Category Archives: Blog

With Heartfelt Thanks To Donald, Rudy And Mike

It began with last night’s appearance of the “Pillow Guy” from my home state of Minnesota, Mike Lindell, on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Lindell, was fantastic, bursting with personality and filled with religious goodwill and intelligent banter. Then, just this morning, I fired up the flat-screen to be greeted with news of the “Raid on Rudy,” with federal officers raiding Giuliani’s apartment in New York, gathering up evidence that will surely vindicate this good and generous man of any and all wrong-doing. What other outcome can be expected from someone who did so much to enhance the greatness of the already proven greatness of our very own, our gone but never forgotten, Donald J. Trump? Who among us has done more, or at least tried to do more, for both America and the Ukraine, than Rudy Giuliani?

My heart swells with gratitude for all Mr. Trump, his political lieutenants, followers and fans have done for us, including, but by no means limited to, telling our traditional allies to take a hike while cozying up to dictators and tyrants around the world, with a special shout-out to Vladimir Putin, who, under the Administration of Mr. Trump, was finally given the recognition and respect he deserves.

When historical consideration is given to Trumpian accomplishments, the magnificent wall at our southern border, fully funded by Mexico, surely stands alone. Repealing and replacing Obamacare with something so much better and at a lower cost would have to come in a close second followed by the Administration’s efforts to dismantle, disable and otherwise cripple to the highest degree possible, the USPS, to further limit voting by those not wealthy enough to deserve it.

There were other noteworthy efforts, initiated by American patriot Steve Bannon, aimed at dismantling our institutions, making government more cost-effective by cutting services, and in some instances, coming close to making it non-existent. Many of us were left pondering the question of whether, beyond our military, government is necessary at all? Wouldn’t it be far more cost-effective if our decision making was left in the hands of a half-dozen or so oligarchs, while government services were privatized?

Who really needs the post office, or elections, for that matter? Doesn’t it all just get in the way? Wouldn’t it be so much better if we didn’t have to try and….you know….think about all that stuff?

Shouldn’t every real American stand ready to sacrifice their freedom of choice to achieve the goal of greater efficiency even if this means setting Democracy aside?

We should all remain grateful to Mr. Trump, for raising these questions as well as exhibiting the astounding wisdom of holding off on sounding the alarm about the spreading Coronavirus pandemic, so as not to cause undue awareness and possible panic. It was a move of such intellect and compassion that it nearly surpasses his support for a regime that kidnaps and butchers journalists. Think about it. What really matters more, the goodwill of a major Arab state and all that wonderful oil money, or the life of a single journalist? Striking this balance is surely the work of a stable genius, the likes of whom we may never see again.

And while the roll of unique talent is being taken, let us not forget the magnificent efforts of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Who in recorded history has done more to advance the cause of making the country more secure by furthering the power of our collective American intellect through public education than the magnificent Ms. DeVos?

Like a Thanksgiving turkey, I feel stuffed, possibly even overstuffed, with gratitude and goodness for all they’ve done, both for us and to us. A gratitude exceeded only by my thankfulness for the great bounty of entertainment offered up by the motion picture industry at this year’s Academy Awards, a celebration of homelessness, civil unrest and racial injustice through the years. It was just the break from reality we all needed.

As we move forward in our never-ending quest for improvement, with elections still to come, we can only hope for continued and even greater input from Fox News and others of their conservative ilk, striving to provide us with the very best news and information profit-driven communications have to offer, while far less profitable traditional Journalism goes begging, it’s end, possibly in sight, having outlived its usefulness for a culture that no longer values reality but instead covets personal reinforcement, no matter how misinformed.

Something New From California

I got out of the shower this morning and looked outside to see snow falling. According to my iPhone it was 41 degrees so it made no sense. “It could be that dew point thing,” I thought, or maybe some other term weathercasters now use that serve only to confuse and confound. Not wanting to put all my faith in the phone I next glanced at my solar-powered watch, which confirmed that it was in fact April the 22nd. Days, months and years sometimes lose all meaning in this age of Covid.

My head was filled with thoughts of climate change as I turned on the tv to watch a report from NBC about the “megadrought” in California, and how the state is turning sewage into drinking water because there are too many people and too little water. That was the state of things when we left California five years ago. Now, the drought, which had become a way of life when we were still there, has apparently turned into a “megadrought.” Oh my. Another new word from the people who gave us “Carmageddon” when they shut down the 405 Freeway. At the same time, Cali now has the lowest Conronavirus case rate in the continental U.S. Maybe it’s the water?

Nobody here in the east has any idea with regard to what’s happening way out west. As far as they’re concerned, Los Angeles is on Mars, so let them drink sewage?

We’ve got plenty of water here in Maryland. A whole big, beautiful bay-full, so drought is one of the things I no longer worry about. Californians might be envious, except for the fact that they probably know less about the Chesapeake Bay than easterners know about the San Fernando Valley. Too bad we aren’t better informed about one another, being citizens of the same country and all.

For the record, the Chesapeake, is the largest estuary in the United States. Not only do many Americans have no idea where it is, many or most probably haven’t a clue as to what it is. Hint: It is not a gynecological condition. And the San Fernando Valley, or just “The Valley,” as Angelenos call it, has a bigger population than the City of Philadelphia. So it too, is definitely noteworthy.

I’m now driving over to the hospital to get my second Covid shot, while wondering how the California PR machine will turn all that new Hollywood poo-water into something acceptable to the masses. Something they might export to unsuspecting consumers back east and maybe even to China. It might help with the trade imbalance and in doing so it would serve the Chinese right, considering some of the crap they’ve been exporting to us for the past forty years and all the tyrannical nonsense they are currently pulling in Hong Kong.

The magical reclaimed waters of California. Imagine the source. Some of the finest celebrity commodes and showers in Malibu, Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Bel Air. Soon available at finer retailers everywhere.

Another Shock To Her Majesty’s System

Not to take anything away from the first flight of anything on the surface of Mars by humankind, but shouldn’t they be calling this little rotorcraft that just lifted off of the Martian surface a “drone” rather than a “helicopter?” Doesn’t calling it a helicopter imply there’s a pilot on board? We’ve already raised at least two generations of Americans who have no idea that there’s a distinct difference between a cap and a hat, and now we are telling them that a drone is a helicopter?

I was taken aback the other day while watching the royal funeral, when one of the commentators on an alleged network spoke about the upcoming “Internment of Prince Philip.” Won’t the Queen be surprised?

Literacy is directly related to our ability to understand one another, which, in turn, appears to be critical to any of us being able to reach agreement with regard to what is actually going on, which will be necessary to move forward and away from our confused path toward mututal self-destruction. But then I’m sure there’s something I probably don’t understand.

Consider the difference between “homing in” and “honing in” on something. It’s an easy mistake to make so it’s easily forgiven. I suppose. What’s unforgivable is our cultural tendency to accept verbal and historical mistakes so often that incorrect usage and “alternate facts” become the acceptable form while literacy and historical fact are increasingly viewed as elitist or dismissive to all those snowflakes out there demanding that nothing be done or said by anyone to affront their delicate sensibilities.

A few days ago I was watching a morning newscast out of Los Angeles, when, during a discussion about swimming, the weatherman (Is it still okay to say that? Or is “weatherman” no longer PC?) raised the question of whether the term “dog paddle” is politically incorrect because it might be an affront to dogs? It was, of course, a joke, but at the same time, the guy was making a legitimate point.

Instead of correcting mistakes and promoting debate to resolve differences, we appear to be fearfully stumbling ahead with increased illiteracy, covering what’s left of our culture with a spreading blanket of confusion consisting of misinformation and disinformation sprinkled with generous portions of stupidity and ignorance. God help anyone who suggests that societal standards might be necessary for the common good.

I know this is all a bit complex. I’ll let you know if I figure it out. I can feel myself “honing in” on it right now. And I’ll try and get there without upsetting anyone’s delicate sensibilities. Above all else, I’ll make an effort not to be dismissive. Even if it’s called for.

Get Over It

Dear snowflakes. Those of us who lived through the 60’s were “woke” before it was even a thing. You aren’t saying anything that hasn’t been said. Get real. Confront your own naivete before you point an accusing finger at others who are older and wiser than you.

Fight the good fight, but don’t condemn others who have been fighting for years for doing too little. Much can be learned from those who have already been there.

Choose Your Weapon

A former colleague with a weight problem used to refer to donuts as “rings of death.” I thought of that the other day, when I heard that a donut company was offering free donuts to anybody who got a Covid shot. Apart from the obvious contradiction, and the clever marketing ploy to increase foot traffic at donut shops, it also occurred to me that maybe donut makers should offer free donuts to anyone willing to turn in an assault rifle?

It just might work, as Americans love donuts almost as much as they love their guns. Some just might go for a dozen glazed or chocolate covered with jimmies in return for their AK-47 variants and various other assault weapons designed specifically for no other purpose than the most effective slaughter of human beings.

It would probably even out in the end, as those who were saved from getting guns off the streets would eventually die from obesity-related complications.

Another thought this morning, as I watched for the third or fourth time recycled news about Joe Biden appointing VP Harris as our new czar to oversee problems at the border, was just how obvious it is that the Democrats are setting up Harris to run for president three years from now. Not that she has a scintilla of a chance. The gravitas just isn’t there to beat out whichever white guy the Republicans run against her. Her appeal tilts too far to the left.

Andrew Cuomo could win or Al Franken, but the Dems themselves have eliminated both, bright prospects though they might have been, with zeal. Gavin Newsom, would also make a great candidate, but both the Republicans and the Dems appear to be out to wreck his political image. Any white democratic male, or for that matter, anyone with broad-based political appeal to the electorate who committed any distasteful act, including even complimenting a woman on her appearance, seems doomed to face the wrath of Gillibrand , AOC and their cadre of lefties.

And so, dear friends, barring unforseen developments, get ready for another Republican in the Oval in 2024, should the Democrats stay on their current course with the grinning Californian, Kamala Harris, as their frontrunner. Can you really see her leading the country in a time of war?

The Dumbing Down Continues To Astound

I awoke from a nap feeling a need to grab just a bit of new information about what was happening in the world around me and made the mistake of turning on MSNBC, where I was confronted by the dumb question of the century. The host actually posed the non-question question, of whether the insurrectionists that assaulted the Capitol on January 6th, were really trying to stop the certification of the vote.

The woman hosting the “show” isn’t stupid, she’s really quite bright, so I would hope (imagine?) she had been fed the idiotic question from someone in the booth who was probably screaming nonsense into her ear. I mean, they might have been talking about the poor folks in Burma, who continue fighting to bring back their democratically elected leaders following a military coup. Six hundred of those arrested for demonstrating on behalf of democracy were just released, so it’s a good story for those who believe in freedom. But no, they weren’t talking about that.

They might also have had at least a modicum of interest in what’s happening in Germany, where a third wave of Covid is spreading across the country. It’s a variant, apparently more infectious and deadlier than the last. Is that what we’re in for here, following the massive partying of Spring breakers, whooping it up on the beaches of Florida?

“Essentially we have a “new virus,” Angela Merkel said, and a “new pandemic.”

Or they could have talked about the fact that more than half of those hospitalized with Covid in the United States, 7 out of 10, are still feeling its effects. In other words, they aren’t fully over it. They have not recovered.

A year into this mess and Covid-19 continues to present us with more questions than answers. We really aren’t sure where we are headed. Whether there will be long-term effects from the RNA vaccines. Whether one variant after another will keep popping up, requiring one new vaccine after another. We really don’t know much of anything with regard to long-term effects, as there were no animal trials prior to delivering the vaccines into human arms.

Russia developed its “Sputnik V” vaccine and began mass distribution nearly four months ago. Vladimir Putin, only just got his injection. What was he waiting for?

It’s all we’ve got, so I suppose we have to use it, but shouldn’t there at least be a discussion taking place? Something beyond the idiocy of someone wondering out-loud if the insurrectionists really wanted to stop the vote from being certified? This is NBC News? God, help us. And if he (or she) won’t, at least we’ve got Sky News and France24.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m on a waiting list for a vaccine and I fully intend to get jabbed when I can as that appears to be the best option. If Putin isn’t waiting any longer then neither am I. But that’s not what I’m railing about. My concern is with the absence of quality as opposed to quantity on American news-talk shows. Specifically, the ability to ask questions leading to conversations that actually mean something. Something that’s pertinent. Something that actually matters and is therefore interesting and will therefore enlighten as opposed to contribute to a continued dumbing down.

Still To Come: The Death Of Traditional Nightly News

What future is there for nightly newscasts on what used to be the “Big 3” over the air networks, when nearly every story they are running each night has been in the daily rotation of more than a half-dozen outlets all day long? If they had something new, something that had not already been reported ad-nauseum, then they would be worth watching. However, generally speaking, they don’t. Generally speaking, both the nets and local broadcast outlets have fallen into the terrible trap of simply repeating stories, hour after hour and day after day as opposed to actually advancing the issues they are trying to cover. And it is boring. Why watch what you’ve already seen three or four times?

None of this is meant to criticize the many hard-working broadcast journalists out there, attempting to deal with budget-slashing, cost-cutting companies, who care more for the overnights than for the quality of their operation’s journalism. I was up close and personal when Tribune passed its torch to Sam Zell. When CBS, ABC and NBC, closed bureau after bureau slashing budgets both at home and overseas. When “merger madness” promoted fewer outlets, cutting choices for viewers and readers as fewer companies gobbled up more and more of the country’s once independent broadcast outlets and newspapers.

Family owned broadcast outlets that took pride in the quality of their operation’s journalism have been replaced by sheer, obvious corporate greed. Capitalism and Journalism are oil and water. It’s the elephant in the room that’s been denied for decades, ever since Bill Paley forced Ed Murrow to take a hike from CBS because his brand of journalism was injurious to Paley’s bottom line.

In a battle between a corporate boardroom and journalism, you can be sure journalism will lose.

I recall Tribune Broadcasting giving us all mousepads emblazoned with the phrase, “The Year of the Customer!” letting us know in no uncertain terms that we were there to “drive shareholder earnings.” A stack of copies of the overnight ratings was left on the assignment desk every morning to remind us how well or how badly we were doing in support not of journalism, but of our sales department

Do you really think Donald Trump would have been elected without the massive free coverage he received from the networks and cable whose ratings shot up every time they put him on the air? And Trump was cheap to cover. Just put a camera in front of him, let him rant on and then recycle the rant over and over again in the next 24-hour news cycle.

Donald Trump was a cost-effective solution for ratings-hungry broadcast outlets. And he knew it.

On the other side, investigative reporting is expensive. What place is there for it in this current corporation owned ratings-mad environment ruled by sales and promotion?

A news director I worked with in Los Angeles, predicted some years ago, that the future of broadcast news would rest with news and opinion shows and not with straight news, specifically because the traditional nightly newscasts have nothing new while the personality driven opinion shows are more interesting as well as being less expensive and easier to produce. Just assemble the usual cast of suspects and let the largely opinion-based talking begin.

With ratings driving everything, we’re getting what we want to watch and not what we need to know as giving an audience both sides and then letting them make up their own minds about how they feel becomes a thing of the past, nothing but a distant memory for those of us with the ability to remember it at all. And it will only get worse, as dollar signs continue to fill the eyes of station owners and network shareholders demanding the promotion of personalities that give you what you want, information that reinforces personal bias instead of challenging viewers to actually think.

France24, Al Jazeera, the BBC and Reuters streaming news are viable alternatives, as they are still covering news with an eye toward what matters with a world view as opposed to cost-effective infotainment to drive up the ratings. Even Comcast owned Sky News, does a far better job of covering the world than the American networks. Undoubtedly, because it’s based in the U.K., making it somewhat off the radar of American marketing madness.

One of the great contradictions for me, was watching superior coverage of the many wars in the Middle East by Al Jazeera, while Americans tuned into what was basically lame coverage by “embedded” (controlled) reporters for the American networks, which simply did not have the people or ability to cover the wars that Al Jazeera had. Most of the American nets had closed their bureaus, mostly eliminating any chance they had to get an insider’s view of what was really happening. It was cost-effective for the networks but bad for the American people, who were being fed news about the irrational backlash against “French Fries” while being short-changed on information from the front lines.

Going forward you can be sure that traditional news sources like the old nets and cable will be watched increasingly by less-educated, lower-income individuals, who care more for their own point of view, while those that can afford it will turn to streaming services offering greater variety and in some cases better journalism that challenges viewers to think rather than simply following an angry non-thinking herd.

The Hype Factory Keeps Crankin’ It Out

I learned via streaming video from Los Angeles that yesterday was “National California Day,” a fact apparently unknown to anyone outside of California, and probably to most inside the state as well. This comes in addition to September 9th being hailed as “California Admission Day,” in celebration of the State’s admission to the Union as the 31st state – something that actually matters but also something, which, I am fairly sure, most of the State’s residents don’t have a clue about.

Will the rest of the states also be given special “days” of recognition? Isn’t Cali already getting enough hype from the entertainment industry? Gotta wonder who dreamed this one up.

The more everything and everybody is proclaimed to be oh so “special,” the less anybody or anything actually is. For California, there is also the down side that the non-stop publicity and image-building have attracted so many people to the State, that its ability to continue delivering anything resembling quality of life is bursting at the seams.

Messing With Texas

For decades, the American Society of Civil Engineers has issued warnings about the terrible state of America’s infrastructure. Just recently, they advised that the nation’s needs are something in excess of two trillion dollars.

Is it possible that what’s happening in Texas is an example of just how bad things really are? Is Texas an exception, or simply the first of many areas to fall apart as our infrastructure continues to crumble under the strain of one weather event or another?

It’s true that Texas attracted much of its own trouble by disengaging from the nation’s power grid and then following a philosophy of deregulation and limited “government interference” in business. And yet that advisory from the civil engineers is by no means limited to Texas, and two-trillion is a very big number.

Gavin, Andrew and Al

First Franken and now Newsom and Cuomo. What a victory it will be for the Republicans if they can take out both Newsom and Cuomo, two of Party’s brightest shining stars. Both are media-friendly personalities, loved by the camera and critically tied to the Party’s future. At least they were. Sadly, like guppies, the Dems are so adept at devouring their own that it’s difficult to know to what degree and whether any one Dem politician is being targeted or is on a path to self-destruction.

It would be nice to see the Democratic Party to begin supporting its own, even if they’ve made some mistakes, as opposed to deriding and destroying careers. Moving forward with an air of self-assurance and strength rather than cowering in fear over one misstep or another. It’s what the Republicans do, and it’s worked for them.

You can be sure that had Franken been a Republican and not a Democrat, he wouldn’t have been treated like a felon, which is pretty much the position the Democratic Party took, steamrolling him into being the “Flat Stanley” of politics, even though Franken’s alleged “transgressions” took place before he had been elected to the Senate.

For many Dems, it appears forgiveness and second chances have become anathema. One wonders how many potentially great party members and future leaders will be scared off by Democratic purity tests. Is the Party at a point where saints only need apply?

Larry King, dead at 87

Got up today to find that Larry King had died at Cedars Sinai after being admitted for Covid-19 earlier this month according to Variety. I didn’t know him well, but like so many thousands of us in broadcasting and entertainment, I did know him and he did have an impact on my career. For no reason I can understand, he did me a huge favor.

The night of February 2, 1992, was a night like any other in Los Angeles (thank you Raymond Chandler). I was working the late shift at KTLA in Hollywood. Many of us were still trying to get our heads around what we had seen just a few months earlier when the station aired George Holliday’s tape of the Rodney King beating. A visual revelation that would eventually lead to the Los Angeles Riots, the biggest civil uprising in U.S. history. All that was still on the way. Along with the murders of Nicolle Brown and Ron Goldman. Things would get very busy very fast.

I walked into the newsroom to be greeted by one of the assignment editors who told me CNN had called. Ross Perot was going to announce his candidacy for president on the Larry King show and Larry wanted to give me the first interview with Perot, following the announcement. She didn’t have to say another word. My photographer and I were out the door and headed for CNN, just a few minutes away on Sunset Boulevard.

We got there to find all the media in L.A., and that was a lot of media, gathered outside the building’s rear entrance. In a move that felt like Moses parting the Red Sea, we walked through the crowd, up the sidewalk and were ushered into the building and to an upstairs hallway where Larry was waiting with his wife. My only other contact with Larry King, had been an occasional conversation in the green room at KTLA, or maybe in the newsroom, so I was absolutely perplexed as he said hello, introduced me to his wife, and then escorted us into the studio where he was about to do his live show. A few minutes later, Ross Perot showed up. Larry called me over and introduced me to Perot, telling the soon-to-be candidate that if it was okay with him, this guy he’d never met from KTLA wanted an interview once the show ended. Perot agreed, and my cameraman and I sat off to the side watching as he made his big announcement. Following the show we went over and got our interview, the very first Perot had done with anyone following his announcement that he was running for President as an independent.

For me, it was kind of a big deal. A real “get.” I must admit my head swelled a little, walking through all those other reporters and into the building ahead of the crowd. Thing is, I still have no idea why broadcasting icon Larry King gave me access to that first interview. Could have been he liked KTLA. Could have been he liked my work. The reason, I suppose, really doesn’t matter. All that matters for me, is that on one night in Hollywood, Larry King did me a huge favor, adding to his reputation as a real mensch. So, when I got up this morning and heard of his death, it hit me. Just like I’m sure it hit thousands of others he knew and had in some way touched during his many years on the air. Larry King, a conversational craftsman who could ask difficult questions without being difficult, was supposed to go on forever.

Thanks, Larry. You were a giant. May you rest in peace. I hope they put your suspenders in the Smithsonian.

Another Troubling Detail Following The Assault On The Capitol

Following the assault on the U.S. Capitol, the New York Times is reporting that “some members of the mob carried weapons and zip-tie handcuffs.” In addition to the relative ease with which the protesters were able to take over the building, their apparent intention to subdue individuals or to take hostages, raises a whole new set of questions.

Photos would appear to indicate this was more than a mob of the usual suspects. It appears there may have been professionals mixed in with the misguided Trumpists wearing horns and hardhats – some carrying fistfulls of zip-ties.

It has been suggested that the incident merits a full investigation by a 9-11 type commission. Considering how close the insurrectionists came to taking things further than then did, that might be a very good idea.

Covid-19 Cure Ignored?

There’s a question about Covid-19 that’s been haunting me for months. A cure, is a cure. A vaccine, is a preventative, which does nothing for those already inflicted with a disease. A cure, however, will cure those already afflicted. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

As of this writing, more than 16-million Americans are ill with Covid. That’s the number who have been tested. The real number is thought to be much higher. They need an effective treatment, a cure, and not a vaccine.

On 12/15/20, the San Jose Mercury News reported that “Covid-19 now kills more than one American every minute.” They needed a cure.

It appears we have a cure but that it was largely ignored in favor of a vaccine, which may or may not work all that well. In fairness, it could work really well, but we won’t know for a matter of months, as there are no long-term studies, just “warp-speed” results. In addition, we can’t be sure how many of us won’t be able to take it because of adverse reactions to the vaccine itself because there have been no long-term trials.

First, what may be a cure for Covid-19. It’s the Regneron Pharmaceuticals antibody “cocktail” that’s been given to Rudy Giuliani. One source calls it “REGN-COV2” a combination of monoclonal antibodies made in a lab. The same “cocktail” that had President Trump back on his feet and ready to go just a few days after being rushed to the hospital via helicopter. He must have been pretty bad for his doctors to call in the chopper rather than risk a 30 minute drive over to Walter Reed, right? And he was up and around a day later? If I get sick, I want what he got. Chances are though, I won’t be able to get it, and neither will you. We aren’t important enough, and there aren’t enough doses available. By one guestimate, there are only about thirty-thousand doses out there even though it appears to be a cure for Covid-19.

Rather than concentrating on the Regeneron “treatment” to cure those already ill, rather than pursuing something that appeared to work really well against Covid, our medical establishment focused instead on a vaccine, which, at the time, did not even exist.

When questioned about why this came to be, during an appearance on “The View,” Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said, “This is an area for a lot of frustration for a lot of us.”

I was stunned at what I was hearing. I’m no doctor, I don’t even know how to give somebody a shot, and yet here was this public health big shot on a national stage agreeing with me. When you’ve got a sure thing, it’s probably a good idea to go after it. We did not. The conspiracy-minded among us might wonder if the government and big pharma hadn’t sunk so much money and publicity into the search for a vaccine that other options were ignored? Big media was also very much on board, with outright promises that a miracle cure was on the way. They were wrong, it was a preventative and not a cure. The potential cure, was being overlooked.

“We should have made millions of doses and we didn’t,” the doctor said. “Now we’re at a point where we just have tens of thousands of doses – for the rest of us, that just isn’t an option,” he added.

In other words, the big guys, like Trump and Giuliani will be treated with it, possibly saving their lives, but there won’t be enough for the rest of us.

Isn’t there still time for the country to go to work on the Regneron Pharmaceuticals cocktail along with the vaccines? If we know it works, and since so much about the vaccines remains unknown, then why isn’t it happening? If I get Covid, I want the same treatment Donald got. I won’t even demand a helicopter. (And thank you Whoopi, for asking the question.)

Just A Political Hiccup

A Facebook friend in France posted a photo that really hit me. It’s a picture of a small group of U.S. ex-pats gathered around an American flag. The thirty or so people didn’t all know one-another, but they were all there for the same purpose. To honor another American, a veteran of WW II. They were all smiling and appeared happy to be there, regardless of their individual political persuasions.

It struck me that the photo is a portrait of the way we used to be, almost Rockwellian in nature, and I wondered if we might ever get back there again? Together in our support of the country, happy and smiling regardless of one political party or another? It led me to wonder if we have been so torn asunder by misinformation, disinformation, greed and anger that we’ll never be able to find our way back home?

I thought about those old sci-fi movies, where the Earth comes under attack by men from Mars, with all us earthlings forced to cast off our differences , coming together for the common purpose of survival of our species. “Is that what it’s going to take?” At that same moment it hit me that we’re already there, with the ongoing threat of Covid-19. However, instead of uniting us in a common goal, Covid has has been turned into a political weapon to separate us even more.

I dunno, this might be the big one, the one we can’t dig ourselves out from under – not when we can’t agree on whether facts are facts or Covid-19 is for real, even while it claims some three-thousand American lives a day. It’s a KGB dream scenario, a national implosion, as a constant stream of disinformation turns reality on its head, causing Americans to distrust one-another to the point that they’re ready to ignore a pandemic and sell out the country to a tyrant who never delivered on a promise to release his taxes while snuggling up to Vladimir Putin at every turn.

Really? Could it get any worse? Well, it does.

With more than one-hundred Republican members of congress signing onto a motion to set the election aside and effectively kill our democracy in favor of a autocrat, you have to wonder. Sure, the Supremes said “no” to the proposal to discard democracy by throwing out our free and fair national election, but millions of Americans, 38% of all Republicans according to one recent poll, continue to believe the election was rigged. Crooked. That the fix was in. And it was, except that they’ve got it backwards. It was Trump and not the Dems who tried to shut down the Post Office, to hamper mail-in voting. The Republicans, in fact, were fairly tripping over themselves in an effort to keep people away from the polls, particularly in areas populated by people of color. Imagine that.

And so I have to wonder, when I see a photo of smiling Americans, united in purpose, regardless of political persuasion. I wonder if we’ll ever get there again? Of if we were ever really all that united to begin with, replacing reconstruction with Jim Crow, leaving the open wound of the Civil War just sitting there to fester. For decades. Until now. The present. With an entire party working to throw out an election because they, the Republicans, the party of white America, the party that weaponized a pandemic for political purposes, lost.

And we still can’t admit that it was mostly about race? How do we get past that?

Millions of Americans who have been duped into believing the election was rigged aren’t going away. The forces that led them to believe that up was down, fact was fiction and fiction was fact, will still be with us. As will unlimited amounts of dark money flowing into our political process thanks to the Supreme Court’s unimaginably bad decision in the infamous “Citizens United” case.

2024 is coming and we are still in trouble. More trouble perhaps, than many of us can, or are willing to recognize. An honest analysis of the past, admitting that it was our forebearers constant striving to live up to the ideals of the founders that made us great, is just too difficult to face.

For those who would destroy our democracy, those who seek to eliminate our self-determination, the election of 2020 was just a temporary setback. Nothing but a political hiccup. History continues to demand eternal vigilance.

Is “President Harris” Even Possible?

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

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

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

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