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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  





  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 

Hard Times in Oregon: 


The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   




    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People


    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 


•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.


•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


If you want to e-mail me "comments" use my Yahoo back up e-mail address























































RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ


  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Trump & The Mob


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


Housing Needs in Oregon 




"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1940

  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  


"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  


"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison



Squareapace has closed the "comments" section on my blog as a way around this contact me via my Yahoo e-mail address posted on the left sidebar...   


















































Trump in Minneapolis on Thursday night - "Trump yesterday in a rally in Minneapolis at the Target Center said Biden "...was only considered a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass,” This is a racist and homophobic trop that racists used after Reconstruction to create Jim Crow.  The imagery of it is inherently sexually offensive in so many ways.  But make no mistake, Trump knows what he's doing - such words don't just come out of his vulgar filthy mouth they come from a master of manipulation.   

-- I have gone back and forth whether Trump should formally be impeached or should the House just file the results of its impeachment inquiry - letting the voters be the ultimate jury in 2020.   .  

-- Given Trump’s documented attempts to get Ukraine and now China to interfere in the 2020 election we can't allow Trump to run the table on this process.  He must be held accountable for his "high crimes and misdemeanors" now!   

-- Trump asking allies to get dirt on Joe Biden, mounting evidence of an Oval Office cover-up of the two whistleblower reports and the Trump legal team refusing to cooperate with the House investigation, a clear obstruction of justice, makes filing articles of impeachment the right thing to do.   

-- Let's be clear about what Trump is up to. He's solicited the help of foreign governments to interfere in a presidential election - this is illegal, it's unethical and it's an impeachable act.  And he's done this in public view, not once but three times!   

-- Trump's brazenness, desperation and autocratic temperament are showing. Recent polls indicate an increasing majority of Americans support an impeachment inquiry. Maybe that's why Trump is so manic with his constant tweets and rambling White House lawn rants.       

-- But there might be another method to Trump's madness. Beating on Biden is a way to get the D's to nominate somebody Trump Inc. think they can beat such as Elizabeth Warren who Trump dubes “Pocahontas.”  

-- Are they trolling the old Nixon '72 playbook - lies against frontrunner Ed Muskie which resulted in George McGovern getting the nomination and Nixon winning by an historic landslide only 2 years later unraveling in Watergate and resignation?     

-- This cynical strategy might be working.  For the first time in national polls Warren is #1 and Biden a close #2.  But “all politics is local” - state by state caucuses and primaries and we’re a long way from the starting line.   

-- Polls show support for an impeachment inquiry – with partisan voters bunkered into their political silos. Trump knows this. He keeps putting fuel on the fire.  So how do you stop a serial liar?     

-- When Trump famously said in the 2016 campaign he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue in NYNY - we all thought this was a sick joke. Not anymore!  Trump has no boundaries when it comes to keeping power – he’ll do and say anything which is why he must be impeached.  

-- As the House moves ahead with its impeachment “inquiry” there will come a point of no return - either vote to impeach or just file a report. The latter option while pragmatic would be a dereliction of congressional duty given the serious charges and evidence growing daily to support impeachment.  

-- GOP talking points meant to confuse voters are that Pelosi et al need to vote for the “inquiry” before moving ahead with an impeachment investigation and hearings. There is no such requirement in the Constitution. 

--   Impeachment is an indictment of charges not a jury trial. It is the documenting of presumed crimes to take to a jury in this case the Senate. If the House were to take a vote on impeachment inquiry first, then the White House would demand the right to know the accusers, in this case the two whistleblowers.     

--  This would allow Trump, Inc. to turn the process into a three ring circus much as happened in the Clinton impeachment process. It would also have a chilling effect on not only these whistle blowers but any future ones down the road – this is not a precedent we want to set.   

--  Let’s be clear – the House has all the evidence it needs from Trump’s phone call with the leader of The Ukraine.  We all have had time to read it and digest it. He has impeached himself.  Case closed. 

--  Another argument is that impeachment fever on the Hill is stopping the work of the House. Not true.  Mitch McConnell has many bills on his plate passed by the House which he simply refuses to bring for a vote.  It’s obstruction from “Moscow Mitch” pure and simple.   

-- Dems in the House -  move ahead with articles of impeachment.   

-- Yes, the Senate R's will not convict Trump - given their slavish loyalty to him. Let them go into 2020 with this scarlet letter on their chests. This is not a time for pragmatism but for moral clarity.  

-- Trump's strategy is clear - keep asking for foreign help in his campaign despite its clearly impeachable context. President “chaos” wants to turn a lie into a BIG LIE. His calculation is that the more his sound bites dominate social media and the news – he wins. 

-- When will his constant whining create voter fatigue and sheer disgust with such transparent pandering to his base?  It’s again proof that he’s lost the moral authority to govern.  It’s time to take him to the woodshed.   

-- Once a bully always a bully and sadly this one has the bully pulpit of the presidency - which is why he must be impeached - Moscow Mitch and the Senate Rs be damned.

-- Enough is enough!   












The Art of the Deal aka the Fix...    

President Donald Trump repeatedly pushed for Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, during a July 25 phone call, according to a transcript of the conversation released by the White House.

Read the transcript here:
Declassified by order of the President 
September 24, 2019
SUBJECT: Telephone Conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
Participants: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
Notetakers: The White House Situation Room
Date, Time July 25, 2019, 9:03-9:33 am EDT
and Place: Residence 

The President: Congratulations on a great victory. We all watched from the United States and you did a terrific job. The way you came from behind, somebody who wasn't given much of a chance, and you ended up winning easily. It's a fantastic achievement. Congratulations.

President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right Mr. President. We did win big and we worked hard for this. We worked a lot but I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections and yes it is true that these were unique elections. We were in a unique situation that we were able to achieve a unique success. I'm able to tell you the following; the first time you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you are now calling me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often. 

The President: (laughter) That's a very good idea. I think your country is very happy about that. 

President Zelenskyy: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.

The President: Well it is very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she ·doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I'm very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes. 

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible.

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough. 

The President: Well, she's going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.

President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States. Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, I also want to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. As to the economy, there is much potential for our two countries and one of the issues that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe we can be very successful and cooperating on energy independence with United States. We are already working on cooperation. We are buying American oil but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We will have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I would like to thank you very much for your support. 

The President: Good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we'll work that out. I look forward to seeing you. 

President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and get to know you better. I am looking forward to our meeting and I also would like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kyiv which is a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country which would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that on September 1 we will be in Poland and we can meet in Poland hopefully. After that, it might be a very good idea for you to travel to Ukraine. We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine. 

The President: Okay, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland because I think we are going to be there at that time. 

President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much Mr. President. 

The President: Congratulations on a fantastic job you've done. The whole world was watching. I'm not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations. 

President Zelenskyy: Thank you Mr. President bye-bye. 
- - End of conversation - - 


EDITOR'S NOTE:  The only way to end homelessness is to build more housing capacity and as Congressman Blumenaer suggests that requires federal action...   

Blumenauer outlines plan to boost federal housing spending 

The Oregonian/OregonLive

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., on Thursday released a slate of proposals to boost federal housing assistance programs while reining in the popular — but unevenly shared — mortgage interest deduction.

The 22 policies include quadrupling, to $10 billion a year, funding for maintaining public housing; building 5 million homes to cover the existing wait list for public housing; providing universal rent assistance to anyone who meets income requirements; creating a renter’s tax credit; and restructuring the mortgage interest deduction as a tax credit, which Blumenauer said could benefit more low-income homeowners.

Blumenauer said those proposals — as well as stronger enforcement of fair housing laws — could help mend damage from decades of housing policies that reinforced racial segregation and discrimination.

The number of public housing units has been in decline nationwide since the 1970s, when the government began to shift away from public ownership of low-income housing. The tax credit programs intended to spur private development of low-income housing have largely failed to serve the poorest households. Voucher programs, meanwhile, don’t have the funding to cover every household that’s eligible based on income.

Blumenauer proposes to increase funding for all those programs.

“Housing is a fundamental part of the infrastructure that has been neglected by the federal government,” Blumenauer said. “We’ve been trying to help people locally, but as a practical matter, much of the landscape has been impacted by the federal government not having done its job.”

The enormous cost of those proposals would be partially offset by restructuring the mortgage interest deduction, including by making second homes ineligible. The deduction is popular, but it benefits only a minority of taxpayers who own their home and itemize deductions on their return.

Blumenauer said the policies, if implemented, would reduce other societal costs incurred as a result — notably through paying for medical care.

Blumenauer said he would shop the various proposals to colleagues on relevant committees this month, and he said he thought some of the proposals could find bipartisan support next year.

He announced the proposals at North Portland’s New Columbia, a public housing development that opened in 2005 to replace a run-down predecessor called Columbia Villa. The backdrop, he said, symbolized the kind of investment that doesn’t happen anymore.

“It was a very powerful symbol of what could happen if the federal government was back in the game,” Blumenauer said. “We need to do that again.”; 503-294-5034



As a housing and homeless advocate I've always thought the annual one day "point in time" count was an undercount. 

Some may feel like former Governor George Romney (Michigan) - aka father of Mitt - who went to VN and later felt he was "brainwashed" by the Nixon administration relative to body counts and whether we were winning hearts and minds. 

II never believed the ups and downs of the point in time counts. Now we know the problem is far worse than we imagined. It makes me even more suspicious when people say our work must be "data driven." 

Question - "whose data?"

I believe that positive steps have been taken in Washington County to help those facing housing insecurity under our 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. I don't blame fellow advocates, especially those providing services. 

But clearly the challenge outstrips our efforts. What is needed is more affordable housing and this has not been a priority of the 10 Year Plan process because so much depends on federal and state funding. 

There are good people doing the hard work of providing shelter space and permanent housing in a challenging economic environment which requires housing authorities and non-profits to go through many hoops to finance low income housing. 

Subsidizing low income housing is a Rube Goldberg process which almost assures a failure of too little, too late. 

Incremental steps are not enough. The recently passed metro housing bond levy and Governor Brown's effort to move the needle across Oregon to build more low income housing are steps in the right direction. But neither is enough. 

The fact is that the Federal government since the Reagan era gave up on building public housing, not a perfect product itself because so much of it was built to keep racial segregation in metro areas in place - a combination of racism and nimby-ism. 

But until we have a federal Marshall Plan to enable all Americans to have a "home of their own" - the PSU report will be replicated time and time again, not just in our metro area but across the USA, especially as a racist "divider-in-chief" is POTUS. 

Presidential aspirants who want to build infra-structure should include affordable housing in the mix, along with fixing aging bridges, deteriorating highways, aging rail roadbeds and toxic water systems. 

This should be wrapped up in any Green New Deal. 

Such a Marshall Plan would put Americans back to work on a sustainable basis just like it did for the "greatest generation" after WW II which was the foundation of the longest economic boom in US history.





“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” - Lincoln, First Inaugural

-- Clearly Donald Trump is tone deaf to Lincoln's words, it remains to be seen if the Democrats who want to replace him are also similarly tone deaf wanting to focus on gotcha moments on the debate stage or whether they can frame their election campaigns around a "vision" of what they want America to be as Obama did in his Philadelphia "More Perfect Union" speech in the 2008 campaign or as Reagan did in his it's "Morning in America" campaign ads in 1980. 

-- David Brooks and Mark Shields on PBS NewsHour Friday (see below in the "comments" section) said so far we've seen Trump replaying his dark message from his 2016 campaign of fear mongering using immigrants, minorities and now even a major American city, Baltimore, as trops to energize his base while Democrats are yelling or throwing their hands up trying to get the most air time in the recent debates by sowing seeds of division within their party and/or hitting their button points as policy wonks. 

-- Running against Trump the racist divider-in-chief may be enough to throw him out of the Oval Office but at the end of the day the question will be as in the political film classic "The Candidate" starred in by Robert Redford - "what now?" The campaign should be about competing visions of America not wonkiness aka Medicare for All, Public Option while ignoring the Obama legacy or Trump's staple of turning the presidency into a so-called Reality TV show via twitter storms and rallies of his 99% White base which increasingly looks like something out of Mein Kampf - "send them back." 

-- Democrats can't win just being the anti-Trump they must create a vision which promises to bring us together as a nation across the racial, ethnic, geographical, gender and identity divides. 

-- The best candidate to beat Trump will be the one that can craft a vision of America from "sea to shining seas" which reminds us who we are at our best (hopeful), not who we are at our worst (fearful). Bernie can rev up his base by doing his version of Trump - dumping on the 1%. Warren seems willing to follow Bernie adding wonky position papers. Kamala seems content to attack Joe. So far the candidate on the Demo stage that has raised the bar and who has the experience to be POTUS is Gov. Jay Inslee (Washington) who has focused on "the clear and present danger" - climate change. 

-- "When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people." Edmund Burke

-- My humble suggestion to all the challengers - focus on the great history of the Democratic party from FDR's New Deal, to JFK's New Frontier, LBJ's Great Society, to Carter's legacy as a geo-political healer, to Clinton's "it's the economy, stupid" mantra and to Barack's More Perfect Union as a foundation to build upon. They don't have to reinvent the wheel, they simply have to remind Dems who they are and where we can to go. Whether the issue is immigration, the economy or geopolitics - we are strongest when we remember our legacy and values - e pluribus unum. We are not just our separate (Red or Blue) parts but as Jesse said in the '88 DNC a quilt which is a mosaic of urban, suburban and rural America. 

-- That's how one creates winning coalitions and a kinder gentler America! It's also how we reclaim Martin Luther King's vision of the "beloved community on a foundation of hope, not anger, engagement not resignation - the "I have a dream America." Or as Barak framed it in 2008 - "YES WE CAN". Only then can we live up to our creed of a nation founded in our "unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - the centerpiece of the American Dream. Whether one's ancestors were First Nation's people, indentured servants, freemen, slaves, immigrants or those who seek asylum on our southern border - this is our AMERICA as symbolized by Lady Liberty or the Golden Gate.

Russ Dondero's photo.