More About This Website

On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


Trump & The Mob



"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


A Just Peace


SIP contract online


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


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%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • 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...   

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











































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... 

Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.

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. 


SB 1533 passes!


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, 1941


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

  • "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  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

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... 


    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   



     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 

"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 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

















































Update:  Jan 13, 5:51 p.m. 


A Warning (see below) from Bill Moyers!

     He is right - there is nothing inevitable about democracy being immune to the authoritarian impulse. Any reader of Plato's Republic knows that!

     Other Brits have diagnosed the arrogance of power that corrodes democracy - Edmund Burke, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and another political scientist of Runciman's generation Bernard Crick author of 'In Defense of Politics.'

     Moyer's doesn't take into account that The Donald as POTUS will live under the restraints of our checks and balances system, something he has no experience with - yet.

     And thanks to frequent elections, the restraining power of the electorate will be felt by him at some point - hopefully sooner than later. Another restraint on him will be from the political class itself when he turns on his own kind as he no doubt will.

      The 40% that support Trump is not the majority - not even close to it given the whole of the electorate - including the 43% who seldom vote along with those misguided millennials and suburban women in key states like Pennsylvania who sat this one out.

      By 2018 or 2020 one hopes feeling buyer's remorse these voters will have learned the lesson. At best Trump's base is @ 25% of eligible voters a highly volatile base.

     But the most hopeful fact is that Donald Trump is supremely arrogant and ignorant. That combination makes him impeachment fodder already. It's just a matter of time.... tick, tick, tick... His supplicants and minions can't save him from himself...

     The modern presidency has morphed into what some scholars refer to as the Plebiscitary presidency. The president has taken on a symbolic role as the embodiment of “the” public in the old Roman sense of the tribune of the people. 

     With 40% of the public on each side of the political divide bunkered in - elections have increasingly been not a civil dialogue but a zero sum game between the deaf on both sides, especially over abortion rights.   

     The role of social media and 24/7 public opinion polling has accelerated this phenomenon - the politics of the deaf. Or is this election the last gasp of a dying demographic - the Rust belt white vote who see Trump as the "great White hope?" 

      But it is obvious that American politics has entered a new age, a verbal civil war waged on talk show radio and social media where two irreconciliable forces face each other.  The result is that polarization will continue from election to election. 

     The solution for progressives is not to repeat the errors of the Clinton campaign and her supporters by taking victory for granted.  One must have a 50 state not just a "battle ground" state strategy.  

     Some will argue Donald Trump will be our first unabashed “plebiscitary” president.  But this is clearly not true.  He may be the most flamboyant and inflammatory example of such a president, time will tell. 

     But this tendency for the public and the Congress to create a cult of adulation around the presidency began with President Washington who thankfully put an end to making him “king-like” by only running for two terms.  

     One is still looking for the president-elect to show Washington like restraint.  One saw none of it in his "press" conference on Wednesday.   

     Other presidents who have fit into this model have been extremely popular while seriously flawed – Andrew Jackson comes to mind.  Lincoln ascended to this position more after his assassination than before since he died a martyr. 

     More recent presidents such as FDR and Eisenhower evoked this tribune of the people mantle without necessarily trying to milk it for all it was worth.  FDR faced major opposition as did IKE but both were extremely popular with their bases. 

     FDR used his popularity to advance the New Deal, IKE preferring a more behind the scenes route in advocating policy and in his farewell address warned Americans about the rise of the unchecked power of the military-industrial complex. 

     But the concept of a Plebiscitary presidency is well within the nature of an office where the incumbent is the chief legislator, the head of state and party leader.  But most presidents have realized their powers are limited to the power to persuade.  

    Our system of checks and balances, of limited government that disperses shared power from federal, state and local government does not give the president no matter how popular the power to rule by fiat.

     But clearly given Trump’s over the top ego and his penchant for “straight but vulgar” talk will test how far he is allowed to go.     

     We will soon find out whether the president-elect understands his role within our constitutional system or seeks ways to flaunt it as other presidents have by taking on the mantel of an imperial presidency – LBJ, Nixon, Reagan and Bush II.  

     The temptations to do so are inviting given social media and when one’s party controls the legislative branch and 33 state governments – it’s hard to not overreach falling into an Oedipus Rex complex eventually destroying their presidencies. 

    Presidential power according to Richard Neustadt hinges on the ability to persuade using his “power stakes” where various “publics” are watching the POTUS – the American public, media, Congress, Courts, private sector and foreign governments.  

   Stay tuned, the plot thickens!     


The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman, a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “Is this how democracy ends?” There is much to praise in his essay, including his heavy qualification that we really don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the end phase of mature Western democracies since we do not have the appropriate historical precedents to be certain. Continue reading


Those votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania matter!  Repealing not replacing...   The GOP is in the process of removing the ACA and 52 million Americans will pay the price!   



     As everyone knows the incoming Trump administration is dedicated to ending Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. Mixed messages from the incoming administration have focused on "repealing" and/or "replacing" Obamacare.  The repealing of Obamacare can technically be done by Congressional action, requiring only a majority vote in both the House and Senate. 

     The replacing of the ACA will take much longer, estimates are a 1 to 4 year timeline.  The longer the timeline, the more disruptive it will be to our national health care system, consumers, care providers, hospitals and the insurance industry. The ACA is a complex system where the whole is larger than its parts, if one starts removing the parts - the collapse of the entire system is at risk.  

     To give people perspective on Obamacare and what's been accomplished since its passage in 2013 I've posted these charts.  It's easy to demonize the ACA but when one looks under the hood, its parts have wide public support which should cause those who want to repeal it to take a pause to consider the consequences of doing such especially to the 20 million previously uninsured. 

     Sadly such "consideration" is not likely to happen given our highly polarized society and an incoming POTUS who has expended so much "demagogic" rhetoric in the just ended campaign to ending Obamacare.  But the more information the public has on the ACA, even among Trump voters - support for the ACA increases - so perhaps it's time for the Republican led Congress to take a "time out" -

     A Kaiser Poll [] shows that even Trump voters favor significant parts of Obamacare, Democratic voters are even more supportive.  There is strong support for...   

1) The exchanges which allow people to shop for a health care option;
2) federal financial assistance that lowers costs for lower and modeate income families;
3) elimination of out of pocket costs for preventive care;
4) ability of young adults to be covered until age 26 by parent's plans;
5) keeping the ban on denying people with pre-existing conditions;
6) keeping the 20 million previously uninsured on the ACA;

     The charts below give evidence of the successes of the ACA.  So to those who want to "repeal" or "replace" Obamacare "be careful what you wish for..."  Without the ACA millions of Americans could be without health care insurance... 

Without-obamacare-52 million-americans-could-be-denied-insurance

The overall uninsured rate has come sharply down since the advent of Obamacare:

Overall national health spending has come down even faster than was predicted, as a share of gross domestic product:


Hospitals’ uncompensated care costs fell sharply in Medicaid expansion states, as patients treated as indigent in the past are now covered by Medicaid.

The decline in the uninsured rate is closely associated with a reduction in people who were prevented from seeking and finding medical care because of its cost:

The decline in the uninsured rate is closely associated with a reduction in people who were prevented from seeking and finding medical care because of its cost: