Dear Networks: Please Tell It Like It Is

Some solid political pros, including James Carville, are predicting a sizable victory for Joe Biden. Another poll-watcher predicts it will be an early call for the Dems.

If that’s the case, if Biden blows Trump away early on, how will the networks handle it? Will they have the nerve to do their jobs and “tell it like it is,” or will they play a pc game, cowering in a corner and making it sound as though whatever nonsense Trump spouts has actual value, trying so hard to appear fair to those on the right by giving credit to Trump’s obvious lies that they end up being unfair to the truth and shortchanging the Biden camp?

Nothing much at stake here, just the future of the country. Remember when the Ben Bradlee character said that in the movie “All The President’s Men?” It was true in the 60’s, and it’s true now. Tell it like it is, not the way Trump wants it to be. Deceit, is the enemy. It always has been. More than ever, we need the strength of some real Journalism to pull us out of this.

How The Cow Ate The Cabbage

What to do? Turn on the tv and deal with the inevitable rise in blood pressure or leave it alone and risk being ignorant of the next terrible pronouncement/development from the fascist lunatic in the White House? It’s a daily challenge here in 3rd world America. It wouldn’t be, except that about one-third of the electorate apparently thinks the way things are is the way they should remain.

How did we get here? How, if the Democrats take the Oval and the Senate, can we prevent this from ever happening again?

In my mind everything, well, almost everything, dates back to the end of the Civil War. It remains a giant scab on the nation’s body politic that never fully healed. Not since our two biggest political parties got together in a disputed election in 1876 and cut a deal to shut down reconstruction in the south.

Those who would “Make America White Again,” are living in a world that no longer exists. A world most of us would never return to. This is no longer a battle between liberals and conservatives. It’s a fight between decency and something else. Each day brings a new reminder of how much better than this most of us truly are.

A solution remains a work in progress.

Perhaps it’s time to stop denying how things really are, or as that late great Texan, Ann Richards put it, “Friends, it’s time to talk about how the cow ate the cabbage.”

Trump vs. Biden – 1876 All Over Again?

CBS Sunday Morning, ran a wonderful piece today about the presidential election of 1876. Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, was the winner even though a guy you’ve probably never heard of from New York, Samuel Tildon, won by a huge margin of the popular vote. Tildon, won the popular vote by 250,000 ballots but lost the electoral college after three southern states threw their electors at Rutherford B. Hayes.

The thing to keep in mind here, is that Hayes was a Republican, and at that time, the Republican Party was still the actual (real) party of Lincoln, the man who just a few years before had signed the Emancipation Proclamation and got the Civil War fired up. Tildon, was a Democrat, who opposed the party of Lincoln.

For years to come the south would be known as the “Solid South,” in that it would be solidly democratic, opposed to the party of lincoln which freed the slaves and set the south on a path to reconstruction. The “Solid South” remained that way for decades, all the way up to Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in the 1960’s. At that time, millions of white southerners, still stinging from losing the Civil War, left the Democratic Party and became Republicans, something Republican candidates would use in years to come, employing race-baiting to drive whites to the ballot box, while using voter-suppression to keep Black people away. You might know it as “The Southern Strategy.”

So what does this have to do with Rutherford B. Hayes and the election of 1876? A great deal, perhaps.

Tildon’s supporters demanded that the election be given to him, because he had won the popular vote by a wide margin. Hayes and the Republicans said that would never do, because they had won the electoral college, so by law, Hayes had won the election, regardless of the popular vote.

There was considerable consternation, even talk of another civil war to settle the matter. Instead, a small group of powerful political movers and shakers got together in a smoke-filled room and came up with “The Compromise of 1877.”

The deal they made was that Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican, would be given the election. In return, Tilden’s supporters were promised an end to reconstruction in the south, calling out federal troops and stripping away the protections reconstruction afforded Black people, who, not long before, had been enslaved.

Got that? The “Solid South” got approval for the overtly racist policies of Jim Crow while the party of Lincoln, got the White House. And here we are today, with the Solid South having flipped from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party after JFK and Lyndon Johnson came along and tried to restore some of what the death of reconstruction had taken away.

Voter suppression, race-baiting, one side threatening to refuse the outcome of the election unless their side wins, with a system that is still no less confused in some respects than it was in 1876.

We have been here before. Thanks to CBS Sunday Morning, for casting some light on the subject and bringing up the point that the country was founded by a clubby group of wealthy landowners. It’s not much of a leap to understand that the electoral college was established to protect their best interests. Just imagine what might happen if the ignorant, unwashed masses should be bamboozled into electing someone who was running just to gin up publicity for himself and make as much money as possible? Someone who cared nothing for the people or the general welfare of the country? Someone without the intellect to understand the Constitution, provided he would ever take the time to actually read it?

That’s where the electoral college would enter the picture, overriding the misguided popular vote, throwing the bum out and saving the country from treachery and possible ruin. Which is exactly what it failed to do in 2016 after nearly opening the door on a second civil war in 1876.

Wouldn’t we be better off without it?

Many years ago someone told me that “This is a democracy. What most of the people want, is the way it’s going to be.”

Really? Not with the Electoral College in play.

Feels Like Los Angeles

Dog bites man, man bites dog, dog starts fire?

Hot off the wire…. Our local Patch reports that a dog inadvertently turned on the stove in a house here in Bel Air, starting a kitchen fire at 4:40AM. Lots of smoke, but all the occupants got out uninjured. Damages are estimated at $50,000. Fire officials say the house had a smoke detector but that it failed to go off.

Not to be outdone, some guy opened all four doors and the trunk of his car, turned on the wipers and started dancing with himself on the I-95 here in Harford County. It’s reported he slammed his fist down onto the hood of another vehicle. The man was taken to a local hospital for observation. Could be pre-election stress? Feels like one of those “Only in Los Angeles” stories. Except that it’s here.

Drugs, Money And The Generalissimo At LAX

The madness is coming in so fast that it’s difficult to keep up. Stuff like Forbes reporting that Donald’s real indebtedness is something above a billion dollars and that Mexico’s former Defense Minister has been arrested at LAX on charges of narcotics trafficking and money laundering. This would be like our former Secretary of Defense, being arrested at the airport in Mexico City for drug-running.

It’s reported that General Salvador Cienfuegos, is in custody and that he will eventually be transferred to New York. For six years, Cienfuegos, was in charge of Mexico’s war on drugs, which could be why they haven’t made more progress. There’s also the fact that Americans keep buying all the product they can hustle across the border. Can’t really blame anybody. With Trump still in office, the need for self-medication is worse than ever.

The real “dark state” in the U.S., is Donald J. Trump and his debtors. In Mexico, it appears to be a government hierarchy that has been co-opted by the country’s drug lords. Then there’s all that dark money out there. We don’t know where it’s coming from or where it’s going. All we can be certain of is that it has nothing to do with good government. And that we’re still waiting for Mexico to pay for the wall, which has yet to be built. Much like a Republican health plan.

Language That Makes You Ill

Went to Joe and Mika this morning and found myself neck deep in a discussion of “Illliberalism.” Seriously? What the hell? I was just getting used to Neoliberalism to the point that I could comfortably work it into the political landscape, and now they’re hitting me with this?

I need a break. We all need a break. Hopefully, one is on the way. I am beyond hoping for those good old liberal, conservative and moderate divisions and their sub-divisions of center-right, center-left, far right and far left, which everybody could understand. Well, most of us, anyway. A world where many of us didn’t feel threatened by the newest almost daily politically incorrect word or phrase or way of thinking, with concepts like Illiberalism being thrown at us and being used like we’re all supposed to understand what those who use these new words are saying. It’s not them, it’s us? What nonsense. It’s them and they are out of control.

A few weeks ago, “LatinX” entered the scene. Huh? I spent more than thirty years in Los Angeles, and it appears they’re talking about Latinos, which is a word I understand. “LatinX” means nothing to me. It sounds like a slur on people who originated in Latin America. Sounds like somebody wants to “X” them out? I hope it doesn’t last. Like calling women “Karens,” which is a childish slur on millions of women who don’t deserve it. What is this? The 4th grade? That needs to go away too.

We are all bogged down in an Illiberal, Neoliberal, Illconservative swamp. A world where many of us can’t understand what’s being said, and that might be the greatest threat of all. We would probably all be far better off if we tried to keep it simple. Then, at least, we would be able to understand one another.

Fun With Donald

Another evening of fun with Donald, and another pill to help me sleep. I’m not the least bit ashamed of it you see, because I know I’m far from being alone with thoughts that will not leave me. Thoughts of just how precarious this situation really is, with an alleged leader who will say anything that pops into his head, continuing to project his illness, his bad craziness as Dr. Thompson would have put it, onto an already exhausted nation.

I keep trying to forget that this man who appears to pop in and out of some delusionary world all his own has access to the nuclear codes. Kudos to Savannah Guthrie, for doing as good a job as could be expected. Dealing with lunacy is no small chore, and she held up well as Donald prattled on and on with endless helpings of word salad, spewing lie after lie, projecting his wrongdoings and madness onto the opposition.

And they say that around thirty percent of the country likes this guy? I’m not sure who “they” are, but that’s what I’m hearing, so it must be true.

Watching the DJT event on NBC was an enormous waste of time, of course. Felt I had to though, just in case. You never know what a guy with Donald’s mental co-morbidity might do. That’s what makes it so exhausting. Like trying to figure out whether he’ll show up for the last scheduled debate on October 22nd. Not that it matters all that much. Barring any huge gaffs, everyone, I think, has probably settled in on who they favor. The petulant spoiled child, born with a $400-million silver spoon in his mouth and enraged over the thought of losing his binky, or the father figure, who will guide us back to the land of sanity. A place where we will all be able to get some sleep once again as American democracy is rescued from the bonds of treason that continue to threaten us by making this insane “new normal” a permanent fixture of American society.

Nothing To See Here…

Following the news conference with the President’s personal physician, I am reminded of a cop standing in front of a really bad traffic accident directing onlookers to “Move along, nothing to see here….”

Two of the President’s doctors refused to say whether Trump had been on oxygen at any time during his treatment.

After the press conference, which smacked more of a public relations event than a professional medical briefing, Dr. Natalie Azar, who contributes to MSNBC, said that because Trump is obese, male and 74, it will be several days before he will be out of danger to the point that he will be able to leave Walter Reed.

Am now waiting for Al Franken to do a guest-spot. Kudos to MSNBC, for bringing Franken back as a guest-commentator. We currently need as much of his intelligent and honest analysis as we can get. The Dems made a huge mistake by overreacting, treating Franken like a felon, and throwing him under their political bus. He was the best spokesperson the party had. Still is.

And Now This

With hurricanes, one after another, battering the south while wildfires ravage the west coast and a climate change denier commander in chief talking about the Covid problem being resolved by “herd mentality” amid breaking news that a private jail in Georgia, used by ICE to house detainees, may have been performing unnecessary hysterectomies on women detained at the border – with all of this happening at the same time isn’t it about time for somebody to get up and shout out the obvious, that Donald J. Trump is mentally challenged to the point that he represents a clear and present danger to the country? At long last, do these Republicans have absolutely no shame? Are they without humanity? Do they find no treachery beyond the realm of acceptability?

We are approaching 2-hundred thousand dead from Covid, and still we have no national plan to stop it. How long can this madness go on? Only the Republicans can stop it. Only they will be held accountable if they continue to do nothing as this madness, this destruction of our democracy, continues.

Donald J. Trump is not well. He obviously cares nothing for the law even though our founders gave us a nation of laws. He cares nothing about the well being of our people or our troops overseas. He has taken us dangerously close to the edge with speech patterns filled with inconsistencies, illogic and paranoia. Don’t you suppose that Mr. Trump’s greatest fear is that his followers might find out just how utterly incompetent he truly is?

How many psychologists and psychiatrists need tell us that Donald J. Trump is not mentally sound to the degree that he represents a danger? That the job of President, is quite simply beyond his abilities? Are there no patriots left in the Republican Party, only traitors? Why are we being forced to wonder whether a peaceful transition of power will be possible when Joe Biden wins in November?

We wouldn’t be asking most of these questions if only the Republicans had fulfilled their duty to the country and held a legitimate trial in the Senate following Trump’s impeachment in the House. Eisenhower, Reagan, McCain and other real Republicans are surely spinning in their graves as this current batch of pseudo-Republican hacks continue selling out the country, their party, their sense of moral decency and ethical responsibility that once upon a time, not so very long ago, probably made them actually worthwhile. The other possibility, of course, is that those Republicans in the Senate who held a “show trial,” along with the president himself, all exhibit such a degree of psychological co-morbidity as to render them beyond any real human feeling or conscience, and as such, beyond the reach of simple decency.

Mostlee Fake Nooze


Breaking! Trump sends out military to blow holes in roads to improve transportation. White House says the president feels it’s the least he can do following his success with the USPS and Covid-19.

Breaking! First Lady Melania Trump sprains ankle while pretending to putter in the new and improved rose garden. While struggling to stay upright on 6-inch stilettos, Mrs. Trump was heard saying, “Vy isss diss damn dirty ground so damned vet? Vhere isss Donald? Vire da gardener!” An unnamed supporter standing nearby needed medical attention after being hit in the head by a golden spade Mrs. Trump launched into the air just before hitting the ground. The man is expected to recover.

Breaking! President Trump sounds alarm over failure of Frederick Douglass to respond to repeated invitations to White House dinner. Trump thinks there may be an ANTIFA connection. Anonymous men in black body armor are investigating.

Breaking! The American Academy of Auditory Pediatrics issues warning to keep children out of the room when Kimberly Gullfoyle is speaking. The Academy is working on a system of automatic electronic alerts to guard against potential hearing loss and broken glass.

Broken! Mike Pence to give campaign speech from Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, the nation’s only national park also designated as a shrine. The site was chosen, the White House says, after the Vatican turned down a request to shoot at St. Peters.

……..more to come………

Bellowing, Bloviating And Blathering

Did you see it, or perhaps I should say, can you remember any of it with your eyes still burning from all that smoke in the air? It was in the headlines less than a week ago, but is mostly forgotten, hidden behind the Trump Administration’s giant smoke machine.

The latest cloud of nonsense from Trump, is another possibly bogus treatment for Covid-19. First it was the possibility of injecting sanitizers into the body or flooding the body with some kind of magic light. Then came hydroxychloroquine. The doctors gave that one a big thumbs-down. This time it’s the “emergency authorization of convalescent plasma” to attack the virus. Donald Trump, a man with no medical training, has assured the public that it will work. He has made this assurance before medical trials have been completed. So he has no real idea whether it will work. Medical experts apparently don’t either, which is why actual doctors haven’t broadly recommended it.

It may not work, at least not to the degree that Trump wants us to believe, but it’s sending out another giant plume of smoke, one more huge deflective dust-up for the general public to try and deal with, at least those who are still paying attention after being worn thin with exhaustion from Trump’s misinformation and disinformation.

It almost feels like something the Russian KGB would have put together during the cold war, doesn’t it?

Trying to sort out just one piece of Trump’s PR putrification is enough to throw the public completely off track, which is what has happened since, less than a week ago, NBC News reported that “The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee made criminal referrals of Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince and Sam Clovis to federal prosecutors in 2019,…” Just days after the story broke, former Trump advisor, Steve Bannon, was taken into custody from a yacht off the coast of Maine. So what about the others? Principally, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr.? Will they be arrested next?

It’s all very close to home for Donald Trump, with “criminal referrals” being recommended by top Intel Committee Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. Wikipedia, says a criminal referral, is “a notice to a prosecutory body, recommending criminal investigation or prosecution of one or more entities for crimes which fall into that body’s jurisdiction.”

They went after Bannon, so what about Don Jr. and Jared Kushner? Will they be deemed immune from prosecution by William Barr’s Justice Department? Will Steve Bannon, be the temporary sacrificial goat, out on bail until and if he’s escorted to jail only to be issued a presidential pardon?

All we really need to know is that Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intel Committee think there is enough evidence of collusion with the Rusians in the 2016 election, to recommend a criminal investigation into Bannon, Kushner and Trump Jr. Obviously, they think there is something there, something that might lead to criminal convictions.

All we need to know is that Donald John Trump broke the law, grossly violating the emoluments clause, when he asked Russia to help him defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. He is a criminal.

All we need to know is no matter how despicable Jeffrey Epstein might have been, his possibly being denied due process is a threat to us all. The very fact that we now must wonder if suicide actually was his cause of death is troubling enough, with implications that reach even into the British Royal Family.

All we need to know is that almost every angry accusation that comes from the Trump family or their minions, is a projection of themselves. We can feel the uncertainty of those who live in Turkey, Russia, North Korea and Belarus, as Donald Trump does all he can to turn our system into a totalitarian state. His need for control unfettered by the advise and consent of the Congress is transparent. History will likely judge this Republican controlled Senate to be traitorous in their refusal to conduct adequate oversight of the Trump White House.

One can only pity the mainstream press in this era of Trump. All they need to do to be condemned for being slanted in favor of the left is to tell the truth. And so they are condemned for doing their jobs. The urge to be less than objective to avoid attacks from the massive and well organized echo chamber of the right has to be nearly overwhelming. Attacks from politicians are to be expected, but never before, at least not in recent times, has the normalization of the abnormal been so prevalent, has the promotion of abject lies as the truth become so normalized, as to drive the acceptability of a totalitarian thug who exhibits “co-morbid” mental issues.

Beyond the traditional news media and its struggle to deal with this current madness, a bigger question might be whether we are at a point where a madman (or woman) with a Twitter account can control the direction of the country?

But back to our premise of trying to remember what is and isn’t real in the chaos-strewn world of Donald J. Trump – with his latest new miracle cure for Covid and TikTok suing the Administration over Trump’s threatened ban. With the Republican Party announcing that they will have no platform for the upcoming convention, that their only platform will be to back their golden boy. With Trump’s Niece, Psychologist, Dr. Mary Trump, writing a tell-all book alleging Donald exhibits psychological “co-morbidity” and then releasing audio of Donald’s sister, who happens to be a retired federal judge, corroborating some of the claims laid out in the book? Or Donald’s completely bogus threat to send law enforcement officials to oversee the upcoming election, something he has no power to do? Did I mention the apparently intentional crippling of the USPS in what appears to be an overt act of voter suppression while sending anonymous federal “police” out into our streets to detain peaceful protesters? And now, topping it all off, Trump mainstay and misinformation guru Kellyanne Conway, the woman who coined the unforgettable term “alternative facts” is quitting her job with the White House. Apparently we aren’t alone in reaching the point of exhaustion.

How long before Kellyanne shows up on Fox? Does former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, have audio or maybe even video of the “golden showers” incident with Donald Trump he has admitted to witnessing in Las Vegas? But mostly, how is America supposed to focus on the Senate Intel Committee’s recommendation of a criminal investigation of Donald J. Trump’s eldest son and son-in-law? Like that doesn’t matter? That was huge folks, a monster story, while much of this other stuff is just noise. But it’s the noise, the smoke, that obscures all else, and it’s gonna get worse. The closer the election the more Trump and his evil minions will ratchet their giant smoke machine into high-gear, bellowing, bloviating and blathering to the max to the very last minute in an effort to obscure the truth, hide the facts, hoodwink the American public and hijack an election while somewhere deep within the bowels of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, smiles.

Hurricane Who?

After several days of stumbling over the name of this new hurricane (Isaias) without a clue as to how it is pronounced, most broadcasters seem to have settled on “ee-say-ee-iss.” It’s origin appears to be ancient Hebrew or Spanish, depending upon which source you believe.

In the future the National Hurricane Center might do well to pick a name everyone is a little more familiar with, like Esai or Isaiah. Unless their goal is less to communicate and more to promote multiculturalism or something else we are unaware of. These days it’s difficult to be sure, when they hit you with something that’s totally unfamiliar but act like you should know all about it and there is certainly something wrong with you if you don’t.

If the goal is teaching multiculturalism, then eventually they should get around to Norse and Hindu gods. And hopefully, characters from The Simpsons. That would at least make the storms a bit more palatable in addition to being names broadcasters could pronounce without looking like they’re gagging. Better yet, how about naming the storms after famous movie characters? That way, we could have Dumbledore coming ashore in the Carolinas while Spartacus forms up out in the Atlantic, making natural disasters both educational and fun.

Complications In The Age Of Covid

Oh Lord, the plague is upon us. But can Covid possibly screw things up any worse than it already has? Of course it can. And maybe it will. Bad enough that we humans, who crave social contact, are now forced to see all other humans as vector-carrying threats.

Bring out the dead.

More than anything, most of us love getting together with others. Which will now kill us. Or so we’re told. Either way, a smart person will play the odds and put some distance between himself and other people. So there’s that. There’s also this new thing I feel when I go out and see someone not wearing a mask, or wearing a mask without covering their nose. It really pisses me off. It really does, almost as much as Donald Trump, refusing to wear one at all. Anywhere. I’ve run out of adjectives to define his consistently declining despicability. Or those who refuse to see it. All we can do is wait for his next new low. It’s what he lives for and it’s coming. Bet on it. It’s one of the few things we can all still depend upon, which means we all need to keep one eye on D.C. and another on L.A.

It was four or five months ago that a friend in Los Angeles sent word that he was waiting in a long line at Costco. When I asked why the line was so long, he responded that for some reason, half of L.A. had decided to load up on toilet paper and bottled water. It made no sense. I still don’t understand it, except that Covid-19, or maybe fear of the unknown, causes people to do some very strange things. And that Angelenos, were a good two weeks ahead of the rest of us.

I suppose the bug might have invaded trees, severely limiting the timber industry, thereby causing a toilet paper shortage? From there, airborne virus that it is, Covid might have somehow invaded the water supply, contaminating that as well, which would put washing one’s hands to keep one safe to the test.

From the start, stocking up on toilet paper and bottled water made no sense whatsoever, with the possible exception of promoting the bottom lines at the toilet paper and bottled water companies, which makes me wonder what we’re doing now. Except for folks over in Bangkok, Thailand, where, according to a piece in the New York Times, Bangkokians are offering food and drink to certain spirits, in return for the spirits keeping them safe. Might be worth a try?

Here in the medically logic-strapped but greed-possessed United States, it appears that wearing masks, washing hands regularly and social distancing are what definitely does work against Covid. Keeping your immune system in good shape might be a good idea, as well. So why are states like Texas, Florida and Alabama opening everything back up even though our national Covid curve is high and staying there? Wouldn’t it be wiser to wait for the curve to at least start falling before we throw away our masks and head to the beach or the nearest Trump for President rally, to become an ignorant, screaming cog in the next Covid super-spreader event? What exactly is wrong with Donald? The entire thinking world wants to know. The tac being taken by the liberal Northeast, makes far more sense.

My sister just returned to Vermont from Arizona. She wants to go down to Massachusetts to visit her mother, but she can’t. Not for two weeks. That’s how long Massachusetts is forcing here to remain in quarantine up in Vermont, before crossing the border. Then, after she gets into Massachusetts, she can’t go back to Vermont for two weeks, for the same reason. The quarantine thing.

She’s thinking about heading out to Martha’s Vineyard to wait it all out from a distance. I was thinking that it might be fun for my wife and me to drive up and join her. Thing is, getting there, normally a day’s drive, would probably take us two to three months because of all the quarantined states. That said, the fight against Covid does seem to be working here in the northeast, which is far more than can be said for the southern super-spreader mostly former slave states, which either don’t get it or simply do not care, apparently seeing all the additional death as the cost of doing business.

But that’s life in Donald Trump’s America in this age of Covid. Love him or hate him, he is our Commander in Chief. Our big wheel. The man. El Patron. Our great orange thud, leaving us with no national strategy to deal with a very deadly bug.

As for me, I’m awaiting word from L.A., to find out what’s coming next. If the lines start forming up at Costco again, I’m buying all the toilet paper I can get my hands on. Will also, probably, begin leaving offerings to Thai divinity Kaman Thong, out on the patio. It’s something to consider.