Archive for December, 2021

A nation of the angered

Author: admin

I’m awfully glad to see 2021 coming to a close. No. Make that damned glad.

You and I – and everyone else in this nation – have been under so much pressure from just about any identifiable source. Pressures. Changes. Closings. Loss of services. Access denied. Safety lost. Stores and businesses disappearing. Movements restricted or cancelled. Our ways of life disrupted, distorted, diminished.

I’m just plain, damned tired! The world that has become is not to my liking. Nor is it to millions of other people.

Let’s deal with a couple of real-time examples.

I have no more patience or sympathy for anyone – of any age – of any sex – of any race – of any color – who is still unvaccinated. Except for medical reasons. None! No way! No how! Nada!

Health experts worldwide are now warning of even darker COVID-19 times ahead. Delta variant. Omicron variant. And unnamed variants yet to come. They’re talking of a “viral blizzard;” of even more deadly times in our futures. Some – including Dr. Fauchi – are talking about Covid and its family of killers becoming permanent fixtures in our lives. Quite likely, with us forever!.

Those who’ve consistently chosen to ignore the advice of experts, who’ve been pleaded with and cajoled by just about every medical practitioner known to God, those who can but won’t – those people – deserve no more sympathy, no more accommodation of any kind. They are willfully and ignorantly playing Russian Roulette with their own lives. An ever-present danger to your life. And mine. And any poor bastard with whom they come in contact.

Enough is just damned enough! Because of them, Covid will likely be with us from now on. Because of them, our families will continue to be exposed as we lead our daily lives. Because of them, masks will become permanent fixtures. Because of them, our normal movements of life will be restricted. Many services denied. Schools and even churches forced to change their services. Medical facilities will continue to be filled with the afflicted. And the dying. And we’ll pay. And pay. And pay.

No, Sir. A year into this damned Covid business, the time has come to cut ties with people who refuse to live up to the responsibilities we all have to each other. To avoid – to shun. This minority of cretins has no societal right to threaten the majority.

And another thing.

At last count by CNN, there were at least 23 open and ongoing investigations of D. J. Trump. Twenty-three! Some have been open and active for several years. And none of those still open – not one – has resulted in charges – criminal or civil.

We’ve put up with this lying miscreant for more than five-years.
We’ve seen large portions of our government decimated under his hand. We’ve watched him acting like some kind of dictator and listened to his lies. The lies. By the hundreds. The hundreds! The running count by The Washington Post is in the thousands.

Some two-dozen women have filed charges of sexual exploitation or actual damages caused by Trump. Going back years. His former “fixer” – Michael Cohen – is suing the guy for having him re-arrested and held in solitary confinement because of Cohen’s book about Trump. Blatant retaliation! Our former “president” has filed dozens and dozens of frivolous legal cases and lost nearly everyone.

Trump’s been gone for nearly a year. Yet – largely due to exhaustive media coverage – he inserts himself into our lives every day. He’s living “the good life” and will likely avoid jail time by filing appeal after appeal after appeal until he’s passed from this world.

Somebody. Somewhere. Pull the trigger. Tax evasion. Fraud. Ignoring the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution. Sexual abuse. Attempting to overthrow a national election. Fomenting an attack on the nation’s Capitol and endangering the lives of elected officials and police.

Somebody. Somewhere. He’s been out of office nearly a year. Surely some state or federal prosecutor has “the goods.”

Lastly, our Congress. Or, what’s left of it. The needs of this nation have been put “on hold” while the bickering, stone-walling, personal attacks and outright lies have taken center stage. Good legislation, necessary legislation has been buried and defeated by a political party that’s gone to the dogs.

Republicans have become an actual impediment to having an effective Congress. Fealty to Trump – gutting a formerly effective national political party – damaging the Constitutional balance of power by daily self-service and ignoring responsibility – this is what the “legislative” branch has become.

Yes, Virginia, I’m angry. Angry and tired of the same old B.S.. Given just these examples, it is any wonder?

Identity crisis

Author: admin

Who’s a God-loving, down-to-earth-responsible, thinking conservative Republican and how many of you are out there?

The answer to that query is one – maybe two – elections away. I can think of no other way to find a realistic answer.. And, we need to know that answer to figure out where we go from here.

It appears there’s more than one Republican Party.

The easiest to identify are the Trumpers within the GOP. They just put it right out there! Shirts, hats, flags. No masks. Yep, we don’t need an election to figure out that bunch.

It’s the rest of the folks – the silent ones – that keep a low profile, don’t talk much about their political leanings and don’t get dressed up like a bunch of junior high kids. Those are the ones we need to find. And count. Because they, more than the Trumpers, will determine what becomes of the Grand Old Party in the long run. We need to know who they are and in what numbers.

It’s no overstatement – to our shame – to call our current Congress broken, rife with childish in-fighting and dangerously ineffective. (There are other adjectives but this is a family publication.)

We know who most of the most “insane” incumbents are because of the media’s continued over-the-top coverage of Boebert, Taylor-Greene, Gaetz et al. They, and their childlike – but dangerous – rhetoric are breathlessly relayed to the rest of us daily. Whether we care or not.

But, if you’re not a political wonk, don’t follow the “inside-baseball” political columnists and don’t live in the Washington D.C. metro area, most folks don’t know who the other wingnuts are. And there’s a bunch of ‘em. About two-thirds of the Texas delegation qualify.

They clog up hearings with ridiculous speeches and rants. They abuse witnesses who must sit quietly while the know-nothings carry on. Many, literally, have no idea what their job descriptions are. And none – NONE – could pass a high school exam on the Constitution.

You don’t know these names because their nutcase carrying-ons are expected, they do so daily, and they don’t have any material things to say on nearly any topic.

Exhibit “A,” at the moment, is the dustup between Ted Cruz and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Cruz has called Fauci “unqualified” and “totally uninformed” about COVID-19 and its dangers. Fauci, (a physician-epidemiologist by training) to his credit, has sat silently in several hearings as Cruz ran off at the mouth. But, it appears some Senators and others may have encouraged Fauci to speak up. And, to his credit, he recently has. But, humiliation and embarrassment are still palpable.

At numerous hearings and other official actions of the Congress, there are always the know-nothings, loud and ignorant present and very anxious to show off their unfamiliarity with facts or knowledge of the subject at hand.

These uninformed and unknowing folks have been largely responsible for the current Capitol Hill mess. Oh, there are other, “wiser” people in leadership of both Houses who’ve exhibited their tendency to gum up the works i.e. McConnell and McCarthy. They, too, have to be replaced.

These examples are why we need to know who the responsible ones are in the Republican Party. We need to figure out their numbers and where they need help in reorganizing and getting rid of the garbage.

Maybe Dems have to cross over into some Republican primaries in many states to help “weed-out” the bad guys. And the bad women. Maybe a few well-placed Dem dollars will help. Maybe Dems – some, anyway – will need to keep their GOP registration for the general election if their own candidates are “safe.”

I don’t have the answer. Nobody does. That’s why the 2022 primary election is so damned important. Maybe we’ll know a little more about the size of the knowledgeable and concerned Republicans by their vote and what the rest of us can do to help. Democrats. Independents. Whatever help is needed to wrest back control of the Republican Party. We need a functioning two-party system. Gotta have it!

We’ve got some dangerous incumbents in Arizona. Gosar. Biggs. Lesko. They’ve got qualified primary opponents that definitely need some Dems to show support in 2022. We’re workin’ on it.

Maybe your state does, too. Maybe Dems and Indy’s in your backyard need to take a close look at the competency of your folks in Congress . Can’t hurt. And, you’ll be a better-informed voter.

God, I hope so. We need a lot more of ‘em!

Dole remembered

Author: admin

Bob Dole died this week. Another “elderly” elephant in the GOP herd who’s gone but will not be forgotten by a lot of us.

I interviewed him a few times in Washington D.C. about 1970. He was a difficult interview for a young reporter from Idaho. Dole, of course, was world famous. And I was filled with false self-assurance and too young to be nervous.

The difficulty with Dole was, as the camera rolled, he would give me a thoughtful answer, pause about three seconds, then hit me with a zinger about somebody he knew in public life or had met at a cocktail party. The camera crew and I cracked up, laughing repeatedly as he did so. Dole could be a very funny man. He waited those three seconds because he knew that would give us enough time to edit out his zingers. And our laughter.

Dole was a pro in every sense of the word. He had straight answers no matter the interview. He always “cut-to-the-meat” of things with truth, a bit of wit and a gravelly voice.

Barry Goldwater was another such person. Wham! Bam! The answers came quickly and left some reporters – including me – struggling to come up with a follow-up question. The action was that quick.

The period between 1969 and 1972 was one of the best in my life. So long ago. A kid from Idaho, loaded with a background for a good local reporter’s job in Idaho, which amounted to nearly nothing anywhere else. But, there I was, diving into national politics and dealing with people I’d heard about only on national television.

I had quit my Idaho TV job “cold turkey,” drove to D.C. in two very long days and started a search for a reporting job which required a whole lot more education and experience than I had. And I got very, very lucky.

All-news radio. The first station in the country to try it. And it worked! But, 24-hours of news meant a large staff and a lot of work. Filling those hours with news stories and features was a tough job.

But, as I said, I lucked out and landed a “vacation relief” position filling staff shifts and assignments for others taking time off. When summer ended, a couple of guys had found other jobs which created some openings. So, with three months of work – and a lot of luck – the “kid from Idaho”got a full time job.

And, there they were. Dole, Goldwater, Humphrey, Dirksen, Sam Ervin, Howard Baker, Daniel Inouye, Kissinger, a Kennedy or two, Robert McNamara, Sam Nunn, Lowell Weicker and dozens of others. And, of course, Nixon.

Though there were a couple of Congressional investigations of Nixon going on, it was pre-Watergate time. Access to news-makers was easier to get than now, both at work and informally. Many of the famous of the time were a lot different when not “on stage.” Bourbon and branch-water, scotch and cold martinis often showed a different side. Many of the Massachusetts Avenue embassies were open for after-work cocktails for ambassadors and staffs, politicians and even the media. Even the Soviets.

But, the several times I was fortunate to be around Bob Dole, I count as most memorable in that time of many memorable people and events. In person, he came across as someone you’d like to get to know better. The terrible wounds of war he survived – more than three years in rehab – seem to have made him realize how fragile life was and he was determined to make the most of it.

Bob Dole was a man to reckon with. And, if he entered your life – no matter how infrequently or momentarily – he was someone to b remembered. A very good man.

Please pardon an old desert rat’s carrying on about his own life in the process.