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.
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.
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.
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.
There was a time, not so very long ago, when you actually had to do something. You had to have a string of accomplishments proving you were worthy of being given a voice, before they handed you a megaphone or a microphone or a keyboard. No more. Now, a little rich kid from South Africa, can fall over backwards into an emerald mine, buy a social media app, and suddenly be in charge of one of the biggest and potentially most dangerous megaphones ever invented. This might be compared to Wm. Randolph Hearst, getting into the newspaper business?
Sure, I know about Space-X and Tesla, but he didn’t exactly invent anything did he? Musk, simply invested money he had inherited, right? Do a couple of smart or lucky investments mean we should listen to what he has to say or that he should have control over one of our most powerful channels of information? Is Warren Buffett, really that much wiser than the rest of us simply because he has acquired a pile of money? For years now, I have been fascinated by the major media’s affection for Mr. Buffett, treating him like some old testament prophet, simply because he is sitting on a truckload of money.
At this point I should probably insert something about people not being able to live on money alone, about Homo sapiens primal need for spiritual input or we will wither away, but that old chestnut has been pulled out of the fire so many times that if our species doesn’t get it by now, chances are we never will.
Sounds pretty bad for us, doesn’t it?
Is the story of Musk, all that different from the story of our last alleged president, who was reportedly handed some $400-million by his dad, only to blow it all in bad business deals before he too found Twitter, turning it into a soapbox that landed him in the White House – along with considerable help from CNN and MSNBC, hungry for the ratings Fox had been getting? Interesting how the 7/24 news channels are now so eager to condemn DJT, after they did so much to get him elected? People forget.
The dangers of social media apps are all too apparent. Or maybe Twitter, is simply evil. A tool of the devil. But that would be beyond me. Evangelicals of one sect or another might want to look into it. Hopefully they won’t wait too long. It feels a little like children are out there playing with loaded shotguns. Again.
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.
It’s good to have a variety of sources for news and opinion. It’s also important to be able to distinguish between the two.
This morning, I could feel myself falling into a pit of depression after reading a headline on the front page of the Baltimore Sun. “Trump runs ahead of Hogan in hypothetical GOP primary.” the headline says. “Trump has twice the support of Hogan among likely Republican voters in Maryland” it says.
I continue to be amazed at the number of people who continue to support Donald Trump, even if they are Republicans who obviously don’t read and watch nothing but Fox News.
It’s horrific, after all that’s happened, that Maryland Republicans would choose the Donald over Larry Hogan, a Republican governor in a blue state who is extremely popular among both Republicans and Dems. Hogan, would probably get along well with former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had as much trouble with the state’s Republicans as he did with Democrats.
Schwarzenegger and Hogan, are both centrist Republicans. As such, they are increasingly rare birds. Not unlike Liz Chaney and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom have refused to follow their party into a black hole of political insanity bordering on treason. Instead, Cheney and Kinzinger, are behaving like patriots. American patriots. Something we badly need.
Back here in Maryland, the thing with Larry Hogan makes no sense at all until you see a recent quote from Donald’s niece, Mary Trump, who happens to be a clinical psychologist.
“I hear people say that Republicans are afraid of Donald – No they’re not. They are him. They are sticking with the guy who gives them permission to be their worst selves,” she says.
Thank you Ms. Trump. The world is no longer standing on its head. Of course the question of why they insist upon being that way, remains. I suspect it has something to do with the ease of falling into an emotional pit rather than using one’s mind to think. Or, they could be suffering from some mental illness?
In her book, “The Sociopath Next Door” another clinical psychologist, Martha Stout, argues that “4 percent of ordinary people–one in twenty-five–has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.”
Where does this leave us? Apparently, with a big chunk of our populace both badly informed and (or) mentally ill. We can’t possibly expect these people to get their news and opinion from a variety of sources much less differentiate between the two. They are easy prey to those who want only to extract wealth from the masses and tear apart the common good.
As the Jan 6 hearings move forward, it may be pertinent to remember that failed Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, is at or near the top of the list of those who want to see the destruction of our American Democracy.
It is also important to recall that Putin and Donald Trump are among one-another’s greatest admirers and that the Russians were actively involved in trying to get Donald Trump re-elected. Sometimes things are exactly as they seem.
British and French news outlets are getting it right while some of the American media is dancing around the real lead – that being, that the congressional committee investigating the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6th of 2021, has found former President Donald Trump quite likely guilty of a criminal conspiracy in leading an attempted coup against the U.S. Government.
“On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain the president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election. And in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power” – Rep. Liz Cheney
“Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021″ – Federal Dist. Court Judge David Carter
According to the Committee, Trump was aided and abetted by certain Republican members of the U.S. Congress who sought pardons from Trump, prior to his leaving office.
Jan 6. panel says Scott Perry among multiple GOP lawmakers who wanted Trump pardon” – The Hill
Trump “summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.” -Rep. Liz Cheney
The Los Angeles Times, was among those who got it right, with their front page banner headline reading simply – Jan 6 was ‘attempted coup’
For some the question now becomes who it was that guided Trump through the process leading up to and carrying out the attempted coup, for clearly, as anyone who has been paying attention knows, he was not capable of coming up with this himself.
When I first read about this it seemed unbelievable. I promised myself that I’d eventually get back to it. So here it is. The following is from The Moscow Times, April, 2019.
“More than one-fifth of Russian households do not have access to indoor plumbing, according to official statistics obtained by the RBC news website on Tuesday.”
“Russia leads the developed world with the worst sanitation record, according to the London-based WaterAid NGO. A 2012 estimate citing official data placed the number of Russians whose households are only equipped with outhouses at 35 million, or roughly a quarter of the population.”
Are you still wondering why Vladimir Putin, a man whom Donald Trump has called a “genius” invaded Ukraine? It’s simple, really. He needed a diversion from his miserable failures as a leader.
At the same time, we have a real “glass houses” problem here in the U.S.. With more than 66-thousand homeless on the streets of Los Angeles County alone, the County Supervisors have just voted to create an office to coordinate their response to the problem. Isn’t it surprising they didn’t do so sooner?
Nationally, by one estimate, there are more than 580-thousand homeless in the United States. On another front, Buzzfeed estimates that some 700 people died in February of 2021 in Texas, as a result of the power going down during Winter Storm Uri.
Those who champion Elon Musk as a promoter of free speech, apparently have no idea that Twitter is a privately owned company that can censor or ban anyone they want from their service. Nor does Twitter have anything to do with journalism. It is a purveyor of rumor, misinformation, hate and fear. We would all be better off if it just went away. In fact, social media in general, could turn out to be one of the greatest threats to the Republic and thereby to Democracy in history, a wonderful example of our inability to properly deal with advancing technology.
Just because someone has a lot of money is no indicator of their ability to make good choices for how the rest of us want to live. The founders knew this, which is why they wanted “We The People,” and not a relative handful of merchant bankers in charge of the country. It appears the founders may have failed. We’re not quite there yet but it feels like we’re getting awfully close as Elon Musk, threatens to open the door on a booming return to Trumpism in America.
A failure to adequately regulate Capitalism will inevitably lead to Neo-Feudalism. In the words of Radar O’Reilly, “Wait for it.” The Republicans opened the door with Reagonomics, and it’s on the way.
Free trade has nothing to do with allowing monopolies. Preserving Democracy does not mean supporting fraud. Free speech has little to do with supporting false information. We might have to allow it, but it needn’t be encouraged and even celebrated.
Before long we could all be begging for the scraps under the oligarch’s tables, here in America, in Russia, and anywhere else a handfull of uber-wealthy people are allowed to gather up most of the wealth and thereby most of the power.
We have gone from suffering through four years of waking up each morning and turning on the tv to find out what new madness Donald Trump had unleashed on the country and the world to now doing the same for a man Trump has declared to be a “genius,” the Russian butcher of women, children and the elderly, Vladimir Putin.
How some Americans can still be so misinformed as to support Donald Trump, is something that should concern us all. Reversing the spread of misinformation and disinformation in the American media should be a priority.
Americans must be made aware of the critical need to preserve the transmission of fact-based information, real journalism, in America. They need to be made aware that not everything that came to us through the “Reagan Revolution” was a benefit to the country. Some of it, like the extreme deregulation of the media and media ownership, may have actually weakened our democracy.
The Federal Government, should perhaps, be considering legislation to restore some power to the FCC. Bringing back some version of the Fairness Doctrine might be a start, with the regulation covering not only broadcast and cable outlets, but American originated internet news outlets of a certain viewership and income, as well.
Something must be done to prohibit alleged news outlets from pitching pure propaganda disguised as legitimate news to a vulnerable public. At the very least, news outlets should be required to separate out and clearly label legitimate fact-based news from opinion.
We simply cannot and must not let Donald Trump and his supporters do to America what Vladimir Putin has done to Russia, through the use of misinformation and outright lies.
Anyone else see the parallels between Trump and Putin, with both men willing to destroy their countries rather than admit failure? It seems so obvious, but maybe it’s just me. However, both also share techniques, like rigging or trying to rig elections, and calling anything that casts them in an unfavorable light, “fake news.”
For a time I thought the Russians might have been giving Trump instructions on how to use disinformation and a few other techniques to overthrow American Democracy, which is clearly what he was trying to do. I still wonder if that’s not the case. So much of this stuff is right out of an old KGB playbook.
The degree to which Trump and his minions have employed Russian tactics to convince millions of Americans that real news is fake and vice-versa, is both astounding and frightening.
Why aren’t these factors being brought to the surface and discussed? Feels like there’s a reckoning coming, doesn’t it?
Is it because there is a fear, a very deep-seated fear, of Americans once again choosing sides and going after one-another? A second Civil War to settle this current surge of white supremacy? Is that the reckoning? Or is it another fear, that of war with Russia, possibly a nuclear war, breaking out over Putin’s need to win something, anything, before stopping his maniacal obsession with these ongoing, pointless attacks on Ukraine?
Aren’t we being hit with both at the same time? A failure to fully deal with the fascism that was Stalin’s Russia and the many failures of reconstruction in the United States?
Perhaps there is a standoff coming between two kinds of people. Those who demand the self-determination and freedom of Democracy, and those others, who are willing to unthinkingly and blindly follow a tyrant wherever he might lead. Fascism vs. Democracy, and those of us who have the courage to stand up for what we believe?
This is a photo of my Uncle, Bud Olsen, a naval aviator who gave his life in WW II when his plane, a Grumman TBF, went into the ocean. He was 21. Just a kid. Because of him, and so many others like him, I thought this madness had ended. And yet, here we are, with freedom once again demanding eternal vigilance. Confronted with a voice from the past, demanding that business left unfinished in 1945, must be dealt with now.
It was then, at war’s end on the European continent, that the British had drawn up plans for “Operation Unthinkable,” A massive attack which had the Brits and the U.S. joining forces with what was left of the German Army and the Poles, and going after the Russians, driving them back into Russia. The operation, of course, was never carried out. And here we all are.
Churchill, who had asked for the plans to be drawn up, was proving himself to be a true visionary, possessing the insight that even with the departure of Stalin, others, like Vladimir Putin, would be waiting for an opportunity to express their own peculiar brand of madness, slaughtering children and the elderly and destroying themselves, and possibly their country, in the process.
This needs to be vetted by lawyers, but it would appear that talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, may have found a legal roadblock preventing Donald Trump from ever holding another federal public office in the U.S. It’s Title 18 of the U.S. Code, subsection 2071, which says-
“(b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.”
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.