Archive for March, 2021

Sunshine by the billions

Author: admin

Sometimes it takes more than the sun to brighten my day.

Case in point: Dominion Voting Systems filing a billion-dollar lawsuit against Faux Neus. What could be a better start of another 24-hours? That makes two Dominion court actions dealing with the 2020 election. The other is against Donny Trump. Personally.
The latest Dominion action also names Maria Bartiromo, Tucker, Lou, Sean and Jeanine Pirro.

Then, the sun brightened even more with yet another action involving DJT and friends. Smartmatic Corporation, also involved in the 2020 vote counting, opened fire against Faux for $2.7 billion. This one named a flock of co-defendants including Rudy, Sidney Powell and their cohorts on the network. Individually.

The latest Dominion suit alleges Faux “recklessly disregarded the truth” and participated in a disinformation campaign against the company because “the lies were good for Fox’s business.”

Further, “Fox took a small flame” of disinformation and “turned it into a forest fire.” Dominion claims “Truth matters. Lies have consequences.” “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”

In the filing, the company claims, as a result of Fox’s “orchestrated campaign against it, Dominion suffered “enormous and irreparable economic harm” and its “employees have been subject to death threats.”

The Smartmatic filing is very similar in claims and naming the same individuals.

All government, and nearly all independent observers, have said, repeatedly, there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential election. But, our friends at “Faux” have continually suggested Trump’s claims of “widespread irregularities” had merit.

I don’t know much about Dominion or Smartmatic. But, their direct challenges to Faux deserve recognition for going after the company and the individual liars. Demanding facts in news reports and facing down those that don’t adhere is the right thing to do.

We media folks make mistakes. God knows, I’ve made my share in nearly 50 years in the business. But, the unwritten rule has always been to admit the error, make a correction and move on.

I don’t see a lot of that happening these days. The blowhards at Faux Nues certainly aren’t interested in truth or facts. I don’t have a problem with commentary – political or otherwise – left or right. But, even in commentary, the facts matter. You can have your “bleeding heart” or your “righteous indignation” to a fare-thee-well. But, when the “truth train goes off the rails,” you’re wrong. Individually or corporately. And, Dominion and Smartmatic have decided to point that out. By the billions!

Media – all media – must be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. There’s just too damned much at stake these days. We’re inundated with information. And, a lot of it is false. B.S. While more is demanded of the sources, more is also demanded of the recipient to sift out fact and discard that B.S..

That’s tough to do, given the immense outpouring of information. It’s tough on both sides. The media’s high charge is to wade through all of it, separate “wheat from chaff” and publish. Quickly. Viewers/readers have a similar obligation to do their own separating. And, that’s a hard job when on the receiving end of daily info dumps.

It’s a damned shame to have to have two large corporations sue purveyors of false public information. But, their “target” has deserved a comeuppance for many years. Ol’ Rupert is pretty much out of the business these days. Faux is being run by a son or two. Since their entry into the picture, the place has veered further to the right. And, in some cases, beyond.

There are others out there in the media “sphere” manipulating the truth for their own ends. Beck, Jones, Medvid and dozens more. I’d like to think that, should the twin suits against the Faux folks be successful, they’ll read the damage awards and trim their own sails. I’d like to think it. But, I doubt it.

I’d like to think, facing billion dollar challenges, it’ll scare the others. It’s also to be hoped other companies and individuals will follow the Dominion/Smartmatic lead and go after purveyors of lies published under the banner of “good journalism.”

Dominion’s filing says “truth matters” and “lies have consequences.” Yes, they do. And, that includes the folks at Faux, too.

Eating your own

Author: admin

Why are Republicans so Hellbent on creating hurdles to voting, taking away constitutional powers of their own Republican governors, relying on ALEC or some other “conservative” front to create master copies of legislation attacking this-that-and-the-other because some corporations or a billionaire-or-two wants it that way?

Voting hurdles? Right now, there are more than 460 bills sitting in state legislatures that would limit voting. 460! Close polling places. Eliminating mail-in balloting. Phony requirements for voter identification that some Americans don’t have. Requiring speaking English to register.

Voting hurdles!

We’ve now got a nasty bill in Arizona’s legislature, thanks to Republicans. It would allow those ladies and gentlemen – who are heavily in the majority – to overturn election results if they don’t like the outcome. Really! And to let them elect members of Congress rather than continuing to let us plebeians do the work. In 12 other states, too!

Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Idaho legislatures trying to strip gubernatorial powers, even from Republican governors! In some cases, the constitutions of the state enumerate the governor’s powers and duties. How much will it cost taxpayers to mount a certain-to-lose court defense?

Speaking of which, there’s even a bill floating around the chambers in Idaho to limit or erode certain responsibilities of Attorney General Wasden. Wasden has often – make that very often – advised legislators against taking some political action. At the bottom of that, I think, is that Wasden has been right so many times and legislators have been wrong. And, when you’re wrong at something, legislatively speaking, the taxpayer foots an often six-figure legal bill from private attorneys.

Congress, too, is often guilty of legislative over-reach. Making new laws to limit some function of states is always good for a (losing) court challenge. Or, being a plaintiff in some court challenge that, win-lose-or-draw, winds up with six-figure legal bills – or more – because of some questionable action.

These Republican challenges to other co-equal branches of government started several years ago. Especially in some states – like Idaho – that have long been in GOP hands. The late Idaho Governor Bob Smylie told me once “It’s good to change governing parties once in awhile – open the doors – let in some fresh air – clean out the closets.”

I’ve never forgotten that nearly 60-year-old piece of wisdom. Still true today. You have to look no further than the White House to see how true.

Speaking of GOP negativeness, why can’t some Congressional Republicans get it through their heads that Trump lost? Rep. Steve Scalise, number two on the House minority side, was being interviewed in one of those Sunday morning gabfests last week. Asked flat out if Biden won, he just couldn’t bring himself to say so. Or that Trump lost.

We’ve got a guy here in Arizona who’s had several House terms. Paul Gosar. Republican. He’s so off-the-rails his family’s buying advertising trying to get him recalled. Yep, kinfolk. He’s also being investigated by the FBI and others for his involvement in the attack on Congress.

Starting around the first of the year, about the time those idiots broke into the U.S. Capitol, I semi-consciously started looking for some signs of decency, truthfulness, positive thought and even a small bit of cooperation from Republicans at home and away. Damned tough to find any.

I don’t mean this as any sort of attack. It’s just the evidence – legislative and congressional – the evidence isn’t there to cite helpfulness on the part of elected Republican folk running a number of states and Congress.

In Florida, where the governor is a “Trumper,” his legislature wants to trim
his sails, so to speak. While, there he’s out there, trying to throw roadblocks to citizen rights to vote. Closing more polling places – limiting mail-in voting by requiring voters have to ask for ballots each year. Things like that. Doesn’t matter. GOP Florida legislators are chewing his coattails.

President Biden campaigned on a platform of “bringing us together.” Making peace among warring political parties. Putting some Republicans in his largely Democrat cabinet. Being “President for everybody.” And, he seems to be working at doing just that.

But, with less than eight-weeks in office, Republicans aren’t buying it. Even before all his cabinet appointments have confirmation hearings, while he’s faced with our terrible pandemic, trying to undo what’s needed undoing, restoring relationships with other world governments – even before all that, he’s fighting Republican headwinds.

In what may be his largest effort to “make peace” with the GOP, Biden has put “all-hands-on-deck” to help Texas get out of the mess Republicans – and only Republicans – got themselves into. Only one question asked. “What do you need and where do you need it?” Not one whimper that the current Texas GOP administration wants to secede from the Union or that it screwed up by not doing the proper regulatory work on its infrastructure. Just, “We’re here to help.”

Republican legislatures attacking Republican governors, Republican governors threatening the constitutional rights of citizens, GOP members of Congress still not willing to call Joe Biden the duly-elected President. What the Hell’s going on?

Voters have got to get better informed. They’ve got to get to know the real makeup of candidates doing the “courting.” Those not registered must do so. And, when the day rolls around to put that ballot in the box, they’ve GOT to turnout.

And, remember – not a single Democrat in Congress that think the Presidential election was rigged. Not one!

Another side

Author: admin

I’m about “up to here” with Meghan and Harry. And I haven’t written a word on the subject!

While Oprah Winfrey can be given “five stars” for getting the interview, preparing for it, doing it and superbly marketing the whole “show,” the subsequent fallout has steadily inundated us 10 days. ENOUGH ALREADY!


Having sat quietly through the whole two hours, then “breathlessly” reading much of the “damage” caused by the same, I’ve got some thoughts on the matter.

First, are the statements made credible statements? Remember, you were watching a former TV actress and a well-schooled Royal trained in how to speak, when, to whom and what to say – or not say. I’m not trying to throw rocks here. Those are just facts. Both have been taught to assume different “characters” in public. Meghan even talked of her personal life and the “public life” she had to live. Very different “acting” assignments. I’m just sayin’.

If all said was factual, and given Oprah’s production team didn’t do some skillful editing, I’d give both subjects the benefit of the doubt. But, there were some glaring moments when my logic had to be suspended.

Case in point. Both talked of the loss of security at the hands of Palace authorities. If that was such an important consideration – and it must have been given how much of the dialogue was dedicated to the subject – why, then, did the two of ‘em go on worldwide television? We now know they own a home in the Santa Barbara foothills near Oprah’s place, with a chicken coop in the backyard. Someone out to do them harm has had the search for their home pretty-well narrowed down and some time spent flying a drone over backyards there should soon pinpoint the target(s). Few Santa Barbara denizens keep chickens.


Another point. Meghan talked of occasionally having lunch with her friends then, later said, she wasn’t allowed to go out, that she had to surrender her car keys and other personal affects to Palace bosses.

Listening to her at length, it appears there was a time – a certain day – when Meghan’s more leisurely lifestyle didn’t fit what “The Firm” expected of a princess and a decision was made to cut her off from her world and begin training in the ways of royalty the way “The Firm” wanted her to be. Like Eliza Doolittle – to properly function at the top of British society – the very top of British royalty.

I couldn’t help but think of what Harry’s mother – who’d been raised around royalty – went through as “The Firm’s” heavy hand was depicted on Diana in “The Crown.” Now, I know “The Crown” is a jumble of facts and fiction. More of the latter. But, the business of retraining, of becoming a real princess, comparing Meghan’s words and the depiction of Diana going through the same self-limiting experience was certainly there in Meghan’s description. Just too close to miss.

Again, if true, I was struck by the fact that neither Meghan nor Harry knew what their marriage of different worlds was about. Both said so. Neither seemed to know of the problems they’d face as they walked away from the altar. Certainly Harry must have had some idea of what lay ahead given he was closely involved in Diana’s tumultuous life. He must have! But, that’s not what he said.

Something that must have deeply affected Harry’s life was not depicted in the interview. And that was his two tours in Afghanistan. He was on the front lines. Carried his own assault rifle. Dug his own fox hole. That had to have given him a different outlook on life. Something not part of his Royal upbringing. It had to change him. That experience, too, could have added to their problems.

Meghan’s disclosure of her suicidal thoughts seemed true. Sinking deep enough into your own terrifying, lonely existence to consciously consider “ending it all” is a dangerous way to live. Been there. Done that. But, not much was said about what happened after she confessed her innermost thoughts to Harry. He said he wanted to “be there” for her and “support” her. There just seemed to be a large gap between the horrors and the Meghan you saw in the interview. What happened? Did she get all the help she needed? Was she still recovering in the interview?

It’s to be hoped mental health professionals will use her words to help someone else. Many someone else’s. Even using recordings of the interview. I doubt we will soon banish the “stigma” that goes with mental health in today’s society. I hope Meghan will use her notoriety, and the enormous popularity she currently has, to be an active participant in mental health programs and advocacy.

It was interesting to note “The Firm” stopped Harry’s income and, had it not been for the inheritance from his mother’s estate, they had no finances. Given Meghan’s work in a multi-year TV series and Harry’s seeming lack of other income, finances should have been thought out. I would expect two people planning a “getaway” from “The Firm,” to plan for future income needs.

I don’t mean to detract, in any way, from the interview. Both seemed sincere. Each came across as someone you’d like to know better. I wish them well in their new endeavors with Netflix and other financial sources. Lord knows they’ve had the best exposure possible to the business world and they’ll likely be able to profit from new contacts.

Still, I’m left with lingering thoughts. If seeking security was especially important, why put yourself on television and talk about where your home is? As you seek a joint desire for privacy, why be so public? Worldwide. I can’t figure out, aside from searching for future income, why you’d put yourself on such prominent display. If you harbored any thought of future family reconciliation, why go public with talk of racism and abuse within “The Firm?” Look what’s happened in the aftermath

Or, was target-bombing “The Firm” the whole idea? Was “getting back” at the people you blame for much of your troubles by publicly embarrassing them your thought? Did you consider the extremely serious damage you’d inflict on a centuries-old dynasty and the ruling class of an entire nation? Was this all about “getting even?”

I certainly hope not! Because, if any of that played into the couple’s “outing” of British palace problems, everyone involved will lose. Even the queen, beloved by hundreds of millions around the world, will suffer damage. At 94-years-of-age, this will cause unbelievable pain. If it already hasn’t.

“Happily ever after?” I doubt it.


Author: admin

No, I didn’t come with that word. It’s just one more helpful perversion of the English language. This time by a national columnist.

I found it in a piece in which the writer was trying to put a tag on all the deliberate political lying and all the right wing B.S. and deliberate untruths continually spewed by segments of the media. He just wanted some way – some word – to neatly tie all that into a tidy description. Works for me.

Infodemic. As surely as the Coronavirus is a pandemic, so, too, are the individuals and corporations deliberately lying to large segments of our national population.

Yeah, Fox. I’m looking at you. And Newsmax. And Michael Medvid and Michael Savage. And Malkin, Hannity, Beck, Blaze Media, Daily Caller, Freedom Press, Power Line, One America News and dozens more whose flatulent output has created what’s euphemistically called “Alternative Media.” “Media?” Yep, all of those and more are part of the “infodemic.” Many more!

These lying purveyors of mental slime are allowed complete freedom to mentally poison millions of souls while wrapping themselves in the First Amendment. “We’re within our Constitutional rights,” is their mantra. “Freedom of speech,” they claim.

Have you ever read the First Amendment” No? Well, here it is.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

That’s it. All of it. Tucked neatly in there are the words “freedom of speech, or of the press.”

While our “founding father authors” of the original documents had to put up with their share of “soap box” patriots spewing falsehoods trying to undermine the new government, they had no clue about what would happen 250 years or so later. No idea of true mass communication or abridgement of fact spread internationally at the speed of sound.

Up until 1987, we had what was called the “Fairness Doctrine.” It required mass media to offer access to those with competing views to rebut or offer their opinions in similar time or space conditions. And, the Doctrine worked pretty well. Until Ronald Reagan. Yep, him. Reagan appointed four members to the Federal Communications Commission, giving his appointees control. And, one of their first acts was to kill the Fairness Doctrine.

What’s happened since is often unfettered crap, passed off as “fact,” to inundate us all. (Fox and Newsmax?) Under the Doctrine, the media corporations had to make time/space for competing views. Facts, as it were.

Now, no such federally-mandated requirement. If Malkin, Hannity, Ingraham, Beck et al want to say “all frogs are blue with red spots,” they have the absolute right to say so, to pass that off as fact. Corporate owners have absolute right to reject access to anyone who wants to make the case for “green frogs.”

On more serious points, how do we, as a nation, put a stop to poisoning of millions of minds? How do we get “Trumpers,” and others of their ilk, to reject what has become, for them, an alternative universe of lies and damned lies? How do we correct the balance of fact-versus-fiction to have a fully, factually informed nation?
If we can’t do that, if we can’t get at least a heavy majority of us using the same facts to live by – to vote by – honest, well-intentioned holders of nearly any public office won’t be truly effective. When someone has been told a boatload of lies from a source they truly believe in, a frontal “attack” with facts will fail to change his/her mind. Every time.

We’ve got a new president in the Oval Office. He faces a myriad of problems. His “plate” overfloweth. But, the most difficult issues can be traced to underlying dangers of the deep, deep divisions in the country. And, many of those are related to the “infodemic” rampant in our media.

If a quarter, or even a third of the citizens of the country are being fed daily diets of lies and twisted facts from sources they trust, can an administration be fully effective? If the continual push-back is from citizens believing down is up and up is down, how do you break through with logic – with facts – with reality?

One other issue President Biden must face is more and more of these folk are being elected to Congress and other public agencies. It’s believed there are some 40 or so members who are advocates of Qanon.

They’ve signed up with other like-minded souls who “believe” the government is being led by pedophiles and sex traffickers. They believe The Donald is preparing to lead a “counter-attack” against those people. It’s called “the storm.” They truly believe Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros are “conspiring” to take over the government in a coup. And a lot more B.S.. And, they’re in Congress.

“Infodemic.” Now, you know what it means. What the hell do we do about it?

Run for something

Author: admin

I stumbled across something the other day you might be interested in.

It’s a website called “Run For Something.” My first thought at seeing those words had nothing to do with politics or campaigning for office. But, that’s exactly what it is.

With oversized type on the website, lots of colors, pictures of staff and successful campaigners, it’s filled with lots of information and sort of a kick to read. And, there’s a good deal to read.

“Run For Something” (RFS) has been around for a few years and has had some real successes. More than 55% of women backed by RFS won various offices from dog catcher to Congress in recent elections. And, 50% of the winners were people of color.

Here’s something else you probably don’t know. In races run in the last two national election cycles, IFS has helped flip seats in 20 states. Not bad for a group of young folks most of us have never heard of.

The organization is PROGRESSIVE. Large type! The whole reason for its being is to help more progressive – and therefore, mostly Democrat – folks into public office. An occasional Republican is supported but the key word is still “progressive.”

Some 8-thousand volunteers do most of the work with candidates. About 70% of applicants are under age 40, running for the first or second time. All applicants have one-on-one phone talks in which RFS workers get facts about who wants to run, for what and experience – if any.

There are four basic tenets candidates must meet in the process: be progressive, be rooted in their communities, be willing to work hard campaigning and are interesting and compelling to talk to. Ratings on those four points come from volunteers who have had in-depth conversations with many applicants.

There is a winnowing process to the point that RFS takes what it believes will be winners under the organizational “wing” and begins things. Using (un)social media heavily, there is constant moral and other support. They’re offered tactics that’ve been proven successful in other races. They get weekly open-ended calls from RFS strategists who’ve worked on previous campaigns.

If money is a problem – as it often is – RFS can help. In the 2020 campaign, RFS spent more than two-and-a-half-million dollars in hundreds of races.

Part of that help comes from RFS working partners and direct linkage with newer progressive organizations like Emily’s List, Campaign America, Voto Latino, Crowd Pac, Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Senate Campaign fund. There are regional fund-raising promotions. RFS is also the beneficiary of sizeable donations from individuals and carefully selected business partners.

Direct candidate support is also available in tactics, strategy, media relations, fund raising and contact with previously successful candidates. There are also regional directors with campaign experience who can be called upon for advice.

Feedback from winners is very positive with some doing endorsements on the RFS website.

The “dog-catcher-to-Congress” label is very true. RFS has been the key element to success in judicial races, legislative contests, city council, county commissions, congressional and numerous other campaigns. No matter what office you want to run for, “Run For Something” should be the first call you make.

Though it’s not specifically itemized on the RFS website, it’s obvious the group wants to make sure that any ballot – anywhere – doesn’t have an uncontested race on it. As we’ve seen so often in politics – especially at the national level – gaining access to one office can lead to a subsequent successful step to another.

We’ve also seen what can happen if there is an uncontested race. We’ve got a Marjorie Taylor Greene to deal with in Congress because no one would fill the open seat on a Democrat ballot.

Yes, “Run For Something” is a heavily Democrat-oriented group. And, yes, they tilt toward progressive minded individuals. And, yes, the organization of largely young people, out “to change the world.” But, RFS has experience winning a large variety of political contests. It has shown itself to be an organization to be reckoned with in city, county, state and national contests. It’s shown it can make a difference where it counts – the ballot box.

When you’ve got some time on your hands one of these days, give the “Run For Something” website a look-see. Even if you don’t want to be a candidate for something, you might know someone with an itch. The “Run For Something” site may be able to scratch that itch.