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The Golden Idol Addresses the GOP Faithful

March 2, 2021

Six weeks after the storming of the Capitol by fanatical Trumpistas, the Instigator-in-Chief emerged from hibernation to address the right-wing faithful in sunny Orlando. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was meeting there to rally the troops and set the tone for the future of the embattled GOP.

These weren’t the good gray Republican gentlefolk of yore. Eisenhower and George Bush the Elder would have felt like aliens here. This GOP crowd was predominantly young, rowdy and eager for conquest. They cheered the current crop of conservative Republican standard-bearers, but they saved their purest passion for the keynote speaker: Old #45 himself.

They prepared the way for their idol by setting up a golden effigy – a life-size caricature so comical and grotesque that it could have been created by Democrats. (It came from Mexico, of all places.) A cynic could observe that the gilded head and American flag gym shorts captured all the dignity that Trump had brought to his office – along with the artistic sensibilities of his hardcore base.

It’s possible that the golden statue was crafted with a sense of mischievous fun, but satirical wit isn’t among the more prominent attributes of Trumpian culture. The statue became a shrine, a golden calf for the lost tribe wandering in the desert since last November.

Trump took the podium and immediately cast his spell. “Do you miss me?” he asked. And the crowd roared the response he wanted to hear. “We love you… we love you,” his worshipers chanted in unison.

Trump promptly returned the love: “The brave Republicans gathered in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, fake news media and their toxic cancel culture.” That last phrase woke me up, since I regard the left’s cancel culture as a step toward Orwellian thought-control. Was Trump speaking to me?

For a borderline-obese man in his mid-70s who subsists on cheeseburgers and fries, Trump is still, almost supernaturally, a figure of remarkable vitality. Say what you will about his chronic uncouthness, narcissism, grandiosity and uncertain relationship to the facts, he can still wow a sympathetic audience. He was in vintage Trumpian form that day in Orlando.

The deposed president glossed over the attempted insurrection of January 6 while still insisting that he was robbed of his rightful victory by a rigged system. “You won… you won,” the crowd chanted – and clearly they all believed it.

Trump touted his accomplishments as president, including an empowered military that reduced ISIS to a shadow of its former self… the lowest unemployment figures on record for African-Americans and Latinos… and his generally overlooked Operation Warp Speed, which resulted in three American companies developing Covid vaccines less than a year into the pandemic.

Did he stop to commemorate the half-million casualties and empathize with their families? Did he confess that he didn’t take the “Chinese virus” seriously enough as a once-in-a-century health crisis? No, humility and contrition are as foreign to Trump as Sanskrit.

Breaking with polite precedent, the former chieftain launched into an attack on his successor’s offenses: from “making America into a sanctuary nation” (by releasing illegal immigrants into the streets without a plan) to the LGBTQ Equality Act (presumably forcing biological females to compete against transgender biological males in women’s sports) to delaying in-person schooling for the nation’s children. Reasonable points regarding complicated issues? Let’s grant him that much, even if not all the woes he mentioned can be directly attributed to Biden.

But calm reason was never Trump’s strong suit, so he followed by taking aim at the fellow Republicans who dared to vote for his impeachment (in Congress) and conviction (in the Senate). He called out the traitors by name, assuring that they’d face the wrath of the faithful in any primaries they’d be entering. In the Trumposphere, nobody challenges the head man and lives to tell about it.

Trump dispelled the rumor that he was orchestrating a split from the GOP. “I am not starting a new party,” Trump reassured the crowd. “That was fake news.”

I was sorely disappointed by this last announcement. If Trump and his cult deserted the GOP to form a breakaway “Patriot Party,” the sensible old Republican mainstream would have a chance to recover its soul. But it was not to be: the angry, lowbrow, conspiracy-haunted Trump base would continue to dominate the GOP for the foreseeable future.

So much for the Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and good General Eisenhower. Trump would continue to mold Republicanism in his image. Even after his inevitable demise, I could imagine his preserved head muttering threats and insults from inside an electronically powered glass dome.

It’s all in accordance with Bayan’s Law of Cultural Energy, which goes something like this: In any conflict between cultures, the more energetic side tends to prevail. Cultural baggage, subtlety and refinement are actually liabilities. Just as the northern barbarians prevailed over decadent Rome… just as rock music and rap prevailed over Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole… the rowdy, rampaging element of the GOP seems poised to shove the likes of Mitt Romney, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney to the sidelines.

With the rise of angry Trump zealots to the right of us and angry “woke” ideologues to the left of us, is there any hope for reason and cooperation in American politics?

I say there is. Sensible moderate Democrats simply need to join forces with sensible moderate Republicans. Whether the moderates launch a third party is almost irrelevant. I’d welcome such a party, of course, but we have to remember that no new political party has permanently taken root in the U.S. since the Republicans arrived on the scene in 1854.

What’s more important is that the moderates in both parties forge an informal coalition, a bond of sanity united in opposition to the extremists in both parties. They’d vote together on important issues and prevent the loudest partisans from dominating the rest of us. 

But what if, come primary time, the fanatics in either party run fellow-fanatics against the moderates – and the fanatics win? Well, then it might be time to do the difficult work of building a new party. In short, a centrist party dedicated to fighting polarization, striving for even-handed justice, and restoring a sense of common national purpose without favoring one class over any other class.

It’s a tall order – but it might be a necessary one. After all, when Trump speculated about the Republican presidential candidate in 2024, he skirted the issue with a playfully evasive answer: “I wonder who…”

Let’s not take a chance on reviving the most willfully reckless and divisive presidency in memory. We moderates need to gather our energy, link arms and overpower the fanatics who would rip America apart. 

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three collections of darkly humorous essays are available for only $2.99 each wherever e-books are sold. (Just search under Rick Bayan.)

113 Comments leave one →
  1. Priscilla permalink
    March 2, 2021 10:33 pm

    Excellent, as always Rick. Despite disagreeing in large part with you (I’ll get to that), I’ve always found, and I find even more so these days, that I learn far more from listening to and reading those with whom I have fundamental disagreements, but with whom I also share a desire for reasoned debate and civility. I have also come to believe that we ~ and by “we,” I mean a majority of Americans like us, regardless of our political attitudes ~ share a disdain for those who would divide us, even if they say that that division is nominally based on good intentions (the road to hell, blah, blah, blah …). I’ve recently started subscribing to Matt Taibbi’s Substack page, and, if you had told me 5-10 years ago that I would be reading Taibbi’s stuff and finding myself in agreement with, oh, 50% of it, even though he is a leftist Trump hater and I’m a conservative populist, I would have told you that it would never happen. Same with Glenn Greenwald. And, I still have enormous admiration for thinkers like Thomas Sowell, Dennis Prager and politicians like Rand Paul.

    And, yes, I would still vote for Tump over Joe Biden any day of the week.

    But, to a few of your points. Of course the golden Trump was meant to be comical. How could you possibly think otherwise? Multiple CPAC speakers made lighthearted references to it. This is something that bothers me a lot…the idea that liberals/Democrats/ no longer view conservatives as intelligent, free-thinking, good-hearted, and humorous people who see things differently than they do. If anything, it’s the cancel-culture left that has destroyed humor, yet they continue to treat conservatives as if they are all cult-worshipping idiots. It’s wrong, and it’s harmful.

    I fervently hope that Trump is not planning to run again, but I also think that he is the current leader of the GOP, and that that is a good thing. We don’t need a uniparty run by Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. I do not consider it coincidental that, in his speech, the first thing he did was to call out Biden’s refusal to stand up to the teachers unions, and today, finally, Biden issued a statement that schools need to reopen. I also think that Texas and Mississippi reopened in response to the CPAC speech. It’s time to trust that we have come through the pandemic, and that we now have effective vaccines and treatments, which was another point made.

    I agree 100% that we all need to reject the haters and fanatics on both sides. We should call Trump out when he devolves into his divisive rhetoric, but also recognize that Nancy Pelosi is at least, if not more divisive, and she is the leader of her party. Outrage addiction is a serious condition on both sides.

    Trump’s speech got pretty Trumpy at the end (what did we expect), but for the most part, he used the address to establish the policy differences between *his* party and Biden’s . It was a remarkably policy-centric speech.

    And that gave me some hope for the future.

  2. rondabellelane permalink
    March 2, 2021 11:31 pm

    It amazes me how so many Republicans in government who where extremely anti-trump when he announced his candidacy for that first horrid term, backed him solidly afterwards. It was less because they backed him, and more because they feared for their jobs. Those who resigned or decided to not run again had no qualms telling their true thoughts.

    Now Rick, can you explain to me how you can believe him when he says he is not starting a 3rd party? This is a trump standard – say one thing, do another, then lie. Another is – if someone disagrees and you can fire him, do it. If you can’t fire him, bash him so bad his reelection bid will be futile – or at least you hope it will. …probably the only time I felt sorry for his normally kiss-ass VP.

    I know you’ve noticed that I’ve avoided posting political, and mostly post jokes – we need to heal. Trump is NOT a band aid. Mercurochrome yes, but only in hurting – not healing. He requires praise, surrounds himself with ‘yes’ men, and lines his pockets – the proof is in the last four years and every year before that through bankruptcies, not paying his bills, and withholding information regarding taxes that every recent president has freely given.

    No, I am not a flaming liberal. I’ve had 2nd hand dealings with the man. I’ve listened to him previously playing ‘god’ in various venues, and he sickens me. I’ve voted Republican.

    Those who voted for trump and continue to support him are so varied in their reasoning (after you weed out idiots and racists) you could fill a book. But one thing I’ve noticed is that it is usually centered around money.

    That’s my piece, and done. I will again shelve trump – keeping in mind that when I disagree with someone in power (which is NOT trump any longer), I shall speak up – despite their politics… although I do truly think that when comparing people, one should do that with those who were equals – not Pelosi & Trump.

  3. Priscilla permalink
    March 2, 2021 11:39 pm

    One other quick thing, specifically around the opening of Texas and Mississippi. Just a few months ago, corporate media was lauding Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom for their handling of covid, while condemning Ron DeSantis for his. Who wouldn’t trade NY’s and California’s covid stats for Florida’s today?

    Our system provides for 50 state laboratories of governance. That’s a good thing. NJ is not Vermont. South Carolina is not South Dakota. We need to appreciate and respect those differences as a strength.

  4. March 3, 2021 12:19 am

    Well Priscilla and Rondabellelane coverred what I was going to say mostly, so mine will be short. But I would really like a response and a detailed one at that. You state “Sensible moderate Democrats simply need to join forces with sensible moderate Republicans.”. Please provide a list of a few (and that most likely will be all) of the democrats and republicans that you believe are “moderates”. Other than Manchin for the Democrats, all the others are kissing Pelosi’s and Shumer rear ends for the democrats. And Romney, Collins, Murkowski and Portman are the “moderates” for the right. Others are cowing down to Trump including the two I supported for years, Rubio and Graham That is only 5 senators that I consider “moderate” out of 100. Whats yours and is there enough to make a difference?

    And if you mention Biden, please detail how his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill where more than 1/2, if not 2/3rds is unneeded can place him anywhere near “moderate”.

    Its time to move on from Trump and begin focusing on Biden as much as was focused on Trump if we are truly moderates wanting what is best for the country. If Trump runs in 2024, that gives us 2 1/2 years before we can begin criticizing him again since anything now is just a rehash of the past 4 years.

    • rondabellelane permalink
      March 3, 2021 8:15 am

      Hello Ron (and BTW, my name is Ronda)… I believe that Rick was referring to people rather than politicians when he spoke of ‘joining’. Providing political lists in this climate would depend on which way the wind blows.

      …and that is the problem.

      The issue is corporate America and its’ influence on politicians, education of children in most poor areas, and the electoral college – that is where my so-called ‘leftist’ views generally lie, and all these stem largely from the amazing disparity in wealth.

      Reagan cut taxes on the rich, and trump basically eliminated it – the disparagement started with Reagan, and the greed of trump compounded it beyond belief creating a much larger rich and poor base… practically eliminating much of the middle class. This needs to be addressed first in the fiscal arena.

      This ‘us against them’ mentality has escalated because of this situation. Once we can again see daylight, we can work on education.

      The electoral college was created long ago, for reasons that would no longer apply today. It gives enormous power to areas that do NOT have the population to support that power, and is being used in that horrid ‘us against them’ mentality. Do agricultural areas truly think that people in cities don’t care about food and the survival of farmers? …especially small farmers? Ridiculous.

      …not arguing with you here, just that the disparity so many see does not exist. I firmly believe it is a tactic of the greedy to maintain all the excesses they now have.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2021 12:09 pm

        Ronda, I disagree that the Electoral College is not as critical to the stability of our republic today as it was 200 years ago. We could argue over it, but, bottom line? California and New York, would elect every president. Not everyone thinks that would be a fine idea. As I said, I think that our 50 state federal system is a strength. Allowing urban population centers to determine the outcome of every election would probably be a bad idea.

      • March 3, 2021 12:37 pm

        Priscilla, the electoral college is an argument that will go on for years because it will take 2/3rd of the states to do away with it.

        The way to stop that argument is to nominate people like JFK or Reagan and then when someone wins, the best man/woman won.

        Not like the last 6 elections.

      • March 3, 2021 12:34 pm

        Ronda “Reagan cut taxes on the rich, and trump basically eliminated it – the disparagement started with Reagan, and the greed of trump compounded it beyond belief creating a much larger rich and poor base… practically eliminating much of the middle class. This needs to be addressed first in the fiscal arena.”

        Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. Anyone can take a number and make it appear to fit any message they want it to fit. The numbers never change, it is just the way they are presented.

        But using percentages makes manipulation of those numbers more difficult. So In 2017, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of all individual income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 3 percent. The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (38.5 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.9 percent). (Taxpolicyinstitute)

        How can it be that the top 1% of the American income group is getting a break from income taxes when they paid more than the bottom 90% income group?

        The problem in this country is not an income problem. The problem in this country today is a spending problem. Just look at the $1.9T stimulus package. 80%+ of Americans have NOT been economically impacted by covid, but most everyone is getting stimulus checks. I am retired, have income from SS and investments and my wife and I both got checks twice. Going to get another and we do not need it. (But I wont send it back either) Just like most of my family and fiends who have not lost jobs nor lost income. There are many states that have not suffered from the lost sales tax revenues. North Carolina has a $4B surplus they announced in December, Oklahoma just announced an increase in revenues of nearly $1.2 billion, or 13.9%, from what officials believed the number would be in December. Many other states in the same situation. But the feds are planning to give away money to all states regardless. I believe they are doing that to cover up the fact they need to bail out liberal states that have no idea how to run a state and are facing bankruptcy. So once again, tax payers in well run states are going to bail out piss poor run states with an indirect stimulus payment. There is also billions in the stimulus to bail out pension plans that have been underfunded for years and this bails out corporations from the cash flows required to fully fund their pensions. For instance, in 2020 GE listed pension obligations of $95B and pension assets of $72B. That is a $23B shortfall.

        American Airlines, Ford Motor, General Motors, Macy’s, Dow, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Boeing, along with GE, are the companies with the 10 largest pension funding gaps relative to the market capitalization of the company. Why should the feds bail out companies that are poorly run, allow the pension funds to be extremely underfunded, and allow for large dividend payments in many cases when profits are up when the pension plans are so underfunded?

        I know that there is money needed by those that lost jobs, have health issues and other needs, But when are Americans going to stop being either bleeding heart liberals willing to spend out grandkids future, or those on the right that don’t believe in much help at all. When will the voices of the moderate middle raise up and be heard instead of regurgitating media BS that has brainwashed so many into thinking govt does not harm,

        I will debate anyone about tax rates and what should pay what when the elected officials start acting like responsible parents act with families. You earn $X take home pay, you have $X to spend, Nothing more! Until that time, tax rates do not mean a thing!

        Now for you comment about Electoral college. That is a personal position two sides will take that will never be solved unless the constitution is amended to do away with that provision or states make decisions on how their own votes are distributed. But from my perspective, the states of California, New Jersey, New York, Illinios, Florida and Texas should not dictate who is president. If that were the case, people in 40 other states would just not vote in high numbers. The founding fathers knew what they were doing and what they did years ago is just as pertinent today as before. Only those in populous states think otherwise.

  5. Priscilla permalink
    March 3, 2021 8:42 am

    “It amazes me how so many Republicans in government who where extremely anti-trump when he announced his candidacy for that first horrid term, backed him solidly afterwards. It was less because they backed him, and more because they feared for their jobs. Those who resigned or decided to not run again had no qualms telling their true thoughts.”

    Ronda, I know that you addressed only Ron, so I apologize if you are not interested in hearing from a Trump supporter. I hope that’s not the case, but I figured that I would address it, since there are many people like that these days. I see that as a central problem.

    As a voter, I did not support Trump at all in the primaries, quite the opposite. I didn’t trust him to enact the policies that he said he supported, and I was convinced that he would lose and drag the party down with him. Once he was the nominee, I chose to support him because he campaigned on policies that I supported.

    As president, he continued to support most of those policies (end to endless MidEast wars, lower taxes ~federal taxes are, in fact, lower ~ energy independence, support for Israel, school choice, a strong, vibrant economy, with historic lowering of unemployment, an end to NAFTA, Support for public /private space exploration, etc. )

    I have never opposed him because of his personality. I have no problem with people who do, although I look at politicians like Cuomo, who is personally responsible for ordering a policy that sent thousands to their deaths from covid, and who has been accused of harrassing young women who work for him, and wonder why Democrats slobber all over him as the second coming (it seems as if he might now be held accountable for something…we’ll see)while claiming that Trump is the bad guy. If both sides were equally willing to call out the flaws of their leaders, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

    Is Trump an extremely flawed man? Yes. And I think we can do better. Have the Democrats put forth anyone better? Not by a long shot.

    • rondabellelane permalink
      March 3, 2021 1:29 pm

      I didn’t know Cuomo was President – I thought Biden was. You compare apples to oranges here.

      The issues with Cuomo – both involving harassment and also involving Covid have only come out recently – trump had the Covid issues throughout his presidency, and the numbers prove that. His sexual allegations date WAY back, and his narcissistic personality support that – his legal tactics squashed them. AND Cuomo was not a fav of mine. I never mentioned him.

      Trump did little good that didn’t help himself.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2021 2:52 pm

        Cuomo is the governor of the 3rd or 4th largest state in the country, with the largest city and the most covid deaths per100K pop in the nation. His state has an enormous deficit ~ about $60 billion, and has raised taxes so high, that citizens are fleeing at the highest rate of any state. He literally used his power to order thousands of covid patients into nursing homes, which caused thousands of elderly residents to die alone, in pain and fear, while he gave immunity to the nursing home executives, so that the families of the dead could not sue. During the pandemic, he wrote a best-selling book about what a great leader he is, won an emmy for his endless blah-de-blah press conferences, joked with his brother on CNN about the size of q-tips needed for his daily tests, as those vulnerable seniors were dying on his watch, and threatened and bullied a state assemblyman (google Ron Kim, a Democrat) who wanted to investigate. 2 of the 3 women who have thus far accused him are women who worked for him, and the accusations are based on very recent assaults. You seem to want to let him off the hook because he was never POTUS. That’s your prerogative. My opinion is that abuse of power is not limited to presidents.

        The executive order to force nursing homes to accept covid-positive patients came directly from Cuomo, and only from Cuomo, and was based on the state legislature granting him emergency powers because of the pandemic. There is no reasonable argument to hold anyone else accountable, although, so far Cuomo has tried blaming almost everyone else, including the poorly paid people who worked in the nursing homes.

        He’s having his own AG ‘investigate” him….hardly an unbiased investigation.

        Excusing left wing Democrats, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, of scandals and cover-ups, despite enormous amounts of evidence is not going to lead to a better political place. Cuomo has been credibly accused, not only of sexual assault, but of abuse of power, leading to mass deaths. Extremely serious accusations. Even if he’s not the president. If it were your mother or father who died alone in one of NY’s nursing homes, you might feel less defensive toward him.

        Every politician should be held accountable. Not just the ones you don’t like….

    • March 3, 2021 2:20 pm

      Please note that Cuomo has apologized for inappropriate touching – something trump has never done. Also, consider that anyone (except trump) in office relies on information supplied by underlings. The nursing home issue is being investigated. It may be Cuomo, it may be someone else… but the buck does stop with Cuomo, unlike trump who blames everyone else.

      • March 3, 2021 4:12 pm

        Ronda: ” Also, consider that anyone (except trump) in office relies on information supplied by underlings”

        Dr. Fauci, Jan 21, 2020 during an interview on Newsmax concerning Covid “..this is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”

        Jan 26, 2020 during a radio interview with John Catsimatidis in New York “The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something we, as public health officials, need to take very seriously.”

        Feb 17, 2020 Fauci during a USA today interview “The only people who need masks are those who are already infected to keep from exposing others. The masks sold at drugstores aren’t even good enough to truly protect anyone, ”

        So did Trump not rely on information supplied by an underling or maybe did he? And once that underlings info was proven wrong, Trump being someone that can not accept being wrong maintained his course of action. But by that time, the cat was out of the bag and nothing anyone was going to do was going to stop it. That was proven by liberal states closing down and conservative states staying more open and there was little differences over the year of existence.

  6. Mateo permalink
    March 3, 2021 12:45 pm

    “satirical wit isn’t among the more prominent attributes of Trumpian culture.”

    You can’t be serious. The man was literally memed into office in 2016 by an army of mischievous Pepe frogs.

  7. rondabellelane permalink
    March 3, 2021 1:48 pm

    Hello Ron… The bailouts were meant to save jobs – which was the primary goal here, despite the power of the corporations, which truly needs to be curbed. …and I think you should check on the money that was paid back.

    “How can it be that the top 1% of the American income group is getting a break from income taxes when they paid more than the bottom 90% income group?” Simple – because they have all the money. Did you know that the middle class will be paying more taxes this year? They are the dwindling group, and being systematically eliminated. The top 1% pay more simply because they have so much more – and it’s sectioned off… level after level. Don’t you consider it funny how the rich of the past before Reagan still managed to be rich?

    I never said all of Reagan’s policies were bad, but this one was.

    Our ‘state’ issues date back to the beginning with everyone scrambling and demanding all that would help them – such as the slave population being counted a percentage of the citizenry. The electoral college was set up mainly because our votes weren’t considered truly valid – there was too much corruption, and these people could override citizen votes based (hopefully) on whether corruption or fraud was indicated. This fact is now lost, and the number of votes (along with the districting) has been corrupted to favor conservative votes. We’ve had 2 democratic presidents who’ve lost ONLY in the electoral college because of this.

    I know it’s entrenched in our political games, but I do hope that someday, somehow, it will be eliminated. Cities do care about where their food comes from and that those suppliers can continue.

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 3, 2021 2:08 pm

      Ron, I suggest you read this: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/auto-bailout-ten-years-later-right-call/

      • March 3, 2021 3:55 pm

        I am not debating past bailouts. I am debating the current $1.9B proposed bailout and the waste in that bill. The auto bailouts were 14 years ago.

    • March 3, 2021 3:53 pm

      Ronda, to each who has an opinion, to each data is available to support that opinion.

      My opinion is shaped by data such as this comment from the following article produced by the Cleveland Federal reserve in February 2020. Even with Covid, little will change the basics of their conclusion….. “in comparing household incomes of the middle class in the United States in 1980 to today, we conclude that real incomes for today’s middle class are somewhat higher than they used it to be, particularly for households headed by two adults. It is also clear that failing to adjust for demographic shifts in the population relating to age, race, and education can indicate a more positive outlook than is truly the case.”

      https://www.clevelandfed.org/newsroom-and-events/publications/economic-commentary/2020-economic-commentaries/ec-202003-is-middle-class-worse-off.aspx#:~:text=Middle%2DClass%20Incomes,-In%20figure%201&text=The%20median%20income%20of%20the%20overall%20population%20has%20a%20clear,class%20has%20increased%20only%20marginally.

      In addition, according to the Pew Research, they state “The share of American adults who live in middle-income households has decreased from 61% in 1971 to 51% in 2019. This downsizing has proceeded slowly but surely since 1971, with each decade thereafter typically ending with a smaller share of adults living in middle-income households than at the beginning of the decade. The decline in the middle-class share is not a total sign of regression. From 1971 to 2019, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased from 14% to 20%. Meanwhile, the share in the lower-income tier increased from 25% to 29%. On balance, there was more movement up the income ladder than down the income ladder.”

      So when one says the middle class is being eliminated in America, one needs to look at the facts behind that phenomena. When incomes rise and and 6% of Ameicans move from the middle class to upper class, then yes, the middle class is declining.. And when 4% move down, again, the middle class declines. So when the liberal media keeps pounding away at GOP politics and how it is destroying the middle class, one needs to look at the facts and not believe everything one may read or hear on the news.

      As for the electoral college, each state dictates how their electoral votes will be allocated. And the constitution says nothing about how those electoral votes will be cast. Each state is free to do whatever they please with those votes. But to change the actual process would require a constitutional amendment to eliminate the electoral college as that is written into the constitution.

      Again, there is a vast difference between how one on the left views our government and how the founding fathers viewed what our government should be. Those on the left favor a strong central government while the founding fathers, for the most part, favored a weak central government with the powers held by the states and given only to the feds when they agreed.

      Thank you for a good discussion.

      • March 3, 2021 5:22 pm

        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/fauci-nothing-to-worry-about/

        Not completely clearing Fauci, but many misleading stories are out there.

        “Each state is free to do whatever they please with those votes.” – my point. However, we have amended the constitution for much less valid reasons.

        “…there is a vast difference between how one on the left views our government and how the founding fathers viewed what our government should be.” Of course there is – it was a different time, and England was (in many ways) bleeding us dry. No country in Europe has remained the same – none. I happen to love this country – although I disagree.

        I personally find it an insult to hear that republican catch phrase of “if you don’t like it, leave it!” Much better to change it.

        Yes, good talking to you.

      • March 3, 2021 11:36 pm

        Ronda Kind of like what I was saying. Careful what you read since everything I posted was from the websites that published his transcripts of their interview. Snopes just seemed to leave out parts of his comments.

        Not sure if you know my political thinking, but if not, here is a short description. Very Libertarian GOP, but not a wacko Libertarian like so many registered in that party. I never supported Trump in 2016, Knew he was an ass, supported Rubio or Kasich. When Trump ran in 2016, voted for Johnson. In 2020, had a choice. Dont vote or pick between Awful and Worse since the Libertarians gave no viable alternative. So picked Awful over Worse and voted for Trump. After January, would like to have rescinded my vote to “no vote”.

        So I was very much a supporter of Trump policies but cant stand the man, Especially supported immigration and trade policies. I would prefer no immigration limits at all with laws that do not provide any government support for immigrants, just as my grandfather came to this country with one suit case and a few bucks in his pocket in the 1890’s. But that is not our way now, so we need immigration limits and when we have them, they should be enforced. And I would support elimination of birth right citizenship if both parents are illegals. As for trade, I support free and FAIR trade, not the crap we have had for years since China is screwing us to the wall.

        So when I comment in the future, you will have a reference point to place me in.

      • March 3, 2021 11:42 pm

        Thank you. I do not agree with all, but then – we’d have no discussions 🙂

  8. March 3, 2021 3:25 pm

    Priscilla, did I say I liked Cuomo? I specifically said I didn’t like him. If you seriously want to put whatever Cuomo said against trump statements, you will lose.

    Thank you for the update though.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 3, 2021 10:24 pm

      Ronda, did I mention Trump in my comment about Cuomo? You seem to want to make this about Trump. I prefer not to do so. He’s no longer in office, and I’m tired of talking about him.

      I tried to address your defenses of Cuomo. You said he was not the president. You said he had apologized and that the sexual allegations were old ones. You said that he did not try to blame others for his misdeeds and abuse of power.

      I don’t think politicians should be judged by their personalities, or whether we “like” them or not. I prefer to jusdge them by their policies and/or their actions in office, which I think is the only reasonable way to judge a public figure. Unless, of course, one is a close friend or relative, with knowledge of that person’s personal behavior.

      Frankly, it’s hard not to do that, especially when our news media create narratives, both good and bad, about politicians as people. On the other hand, I think we do well to remember that many great leaders have been bad husbands and fathers, while many good and kind men have been terrible failures in their role as leaders. That’s just reality.

      Anyway, that’s my two cents. As I mentioned to Rick, in my initial comment, I actually like the whole process of discussing and debating politics, and without disagreement, there really is no point in debating. That debate would be over before it started. If I have somehow given you the impression that I am only here to defend Trump, then allow me to say that I’m not. I voted for him twice and I think that he accomplished a great number of things that I hoped that he would. He also failed to accomplish things that I hoped he would…And now, he’s a private citizen.

      Anyway,now that Trump is out of office, I’m more interested in discussing Biden’s policies and actions in office. I wonder why he’s not yet been invited by Pelosi to give the address to a joint session of Congress. I think that’s what they call it in the first year, as opposed to State of the Union.

      I have my own thoughts on why, but would be interested in hearing yours and others…

      • March 3, 2021 10:32 pm

        “I have never opposed him because of his personality. I have no problem with people who do, although I look at politicians like Cuomo, who is personally responsible for ordering a policy that sent thousands to their deaths from covid, and who has been accused of harrassing young women who work for him, and wonder why Democrats slobber all over him as the second coming (it seems as if he might now be held accountable for something…we’ll see)while claiming that Trump is the bad guy. If both sides were equally willing to call out the flaws of their leaders, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

        Actions prior to taking office should be judged as well. Yes, I do hate trump for personal and totally justifiable reasons, which only simmered until he took office and showed himself to act and help himself exactly as I expected.

      • March 3, 2021 10:41 pm

        So yes, you mentioned trump. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with correcting a lot left over from him… as well as some criminal exploits by people appointed by him.

        As far as an address to a joint session of Congress, I seriously think there are other much more urgent matters – aside from our houses being out of session at different times or extraordinarily busy.

        Perhaps you would care to answer why trump did not pass the mantle to Biden as any reputable and conscientious president would.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2021 11:49 pm

        I reread my response to your defense of Cuomo. No mention of Trump.

        Ok, good. There are more urgent matters, on that we agree. But every reputable and conscientious president in recent memory has given the joint address to Congress, to outline his agenda at the start of his administration. It’s just odd, that’s all. But everything these days is odd, isn’t it? Biden has said that he will give the address, so maybe he’s just waiting for a better time. I’d be perfectly happy if no president ever gave the Joint Address or the State of the Union as a speech, ever again. The Constitution only requires the president to report to Congress~ nothing says it has to be a big speech. It could be a letter.

        In response to your “passing the mantle” question, I think Trump made it pretty clear that he did not consider the election to have been legitimate, so he did not attend the inauguration. I’m still deciding how I feel about that whole situation. Part of me wishes that he had sucked it up and pretended that he considered this a normal transition of power. Another part appreciates that he hotfooted it out of town. His presence was not only unwanted, but would have been a distraction. Remember, Biden and his party had impeached him by then. Talk about awkward…

        On the other hand, a show of unity, for the sake of the country, by him and Biden would have gone a long way to heal the ugly rifts in our politics. Seems like a huge opportunity missed by all.

      • March 4, 2021 12:12 am

        Priscilla, under no circumstances could I ever see Trump passing the torch after being defeated after one term. He is a man that can not accept defeat. If he were a king in the 1500’s-1600’s and anyone came to him with bad info, they would have been beheaded.

        He was his own worst enemy. As a politician, one must be able to ignore any criticism and he was unable to do that. He was still the CEO of a company that no one other than family probably ever said his decisions were bad. Since he could not accept criticism, the media and opposing party knew how to stir the crap and make him jump into the stink.

        Yes, he had faults, but he magnified them with his own actions. Every politician is a crook or they would not be in that position. Biden has baggage but he is keeping his mouth shut. If anyone had attacked Trumps kids like Bidens son was attacked with the Russian/Ukrainian deals, Trump would have gone mad and made it front page news. Biden kept his mouth shut and it has basically gone away.

        i am just glad Trump is gone and now we can move on and hopefully the GOP will come to its senses and retire him for good. I have not watched any news since before the election and only read some if it catches my eye. Its a good feeling not knowing the details of what is being concocted in Washington these days.

      • March 4, 2021 12:16 am

        I quoted your response re: Biden & trump, but we shall agree to leave that.

        Biden did not impeach him… the Senate did. Biden has not that power. In the meantime, trump went about with his attempts to toss various state results – often tossed by his own Republican court appointees.

        I will admit there are many interpretations as to whether or not conviction following impeachment is possible after leaving office, and will not get into that. However, the trump litigation regarding the election results was completely unprecedented and gave him his own personal reasons for not attending. Question: Have you ever heard trump admit he was wrong and be serious about that admission?

        No it was not a normal transition of power… but consider truly the cause. For trump to have handed over the presidency as he should have would have been an admission of defeat. This he in incapable of.

  9. March 4, 2021 9:39 am

    Ron – I understand and agree with quite a bit of your latest post, but (being an eternal optimist) truly hope that things are not quite so bleak as you state concerning corruption.

    Remember – Biden’s son was investigate (twice) by Republicans while trump was in office. Questions remained about his experience for such a job, but no wrongdoing was found.

    • March 4, 2021 1:56 pm

      Ronda, my negative thoughts about government also impacts my beliefs that “investigations” are all “show time” and little more. Clintons impeachment, Trumps impeachment were all political stunts and nothing more. The investigation into Hillary and her illegally wiping information from computers led no where. I strongly believe there is an unwritten agreement in Washington that once someone leaves office, every federal investigation stops because “whats good for the goose is good for the gander”. Once that bridge is crossed, then everyone is fair game and neither party wants that. As for Trump and the state investigations, we will see where that may go, but it is weird to me that the state is looking at state retruns and not the feds with federal returns.

      As for my former comment about waste and the stimulus, North Carolina is projected to receive $8.7B if the new proposal passes even though we have unexpected revenues, as well as this information.

      https://www.wraltechwire.com/2021/03/02/report-new-business-growth-soaring-at-record-rate-in-nc-despite-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR2U3tkjzfqiq8GrcQ3rgZTkh47LmYVfPMsocCJ1Hj2U-aoWmZKiJjAIkQE

      I have to wonder how the thinking in Washington today compares to the thinking of politicians in Greece, Italy and Spain a few years back.

      • March 4, 2021 2:37 pm

        Thank you Ron. I was not familiar with WRAL Techwire, and so checked them out – and happily found that they are partnering with a well established fact checking site.

        That said, start up companies are the most vulnerable in any economic climate, and (although this is excellent news) there is no guarantee that all will survive – nor guarantee of the amount of employment that will be available for the unemployed. The unemployed are a much greater number.

        The stimulus checks not only cut off at a lower income rate, but they could also provide spending funds to help these new companies.

        So much must be considered here – not just business growth, but also simply people now out of work and quite probably subsisting on much less than they had.

        Possible it’s me, but I consider people much more important than business – even though they both come and go.

      • March 4, 2021 3:31 pm

        Ronda “Possible it’s me, but I consider people much more important than business – even though they both come and go.”

        I am not adverse to stimulus checks and I certainly do not want to see anyone that has lost their jobs for no fault of their own losing homes, etc. But again, the money that is earmarked for states is not going to those that lost jobs nor the lower income groups. There is money specifically in that bill for those issues.

        Biden’s plan calls for $9 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund, $690 million for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, $200 million for “rapid hiring” at the U.S. Digital Service and office of the federal chief information security officer and $300 million for the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services.

        I can understand the $20 billion for public transit agencies that have seen their riderships dwindle but I question $130 billion for school reopening since this bill will not see any moneys going out before the schools year ends for the most part. I would like to see government detail what the money is going to be used for and if this is something schools already do as part of their budgets. What will they do in September for “reopening”.In addition, Biden has said by the end of May there will be vaccines for all adults that want one, so in September when the year begins, is the pandemic going to be a continuing problem and is Biden lying? How can the pandemic be a problem for reopening schools and not be one with people vaccinated?

        But what does all those funds for technology have to do with the pandemic? If we need those funds, why bury them in a pandemic relief bill if they are not pandemic related, which I do not believe they are. They look like they need to be in an infrastructure bill instead.

        Maybe you accept what the feds tell you and move on. I don’t. But I have a background in healthcare finance for 40 years and had to question everything money wise, especially anything the feds did to our reimbursement. And there was plenty they screwed up. I look at this in the same light and do not believe a word they are saying until documented.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 4, 2021 6:51 pm

        Ron , the thing about the $130B going to schools, is that it is on top of almost $85 billion that they received in January 2021, which was on top of about $31 billion that they got in the CARES Act, in March 2020. This was to be used for improved ventilation systems and technology that would assist in reopening safely, “preventing layoffs” (even though no one was getting laid off) and addressing “learning loss.” Except that many of the schools that received that money didn’t use it for the intended purposes. And many colleges and universities received billions of dollars, despite having millions/billions in endowments. Harvard, with the largest endowment ($40B) of any university, received $9B, which they ended up giving back, after being shamed in the press (they initially said they wouldn’t, but relented).

        Also, “Forbes reports the House version of a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package contains “an extra perk for federal workers” paid time off and a bonus to stay at home with children not taking part in in-classroom instruction. It’s a gift to the teacher’s unions who gave about $52,000,000 to Democratic Party and other leftist candidates during 2020.” https://greatamericanpolitics.com/2021/03/democrats-hand-570-million-gift-to-the-teachers-unions-with-radical-coronavirus-pork-bill/

        How does it work? Well, federal workers, who have not missed a paycheck, will be able to take 600 hours of paid leave at $1400 p/week. That’s not the single $1400 that you and I will get…that’s $1400 every week for more than 3 months. To stay home, while their kids “learn remotely.”

        I’m not anti-teacher. I was a teacher for more than a decade, and my daughter is a teacher. But remote learning is not working, partly because the technology needed to make it effective has not been implemented. And, that’s because the teachers unions, which gave over $50 billion to the campaign of Joe Biden, wants its members to continue staying home.

        $350 billion for state bailouts (Cali, NY, NJ, etc), which we knew was coming, if Democrats won the Senate. Andrew “send those poor, sick geezers into the nursing homes, while I kiss unsuspecting young women” Cuomo will get his $60B bailout from the taxpayers…

      • March 4, 2021 11:42 pm

        I am just amazed at the number of people that blindly follow the party they associate with and never call out their elected officials for anything.

        Just throw more money at a problem and all will be fixed. We have an antiquated education system that is teaching kids 19 and 20th century information using 19th and 20th century methods in an era of 21st century data and systems. Throwing money into that system is like spending money to replace $5000 worth of parts on a car worth $4000. It is better to replace the car than fix it.

        And its better to replace the education processes than to throw more money at them that are not working. that is why so many private schools are doing so much better that public schools. They are free to experiment with new ways to do things, just like the Khan Academy has developed new methods to help kids in school or those being home schooled.

        But I am one of the few that believe in responsible spending, (everything, not just education)so I can write my elected officials and my voice is never heard because too many others with voices supporting the antiquated ways are much louder.

  10. March 4, 2021 7:58 pm

    Priscilla, Great American Politics is an OPINION site – not a fact site.

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/great-american-politics/

    As such, I do not give credit to their words.

    However, you do seem to be a bit anti-teacher as it appears you are disparaging money their union gave without stating the reason… which is simple. Our children are NOT being given the proper tools by many schools to prepare them for a future that will be above poverty level, and college is no longer affordable to most.

    There is more to relate than simple figures as lives are in the balance.

    • March 4, 2021 11:25 pm

      Ronda, money does not always fix the problems and the problems with our education system is not lack of money. There are thousands of qualified teachers standing before classrooms with their hand tied behind their backs by federal and state mandates that require them to teach what I say is crap instead of information that prepares them for the future. Most teachers only are allowed to teach certain things and that is geared to the standardized test.

      So how about us getting off the liberal and conservative bull crap about money and what good it will do when there are billions wasted every year that may not need to be spent if the teachers hands were untied and they could teach the way teachers taught for years until the unions took over.

      Now I will say teachers, nurses, police, fire, EMT and some other public employees are some of the most underpaid employees, but improving that wage will do nothing to improve the services anyone of those individuals provide until the root cause of the inferior product provided by their employers are identified and fixed.

      I do not believe in the remaining years I have any changes will be made because politics can use money as a public relation tool to get their candidates elected. Pour money into a project or say they want too and instantly the liberals in the country jump all over it and support candidates that support spending money. At the same time, the conservative oppose most additional spending and the right leaning individuals jump all over that and support anyone opposing spending money.

      Zero base every dollar the government spends, document what it will be used for, measure the outcomes of those expenditures and if the outcomes do not meet expectations, then cancel the programs and move on to something different that may work, And screw the unions if they dont agree. Its the kids education that counts, not some over rated teacher union executive that does nothing to improve education for our kids.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 5, 2021 12:07 am

      Ronda, you may consider me an “idiot and a racist,” but I generally know my stuff. When you can cite sources that disprove the figures that I cited, I will be more than happy to debate them with you. And, if you would like to argue that this administration is not throwing billions at a failing education system, controlled by the teachers unions, please provide facts from your far superior sources.

      • March 5, 2021 12:15 pm

        I never said “idiot” OR “racist”, and I do not think you are either. Please don’t put words in my mouth or assume.

        I merely pointed out that the cite you posted is an opinion site, and I do no waste my time on those. Post valid sites.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 5, 2021 12:33 pm

        Ronda, allow me to apologize for my snarky remark. Seriously, I regretted posting it as soon as I did. It was late (that’s my excuse!)

        Your first comment on this post thread referred to some Trump supporters as “idiots and racists.” I am not either, but I often become weary of people on this site dehumanizing a gigantic group of voters as such, or using terms like Magat, Trumpanzee, Nazis, etc. When we dehumanize our opponents, things never end well.

        That said, you never directly called me any of those things, and I was wrong to imply that you did.

        On the other point, an opinion column, which relies on facts, shouldn’t be discounted.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 5, 2021 9:19 am

      Ronda, I am not anti-teacher, I am anti teachers unions. The majority of teachers are hardworking and genuinely dedicated to teaching kids. The problem with public sector unions is that they negotiate with the very governments that they elect. This doesn’t only apply to teachers unions, but all government worker unions.

      So, if one politcal party is given millions, or even billions, from a large powerful union, the government officials elected from that party will be expected to vote in favor of the things that that party wants. You could say that public sector unions work to elect their own employers, and then they negotiate with them.

      So, big government = big taxes. Big taxes= more money to special interests, of which teachers unions are included. More money= more power to donate to and elect candidates who will be in favor of big government. It’s a cycle.

      And, it’s a cycle that is not focused on better education. It’s focused on salaries, benefits, workers rights, etc. That’s not a bad thing. It has helped raise teachers’ pay, and protected teacher employment. It has also prevented school choice, and protected bad teachers

      Unions are great for the teachers, but not for the students. The quality of a student’s education still depends on the community in which that student lives, yet poor urban schools receive far, far more federal and state money than those wealthy communities, and the teachers in them generally make more.

      I don’t pretend to know the answer. But, I agree with Ron that money doesn’t always fix problems and the problems in our education system is not lack of money.

      protected bad teachers (they pay union dues too).

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 5, 2021 9:35 am

        “government officials elected from that party will be expected to vote in favor of the things that that *union* wants.” I wish that WordPress had an edit feature!

      • March 5, 2021 12:31 pm

        However, government funds for schools do not go to teacher’s unions.

        When I lived in NJ, I associated with several teachers through one of my ‘extracurricular’ activities. I was in a band. The other singer taught English. The Sax player taught Music. The Keyboardist taught Math. The Drummer taught History… we also were friends and associated outside of band with other teachers.

        Out of (I’d say) 20+ I met, only one was sliding thru on his union – constantly bashing the kids he was teaching (high school) and complaining.

        I agree that the unions there have (or at least had) too much power protecting teachers who should no longer teach, and I am certain that there was an amount of corruption involved. But focusing on unions now is not what this is about – they are the same (IMO) as corporations… and their influence with donations needs to end.

        Big government DOES equal big taxes. Yes, we can weed out the crap, and it should be done – but that does not mean cutting programs that benefit the people. That also does not mean we give the super rich a pass.

  11. March 4, 2021 8:08 pm

    Ron…

    “I can understand the $20 billion for public transit agencies that have seen their riderships dwindle but I question $130 billion for school reopening since this bill will not see any moneys going out before the schools year ends…”

    Agree in part… I am definitely of the opinion that schools should receive this money long before schools reopen. Despite the fact that (hopefully) Covid 19 will be much less of a problem (although in truth, in my Republican Wisconsin County I still cannot get even my first shot). Schools need to be as safe as possible. Not just for the children, but for the parents & grandparents as well.

    Many here in my area are NOT getting the shot… the think it’s a hoax!! And I sincerely doubt that any monies sent will be used for reasons other than school safety – this is simply the climate I live in. There may be enough vaccine, but that does NOT mean all will take the shots.

    • March 4, 2021 11:27 pm

      So are you confident that your schools system will sued the money as they are suppose too and does your school system report expenditures to the citizens when they do?

      Or do you just assume they do what they say they will do?

      • March 4, 2021 11:44 pm

        School expenditures here come up for vote and all board meeting are open to the public. I am as confident as can be.
        I am not confident that they actually have enough funding to truly provide necessary learning tools in this day & age… in fact, I know they do not.

      • March 5, 2021 12:19 am

        Ronda, would you say where “here” is. I am in Winston Salem N.C. We have a lottery that was set up in North Carolina with the following quidelines according the North Carolina Country Center for Research published in 2016/17 titled “Basics of County Financing for Public Schools.”

        “When the NC Education Lottery was established in 2005, counties were to receive 40% of the lottery proceeds, which were dedicated to public school construction needs”.

        In their analysis, they state “Since 2012, the legislature has provided a “lump sum” appropriation of $100 million statewide, a percentage equal to roughly 17% of the proceeds (less than ½ of what would have been distributed under the original statute). 75% of the lottery funds allocated to counties between 2011 and 2015 were spent on debt service rather than new construction.”

        Now instead of giving the funds to the schools, the lottery income has gone elsewhere,. Where? Who knows? And the funds that did get distributed, went to pay off prior debts instead of school improvements and replacement.

        So this information is never widely published, no one asked and it is buried where only a handful of investigative reporters ever look. Why? because there are bigger fish to fry.

        Now, do you think if I wrote my state representatives or posted anything on their Facebook pages, anything would change. I don’t.

        But this is why I do not believe anything a politician from local government to the feds say unless the document their statements, which few if none ever do.

  12. Rick Bayan permalink
    March 4, 2021 8:36 pm

    Sorry I’ve been AWOL. WordPress has been giving me grief again. I spent nearly half an hour on my laptop crafting a long reply to Priscilla’s first comment… I hit the “Post” button… and my comment promptly vanished. In its place was an error message: “This page isn’t working.” (Duh!)

    Today I tried to post from my iPhone. WordPress asked for my password, and since I don’t know my password, I was blocked again. They have my defunct e-mail address on file, and I can’t update it because (drumroll…) I need my password to access my account!

    Now let’s see if I can post this without giving WordPress my e-mail address.

    • March 4, 2021 8:50 pm

      Glad you finally made it on Rick!

    • March 4, 2021 11:31 pm

      Rock, please do not buy any Bitcoin. It requires a password and there is no one that can help to recover a password. So like the guy that has millions in coins waiting for him to cash in, he lost his password that was stored on an old computer and that computer is gone, so he is down to just a few tries before he is totally locked out. If you have this problem with Word Press, Bitcoin is not a good place to invest (-v-)

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      April 11, 2021 12:01 pm

      I feel your pain. I finally got on your site but WordPress seems to have wiped out one of my comments.

  13. March 5, 2021 12:30 am

    Ronda, thank you for a good debate. I don’t want to be like some previous individuals on this site endlessly posting comments and driving others away, so I will refrain from commenting more on spending and education and reserve anything else for new comments.No need to dominate Ricks site. Hopefully he can get it fixed so others can access without specific computers to get in and rebuild his readership. Right now the only way I can access is on a desktop with Google chrome.

    • March 5, 2021 12:43 pm

      Same here Ron… only my desktop. We’ll see how Rick does and hope for the best. Thank you as well!

  14. Priscilla permalink
    March 5, 2021 12:11 pm

    So, here is a new comment, Ron, based on Rick’s column:

    What are the main causes of the extreme political divisions in America? I will stipulate, for the sake of staying on topic, that Trump saw these divisions and made them worse. So, hopefully , any debate on this question can stay away from just saying “Trump did it” Trump exploited it, he didn’t create it.

    I would say that there are a few causes, and I list them in no particular order:

    Identity politics ~ the whole idea of identity politics is to divide.

    Cultural Marxism/woke progressivism~ basically, cultural Marxism is designed to erode traditional social and historical norms and mores, with the purpose of ultimately destroying them. An example would be the idea that biological men, who say that they identify as women, should be allowed to compete against women, in women’s sports. Another would be the repudiation of America’s founding, based on the fact that many of the founding fathers were slaveowners.

    Economic and wealth disparity ~ this one cuts both ways, resonating with both liberals and conservatives, although for somewhat different reasons. The concentration of wealth in the hands of a very, very few (think Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg, Musk, etc Also Soros, the Koch’s etc) gives them enormous power to control our politicians. In other words, politicians on both sides of the aisle will do the bidding of these powerful oligarchs, in order to keep getting re-elected. Politicians who rely on small donations from “regular people” (think Sanders, Trump etc) are generally a huge threat to the oligarchy.

    The Permanent Bureaucracy ~ This is basically what would be called the “Deep State.” Elected officials come and go, but the “experts” who work in the massive government agencies that shape our lives are forever.

    I don’t know if I believe anymore that an alliance of moderates can solve these problems. And that is a scary thing, because the alternative is…..?

    • March 5, 2021 12:42 pm

      I agree that trump didn’t create divisions, but exploited them. The problem is, he did much worse – he exploited racism. He brought back to the forefront all the violent idiots. THAT cannot be erased or ignored, and he did it for himself – for adulation and money.

      Cultural Marxism is another thing that is always there, but trump (again) woke them up.

      So… then trump increased the wealth of the rich, and if you think trump got only small donations, I suggest you research again.

      No one is forever. We CAN change. …not in our lifetime, but for the future.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 9:42 am

        Here here! I am enjoying your comments and agreeing with them Ronda. But I disagree that trump woke the marxists up, Sanders got his movement going at the same time trump got his movement going in 2015. I don’t think the progressive movement actually is Marxist, its just economically very very naive. But Bernie, an actual Marxist in his belief, a man who did ( and does) truly follow Lenin, ( I can give you the details as a Vermonter who has seen Sanders from the very beginning of his career) got a lot of people, mostly young people, saying the S word, without even actually knowing what socialism actually is. That in itself elected trump. As well, trump lost in 2020 in spite of the antics on the far left, but he would have lost and his party would have lost by a much larger margin without the weight of the loud truly radical lefties, who really are not democrats and hate the democrats as much as they hate the republicans, now they are rioting in Portland about Biden.

    • March 5, 2021 3:41 pm

      So I will be much more succinct in my reply.

      All of the above has been created by the elimination of moderates influence in the country. One only needs to look at the current stimulus program proposed by Biden to see that there is one democrat left in the senate that will not bend over and kiss the progressives rear end and that is Joe Manchin. And there are not many more on the right doing it with Trump.. So when the moderate voice is terminated, the voices on the right and left prevail, leading to identify politics, Woke progressiveness, permanent bureaucracies, rise of neo-nazi culture, and lack of respect for those in the middle.

      Please read my comment to Roby “Vermonta” for more.

  15. March 5, 2021 12:49 pm

    Priscilla – Apology accepted 🙂 … We all have our ‘moments’. My tactic is generally to walk away until I cool down, but that’s not always done & I have been remiss often as well, although (hopefully) on other sites.

    My day is calling to me – have a good one!

  16. Vermonta permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:07 pm

    Great piece Rick. I especially agree with this: “Bayan’s Law of Cultural Energy, which goes something like this: In any conflict between cultures, the more energetic side tends to prevail.”

    Energetic voters usually also have a good correspondence with poorly informed, and even cultish voters who have a simplified naive view of how the systems they are attacking or supporting work or would work if they could be put into law.

    I agree that moderates need to band together from the two sides. We moderates are powerful. The moderate Senators, who number about 10, have much more power than the dependable team players. Look, the $15 wage is gone, who did that? Moderate dem senators did that.

    Of course moderate is a word with no agreed definition. Is Sasse a moderate? Not ideologically, not one bit, he is very conservative. But he is a maverick who will put country over party, rather bravely, like a very small number of other politicians. So he is a moderate like that. And closer to home,

    Ron, you are not a moderate ideologically, not at all, not even nearly. But you are moderate in a sense that Sasse is moderate, you are not a blind worshiper of the party that shares your ideology and you will speak up when the party or its parts screw up. And you are a moderate in the sense that you believe that compromise can be a good thing. So, you call yourself a moderate and I agree, just you are not ideologically moderate.

    With Biden as POTUS and a 50/50 split in the Senate we are in a rare moderate moment in American politics. Biden is up by 15-20 points in favorability. Moderates are in the drivers seat for the moment, its refreshing.

  17. Vermonta permalink
    March 5, 2021 3:17 pm

    Here is something I wrote for a local paper recently, It shows where I am in my thinking.

    I hear all the time from the left and right activists. Here is something from a moderate to consider. As a long-time political moderate, albeit a liberal leaning one, these last 5 years have been incredibly painful, in fact unbelievable. Extremists have run wild with their populist movements and brought many who should know better along with them. I do not say that the left and right are equivalent, I have much more in common with a sensible version of the Democratic party, what the Kennedys were about, we used to be called liberals (yes, I am an old guy). There also used to be a decent form of conservative belief, Phil Scott provides an example of one of the few remaining non-fanatical conservatives in office, who displays both common decency and common sense. I do not wish to say explicitly what I think of the Republican party and today’s conservative movement under Trump, this nice venue is not the place for that kind of language and its all been said before. Polling since the election, and then since the violent insurrection, of republican voters shows that, far from being ashamed or having regrets, a strong majority, more than 70%, still adore Trump and many of those say they would follow him if he forms his own party! These people are not chastened, they have learned nothing. They are reloading, as Sarah Palin once said. After all that has happened since election day conservatives as a group actually still believe that they best understand and honor the Constitution. Its incredible! A small number of principled conservatives are fighting back, but they are losing badly. The soul of the Republican party belongs to people like Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, and Trump himself. Texas Attorney General Paxton, Senators Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson and Josh Hawley are good example of the face of today’s Republican party, these are the people who exemplify the mindset of most conservative voters.

    The Republican party must never again achieve control of any branches of the Federal Government while they are in this condition.

    I think this can actually happen, they can be kept from majorities and power. If the Democratic party can put a lid on the worst tendencies of its own extremes then the Trumpian party, I call it the TIP, Trump Insurrection Party, can be kept from majorities in the House and Senate and above all never win the POTUS again in my lifetime. The TIP has killed the GOP but it will not be successful beyond that if the Democrats can keep things real while they have their at bat.

    Many of the ideas Bernie Sanders and his progressive movement have offered sound very appealing, but they are mostly illusions, they are mostly ideas that will never be put into law and would fail if they were. As well, we do not need the left-wing excesses, the endless riots, the defund the police rhetoric, CHOP zones, and the perpetual left wing violence in Portland. We do not need a stifling level of wokeness and PC that takes understandable ideas and makes them into absurd caricatures of mass guilt. A large majority of Americans are completely sick of the cancel culture, wokeness, PC, call it what you want, while understanding the feelings and legitimate grievances behind it. All these types of over the top actions and ideologies make a mockery of the actual liberal causes and problems they are supposedly trying to address. They are wildly counter-productive. I was to the left of Che Guevara as a teen in the 60s, it happens to young people, yes, but as an adult I have been completely allergic to every form of far-left radicalism, because it has nothing practical to offer, just destructive blind ideological rage that is a giant gift to the right.

    The democrats need to stick to the things that need to be done now, deal with COVID using science, recover the economy, and stay away from lost causes like Marxism/socialism in any form. If the Democratic party can be a center-left party that addresses liberal issues such as climate change and wealth distribution in a thoughtful rational way, then they have an excellent chance of holding on to power for a long time in all the branches of the Federal government in the environment where the Republican party has lost any possible claim to the moral high ground for generations.

    I never gave money to political campaigns before this election but I gave all I could afford and then some to Biden. As a Vermonter, that was what I could do to help since no one cares about our three guaranteed Democratic electoral votes. From now on I will give all that I can afford every 2 years for the rest of my life to moderate democrats.

    Writing this is another thing I can do. I know I talk too much. But, every so often I have the impulse to write something to say that decent sensible people, I will call them moderates, need to make use of all the chances they have to keep things real and beat the ideological extremes. Moderates Unite! as a slogan never seems to resound very loudly, but moderates Do have a lot of power every election and often make a big difference. We need to grow the moderate political culture and make it a larger force. Now is as good a time as there ever will be for moderates to take a step forward in thinking of ourselves as a group that has a strong voice.

    • March 5, 2021 3:57 pm

      Roby, “As a long-time political moderate, albeit a liberal leaning one, these last 5 years have been incredibly painful, in fact unbelievable”

      So if someone on the right reads that comment, they will call B.S. and say how great those years were.

      For someone like me, I will reflect on 2008-2016 and comment how painful those were given B.O’s. constant chastising, disrespect and put downs of anyone who believed in a bible and supported gun rights. And guess what, those on the left will call B.S. and say how great those years were.

      You continue to say there are moderates left in the parties.I suspect that is because you view yourself as moderate, but that is really questionable. Just as I view myself as moderate and your find that very questionable.There are few in congress and most can be bought off or threatened by the leadership. Pelosi will assign crap committees to anyone that opposes her. Shumer has ways to move psydo-moderates to his thinking, except for one for one or two and Trump has control of anyone not extremist right with millions in the bank to launch primary challenges against those that oppose him

      To be moderate today, the senate needs the same numbers of cross over votes like they had until the early 90’s, when thing began to change. That change was completed in 2008. I doubt we will ever see a congress again that is not gerrymandered by liberal and conservative states to get the most liberals and conservatives elected. One only needs to look at California and North Carolina for support of that fact. We will never see a congress in the future with conservative southern democrats and liberal Rockefeller Republicans when “moderate” legislation actually existed.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 9:20 am

        Ron, any Senator from a swing state is a potential moderate. Now you have someone like Johnson from Wisconsin who is such a complete trumpian jackass that he will be a radical trumpist until he retires or loses in 2022. Most swing state senators, right or left, have to be different than the senators from states that are solidly left or right.

        Here are 8 dems who voted against the Sanders $15 minimum wage proposal: “Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire voted against proceeding, though the tally remains open. So did two close Biden allies, Chris Coons and Tom Carper of Delaware. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Senate Democrats, also opposed it.” Seriously if you think that someone like Tester from Montana is a lockstep progressive, I don’t know what I can say. You are fixated on Manchin.

        The Libertarian view of economics is very very conservative. Libertarians will see the COVID relief bills as poison. I don’t and most of the country does not. Libertarians would not have reacted to the crisis of 2007-2008 by bailing out the financial institutions, they would have let the banks fail. I have heard them say so with fervor. So, As much as I disliked the bankers I was with the sane majority who was not willing to see a depression just because I was was disgusted by the bankers.The system had to be kept running with federal money and actions. Its the same here. We will have to pump money into the economy until COVID is over. Yes our kids will be stuck with the bill. It can’t be helped. In the Libertarian world my thoughts on this are not believed. I can’t help that.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 9:31 am

        Let me add Ron, that the populist movements that made my life miserable fro the last 5 years were BOTH the trumpian and the Sandersian movements. Right and left push each others buttons and drive each other to further extremes. Sanders has a lot to answer for in this mess. A man who was a member of leninist party in his mid 40s is a fool in my book. I just never expected him to become a dangerous fool with a national cult following. Still, he lost in 2016 and 2020. In my universe without Sanders there would not have been trump. He wants nice sounding things. Well, Mao wanted nice sounding things. I wish he would drop, he is a plague.

        Very few people understand what socialism actually is. Both right and left think socialism just means large government programs. I don’t think that the progressives actually are socialists, that is not what is wrong with them. They are naive people who understand neither economics nor politics. Bernie is an actual class struggle Marxist, but the legislation he wants is no more marxist than the post office, its problem is that it is economically illiterate. I wish like hell that the whole idea of socialism would be understood as the giant failure it was and left in its grave.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 6, 2021 11:41 am

        How do you define populism, Roby? According to Wikipedia there are different definitions. One emphasizes the “”the people” as a morally good force and contrasts them against “the elite”, who are portrayed as corrupt and self-serving. Another defines it as “popular engagement of the population in political decision making. An approach associated with the political scientist Ernesto Laclau presents populism as an emancipatory social force through which marginalised groups challenge dominant power structures.” There are probably other definitions, as well.

        I ask because I would define Trumpian populism more as the first definition and Sanders populism more as the second, although there is overlap of the two. Populist leaders are generally very charismatic and often have cultish followings. That charismatic leadership is what I believe is the problem that many have with populism of any kind, and the reason why many people call Trump supporters Nazis, which they are not (although there were fringe groups in 2016 that may have been). You’ll note that I never call myself a Trump “follower,” but rather a Trump voter, or supporter, or other such term. I don’t “follow” any politician, but I supported Trump because I do believe that the federal government has grown too big, too focused on accruing wealth and power for themselves, and too detached from the will of the people.

        That said, the will of the people can be stupid and dangerous. But, so can the will of the elite. I would say that Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Chuck Schumer, all of whom held up this aid package for months, so that Trump wouldn’t get credit for it, represent the kind of calculating and coldhearted politics that many now expect from the elite of both parties. The belief that the establishment elite don’t give a rat’s patoot about failing small businesses, families that can’t make their mortgage payments, or buy food for their families, is very widespread these days, and, unless someone ( and it’s not likely going to be Biden) on the establishment side decides to pay attention to those people, and be responsive to their needs, and to the Constitution, we’re going to continue to see the rise of populism, and the next wave of populist leaders will likely make Trump and Sanders look like great American statesmen.

        That is my fear, particularly because I agree wholeheartedly with you when you say that many Americans do not understand socialism. So, for now I consider myself a “conservative populist”, with an emphasis on the “conservative.” If someone like Ben Sasse or Joe Manchin decided to step up as a leader who could drag the country back to its founding principles, I would gladly drop the “populist” appellation ~ I understand the potential dangers of populism, I just believe that there needs to be a re-balance between the will of the people and the desire for more power on the part of entrenched leaders, who no longer answer to the people at all.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 7:22 pm

        Priscilla, Populism, its not my thing, never will be. On the left “the people” believe that by holding the rich upside down and shaking them there will be perpetual money for free everything. We will rid the world of the rich and at the same time we will expect that everything can be paid for by the rich while we are eliminating them. On the right “the people” believe that the Vice President can simply not count that votes from states that did not vote for him or that the state legislatures can overturn the results of millions of people who voted and send electors to the college from their own party. Just to name a small number of the things that “the people” in our populist left and right movements believe. There will never be any shortage of professional inciters and demagogues filling people with misinformation and rage, especially in our age of technology.

        The “people,” especially the ideological types who form polulist movements, are veryu often misinformed fanatical numbskulls running on the atomic power of the fiery words of demagogues. And when they don’t get what they want, the worst of them riot. To my eyes the trump populist revolution covered the US in a 100 foot layer of Stupid. Sanders would do no better.

        Yes, the results of the experts, the military the government officials, etc fall far short very often of what seems resaonable or right. But they are far better than the results of the mob. French Revolution anyone? Not Me!!

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 7:28 pm

        Ben Sasse and Rep Kiplinger and Mitt Romney HAVE stepped up as leaders. How is it going? They are losing badly at present to the trumpian populist mob. If you want to support Ben Sasse Do it Now by supporting their vision of the Republican party, which is diametraically opposed to trumps cult of personality version.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 8:34 pm

        ” and it’s not likely going to be Biden”

        You are not even slightly sensible on the subject of Biden, he is a senile criminal to you with a radical left wing slut as his VP who is going to totally control him. These are all things you have said. Good grief. He has been in office 6 weeks and you have been as certain that he is going to be terrible as you were that Democrats were going to manufacture votes by the truckload and steal the election, before election day even arrived.

        I think that many politicians do actually give a damn about the little people, and I mean politicians of both parties, they are just dealing with a problems that are incredibly complex before even one mixes in politics and ideology. A dispassionate all powerful computer could not solve most of the issues let alone two competing teams elected by voters who are informed and enraged by ideologues in the media. Human civilization had become complex to the point where its impossible to control its path (in a good way I mean). Some of our politicians are egotistical scoundrels of course that does not help either.

      • March 6, 2021 10:48 pm

        From my email messages “Vermonta commented on The Golden Idol Addresses the GOP Faithful in response to Ron P ‘You are not even slightly sensible on the subject of Biden, he is a senile criminal to you with a radical left wing slut as his VP who is going to totally control him. These are all things you have said. Good grief .’ ”

        Roby WHOA!

        I do not remember ever saying these words. Please clue me in when I said those. Now I did say when he was running and sitting in his basement I questioned his mental capacity and he has not been in an environment since the election that would prove that question moot. However, there has been no instances since the election to support that position. But when did I ever say Harris was a “radical left wing slut”. I dont even remember the last time I used the term “slut” even when talking about cheap street walkers. I do not even define Hillary with that term. That is something I never use and when I define a woman of questionable moral character, it is usually with the term “whore”. And I never called Harris that either.

        At least give me a clue when I said it so I can go back and look for it.

        I think you have gone off the deep end on your hatred for Trump and your defense of Biden.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 7, 2021 9:10 am

        Ron, I replied to Priscilla not you. When there is some doubt look into the idea that I was not addressing you. If are are familiar with Priscilla’s comments on Biden then you will see that its clear I was addressing Priscilla. But I am sorry for the confusion. I do actually look at the comments on the page itself, not by e-mail which does help to know who is talking to who.

      • March 7, 2021 12:19 pm

        Roby, sorry for the confusion. I read the comments from email since it is time consuming to page through all of the comments as the numbers increase. And email does auto attach to the correct comment while it appears “reply” on the actual comment page attaches to the root thread.

        So when in doubt, I will just ask if that was meant for me before going any further.

        by the way, I find it very interesting about yours and my positions on the minimum wage. For someone considered as right wing conservative as you consider me and someone I view further left than just left leaning, our positions on that subject is 180 degrees from anything I would expect. Thus the interesting world of political thinking.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 7, 2021 9:17 am

        Ron, my reply that you took as a reply to you started with a phrase in quotes. The phrase was not yours. That phrase was Priscilla’s. I have noted over the years that you very often take things personally when you are clearly not the target. But I will try to start my comments from now on with the name of the person I am replying to.

      • March 7, 2021 12:29 pm

        Roby, I do not take things “personally”, but when one makes an assumption like I made concerning WordPress, then I do ask how or why someone thinks I said something. My assumptions about WordPress was two fold. 1) Because of the ease of using email to read and respond to comments, and because any comments are attached to the correct person, I “assumed” most all comments came through that method 2). I also assumed that anyone clicking “reply” on the WordPress comments page would also get attached to the correct person to reply to. I now understand that whoever designed WordPress did not create that feature, so replies do not get “replied” correctly. It is almost random who the email will say the reply is too.

        So we all know about “assuming” and I made that mistake. Again, my thinking that anything logical takes place in technology led me astray..

  18. March 6, 2021 10:52 am

    Roby, our headlines in the morning paper. “Senate Leaders and moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin strike deal over emergency jobless benefits, breaking logjam that stalled the $1.9 trillion relief package”

    As I said, there our few “moderates in either party. This shows only one on the left. And things can only get worse with this type of government.

  19. March 6, 2021 2:25 pm

    “I do believe that the federal government has grown too big, too focused on accruing wealth and power for themselves, and too detached from the will of the people.”

    Priscilla, what you stated is a definition of trump. Perhaps you SHOULD have followed him more – you would have seen this.

    Ron – I hear you, but our country has fallen so far behind we need to catch up! How can we even begin to end the economic disparity here without an increase in the horrid minimum wage we cling to? Here in Wisconsin, we adhere to the federal minimum wage – along with only a few other states. Increasing this will not double the minimum wage of most states – only a few horrid ones.
    People here work 2 – sometimes 3 jobs just to make ends meet, and many still cannot afford child care! The children here run about unsupervised – hardly a recipe for growth of any kind – especially in education.
    No, this is not every county of every town within counties – but the low wages seem to be ‘nestled’ in certain areas where large mega farms know then can secure cheap labor – not just from legal immigrants, but from those who now lost work & farms. It’s exploitation.

    Roby – am I correct in the assumption of your name? I hope so. Thank you. So far as Sanders and Marxism go, I must admit that I am not as well read as you. Regarding Sanders, I only knew that I questioned many of his statements too much for him to receive a vote from me. In truth, I essentially thought Marxism was almost as dead as Karl, or existed under another obscure name… but I do listen carefully to each candidate and research. As you may have read, I give AP high grades on all non-opinion pieces, and saw nothing regarding Marxism there.

    All have a good day! I shall be doing other things for a good part of the day, but back later – and I hope Rick can get on at some point, although he may be busy as well (weekend with his son)

    Stay safe!

    • March 6, 2021 3:55 pm

      Ronda, I must say I do a very poor job in getting my positions expressed.

      So I will address the minimum wage only and hopefully it will give a good idea where I stand.

      I have no problem with raising the federal minimum wage, For the most part, many of the employers are already paying the $15.00 or have plans to by 2021-22. All of our major employers in this area have announced that to happen because they are trying to recruit qualified employees and competition is forcing their hand.

      With that said, I do not support the idiotic way the federal government applies the minimum wage. There is a model in place that the federal government uses to set reimbursement rates for medicare patients and that is an area adjusted wage index that is applied to rates across the country based on the cost of living and area wages paid. So my support for a minimum wage of $15.00 would make that the base wage, Then that amount is adjusted by MSA for the local wage costs. In San Francisco, their wage costs is 147% of the national level. In Springfield MO their wage costs is 86% of the national level. So my support would be the $15.00 national wage would end up with Sand Francisco having a minimum wage of $21.90 and Springfield MO $12.90. There is no way anyone is going to be able to live on $15.00 in San Fran, while in Springfield Mo $15 can get you a decent roof over your head and cheap meals.

      My other support would be for the federal government to stop all the damn politics that they use to damn the other party or make themselves look good. In any minimum wage bill should be a requirement just like social security where the minimum wage is adjusted yearly for increases in the cost of living as well as every MSA’s adjustment factor would be updated just like they do with hospital reimbursement. San Fran’s index might be 143% next year and Springfield 89%. And if the cost of living goes up 3.5% in 2021, then the minimum wage target would be $15.50.

      So big deal, a Quarter pounder with cheese meal at McDonalds that cost around $8.00 today would be $11.75 in San Francisco. People making 47% more than the national level can afford another $3.75.

      So is this radical libertarian ism, conservatism, liberalism or none of the above? I view it as none of the above because there is not one elected official with the brains of a gnat to understand it.

      • March 6, 2021 4:21 pm

        I understand what you’re saying. Amazing though how our Washington reps have seen fit to raise their wage so 9 times in the past 18 years while minimum was raised only once.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 6, 2021 6:55 pm

        Your comment and the idea you have Ron is one of the most sensible I have seen on the subject. It would mean that a one size fits all minimum wage does not happen. That is very much part of the issue.

        But the other part of the issue is that while I truly wish that government could set wages and make the world fair, its really always going to be the free market that sets wages unless we are talking about abolishing capitalism. I see the $15 minimum wage as most likely sending a huge number of jobs to robots or overseas. Once a $15 minimum wage is set you will never remove it. If it is a job killer on a mass scale, then what do we say to the huge number of people who lost their jobs to a robot or overseas, Oooops, sorry? We are in a crisis that is both medical and economic this is not the time to be enacting legislation that raises unemployment dramatically. Not every job is meant to support an adult person. Some jobs add extra income to kids in schools seniors living on retirement etc. Assuming that every job is supposed to support an adult person and mandating that the wages be sufficient for that won’t work, the unexpected consequences (a lot of which really should not surprise anyone) of such a nationwide drastic one size fits all economic intervention will produce a lot of harm. Anyhow that is how I see it. Perhaps I am full of crap but I am afraid of the experiment.

    • Vermonta permalink
      March 6, 2021 7:47 pm

      Ronda, if you ever can’t sleep and want to bore yourself to death till you Can sleep, read Marx, or Lenin. Even the short version the cliff notes would asphyxiate your consciousness rapidly, Zzzzz.

      The dictionary says that Sociialism is: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
      (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.”

      In short, the workers own the means of production, not capitalists. Nothing the progressives want meets this definition. Many conservatives think that Social Security is Marxism, they haven’t a clue.

      Really the number of very different movements and governments that have called themselves socialists is very large. The Nazis called themselves socialists, so do many of the Scandinavian governments.

      Here is an excerpt from wiki on a similarly named but not socialist type of government:

      “Social democracy
      Social democracy is a kind of capitalism that tries to mix parts of socialism with capitalism. It is not a form of socialism, but shares some ideas with it. In this system, despite there still being private property, the government takes money from the rich and gives it to the poor to reduce inequality, usually in the form of social programs. While the intentions of social democracy and socialism can be similar or shared, social democracy keeps the capitalist system intact, and slightly reforms it. Socialism would mean completely getting rid of the capitalist system. Social democracy is often confused with democratic socialism due to the similar names and having the same short term goals. The biggest difference is social democrats want to stop reforming capitalism when they think their reforms are good enough, but DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS WILL NOT STOP UNTIL CAPITALISM IS GONE. Some examples of social democracies are the Scandinavian countries.
      In social democracies, some services and industries are subsidized (given money to help them run), or partly controlled by the government, or both. For example, education, health care, housing, utility companies and public transportation are some industries that might be owned/supported by the government in a social democracy. For the most part, people working in these industries are paid by the government, with money paid by the people as taxes. A strong Welfare system is key to social democracy.”

      This is a pretty good description of the Scandinavian trend, which the progressives often quote as a model. Many economists call it the “advanced welfare state” meaning no insult by the term.
      Just look up Socialism on Wiki and go to the History section. You will see that Socialism existed before and after Marx. Marxism is not the only socialism. By the end of his life Marx stated that he no longer was a Marxist. No wonder people are confused.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        April 11, 2021 12:10 pm

        Scandinavian countries are capitalist. They have a higher per capita rate of millionaire than the US. It is called Nordic Welfare Capitalism. or Compassionate Capitalism. When Bernie said he wanted the type of socialism present in Denmark, the Prime Minister asked him to shut up, that Denmark was one of the most business friendly countries in the world. You are correct socialism is when the means of production is owned by the government. There is no private ownership.

  20. March 6, 2021 8:20 pm

    Thank you Roby. Seems I actually was pretty clear on Social Democracy as far as my argument with others that it was not socialism, however Democratic Socialism? On that I had little to no clue.

    I’ll look into Socialism. Seems the type of system that comes up occasionally under various names, and still stinks.

    • Vermonta permalink
      March 7, 2021 9:32 am

      Socialism means well, it just does not work. It follows a myth about human nature, that people are not motivated by self interest and will work hard instead for the commune rather then their own self interest. Most of Europe went true socialist after world war II, think British Laylend Motors for example. It was socialism light, they did not nationalize everything. It still did not work, they fell behind non socialist ountries in their standard of living. Decades later they dismantled it. Thatcher for example in Britain did a lot of that. The Scandanavian countries in the 6 separate ways were really socialist to different degrees at one point, but that is no longer true, what is left is like America’s welfare system on steroids, but its not true socialism. I am not a giant expert on all this and I am probably over generalizing but I believe I am basically correct.

      My wife is Russia/Ukrainian. She grew up in the Soviet Union. I have heard much from her. I have lived in Moscow and worked there. I have seen every old Soviet film about the heroic revolution. Some of my favorite people I met in Russia were old and very sincere communists. They had been badly tricked that is all I can say but they were great people.

      I had quite a few economics courses in school and my father is a real expert on the subject, he has given me a great deal of information. He is a very liberal man, but does not believe in fantasy economics of the left (or right). My economic beliefs are pure vanilla flavor, Econ 101 and I02. I do not believe in the fairy tales of the left and I also do not hold with the incredible degree of cynicism regarding the role of government in the economic life of the country. I think I am an economic moderate. Ron might disagree.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 7, 2021 9:35 am

        typo, unfinished thought: “I also do not hold with the incredible degree of cynicism regarding the role of government in the economic life of the country”… of libertarians and conservatives, but especially the deep distrust of government of libertarians.

      • March 7, 2021 12:56 pm

        Roby, I have no idea if you are far left economically or moderate. And I bet you will find I am much more moderate than you think of me. Over the past 4 years I don’t think we have actually gotten into much detail on actual economics because everything was “Trump”. While some programs can be supported, there is much in each to be against. And that can make the difference between “moderate” and something far right/far left.

        As I have mentioned many times recently, there is not much that is “moderate” coming out of Washington the last 22 years. So when one supports a program and that person is moderate, that does not mean they support all of the program, just 51%+ of it.

        So I will state my position and we can discuss positions if you want. If not, that’s OK.

        My moderate economic policy is based on one thing. A balanced budget based on the recommendations of the Simpson Bowles plan which I believed called for 60% of the reduction in deficits from spending cuts and 40% of the reduction from tax increases.As a way to achieve that goal, I believe zero based budgeting for all government expenditures should take place.

        In April 2019, almost 10 years after SB commission made their proposal, Blue Dog democrats tried to get a BB amendment passed in the house to no avail.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 7, 2021 7:04 pm

        Ron, I have the same feelings about a balanced budget amendment that I do about single payer health care: I am for it in principle but I do not see how we can get there from here. I do not think its crazy to want a balanced budget just like I don’t think its crazy to want single payer health care ( I am making an analogy). But, there is no path to either that I can see so… If in some fantasy I were a senator and I had to vote on a balanced budget law I would certainly be tempted to vote yes.

        One area where we overlap is Manchin. I am quite happy with him. I would have him as POTUS with pleasure. I think that he and the other moderate Dems from swing states are actually Biden’s best friends, they will save him from the progressives and their naive demands. I think that Manchin, Tester, Sinema, and several others are going to make the probability that Biden will have a good run much better. Let the progressive be unhappy. If Biden had come in with a large Senate majority as Obama did then the 2022 mid terms would be a repeat of 2010. Thankfully he did not.

      • March 7, 2021 10:51 pm

        Roby, agree that the path to a balanced budget amendment is filled with many roadblocks. A politician would be crazy to put their career on the line and go against the party faithful after seeing how Obama almost stabbed those on Simpson Bowles when he turned on them after saying he would support a compromise solution, they came up with one and then he basically said they were nuts. So I suspect it will take many years of deficit spending that will create an economic crisis that will make a balanced budget requirement reality, but the pain of doing it that way will be far greater than if they started now over 10-15 years.

        As for a national health plan, that would be much easier and far better than what we have now. I have supported this for years. We already have a national plan, it is called medicare. So we do the same thing with national health insurance as we did with medicare advantage. A national plan like I think you support where everyone in the country has the same plan has more roadblocks than a balanced budget. In every country with a national plan, most every provider and health employee is part of the system paid by the system. most every hospital is owned by the systems. If you go outside the system, in most cases you pay the bill yourself. But that is why their healthcare cost so much less than ours. nurses in the UK make about 70% what one here makes. Doctors can make 1/2 what they make in the UK depending on specialty. Pharmacist also make about 60%. And then think about the $20 million dollar salaries paid to health system CEO’s here that are not paid in the UK anywhere near a fraction of that. Hospitals dont have to make a profit to buy new equipment. And then there are no insurance companies skimming 20% or so off the top of premiums.

        What I would like to see is
        1) every current dollar the federal government pays for Obamacare and Medicaid, including all the state portions be pooled for health insurance coverage. This would be adjusted yearly for cost of health increases based on actuarial reports.
        2) Any employer who is required under Obamacare to provide insurance be required to pay into the insurance pool the equivalent of the premiums they pay plus a fee for any employees that do not buy into the employer plan. HR would file a report yearly and pay those fees. Those costs plus fees would also be adjusted yearly by law.
        3) No one would be required to buy insurance, but would be free to buy any commercial, current employer or medicare plan based on actuarial set rates.
        4) Anyone could buy into the employer plan, buy a commercial policy or buy into Medicare plan. Lets call it Medicare Prestige.
        5. Anyone that qualifies for assistance under the current plans would have their premiums covered by the insurance pool and if they were a partial qualifier, there would be a process where they paid their portion and the pool paid the rest.
        6) Any changes, including the premiums and funding change requirements would be required to have a super majority approval by the senate to avoid political gaming of the system. that can be written into the original bill.

        So what does this do? Competition, just like with Medicare Advantage. Medicare itself does not pay for gym memberships, eye glasses, over the counter drugs, home meal deliveries, hearing aides and “give back” premiums, but because insurance companies are competing for the Medicare subscribers, they are giving all of these benefits and everything is covered by the normal medicare rates. People would have a choice of which one they want or if they want to stick with the government plan.

        So use the model already in place and add competition to the market. If the Medicare Prestige plan is better than commercial or employer coverage, then people will buy into that. When insurance companies began to loose business, they would quickly change, and employers who had to pay an extra fee for employees not buying insurance would have a reason to provide a plan better than medicare.

        And if that did not work, it would not work because too many people would be buying into Medicare Prestige and if that happened then we would end up with a national plan like you wanted, but by choice, not by force.

        So shoot holes in this and see if we can make it even better.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 7, 2021 7:11 pm

        This hits the spot, Ron, of our discussion.

        https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/541986-progressives-majority-delusions-politically-costly

      • March 7, 2021 10:58 pm

        I agree, but I wonder if Manchin is better off running with democrat support instead of going up against a Trump loony in a primary. Remember, many moderates do not show up for primaries. Even in high turnout years.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 8, 2021 11:00 am

        OK between your support of a $15 minimum wage in some much tweaked form (sensibly tweaked I’ll add) and your Medicare for all, I admit you have shaken up my opinion of your ideological identity.

        Your ideas on medicare for all are very well thought through. I am impressed. My naysaying is not about the details of your plan, its about the 3 major impediments to such a plan.

        Actually, my naysaying disappeared when I re read your plan carefully in light of my doubts. But for humor and to reveal how poorly I was absorbing your ideas before I began to criticize I will keep what I had written and then explain why I was wrong and your plan is actually addressing my concerns.

        1) Many people have a plan and like it. They are not happy about changing what they already have to some unknown. And, there is an ideological gap between the enthusiasm of voters depending on party affiliation. You might be able to sell your plan to democrats, could you sell it to conservatives?

        OK, so obviously I had not thought very deeply about what you are proposing. Your plan does not make anyone among the people to be covered change if they don’t want to. Its Libertarian! In a good way.

        2) A revolution in the health insurance industry is going to put alot of people out of work.
        Well the way you have described it, no it wouldn’t. I was wrong again. Must learn to read.

        3) A revolution in the system will turn a lot of processes upside down in unexpected ways, unexpected consequences.

        Here I might be partially correct. You are proposing a revolution, albeit a rather gentle and non mandatory one for the customers, although mandatory for some employers. I have huge doubts that people will embrace the unknown.

        I think you really have something. Bravo! Now what is the next step?
        .

      • March 8, 2021 4:29 pm

        Roby, my Medicare buy-in might be revolutionary, but not as much as one may think. If I am correct, the mandate that required people to buy insurance was taken out with Trumps actions. I beleive the requirement for companies to provide insurance if they are over a certain number of employees is still there. So my requirement on them is not much different.

        But I think what I would support is going to happen as quick as the balanced budget amendment. Not because it would not work and not because a model is not already in place to use to transition many of the Obamacare rules, but because I doubt many of the commercial insurance companies would support it. One only needs to look at insuracnec company profits since 2012 to see the impact the PPACA had on them. Why would they support competition?

        And that is where my negative thinking on government comes in. If a politician supported that program, would the insurance companies funnel billions into election campaigns to those that did. And would the unions support that since competition to their employer gained policies would have competition? When money does not support programs, those programs are never supported in congress for the most part.

        Now I will give you another reason for blowing up your political identity of me. Anyone on the right will oppose any changes to the filibuster for the most part. Anyone on the left will support elimination of that completely for the most part. Well Joe Manchin is sitting in my sweet spot. Basically, go back to the original filibuster rules created in the early 1800’s that were in place before senators began changing the rules to fit their needs. Go back to where a filibuster was just that. One man or a few men standing before the senate talking non-stop, only giving the floor to others supporting their filibuster. If they are not willing to speak for hours on end, for days or months to block any legislation, then their filibuster is weak and any attempt to block something on a part time basis should not stand. I also think there are certain categories of legislation that could be defined a majority vote and not super majority vote. Last, The changes for judges from super majority to majority should never have happened becasue the judiciary should be none partisan and 60 votes for any judge at any level minimizes the partisan situation like we have today.

        And I will add, the progressives are pushing hard for the end of the filibuster to get Biden’s agenda approved. Be careful what you ask for, because that same issue today can come back to bite you in the ass when another Trump type leader gets into office and they want some really radical stuff passed and they have a 51 vote majority in the senate.

        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/manchin-says-he-still-supports-filibuster-may-back-more-party-n1259902

  21. Vermonta permalink
    March 7, 2021 9:49 am

    Here is what you get when you mix right wing cultism with religion. Seems like this fine fellow has found the true meaning of Christ, from the trump cult perspective:

    A Missouri pastor sparked outrage following a sermon he gave that many are calling sexist and misogynistic.

    Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri’s Malden First General Baptist Church said in his Sunday sermon that women should look to maintain their figures and lose weight in order to keep their husband’s attention. He also used a photo of former first Lady Melania Trump as an example of what women should aspire to.

    “Now look, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump. I’m not saying that at all,” Clark said as a photo of Trump was displayed on screen. “Most women can’t be trophy wives, but you know, maybe you’re a participation trophy. I don’t know, but all I can say is not everybody looks like that. Amen! Not everybody looks like that. But you don’t need to look like a butch either.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/541885-missouri-pastor-faces-backlash-after-suggesting-wives-should-lose-weight

    • March 7, 2021 1:02 pm

      Stupidity is not restricted. Even god makes mistakes choosing who will be one of his spokesmen/women.

  22. March 7, 2021 8:47 pm

    To me Trump represents the laziness and propensity for immediate gratification that is pervading American society. Instead of combating the excesses of the Obama Administration with logical arguments, he like so many other conservative leaders resorts to insults instead of putting forth the effort to give detailed arguments. Many of my relatives voted for Trump. These are not white supremacists, they are highly educated, highly ethical people. But they were angry at Obama and rightfully so and they thought the anger of Trump would be the best way to oppose the hatred that was fostered by Obama. I argued that Trump’s narcissistic personality and his refusal to bother with explanations would taint all conservative beliefs and objectives as having no validity. I am afraid his influence will continue and this will hurt conservative principles and objectives. As far as America returning to a more moderate course, I think our civilization has passed that point.

    • March 7, 2021 11:00 pm

      Resquingdemocracy, “As far as America returning to a more moderate course, I think our civilization has passed that point.”

      I agree completely. If it ever happens, it will take years.

  23. March 9, 2021 12:24 am

    Roby, one more knife in the backs of the “more moderate” democrats. Remember the example of the crabs in the crab pot with the warming water.

    That is what is happening to the democrat party, they just don’t realize it yet. And when they do, it will be way too late.

    https://theintercept.com/2021/03/08/nevada-democratic-party-dsa/

    • Vermonta permalink
      March 9, 2021 11:30 am

      Yes there is a battle between progressives and establishment call them moderates. Its not a big surprise, though it is disappointing, that these numbskulls won the party leadership in Nevada by, what was it, 241 votes to something, i.e. a few hundred people voted. The State party offices of both parties are infested with the extremes, think of the batshit crazy Kelli Ward in Arizona. Think of all the State parties that censored their republicans who voted to impeach trump. Nuts are on top at the state party level. Will Nevada produce a Democratic socialist US Senator? No, it won’t, you know it won’t. So these nuts will get into power as state party officials and then promptly produce defeats for their party. Nevada as a swing state is a good example of exactly what I am talking about. Only a moderate democrat can win a statewide election to federal office in places like Nevada.

      You should see the trumpian nut job who is the head of the GOP in Vermont. All she has done in her loudmouthed reign is cause loses for her party in state government. Our Moderate GOP governor Scott hates her and said she needs to be replaced. She was narrowly reelected because the people ( and I am talking a few hundred people) who actually participate in elections to state party leader ship are activists ( read, extremist idiots) This appears to be true everywhere from what I read. Scott was also handily reelected as Governor.

      What your article shows is not that the dem party is about to be overthrown by Democratic socialists, its that moderates do not participate sufficiently in politics at this level and so extremists get party leader ship positions in State parties.

      From all I read, and the piece I posted yesterday supports it, is the progressives have delusions of grandeur and are actually not winning nearly as much clout as they think.

      • March 9, 2021 12:55 pm

        Roby “will Nevada produce a democratic socialist senator?” . Maybe they will not produce a socialist, but that does not mean they will not produce Harris, Gillibrand or Booker. Remeber, moderates do not participate in primaries like they do in general elections, so the more far left or far right candidates are the nominees in most cases.

        1440 daily Digest reported today “Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R) announced yesterday he would not seek reelection when his term expires in 2022. The fourth-highest ranking official in the Republican Senate leadership, 71-year-old Blunt serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee and is the ranking member on the Rules Committee.

        While the move is unlikely to affect the chamber’s power balance—former President Donald Trump carried the state by more than 15 points in November—Blunt becomes the fifth Republican senator to announce plans to leave office at the end of the current term. The group includes Sens. Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), Richard Burr (NC), and Richard Shelby (AL). Each of those four is considered to be part of the moderate wing of the party.”

        So how many of these “moderate” GOP senators do you think will be replaced on the GOP ticket with another moderate? Of these 5, I suspect Toomey and Portman are the only ones where it is even possible for a moderate to prevail. from what I hear today in N,C,, Burrs replacement nominee will be anything but moderate.

        So again, I hope you are correct, but I need to see proof from both sides that the moderate middle is getting more involved in choosing nominees before I can hitch my wagon to your positive thinking. I will continue to be Doofus Downer until I actually see it happening.

      • Vermonta permalink
        March 9, 2021 3:54 pm

        “Maybe they will not produce a socialist, but that does not mean they will not produce Harris, Gillibrand or Booker. ”

        I disagree, not in our lifetimes. These three you mention are from the bluest states, California, New York, New Jersey, this explains them. There are 6 states that choose Biden by less 3 points, including Nevada, which chose Biden by slightly more than 2. Those state are not at all likely to produce left wing senators. If they do then the person will get 1 term. Not to Mention Dem senators from red or pink states, they will be moderates or face rapid extinction, and visa versa for republicans from blue or light blue states The Dem senators from those states will be somewhere on the moderate to liberal spectrum.

        Seven Dem senators: Tester, Sherrod Brown, Manchin, the two Arizona senators, and two Georgian senators, I would call all those states more red than blue, are all on thin ice.

        I do not disagree with you at all the the deck is not stacked in favor or moderate primary candidates and therefore the eventual winners. Moderates are not favored by our process and by American habits. But the few moderate Senators who do exist have a lot more power, at least in some sense, than the more extreme senators.

        Manchin is in the place where your Venn diagram overlaps mine, we both enjoy him, but you ought to consider how the other 6 dem senators I mentioned above from red states are voting and how much of a brake they are on the Sander’s agenda. Don’t forget Amy Klobuchar either, she was a constant source of rain on the progressive parade in the dem primary and was my favorite Dem POTUS candidate. In my opinion these Dem Senators make most of Sanders priorities very unlikely. The progressives will get a few bones in this environment, but not much. If dems were to hold the Senate seats in only the 16, as I count them, safely blue states and no other states, they will have no more than 32 Senate seats by my count. That makes 18 dem senators who cannot safely join people like Sanders and Leahy in their crusades.

        Seriously Ron, you are drastically under counting the buffer against the progressive agenda.

  24. rondabellelane permalink
    March 9, 2021 6:05 pm

    Currently answering an amazing amount of inquiries about getting a Covid shot here in NE Wisconsin… I just got my first, and all neighbors/friends did not see the information – guess I just read more —
    I’ll be back after I can finally catch a breath…

  25. Priscilla permalink
    March 28, 2021 7:47 pm

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ~ C.S. Lewis

    Woke progressives have finally found the way to weaponize their well-honed sense of moral superiority, and begin the dismantling of the republic, “for our own good.”

    • Ron P permalink
      March 31, 2021 1:12 am

      Just got a chance to read this. Internet down since Saturday. Anyone who believes their morals are superior to others or tries to force their beliefs on others only causes a reaction that is unacceptable for many, but acceptable to those that have the same mental impact from the force from others. And the media promotes this with their support of one side and avoiding reporting of anything negative about the Woke.

      • Priscilla permalink
        April 2, 2021 6:26 pm

        One thing’s for sure. Joe Biden is a hater and a divider. He publicly supported MLB pulling the All-Star game out of Atlanta for the sin of GA passing a voter ID law. He lied repeatedly about the law being “Jim Crow”, and even now, he could call for a truce and an end to the poisonous cancel culture. But he encourages it. And, now that a black supremacist Farrakhan follower has killed two Capitol cops, lets see if he calls it out. I would put the odds of that at zero.

      • Ron P permalink
        April 2, 2021 7:20 pm

        I am sorry to hear Biden has come out about the GA law. Before Obama, every president would have said this is a state issue, the courts will decide if it is legal or not. After Obama, he opened the door for divisive political rhetoric from that level and Trump took it to another level.

        When you are President, you represent 100% of the people in the country, whether you agree with their positions or not, So now Biden attacks Georgia, creates more division between black and whites, poor and rich, liberal and conservative and when crap happens in Georgia as a result, he will say “see how they act, take their guns!

        Thank the lord I can ID as a Libertarian and not be lumped in with those in either party destroying this country.

      • Priscilla permalink
        April 2, 2021 8:33 pm

        Well, I’ve become much more of a libertarian myself these days. How can any intelligent, free thinking person not be more libertarian these days?

        The idea that an American president would go on national TV and demand a boycott against one of the 50 states, for passing a voting rights law would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. Obama never went that far. Trump didn’t either.

        It’s also pretty shocking that corporations are getting involved in partisan politics. I realize that these corporations are just trying to keep the cancel culture away from their doors, but that just tells us that silence is no longer acceptable to the left. If you don’t affirmatively AGREE with everything that they demand, you are at risk of being destroyed. It’s literally fascism, from the folks that screamed about Trump being a fascist.

        Biden could change all this in one speech. He could, as you say, simply say, “I may not agree with this law, but it was passed by the Georgia legislature and signed by the Governor. Let the legal challenges play out through the courts.”

        He could say to MLB, “don’t punish Atlanta for a duly enacted law. Georgians are good citizens, and they deserve to be treated as such, regardless of their politics.” Instead he calls the law “Jim Crow” and its supporters racist. And encourages businesses to pull out of Georgia, in order to crash its economy as “punishment.”

        We are in very, very deep do-do.

  26. rRon P permalink
    March 31, 2021 12:54 am

    Some interesting information. S.A. does a good job presenting data that never gets to Fox News nor the other networks. Maybe that is why the government raided her a few years back.

    This is a good presentation since so many blamed South Dakota for the second wave. As well as her other article concerning the border crisis (that is not a crisis but kids are being detained much like Trump detained them and MSM jumped all over that like smell on poop.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 31, 2021 9:08 am

      Sharyl Atkisson is one of the only genuine journalists left out there. She presents facts, honestly, and leaves it up to the viewer to form an opinion.

      Most of what we get now is propaganda.

      A perfect example is the crisis at the border. Women and children are being trafficked by the hundreds. Thousands are being released into the country with no ID, no background checks, no idea what their health status is, no covid testing. It’s literally 10 times worse than in 2018, yet when Biden says that he won’t allow cameras into migrant detention facilities, mainstream reporters don’t question his motives.

      Dear Papa Joe would never lie to us….

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        April 11, 2021 11:46 am

        Totally agree that Full Measure is an objective (and perhaps one of the few) news outlets.

  27. Ron P permalink
    April 2, 2021 11:50 pm

    So if you do not get a response from me, Word Press is at it again. It will not retain my login, so everytime I want to post I have to go through the login page. I click “remember me” and then there is a 50-50 chance it will post (or not). So I guess I need to enter my comments on Word, save it and then try Word Press and if it does not post, I can copy and paste again.

    Anyway, if this one post, Happy Easter everyone!

    • Priscilla permalink
      April 3, 2021 9:12 am

      Happy Easter to you, Ron. (I’ve had some weirdness from WordPress as well. If I type “wordpress.com” into the searchbar, my account comes up. But if I click on “wordpress.com” in search results, I get taken to the login page, as if I’m not signed in. Not sure what the difference is.)

  28. Vermonta permalink
    April 9, 2021 10:21 am

    In Truth, I don’t give a flying fuck about the problems transexuals have with public toilets. I am just saying that here, since I think I can probably get away with it here.

    Really, the two opposing ideological armies of fanatics and ignoramuses will be with us forever, I am so frigging sick of both. Trumpies to the right of me, transexuals to the left here I am stuck in the middle….

    • Ron P permalink
      April 11, 2021 8:41 pm

      Roby, The toilet issue has been settled. Along with locker rooms. SCOTUS let stand a lower courts ruling.

      Now I don’t agree with a Trans walking around a womens shower room with :Herman and his two cohorts” hanging in the wind in from of actual females, but if they don’t care, why should I.

      Where I do have a big issue with Trans is sports. Male athletes transitioning to female are much stronger than females. The fairest way to settle this issue would be three categories, M,F,T, But with our existing environment, that will not happen.

      When the courts decide T’s can participate in female sports, the one person benefiting is harming all the other participants. But I doubt anyone really cares that has any power.

  29. Savannah Jordan permalink
    April 11, 2021 6:30 pm

    Hope this comment makes it. I have tried 2 times now and my comments have not been posted. I strongly recommend the book “Unmasked” by Andy Ngo. It is how Antifa is undermining our democracy and how so many people are assisting it. The book is terrifying and disheartening but it is important that everyone know what is occurring.

    • Ron P permalink
      April 11, 2021 8:29 pm

      Savannah, I will check our library to see if they have it. Be they won’t!

      But as things like this continue, the public will grow tired of it. We can only hope that it is sooner than later.

      Biden is president and he can show the leadership that the left demanded of Trump to call out anyone rioting. They made an issue when he did not. It is now time for the same people to call on Biden to do what they wanted Trump to do. I doubt he will.

      This article soes not specifically say Antifa is behind this building burning, But there are many ties to the rest of the riots that have been going on in Portland for month.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/rioters-portland-ice-fire-agents-pepper-bullets

  30. Vermonta permalink
    April 12, 2021 11:37 am

    This is perfect. Alert, its humor.

    • Vermonta permalink
      April 12, 2021 3:20 pm

      I know it looks like this might be about trump but its not. It is about leftwing bullshit. Its freakin hilarious.

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