative Vicky Hartzler (r), either. It must be that aversion to open public town halls in the district. Or something else not relevant to the every day lives of voters in the 4th Congressional District.

The University of Central Missouri Homecoming parade took place this morning in Warrensburg. It’s not an election year, and, yes, politicians may or may not attend.

Some traditions never change.

The local republican party entries made no mention of Donald Trump this year, or of party affiliation. We wonder why?

The local republicans.

The real chutzpah in the parade usually comes from members of the republican right wingnut majority in the Missouri General Assembly who consistently vote to gut support for public higher education. Yet, they continue to show up to demonstrate their superficial “support” by passing out candy.

Representative Dean Dohrman (r).

The only oblique reference to the moron in the White House came in the form of a tee shirt worn by a Democrat walking in the parade.

“Love trumps hate.”

Wait ’til next year.

Campaign Finance: Okay, now they’re just messing with us…

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Maybe it is intentional.

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a newish PAC:

C171222 10/13/2017 Missouri First Altria Client Services 1005 Congress Avenue, Ste. 850 Austin TX 78701 10/13/2017 strong>$12,500.00

Texas second? Or lower? Just asking.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: unintentional irony (September 27, 2017)

Monarch

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This afternoon in west central Missouri:

Danaus plexippus.

From 2014:

As Dwindling Monarch Butterflies Make Their Migration, Feds Try to Save Them

….The North American monarch population has declined by 90 percent over the past two decades. At its high in the winter of 1996-1997, there were a billion monarchs. Today, there are only about 35 million, according to a petition filed in August by scientists from several environmental organizations asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to classify the monarch as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act….

Does anyone think that Donald Trump’s administration cares? Just asking.

Better look while the looking is still possible.