Tag Archives: elections

Trump Is Right – The Democrats are a Hot Mess

Greenville       It’s like the line about a broken clock is still right two times a day. President Trump is right that the Democrats look like the gang that can’t shoot straight and might not be competent enough to run the US government.  What a sorry, tragic state of affairs.

The Iowa primaries finally reported some results.  Partial results of course, since they are still counting and have only gotten to about 62% the day after their caucuses.  The headlines are calling it for former small-town mayor Pete Buttigieg by a nose over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren quite a bit behind and former Vice-President Joe Biden trailing her in fourth.  The rest are in the dust.

Who are they kidding?  Iowa is a wipeout.  There are no winners, only losers.  They all go on to New Hampshire being able to claim it is a do-over, since Iowa was such a mess.  Sanders in fact looks like he was the first choice in the reports from the caucus, even though as voters there caucused Buttigieg might have tallied slightly more.  My point is simple.  Everyone can claim whatever.

The Democratic Party had more than three years to get ready for this.  The resistance was front and center.  Trump was the target.  They knew the election was coming and that the country was betting all the marbles on trying to take Trump down, and now when voters finally get to stand up and be counted, the party lets them down.  Trump isn’t wrong about that.  He’s spot-on.  Of course, he doesn’t believe in parties at all as he has proven in his decimation of the Republican Party.  Maybe he has a point, as painful as it is to say.  The Democratic Party failed its people.

The impeachment is the other piece of evidence front and center.  Sound and fury signifying next to nothing.  The needle hardly moved, and some polls are claiming that Trump is finally becoming popular.  Everyone, including virtually the entire US Senate and certainly the American public, knows he’s guilty and did everything he was accused of doing, but the votes were never going to be there to remove him, so it was a show trial.  Trump won’t be ruled guilty, so he will have the right to claim vindication.

So, we’re back to square one.  You can only beat Trump in an election, and so far, the Democrats don’t know how to run or win an election and seem lost and divided in picking a candidate to take on Trump.

How can this end well?

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Please enjoy 1. Grace Potter – Back To Me [Feat. Lucius] (Radio Edit)

Thanks to WAMF.

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iWatch is a Major Piece of Democracy Protection in Tunisia

Catania    I had heard about iWatch before arriving in Tunis from one of our leaders in Grenoble, who has roots in Tunisia, and said we had to meet with them.  Their website seemed to identify them as an anti-corruption nonprofit.  Once in Tunis it seemed to the Organizers’ Forum delegation that everywhere we went, we heard about their work, whether it was at the Jasmine Foundation or in the Nadha party offices.  When it came to talking about institutions that were protecting the democracy, iWatch would be mentioned.  Quickly, it became clear that they were absolutely monitoring corruption, but they were also smackdab in the middle of the election process itself.  In fact, one of the candidates leading the polls was running from jail and it seemed he was in jail largely because of the work of iWatch.  Finally, it was becoming clear why the president Achraf Aouadi was having trouble fixing the time:  they were in the bunkers with incoming fire from all sides.

We met with Achraf on our final day at the Café du Theatre, which had become our clubhouse of sorts where we had conducted one meeting after another on the main boulevard of Tunis.  Achraf jumped right into our briefing with no holds barred.  They had sued four of the candidates for corruption, violations that the court was now considering.  The suits had gone viral.  Polls indicated that almost a quarter of the population knew iWatch and those who knew it were wildly supportive.  They had learned something else from their analysis of the data.  Where they thought their primary support was young men, it turned out to be younger women.  Where they had thought they were mobilizing primarily their friendship networks, it turned out they had a national support base.

The organization was founded as a nonprofit after the revolution in 2011.  When we asked Achraf about the scope of their organization, he flatly stated that in terms of the civil society sector they were probably only second to UGTT, the big trade union federation, in resources.  Their budget had blown up during the elections to $1.5 million USD, all of it coming from outside donors, largely the European Union and Scandinavian countries.  They had seven offices in regions around the country.  Their staff was around 140 people now and normally almost fifty.

As president of iWatch, Achraf was not an employee, so like ACORN there was a separation of elected leadership from paid staff.  He made his living as a consultant for various enterprises both public and private.  They were young, hip and different.  They did festivals for a month instead of conferences.  They wouldn’t go to luxury hotels.  They abhorred USAID funding. The organizational structure was complicated.  They had recently decentralized with directors of the various teams from research to communications.  Wisely, they had applied for a radio license in Tunis.  They wanted to equalize their headquarters resources with their regions.

We were able to get insight into the complicated results of the election.  Nothing was quite as it appeared.  The rumor of 1.5 million new registrants was “fake news,” he told us.  A number of candidates could still be disqualified, even if appearing to lead in the polls.  It was as possible that some charged would flee the country, rather than take their seats even if they won.

Our heads were spinning as we tried to absorb all we were hearing.  Our fingers were flying as we tried to make notes of all of the information.  We were clear as well that iWatch was absolutely central to the forces protecting democracy.  They were under attack, but they were hunkering down to be able to survive and build for the next steps.

You watch, we watch, we all watch iWatch to see what happens next in Tunisia.

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Please enjoy Walls by The Long Ryders.

Thanks to KABF.

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