Category Archives: Biden

Don’t Go Down In The Basement

A couple of things-

I’m now afraid to go down in the basement. Not sure what might be down there, except for a lot of boxes filled with documents I collected as a reporter over the years. Worried there might be something that could get me in trouble. I know I have John Glenn’s home address down there, but he and his wife are both dead, so I don’t think that really matters.

RIP and God bless you, John and Annie Glenn.

The second thing, is the Abrams Tanks issue. The U.S. Government, or Joe Biden, if you will, has given the green light to send a number of Abrams Tanks over to the Ukrainians. Apparently, this is what the Germans were waiting for, meaning they too, will now send a number of their high end “Leopard Tanks” to Ukraine.

This is serious stuff, folks. We’re already sending short-range missiles and anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, but the tanks are where Vladimir Putin, drew a line in the sand, implying that once we started sending tanks, he’d consider taking things to the next level.

Putin’s playing international chess, so who knows what he means. Which is what he wants us to think. If we send in the tanks, will he nuke somebody? That would be insane of course, but who’s saying that Putin hasn’t lost at least some of his marbles? At best he’s a sociopath, who murders or imprisons his political opponents, and at worst, who knows? Thing is, here we are, standing at the doorway to what could be World War III, and much of the media it appears, really doesn’t get it. At all. They’re more concerned with what are probably meaningless documents intellectually overloaded politicians inadvertently took home. Or were sent to their homes by someone else.

The classified documents, are turning into a big joke. The truth, probably, is that there are classified docs scattered all over the place, and it’s really no huge deal, except for MSNBC and CNN, who are continuously carping about how terrible this missing documents situation is. Is it really all that serious, or is it just something that’s easy for you to cover? And carp about. Continuously?

The tanks, and the potential for what’s happening in Ukraine to lead to a world war, are far more unpleasant to deal with, but it’s probably time to give these issues a little more air play. That way, if Putin does nuke somebody, your viewers will understand why.

Oh, and there were just three mass shootings in California in as many days. Is there some way to keep this problem of slaughter in our streets alive other than waiting for the next mass shooting to talk about it again? Also in California, the new Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, is trying to deliver on her promise of getting thousands of homeless people off the streets. One report says she wants to find housing for 15,000 homeless in her first year. As part of that, she’s started a count of homeless persons in Los Angeles.

They think there are about 40,000 in the city, with another 30,000 or so, if you include L.A. County. That’s 70,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. Maybe more. The count is underway. Here in America. A wealthy country. Do you suppose this might be worthy of discussion as opposed to acting like the world is threatened by a few misplaced papers in the home of a former VP?

Calling Dr. Thompson

The Guardian reports that after millions of years, time may be running out for the Japanese Giant Salamander. Kinda begs the question of whether maybe its time is up? Also, does the world really need the Japanese Giant Salamander? They are apparently highly reclusive, so it’s doubtful they’ll be missed.

All these classified documents that keep popping up, first at Mara Lago and now in Joe’s garage, or in a space nearby, will, I predict, turn out to be irrelevant. “A mere bag of shells,” as Oliver Hardy, might have put it. At first I had questions about whether DJT might not be selling stuff out of his back door, but now, seeing how Joe Biden is having the same problem, it appears reasonable to assume high government officials have probably been ferreting stuff away at home for years with nobody raising a fuss. Frankly, we should probably be more concerned with information on the JFK assassination the government has locked away.

We will probably get the truth about who killed JFK at the same time they decide to admit to us that lizard people from Beta 4 in the Zenon Quadrant, gave us technology for the transistor and suggested the possible use of vaccines to stop worldwide polio epidemics.

As nutso as that sounds, there are a few folks out there who will think it’s for real. You know, the Jewish space laser, Pizzagate nutballs. The same folks who gave us the real world zombie apocalypse on January 6th of 21, many, or maybe most of them, because they really believed it was the right thing to do.

All of it is beginning to look like one gigantic out-of-control joke on all of us, particularly those of us who would like to retain our government and all that goes with it, including law and order, the military and a tax system that makes our civilization possible. Trouble is though, increasingly, it feels as though we’ll have nothing to say about whether we can hang onto what we’ve got, or whether, with so many nutjobs out there, and a truckload of them now in the Congress, the whole damn thing might not just slip away into the night and we’ll wake up one morning to face the devil, all by our lonesome selves. Won’t that be a corker?

More than ever, we need Hunter S. Thompson. Chances are, he might now, finally, believe that things had gotten weird enough, even for him.

Network News Negligence

Why do the network news people continue to ignore the fact that big oil is raking in record profits as gasoline prices continue to rise – and that those same big oil companies, control prices from the refineries, which they own, to the pump?

It is possible, I suppose, that the mammoth public relations apparatus that the oil industry has in place to control and contain the conversation surrounding their business and its impact on the country, is simply too powerful and pervasive for the once mighty network news operations to fathom, much less penetrate and expose.

Free trade is a wonderful thing, but one has to wonder how free the oil trade really is when all the big oil companies are charging pretty much the same price – an almost universal price that continues to rise? Instead of taking a trip to talk to the Saudis, who appear to be tied to the murder of at least one journalist and who treat women like chattel, President Biden, should be calling in the CEO’s of big oil (again) to talk about a windfall profits tax, which, it appears, he will have to institute by executive order since senate Republicans have already rejected windfall profits legislation. For their part, network news execs, should be taking refresher courses in journalism.

If Not Harris, Then Who?

The question of what the Dems should do in 24 if Biden doesn’t run was just posted on FB. I submitted the following comment –

Al Franken, would have had a shot at it, if they hadn’t thrown him under the bus. As is, Beto O’rourke, who would bring Texas and Cali to the table or maybe Gavin Newsom with his huge budget surplus in Cali – either one would have a better chance than Kamila Harris who won’t stand even half a chance. Can’t see Joe going for another four years and no obvious choice for the Dems who have no one that can marshal their troops. A big army, that can’t agree on where the front is. God save the Republic.

A Band Of Traitors

Finding fault with Joe Biden for the way he got us out of Afghanistan, is just plain nuts. Would you rather still be there? It’s similar to condemning John Kerry, for being awarded three purple hearts for his service in Vietnam. They did that too, and it was equally crazy.

Mr. Biden, put an end to what was being called America’s “endless war.” He then came in and had to pick up the Covid ball Trump had dropped and left sitting on the floor for several months. Mr. Biden has appointed 42 federal judges. Under President Biden, unemployment is down to 3.9% and the economy is strong with a GDP of 5.5%. A fact check by USA Today, found Donald Trump to have the worst jobs record of any president in U.S. history. The newspaper reports, “More jobs were lost during the Trump administration than any other in history. Approximately 4 million fewer people were employed from January 2017 to September 2020, according to the most recent publicly available data.”

Is a comparison between the insanity of four years of Trump and one year of stability with Joe Biden, even possible? Why isn’t this ever mentioned? By anyone? Are we still so shell shocked from Trump and his band of bullies storming the Capitol that we need even more time to sort it all out? Isn’t it all perfectly clear?

The Democrats biggest problem right now could be that they don’t direct enough attention to their achievements when faced by nearly impossible opposition from anti-American Republicans, particularly in comparison to four utterly miserable years with Donald Trump, with all of us waiting day by day for the next insanity.

Compared to Trump, we are now in political Nirvana.

But the Dems, can’t seem to punch back. It appears they are still under the impression that compromise is possible with this current batch of Trumpist Republicans, when it is beyond clear after eight years with Mr. Obama and now one year with Mr. Biden, that the Republicans have no interest in compromising with anybody about anything if it means even an appearance of achievement for the Democrats. Even if it hurts the country. Even if they must sell their souls. Even if it kills American Democracy.

With this current bunch of Republicans, it’s all for sale. There doesn’t appear to be a single patriot among them. Not one who is willing to put country above personal interest or party. Not one.

No, check that last comment. There are at least two, and they’re both sitting on the 1/6 Committee. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, two Republicans trying to hold back a tide of corruption and deceit.

A Return To Sanity

MSNBC just reported $5.59 a gallon for premium gas in Los Angeles. And the country is exporting more petroleum products than we import. Something smells. And it’s not the gas. Time for a price-fixing investigation into big oil. Oh wait. Joe Biden, just did that, didn’t he? Thank you, Mr. President. Good to have an actual commander in chief who cares about the general welfare of we the people back in the White House.

The Demands Of Liberty

It’s been months now and I’m still trying to acclimate myself to the reality, the huge change, of not having to wake up to a new horror every day. It isn’t easy to switch gears following a daily horror show of four long years, culminating with an attempted coup. I’d like to relax but can’t, knowing the mad prince of political evil is still out there, waiting for another shot at doing what he does best, the attempted destruction of all that we hold dear. Tearing apart what so many gave their lives to build and sustain.

Never forget the words of former presidential advisor, Steve Bannon, who said, “I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

And replace it with what? Is that kind of chaos, that kind of madness, really what you want? Beyond that, try and get your head around the fact that Trump’s former chief political advisor, Steve Bannon, is an admitted Communist. He might try and get around it by calling himself a “Leninist,” but that’s just a word game. Leninism is a prelude to Communism.

At this point, no one should relax. We can’t afford to. At the same time there is more than one piece of good news coming across the wires.

President Biden, is saying he may support doing away with what is currently called “the filibuster.” At least in some cases. This would be wonderful, because what is now called a filibuster, the need for a super-majority in the Senate to get anything done, isn’t really a filibuster at all. It’s a super-majority vote as opposed to a simple majority of 50% plus one for passage. In other words, simple majority rule, which is what most of us thought the country was supposed to be all about and something we should be getting back to. Imagine what the Democrats could accomplish with a simple majority vote in place.

A filibuster, is when a member of one party refuses to stop talking to prevent a vote from taking place. It could be viewed as a form of rhetorical torture but it usually removes any doubt as to the serious nature of what’s being said. Traditionally, it has nothing to do with how many votes it takes for passage.

It’s argued that a simple majority will work to the advantage of the Republicans, should they regain control of the Senate by even a narrow margin, and that’s true. Most Americans, though, would probably be happy knowing that the will of the majority was being carried out and not blocked by a minority in the Senate, which is where things currently stand. As it stands, this current “filibuster” is a political gimmick that circumvents majority rule. What once was called, “the will of the people.”

The other bit of really good news, is that apparently Al Franken, is thinking about running again. Which he should. He never should have been treated like political trash in the first place.

The return of Senator Franken would give the Dem’s someone who actually has the ability to go toe-to-toe with these Republican traitors who are doing all they can to tear down our democratic institutions.

What Al did was in bad taste yes, but he did it before being elected and it was not out-of-line with his SNL comedy background. What Franken did was mild in comparison to some of the old skits the SNL troupe has performed. Nevertheless, with Kirstin Gillibrand leading the attack, the Democratic hierarchy reacted like Al was a serial killer, not a former comic who was clowning around. Bad taste, yes. A felony or high-misdemeanor offense demanding dismissal? Absolutely not.

Gillibrand and others who showed Franken the door, were playing right into Republican hands.

Friends in Minnesota, say their fellow Minnesotans are mostly in support of bringing Franken back. Hope it happens. He’s too good a person, too good a legislator, for the Democrats and the country to lose.

Tora Bora Calling…

It feels like it was just a few months ago. I was at my desk at KTLA in Hollywood, and was about to receive one of the strangest calls of my life. It was from my friend and former colleague Bob Campi. A news photographer, Bob, was calling from a spot somewhere near Tora Bora, in eastern Afghanistan, where the U.S. military was attempting to “take out” Osama bin Laden, following the attacks of 9-11. “They think they’ve got him,” Campi said, adding that the military thought bin Laden, was trapped in a cave somewhere not far from where he was talking to me via satellite phone. I could hear explosions going off in the distance, as Campi, did an excited play-by-play, telling me that it wouldn’t be long before Osama, was no more.

We, of course, had no idea at the time that President George W. Bush, would pull our troops back from the attack on bin Laden, sending them over to assist with an invasion of Iraq, something Bush’s Veep Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, had reportedly been longing to do for years

I’ve been thinking about that call a lot lately. Almost every time I see a network news show slamming Joe Biden, for what they claim is his botched job of getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan. Almost never is there adequate context provided, alluding to the fact that it was the Administration of George W. Bush that got us into Afghanistan in the first place, only to pull back our troops just as they were about to capture or kill bin Laden.

I recall wondering at the time, why we were even still waging old-fashioned conventional warfare when so much brand new hi-tech stuff was available, with drones, cruise missiles and undoubtedly several other top-secret implements we know nothing about at our military’s fingertips. Hadn’t Bill Clinton nearly taken out Osama with a cruise missile strike just months earlier? Wouldn’t we have that same opportunity again, and without sending tens of thousands of Americans overseas in a massive deployment with any number of experts warning that our incursion had the potential for turning into another Vietnam? Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and company refused to listen. They knew better and went in with a massive military force, anyway. And then, when they were on the verge of killing bin Laden, they pulled back and went after Saddam Hussein instead.

But that’s not why we went into Afghanistan. We went there to get Osama, not Saddam. At least, that’s what we were told.

Now, here we are, twenty years later, with network newscasters landing all over Joe Biden, for not being clairvoyant enough to envision a future not seen by his intelligence people, whereby some 300-thousand American-trained Afghans, would throw down their weapons and melt away into the countryside at the Taliban’s advance.

It’s so easy to forget who got us into this mess, screwed it up royally at the beginning and then refused to pull our troops out for so many years with the declared purpose of “democratizing the Middle East!” That’s what George W. Bush, said he was going to do, even though it was not why we were there and it would, over the long-haul, prove to be impossible.

It was Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney, who got us into this mess and then failed to get us out, not Joe Biden. Why we were there in the first place has all but been forgotten. A little context would be nice.

Afghanistan: A War Weary U.S. Says “Enough”

We’ve been in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq so many times that it’s easy to forget that we first went into the area in 1991, under President George H.W. Bush, to push the Iraqis, who were invading Kuwait, back into Iraq. It was all about oil.

Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, claimed Kuwait, was actually part of Iraq, and they wanted it back. Others pointed out that the Kuwaitis, ruled by a royal family and allies of the United States, had been overproducing from their oil fields, driving down the price of crude, and it was costing Iraq a lot of money. But for whatever reason, Saddam, who had been buying a lot of munitions from the United States, invaded Kuwait.

So the first Bush Administration, with the backing of numerous allies, sent the American military in to kick Saddam back into Iraq.

I was at a desert airbase in California, when our troops were being loaded onto airliners for the trip over. All those men and women, both young and middle-aged, getting on commercial jetliners. It was the first time I realized that the country needs the commercial airlines for large scale deployments overseas. I wondered if what we were doing would be worth it. I remember thinking, “My God, we’re sending young mothers off to war,” and wondering why we were really going and how many Americans would be forced to die for the cause of letting the Royal Family of Kuwait, keep their oil fields. I wondered how many American kids might lose their parents in the fight. I thought about how much the character of American warfare had changed since World War II and Vietnam. Since the end of the draft.

With Saddam and his Republican Guard, booted back onto their home turf, George H.W. Bush, followed the advice of his people and pulled our troops out of the region, not wanting to risk getting stuck in another Vietnam War scenario. Turned out to be a very smart choice, one his son, George W. Bush, wouldn’t follow just a few years later following the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

The point here, is that the United States incursion into Kuwait, was thirty years ago, not twenty. If memory serves. Meaning, we’ve been in-country over there for so long that at this point it’s difficult to remember exactly when we went in or why.

When we first went into Kuwait and Iraq, the phrase “boots on the ground” had yet to be invented and the media almost never referred to military “deployments.” That kind of military jargon was only adopted later, as the media became cheerleaders for a military rather than a diplomatic solution to a regional religious conflict as old as Islam, itself.

Military failure is a tough taskmaster. Especially so, when no one’s paying attention. The Chinese, the Japanese, the French and then the U.S., all went into Southeast Asia, thinking they could win. Or in the case of the United States, there appears to be evidence thanks to Daniel Ellsberg, that an ongoing stalemate, with bodies continuing to pile up, would have been acceptable going forward. But nothing seemed to work. Not for the U.S., or any of the others. In the end, all the invaders were pushed out by the Vietnamese.

Then the British the Russians and finally the U.S., did the same in Afghanistan and the Middle East, again thinking they could subjugate the indigenous people. And again, the invaders were pushed out. The point, is that we’ve been there for a very long time and President Biden, is probably right in pulling us out. He’s right to tell the Afghans, that it is their fight and that they are going to have to fight it. Finally. The only other option would be sticking with George W. Bush’s vision of “democratizing the Middle East,” which probably would have meant our ongoing presence in a never-ending war in a conflict where a military solution is probably impossible. Would it be worth another twenty or thirty years of war to find out?

Biden, Putin, Erdogan and Chris Matthews

So Joe Biden is about to meet with Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator and best buddy to Donald Trump, who was kicked out of the G7 for being a fascist and invading Crimea. However, before he does that, Joe is meeting with Turkey’s “President” Erdogan, who has jailed all or most of his country’s honest judges, scholars and journalists, and who should also be kicked out of the G7, but is still there because he’s easier to deal with as a member than as a non-member, which would only strengthen his alliance with fellow fascist Vladimir Putin.

It should never be forgotten that Donald Trump, showed an outright affinity for Putin, Erdogan, and other dictators who oppose liberty and the freedom of choice that comes with it. I’ve pretty much given up on the Republican base being able to understand any of this.

It was refreshing to see Chris Matthews back as a guest on the Bill Maher show Friday night. Matthews, continues to be one of the best political commentators out there. He never should have been bumped off the air in the first place. Huge mistake/overreaction by MSNBC. Hope someone recognizes this and brings him back. Heterosexual white men aren’t all evil. Some, are just heterosexual white men, who, should they commit a verbal overstep, deserve a second chance following an apology to the “injured” party, even if she did get a story out of it. Making someone feel uncomfortable may be in bad taste, but it’s far from being a felony. At least it should be.

Good For Joe, He’s Doing The Best That He Can

Good for Joe Biden. He’s in Cornwall, home to Doc Martin, and about to sign a historic document reaffirming the United States ties with Great Britain. Bravo! This is exactly what we need, the free world giving the middle finger to Putin and his global mob of fascist bullies, undoing at least some of the damage done by Donald. Meanwhile though, back at home, there’s this “deadlock” thing going on regarding the president’s push for an infrastructure bill.

Nobody should be surprised that the Republican Party hasn’t changed. Most of them are still petrified of DJT. For its part, the Democratic Party, is floundering around, trying to find a unifying message – or messages – to pull in votes for the mid-terms in 22 and the presidential coming up in 24. This puts Joe Biden in a real bind. If the Dems continue to fail on messaging, they stand to lose the Senate in 22, so Biden, needs to get things done before then. However, anything he accomplishes without Republican support will probably be undone by the Republicans when they re-gain the Senate and the Oval.

After Trump does anyone sill doubt the power of the imperial presidency or the impact of executive orders?

It’s a catch-22 that has us all in its grip, along with the terrifying thought that Joe won’t be up to running for another term, leaving us with Kamala Harris running for president in 24 against whichever two white men the Republicans come up with, who will focus on pulling in a majority of the voters as opposed to attempting to attract every splinter and faction in the country.

The Democrats “big tent” thing is a wonderful ideal to shoot for, but they had better temper their thinking and get their political act together on messaging or we will probably have a Republican voted back into the oval in 24 along with a Republican senate. Won’t that be lovely? The people who staged an all-out assault on the Capitol building, openly calling for lynching the vice president – the same people who have repeatedly rejected the very idea of a democratic government, will be back in charge?

Isn’t keeping neo-feudal fascist-leaning Republican greedheads out of power just a tad more important than satisfying AOC and her fellow left-wing minority extremists? Is it even possible for the Dem’s to find a middle-road approach?

Those on the left deserve to be heard, but going too progressive, too fast, with moves like insisting upon gender-neutral identity through the destruction of traditionally accepted pronouns, or failing to come up with a unifying message on immigration, makes for a losing political equation, a windstorm that will blow the Dem’s big tent to the ground.

Extremist Dems A Real Threat To The Country

According to the network news, 17,000 immigrant children are being held by the U.S. down at the border. Can that be possible? 17,000, and more keep coming in?

I was afraid this would happen. The last prez, went all the way in one direction and now the new Democratic president is swinging to the left. I am not and never have been a Trump supporter, but he may have been right about the virus coming from a lab-leak in Wuhan, and he wasn’t all wrong about the United States needing tougher security along its southern border, which continues to be a huge issue for millions of Americans.

Even a gunfighter with sand in his eyes will eventually hit something if he keeps pulling the trigger.

The problem for Democrats, is that it looks like they don’t have much of anything going on right now, as immigrants, particularly children, continue pouring in. Another huge problem, is that they still can’t seem to agree on what to do about it and sending the Veep to Central America, will only result in what will appear to be another useless endeavor by an Administration that appears to be floundering on immigration.

The headline in the Guardian is disgusting, screaming out, “AOC condemns Kamala Harris for telling Guatemalan migrants not to come to US.”  Is AOC kidding? Does she realize that unless the Democrats come together on their messaging, they stand to lose the Senate in 22?

This is what the Dems usually do, splitting up into their different factions and then pulling one-another to pieces while the Republicans sit back and smile.

It’s past time for the Democratic Party to tell their extremist wing to sit down and shut up, while calmer minds put together messaging that will hold the House and Senate in 22, and keep another Republican lunatic from re-gaining power in the Oval in 24. American Democracy is on the line and this could literally be our last chance. The party’s left-wing has a right to push its agenda, but they had better take care that they don’t push so hard that they forfeit our future to fascists.

Is “President Harris” Even Possible?

After four years of Trump, it’s okay to be a little giddy about the Biden/Harris win. That said, I worry that Kamala Harris, beloved by some on the progressive side of the party, might sink the Democrats in 2024 if the Republicans come up with a moderate like Mitt Romney to run against her.

Joyous as I was to see Joe Biden’s win, marking a return to sanity for our Federal Government, I was equally alarmed that the Dems chose Harris as his running mate. I fear she may be a little too happy, a little too far to the left for a great many moderate and right-of-center Americans. If a woman was mandatory for the ticket, then Susan Rice would have been a better choice. She projects an inner-strength that Harris simply does not have, and she does it on camera, which is all-important. Would Reagan have been elected were it not for his on-camera persona?

So, I’m happy Biden was elected, but feel the Dems blew it with regard to his running mate, who, it is clear, is already being groomed to take over in four years, if she can get elected. I doubt that she can. The possibility of another four years of Trump, makes me shudder.

The Dems need to stop making decisions based upon what would be “just wonderful!” and need to get closer to baseline reality regarding who will be electable in a politically volatile country.