Category Archives: Politics

Way To Go, Joe

Since I slammed Biden and the Dems for turning a blind eye to sky high grocery prices, I suppose I should also congratulate them for getting 5 Americans freed from Iranian prisons. Anybody who has a problem in giving Iran back its own money to cut the deal, should imagine what it’s like to have a loved one held captive overseas for years one end, with no end in sight.

Biden is also creating a new Office for Gun Violence Prevention. Good for him. Good for his administration. After decades of talk somebody is finally doing something. More than 25-thousand Americans have died from gun violence so far this year in a country that refuses to outlaw assault weapons. Weapons with no purpose other than ending human life.

While all that was going on one major poll shows Trump’s support growing among Black and Latino voters. Apparently they have no memory of what happened during the Trump Administration? There was an attempted coup, remember? Remember who it was encouraging the mob to march over to the Capitol to try and overthrow the Republic? This was the same Donald J. Trump, who said there were “very fine people on both sides,” following neo-Nazis and other white nationalists, marching through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Joe And The Dems Need A Reality Check

High grocery prices may be the Republican Party’s best friend right now. I have no idea how middle-income Americans are able to feed their families. A whole lot of Wonder Bread and spaghetti with watered-down ketchup for sauce, apparently. If they can afford to put gas in the car to drive to the market.

The situation with the Republican Party is seriously comedic, or it should be. A handful of separatist lunatics are controlling the entire House of Representatives, as just one vote from a MAGA Republican, can boot Kevin McCarthy from the Speaker’s chair. So the Speaker, third in line to the Presidency, must bend to the will of a few MAGA nutjobs, as they continue to support a candidate facing not one, not two, not three, but four criminal indictments. Topping it off, Vladimir Putin, is now voicing his support for DJT, as he spews condemnation of our democratic system.

Imagine that, Vladimir Putin, international terrorist and pariah, thinks we have a bad system. A man who leads a country people are exiting in droves with almost nobody wanting to get back in. When was the last time Russia, had a border crossing problem, with somebody trying to get in as opposed to getting out?

Then there’s Tommy Tuberville, a former football coach who lives in Florida but represents Alabama in the U.S. Senate, where he and he alone, is stopping our military from appointing new leadership to make a statement about abortion. He needs to get out of politics and go back to football. If a team will have him. Football is checkers. American politics is three-dimensional chess. Tuberville, is in over his head and our military readiness is being damaged in the process.

The Republicans are weakening our military and crippling the House with a threatened government shutdown, while they support a man who lead an attempted coup against the United States while cozying up to Putin and the Russians, who want nothing short of our destruction. It would be a massive comedy of Republican errors, were it not for the fact that millions upon millions of average Americans can’t afford groceries and gas, while the Democratic Party, continues to act like everything is just fine. If you listen to the President we’re more than fine, we’re great. Well, not really. Not everybody. And Mr. Biden’s position is that we have the strongest economy in the world? Maybe he needs some new advisors? Maybe a trip to the market to do a little shopping on a fixed income budget?

It’s way too easy for gougers to hide behind claims of the war in Ukraine disrupting international supply chains while our elected leaders look the other way. World food prices hit record highs in 2022, but the price of almost everything at your local market shot up, not just food and products impacted by international markets.

It’s so easy for those reaping huge rewards to argue that those of us without degrees in economics can’t begin to understand the implications of international trade, how the price of grain in the Middle East, impacts the cost of a jar of pickles or a pound of sugar in Omaha. There are credible charges that the gouging goes beyond the supermarkets, which have already hit record high prices, and into the military.

As for the impact of Covid, surely its impact on supply chains has had more than enough time to level out? Should we really be expected to pay $10 for one Covid test kit that costs pennies to produce?

Dem leaders need to be wary of turning their backs on consumer prices that are crushing average Americans, while the UAW appears poised to join SAG/AFTRA, the Writer’s Guild and custodial workers on the picket line.

The Writer’s Guild and then SAG/AFTRA were among the first to recognize that working people have reached an economic tipping point. A realization that Russia, isn’t the only country with a giant gap between its oligarchs and average working people, a gap that will surely grow with advancing AI and the ever-increasing march of automation threatening to make us all obsolete.

As in 2016, this upcoming election is the Democrats to lose. Some, apparently, think that’s not even remotely possible. Could be the same bunch that thought it would be a slam-dunk for Hillary in 2016.

And Now, An Easter Message

Feeling pretty good. DJT has been indicted, arrested and arraigned. Rupert, is being slowly undone in court. Wisconsin, has a majority in its State Supreme Court for the first time in a decade, while MTG was ejected from New York City by native folk who let her know just how unwelcome she was on 5th Avenue. As the New York Intelligencer put it, “New York City Hates Your Guts’: MTG Drowned Out At Trump Rally.”

Then there’s Clarence Thomas, who isn’t worth our time. Beyond saying it’s past time for him to go. Stand by truth seekers, momentum is building. He went for years on the bench without asking a question, why would he start talking now? His wife probably told him he’d be just fine if he just kept his mouth shut.

Would love to see their tax statements, just how much their joint income has ballooned while Thomas was on the bench. Full disclosure of their finances is the only real way to keep any of our public officials honest, isn’t it? It would be a place to start at least. How else to fight all that “dark money” that’s out there since the supreme’s decision in the “Citizens United” case? We badly need a set of regulations, telling these guys what they can and can’t do, as apparently some of them aren’t smart enough to figure it out for themselves.

I recall a moment long, long ago, several decades at least, when a colleague in the news business, a former PoliSci Professor told me, “The conservatives are going after the Supreme Court….they’re gonna stack it with their own. After that, nothing’s gonna matter. They’ll own the country.” Since then, we have watched it happen, with the right holding an immoral majority on the court, trying to roll things back to the 1950’s.

Why would the Chief Justice John Roberts favor self-regulation for the justices, when it’s clear that something more is needed? Welcome to Neverland, where fantasy becomes reality and reality is whatever they think it should be. The absence of real regulation and oversight controlling our court of last resort, leaves us all at the mercy of avarice, with the uber-wealthy standing in line with their private jets and super yachts to influence the justice’s views on just how the country should be run.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t hope.

A report just out in the New York Times, indicates that Trump, Guiliani and their Republican pals down in Georgia, could end up facing RICO charges. Wouldn’t that be fun?

It feels like the planets are lining up, like things are coming back into balance after years of nonsense. Years of downright insanity, ignorance and immorality. Years without proper accountability.

Things are looking up despite the lopsided court. So take a deep breath. This is still a great country. Go bowling. Weather permitting, shoot a round of golf. Watch the Premier League on Peacock or the USA Channel instead of the NFL. The Premier League. That’s soccer. Like Ted Lasso on Apple TV. It’s still tribal warfare, but a more civilized version, without the bone crushing, blood letting, generic primal violence we’ve been programmed to watch each and every Sunday, which is what most of us have been doing instead of going to church. You’ll feel better. You’ll have a clearer head. You won’t feel like going out and assaulting somebody once the game ends. It might change your life. No resurrection story or egg-laying bunny necessary.

Once Again, Millions Of Gallons, Out to Sea

Los Angeles river in Sherman Oaks. Millions of gallons of water on their way to the sea.

It’s being reported that California Governor Gavin Newsom, has ordered for water to be diverted into groundwater basins to help replenish groundwater levels. Good for the Gov. But first, a little history-

The state doesn’t have enough reservoirs. As a consequence it has suffered through repeated, prolonged periods of drought. Orchards have been ploughed under, farmers have yelled at city dwellers and city dwellers yelled back at the farmers, while water has been rationed.

My former colleague at KTLA-TV, the late Hal Fishman put out the call repeatedly in his commentaries. “The State of California” he would say, “needs to build more reservoirs.” Or he might have been calling for Los Angeles County to build more reservoirs, I can’t remember and it doesn’t really matter. The point it, he was right. He would very logically and intelligently point out that every time it rained, there were millions of gallons of fresh water flowing out into the ocean. But nobody listened, at least not to the best of my knowledge. At least not in Southern California.

Thing is, I lived there for 33 years, and watched the cycle continue. The first part of the cycle, was for state and local officials to carp on about the extended drought for years on end. And then, Viola!, it would rain! And not just a little bit. The place would damn near float away, causing everybody to forget about the drought. And so it continued. Every time it looked as though life as we knew it was over, Charlton Heston, would shake his staff at the sky and summon up the rain gods and all of us would be taking our kayaks out of storage to get to the market to stock up on bread, cheese and chardonnay. It’s just the way things were. It was the California cycle of near death by dehydration and then re-birth through some magical gift from the gods. We knew how bad things were, but we knew not to worry. The rain would come to save us. It always did. In a State where everyone is waiting for the inevitable 8.0 earthquake, the “Big One” to come and knock everything down, expecting a little help from the rain gods now and then is no big stretch.

So, here we now are, watching it all happen again, but this time, with the amount of snow in the mountains and rain in the valleys, in proportions that remind you of Zeus calling forth the Kraken, or Moses parting the Red Sea. This is almost biblical.

On the other hand, if it worked in the Bible and then in the movies, why not in the San Fernando Valley?

Not long ago, I saw a photo of what appeared to be water backing up in the Sepulveda Flood Basin. Like all the traffic on the 405 being funneled down into a single lane, all that lovely fresh water that had drained down from the mountains was backing up into the flood basin. There was just too much of it for the single concrete channel, colloquially known as the L.A. River to handle.

But never mind all that. Before long, perhaps within weeks, hydrologists will be advising Californians that the drought is by no means over. There are still too many people using a limited supply of fresh water and there just isn’t enough of it. Los Angeles residents, still won’t be able to water their lawns at will, wash their cars in their driveways or hose down their property. They’ll still have to request water in the City’s restaurants. The words of former Los Angeles Mayor Dick Riordan, continue to resonate, ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow…..If it’s brown, flush it down!”

Even with a near-record snowpack in the Sierra above, and neighborhoods flooding out below, the drought will likely continue. It has to, you see, because groundwater levels have dropped so low for so many years, that the state has been nearly sucked dry. Making matters worse, the Colorado River is turning into a creek, and to date, no one that I know of has found any kind of permanent solution. Like building more reservoirs. Or a monster pipeline coming in from the east. More reservoirs might not be a total fix but they might be a place to start. They might even name one after Hal Fishman, may he rest in peace.

Until then, take heart, California. Governor Newsom, has ordered water to be diverted into the existing groundwater basins. He’s following in the steps of his predecessors, finding a temporary partial fix to a long-term existential problem.

A Reckoning

Well gang, here we go. Arguably, the most important American election in 160 years is underway. The results, will depend in no small way upon how many of us continue to deny the validity of the just past election of 2020. Many of those same folks also refuse to recognize the attempted coup d’etat of January 6th, 2021, when a former preisdent sent his supporters down Pennsylvania Avenue, for the sole purpose of stopping the count of electoral ballots so that he could remain in office as an authoritarian, a tyrant, with the democratic process set aside. Maybe permanently.

That actually happened, but millions, apparently, continue to deny reality, favoring the misinformation and disinformation promoted by Fox and the house of Murdoch. We can only hope they lied when asked by pollsters who they were going to vote for. We can only hope they turned off the right-wing echo chamber long enough to clear their heads and think for themselves just long enough to see what tyranny and greed are doing to us.

So many have given up on traditional media, which continues to try and report out the truth, despite terrible pressures from corporate sales and promotion departments that answer to CEO’s and their Boards, and not to the American people. Fact is, despite corporate greed, there are still thousands of real journalists out there doing the best they can. Not just for their employers, but for their readers and viewers as well. Many of them, struggling to survive on low pay as their papers continue to be threatened by closure. They are unsung heroes. They deserve our support.

Too seldom are we reminded that a free press is the cornerstone of our Democracy. Not Twitter, not Facebook, not the Communist Chinese owned Tic Tok, but our traditional newspapers and broadcasters, who have earned our trust by continuing to seek out and report what Carl Bernstein likes to call “the best available version of the truth.” I think it was Ben Bradlee who called it “a first rough draft of history.”

Don’t be fooled. The issue of this election is not the economy. It is not the price of gas or unisex restrooms or abortion rights. It’s the survival of American Democracy, self-determination derived from honest and open elections and the rule of law. It’s a question of how many Americans have been fooled into believing the tyranny of autocracy and despotism will be preferable to the freedom provided by our democratic process. Something, perhaps that far too many have come to take for granted.

Fingers crossed that we survive this.

The End Is Near?

Anybody else watch Bill Maher last night? He left me with the feeling that we are on death watch, waiting to usher in the the death of American Democracy. First, he urged everyone to vote, and then proceeded to explain why it won’t matter all that much because the Republican machine has the election all tied up in their favor, going right up to 2024, when, Maher thinks, Donald Trump and his goon squad will be waiting at the door, regardless of the outcome at the polls.

On the flip side, Michael Moore, more often than not a purveyor of doom, is apparently of the opinion that we are about to see a Democratic victory, with women coast to coast refusing the support the party that killed Roe. If that’s the case, then the polls will have been off, not by a little, but by a lot. It shocked me how abruptly they switched from favoring the Dems to favoring Republicans. Can’t recall polling numbers being upended that abruptly before. I do think Oprah, may have just tilted the race for the Senate in PA in Fetterman’s favor.

The Iron Lady And The Pillow Guy

So the U.K.’s new PM, is turning out to be just as ditsy as so many Brits said she was, as, without warning, she came out with a plan to cut taxes to her richest constituents, paying for it by borrowing and putting the burden of replaying the debt on all the regular folk lower down on the economic ladder. A tax cut is one thing, but Liz, wanted to eliminate an entire tax bracket for the richest of the rich and then get the poor folks to pay for it. Oh my. Moreover, she did it without the support of her own party. Even a novice politico would have seen this as an impossible move in a proportionally representative system, but not Liz Truss, who reportedly sees herself as the next Maggie Thatcher.

With the weight of both public opinion and her very own party crashing down upon her stiff upper lip, Truss, abruptly did what the Brits kindly call a “u-turn,” and forgot about it. Leaders in her party are now, according to reports, trying to figure out how to get rid of her as quickly as possible, before she is able to attempt any more buffoonery. It appears to be Boris Johnson times ten.

Politics-watchers, are waiting to see which of Truss’s colleagues will be forced to fall on their sword to save the PM, who once, while doing a speech about British exports, inexplicably touted the dangers of importing too much cheese, which she called a “disgrace.”

Apparently, she doesn’t think the Brits deserve a bit of cheese now and then.

If you can’t find humor in any of that, then consider the “Pillow Guy,” good old Mike Lindell, in the spotlight again, this time before the Supreme Court of the United States, where his appeal to throw out a $1.3 billion defamation suit filed by U.S. Dominion, the company that manufacturers voting machines, has been denied. This of course, is all tied up in Lindell’s belief that the election was stolen from his buddy, DJT.

Can’t wait to see what the late night talk show hosts do with Lindell and what SNL does with Liz Truss. Ms. Truss in particular. It’s just too big an opportunity to pass on while they wait for her next big move as she attempts to become the UK’s next “Iron Lady.” There is no comparison of course, since Maggie Thatcher was capable of salient thought and Truss seems to be a legend in her own mind.

What was it Dr. Thompson said about American politics? Words to the effect of, “What do you want? You already live in the land of the weird.” Something like that. Not only was he right, but his analysis can now be expanded to include the U.K., which seems to be in a race to outpace anything the U.S. has been able to come up with.

A Few Thoughts On Keeping What We Have

Balsonaro, appears headed for defeat in Brazil, moving the country away from the far-right and towards the center-left. Could this be a precursor to the upcoming election here in the U.S.? Hopefully so, if you believe in majority rule and self-governance. This current batch of American right-wingers in the House and Senate clearly do not, witness their stand on public education, women’s rights, the obvious need for more and not less regulation of firearms and the very survival of Democracy in America.

Beyond Republican Fascism in the House and Senate, the way the Supreme Court has been skewing far-right, leaves one wondering if “packing the court” might not be the only solution and whether Joe Biden will be able to get it done.

In the short-term, the best way to return the country to majority rule, that is to say a Democracy featuring self-determination, appears to be an overwhelming defeat of the Republican Party at the polls. An absolute mandate, leaving no question about how most Americans feel with regard to throwing out this current Oligarchy, which continues to hold so much power in the House and Senate.

We all need to think more about what the Ukrainians are fighting for on a daily basis. The survival of their self-determination through the democratic process. Their freedom. The latest word is that they’ve retaken a town inside the territory Putin and his Russian stooges now claim for their own.

You have to wonder to what degree the Russian dictator might not be losing control of both his military and his sway over public opinion. With his soldiers in retreat, record numbers of business leaders falling out of 18th floor windows and thousands of young men leaving the country by any means possible, Vladimir Putin’s future surely must be called into question?

The similarity between Putin and the far right-wing in America is interesting. Rather than doing that which is in their best interest, both seem destined to take actions that are in their worst-interests, a kind of self-fulfilling suicide wish. At least it appears that’s where Putin is headed. We can only hope the same will happen to those on the right in America who are bumping up against Fascism, with so many of them lacking the ability to sort out what or why they are doing it. I don’t mean those in the House and Senate who are doing it for the money, the publicity and the power. I mean those common folk, the lemmings headed for the nearest cliff. They just seem determined to get it done, even though they don’t really know why, except that they have been filled with hate and fear of the other. What fine madness is this? I think the Bard wrote that originally.

After reading about the “human stampede” at a football game in Indonesia, killing more than 120 people, one is left wondering about the very survival of our species, much less our ability for self-governance.

Putin And Trump – Both Coming To An End?

Reports coming in from Russia, indicate people are being arrested in the streets for protesting the war. Other reports indicate military recruiting offices are being torched while airlines are bulging with people wanting to get out of the country rather than being subjected to Putin’s latest military call up. History teaches that it rarely ends well for demagogues, once the Russian people take to the streets.

Putin again threatened the use of nuclear weapons. This is, hopefully, his version of Nikita Khrushchev, banging a shoe on his desk at the United Nations while threatening, “We will bury you.”

At the same time, back in America, the Feds have won their appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, two of the three judges having been appointed by Trump, giving them access to the top secret files from Mar a Lago. Meaning, they can move forward with their investigation of Donald J. Trump, while New York Attorney General Letitia James, moves forward with a civil suit against Donald and his children for bank and tax fraud and possibly more in a complaint of 222 pages and the possibility of criminal cases being pressed by the IRS and the SDNY.

Legal and moral accountability appears to be arriving at about the same time for both Putin and Trump, entwined in their mutual love of tyranny and hate for Democracy and the freedom it represents.

Why We Make Our Soldiers Sick And What Makes Kyrsten Sinema Tick?

During the Vietnam War it was exposure to Agent Orange and any number of other defoliants and chemicals. In Afghanistan it was open-pit burning. Now it’s bad water at Camp Lejenune. Warfare is difficult enough without our soldiers falling ill due to a lack of oversight and expertise in the command structure. Congress and the military need to come up with a permanent oversight solution to our military poisoning its own people. So the pundits are now echoing Joe Biden’s big comeback after somehow pulling a fast one and getting coal millionaire Joe Manchin to go along with a package that will benefit the country even if most of the hard-core “party before country” Republicans don’t like it. The Dem’s will need each and every vote in the Senate to make this work so the big question now is will Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema buy into the program? We know Manchin’s family made millions in the coal brokerage business in West Virginia, so his normal pro-Republican Party agenda isn’t all that tough to understand. But what makes Sinema tick?

Is it the power of the adrenaline rush she feels, knowing everybody is giving her all that attention as a “DINO” – democrat in name only? Who is Kyrsten Sinema, really? And why does she do what she does? Maybe she’s just a flake? It’s possible, you know. Sometimes things are just that simple.

And finally in this morning rant, who are the Communist Chinese to tell a United States Congresswoman, much less the Speaker of the House, that she can’t visit a free country? This shouldn’t even be a question.

Do you ever get the feeling that there’s a disconnect in the United States between those among us who understand the difference and the history that separates Communist controlled countries that subjugate their people and Democracies whose people are free? Do you ever get the feeling that a great many Americans just don’t get it and take our freedom for granted, even with galloping Trumpist Fascism knocking on the door?

Putin, wants to make Ukraine part of his dictatorship. The Commie Chinese, want to do the same with free and democratic Taiwan just as they’ve re-taken and conquered Hong Kong. This is unacceptable on both counts.

Pelosi, needs to go to Taiwan, Putin needs to get his maniacal ass out of Ukraine and the United States needs to stop acting like it’s afraid of Communist China. What needs to be done to deal with MBS and the journalist-murdering Saudis, who, it appears, helped launch the attack on 9-11, is another question. Oh, they’ve bought us all right, along with so many of our professional golfers currently teeing-off at Trump’s LIV tournament in New Jersey. Question is, are we going to let them and their co-conspirators in the oil monopoly own us?

Is America truly for sale to the highest bidder, or are we about more than that?

And finally this morning, why is the media treating the Monkeypox outbreak like it’s a new Polio epidemic? They’re in near hysteria about Monkeypox, treating it like it’s the Bubonic Plague, even though nearly all of the cases are infecting gay or bi-sexual men and it usually goes away all by itself and is almost never fatal. There is also the fact that there’s a vaccine. A more thoughtful and contextual approach to reporting out this story would probably be much appreciated by everyone.

Statement Of Carl Bernstein On The “Sedition” Of Donald Trump

If you missed it, Anderson Cooper had Bob Woodward, John Dean and Carl Bernstein on his show on Friday night. What follows, is part of what Carl Bernstein had to say regarding the committee investigating the insurrection of January 6th. Bernstein, said in plain language what so badly needs to be said.


“We still have hearings that are upcoming that are going to show the width and breadth of this conspiracy led by the President of the United States, to undermine the most basic democratic function of our Republic, the free election of the President of the United States and his successor taking office as a result of that free election. We are in a situation……we have never been in, in the United States,……even under Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon, got on a helicopter and agreed, because he knew he had to resign, he got on a helicopter and left town. Donald Trump, did something no president has ever done. He said, ‘I’m gonna stay here behind this desk. I am not gonna admit that I lost the election. I am going to stay here and remain the President of the United States, past the point where Joe Biden, the elected President of the United States, was supposed to take office. This is a conspiracy led by the President of the United States, such as we have never seen. That is why it is a seditious act. That is why Trump is a seditious president in addition to what Bob is saying, being a ‘criminal president.’ So we’re in territory here, that we have never seen….and even more remarkable, is that the Republican Party, unlike with Richard Nixon, which helped push Richard Nixon out of office, and forced him to resign, the Republican Party today, is supporting Donald Trump, supporting his insurrection, trying to undermine the January 6th committee… we now have, instead of a real democratic lower-case system, in which the institutions of government try to come up with the truth about what happened, as in Watergate, we now have one of the political parties dedicated to suppressing the truth.”

“Already, from what I’ve been told….. that the committee has shown and it has acquired enough information from both documents and witnesses, to show a real conspiracy going into the oval office to subvert the constitution and the electoral process in which ah…Joe Biden would take office. And it goes from the White House to the insurrection at the Capitol itself. There are many, many elements to this but what this committee has done, from what I can see so far, is to establish both a timeline of the President’s conduct, a timeline of what happened ah, involving the demonstrators trying to get to Pence. All these pieces are starting to fit together and the committee has an awful lot of the evidence and instead of cooperating with that committee, the other political party, unlike what happened in Watergate….the Watergate Committee came about because there was a 77-0 vote to create the Watergate investigation. What do we have today? No Republicans, to speak of, besides Liz Cheney, supporting the most important investigation of the Presidency, perhaps in our lifetimes, and the Republican Party, is trying to suppress it….I think suppress it in part, because they know, many of the Republicans in the Senate and the House, know that this committee has the goods, and is on the way to establishing a record of something we have never seen in the history of the United States, in terms of the seditious conduct of the President.” – Carl Bernstein 6-3-22 on “Anderson Cooper 360” CNN

(photo – wikipedia)

Bad Madness

Modeling himself in the image of a contemporary Joe Stalin, Vladimir Putin, now seems to be holding some twenty-percent of Ukraine. He simply bombed the hell out of it, killing thousands, and then took it you see. It’s fairly obvious he wants to take more, as the shelling of totally innocent Ukrainians continues. The man’s a butcher. A failed leader in need of a diversion.

Here at home, we continue slaughtering our own with semi-automatic rifle fire taking down grammar school kids, doctors and people out trying to buy grossly overpriced groceries. All the while, some of us are looking with fear to the upcoming election in November. An event which, we are told, certain Republican factions are prepared to try an undermine by claiming any races they lose were fraudulently conducted.

In other words, the criminal element is once again preparing to sew chaos by making the claim in court and out, that the law-abiding good guys are actually the real criminals. It’s a transference plot worthy of the KGB, and we can watch for it to be actively pursued here on American soil by Americans of uncertain loyalty – to anyone other than themselves.

I was thinking back tonight about simpler times not so very long ago when I was covering the campaigns of Ralph Nader and Ross Perot. One eventually wrote the book, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us.” The other, started a third party, which looked like it was going to be viable, but when the politics got too rough for his family, Perot, eventually bailed.

Thing is, unconventional though they might have been, neither Perot nor Nader supported the idea of supplanting Democracy with Fascism, which is what this current batch of toxic right-wing thugs appear to favor.

Things made so much more sense not so very long ago. Now, it’s not just the occasional unconventional politician we have to worry about, but what appears to be an ongoing and carefully planned conspiracy to destroy American Democracy from within with help from without. Unless, of course, unnamed billionaires decide to save us from a Dickensian future millions upon millions of Americans can’t seem to fathom.

As Sinclair Lewis warned us so many years ago, don’t think “It can’t happen here.” It very nearly did.

We are in dangerous third-world waters friends. There is no Ross Perot anywhere in sight and I haven’t noticed any of our many billionaires getting in line in an effort to save the Republic from imploding under the weight of thirty to thirty-five percent of our fellow citizens who appear to favor switching from Democracy to some bizarre form of strong-man rule, with God knows who at the helm. It’s not that they don’t love freedom and it isn’t that they are stupid. Truth is, they have simply been snowed into believing that what’s in their worst interest is really the best for them. Again, it’s a crazed reversal worthy of the KGB. Which, of course, no longer exists.

The Real “Crisis!”

ISSUE #1 So the President of the United States says the U.S. will support Taiwan, in one form or another, if they are attacked by China. This is has been commonly accepted ever since the Nationalist Chinese were driven from their homeland by Communists in 1949, so I’m not sure it’s the big “breaking news” story it’s being made out to be by the 7-24 click-bait outlets. I’m currently far more interested in the potential for the outbreak of World War III, a potential nuclear exchange precipitated by a possibly unstable Vladimir Putin, frustrated by his inability to succeed in Ukraine. A dictator, who may be facing internal pressures we know nothing about. That, is something that should get your attention, not that the U.S. will continue to support Taiwan, something it’s been doing for decades.

ABC-TV, needs to re-run the movie “The Day After.” The country needs a wakeup call about the realities of a nuclear exchange with Russia. It feels as though several generations are way too comfortable with a reality that’s been insulated by time.

ISSUE #2 I do not understand. MSNBC is reporting the baby formula “crisis” continues. Does this mean babies are dying? If babies are not dying, then what are people feeding their babies, and if there is something other than formula they are feeding babies, then is this really a “CRISIS!” or something else? Is the need for formula overblown by a profit-hungry baby food industry? Why isn’t the major media answering these questions instead of just repeatedly pushing a giant collective panic button? From microchips to vaccine to baby formula. Soon, women won’t be able to get a legal abortion. Welcome to the third world.

ISSUE #3 Our streets continue to be flooded with guns, while in Baltimore, a former mayor was just released from prison. The second Mayor of Baltimore to be indicted in ten years time. Oh, but wait! There’s so much more!

The current city council president, has been cited for ethics violations for raising money for a personal defense fund while his wife, the Baltimore States Attorney, has been indicted for perjury and making false statements in a real estate deal while the City explodes with crime. The current mayor, a Democrat, appears downright flummoxed as does his Chief of Police, who was brought in from New Orleans to help “fix” the Baltimore PD.

Bringing in Michael Harrison to be Police Commissioner in Baltimore, is working about as well as bringing in Willie Williams as Chief of Police in Los Angeles following the L.A. riots. No, check that, on second thought, Willie Williams, was far better than Harrison. Under Williams, the crime rate fell in Los Angeles and police-community relations stabilized. In Baltimore, crime just keeps getting worse with Harrison at the helm.

Kids in muscle cars were captured on video doing “donuts” at downtown City intersections – all caught on camera and dutifully sent out over the airwaves by local tv stations, without anyone asking the simple and obvious question of “where the hell were the police?” This did not happen on some deserted roadway, this happened in the very heart of downtown Baltimore. It feels almost like some of the local media view the City being totally out of control as their new reality. A terrible reality that must be accepted because nothing can be done to fix it. It feels like they have given up.

All this, while Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, whose name is being floated as a possible candidate for president, complains of the Democrat-controlled City’s inability to do anything to bring its crime problem under control no matter how many millions of dollars the state releases.

Not that it matters, but this city of more than 585-thousand people is on track to set a new record for murder. Turning it into an “us vs. them” political issue, probably won’t help anybody.

Could Baltimore turn out to be the country’s next Detroit? Maybe the state can cut a deal with one of the Mexican cartels to patrol the streets in pickup trucks like they do in TJ? Can’t be any worse than what they have now. It might even be more cost-effective.

Missing The Big Issues

Watching a discussion on CNN this morning. According to the political mavens, “Abortion, Economy Top Midterm Issues For Voters.”

Not this voter.

My top two issues are campaign finance reform – reversing the idiotic “Citizens United” decision and getting dark money out of American politics. That’s number one. Universal healthcare, is number two.

Ted Kennedy, was hammering away on the need for universal healthcare in the mid 1970’s. But we still don’t have it. Shouldn’t any thinking, developed culture have universal healthcare which includes comprehensive healthcare for women? Why is this still even a question?

A handful of honest politicians have been trying to get real campaign finance reform passed for decades, and for a while they did, but others then canceled it out, taking things in the opposite direction and leaving us not with transparency, but near-blindness with regard to where the money that funds our political system is coming from, giving oligarchs and giant corporations a free-hand in controlling our government. We won’t be a truly free people until we get big money out of our politics. But we still don’t have that, either.

If I were to throw in a third issue that’s being missed, it would probably be term limits for the House and Senate. And number four, and this is a biggie, eliminate the Electoral College. Elect the president by popular vote. Both, I think, would require amending the Constitution. It would be worth it.

From “Since the national popular vote was first recorded in 1824, there have been four presidential elections where the winner won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote:”

Seems to me that these much larger issues have to be dealt with before any of the smaller issues will fall into line with what most people want. Isn’t that what our system is supposed to do? Could that be why so many Americans seem so angry? Because laws aren’t being passed and sometimes presidents elected based upon what most Americans actually want?

Are we really adequately represented in DC? Or is the country increasingly controlled by big, dark money from god knows where?

Nobody’s talking about any of this. Probably because it’s too complex. Not something that will attract viewers.

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.