Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Adding Insult To Irony

February 24, 2022

            Although the major news event of the week is happening overseas with the fascist takeover of the sovereign nation of Ukraine by we-never-can-forget-being-Soviet Russia, S*** still happens here in Ohio. The super majority GOP Ohio legislature has been busy, though not on the constitutionally mandated, and Ohio Supreme Court ruling required, drawing of non-gerrymandered redistricting maps. It must be in the genes, this disregard of what 70% of the electorate voted in, as well as contempt for Ohio Supreme Court rulings (see school funding rulings for the last 20+ years). No, Ohio’s GOP legislators have been so traumatized by the events that happened in the nation’s capital on January 6, 2021, that they could only focus on affairs of the heart (Ohio being the heart of it all, etc.). All GOP (all the time) sponsored Ohio House Bill 109 just passed the house and is currently in the Senate (on its way to the governor). It seeks “to increase penalties for certain assault, vandalism, and riot offenses, to allow peace officers to bring civil suits against persons participating in a riot, and to prohibit bias motivated intimidation of first responders.” Although not a co sponsor of HB 109, Newark’s own Mark Fraizer IS a co sponsor of sister legislation, Ohio HB 325, currently wooing support in the Ohio House. This proposed revision of the Ohio code is “regarding a political subdivision’s emergency powers when suppressing a riot, mob, or potential riot or mob and the preservation of rights regarding firearms during an emergency.” The allure that seduced Mr. Fraizer is the staunch protection of Second Amendment Rights during a riot, mob, or emergency (or all of the above). Briefly stated, it disallows Ohio Constitution Home Rule provisions during such events by disallowing any action restricting firearm, ammunition or explosives sale or possession, etc. in managing such events. You can close the liquor stores and gas stations, but you can’t shutter the gun dealers. Ohio HB 109 takes what is already legislated as unlawful (your assaults, vandalisms and sundry riot offenses), and makes them even more illegal with the added onus (à la Texas abortion ban) of allowing civil suits to be brought against demonstration organizers (organized demonstrations corrupted by already illegal violent acts). Analysis can only show that these legislative ventures are meant to aid GOP political subdivision administrators and prosecutors to follow the law in such emergencies, especially after the directive by the Republican National Committee that such occurrences are “legitimate political discourse.” Atta Boy, Mark! You let ‘em know a thing or two about legitimate political discourse. Returning to the major news of the week, happening overseas but once again in everyone’s living room, Analysis marvels at the President’s chutzpa in requesting that Americans look to tighten their belts during a war we are not even engaged in. This, since the inception of the all volunteer professional U.S. military, after how many active wars (your Gulf War, your Iraq War, your 20 year Afghanistan War, your War on Terror, etc.) where Americans were specifically instructed to go out and buy Hummers and spend like there’s no tomorrow. And now, all of a sudden, tomorrow is here?

Leave It To The Pros

August 15, 2021

            Your Viet Nam, not ours. Ours joined us for dinner every night on the televised evening news. Yours was a story you, or the evening news, could choose to follow (if that was your media of choice), or not. Most of our dead, and those doing our fighting and killing, were conscripted by Uncle Sam. Most of those fighting, killing and dying in Afghanistan contracted with Sam to defend the Second Amendment, the Constitution and all the other Amendments (the how and why of it all was irrelevant). The volunteer Army, formed after our Viet Nam, worked hard to promote itself as a professional military career with attractive pay, sign up bonuses and benefits. Our Viet Nam was actively opposed, pressuring one President to not run for re-election, and another to resign in the disgrace of his lies. Yours was treated as an occasion to promote the economy (“Buy a truck or Hummer!”), just another part of that same economy, an unpleasant chore which 4 presidents had to deal with. Each had more pressing concerns in the service of capitalism. Our Viet Nam gave rise to both side-ism in journalistic reporting, something considered treasonous just 20 years prior in the aftermath of the big one – WWII (the McCarthy era, Joe not Kevin). Jane Fonda was never forgiven. Although the whiff of treason has long since abated, both side-ism got lost somewhere in the workings of a professional military after 9/11 (as has vociferous opposition to “the war”); soon to be the self same loss of interest after the financial meltdown of 2008 (with the self same loss of vociferous opposition). Indeed, both side-ism in news reporting seems to follow a logic all its own, creating pros and cons totally divorced from any grassroots boots on the ground. Political tool anyone? Analysis finds ours was a failed revolution that made your Viet Nam a corporate collapse on a scale even greater than the Bush meltdown of 2008. Leave it to the pros.

Visuals

May 2, 2021

            Large item in the national news this past week was the President’s address to a “socially distanced” (to put it mildly) joint houses of congress. This was followed by the institutionally de rigueur rebuttal speech by the opposing party. Both were meant primarily for the prime time television viewing audience. That kind of explains the institutional requirement of a follow up address by the party opposed to the president. Which makes little sense in an age when folks can choose where and when to “tune in” on a device of their choosing. Also the institutional obligation to have a party in opposition. Analysis finds it not so hard to imagine both, if not multiple parties, without opposition but difference. But back to the visuals of the two events. Front and foremost was that of the addressors, one an old white guy, the other a young black guy. Background is important. It contributes context (which is why all those weathermen get blown over standing outside in a hurricane, or wading with alligators during a flood). Behind President Biden were the official government trappings of our representative democracy. These consisted of the leaders of the house and senate as well as one big flag which back dropped all three. Any head-on shot showed the flag behind the president even if it didn’t show Speaker Pelosi or Vice President Harris. The president always had a red or white stripe rising up vertically behind him. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott’s background consisted of the mandatory flag, only this time it was in the multiple. The surprise wasn’t the number, or kind (there were flags of the US as well as SC), but the angle at which they were presented. It was hard not to notice as one was forced to continuously “adjust” the upright Scott to the skewed backdrop while following his address. It was impossible not to notice that the multiple flags were arranged as a backslash diagonal (\), with the head of the flag starting above the speaker’s right side and sloping to his lower left. Coincidence? Was the senator leaning to the right?  It was hard to tell since, other than the senator himself, there was no vertical visual in the image field (such as a podium). Analysis concludes this was deliberate, and symbolic. Much as Scott’s address relied on flag, family and religion without any point by point rebuttal to the previous presidential address of specific policy proposals, so the special effects  folks at the opposing party relied on symbolic presentation to carry through this absence of any reasoned conversation (or argument). Multiple flags for multiple America’s. State flag given equal space and arrangement with national flag. Right at the top with left near the floor. Etc. Why the emphasis and reliance on symbol? Analysis finds it is precisely because symbols elide and negate reasoned conversation (debate) that they are employed as a means of political propaganda. The symbol embodies all kinds of feelings and fuzzy imagining, but only to the chosen ones who recognize it. Voila! Scott can say on television, in a short time spot, what cannot be verbalized in reasoned debate (conversation). So the backdrop contributed to the baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet speech, successfully creating a unified visual reply without voicing any kind of policy proposal as to why or why not.

In The Heat Of The Night

December 9, 2020

            Not! Some of the news of the past week reinforces why the more things change, the more they stay the same. In The Heat Of The Night romantically tried to suggest change, or the mechanics of inevitable change. But this week’s news, taken together, gives a totally different and more sobering portrait. President elect Biden has proffered retired General Lloyd Austin as incoming Secretary of Defense. Upon retiring Austin gladly joined the board of Raytheon, a major defense department contractor and proud member of the military industrial complex. Now Austin will leave the “selling” side and be on the “buying” side of the equation. The revolving door continues to spin with the transition of power. Closer to home preliminary autopsy results indicate Casey Goodson Jr. suffered a homicide at the hands of Franklin County SWAT deputy Jason Meade. Meade shot Goodson multiple times in the torso at the doorstep of Goodson’s residence. Goodson was not under any investigation or warrant for arrest, etc. What the motive for shooting multiple rounds into an innocent man remains to be manipulated though “the deputy feared for his life” whispers in the bushes. Indeed, in the midst of the BLM protests re-elected Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther painted an equally romantic portrait of change for Columbus city administration as well as policing. Double indeed, this rhetoric of change within the department of policing was mouthed by Ginther when the new chief was hired to replace outgoing chief Kim Jacobs in 2019. The new chief, Tom Quinlan, was specifically chosen over his out of state contender because Quinlan had risen through the ranks of the Cols. PD and was therefore more “familiar” with the workings of the department, as well as the city. The Dispatch reports that Ginther had directed Quinlan to have the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation run the Goodson homicide investigation (rather than the Cols. PD). OBCI (under the direction of Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost) deferred, claiming they were asked to take over too late (3 days in). So much for being “familiar” with how the city and department of policing works. Even closer to home, Newark, this week’s news is a BOGO. We have the revolving door AND the “familiar” raison d’etre combined! Headlined “Mayor appoints former police sergeant to Newark safety director” Victor Black reports on the transition of power (Advocate,12-8-20). “Newark Mayor Jeff Hall announced Monday the appointment of [Tim] Hickman to replace Steve Baum, who became police chief in July. Hickman spent 32 years in the police department before his retirement and the last two years with the Department of Development, primarily supporting property maintenance.” “The new safety director, who was sworn in on Monday, said he does not plan on making any major changes to the position.” “”Tim brings years of experience with our wonderful city and displays great leadership skills and enthusiasm,” [Newark mayor Jeff] Hall said. “I congratulate Tim on his new position and look forward to working with him as we continue to move the city of Newark forward.”” Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Put away your fictional reality of change presented by a book, movie or TV series. The mechanics of inevitable change, not!, is present, front and center, everyday. Just follow the news!

The Question Of Secret Service Protection Entitlement

November 6, 2020

            The dominant news of the past week has been, regrettably, overshadowed by lesser affairs. The Covid 19 coronavirus has come roaring back, pretty much throughout the US. Most residents of Newark, Ohio and America have set their attention on the recent presidential election. This is unfortunate. Virus spread is unaffected by willfulness, the very essence of democratic process. True, true, true, mindful activity (like wearing a mask, etc.) does have a profound effect on the spread of viruses. But you don’t need Jon Kabat-Zinn to tell you that willfulness is not the same as mindfulness. Analysis finds the mixed bag of news from the past week to be full of little caveats of insight. Mike Dewine’s early success (and kudos) with regard to his handling of the coronavirus in Ohio went south with his caving to the political pressure of Trumpers following the resignation of Amy Acton. Now he’s in over his head without a clue, or a handle, on how to deal with the pandemic. Infections have sky rocketed 5 fold state wide from the previous weeks. But the economy is open which makes the Trumpers glad. Analogous to the virus, the Trumpers will not go away, no matter the election outcome. Much as Bernie (with Jimmy Fallon) accurately predicted the election week just past, so Bernie bros forecast the ineffectualness of the Biden candidacy. True, true, true, normal, calm and decency are valuable, especially now. But what was the first thing Mitch McConnell said after the Obama Biden win of 08? The number one priority is to get rid of Obama. McConnell, like the Trumpers, isn’t going to just disappear because there is a new administration. The national news coverage, along with some GOP politicians, is suddenly shocked at what a blatantly mendacious person Dear Leader is. What took you so long? Or rather, where have you been? The continuous lying will not cease because he is out of office. Analysis can only conclude that decent Americans have 4 years, and only 4 years, to get  Donald Trump imprisoned, on whatever charges – tax evasion, sexual assault, genocide (the pandemic deaths), corruption, whatever. After that, like the coronavirus, he will come roaring back full of lies, misinformation, disinformation, overt corruption and criminality. The question, not asked by the national news outlets, is whether a former president of the US is entitled to Secret Service protection while sitting in jail. Analysis finds supreme irony in all this. A Bernie Sanders welfare state legitimizes entitlement while a fascist Trumpist state denigrates entitlement, valorizing personal responsibility and self reliance in all matters.

First Impressions

September 29, 2020

            Psychologists and personality gurus tell us that immediate first impressions are what set up lasting relationships, lasting biases, lasting affinities. Sometimes these first impressions can be 180 degrees off, and then it is a struggle to reset the acquaintance. But first impressions do have an indelible effect. What is hardest is to catch the first impressions as they occur, to catch the auto pilot mind as it is operating in order to create the space for more sustainable reflection. Dream catchers are of little help. So it was with tonight’s first 2020 presidential debate. No room here for Analysis to dissect the oxymoron “presidential debate.” First impression, it was more like moronic presidential debate. But the first impression, the very first appearance on stage that the camera focused on was the entrance of America’s commander in chief, our incumbent Dear Leader. What did Trump do with his hair? His current do was coifed markedly different from his previous appearances. Either he is losing hair or his budgeted $70,000 stylist was instructed to make a more political statement for the sake of his base. The usually contrived comb over (which Rosie O’Donnell made so famous) was only half there. Normally the haircut favors the right side springing the heaviest, thickest strands from the back left over to the right, and then back in the direction of the left again. This time the thinner hair favored the right with the thicker locks cascading off the left. Significant? Doubtful, but neither was anything that came out of the maw located south of the hairline. Not even complete sentences, Just bytes and whistles, like twitter incarnate. Old tapes of Trump rallies would be indiscernible from what was called a “presidential debate” for our Dear Leader. For the most part his opponent stayed civil, though a bit mousy. He seemed to “roar” (if it could be called that) only when invoking the lives of his sons. Analysis came away with three takeaways; If the polls go down for Dear Leader directly after the first “presidential debate,” there won’t be any second or third debate (see Dear Leader’s rationale for accepting the outcome of the election for that one). The first “presidential debate” displayed this country’s current state of malignant normalcy in all its fetid offal-ness (every pun intended). The final takeaway differed little from the initial impression of the first “presidential debate.” It left one totally exhausted.

Why Mail In Voting Does Not Benefit Democrats

April 28, 2020

Just minutes ago the pretend primary was closed in Ohio. Already the major news networks project Joe Biden as the winner. Not hard to project the GOP winner as Dear Leader ran unopposed. Why bother with a projection? Governor Mike Dewine cancelled the originally scheduled March 17 primary via his Health Director, Amy Acton. This occurred the very night before the scheduled election. By March 16, 2020 the primary contest for the Presidential candidate on the Democrat side was down to 2 viable contenders. Anyone planning to vote already had made up their mind by the night before the primary. There was no New Hampshire experience of deciding in the polling booth. The news behind the spectacle news of projected winner is that voter turnout was historically low for a presidential primary (especially compared with 2016). The Ohio legislature determined the new, April 28 primary date by fiat before the end of March. Democrats could have executed their March 17 choices any time after that. They didn’t. They didn’t bother to vote because with every mailed in bill for utilities, credit card, insurance or cable bill is a reminder on the return envelope to “save the cost of a stamp –pay electronically.” And they do. So bothering to express their choice for the Democrat candidate was, yawn, a bit of a bother. Going to the mall, coffee shop, concert or church is an event, an opportunity to see and be seen. Ditto for in person, going to the voting precinct to cast a ballot. One even gets an Ohio heart voting sticker. But Democrats chose not to vote during the mail in pretend election Ohio just had. In the fall there will once again be only two viable candidates for the office of President. In boxing title fights, you have to beat the champ. Dear Leader will bother his GOP base to bother and turn out no matter what the conditions are. In addition he will bother to eliminate the postal service, as we’ve heretofore known it, by the fall  election. The Democrats’ historic, actual, real response to voting by mail (as evidenced by the just completed Ohio pretend election) — why bother? Save a stamp as the major news networks will project a winner before the actual fall voting takes place (as they did in 2016). Why bother?

Return To Normalcy

April 20, 2020

“America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate,” Joe Biden? Nope. Warren Harding 100 years ago during the 1920 presidential contest (which he won). “Return to Normalcy” was his campaign slogan. (Joe Biden’s ‘Return to Normalcy’ Campaign Has Echoes of 1920 by Ryan Teague Beckwith, Bloomberg, 4-11-29). Beckwith writes that the nation was traumatized by the enormous mechanized butchery of WWI, the loss of a half million people due to the Spanish Flu, and 8 years of a very unpopular (and disliked) president. Writing for New Yorker magazine just at the start of the currently pervasive Covid 19 pandemic, Erich Lach headlined: Joe Biden, the Normalcy Candidate, Keeps Winning in Abnormal Times (3-18-20). He writes of Biden in 2019: “He was the normalcy candidate. He asked voters not to look ahead, to potential policies like Medicare for All or free public colleges, but to look back, to the Obama Administration and its relative stability. Wouldn’t a restoration be nice? Let’s remember who we are.” Then his description for mid March 2020: “In polls, voters said that they liked the policy ideas put forward by Sanders and others. But, at polling places, they went for Biden.” His succinct last line gives the wistful: “But now, with many Americans shut up in their homes, or soon to be, many voters continue to say that a return to normal sounds pretty good.” Does it? Two Americans who have steadfastly stuck with their assessment (repeatedly over years), and have not been shy about voicing it, are Anthony Fauci and Bernie Sanders. Fauci would disagree about a rosy return to “normalcy” anytime soon. His sober prognostication on the future of handshakes when greeting forebodes any future “return to normalcy.”  In a NY Times Op Ed (Bernie Sanders: The Foundations of American Society Are Failing Us, 4-19-20) Sanders underlines the current fundamentals: “We are the richest country in the history of the world, but at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, that reality means little to half of our people who live paycheck to paycheck, the 40 million living in poverty, the 87 million who are uninsured or underinsured, and the half million who are homeless.” “The absurdity and cruelty of our employer-based, private health insurance system should now be apparent to all. As tens of millions of Americans are losing their jobs and incomes as a result of the pandemic, many of them are also losing their health insurance.” “In truth, we don’t have a health care “system.” We have a byzantine network of medical institutions dominated by the profit-making interests of insurance and drug companies.” “Further, while doctors, governors and mayors tell us that we should isolate ourselves and stay at home, and rich people head off to their second homes in less populated areas, working-class people don’t have those options. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, and you lack paid medical and family leave, staying home is not an option.” He ends with: “If there is any silver lining in the horrible pandemic and economic collapse we’re experiencing, it is that many in our country are now beginning to rethink the basic assumptions underlying the American value system.” Analysis finds the longing for “normalcy” to include the desire for a normal presidential election in November. If that should ever materialize in any “normal” sense is dubious, given the aberrant preliminaries. Either way Analysis finds it is shaping up to be a contest of mythic proportions – the myth of “Make America Great Again” versus the myth of “Return To Normalcy.”

Days Of Irony: Gaslighting For Beginners

April 5, 2020

Analysis shows irony instrumental in gaining insight into the totality of a nation being consumed by Covid 19. The dictionary’s primary definition is “the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite” but the supplement speaks more to the times we live in: “a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.” After all, we all are consumed by the news we consume which is essentially a literary technique; Dear Leader’s daily propaganda conferences come to mind. Which brings up the local leadership of not only Newark’s Mayor Jeff Hall, as well as the Licking County Commissioners – all MIA. But when they do surface (Local governments brace for possible recession as coronavirus pandemic continues, 4-4-20, The Advocate) their primary concern is the projected loss of revenue. As long as the dollars show up, what difference does it make whether there is a healthy hand or sick one holding it? The last time we heard from the Licking County Health Department was its refusal to allow for a needle exchange. Be safe Newark! Staying with the politics of it all, what if they gave an election and no one showed up? The slightest proposed gun regulation legislation always provokes swift and vociferous protest while Ohio’s primary being shifted to a “mail in” election, slated less than a month after legislation, is received with not even a whimper. The irony is that the alternate date of April 28 (and mail in format) was lobbied for by none other than David Pepper and the Ohio Democratic Party. Ostensible reason was for the expediency of vetting delegates for the July convention. Ironically, the anointed candidate for said convention changed the date of that convention to August (or even September). The irony grows when one considers that nasty old Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders mucking up party unity with all his agitated speech about income inequality, direct universal healthcare, free higher education and childcare. Too radical for the American people to embrace! They’d prefer Biden’s more moderate ACA HMO approach that determines ahead of time, for the doctors, who deserves care and who doesn’t qualify. Or Dear Leader’s “be nice to me” approach of dispensing patronage health care benevolence. NOT. Ironically (which is the theme of this posting), Covid 19 has shown otherwise. The current time sees an active preference for universal direct health care, forgiveness of student debt and child care urgency. There are smaller ironies, like abortion clinics “needing” to be closed while churches (and gun stores) “need” to be left open. Some rights are essential rights while others are non essential. But the largest, most blatant irony of them all is that, in just over 10 years, “free market” capitalism has required a total bail out of enormous proportions, again! This is no small individual bank collapse or savings and loan scandal. We’re talking maintaining and subsidizing an entire system to make sure it doesn’t become something else, entirely or partially (think hybrid cars). Both the incumbent candidate, Dear Leader, as well as his presumed opponent, Joe Biden, advocate bailing out the entire “free market” system in order to maintain and preserve it. Free market capitalism has abdicated responsibility for any of it through promotion of entrepreneurial agency (subjectivity), personal choice (and responsibility for) individual health care, retirement, employment, etc. The ultimate irony lies in the solution to the collapse of these entrepreneurial enterprise, self employed subjects with the current crisis. Stay at home or go to work? The token response is a one time cash hand out “dole” that is way short of even smelling like Mr. Sanders’ capitalist socialist state (with the added welfare insinuation that a “dole” implies and all); all done to ensure the health, safety and exclusivity of “free market” capitalism in these days of Covid 19.

Questions

March 29, 2020

Today the inhabitants of mother earth are asking questions which have no answers. Analysis has found this to always have been the case, only today the earth’s inhabitants are keenly aware of it. The status quo has always been questions without readily available answers. In a heightened state of consciousness, the status quo becomes news. NPR reports that the national approval rating of the US President’s handling of the Covid 19 pandemic is at 58%. WKYC reported like numbers for Ohioans. Reuters reported that the residents of Wuhan China have been allowed to venture out after being under virtual lockdown. The question remains as to what percentage of people in  the US, along with the citizens of Ohio will quit self isolation if and when the US President says it is safe to do so? The state of New York has joined a long list of other states to defer their primary election until June 2, 2020. Ohio legislators opted for a mail in primary, April 28. The census is also begging for an online/mail in response. With other things on its citizens’ minds, was the legislators’ solution a fair and equitable alternative, or a hurried voter suppression (snail mail turn around time for ballot request, receiving ballot, mailing in ballot, receiving and verifying vote in 4 weeks very short)? Various news outlets have been running autopsies on what happened with the Sanders campaign. 3-25-20 Washington Post  Sean Sullivan’s dissection (Insiders recount how Sanders lost the black vote) interviews many current and past operatives. It ignores the Bloomberg factor (which was viable at the time of the SC primary) and answers its one question with what everyone already knew, way deep in the latter half of the article: “In the eyes of some Sanders aides, there was little he could have done to reverse the loyalty that Biden spent decades building among black voters. Others felt that the campaign misjudged how impactful Biden’s institutional support would be.” The valorization of loyalty above all else is now shared as a priority by both the incumbent GOP candidate and the likely DEM challenger for US President. The institutional disdain of the Democratic Party for Mr. Sanders candidacy goes way back. Bloomberg could buy televised enthusiasm but little else. Sanders could get folks to appear at rallies but not at the polls. And Biden? He got the primary vote. Which got the conservative National Review to headline “Does anyone remember Joe Biden?” (3-24-20). Indeed, without an enthusiastic core of followers, Joe likewise hunkered down with a base that is preoccupied with its own high risk of fatally contracting Covid 19. In a perverse turn, never Democrats like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, propagandist Glenn Beck and Fox News Brit Hume (and others) have promoted a solution to the threat to capitalism in the US (the economic fallout of the spread of Covid 19) – the country should rid itself of its useless eaters, which just happens to be Biden’s unenthusiastic base. Where is Joe Biden?