Elizabeth Warren’s Mistake In 2016

I acknowledge that in 2016 I came very intensely after Elizabeth Warren. Like many of Bernie’s 2016 supporters I was hurt by her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I think Warren has since almost made up for the error by coming forward with genuinely radical and necessary policy platforms in her presidential campaign, policies that remind us that she was once a people’s hero in the fight against Wall Street and can be once again.

Her plan to cancel student debt is as pivotal as Bernie’s Medicare for All or prisoner voting rights platforms. Her open challenges to Joe Biden on his ties to the credit card companies is commendable and so is the work she has put into protecting consumers for this entire decade. She deserves credit where credit is due.

With all of that said, I am still a little bitter about what happened in 2016. I realize it is somewhat trivial to complain about what could or should have been, but damn it I am genuinely convicned that if she had not played the 2016 primary as cautiously as she had we would not have a Trump presidency.

Here is what I mean, because Warren waited to endorse whoever won the nomination instead of endorsing Bernie from the beginning of his candidacy she hurt his campaign, a campaign that would have easily defeated Trump in the general election. Yes, I am still a “Bernie would have won,” kind of person and truth be told I probably always will be.

It is understandable why she waited to endorse the definite front runner instead of taking a stand early on. At the time it made sense as the politically cautious move to stand for a united Democratic party against Trump. However that caution came at a price. It hurt Bernie’s ability to develop the klout needed to counter harmful talking points spewed by the Hillary people.

When Warren endorsed Clinton she went from being a darling of the Occupy alumni to another mouth piece for neoliberals, at least in the eyes of Bernie supporters who also supported her. One of the reasons that Bernie, and Warren for that matter, have stayed so popular is that several of us who came out of the Occupy movement remember them as the only public servants to demonstrate admiration and respect for the movement and its sentiments.

So Warren did not only hurt Bernie by endorsing Hillary late in the election, she hurt herself. By endorsing Clinton and by endorsing her as close to the end of the primary as she did, she synonymized her name and platform with the vomit inducing identity politics of Hillary’s campaign. Instead of having her working class values and background tied to Bernie’s pro working class platform, she attached her identity as a woman to Clinton and by doing so she helped enable the “only sexists vote for Bernie” talking point of Hillary supporters, a talking point which erases and hurts all of the non male supporters of Bernie.

Had Warren endorsed Bernie from the get go, the myth of the “Bernie bro” would have been squashed and would have had no foundation to grow. Also, with her endorsement would have come her very extensive and supportive base, but now that base is arguably very much in the establishment camp because of her hesitancy to get involved with the primary until a front runner was decided. Warren is now synonymous with supporting establishment capitalist democrats like Hillary, which is folly because Warren’s policies are arguably much closer to Bernie’s than they ever were to people like Clinton, Harris, Biden, or Booker.

I want to make it clear, I do understand why Warren didn’t endorse Sanders, but I think it was a mistake that inevitably cost Bernie the primary and damaged Warren’s reputation as a challenger of big money capitalism, which in-turn gave us the shitty general election that birthed the Trump presidency.

But what hurt Warren the most is the fact that despite her policy and platform being much more in line with Bernie’s she endorsed someone with completely opposite values to her. Warren has much more incommon policy wise with Bernie than she ever will with the Clintons and Bidens of the world. The fact she did not make that clear in 2016 not only hurt Bernie but it hurt her, because now there are leftists like myself, who do remember her public challenges to Wall Street and her bold demands for consumer protections and market regulations. Now it is hard for me to get excited about her candidacy because I still view the Clinton 2016 endorsement as an act of political cowardice. I used to think it was straight up betrayal, but after getting involved with politics as an activist and as an organizer I’m willing to say I understand why she did what she did in 2016. However let us always remember that understanding an action is not the same as supporting it.

Will Liz Warren make the same mistakes this time? It is very possible that she will. Warren clearly is a politician who acts with caution. I do not fault her for being tactical but I will fault her if that tactic comes with compromising her values. However I can say that if she remains consistent with her demands for canceling student debt and if she does not backtrack support for Medicare for all then I would be genuinely happy with a Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders 2020 ticket. However I would be thrilled by the idea even more if she stepped up and admited that not endorsing Bernie in 2016 at the beginning of the primary was a mistake.

All in all, I do want to like Elizabeth Warren, I do miss the days where she and Bernie both were patron saints of the 99%. But until we address what happened in 2016 I will always have misgivings about her. I do not think Warren is bad, at least not as much as I used to, I do think she has to answer for 2016.

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Cruel Reality, a poem for our times

Cruel Reality

A classic song screams out through my radio,

“We won’t get fooled again!”

Unless we don’t pay attention in history class,

Or worse, when we don’t bother to ask any questions.

Yet soft,

Do not let your words enable “deconstruction.”

Fight on weirdos, fight on freaks,

Fight on.

Stanza 2, the part where the poet keeps rambling,

Not this time.

My poems are no longer mine,

No longer for me,

No longer needing to be justified or validated.

Poetry itself is justified.

Does the president get it?

Of course not,

Evil is as evil does.

Evil has no humanity,

Do not appeal to where there is no court.

Why do so many legitimize evil

by doing nothing?

Denial, easy to do

when ICE or the B.I.A isn’t kidnapping your child

and beating up your grandmother.

Brainless professional bootlicks

and we give them badges and parades.

If they failed at high school football

why trust them with the law?

Cruel reality, not everyone is on your side.

Cruel reality, our lenses can be skewed

and skew our view.

Cruel reality, people are not always what they seem.

I could go on for days about this world’s cruel reality.

And I will.

I need to.

Cruel reality, an idea is an idea in of itself.

It’s all inane, but it’s all very interesting to.

Both?

Yes, and neither.

Confused yet?

Good. That’s step one.

The next is controlling

channelling

the inevitable frustrations.

Your microwave will kill you

faster than a diseased box

and the cops are bloodthirsty.

Long live reality T.V.

Max Headroom was no metaphor,

Tangent words begin again

reps and senators

Hot sex live 24/7

And the millionaires whine more about it than we do.

That’s nice but please sir,

Please master,

May I have some more?

No, well, can I have my life back?

No?

Can I at least live?

No.

Why are the puppies begging eyes

only effective when they are blue,

not brown?

Enjoy cable?

iPhones? Wifi?

And all the other masturbation aides?

Well, congrats jerks,

While you were hate tweeting about whatever it is,

Tyrone got shot,

Maria was deported,

And Mohamed is stuck in LAX.

Good luck replacing all three.

Flags make good cum catchers,

And even our soldiers are tired of being props,

Sick of being human flag poles.

Don’t use the used to justify you.

Facts to suit theories not theories to suit facts.

Have I limited myself?

Is grammar so important?

What do order and style

have anything to do with truth?

When did “MAGA” become “Zig HEIL!”?

It always was.

A big, round planet

that no empire could ever keep covered.

Caligula had to come sometime

but a horse in the senate would be fitting

since it is already full of jackasses.

Thank you good night!

You’ve been a great crowd!

Don’t forget to harass the waitress on your way out.

Cruel reality,

Integrity can fall short,

And supremacy hinders the so called “supreme.”

Cruel reality,

Proustian memories triggered not by a cookie, but a beer,

A familiar scene, my local pub and brew.

A dad trying,

A bored teen,

A hungry young sister,

Convinced she “isn’t hungry daddy!”

It is her standing rock, she will not be moved.

A sweet scene, tainted by the world it exists in.

Cruel reality,

Not everyone on the same side

is actually on the same side.

Cruel reality,

One man can destroy democracy.

One can always interfere,

But one can never stand in the way of truth.

Cruel reality for them,

The truth is always there,

And will always haunt them.

Cruel reality,

We can never be free from the haunt of memory.

Nation captive to nation,

The profit in pain.

Cruel reality,

Kids don’t care about the carbon-dated world

of colas and silver screen stars.

Should they?

A question for the philosophers, not the poets.

Cruel reality for the enemy,

Is that the game is a state of mind.

But the game ain’t saying nothing.

Today the masses say it,

Cruel reality for the enemy,

The eye of integrity,

Karma and big brother

Are on them like never before.

Cruel reality for the enemy, but we all got game.

Cruel reality, what is happening here

Is perfectly clear

And it always has been.

Cruel reality,

Racism is not just for the racists,

But even the “good” people.

Cruel reality for me,

Though frustration is real

The tedium of this world,

The pain and suffering

Is more real than ever today.

Cruel reality, that isn’t too cruel when you think about it,

But the time, the chance, to step back,

And give others a space, a time, a home.

Cruel reality, pretty blond pornstars

Have gone political,

And trust me when I say

It isn’t pretty.

Cruel reality.

Cruel reality.

Cruel reality.

Won’t someone pass me a pill

Since joints are a sin?

Pass me a pill so that I may sink

So that I can forget

So that I can ignore these days,

This era,

So that I can ignore

our cruel reality.

Kim Kardashian and the Lowest Common Denominator

Trump is the byproduct of all our willful apathy and blissful ignorance under the neoliberal life we have been leading since the time of Reagan. Kim Kardashian coming to the White House to discuss prison reform is a massive embarrassment, this is very true.

However, I honestly hope no one was surprised by this. Of course Trump invites the famous self objectifying illiterate to discuss a major political issue instead of someone more qualified, such as literally anyone else. What we forget though is that we created both of these monsters.

We created Trump by not taking anything he said or did seriously until we realized 46% of the country actually voted for him. We created the Kardashian / Jenner enterprise the same way. We let them exist and swallowed their representation, mostly out of that diluted sense of “irony” that made us watch Jersey Shore or whatever else MTV shat out in the late 2000s. My point is this, by letting them exist in our world, by letting their followers continually validate them, we are guilty of enabling this white nationalist, tasteless trash of a presidency.

Trump and Kim are both symptoms of the system of capitalism. Both exist and succeeded because we consumed their work, either we did it “ironically” or we allowed their actual fans to validate them without realizing the repercussions of allowing it.

By letting Trump and Kim have their shows, their products, even if we choose to ignore them, we allowed them to grow, to exist.

So it should not come as a surprise that two people who are famous merely for existing in our media would be treated to the perks of societal influence. I’m not shocked or enraged that either one gets to sit in the White House, I am simply annoyed that we let these fucking idiots exist and receive validation to the point anyone would ever trust their opinions on anything. There is nothing cool or ironic or edgy about following or dissing either the Kardashians or Trumps anymore considering how saturated our society is to their influence.

Sorry to spoil the fun, but they aren’t just annoying pigments of the media anymore. They are threats to the structure of our society. One is a white nationalist who is infiltrating our federal courts and agencies with people supportive of his imperialist agenda, the other is someone with no knowledge or authority on anything who is constantly validated for some reason as a source of knowledge and authority, on what I do not know but when you have 20 million twitter and instagram followers people listen to you even if they do not know what the fuck you are talking about.

To hell with them both. Revolution is the key to finally dimming the spotlight we have kept on both these idiots for too long. End the stupidity, take the fact these people exist seriously, and get rid of them.

Donnie’s Daddy, A short story by James J. Jackson, Jr.

Donnie dropped the comb into the gold plated bathroom sink again for what felt like the billionth time.
“FUCK!” Donnie screamed in frustration. Donnie hated how the stubby fingers on his tiny hands could never get a firm grip on anything they tried to hold. He fished the comb out of the sink bowl and resumed quaffing his hair in what had become his iconic way.
“Goddamn bald patch.” He groaned that his over priced hair plugs were so tedious to maintain. What was even more frustrating to Donnie was that despite all his money, this was something he had to do for himself, lest some big mouth stylist reveal to the world that he was indeed supposed to be bald. So Donnie grudged through styling his own hair in the mornings, he could hire anyone to do anything else for him, except this.
Eventually he was satisfied with what he saw in the mirror. Donnie did not have much to be satisfied with, but that did not stop him from loving what he saw every time he looked into the mirror. He thought his overly fake tanned skin made him look like George Hamilton, and not like a walking Cheeto like it actually did. He thought his quaffed hair plugs were the envy of every man in the country. He thought his bloated cheeks made him look like a young Brando, instead of a chipmunk with hair plugs which it actually did.
Donnie was on top of the world as he walked out of his solid gold bathroom into his solid gold living room in his NYC penthouse designed to look like Versailles. He stood for a moment to enjoy his 10 foot Christmas tree covered in solid gold ornaments before doing his power walking to the other side of the pent house. Donnie always got a little bit of exercise in the long walk from one room to another until he reached his solid gold dining room. There he found his eastern European model of a wife and his ten year old snot of a son playing on his iPhone with one hand and shoveling Fruit Loops into his mouth with another. Donnie didn’t like his son eating that garbage, but he was eating out of a solid gold bowl, so Donnie let him enjoy his cereal.
Donnie noticed a slight fold of flesh on his wife’s belly through her skin tight, size 3 dress. It was that normal little bubble all humans get when they sit down, Donnie knew this, but he still could not feel grossed out, and that even this wife was starting to lose her luster like the other two had. That was why Donnie didn’t feel bad when he was having fun when she wasn’t around. He never “Cheated” on this wife, like he had with the others, at least not yet. But he did enjoy occasionally pinching someones cunt or playing around on the street with ladies he thought were 10s.  
Donnie then sat down briefly, talking to his wife and son briefly while drinking his coffee. When the cup brought to him was too hot and burned his tongue he threw it into his maid’s face, sure she might have been scalded, “But these damn illegals need to learn there place,” Donnie thought as she brought him new coffee. Donnie liked how cheap his illegals would work, but he did not like how many of them there were.
“Maybe I can get rid of a few of them,” he thought, “I am president now after all.”
Soon Donnie’s coffee took effect so he excused himself from the table, kissing his wife on the top of her head as he walked out, and quickly suggested to her, “Maybe hit the gym today sweetheart.” She looked hurt, she tries as hard as she can to keep him happy, she even kept her baby weight down when she was pregnant, and he would still suggest she hit the gym. Neither one of them could not remember the last time Donnie used the workout room himself, but it didn’t matter, she would follow his suggestion no matter what.
Donnie returned to the bathroom, locking the door and lowering his pants to sit on his solid gold toilet.  
As his personal offense graced the room with his scent, he reached for the lysol spray and spritzed the air. Donnie knew he would be there for a while, so he whipped out his phone and checked twitter. Donnie was a hardcore twitter addict, he loved all the retweets and love he got from his followers, angry though they were, he loved how much they loved him.
Donnie saw that SNL had skewered him again, they loved to skewer Donnie since he had become president. This time in the sketch the actor impersonating Donnie got married in Las Vegas to Vladimir Putin. Donnie was furious as he let out a loud, shitty fart into his gold toilet, those liberal jerks would never let up on Donnie. “That show is so unfair,” Donnie thought, “I only hosted ONCE!”  
So Donnie let the show and the actors feel his wrath on twitter, of course within seconds he had thousands of retweets. Then Donnie saw that a bunch of hipster nerds were quoting his tweet and making fun of it. Apparently all the comedians, and even some Japanese guy from Star Trek were scrutinizing every one of his tweets.  
Donnie was about to release the hounds that were his followers until he heard a voice. He always heard this voice in the back of his mind, but ever since he had “won” the presidency it had been as silent as it had ever been. But all of a sudden Donnie was hearing it again, and he wasn’t just hearing it in his head anymore, he heard it in the bathroom, as loud and real as when he was speaking to his wife.  
“Goddamn it Donnie, 70 years old and you are still a fucking loser.” The voice was indeed real this time, it had not been real years, but it was real again. Donnie looked up from his phone, then dropped it in shock, its fall being broken by the pile of pants and underwear on top of his feet.
Donnie was looking at the face of his long dead, always disappointed daddy, Fred.
“Dad?” Donnie stammered out, meek and timid for the first time in years.
“No Shit Mr. Sherlock.” Fred replied, angry and gruff as ever. Death had not humbled him in anyway.
“What…What are you doing here?” Donnie stammered again as he tried to pull his pants up enough to cover his shame, but he had to keep his cheeks open since he was still doing his morning deed, and the sight of his dead father was now streamlining the process more than the coffee had.
“Well it’s Christmas time, so I thought this was the right time to see you since after all…” he paused for effect. “Imma, G-g-g-g-g-g-g-GHOST!” Fred playfully and sadistically burst out, laughing when he saw how much it made his son squirm. But his laughter soon ended and his speech took on a stern tone.
“So, this is him. My son, Mr. Tough Guy, Mr. President Number 45.” Fred said as he crossed his arms, just like he did when scolded Donnie as a boy.
Donnie was speechless, he just nodded at the aberration before him.
Fred just shook his head. “I suppose this is the part where you want me to tell you I’m finally proud of you?”
Donnie could not help but smile a little, it was actually all he ever wanted to hear. His whole life Donnie was told he was a loser by his father, that he would never be as smart and successful as Fred. Every day, “You’re a loser Donnie.” Or, “You’re pathetic Donnie.” Or “You will always be a loser Donnie.” For a second Donnie thought his dad was here to make peace, after all he had finally won, it was Christmas time, after all those law suits and failed businesses, he was president now.
But that smile disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, because all Fred did was shake his head, and get angrier that Donnie could not read his sarcasm.  
“Goddamn it Donnie!” Fred said shaking his head. “You make me sick, Donnie you really do.”
Donnie was crushed, he already heard this in his head all the time, he did not need to hear it out loud anymore.
“No…” was all Donnie said helplessly.
Fred just chuckled to himself and shook his head again.
“You were always a loser Donnie, I remember when you were a boy, you lost all your sports games, you lost all your girlfriends to guys with stronger hands and bigger dicks. ” Donnie didn’t like remembering that, the only people who knew about that was his mom, who he had confided in when he did in fact lose his loves. Fred would overhear and all he did was get mad that his son was not a real man.
Fred saw the pain in Donnie’s face, he smiled, and continued. “I remember how you always got sued to, how you squandered that million I gave you. How bankruptcy laws were the only thing that ever saved you.” Fred shook his head once again. “Our family built a name, a fortune, and you just couldn’t keep that together.”
“But Dad,” Donnie pleaded as his bowels released again, burning and painfully so, making his father laugh before he could continue again. “But dad, I’m president now, our name is now up there with Roosevelt, Clinton, or Bush…”
Fred slapped Donnie as hard as he could, just like when he was alive. Donnie hit his back on the top of the toilet, it was quite panful, but Donnie was not finished evacuating, so he just sat and rubbed the spot with the hand that wasn’t holding his pants over his groin.
“Yeah, our name will forever be know for the first presidency who won by losing.” Fred walked up to Donnie , standing over him as he was squatted on the toilet. Fred used to stand over Donnie like this when he was 7, now he was doing it again even though Donnie was 70. 
“But Dad,” Donnie pleaded, again like he was 7, “I won and…”
Fred slapped him again. “You won by a fluke in the electoral college and with the help of Russia. You lost by 3 million votes, to a WOMAN I might add. I mean Jesus Donnie, you, a man, a man who bares my family name, you lost to a woman AND you are in debt to a fucking Russian! What is all of this I hear about some former KGB agent helping you win?” He said with his arms crossed.
Donnie was speechless, he just looked down, like he did when he was 7.
Fred slapped him again when he didn’t answer.
“Well,” another slap, “How about it?”
Donnie was still speechless, he just rubbed his cheek, and tried to be a tough guy and not cry, like he did when he was 7.
Fred just shook his head and turned his back to his son. “My son, in cahoots with a commie.” Fred just shook his head. “Goddamn it Donnie, even when you win you lose.”
Donnie was about to cry. “No,” he thought, “no don’t say it dad, please.” He had not heard it said by Fred ever since he died. Winning the presidency was the only thing that made it get out of his head, it was the only closure he had. “If he says it, this was all for nothing.”
“You’re a loser Donnie. You were a loser when you were a boy, and you are loser now.”
Donnie could not hold back the tears. “NO!” He screamed, “NO NO NO NO!”
But before he could plead his case, like steam being blown away a strong wind, his father vanished from his feet to the top of his head into nothing. Now Donnie was looking at nothing in front of him but the gold platted bathroom wall decor.
Finally his bowels were empty. So he pulled his pants up and himself together. When he opened the door and walked out he saw his wife and son walking up to the bathroom door.
“Donnie?” His wife said in her heavy accent. “You okay? I thought I heard a yell.”
“I’m fine. I just dropped the comb again.” He said, somewhat irritated with her for some reason as he shoved the two of them aside to get passed. He demanded security get him into his motorcade immediately, he wanted to get to his rally as fast as he could.
He stewed angrily in the car the whole ride over. “Loser, huh? I’ll show you.” He muttered to himself, making his whole security team VERY uncomfortable the entire ride.  
He arrived and marched onto the stage, soaking in the roaring cheers of his crowd as he approached his podium.  
  He talked about being “tough on ISIS,” and how he was going to make everyone in the crowd all “winners” just like him. The crowd loved it. They started chanting his family name like they always did.
“Look at them. Chanting our name. Still think I’m a loser Dad!?” he thought to himself.
Then, loud and clear as ever, he heard that voice say, “Yes Donnie. You are still a loser.”

 Donnie could not tell if the voice was in his head or real this time, but he heard it. He heard it louder than the crowds chanting his last name. It was right in his ear, a spine chilling whisper that Donnie could hear perfectly.
“You’re a loser Donnie, you’re a goddamn loser, and you will always will be.”
It was the loudest that voice it had been in years, and Donnie would hear it every moment of everyday for the rest of his life now. As plain as the chants of his crowds or the laughter of those who mocked him, he heard his father Fred say it loud and clear.  
“You’re a loser Donnie.”
“You’re a loser.”
“You’re a loser Donnie…”
“You’re a goddamn, pathetic, loser.”

If You Are…

If you are black,

  your life matters to me.

If you are a woman,

  a man,

  or any gender or name,

  you are safe at night with me.

And if you are catcalled, raped, violeted or touched,

Reach out to me, 

and I will remind you just how strong you are.

You don’t have to take this shit anymore.

If you are trans,

and they come after you,

you can pee with me.

If you are gay and you still cant be with who you love

or be treated as equal

you are not forgotten.

If Nafta, debt, or capitalism left you dead in anyway,

inside or out,

you have a commrade in me.

If you are Muslim,

you are not a terrorist.

I will never let you be harassed.

And to you cowards,

you wimps and idiots,

fuck you.

 I am not afraid.

Your yells and your insults

Your guns, Ha esspecially your guns,

and your bullets, they are pathetic.

I am not afraid to die.

Each bullet will be worth looking you in the eye just to say

“You are still a loser.”

You always will be to.

I am not afraid of anything,

except what scum like you are doing to the children.

If you voted for him I am not afraid to give you the fight

you claim you can handle.

Enjoy no vindication moron, because you will be destroyed.

You will never succeed beyond one stupid day.

But if you were a victim of that day, know the grace

the money

and the privilege I have,

 I’ve thrown it in the fire

so we may burn fascism at the stake together.

If you were like me you know there is always an annoying little thing

that sings in all our ears called hope.

If you are like me you know there is no such thing as the end.

If you have a coat of fur

or a flesh of scales,

you will not perish so long as I walk the earth.

Lastly,

If you are on the sidelines still, 

if this is still the matter of a toss of a coin,

fuck off and die,

because  you are in our way,

and we have the enemy in our sights.

11/8/2016 11pm PST

Release the tapes NBC, you fucking wimpy cowards!!! #boycottNBC

First they gave him a show that popularized him.

Then Lauren Michaels & Jimmy Fallon legitimized his racism and sexism.

Now they refuse to expose who he really is.

It’s time for penance NBC.

Sign the petition to get the tapes released and demand the network, including Michaels & Fallon apologize, but until then BOYCOTT NBC!!! http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/nbc_trump_tapes/?aktmid=tm2379235.tj7Ubw&t=1&source=conf

Election 2016: as explained by elevator etiquette 

Clinton is the kind of person that wont hold the elevator door open because its awkward to ride in the elevator with a stranger. Its like “yeah thats shitty but considering that elevators suck can I really judge her?” Where as Trump is the prick who will actually press the door close button. I think we can all agree, fuck those people. Hillary will hold the door open when she has to, she’ll do it begrudgedly, but she’ll do it.