Michael Trimble Unlikely Candidate

Editor Comment: Normally CNP steers away from local political news and candidates (Oregon and SW Washington), concentrating primarily on national issues. However, Mike Trimble, a black horse in the race, is a fascinating fellow and deserves some national exposure. Thanks, Megan Wallin for sharing your great interview with Mr. Trimble.  Thank you, Mr. Trimble for sharing your thoughts and your pictures.

Michael Trimble:

Unlikely Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate

By Megan Wallin

Michael Trimble is a fresh face on the political fied

A Bit of Background

The first thing someone might notice about Michael Trimble, one of Oregon’s more unlikely gubernatorial candidates, is not the fact that he lacks arms—or the fact that he is usually wearing a bike helmet as he commutes almost exclusively via a modified bicycle—but his enthusiasm.

Trimble is the odd man out in the Oregon governor race, something he would be the first to own, calling himself a true “grassroots candidate.”

“I’ve always been an advocate, because I was born in an orphanage, and I never met my biological parents,” he began, before elaborating on how that impacted him. “So in an orphanage, you basically learn at a very young age that you have to fend for yourself, and since I had no arms, that just doubled down.”

“And then when I was adopted by Christian evangelical parents who were ‘told by God’ to adopt a boy without arms and a girl who had legs but could not walk, that became my next challenge.” Their religious beliefs led them to adopt the young Michael.

In his words, he “went from the frying pan of the orphanage system in Russia into the fires of Christian evangelicalism.”

Trimble spoke more about the uniqueness of his situation, explaining that while most people within the foster system have been taken out of their biological homes and are seeking adoption, he went to caseworkers seeking protection from abuse within his adopted home.

The abuse, he stated, was widely overlooked due to the family’s religious practices, which seemed to indeed cover a multitude of sins in the state of Pennsylvania.

“Technically, in Pennsylvania, they didn’t consider what was being done to me as child abuse even though all the social workers said, quite frankly, it was unforgivable.”

We didn’t really get along from day one,” he said of his adoptive parents in the states, calling the situation “unfortunate.”

“It was a very stormy relationship,” he concluded. “Some families are just never meant to be, and we were definitely an example. They adopted me with good spirits and good intentions, but the execution was really, really poor.”

While he acknowledged this answer may seem a bit “long winded,” his point was clear: He has been resourceful and independent from a young age.

“I would like to extend that fighting spirit…as governor and fight for those who don’t fight for themselves.”

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Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Lines at food banks were long during the height of the COVID pandemic

Did Ivanka Mismanage Food Program?

“Of course,” she did, says investigative congressional committee

Ivanka is at the center of  another scandal involving fraud, incompetence, and mismanagement

By D. S. Mitchell

Numb To Outrage

I thought I was numb to the outrageous behavior of the Trump family, and those in their orbit, but I am not. Yesterday, I was perusing the internet, instead of doing what needed to be done. Anyway. . . I came across an article on ProPublica about the mishandling of the Food to Families Program from last spring and then the same story with updates popped up again in a Palmer Report article last week.

Pulling Back The Veil

Ivanka Trump, unveiled the program in May 2020.  According to congressional investigators, Ivanka spearheaded the idea to include the letter from her father in each of the boxes.  Private contractors were told by the USDA that the letter was mandatory. Food bank operators told congressional investigators the letter concerned them because it was politically biased.

The Dig Continues

I continued digging. I discovered that last week The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis,  published their report on the debacle. Sadly, the conclusion was that that former President Donald Trump’s administration, under the leadership of his daughter Ivanka, failed miserably at delivering food to families as promised.

Furthermore, the year long congressional investigation identified problems with the deliveries themselves; including food safety issues, spoiled food, failed deliveries, and uneven food distribution. Recipient organizations complained some contractors forced them to accept more food than they could distribute or store. That’s why, under the Trump administration, the Food to Families program was created. This program was supposed to get food into the hands and mouths of needy families. “Supposed to” are the keywords. It turns out, like, with everything else Trump & Associates touched, this program fell apart.

Whistle While You Work

ProPublica reports that the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience, and in many cases companies that lacked the necessary licenses for the contracts they applied for. Contractor applications were not adequately screened or vetted; nor did officials follow up on red flags in bid proposals. Money was foolishly wasted, grievously mishandled, probably stolen, and most assuredly misappropriated for political campaigning.

Conclusion

Why is that? To start with Ivanka was involved. According to new reporting  millions of dollars were misused and squandered. And much of the money went to bogus contracts being given to unqualified and inexperienced companies. There was little screening of said applications, according to the investigators. Some of the funds were also used to promote President Trump in various ways. Who would have guessed that? Remember that letter Ivanka Trump insisted be included in the food packages? The now infamous letter bragged about what a good job Daddy Trump was doing with the pandemic response. Democrats point out that the letter appears to violate the Hatch Act. No surprise there. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so predictable and so corruptly Trump.

OPINION: Stop Voter Suppression

OPINION: Stop Voter Suppression

Voter suppression and subversion is nothing new

OPINION:

Stop Voter Suppression 

Election Subversion & Suppression: dilution of voter’s Influence

 

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

Look to the Constitution

The U.S. Constitution defines who is eligible to vote. For example, you must be a U.S. citizen over 18 years of age to vote. Each person can vote only once in a given election. Pretty straight forward stuff.

To Clarify

Voter fraud means ineligible votes get counted (ex. husband votes for Trump using dead wife’s mail-in ballot.) Voter suppression refers to any effort to prevent eligible voters from being allowed to vote.(ex. politicians divide up congressional districts to benefit their own political party, diluting the opponents impact at the ballot box.) Any manipulation of the vote goes against the democratic ideal.

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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/

Sensible Joe, or Joe McNaughty?

OPINION:

Sensible Joe, or Joe McNaughty?

OPINION:

Sensible Joe, or Joe McNaughty?

Is it about the interests of West Virginians, fossil fuel, or himself ? 

By William Jones

Hackles are Up

West Virginia lawmaker Joe Manchin has been raising a lot of hackles amongst the Democratic caucus. Joe recently  announced that he wasn’t on board with the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. In fact, he said he was considering voting no when the package comes up for a vote. He wants everybody to slow it down and delay voting on it until 2022.

Last Best Chance

The Biden spending measure is vital. The opportunity is here to raise millions out of poverty and pass a substantive climate policy. The clock is ticking. The 2022 mid-terms are just around the corner.  Historically, the party out of power will re-take the House of Representatives, in the first two years of a new president’s term. So Manchin’s latest hairpin turn has attracted a lot of negative attention from his Democratic colleagues. As for Manchin, he can’t walk down the halls of congress without a flotilla of reporters following in hot pursuit, desperate to find out if he will continue to thwart his political party’s platform and his party’s president’s personal agenda.

Praise From the Press

Since his declaration, a piece in National Review has praised what it saw as Manchin’s fiscal instincts and willingness to stand up to fellow Democrats. A Brookings blog post argued that “his main concern that additional deficit financed spending adds to inflation risks is not unfounded.” A former adviser suggested to The Washington Post that Manchin is fundamentally mysterious and his vote is, as usual, unpredictable.

Counting the Money

Joe Manchin, though, made half a million dollars last year off his son’s coal company, meaning that coal paid him roughly three times the $174,000 salary he made last year as a public servant. Pundits don’t need to look much beyond that to understand what’s driving him.

And There’s More Money

Manchin has earned more than $4.5 million from Enersystems Inc. and Farmington Resources Inc., two coal industry companies he founded in the 1980s. He probably likes all the attention he’s getting, too. Maybe he fancies himself a champion of the forgotten man. But if on a given day you are trying to understand what Joe Manchin’s priorities are, it’s probably best to look to the priorities of the companies he’s gotten money from.

Lobbyists and Donations

In June, Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy told the Unearthed, a Greenpeace investigative outlet, that Manchin was among their key targets and that he’s participated in weekly meetings with company operatives. Overall, though, he’s received more donations from coal, oil, and gas companies this campaign cycle than every other senator.  Manchin got $10,000 from Exxon Mobil for his 2018 reelection campaign. His top donor so far for the 2022 cycle is Tellurian Inc., a gas company.

In Compliance 

Manchin’s spokesperson recently said the senator is in full compliance with all Senate ethics and financial disclosure rules. He also stated that Manchin continues to work to find a path forward on important climate legislation that maintains American leadership in energy innovation and critical energy reliability.

Denials All Around

Manchin has also denied the weekly meeting allegations in the Unearthed report. Manchin is working to ensure that the bill’s $150 billion clean electricity measure—the Clean Electricity Performance Program—will “protect and extend the use of coal and natural gas.” The senator has made it clear that he does not support legislation that would eliminate the burning of those fossil fuels — particularly coal and natural gas.

Conclusion

Politics can be ego-driven as well as cash-driven: Many politicians after all, just want to guard their piece of the congressional sandbox and yelp whenever that territory may appear threatened. But money certainly talks in Washington, and the kind coming to Joe Manchin from the fossil fuel industry appears to be screaming out against a progressive and meaningful climate policy.

References

https://newrepublic.com/article/163723/joe-manchin-vote-fossil-fuel

 

Jeff Bezos: On To The Stars

Jeff Bezos: On To The Stars

In 3 decades Jeff Bezos has gone from selling books in his garage online to the richest man in the world.

Jeff Bezos: On To The Stars

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

 

A Gifted Child

A gifted child born to a teen mom, Bezos grew up never knowing his biological father. Reportedly the father was a top-rated unicyclist and circus performer. Jeff’s mother soon married a Cuban immigrant who had fled the Communist revolution. Miguel Bezos had his life shattered when his elite private Jesuit school was closed and his family’s lumberyard seized.

Passion And Struggle

When Jeff Bezos first started an online book shop in his garage in 1994, even he would have struggled to envision the sheer size and impact of Amazon today. With the internet still in its infancy, Bezos’ foresight on all things digital, combined with his passion for retail, enabled him to devise a revolutionary model for how consumers would one day purchase their goods. Fast forward 27 years, and Amazon has the infrastructure and the know-how to capitalize on an e-commerce market that continues to sky-rocket in popularity and profit.

Jeff Defined E-commerce

Bezos ran the mammoth technology corporation across three decades. Under his leadership, Amazon has become a dominant force in online retail, cloud hosting, media production, and artificial intelligence. Bezos helped define e-commerce as we know it and made ordering from Amazon the default for millions of shoppers locked in through the Prime subscription service. But his true master-stroke may be Amazon Web Services, a computing and cloud storage service that millions of companies now turn to. Amazon Web Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis.

Permeated

Journalists have speculated whether Bezos’ near-pathological competitiveness is a product of his early abandonment, similar to that of fellow tech overlord Steve Jobs. No doubt equally formative to a young boy was Bezos’ adoptive father and his view of the world. In fact, during an interview Jeff Bezos told  Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, that their home life was “permeated” by complaints about totalitarian governments of both the Right and the Left.

Poor Working Conditions and Monopolistic Practices

While Bezos’ stewardship of the company can be seen as a heroic mission to give everyday shoppers low-cost access to any item under the sun, his ethos has contributed to poor working conditions and harmful monopolistic practices. By 2011, Amazon’s workplace culture was toxic. A negative series of headline-grabbing reports defined Amazon workers as poorly paid, ceaselessly surveilled, and overworked. Reportedly, the company ruthlessly pushed employees to maintain a breakneck pace, to such an extent that both physical and emotional well-being was jeopardized.

Debate, Criticize, and Disagree

Bezos created a culture in which everyone from the lowest peon to the highest-ranking executive is expected to match his devotion. This approach has resulted in spectacular levels of staff turnover. A declared enemy of “social cohesion,” Bezos pushed his underlings to reject compromise and instead fiercely debate and criticize colleagues when they disagreed. One former employee described it as “purposeful Darwinism.” Known for withering put-downs — “Are you lazy or just incompetent?” ​”Did I take my stupid pills today?”—Bezos also isn’t above pulling out his phone or, in some cases, simply leaving the room when an employee fails to impress.

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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/

“Just Dave” 09/19/2021

“Just Dave” 09/19/2021

“Just Dave” 09/19/2021

Today, Dave is talking about the unvaccinated. The current epidemic is one of the unvaccinated. How come suddenly people would rather die on the battleground of stupidity than take an incredibly safe deterrent. Nothing is perfect, and that includes vaccines. Yet when tossing the dice the odds of surviving the vaccine far outweigh surviving COVID. How could anyone in their right mind want to take the chance of being paralyzed with drugs, have a tube shoved down their throat, a catheter shoved into your bladder, turned every hour so you don’t get bed sores? Now this isn’t going to be a two hour or two day affair. This could go on for months, until you die, or improve. If you die, most likely your last moments will be alone.  If you are lucky there may be a nurse there to hold your hand as you pass. So unnecessary.

Please, stop the silly nonsense and get vaccinated. Do it for yourself, your community, and the country.

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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