Assorted headlines, January 1, 2021 — and a CALL TO ACTION

As I get ready to volunteer to make a few calls to “low-propensity” voters in Georgia tomorrow, I scan the paper to survey the new world we have in front of us in 2021. A couple of them caught my eye. Then a call to action.

This is according to the New York Times, of course, so take it with the usual teaspoon of salt [1] but it’s of a piece with general modern-day extremist GOP electoral strategy. The red baseball cap could say FEAR BLACKS!!! on it and have the same galvanizing effect. This black reverend, Warnock, stands at the same pulpit that known Communist Martin Luther King, Jr. (as portrayed by J. Edgar Hoover’s secretly sourced — tippy top, top secret — also, coincidentally, false — memo on this radical menace sent to Attorney General Robert Kennedy back in the day) once abused for his Red purposes. If it barks like a communist, lifts its leg like a communist … need we say more? Gentlemen, who among us is safe in a country where somebody like that has a vote equal to Miss Lindsey Graham’s? As for that other one, that smart-mouthed young Jew journalist? Enemy of the goddamned people, son!

Of course, someone like incumbent Georgia Senator David Perdue, loyal backer of our nation’s greatest one term president, has nothing to worry about, really. Nobody in his party will hold it against him that he made his impressive fortune outsourcing good old American jobs. That’s just NY Times propaganda, folks. You can read all about it here, in a Scalawaggin’, Carpetbaggin’ hit piece called Before Embracing America-First Agenda, David Perdue Was an Outsourcing Expert . Keep your salt shaker handy as you read it and stay tuned to OAN and Newsmax for the rebuttals (note: FOX can no longer be trusted, they traitorously reported the president lost the election he won!).

Speaking of the wealthy and their financial assets vs. ordinary American workers, how do you figure this one?

The “tide” that lifts “financial assets” is the same one that always does — the misery of nickeled and dimed laborers and short-changed consumers (who own no “financial assets”) translates directly into increased profits for the investing class. Every job that is outsourced to cheaper labor markets, every workers’ union that is crushed is a boon to the owners of the enterprise. If you can force low-paid workers into the plant during a deadly pandemic, by designating them “essential” and denying them the right to organize for safe working conditions — well, shit, do the math!

Then all you have to do to keep that tide rising on your financial assets is have a law passed that says you’re immune to all lawsuits from the families of these worthless pukes who died doing their goddamned jobs. Or as we say on Wall Street “boo fucking hoo!”

If the above sounds like embittered Commie twaddle that ignores the realities on the ground in our complex global economy and so on, I come from working class stock. My beliefs about the heartlessness of “financial assets” are in my blood. My grandmother, a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union, was very far to the left. She was one of many leftist Jews who had no hesitation to support the struggle of American blacks against their persecution. This solidarity with the oppressed was natural to her. Back in bleeding Ukraine (where native Ukrainians were enslaved and abused for centuries, by a variety of masters, leaving only the Jews to take it out on) the only light my grandmother saw as a hopeful young woman was the light of international worker solidarity, as preached by revolutionaries from the newly created Soviet Union, overthrowing the regimes that had kept boots (and worse) on people’s necks for centuries. Is there anything surprising in her readiness to embrace this vision of the future?

My ambitious grandmother got on a boat in 1921, after years of civil war in her part of Ukraine (eventually resulting in a communist takeover), bid farewell to everything and everyone she knew, and headed to a better life in America. She slept in a lower, cheaper compartment of the ship where a giant rat once walked along the partition that separated her bed from the next sleeping berth (causing her to leap over the little wall into the bed of the startled man who was sleeping on the other side) and dreamed of a life where her family could not be marched to a ravine in their hometown and shot in their heads. Barely two decades later, local Ukrainians, sick of the fucking Jews, enthusiastically helped round up all of my grandmother’s large family, march them to the ravine, confiscate their clothes, shoot them in the head, scramble over their corpses with surprising dexterity, straightening the rows for the next batch to be killed. The Nazi overseer gave the word, and… repeat.

Speaking of Nazi overseers, the SS, the outfit that ran the death camps, provided slave laborers to German industries who set up near the camps. They charged German corporations $1 a day, a sort of handling fee, for every slave laborer marched to and from work. An ideal way to lift the tide of the old financial assets, I’d say. One of the beneficiaries of this arrangement was the company that recently bought mega-corporation Monsanto — once again lifting all financial assets for everyone (who owned shares in those assets, of course).

Here is a central myth of our no-holds barred, a rising tide lifts all financial assets, let the free market freely decide the free rules of our neoliberal system of capitalism: it benefits those wealthy enough to own financial assets and pretty much fucks everyone else. This myth enables the belief that when Wall Street is booming the “economy” is doing great. That’s why Mitch McConnell can block financial aid to millions who have recently entered poverty — the economic indicators prove that the economy is growing at a record rate, doing great!

It’s related the the myth of the “White” person. You can be a dirt poor, ethnically “white” citizen of the great state of Georgia (or a dirt poor, ethnically “white” Ukrainian for that matter) and still, automatically be superior to someone with dark skin, someone traditionally called a “nigger” (or the Ukrainian equivalent for Jew). You can be the poorest, most oppressed white person in your county — you still have the invaluable consolation of not being a nigger, of being infinitely superior to even the most accomplished one of them. They can’t take that birthright away from me, unless they flay my skin off (which they might, don’t rule it out). I’m sure the Ukrainians who executed most of my family back in Europe felt the same way about their ethnic superiority when they were getting rid of a few thousand Christ-killers in my grandparents’ hometown.

All this history is just history, part of my eternal one note samba. Oy, they killed most of my family, Nazi fucks! It gets tiring, I know. Back to 2021, and the next few days. Here’s what I’m going to do, to try to get a working Senate that we can actually influence:

If you’d like to join the Focus 2020 effort, we have a need for volunteers on Saturday at 2pm PT/ 5pm ET for a phone bank targeting low-propensity GA voters. Please sign up here: https://forms.gle/NE31ey6F5fginjaa8

Here is the rest of their rap:

Hi All,

On the last day of 2020 (finally!) and with just 5 days to go until the Georgia runoffs, we wanted to share some key stats on the race.


There have been over 2.8 million votes already cast — a rate of about  80% of the votes cast at this point in the general.  


According to America Votes, Democrats have a modeled edge of approximately 52% of the vote, putting us about 3 points ahead of where we stood at this point in the general election.  
Black voters, who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, represent a larger share of votes than they did at this point in the general– 34% versus 31%. This increase is driven almost entirely by voters over 50.    


Significantly, about 105,000 of these early voters did not vote in the general election and black voters represent 41% of this group.


Despite these positive numbers, there is reason for caution. 


The trend in the general election, both in Georgia and in other states, was that Democrats had higher turnout in early voting, but Republicans had higher turnout on election day. And Republicans have more high-propensity voters left who have yet to cast a ballot so they could eclipse much of the lead established by Democrats.  See Graph from Catalist below.


Note: The Georgia electorate is 57% White, 33% Black, 4% Hispanic/Latinx, 3% AAPI, and 2% Native American or other races
The ground game by progressive groups has been impressive. For instance, there have been over 6.5 million door knocks by these groups and will continue at a rate of about 500,000 a day for the last four days.

And our Focus 2020 volunteer group has been working virtually to provide voter information to over 2000 local community leaders, and to reach thousands of low propensity voters.


The great unknown is how Trump’s rhetoric about election fraud, his enmity toward some Republican leaders in Georgia, and his delay in signing the relief bill will affect Republican turnout on election day.  


This race was never going to be easy to win and it’s still uncomfortably close, but Democrats are doing the work needed to get out the vote.  Our community has supported three programs that weren’t being funded by others (Block Power, site-based vote-by-mail registration, and Working America) and so will certainly add net votes to the total. Let’s collectively hope for the best.

[1]

It was the overheated, accusatory rhetoric of radical abolitionists, the paper opined on January 19, 1859 — that hardened the Southern resolve to keep their slaves. If not for the violently moralistic outrage of anti-slavery zealots directed against the Southern slaveholders (threatened with the taking of their property without compensation!) these genteel planters would probably voluntarily free their slaves, according to the Grey Lady.

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