The time for political walk-and-talks around cubicle boxes and D.C. streets is nearing its preliminary end, Aaron Sorkin, and that momentary pause couldn’t come any sooner. Despite all of the cage-rattling that has been portrayed in the Men-Seeking-Men – er, “mainstream media” – print presses and b-rolls, Democrats have managed to hold it together as best as they can, it would seem. Pragmatism isn’t sexy, but nor is losing.

On July 12, Sanders finally crossed the breach into the wild world of endorsing the Democratic Party’s most electable candidate, Clinton. It didn’t come easy. Our electronic transoms and our friendships have been littered with email/Benghazi/genocide nuances originating from websites that didn’t exist until there was a bone to pick. And for those of us who initially supported Clinton in the 2008 stakes, it’s not an unfamiliar feeling. Things, however, are not as ugly as they may appear in your rearview mirror, though. In fact, level heads have mostly prevailed, give or take a few stand-up-back-turned protests as the Orlando Platform Committee gathered last week to rub sticks together (to make fire, of course) and get the balance right. Politics, especially interparty politics, is not a game of absolutes, after all, and even though there were shouts about Clinton’s vague support of global trade via the Trans-Pacific Partnership, there are too many things that progressives agree on to let negotiable planks end up shattered.

Other issues brought to the table tilted largely to the progressive side, even if by accident. According to NBC News, a “reasoned pathway for future legalization” of marijuana passed muster because of technical difficulties. The Clinton camp kept the language in, though, even if Hillary doesn’t necessarily support full legalization, just the medical sort. It’s important to note that platforms are just that – platforms – and that there is no real challengeable set of dentures to hold a candidate to the positions.

And though there were big gulfs between Bernie supporters and Hillary supporters on the conflict between Israel and Palestine overall, the sense was one of bridging the gulf between the two campaigns. Even Sanders policy director Warren Gunnels claimed an 80 percent victory for Sanders’ policies.

The less said the better about Trump’s virtually uncontested platform drafted over the same weekend in Cleveland. Trump is playing, characteristically, on the trade argument.

“We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first,” he wrote in the platform draft.

However, on LGBT issues – specifically marriage – Trump and co. played a dirty shell game. Republicans softened their message a bit (barely) by trying to bring the issue back to the courts and, ultimately, into state’s rights territory again. Oh, also, Republicans are still fighting abortion. Surprise!
The conventions should be a hoot, if you’re a C-Span drinker. Democrats converge on Philadelphia on July 25. Republicans hit up Cleveland on July 18. Lock up your hookers.

Oh, Sit Down

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On July 11, a coalition of nearly 100 Orlando protesters gathered together outside of U.S. Sen Marco Rubio’s office downtown for a “#sitinforthe49,” old-school act of civil disobedience. Singing songs like “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine” (with a reference to the “49” in the rhyme), the group peacefully assembled in the air conditioned lobby of 201 S. Orange Avenue with the intent of spending 49 hours there.
Rubio flacks mingled around with law enforcement. Rubio’s office issued a whitewashed (straight-washed) statement about the June 12 Pulse massacre.
“Over the past month, Senator Rubio has supported common sense compromises to make it easier to track individuals who have been on the terror watch list and later try to buy firearms, all while improving due process protections for law abiding Americans. He will keep working to make sure the Orlando community has the resources they need in the aftermath of this terrorist attack …,” the statement reads.
By the end of the day, 10 of the protesters were arrested (and soon released) amid a SWAT-like atmosphere including automatic rifles. Which is incredibly sad, if you think about it.

Brown Note

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Talk about false equivalencies. Earlier this month, U.S. Rep Corrine Brown, D-anywhere down the gerrymandered middle of Florida (including Orlando), clung to her pearls and shouted something to the effect of “persecution.” Brown garnered a 24-count federal indictment for fleecing the public to the tune of $800,000, allegedly used for personal items.
What?
Well, the reason for the press-cycle confluence of “persecution” naturally was attached to the racial violence that has been permeating the country’s collective consciousness for a seemingly endless month.
Fair enough, but did Brown have to invoke the racial violence in what appears to be a white-collar crime (accusation). Answer: No.
“Two black men were needlessly gunned down by police; Five Dallas police officers were slain by a demented man, and on Friday I had to appear in federal court,” her statement reads.
Oh, poor dear.

Transphobia Remains

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Remember back in May when President Barack Obama shut up the haters by going all-in on the transgender bathroom issue, working his magic pen through the departments of education and justice to direct their institutions to allow for trans-diversity and to stop policing the body parts of individuals? It felt like a rainbow, really. What president in history would have ever charted that territory? Naturally, there’s been a huge backlash.
Last week, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson widened the sociopolitical fray by introducing a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its “attempt to change the meaning of established law.” What’s more, the suit is joined by nine other states: Arkansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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