Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

OPINION:
Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Kyrsten Sinema is taking lots of money from big pharma

OPINION:

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Are There Moles Within The Democratic Party?

By William Jones

A Minority of Two

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has emerged as one of the two biggest roadblocks to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  She left D. C.  recently for a fundraising trip to Europe. Sinema’s trip came amid ongoing negotiations over the bill and was a slap in the face to Democrats. Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, are the lone Democratic senate holdouts blocking the President’s proposal. These two holding out against the majority of their party, is a big deal.

Just Tell Us What You Want

Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, recently criticized Sinema. Sanders just wants to know what she would support. Other senators have similarly accused Sinema of stonewalling her own party, refusing to define a position. President Biden is said to be “exasperated” after hours of talks with her. He and others have complained that Sinema doesn’t “move” from her position in negotiations and show so little respect, she often fails to  “return calls from the White House.”

Looking Across The Pond

Lawmakers are barred from raising money from foreign sources. However,  members of Congress occasionally travel overseas to solicit donations from Americans living abroad. Those overseas donors tend to be affluent and well-connected. Ms. Sinema’s office declined to tell reporters how long she would be abroad. They also declined to disclose what countries she was visiting, or how the trip was being paid for. No further information was provided regarding additional fund-raising for her campaign.

Big Pharma

Aside from looking for off shore money the Arizona senator has been soaking up donations from the pharmaceutical industry and other corporate groups who want to kill key parts of the bill. I am here to report she has continued to make time to meet with those donors.

$5,800 Per Seat

Last month, Sinema held a fundraiser with five business groups that oppose President Biden’s bill, charging attendees up to $5,800 to attend a 45-minute event. Earlier this month, Sinema left Washington to go to Arizona, where she attended a ritzy donor “retreat” at a high-end resort and spa, with no small donors in sight.

Refuses to Meet Constituents

Sinema’s refusal to engage elected members of her own party has extended to her constituents. Numerous constituents have complained that Sinema will not meet with them, either in her office or at a town hall. She has steadfastly refused to hold a single town hall since her election. Multiple groups within the sate of Arizona have already launched efforts to raise money in support of a Democratic primary challenger in 2024.

Hecklers Chase Sinema

Tensions have continued to rise between Sinema and her own constituents.  Arizona protesters repeatedly confronted the senator at several locations this month. Some even heckled her during a class presentation at Arizona State University and  then followed  her into a campus restroom. The Intercept reported that Sinema teaches an ASU class on fundraising, including topics like “how to cultivate large individual donors,” “opportunistic fundraising” and “corporate giving.” The topics alone leave little doubt as to her priorities.

Mounting Pressure Campaign

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the ‘moderate’ Arizona Democrat who has objected to the size and scope of President Biden’s sweeping legislative agenda, has been trailed all over the country by progressive activists in an effort to intensify public pressure on her.  Besides the bathroom incident, activists have followed her onto an airplane and even to the Boston Marathon.

Deeply Disappointing

The United States Senate is split 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. V.P. Harris is then available to provide the tie breaking vote. Democrats need every Democrat to stand united to pass any bill. These facts have greatly empowered both Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema as the party’s vocal holdouts. Ms. Sinema has pushed for the House to adopt a separate, bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill while the larger budget package is being negotiated. She called the delay in voting on the infrastructure package “inexcusable” and “deeply disappointing” in early October.

Conclusion

Kyrsten Sinema is on rocky ground with her electorate. Angry constituents are confronting her, she is pissing off the crowd in the White House, and she has angered nearly all of her fellow senate Democrats. Sometimes there isn’t enough money to save your reputation.  Sinema was sent to the Senate to work for her constituents not the drug companies. Wake up Senator Sinema. The country is begging for what is in this bill, do your part to make it happen.

 References

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/us/politics/kyrsten-sinema-fundraising-europe.html

https://www.salon.com/2021/10/14/kyrsten-sinema-ditches-senate-negotiations-for-fundraising-trip-to-europe/

OPINION: Halloween Identities


OPINION: Halloween Identities

Halloween is all about candy and ghosts.

OPINION: Halloween Identities

By Megan Wallin

The Unspoken

In the United States, there are five (unspoken) varying brands of Halloween, celebrated by distinctly different groups. These celebratory traditions exist in order to satisfy the holiday-savoring appetites of the average American, who—sadly relies on holidays and social media clicks for their happiness rather than access to affordable healthcare, parental leave, clean air and water, pothole free roads, safe bridges, tuition free college, and a whole array of policies that could change their real world.

Type One: The Family with Children

You know this type. They’re the  ones you buy candy for, leave on a porchlight, and decorate your house (just a little) in the hopes to see little witches and Disney characters bound up to your door with their hapless, usually sleep-deprived parents, as all the adults spend a night being tricked into treating their little ones. There’s a sort of child-centric quality to most holidays, undeniably, but Halloween ranks quite highly on the list, with dress-up and make-believe already being prominent tenets of their young lives.

Escapism

The motivation behind most families going out to celebrate Halloween is to make memories that give their children something to talk about with their friends at school or daycare, and to give the parents some time away from the responsibilities inherent in staying home. Trick or treating, especially with kids, allows an escape from both your usual surroundings and the identity you wear day in and day out as you about work, school, and house chores.

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Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

Plastic pollution is a world catastrophe

Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

By William Jones

What is Plastic?

Plastic is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum.  Plastic is ideally suited for a wide variety of applications. Packaging, building and construction, household and sports equipment, vehicles, electronics, and agriculture; the uses are endless. It is cheap, lightweight, strong and malleable. Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year. Half of plastic products are designed for single-use; such as shopping bags, cups, and straws. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences.

Oil, Natural Gas and Coal

More than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas, and coal — all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources. If current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption.

Worrying Trends

We produce about 300 million tonnes (metric tons) of plastic waste each year. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. We’re seeing  worrying trends. Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material. We’ve also seen a shift away from the production of durable plastic, and towards plastics that are meant to be thrown away after a single use. These single-use plastic products are everywhere. For many of us, they’ve become integral to our daily lives.

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Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Stay active as you age for a longer, happier life

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Twenty-Three Tips for the Silver Sneakers Crew

By D. S. Mitchell

A friend of mine since high school sent me the following advice on aging.  I looked on the internet to find the source of the article and I was directed to a cemetery/mortuary site in California as the origin of the text.  For some reason I found that extremely funny. Post-Internment is not the time to worry about such things, I said to myself. Despite those feelings I did feel that there was some good information and thought it was worth passing on.  Although the following is not in quotes it has been authored by some unknown person other than me and I would gladly credit their work if I knew their name.

Twenty-Three Tips for the Over 65 Crowd

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The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is in peril. Experts predict there will be no rainforest in 30 years.

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest 

The clock is ticking. The emergency real. Experts believe that in 30 years the Amazon rainforest will likely be, just a memory. . .

By Megan Wallin 

Ongoing Threat

The Amazon rainforest has been under threat for decades. Despite its indisputable ecological value and unspeakable beauty we are at risk of losing this incredible natural resource.  Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to protect the forest and reduce harmful emissions. His words don’t match his actions. Unparalleled development continues, transforming forest into farmland or deforested deserts. The entire ecosystem has been disrupted, all for the price of temporary, but immediate profit.

A Ravaged Landscape

According to Reuters, Brazil’s ecological losses have increased 1.8 percent just during 2020, losing roughly 1,062 square kilometers of forest to greed and corruption. But logging isn’t the only issue to blame in this scenario. Farmland conversion, wildfires, droughts and pollution have ravaged the land. More than one billion acres of rainforest have been transformed into public, government or miscellaneous use since the year 1990.

Losing Value

The worth of an intact and thriving Amazon rainforest amounts to approximately a whopping $8.2 billion , but the forest is losing its value both economically and environmentally.  This world wonder spreads across Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon rainforest extends over millions of miles, and provides a safe habitat for thousands of tropical animals. Furthermore, it is home to at least 500 tribal communities.

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Mask Know How

Mask Know-How

Masks and handwashing are important components in staying healthy during COVID-19

Mask Know-How

By D. S. Mitchell

The Rights & Safety of the Community Come First

I am amazed to hear all the screaming and hollering about the rights of the individual; as if the community had no meaning, or importance. Besides vaccines the 3 most effective things we can do to protect ourselves, our family and our society, against disease is to 1) wear a mask, 2) wash your hands, and 3) give yourself some distance, at least six feet.  These behaviors save lives.

The Reasons

The reason you wear a mask is to prevent mucus and saliva from escaping your nose and mouth,  when you speak, eat, cough, sneeze and breathe. When that mask is in place it is a barrier to the spread of diseases like COVID-19 is slowed dramatically. Conversely, a mask  shields you from other people’s droplets. If your glasses fog up, make your own nosepiece to keep warm breath from escaping the top of your mask. A small piece of tape works great, and you can use tape with both the reusable and the disposable masks. Your mask should fit snugly over the whole lower half of your face and chin. When your chin’s left uncovered, germs and viruses can creep in and reach your mouth, nose, and eyes. They can also escape from your mouth and pass to others. It can also let your mask ride up on your face, which can fog your glasses or even block your vision.

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*uck The Tuck

*uck The Tuck

Tucker Carlson started out as a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN

*uck The Tuck

By D. S. Mitchell

Remember When

I remember when Tucker Carlson was a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN and then later on MSNBC. This was when he was at least a semi-accurate, semi-reputable, semi-serious, semi-cautious journalist, that appeared to crave authenticity and most of all respectability. Truthfully since his move to Fox News(sic) I feel as though I have been watching the making of the Republican Darth Vader.  Anakin Skywalker, lured to the dark side, is now in his full power bending the minds of Americans and directing the guns of his Death Star at the foundations of American democratic thought every night at 8 pm.

Outrage-Driven Commentary

The Tuckster has turned deranged populism, hate spewing madness, irreverent contempt for decency, white outrage, racial grievance, and aggressive nastiness, into a combustive cocktail for his audience of over 3 million devoted followers. Whatever the topic may be-crime, ‘defund the police’, BLM, immigration, race, vaccines, education, health care, or the Democrats, Carlson uses it as fuel for his outrage-driven commentary. Red meat to the masses. Fox News is the Roman Coliseum of today.

Red Meat Culture

Carlson is a product of wealth and privilege. Some might call him a boarding school elitist. His racism and homophobia near legendary. He has always been a bomb thrower and a pompous ass, but over the last decade at Fox he has given up any pretense of journalism and his schtick has devolved into open senseless cruelty. After a visit to Iraq Carlson is reputed to have said, “it’s a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you known, semi-illiterate monkeys.” He has famously called women both “whores” and “pigs.”

A Change Overcomes Him

Tucker Carlson is now approaching five years as host of his hugely popular nightly political talk show, ‘Tucker Carlson, Tonight.’  His stint of peddling bullshit on Fox seems to have self-radicalized the man.  Whatever the topic he offers, he’s pissed off about it, and so should you be, he tells his audience.

Strongman Support

Whether it is vaccine skepticism, white nationalism, or his increased support of anti-democratic right-wing regimes around the world, Carlson is all about being an entitled white man. He recently wasted a week embracing and promoting Hungarian strongman, Viktor Orban. Even I have been amazed at Tuck’s open love affair with authoritarianism.  Of course it is white male authoritarianism he likes and supports, certainly not black,  brown, or female (ha, ha) dictators.

Are Tuck’s Questions Really Legitimate?

Carlson uses his platform to portray his bad faith attacks as honest, good faith inquiries. He sounds alarm bells over issues of fact under the guise of asking legitimate questions. There are answers to his questions, but Carlson suggests there are not. Conspiracy theories fill the ether as well as outright lies. Tucker, like Hannity has grown fat and bloated, continually sneering at liberal democracy as the seed of our destruction. He focuses on culture war stories that fuel the Republican base. Tucker Carlson is certainly the best the extremist right has to fan the fires of Trumpism and righteous Americana outrage.

Carlson’s Message

Tucker Carlson’s message is simple and he does not hesitate to play it over and over. The existential future of America is at stake. At the heart of the matter is the doomsday scenario painted by the right wing media.  Tucker Carlson believes America is on the verge of being lost, because old white men might lose political power in the United States. I’d say to Tucker, “about time.”

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2021/08/21/opinion-fox-news-and-its-shameless-bias/

Kaill McNeil: Alter-Narratives 9/12/2021

Kaill McNeil: ALTER-NARRATIVES 9/12/2021

ALTER-NARRATIVES

BAD Company

By Kaill McNeil

Backstory

If you want to know what someone is going to do tomorrow, look at what they did yesterday. Same with corporations, which are really just collections of people. Don’t stop there;  the same goes for nations. Although the term nation no longer applies, the state of Texas thinks it is a nation independent of the federal government.

Once a Nation

Texas was for a time an independent republic after it gained independence from Mexico in 1839. Immediately Texas began clamoring to join the United States. On 12/29/1845 Texas gave up its independent republic status and became the 28th state of the United States of America. Sadly, on 03/02/1861 Texas after 15 years in the union decided it would join in armed rebellion against the United States of America.  As part of the Confederacy, Texas attempted to secede from the union for the purpose of perpetuating slavery within its borders.

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“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

“FOX NEWS” and Shameless Bias

“You see, the truth is Murdoch has become a cancer – an arrogant cancer – on our democracy,” K. Rudd,  former Australian PM

OPINION:

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

D. S. Mitchell

“An Arrogant Cancer”

A democracy is dependent of diverse, reliable, independent, and accurate information. Kevin Rudd a former Australian prime minister has described Rupert Murdoch’s monopoly of Australia’s media as a “cancer on democracy,” that effectively serves “to chill free speech and undermine debate.” Mr. Rudd continued, “Murdoch has become a cancer – an arrogant cancer – on our democracy,” adding that over the past decade Murdoch has “viciously” campaigned against democracy in support of right wing, white  nationalism.

Politically Polarized and Manipulated News

The effect of Murdoch’s philosophy and his powerful media presence is not only effecting Australia, the UK but also the good ol USA, where media ownership has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few. The end result has been that Murdoch has deliberately encouraged politically polarized rhetoric and manipulated news for his own agenda.

Enemies In the Crosshairs
Rupert Murdoch through his company News Corp uses its power as a media Goliath to routinely attack his enemies whether it be in business or politics.  Murdoch uses his billions in wealth and power derived from that wealth as a media cudgel to “attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting,” alleging that, as a result, those “who hold contrary views have felt intimidated into silence.”
Typical Strategy
This is very similar to what we see in the United States with Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and the Tuck.  According to Rudd, Murdoch with the strength of his cable viewing audience seeks “to maximize his political power in. . . defense of his ideological interests; one being climate change denial.”

James Murdoch, one of the 90 year old mogul’s sons  revealed recently he had quit his position on the board of New Corp because of “disagreements over certain editorial content … and certain other strategic decisions.”  Most particularly he pointed to the company’s coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency. He continued, “I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do, and that’s important. But it shouldn’t be in a way that hides agendas,” James Murdoch said in a New York Times interview. It should be noted that James and his wife give millions to liberal causes and democratic candidates in direct opposition to his father’s espoused philosophy.

James Murdoch Should Know

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Cori Bush: The Face of Perseverance

Cori Bush: The Face of Perseverance

Tenacity, Perseverance and Determination, all in one woman, Cori Bush

On Friday 7/30/2021  First term Congresswoman Cori Bush sat down on the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives with a camping chair, a sleeping bag, and a commitment to stop the potential eviction of millions of Americans from their homes.

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

Those At Risk

When it became clear that neither Congress nor the White House was going to act to stop a pandemic-era federal eviction moratorium from expiring, leaving hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of low-income Americans at risk for eviction from their homes Cori Bush stepped up.  Ms. Bush — now 45 and a first-term Democratic congresswoman from St. Louis — felt a familiar flood of anxiety and a flash of purpose in the face of the pending crisis.

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