Tag Archives: Election

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.

Republican Fascists Out To Destroy American Democracy

A couple of very interesting issues are hitting the fan. One, is the health of Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin.

Several news outlets, including “The Sun” in the U.K., are making the claim that some inside source says Putin, is about to go under the knife for cancer surgery. This is on top of speculation that he suffers from Parkinsons, which would explain his grabbing the table to steady his hand at a recent photo-op and his mindless killing of thousands in a needless war.

Considering the innocent lives he is responsible for taking it would be a stretch to wish him well. The same might be said of several members of the Supreme Court, who, it appears, are about to issue a ruling that will be responsible for jeopardizing the lives of thousands of poor American women by denying them their right to choose an abortion.

This might be a good spot to insert something about the terrible affinity our past president has for Vladimir Putin, and how that seems to align itself with this current Republican Party’s affinity for Fascism and their apparent need to use the law to support their ongoing misogyny.

If memory serves, a couple of these reptilian-brained Trump appointees said or implied during their confirmation hearings, that Roe v. Wade, was settled law. That is to say, it’s a firm precedent that should not and would not be overturned, if it were up them. Well, now it is up to them and they are proving themselves to be liars. As such, they have no place on the nation’s highest court. They should be recalled and kicked to the curb. I’m not even sure that’s possible, but if it isn’t, then the Congress should pass a new law making it possible, and get it done. They can put it in the same bill that eliminates the filibuster.

This could and should be a giant wedge issue for Democrats in the upcoming midterm election, which needs to be a one-issue election. Voting for Democrats, is voting for a women’s right to choose. A vote for any Republican, is a vote against a women’s right to choose. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for Democracy. A vote for a Republican, is a vote for Fascism.

After the fascist Republicans shut down a women’s right to choose, who knows what they’ll do next?

Time for the Democrats to grab the bull by the tail and face the music. Seventy percent of America wants Roe v. Wade left in place. Time to put an end to the so-called “filibuster,” and get it done. It’s nothing but an affront to majority rule, and majority rule, the will of the people, the common good, is what America, is supposedly all about.

Many of these current Republicans are fascists, who care nothing about the will of the majority. They want to eliminate democracy, eliminate rule based upon what the majority wants, because it will take away their power. They care only about giant tax cuts for the rich and controlling the law. That is why they worked for years to gain control of the Supreme Court, which, it appears, is about to rule not in favor of the Constitution, the majority, or settled law of 50 years, but in favor of a backward minority of Americans, who want to drag us all back into the 1930’s.

Who knows, maybe they’ll decide antibiotics should be outlawed because they were dreamed up by scientists. who, as we all know, are nothing but a bunch of godless atheists.

If this doesn’t get Democrats and Independents up off their backsides and out to the polls, then what’s left of our American Democracy could quite possibly be doomed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

With Thanks To Ford, Nike And John McCain

Haven’t written anything in a while, mostly because I was just too bummed out.   Filled with an ongoing sense of ennui brought about by the endless onslaught of instability filling our national discourse making those of us with any sense of decency feeling as though the abolitionist movement never was.  That we would be forced to start all over again against the undercurrent of racism that came roaring back to the surface with Donald Trump and his “good” Nazis.  In 2018.   It strains belief.

As a white man, I will never be able to appreciate what it must feel like to have to worry about being pulled over for “driving while black” each and every time I pull out of the garage.    I will never be able to truly appreciate the black experience in America or being Latino with a president calling out Latino immigrants for being “rapists.”   I might try, and I might think I can sympathize and even empathize with black and Latino Americans, but I really can’t.   Not fully.  Not after growing up wrapped in the arms of white privilege.

Just when I was about to step off the cliff and into the eternal abyss the Ford Motor Company did something that was noble and right.  They came out in support of black athletes being allowed their freedom of expression.   The good folks at Ford  own the Detroit Lions, by the way, so this was no small gesture – particularly on top of what Nike did with their continued support of Colin Kaepernick, which boosted Nike’s online sales by more than thirty percent.

Suddenly I was feeling not great, but something at least approaching good, again.   I mean it’s really something when  you feel like giving thanks for a week-long memorial service, only because it provided a  pause from the relentless madness emanating from the White House.   A temporary return to civic decency provided by the funeral of American hero, John McCain.   A man who may have been the last good Republican standing.

However, as it turned out this new-found flicker of decency promising to light the fire of hope didn’t stop there.  It kept burning with Bob Woodward’s book, followed closely by a gut-spilling op-ed in the New York Times, telling us all that there are still adults keeping an eye on things at the White House.   That yes, our commander in chief might be a freaking loon, but that there are patriotic Americans working behind the scenes to make sure the Donald doesn’t fly into a rage and do something really, really stupid – beyond his normal stupidity –  because his nanny showed up late for work and consequently failed to provide him with a clean nappy for his shiny giant heiny.

Thank you, Ford.  Thank you, Nike.   Thank you, New York Times.  Thanks to all those nameless patriots who stand for civil rights and against racial injustice. Thanks to all those nameless bureaucrats who daily, stand between Donald J. Trump and the potential annihilation of the Republic.   Thank God and the founders, for our free press.

What an interesting coalition this is turning out to be,  American corporate capitalists joining forces with pro-athlete civil rights protesters, the FBI and unnamed behind-the-scenes patriots in the man-child president’s inner-circle supported by a free press.

To be sure, Ford and Nike never would have taken the positions they adopted without first conducting enough market research to ensure that what they were doing wouldn’t cripple their bottom lines.  So what?  The point,  is that instead of playing it safe, they did it.   Additionally, their research surely convinced them that there are more of their customers out there who want us to work out our problems than to continue denying and failing to deal with the ongoing problem of racism in America.

Hang on, a resolution is coming.   A big blue wave that will wash over the fat blubbering man-child lying on the floor of the Oval Office, banging his fists into the carpet and flailing his fat feet,  trying hard to pronounce actual words as he throws his latest tantrum for being unloved, unappreciated and misunderstood.   For in his mind, he is the only one that matters.   The one and only one.   Therein lies the real danger.  And his party does nothing.    If this fact alone doesn’t motivate you to throw these Republican bums out in November, then you will deserve nothing less than the economic ruin and assorted chaos that is sure to follow.    Vote.  We are so much better than this.


White Noise – The New Normal


You turn on the nightly news hoping for some valid information.   Possibly something you really need to know delivered by seasoned, investigative journalists on whether the Russians might actually be partially responsible for the election of Donald J. Trump, and if so, what Putin and his henchmen expect to gain from the deal? Or maybe something that will clarify why Jill Stein has demanded a recount in Wisconsin and other battleground states while, at the same time, Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has just surpassed the two-million mark and some perfectly credible and intelligent poll-watchers are talking about the need for the Electoral College to overturn Trump’s election, because, at the very least, there are just too many unanswered questions?

That’s what you hope for. What you get is a superficial rundown on who Mr. Trump has not picked for several cabinet offices.  A process John Cleese has compared to a pirate captain picking his band of cutthroats.  But, like a gunfighter with sand in his eyes, broadcast news, where most Americans go for their information,  stumbles forward, as though this election of a billionaire headline-seeker from Manhattan who refuses to release his tax records or put his businesses in a blind trust and praises the governing style of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as being business as usual,  followed by an in-depth analysis of how well the stores did with their day-after-Thanksgiving Day sales and what might happen on the newest big sales day in America, the Saturday that follows the day-after to be followed by “Cyber Monday”….blah, blah, blah, blah.

Your value as a customer appears to be far more important than your status as a citizen. At least that’s the way it feels, doesn’t it? Hasn’t the importance of markets superseded national interest, and isn’t the media just going along to get along?   They would be better off just giving the first five minutes of their show to John Cleese and letting him talk.

Maybe it’s just me. There’s this thing that happens, you see. It’s not uncommon, I’m not sure that it has a name, so I’ll call it a “thing.” It takes place when people who have been doing something for a very long time look back over their years of endeavor and begin to complain about how much better the profession was twenty or thirty years ago. For me, this led to discussions with other broadcast journalists about whether the perception is real or imagined, the argument being that our observation is hindered when viewed through the mist of time. Perhaps everything looks better in retrospect? Or maybe not?

Cronkite is dead and all the pretenders to the throne are coming up short. Not because they can’t do the job, but because the business parameters of the job have changed. At least it feels that way. This is what happens when profits trump journalism (pun intended) and the best intentions of kids coming out of journalism schools are dashed upon the rocks by broadcast news operations thoroughly co-opted by promotion and sales departments as ratings become all-important, driving real journalists away from a once-beloved profession where they are increasingly seen as a danger to profitability.  I’ve had more than one conversation centered on the question of whether anyone would watch a real newscast if someone had the gall to put it on the air.

To date, no one has.   Even PBS is now running ads and is therefore under a degree of pressure from the companies that support their broadcast, whether they’ll admit it or not.

Fear of the truth, even a little fear,  benefits authoritarians, tyrants and bullies, who seek to trivialize anything that questions their motives. Don’t take it personally America, you thought it was the truth but it’s only business.   According to the AP, “PolitiFact checked 77 Trump statements and found that 76 percent of them were Mostly FalseFalse or Pants on Fire.   In other words, for every four statements Donald Trump makes, only one of them is true, according to the site.”

No, Virginia, climate change is not a lie invented by the Chinese, there were not “thousands of people” celebrating the attacks of 9-11 in New Jersey, most whites are not killed by blacks,  and on and on and on.   The Washington Post reported in November of 2015,  “Trump has lied so many times about so many things during the past week that it’s difficult to keep track of all of them. But it doesn’t matter whether one focuses on Trump’s attitudes about crime or American Muslims or trade policy. He lies about all of these issues. And he will continue to lie as long as it works for him.”

And he has.   His latest big lie, unsupported by any factual information is his contention that “millions” voted illegally in the presidential election.  Not true, and he is being called out by the media on this latest big lie.  The problem, is that it took them so many months to get here.  In the beginning, they thought he was a political joke and they let him get away with rhetorical murder.  Now that it’s too late, they’re finally telling it like it is.  Donald Trump is a liar.

One of the smartest people on political talk tv, Fareed Zakaria, dared tell it like it is when he called Trump a “bullshit artist.” Pretty sure he did it only once.   I can only imagine the execs at CNN spitting out their Sunday morning coffee as they watched Zakaria  giving his audience the unvarnished truth.    Good God, we can’t have that.   Not on cable tv.

What have we come to when the truth is seen as liberal raving from the left and lies on the right,  driven by a massive FOX/Limbaugh media machine, are viewed as common sense?  Is that an environment where progressive thinking has even half a chance? The truth, is that it’s a brand of insanity, or at the very least, mass hysteria.

The fact that only the Electoral College stands between Donald J. Trump and the presidency has already been lost on most major broadcast outlets who are moving forward with their time-tested credo of give the people not what the need but what they want, and your ratings will rise!   The country will suffer in the process but remember, it’s only business.

Journalism should be a quest for the truth, not white noise designed to placate advertisers.  It’s a key to our democratic way of life. That being the case, we should all be eager to turn on the network news each night for a daily perspective on what’s really happening. A daily dose of the truth. Instead, we see otherwise excellent journalists being forced to do a dance of false equivalency, presenting both sides of an issue as though they carry equal weight, even though one side is obviously false and should be called out and crushed for being rhetorical blather.  If you have no need for objectivity whatsoever, you can always turn to FOX or right-wing talk radio.  The lefties can get pretty carried away too, but to say they are comparable to the right would be a false equivalency to the max.

Whatever you do, don’t read a newspaper or watch France24  or Euronews tv,  because you’ll be amazed at what’s really happening out there.  Journalism should be a clear light,  the enemy of tyrants, bullies and liars. In this new age of false equivalency, downright fake news on the Internet possibly assisted by the Russians and Orwellian “newspeak,” we are surely threatened by its demise.

Or perhaps I can’t remember things all that clearly anymore. Perhaps Cronkite going to Vietnam to see what was happening for himself and then coming back and telling us it was time to release ourselves and the Vietnamese people from the ongoing indentured hell of that war – perhaps this is all illusory?  Maybe Ed Murrow, never held the witch-hunting demagoguery of Joe McCarthy and his right hand man Roy Cohen (Trump’s mentor) up to the light of day which helped end their assault on decency?   Maybe Dan Rather and Sam Donaldson didn’t refuse to be intimidated by any number of public officials?  Or maybe I’m right.  Maybe there has been a sea-change in the way news is gathered and presented and maybe that’s why it all feels like nothing more than just so much white noise.   Nothing more than an irritant to be avoided.

However, there may be an even bigger question.    For network news outlets to provide the truth would mean telling millions of Americans not only about the political crisis we currently face and the potential danger it represents to the Republic and the world,  it would also mean admitting that nearly half the electorate voted to make it happen.

Strangely enough, the Europeans seem to be more worried about our current situation than many Americans are.   Just as they were more worried when they advised George W. Bush against launching his military misadventure in Iraq, leading to the formation of ISIS,  and a host of other problems.   Probably because they are better informed.

Candidate Trump – A Crisis Of The Media’s Making


Watching “France24” via YouTube as I wait for the Sunday morning shows to come on.   What I’m hearing is far removed from most of what the American pundits and newscasters are handing out, a diet of defeatist porridge, featuring denial, excuses and pleas to “give Mr. Trump a chance,”  some acting more like Trump “surrogates,” than real news people.

By contrast, the Europeans appear to be calling it for what it is.  I say “appear” because  obviously I can’t monitor all the news from Europe.   They are, thankfully, brazen in their honesty, proclaiming the election to have been one of the “ugliest” campaigns in American history.   While MSNBC features the headline, “Trump Wants To Stradle His Company And Presidency,” France24’s headline reads, “Equality vs. Trump.”

The issue of whether the Director of the FBI intentionally threw the election for Trump, remains an open question.   I’m tired of hearing that Comey is a nice guy who just made a mistake.   He’s the Director of the FBI.  Appoint a special prosecutor and save your nice guy stuff for a jury.  In addition, President-elect Trump, may have to appear in federal court on December 16th,  to face charges that his “Trump University” defrauded a group of students in California.  There’s also the fact that Trump openly lied about not of having any contact with Vladmir Putin and the Russians, while the Russians are believed to have conducted acts of espionage against the Democratic Party.   And now we’re supposed to sit back and act like everything is just fine?   Wouldn’t that be…..ah…..a little nuts?

Of course it was a dishonest election.  All presidential elections are to a degree, but this one stretched the envelope and tore it to shreds as Mr. Trump, possibly for reasons none of us can understand, simply could not control himself, making up  arguing points from whole cloth, moving along with a verbal slug-fest that featured sexism as a sometime centerpiece and racism as another, both promoted through the use of innuendo and implication shot-through with the threat of filing lawsuits against anyone who dared disagree or challenge his positions.

Mr. Trump, whose technique is to threaten lawsuits to shut down debate, to bully the press and limit criticism, is an obvious threat to free speech.   Like all authoritarian propagandists, Trump is threatened by freedom.   He has already talked about  a possible need to make it easier to sue for liable.   To tear down First Amendment protections.   It would be so much easier to control the press without that nasty First Amendment around.  Easier to shut down public discussion and debate among those who oppose his obvious and open authoratarianism.   Better watch out what you say in the social media or maybe even tell your friends.   One of the Trumpists might report you to a local party apparatchik.

It was fascinating to see Trump minion Kellyanne Conway in the coverage from France, blaming President Obama and Hillary Clinton for the protests now taking place in cities across the United States, continuing a pattern of deflection, projecting the blame on others.  It was like watching the Simpson civil trial all over again, with O.J. on the stand, blaming everybody but himself for what had happened.   Poor O.J.   Poor Donald.

Ms. Conway and the Trump regime should consider that the protests may be serving as a kind of pressure valve, eliminating at least some of the outrage over the election.

It was Trump and Trump alone who turned up the heat with his  hateful authoritarianism featuring angry anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-free press, mysogynistic and violence promoting outbursts.   He and not the Democrats, owes the American people an apology.

Equally guilty for this current situation are all those who did not vote, or who foolishly thought that “voting their conscience” was the truly moral thing to do.  It is they who have given us the approaching presidency of Donald J. Trump, a man with no blind trust, inadequate public tax records and an ongoing campaign relationship with the Russians.   A man who wonders out-loud why it would be wrong to launch nuclear weapons against the nation’s enemies.   A man who was born not with a sliver spoon but a 12-piece setting in his mouth.   A man so blind to reality that he has publicly proclaimed that he didn’t have much to start out with, only a small gift of a million dollars.   Just an average guy?  No, he is not.  He is beyond belief.

And Kellyanne wants Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton to tell tens of thousands of Americans to stop exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and rise up in protest?   Wait  until the millions who voted for Trump realize his campaign was nothing but an empty bag, that nearly all his promises were hollow.   Wait until a year from now, when the millions of jobs Trump promised have failed to materialize, his wall has not been built and Obamacare, or a significant portion of it, continues to stand.    Wait until his followers realize that Mike Bloomberg was right.   America, or a significant portion of it, has been conned, and the media was an accomplice in the game.

Candidate Trump, was a creation of the American media.  He was featured  as prominently as he was, for one reason and one reason only,  because he drove their ratings.  He made them money.   And now, rather than properly challenging the outrageous nature of the monster they helped to create, they bleat like sheep to give him a  chance.   Like corporate cowards, many of them continue to soft-pedal the danger Mr. Trump represents to  the nation and the world.

Oh, but the Europeans get it all right.   As they understood the foolishness of invading Iraq, they also see the true danger Trump represents and it’s scaring the hell out of them.   At the same time, most of the American media, acting like apologists for the country’s strongman to come, ask us to give Donald Trump a chance.

Makes sense, I suppose.   To do otherwise would be to admit that this is a crisis of their very own making.

Hang on, CNN just changed its hard-hitting headline proclaiming, “Trump May Not Tweet As Much In The White House….”

That would be nice.

Meantime, out in the streets, the protests continue.   Some are drawing a parallel between the Boomers and Vietnam in the 60’s and early 70’s  and the Milllenials and Donald Trump.   Maybe it was the Millenials turn in the bucket.   Hope they can handle it.   Like the man said,  ” Nothing’s riding on this except the first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country.”*

*“All The President’s Men”

Michael Moore, Glenn Beck And America’s Class Divide


It had never occurred to me, but now it’s clear.    It came from two disparate sources, Michael Moore and Genn Beck,  at exactly the right time.    A time in which I and millions of others (I suspect) are at the end of our patience with listening to an endless stream of electioneering lies and blather to the point that it is becoming nearly meaningless.

First it was Michael Moore, talking about millions of Americans, many in the rust belt, who feel betrayed by the system, and who will be voting for Donald Trump because they believe he will blow up the process that has shown them nothing but neglect.   These people are desperate and they don’t care what the New York Times reports about Trump’s taxes.   Desperation will do that to you.

These folks are not among the grass-fed beef eating and educated “elites” who will be voting for Clinton.   These people are our neighbors who need to go fishing and hunting to put protein on their tables because they can no longer afford the price of groceries.   They are living from paycheck to paycheck or with no paycheck at all and they feel overlooked and neglected, cut off from an elitist process that favors the wealthy.   So they will vote for Trump, because he promises to blow up the process.  Because with America’s new class system the process is leaving them behind, opening the door for an extremist  (possibly someone with unacceptable ties to Russia who refuses to release his tax records) to get elected as our next American President.   Even that will be better than what they now do not have.   Or so they think.

That was Michael Moore’s thesis, except for the part about a disenfrancihsed electorate opening the door for tyranny to sieze the White House.   That part came from Glenn Beck, who, almost totally (as hell froze over), agreed with Michael Moore.   All of it struck me this morning, as I had just finished reading an excellent piece in The Guardian entitled “Hidden Faultline”   How Trump v. Clinton is laying bare America’s class divide.”    

David Smith’s story, profiling some of my fellow Marylanders,  paints the picture  for those of us who still don’t get it regarding the divide between educated organic food eaters who are logically (they think) voting for Clinton, and all those others who think that almost anything, including Donald Trump, will be better than a continuation of the broken government we already have.

This dear friends, as Glenn Beck has pointed out, is how tyrants come to power.    Which could very well happen, unless we all pull together to demand a more representative government, one that can be trusted to look out for the best interests of all Americans, and not just a priviledged class.    On this point, I fear, Mrs. Clinton is dropping the ball.  Reforming the broken, bought off and generally bribed to death federal government she has been a part of for so long  is the  elephant in the room.   We need to recognize that it’s there before it steps on us all.    Sending Bernie Sanders out to plead with politicially exhausted Americans to vote for Hillary because Trump is unacceptable may not be enough.   One gets the feeling that Bernie’s real conviction is that Hillary is still too much of an insider.    Too much of a Wall Street moderate Republican in Democrat’s clothing to deserve a full-throated Sander’s endorsement.   Just more of the same old, same old politics as usual, and Bernie’s supporters know it.   It’s why they aren’t tripping over one another to throw their support to Mrs. Clinton.

We should not be heading into an election with (by some estimates) 40% of the electorate prepared to rise up in anger if their guy loses because they have lost all faith in the American political process.  If their side loses, they will be sure it was because the fix was in with the result assuring that they will remain locked in a lower class.  Doomed to pay their fair share of taxes while the uber-wealthy,  like Mrs. Clinton’s Wall Street buddies, dodge their tax responsibilities with tax code hustles, corrupt banking practices and offshore accounts.

This cannot be sustained at a time when Vladimir Putin is positioning himself to take advantage of our division by hacking out our electronic guts.

Our politics have let us down.   We appear to be on the brink of something very, very bad.   On the other side of the equation is the thought that if Glenn Beck and Michael Moore can be in agreement on anything then perhaps, just perhaps, we might get through this madness in one piece.   If only someone can show enough leadership to heal our class divide.    Clearly, Donald Trump, with his border wall, racial fearmongoring and derogatory comments about women and the disabled, is not that person.


The Clown Car Rolls On


Can’t read a story about Jeb Bush without the ghost of Paul Henning popping into my head with those familiar lyrics from “The Beverly Hillbillies” –

“Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
And then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.
Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. “The ballad of Jed Clampet


Okay, so it’s “Jed” and not “Jeb” up there in the clown car’s front seat. It’s almost the same.    Especially when you fold in the “Texas tea” thing.  It’s scary close.

One seat back there’s “THE Donald,” alienating the entire nation of Mexico and every Latino in the United States.   Really?    None of my Latino friends are rapists or criminals.   As a whole, in fact,  I find Latinos to be hard working, religious, decent people.   A really good bunch of folks.

Sitting in the back is the big bully boy from New Jersey,  demanding an apology from the press, lest he tackles them all during recess and steals their lunch money.

Jammed in the back seat next to Christie and desperately saying whatever he can to gain even  a little attention in the current cable news cycle is Ted Cruz.   He reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t think of who it was.   Then it came to me.   He looks like the Joker from the Batman comics, sans the makeup, which is apropos following his outrageous charge that gays are staging a “Jihad” against people of faith.   “Holy base-baiting buzzwords Batman!   A jihad?”

These people shouldn’t be taken seriously.   They’re political caricatures.  Ludicrous distortions of reality.   At this point the Republicans best hope is for their clown car to  blow a tire sparing them additional embarrassment and continued bad madness.

Oh Lord! Jeb Bush Is Excited!


FLASH! “Jeb Bush ‘excited about the possibility’ of a presidential run!” Really? Could this be more predictable?

So it’ll be Hillary, going all liberal following two years of smiles and silence to pick up her base and Jeb going as far to the right as he can without sounding too much like a nutjob to pick up his base as they both head off into the primaries. Then, as the general approaches, they’ll tell us what they really think, but only if it’s deemed acceptable by various board room bullies who care more for their bottom lines than they do for America,  the oil barons of Texas and assorted other billionaires who have no more connection to Main Street Americans than George W. Bush has to worrying how to pay the rent and put food on the table.

Hillary, of course, could surprise everybody and turn her back on the bankers who have been paying her $200,000 a pop for speaking engagements, not to mention contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and the potential threat to Bill’s legacy should the big money stop rolling in.

What do you suppose the Wall Streeters were buying with those mammoth speaking fees?   Advice on how to invest their billions?  Why do you suppose Bill cozied up to the Bush clan once he left the White House?

Meantime, middle America is being devastated as the gap between the rich and the rest hits dimensions not seen prior to the Gilded Age as the nation’s youth struggle to pay back huge college loans for an education that should be free and our elderly can’t afford dental care.

The following passage on the Gilded Age (1870’s – 1900) bears consideration:  “Political corruption was rampant, as business leaders spent significant amounts of money ensuring that government did not regulate the activities of big business – and they more often than not got what they wanted. Such corruption was so commonplace that in 1868 the New York state legislature legalized such bribery.[51] Historian Howard Zinn argues that the U.S. government was acting exactly as Karl Marx described capitalist states: “pretending neutrality to maintain order, but serving the interests of the rich.”[52]” – Wikipedia

Sound familiar?   Pretend it isn’t so.  Pretend Hillary will do a 180 on the robber barons of the 21st Century and fight to fix it.   Or that anti-unionist,  Rand Paul,  who opposes abortion rights and gay marriage while favoring increased military spending and taking even more from the poor to give to the rich, is a viable alternative.    He’s all over the board, with a sound argument for restoring constitutional rights but voting against reforming the NSA.   His strategy, apparently, is to generate backing from confused moderates and some liberals who can’t see themselves backing Hillary because of her Wall Street (and other) baggage.   Generating confusion could be intentional.   Or perhaps, since this is all about winning, like a blind man in a tunnel he’s making things up as he feels his way along.  A convenient strategy for someone who doesn’t want to be nailed down to specific issues, which appears to be what Rand Paul is up to as he ducked one question by walking out on the interview and another by shushing a reporter, although it’s difficult to say.

We should be so much better than this.    There is some consolation in knowing any Democrat will be better than any Republican, as the GOP continues doing all it can to take us back to the Middle Ages with barons and earls sitting on hilltops overlooking millions of peasants below, begging for scraps to survive.   Some consolation, not much.   It’s admittedly marginal, but the margin is there.

There’s a whole family hanging out at my local market these days, mom, dad and two kids, all begging for scraps.   “Lost my job,” says the sign the head of the family holds.   And this is an upscale neighborhood.    Before the Neocon takeover pushing our political system so far to the right that it’s bumping up against fascism, NAFTA, the WTO, the Reagan tax cuts for the rich and and the off-shoring of millions of good jobs, there were no homeless on the streets in my part of Los Angeles.  Detroit, and other American cities were not in bankruptcy.  This is scary.  It’s also unnecessary.   And it all started with “Reagonomics” in the 80’s to be carried forth by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Representative democracy in America is barely existent.  It went to the highest bidder with the blessing of a shameful Supreme Court,  who declared money is speech and speech is money and corporations have the same legal standing as people, while the media, like a watchdog chained out in the barn,  prattles on, mostly acting like it’s business as usual.    It’s not.   The country has been hijacked.

We keep repeating the same mistakes.  And Jeb Bush, is “excited, ” while Ted Cruz goes on Obamacare and the ghost of Ayn Rand picks up her Social Security check.  Now there’s some real news.