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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...


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


Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms


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   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

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 



















































      Why did the just ended election turn into a TV Reality game show?  One can point the finger at The Donald for his vitriolic and vulgar rhetoric that may be the key to his TKO victory.  Or we can blame Hillary for her inability to connect with angry voters. How is it that a millionaire’s son without any political experience beat the best qualified candidate ever in her quest to break the class ceiling?     

     Marx would say too many in working class America suffer from false class-consciousness. A harsher critic would argue that a strong undercurrent of racism provided Trump “White backlash” after 8 years of Obama. Others argue that Team Hillary made a key strategic mistake skipping the Rust Belt states of Wisconsin and Michigan in the final months of the campaign. 

     Here Paul Krugman's perspective...
Democrats have to figure out why the white working class just voted overwhelmingly against its own economic interests, not pretend that a bit more populism would solve the problem.


     Let’s give the Devil his due – Trump deployed a “new politics” of demagoguery outsmarting those of us on the Left because as a social media junkie and a Reality-TV star he reinvented campaign politics by self-funding and used free media from the primaries to the general election. He put on the face of “anger” for a public looking for blood.  And Hillary became his unwitting pincushion.

    Read Hedrick Smith’s post What Caused the Populist Eathquake of 2016?

     Trump understood the law of modern mass media that there is no such thing a “bad news.”  His rhetoric created the political equivalent “if it bleeds it leads.” 

     By playing by the old rules Hillary won the ground game battle while losing the Electoral College war. 

     A former Pacific student who is a sociology professor at the University of Portland made a very good point during a string of posts on my Face Book page about the election:

     “It strikes me as patently unfair to privilege the votes of folks who live in the hinterlands, merely because they choose to live in the hinterlands. When contrasted with the beautifully elegant principle of "one person, one vote…”

     I couldn’t agree more as we reel from the second presidential election in the 21st century where the winner of the popular vote lost the election due to an archaic system of dolling out votes in a formulaic process originally designed to protect slave holding states from more populous northern and immigrant rich northern states. 

     The north star of the American political system is the concept of one person/one vote. It’s the moral principle upon which our Republic is founded and how we measure the consent of the governed.  An 18th century compromise, the Electoral College, is tarnishing our legacy as a democratic republic.   

     In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote over George Bush by 500,000 votes only to see victory snatched by defeat due  hanging chads in Miami and a Supreme Court decision which gave Bush the presidency and the American people two never ending wars in the Middle East and the Great Recession (with a little help from Slick Willie and Phil Graham (R. Texas).   

      As of this posting Trump has won the EC vote, although several states are in the re-count business while Hillary Clinton is expanding her popular vote margin by 2,300,000 votes!  To paraphrase a line from Hamlet “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”  After witnessing the spectacle of the presidential election one can say the same about the state of our union. 

     In the modern age it's grotesque that our presidential contests come down to a few so-called “battleground” states where each side camps in key states for months, if not years at a time while using other states as pass over fund raisers.  It’s equally immoral that the Electoral College is a zero sum winner take all system which disenfranchises the voters not on the winning side. The system has no legitimacy – as some are want to say – the “system” is rigged.  

Here’s another angle to consider –

Political Calculus

As American as Apple Pie? The Rural Vote’s Disproportionate Slice of Power


Rural America, even as it decries its economic weakness, has retained electoral strength beyond its numbers.


     But lest one conclude I’m in denial about the power of angry rural and Rust belt America, I’m not. I read, heard and saw the anger in the land stoked up by Trump and Sanders. But there were other factors in play in a low turnout election where too many millennials, women and even some African-Americans stayed home or voted for a third party candidate.   

     Non-voting privileges those who did vote helping Trump to win by narrow margins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  

     One wonders if the protesters in the week after the election either didn’t vote or perhaps thinking Hillary didn’t need their votes voted for a 3rd party candidate. Either way their choice or non-decision decision won the EC for Trump while Hillary piled up a robust popular vote in the “beauty contest.” 

     What this leaves us with is a very divided nation where Russian e-mail and social media hackers may have been Trump’s partners in how to turn assumed defeat into victory. 

     Progressives need to return to “bread and butter” issues [read Garrison Keilllor’s Homegrown Democrat who echoes this same theme in summarizing past defeats.]

      I get this. The working class of America unlike their European brethren has always regarded themselves as “middle class” more goal than reality after the ‘70s.  Emotions rule not facts! 

     They resent the manager class - even a political science prof who is solidly “middle class” not upper class shares this anti-management sentiment.  But where I disagree is the latent prejudice against the “working poor” which singles out women, minorities or immigrants.

     Who has gone to bat for the middle class since the 1930s – not the GOP!  But Democrats have cleaned up GOP messes, as Barck did of Dubya's.    

     The GI Bill, Social Security and Medicare were voted in by Democrats with bi-partisan support from moderate Republicans in Congress – an extinct species.  And in truth all the Civil Rights acts and Great Society programs helped “middle class” Blacks more than their brothers and sisters mired in poverty.  Yes, Black Lives Matter!       

     Some observers, including a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison spent several years talking to angry White voters in rural enclaves of that state.  She got an earful which helped her understand Trump’s appeal in a Rust belt state.  But rural America is not uniquely confined to the Rust belt. I grew up in a timber town in Oregon.

     These folks feel left behind by the elites in DC and Wall Street.  They have good reasons for their anger but voting for Trump will fail them – as did Carter, Bush I, Clinton and Dubya - all good old boys!   

     After much hemming and hawing Mitch McConnell and even Mitt Romney have seen the light – having one of your own kind in the Oval Office was too good to pass up even while the pundit class thought the GOP was on the “eve of destruction.” 

     And the GOP base like lemmings came home. So much for “family values” and the old time GOP religion of social moderation and economic conservatism.    

     But the urban/rural divide in the USA is not a recent invention it’s been there from the founding of The Republic.  And the fact is that between the Red and Blue there is a lot of purple in the heartlands.  Oregon has its own urban/rural divide.  Social media and decades of negative ads have polarized our society into an uncivil ideological war which reinforces tribal biases.  

     A classic book on this is Small Town in Mass Society written by Vidich and Bensman back in the late ‘50s. When I first read it in grad school I recognized it right away – it explained the right wing politics of my adopted hometown, Roseburg, Oregon where timber was king and so were timber unions which got out the Democratic vote for Wayne Morse (the Tiger of the Senate) while voting down city and school district levies. 

     But now in the 1000 Valleys of the Umpqua the mills are down from 7 to 1, the new comers are refugees from SoCal which have brought social conservatism into the mainstream there and without the old union vote, no Democrats in Douglas County needs to run – they will be defeated by social and fiscally conservative Rs where the locals wear shirts saying “we eat spotted owls.”  

     But this is not new!  Back in my day ('52-60) I used to see "Impeach Earl Warren" billboard signs while on fishing trips on the North Umpqua, saw Dan Smoot on our one TV station and hear my Dad called a "commie" on local radio when discussing public housing as the Director of the housing authority.  The ignorance and prejudice in rural America has deep pre-Trump roots.   

     This hollowing out of Democrats in rural America is not just about jobs moving off shore but about White working class folks having been converted by Reagan back in 1980.  Carter and Clinton brought some of them back for a time but Bush I and Bush II harvested that Reagan D vote over three elections even though “trickle down” economics never got their jobs back. 

     Give Clinton his due – he managed to get corporate America to invest in jobs here while also expanding trade under NAFTA – but those jobs never filtered down into rural America.  And then the economy went south under Bush. Rural folks with their blend of social and economic conservatism feel under siege just like the residents of Small Town did – a real town in upstate New York.      

     Now fast forward to Trump – that siege mentality was masterfully however crudely captured by the son of a New York millionaire who has never lived in a mill, steel, mining,  farm or timber town.  But his earthy language tinted with a healthy doses of racism, sexism and anti-immigrant rage captured the attention of folks with whom he has nothing in common and whom he will forget once he gets into the Oval Office.  

     Hillary, the daughter of a single mom who earned her way to Ivy League colleges didn’t have the street cred and stage presence that Trump had.  She was wonky, he was catatonic – the raging bull in the year of rage.  

     Trump can’t possibly keep his campaign promises because they are totally incoherent and inconsistent and once off the campaign stage he will have to govern with the likes of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. It will be their job to tame the beast. I don’t see the mining jobs returning to West Virginia or jobs back to the Rust belt of Ohio.  But Trump will tweet his lies to the base.  

     Trump can tear up all the trade agreements he wants but any new deals will have to please corporate America and its global partners.  Trade deals will use tax incentives to bring back jobs to America but the emphasis will be on corporate benefits not job creation. Resourcing jobs via tax breaks not re-education and retraining will end up with a trail of failed promises.  

     The GOP was offered numerous economic stimulus packages by Obama for infrastructure development and passed on it all after the bail out. They were more intent on making Obama a “failed POTUS” not to get America back to work. 

     Here’s the hard cold reality – those of us who grew up in rural America learned there was no future there.  So we went off to college, got a degree and then joined the lower rings of the middle class. 

     This reality was unceremoniously pointed out when I got my job at Pacific in ’74.  One of my wife’s uncles, who never went to college, had a big laugh on me when he found out he earned more as a stock manager at a Safeway in Seattle than I would in my first year at Pacific. What he didn’t know is I also took a pay cut to move back to the West Coast.  

      But over the years my BA, MA and Ph.D paid off with a fulfilling 42 year career while earning a modest salary in a private university. Making it requires the stamina of a long distance runner.  When I left Roseburg I never looked back. With family there I adhered to Tom McCall's adage “visit but do not stay!”    

     Most of my classmates at RHS never went to college – so as the timber industry collapsed I wonder where they are now.  My sons are both college grads but have faced tough times – but they have the survival skills to make it.  We own our home,  We live a middle class life - the American Dream.  

     I am worried what Trump will do to Medicare but know AARP will fight him all the way and remind members of Congress how often AARP members vote.  

     So the anger in the heartland or the “Other” Oregon is a mix of bad personal choices made back in high school and now being the helpless victim in a global economy that has forever changed their, their kids and grandkids prospects.

     My immigrant-US citizen daughter-in-law who has lived most of her life in Seattle asked me why don’t White working class Americans do what every generation of immigrants have done – work hard and make sure their kids graduate from college?  It’s a fair question!  

     Trump can't bring back the old days of life-time jobs requiring nothing but a high school diploma.   

     Generations of Americans have bought the Horatio Alger myth of the self-made man.  Now they cling to Trump hoping as they hug their Bible and guns while fearing the “other” that The Donald will deliver the goods.  He won't.  

     Rural Americans did not decide the election – the rigged system of the Electoral College did while Hillary got more votes!   

     I’ve seen the combination of hope and fear in the eyes of the homeless who’ve made it off the street into housing but the fear is always there – a major medical emergency, lost job,  rent increase or a bad personal choice and back to the streets they will go. With a President-elect who has no experience what the 99% face my expectations are low. 

      I fear we’re headed back to the ‘50s where if you got pregnant you had a shotgun marriage, were shamed, gave the baby up or got a back alley abortion. If you ended in the local jail as an 18 year old boy you got jail time or a one-way ticket to the Army.  If you got hooked on booze or drugs you ended up on the mean streets without a net. 

     Kids from higher income families could navigate these obstacles with family support. But as we learned in the New Hampshire primary too many youth end up overdosing from drugs living in a society without a community mental health system which was promised in the ‘60s but the money was diverted to fight a war in Vietnam. 

     Not everyone has a billionaire father to send you to private schools or to bail one out of bankruptcy. If you are homeless on the streets, addicted to opioid drugs or a victim of child or spousal abuse it’s hard to get out of the cycle of hopelessness. 

     It takes affordable housing, health care and school to job education.  As an advocate in the Puzzle Palace these are all uphill fights.  And the mood music from Trump Towers is not promising as he brings back the Wall Street crowd  So much for cleaning the swamp!      

     Good night and good luck!  



Paul Krugman, NYTimes, colunist - Nov 10

     So what do we do now? By “we” I mean all those left, center and even right who saw Donald Trump as the worst man ever to run for president and assumed that a strong majority of our fellow citizens would agree.

     I’m not talking about rethinking political strategy. There will be a time for that — God knows it’s clear that almost everyone on the center-left, myself included, was clueless about what actually works in persuading voters. For now, however, I’m talking about personal attitude and behavior in the face of this terrible shock.

     First of all, remember that elections determine who gets the power, not who offers the truth. The Trump campaign was unprecedented in its dishonesty; the fact that the lies didn’t exact a political price, that they even resonated with a large bloc of voters, doesn’t make them any less false. No, our inner cities aren’t war zones with record crime. No, we aren’t the highest-taxed nation in the world. No, climate change isn’t a hoax promoted by the Chinese.

So if you’re tempted to concede that the alt-right’s vision of the world might have some truth to it, don’t. Lies are lies, no matter how much power backs them up.

     And once we’re talking about intellectual honesty, everyone needs to face up to the unpleasant reality that a Trump administration will do immense damage to America and the world. Of course I could be wrong; maybe the man in office will be completely different from the man we’ve seen so far. But it’s unlikely.

Unfortunately, we’re not just talking about four bad years. Tuesday’s fallout will last for decades, maybe generations.

  • I particularly worry about climate change. We were at a crucial point, having just reached a global agreement on emissions and having a clear policy path toward moving America to a much greater reliance on renewable energy. Now it will probably fall apart, and the damage may well be irreversible.

  • The political damage will extend far into the future, too. The odds are that some terrible people will become Supreme Court justices. States will feel empowered to engage in even more voter suppression than they did this year. At worst, we could see a slightly covert form of Jim Crow become the norm all across America.

  • And you have to wonder about civil liberties, too. The White House will soon be occupied by a man with obvious authoritarian instincts, and Congress controlled by a party that has shown no inclination to stand up against him. How bad will it get? Nobody knows.

     What about the short term? My own first instinct was to say that Trumponomics would quickly provoke an immediate economic crisis, but after a few hours’ reflection I decided that this was probably wrong. I’ll write more about this in the coming weeks, but a best guess is that there will be no immediate comeuppance.

Trumpist policies won’t help the people who voted for Donald Trump — in fact, his supporters will end up much worse off. But this story will probably unfold gradually. Political opponents of the new regime certainly shouldn’t count on any near-term moment of obvious vindication.

     So where does this leave us? What, as concerned and horrified citizens, should we do?

     One natural response would be quietism, turning one’s back on politics. It’s definitely tempting to conclude that the world is going to hell, but that there’s nothing you can do about it, so why not just make your own garden grow? I myself spent a large part of the Day After avoiding the news, doing personal things, basically taking a vacation in my own head.

     But that is, in the end, no way for citizens of a democracy — which we still are, one hopes — to live. I’m not saying that we should all volunteer to die on the barricades; I don’t think it’s going to come to that, although I wish I was sure. But I don’t see how you can hang on to your own self-respect unless you’re willing to stand up for the truth and fundamental American values.

     Will that stand eventually succeed? No guarantees. Americans, no matter how secular, tend to think of themselves as citizens of a nation with a special divine providence, one that may take wrong turns but always finds its way back, one in which justice always prevails in the end.

     Yet it doesn’t have to be true. Maybe the historic channels of reform — speech and writing that changes minds, political activism that eventually changes who has power — are no longer effective. Maybe America isn’t special, it’s just another republic that had its day, but is in the process of devolving into a corrupt nation ruled by strongmen.

But I’m not ready to accept that this is inevitable — because accepting it as inevitable would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The road back to what America should be is going to be longer and harder than any of us expected, and we might not make it. But we have to try.


Losers in Trump's ending Obamacare....



     Now that our long election nightmare is over we face uncharted waters with a President-elect who has never held office and whose campaign was the most uncivil in memory. This is not an auspicious beginning. But a smooth transition of governance has begun thanks to the tone set by President Obama.         

     To his credit the President-elect made a "disciplined and gracious" victor's speech the night of the election. His meeting with President Obama was similarly encouraging for its sobriety. Hillary Clinton and President Obama have asked us to give the new president time to assume his constitutional duties.  

      However the President-elect needs to clear the air before we can heal the wounds to our nation's psyche from this divisive election. The selection of Reince Preibus as chief of staff is a good sign but the choice of altRightist Steven Bonner as senior advisor is troubling.  

     We consider our nation to be founded the concept of "one person, one vote." But sadly we aren't thanks to the Founding Father's framework that has put 18th century rules into play twice in the 21st century conferring presidential power to the candidate who lost the popular vote.

     These are the rules we play by but these rules are eroding the legitimacy and claim to be a system founded on the consent of the governed. Our democracy can’t stand the shock waves of the popular vote being discarded by the archaic rules of the Electoral College. 

     We faced a crisis of legitimacy coming out of the highly contested 2000 election won by a Republican. Given the deep divisions from this election, also won by a Republican, we face another governance crisis.


Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds

Stanford researchers assessed students from middle school to college and found they struggled to distinguish ads from articles, neutral sources from biased ones and fake accounts from real ones.

Read this story

     If students can't detect fact from fiction - how about a gullible voting public?


     The President-elect has a mandate on a single issue - to improve the economic conditions of Main Street America not Wall Street. He successfully tapped into deep public anger and fear over income inequality. He owes the American people a game plan to address the fears of middle class America.   

     He has talked about rebuilding America’s aging roads, bridges, railroads and other public infrastructure to bring back jobs to the heartland.  But this can’t happen with trickle down economics nor another round of tax breaks for banks too big to fail and for the 1%. 

     The president-elect prides himself as a developer – well such development will take public/private partnerships to reinvest in America and American workers. Anything short of this will not do the job and he has less than two years to get started before we have an off-year election. 

     The irony is that President Obama’s similar investment strategy for American jobs was stopped in its tracks by the same Congress that will return to power.  Hopefully they will treat a president from their own party more kindly than they did Obama. 

     President Obama has left the new president with a much stronger economy than he inherited so the new president starts with a leg up. But the clock is ticking here and in global markets. 

     The president-elect enters the Oval Office under a cloud of his own making. Given the 50/50 division in the nation and his inflamed campaign rhetoric he does not have the "moral authority" to govern. So what he does from here to inauguration day will be critical to his presidency.  

      Contrary to the President-elect’s statements it’s been confirmed that Putin operatives during the campaign were in contact with Trump operatives. We don’t know what the content of those discussions were but we deserve to know them now not months or years from now.     

     Did members of his campaign encourage a foreign power to meddle in an American election? “What did the President- elect know and when did he know it?” 

     Julian Assange made it clear years ago his goal was to bring down the American political system. With the help of Kremlin hackers did this happen? The American media that put so much time into unearthing Hillary Clinton’s e-mails owes it to the American people its due diligence on this issue. 

     Until this is resolved any presidential honeymoon will be short lived and his capacity to govern will be problematic.

     Finally, to the 43% of eligible voters who didn’t vote, your non-vote decided this election.  You own the results! 


The Washington Post has answered a part of the question I posed about the "hacking" of our democracy by the Kremlin.  See article below which came 3 weeks AFTER the election!  One hopes other mainstream media will add more flesh and bones to this sordid tale of political intrigue no matter how far into the next administration it might go?
Researchers say sophisticated tools were used to boost Trump and undermine Clinton.


After The Fall

Barbara J. Van Koppig


I am an angry white woman. 

I am angry at hypocritical churches and evangelicals who would vote for a three-times-married adulterer with a profane mouth, a self-centered view of the world, disrespect for minorities, the disabled, the poor and women, someone who has time and time again financially cheated and scammed employees, contractors, and hopeful university students, someone who has functioned in his personal life contrary to every precept that Christ urged us to follow – and how those institutions and church leaders encouraged their followers and their congregations to do the same.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at those who voted for this man because they wanted “change” because they believe their world has changed and left them behind and believe that someone who is a three-times-married adulterer with a profane mouth, a self-centered view of the world, disrespect for minorities, the disabled, the poor and women, someone who has time and time again financially cheated and scammed employees, contractors, and hopeful university students, someone who has functioned in his personal life contrary to every precept that Christ urged us to follow, actually cares about them and somehow will better their lives and restore our Christian culture.

I am an angry white woman.
I am angry at those who voted for this man despite his total lack of not just knowledge about public policy in an increasingly complicated world but, more frighteningly, his total lack of any interest in it, a man who believes he knows more about Isis than generals, a man whose only policy concerns are those policies which will enrich him personally.

I am an angry white woman.
I am angry at millennials who have been pampered and coddled all their lives and have been led to believe that the most important thing in life is how good they feel about themselves and therefore can justify not voting or voting for a third party in an election where the stakes were so high, proclaiming they are not happy with “the system,” even though, in doing so, they jeopardize their own futures and freedoms for decades to come.  

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at those who believe their economic condition is the result of liberalism run amok rather than the increasing control of big money over the electoral and governing process, a control that has reduced their wages, reduced their opportunities, closed their plants, moved their jobs out of the country and provided Wall Street and corporations and the 1 percent with increasing profits, perks and privileges that have no chance of being reversed over the next four years.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at those who come out to vote in Presidential races but don’t bother voting in the off-years, don’t bother doing any homework on the issues and candidates in state races or congressional races or referenda and believe it just doesn’t affect them, and then self-righteously vote based on something they heard on TV, congratulating themselves that they have done their civic duty.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at those who believe that government is bad, the system is bad, the system is rigged and we have to change everything, while still wanting all the government perks they currently receive, that under- and unfunded government can effectively continue to protect, support and defend them.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at media that treated this campaign as a McEnroe/Borg tennis match or a Superbowl or a horse race rather than a policy crisis, focusing on polls and characters and personalities and he said/she saids rather than on the policy issues, facts and things that really matter, a media so enamored with the show, so focused on entertainment and ratings, so beholden to the corporate interests that govern its work, that, with precious few exceptions, it forgot its role.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry that so many of those who voted for Trump or didn’t vote at all did so because they hate Hillary Clinton for a multitude of meaningless reasons, much as Republicans in Congress as they continue meaningless hearings on meaningless issues in an attempt to show evidence of corruption and criminal activity that simply is not there.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry that this campaign and the results of this election have emboldened a new civic discourse that is anything but civil and instead empowers the profane, justifies hatred, elevates personal belief and personal prejudice above facts and intellect and wisdom, turns demonizing into an art form, and provides to our children the lesson that saying anything is justifiable, that to be truly empowered, anything goes.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at those who voted for this man because they do not agree with court decisions on issues relating to personal lives and decisions, who believe our country is going to hell as a result of our godlessness in giving women choice, in confirming constitutionally protected rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and, ignoring all others, see only those issues as the ones that should define their decision in the voting booth.  
I am an angry white woman.

I am angry at those who have so no respect for experience, real leadership and effective governance and temperance and compromise and the public good but instead elevate anarchy and “no” and loud and ignorance and inexperience as the solutions to make everything better.

I am an angry white woman.

I am angry with those who look away from the financial excesses and greed of the real elite in this country and instead demonize immigrants, legal or otherwise, for bringing crime and violence and taking our jobs, who paint all those whose faith differs from ours as terrorists, who find it easy to degrade those on public assistance as losers and lazy – and consider them to be their enemies and the cause of their personal suffering.

I am angry at anyone who can vote for someone who defines women and their value in terms of the quality of their body parts, their attractiveness and their usefulness to him.

I am an angry white woman.

And I am sad for a once-great country that elevates the ignorant, praises the obscene, replaces the principles of governing established by our founding fathers with “gotcha.”

I am an angry white woman.

It is no longer “morning in America.” Rather, we have willingly embraced a national nightmare of divisiveness, prejudice, fear and loathing in its place. 
I do not know how we can or will survive

I am an angry white woman.


RAD - My worst fears of the new administration is not it's economic policy, it will be Reaganesque - remember what George H. W. Bush called "voodoo" economics and then after elected in '88 walked back his famous campaign phrase "no new taxes" when the economy began to sink which led to Clinton's election.  We will have trickle down economics which Wall Street will love and Main Street who elected Trump will find it was played. 

What worries me most is are three things - 1) Trump's denial of Climate Change; 2) his playing footsie with Putin while pissing off the Iran nuclear deal which could result in ISIS being revived when it's on the verge of collapse; 3) increasing the chances of a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel if the Iran agreement is shelved; and 4) his explicit racist and sexist rhetoric which will be institutionalized in the West Wing by Steven Bannon at his side. 

Let's call it what it is - the embrace of neo-fascism that goes well beyond Reagan's "friendly fascism."  I remain skeptical how Trump can walk back his vitriolic campaign rhetoric when the person who encouraged that rhetoric is now his main White House strategist. Bannon is an altRight ideologue not a pragmatist like David Gergen who served both Reagan and Clinton in that role. He's more like Nixon's AG - John Mitchell on stereoids.  

I anticipate the incoming two top staffers - Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon - will have a dog fight in the new administron - one hopes the former wins!  

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