From the Department of Self-Brainwashing, Cont’d

It’s not just Kentucky.  In Slate, Michelle Goldberg reports on the findings of focus groups convened by Planned Parenthood:

Shortly before the election, Politico and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health surveyed voters on health care policy. One of the survey’s findings was that 48 percent of people who were planning to vote for Donald Trump supported continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood, compared with 47 percent who did not. Nevertheless, now that the election is over, stripping Planned Parenthood of federal support is a key Republican priority….

… Now bracing for an unprecedented legislative attack, Planned Parenthood wanted to know more about the intensity of its support among Trump voters and about how well these voters had understood Republican plans when they went to the polls. On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood made recordings of the 90-minute focus groups—held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Phoenix; Las Vegas; and Milwaukee—available to a group of journalists.

For opponents of Trump, the recordings make for excruciating viewing. They show how myths about Hillary Clinton’s corruption proved more influential than facts about Trump’s. “I really didn’t trust Hillary at all, and that’s why I went with Trump,” said a new mother in Harrisburg who’d been undecided until the last moment. “He’s more honest than her.” […]

… It seemed as if Trump’s lasciviousness, which Clinton hoped would disqualify Trump with women, actually worked in his favor. The focus group participants couldn’t imagine that Trump would enact a religious right agenda.He’s probably paid for a few abortions himself,” said the 58-year-old in Phoenix, eliciting a roomful of laughs.

This is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post. Why not vote for Hillary? “I can’t trust her.”

Okay, but how can you vote for Trump, given what he’s said and promised? “Well, he doesn’t mean what he says.”

Somewhere in the afterlife, George Orwell must be thinking about how he described the proles in 1984, and wondering if he undershot the mark.

Notes from the Nascent CA Insurgency vs. Trumpism

California may not have to secede from the United States in order to lead a rebellion against the reign of President 46.1 Percent:

  • A likely Obamacare repeal?  California could pass its own insurance mandate to keep its successful state health insurance exchange operating.
  • A coming immigration crackdown? The city of Los Angeles is creating a $10 million legal defense fund for people threatened with deportation.
  • Trump as precedent for future grifter-candidates who won’t reveal their financial interests?  California may soon let voters pass an initiative to require presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to be eligible for the CA state ballot.

If they keep this up, I may have to move back…


What’s the Matter with Kentucky?

You might have caught the in-depth story in Vox this week about Obamacare enrollees in Kentucky who voted for Donald Trump, despite his (and all other Republicans’) endlessly repeated promises to repeal it at the first available opportunity.

For the TL;DR crowd, Kevin Drum at Mother Jones pulls out some of the choicest quotes:

Oller: The funny thing is, my husband said, “You know, he’s going to eliminate health care.” But he really can’t totally take it out, because everybody has to have health care. You can’t go backward….

Kliff: Did you hear him talking about repealing Obamacare in the campaign?

Oller: Yeah, he was going to get rid of it. But I found out with Trump … he says a lot of stuff. [laughs] I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see.

Kliff: Do you think if it does go away, you’ll regret your vote in any way?

Mills: I don’t know. I guess I thought that, you know, he would not do this….I was thinking that once it was made into a law that it could not be changed, but I guess it can? Yes?

What can be done about this kind of self-brainwashing?  As Drum summarizes, these folks “figured Trump was just blathering because, come on, what kind of person would take away people’s insurance?” He’s explicitly promising to ruin their lives, and they dismiss it as harmless blather.

But I’ll bet you that if you asked for their opinion of Hillary Clinton, they’d dismiss her knowledge, experience, and detailed policy proposals by saying, “There’s just something I don’t trust about her.”

There’s something deeper than political messaging going on here.

Fascist Watch, 12-13-16

falangeBreitbart writer James Delingpole kicks off our Fascist Watch series with his ominously titled ““When You Hear A Scientist Talk About ‘Peer Review’ You Should Reach For Your Browning article.  It’s a typical climate change denial article, nothing special, but the title is not merely a dog whistle for the right wing extremists, but a direct call to action with the wording taken directly from a Nazi play “Schlageter.”

The only silver lining I can find here is that Delingputz is a Brit, rather than an American, happily living in Islington, London.  Might be a good idea to write some letters to him telling him in no uncertain terms that we will not stand incitement to violence in the press, and while we are at it, participate in the campaign to pressure Breitbart advertisers to pull the plug, citing this article.

Finally – any UK folks seeing this?  You can report this article as an act of terrorism.

The USA is your free speech zone…and how to keep it that way.

free-speech-zoneDuring the dark days of the Bush Reign of Error, the much ridiculed Commander-in-Chimp kept pesky protesters from his photo ops by establishing ‘free speech zones,’ always far from the event, citing ‘safety concerns.’  In the wake of 9/11, cowed gaggles of protesters would let themselves be herded into these rings surrounded by police storm-troopers armed for bear.

We seem to be in for more of the same, with the National Park Service moving to bar protesters from major routes and sites in D.C. during Inauguration Day, where massive protests are planned all weekend.

You can’t blame The Walking Orange Turd for that, but have no doubt he will resurrect and expand on Bush’s unconstitutional infringement of our rights.

Fuck him, I say, and fuck the National Park Service.  This is the United States of Fucking America, and we will march and protest where we damn well please!  “Fine words,” you say, “but how do you get around the Storm-Troopers?”

I’m glad you asked!  Planning, preparation & subterfuge.  Here is an example.  Say The Man prohibits protesters from the National Mall by surrounding it with a thin blue line, vigilantly looking for ‘the usual suspects’ such as dirty hippies to bust and whisk away from the event.  This leads to the first rule:

Disguise. Don’t look like dirty hippies.  Dress normally.  Even dress up a bit.  Who suspects a guy or gal wearing business casual? Don’t carry obvious signs  have folks queued up to bring your group signs once you are in position.  Disguise will also help you if they try to catch you and you need to disappear into the crowd.

How do you get through the Storm-Troopers?  At a big event, they are truly spread thinly around the periphery of the action.  To get through them you need to ‘thin the herd,’ create weak points, penetrate those and establish a beachhead.  To do this you need to:

Create a Diversion.  The Man can’t generate new cops out of thin air.  If something is happening elsewhere, say on steps of the Supreme Court, or elsewhere on Capital Hill, The Man will need to peel off some squads of Storm Troopers to investigate.  The more locations that need to be covered, the more precious members of the Blue Man Group they will need to remove from the thin blue line.  Inevitably and eventually, gaps will appear.

Buying Time.  You’ve got a great diversion going, but your infiltration team will need time, and it doesn’t take long to bust the Diversion Teams.  You need to jam things up on the trips to and from the diversion sites.  Map the likely routes away from the National Mall to the Diversion sites and have a Mobile Team ready with cars that suffer mysterious breakdowns in the roads on the way there or way back to stymie traffic.  “No, we aren’t protesters, I think my battery died, Officer!”

Infiltrate the Gaps.  Your infiltration team should be the best disguised, with Trump teeshirts and Make America Great again caps.  They should be on the lookout for gaps in the line.  When they spot one, they call the reinforcement team.  One group should do a mini-Diversion, as the remaining Storm-Troopers rush to push off the first team, while the other teams use the opportunity to bust the line.

Beachhead.  Once one or more teams have broken through the line, it is time to sit down, lie down, possibly chain together.   While you have The Man’s entire attention, the Reinforcements should soon arise, bearing signage, megaphones, etc., and join the Beachhead.

Keep the Diversion going. Remaining free members of the original Diversion Teams need to stay mobile, and make a happening in new locations, keeping the Storm-Troopers occupied away from the National Mall.  The fewer there are at the event, the longer the protest will last, the more Reinforcements can arrive, etc.

There are many different approaches that can be tried, but this in a nutshell is a tried-and-true way for us to stay out of “free speech zones” and bring the noise directly to The Man.