Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Kyrsten Sinema is taking lots of money from big pharma


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.


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.


Student Loan Debt Is Worse Than They Tell Us

Student Loan Debt:

Worse Than They Tell Us

By Jones William & D. S. Mitchell

Student Debt

There is a black cloud on the American economic horizon. Student loan debt has tripled over the last fifteen years. According to the Federal Reserve in the first quarter of 2018 student loan debt had ballooned to over $1.52 trillion and is expected to swell to $2 trillion by 2020. Forty four million Americans are carrying student loan debt, with about 7 million borrowers in loan default. The average student loan obligation exceeds $37,000. Forty per cent of borrowers are expected to fall behind on their loans by 2023.

Times Change

Over the last forty years there has been unrelenting pressure on young people to go to college. Many of these students in the past would have been redirected to vocational programs, but apprentice programs like electricians, plumbers and equipment operators have been ignored for the promise of a college degree and the anticipated financial benefits of over $1.2 million dollars in increased lifetime earnings potential. A notable side effect of this move to “college for all” is, under the current system, a lifetime of debt.

Then And Now

College costs have outpaced the Consumer Price Index more than four fold since 1985. The availability of federally backed tuition assistance has made it relatively easy for students to pay for college, but leaving them with a life time debt burden. Things have changed dramatically. I graduated from college in 1972. I was the first member of my family to ever even try such folly. I did it in four years using a cluster of five ( yes, I said 5) small scholarships and a summer job. I left college with a degree in nursing and most important, no student loan debt. The growth of tuition costs relative to teen wages-in fact, all wages-has turned dramatically upwards and what I did would be almost impossible today.

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Mass Shootings, A Terrorism Problem

Mass Shootings, A Terrorism Problem

By James Moore

A Borderline Distraction Won’t Help 

I live a few short miles away from where the Borderline mass shooting took place. Some people say it hurts more when it happens so close to home. I guess that depends who you are. For me, every mass shooting hits home.  Sandy Hook was gut wrenching.  Columbine devastating. But then so have all the others which consists of a list so long the names are becoming a blur. This is what happens when our leaders brainwash the ignorant into thinking we are under a terrorist attack from horrible things like caravans that must be stopped by building a wall. No border wall would have stopped the carnage in Thousand Oaks or any of our other mass shootings because the killers were all made in America.

Facts Are Pointless  

In the two decades since Columbine, the mass shootings have not stopped. We have all seen the statistics.  If you are of reasonable mind, they do  more than concern you; they make you demand we see changes made to decrease their likelihood in the future. If you aren’t, you think the Second Amendment  the most sacred words ever written and believe the only way to stop gun violence is by arming more good guys. 

Another Gun For A Good Guy

Our most recent mass shooter was a good guy. A decorated ex-marine who came home unable to cope with what he saw in battle. It’s safe to say if an NRA controlled congress can find the funds to build a border wall, they can find the funds to protect the likes of the innocent who were gunned down at the Borderline. Ah, but the GOP is not about compassion nearly as much as they are about fear and solving any problem with a show of force. No wonder mass shootings keep increasing. Our top down leadership is one that says if 300,000,000 guns are not enough to curb gun deaths, then we need to arm more people.

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The Stability Of U.S. Food Supply In Danger

The Stability Of U.S. Food Supply In Danger

D. S. Mitchell

In a 12 month period from April 2014-2015 the honey bee colonies in the United States decreased by more than 40%, the highest annual loss ever recorded. The massive losses compelled researchers to coin a new term to describe the problem. They named the massive losses as “colony collapse disorder.”

With over 40% of U.S. honeybee hives now dying each year it is important to note that 40% of invertebrate pollinator species according to a recent UN sponsored report face extinction. Bees and butterflies are now approaching the brink.If you add that, “one of every three bites of food that you and I eat is pollinated by bees and other pollinators,” warns Friends of Earth, an environmental action group struggling to save the bees, the calamity of the situation is front and center. Seeing the bee die-off as part of a larger insect decline cannot be overstated. A group of UK scientists are calling it an “ecological Armageddon.”

Do the math, it doesn’t require a genius IQ to see the threat. Earthjustice a legal fund fighting for bee protection, believes that, “Bees are the canaries in the coal mine, warning us of an imminent and frightening threat to our food.” Our time is limited if we are going to save the bees and ourselves.

The stability of the supply is facing imminent threat.

As previously noted, Honey bees, vital pollinators of more than one-third of our nation’s crops, including “super foods” such as berries, nuts and avocados are dying in record numbers. The rapid loss of honey bees threatens to unravel agricultural production all across the country.

What was a battle between big business and the environmental community within the state and federal court system has intensified since the election of Donald Trump. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress and his cronies in the corporate sector intend to dismantle long-established safeguards created to protect food safety, farm workers and the overall public health.

Today, with possibly the most anti-environmental administration and Congress in history we are facing a difficult challenge to enact regulations surrounding toxic chemicals and pesticides needed to protect the pollinators, and human beings.  I am hoping for a Democratic tsunami for 2018, otherwise I have little hope for the survival of the bees, or the nation’s safe food supply.

The fight for the future of the honey bees–America’s greatest pollinator–and for the future of our nation’s food security and public health in general is a fight we cannot lose. Honey bees are the unsung heroes of American agricultural productivity, working diligently to pollinate no less than 1/3 of U.S. agricultural crops. It is time that we recognize their hard work and make it our mission to insure their safety and recovery.

Scientists world-wide after analyzing more that 800 environmental studies determined that the major cause of the bee die offs can be directly attributed to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or “neonics” for short. These chemicals in even microscopic doses can harm a bee.

Repeated exposure to neonic pesticides start to change a bee’s life and later the entire hive. Science has tracked a number of different outcomes after exposure. 1.) Illness and Death: Neonics make it hard for bees to groom themselves, making them susceptible to disease and mites, and weakening their immune systems. 2.) Colony Contamination:If a bee is able to return to the hive, they return covered in contaminated pollen. As other bees store the pollen, they all become contaminated 3.) Lost and confused: Neonics affect bees’ ability to navigate back to their hives. Unable to find their way home, they die. Worker bees supply the colony’s food. When they are lost and don’t return, the entire colony can die from starvation.

These “neonics” are systemic chemicals. That means that the pesticide is absorbed into every part of the plant. As a result, it not only kills insects that come into direct contact with its droplets, but renders the entire plant–flowers, nectar, and pollen–highly toxic for weeks, or even months after application.

Neonics are approved for use on the majority of crops in the United States. The bee die off has spiked and has so disturbed scientists that the US Dept of Agriculture issued the following statement:

“Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of US agricultural crops.”

Although bans in other countries have been successful–Italy went from losing 37.5% of its hives in 2008 to only 15% after restricting neonics–the US has been frighteningly slow to act. And, with an EPA administration and Congress stocked with Trump’s corporate cronies, it is even less likely that our government will act to regulate bee-killing pesticides.

Honey bees may be small, but they play a huge role in making food available for our tables. Bees have an electromagnetic charge that turns them into flying magnets, carrying and transferring pollen from flower to flower. It takes 60,000 bees, about two hives, to pollinate just one acre of orchard. Each spring across the United States honey bees pollinate almonds, apples, oranges, apricots, lemons, squash, zucchini and dozens of other fruits and vegetables a truly amazing accomplishment.

Whole Foods working with Time magazine showed that honey bees are of vital importance to the nation’s food security by dramatically removing all the produce that depends on bee pollination from their produce shelves for a photo-op to dramatize the impending loss. Of the about 450 items usually found in the average American supermarket half will disappear if America’s crops don’t get pollinated. That realization is a serious threat to the nation’s ability to produce food, as well as to our food security. This is really scary stuff.

The largest producers of these pesticides are Bayer, Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta, whose own studies–obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request–show that neonics cause significant harm to bees and other pollinators. A study commissioned by The European Food Safety Authority indicated that the same class of pesticides killing the pollinators “may affect the developing nervous system of children.” If you weren’t scared before, this should light your hair on fire.

There are more than 500 neonic products on the market. I don’t expect the Trump administration to take any action that will help native bees, bumblebees, butterflies or other pollinators, like the nearly extinct rusty patched bumblebee, which was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act last year.

As the fight to save the bees intensifies another neurotoxic insecticide is coming under scrutiny. Chlorpyrifos, commonly used in agriculture has been shown in EPA studies to lower children’s IQ’s and is “likely to adversely affect” over 1700 plants and animals, many of them critically endangered, including bees.

Because of such scientific studies, chlorpyrifos were banned for home use in 2001, and in 2015 the Obama administration recommended revoking its use in agriculture. As soon as Scott Pruitt took charge of the EPA, he announced he would reverse the Obama-era ban.

The fight to save the bees is becoming more urgent by the day. Remember, bees and other pollinators are critical in growing 2/3rd of our global food crops.  From nuts, soybeans, squash and cucumbers, to apples, oranges, avocados and melons, pollinators play a critical role in producing the food we eat. Bees are the tiny forces behind more than $20 billion worth of U.S. crops each year.

Five Ways To Help Save The Bees and other pollinators:

BEE SAFE: Plant flowers such as Aster, Black-eyed Susan, Oregon Grape, Snowberry, Wild Lilac, Huckleberry, and Lupine in your garden using only organic starts or untreated seeds to provide good food and a safe haven for bees. **(One study found many of the so-called “bee friendly” plants in garden centers have been pre-treated with neonics, at levels that can harm or kill bees. Please only buy certified organic plants and reject garden products laced with bee killing pesticides.)

BEE AWARE: Use alternative pest control methods, like landscaping to attract beneficial insects, and use only eco-friendly pest-control products.

BEE VIGILANT: Read labels and steer clear of products containing neonicatinoids or chlorpyrifos. **(A list of the common brands containing neonics can be found at the end of this article.)

BEE VOCAL: Tell you friends and family about the importance of bees and how they can help save these invaluable insects.

BEE ACTIVIST: Write your legislators, state and federal. Write the EPA. Sign Petitions demanding protection for the pollinators. Ask your grocer to stop carrying products containing neonicolinoids and chlopyrifos. Protest.

BEE GENEROUS: The cost of fighting the assault on bees and our food supply is expensive. Donate to organizations like Friends of the Earth and Earthjustice to be our voice in the courtroom.

This is going to be an uphill battle for the next three years of Trumpism, but we can’t stand by and let Donald Trump think for one minute that we as a people will stand by and let him get away with destroying the environment all in the name of corporate greed.

In 1962 Rachel Carson wrote a meticulously researched book, “The Silent Spring” in which she described how, the now banned pesticide DDT, entered the food chain and accumulated in fatty tissues of animals and humans. She took on the chemical industry and her work led to DDT being banned. Her work has been credited with starting the environmental movement. We need to understand that each of us can make a difference in this world, but it requires action. It is up to us to stop the second “silent spring.”

I challenge you to make a copy of this list of killers and put it in your wallet, or your purse and use it to say “no”  to products laced with Acetamiprid, Clothianidin, Dinotefuran, Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam all of which are toxins killing bees. If you see any of these ingredients listed on products in your home or on your local vendor’s shelves do not use them.

It seems nearly impossible to imagine but neonics hide everywhere including in these popular brands: Aloft, Arena, Allectus, Atera, Bithor, Caravan, Coretect, Derby, Dino, Dominion, Equil Adonis, Flagship, Flower (Rose & Shrub Care), Gaucho, Grub-No-More, Grubout, Hawk, Imaxxpro, Ima-Jet, Imi Insecticide, Imicide, Imid-Bifen, Imida-Teb Garden SC, Imidapro, Imigold, Lada, Malice, Mallet, Mantra, Marathon, Meridian, Merit, Nuprid, Optigard Flex, Pasada, Pointer Insecticide, Premise, Pronto, Prothor, Safari, Sagacity, Sparkle:Bounty, Tandem, Temprid, Triple Crown Insecticide, Tristar, Turfthor, Xytect.

Calamity Politics is an on-line political news magazine dedicated to protecting the environment and removing Donald Trump from the presidency of the United States. Join us for comment and opinion. Join the Resistance. We are Indivisible.


29 Things To Make You Smile

29 Things To Make You Smile

D. S. Mitchell

Sunday morning and Trump has slammed Senator Bob Corker and Corker slammed back. Tillerson is still denying he called the President of the United States an “‘effing moron”. Vice President Pence leaves Colt’s Game in Protest of the Protesters. Nate brings high water to Biloxi, MS. North Korean bomb test shakes China city. Movie producer Harvey Weinstein has sexually harassed women for 4 decades.

I could go on, but before I get any more irritated it is time to think of all the things that make me smile. Join me for a moment to reflect on the sweet and simple things in life.

  • Beach grass whipped by the wind
  • The crackle of Autumn leaves beneath my feet
  • The feel of cotton against my skin
  • Electric BBQ’s
  • Donating blood
  • A dash of Irish Cream in my morning Cappuccino
  •  Soldiers in their dress uniforms
  •  Children’s handmade cards
  •  Ed Sheeran’s “The Shape Of You”
  •  The shape of water
  •  Looking through freshly cleaned windows
  •  Montana’s endless skies
  •  Roller skating at Oaks Park, Portland, Oregon
  •  Paddle wheel river boats
  •  Finding that lost earring
  •  Homemade Clam Chowder and Cheese Bread
  •  Letters to the Editor
  •  Antique car shows
  •  A freshly cleaned garage
  •  NetFlix
  •  Cashmere and tweed
  •  Halloween’s “Haunted House”
  •  The thinnest, crispiest french fries
  •  A new supply of business cards
  •  Lunch with Mom
  •  A February 29th birthday
  •  Dancing cheek to cheek
  •  Random acts of kindness
  •  Circular driveways
  • That’s it. Hope you took a minute from the insanity of the 24 hour news cycle, put up your feet and smiled at a few simple things in life.

    Calamity Politics is a progressive news magazine dedicated to human rights, universal health care, elimination of the Electoral College and restoration of Democratic control of the Congress and the White House. Join the Resistance.


Part V: Behind The Curtain

Part V: Behind The Curtain

D. S. Mitchell

At the end of Part IV: Behind The Curtain, David Cay Johnston told the reading audience that he had never seen evidence that Donald Trump was now a billionaire, or ever has been a billionaire.   I have no idea, and actually I really could care less if Trump is a billionaire or just a multimillionaire. That shit’s all in his head, not mine. Kinda like the guy who buys the biggest most gaudy truck he can find, to make up for some secret deficiency.

What I do care about is the obvious, and quite serious conflict of interest issues.  Trump has provided no tax returns, he has not established a blind trust, or divested himself of his businesses.  There are many questions about his deals with Russian oligarchs and his ongoing effort during the 2016 campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, working behind the scenes with his long time attorney, Michael Cohen.

One of the character flaws noted by personal friends of Trump and discussed earlier in this series, is Trump’s poor judgment when choosing partners and associates. I can’t help adding my opinion on this matter.  I think, in addition to poor judgment, Trump just does not give a damn, that’s right, I don’t think he cares. The president’s  choice of Jared Kushner to be his Senior Advisor is a perfect example.

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66 Things To Smile About

66 Things To Smile About

D. S. Mitchell

Calamity Politics presents progressive political opinions, predictions and speculations regarding the current U.S. political news scene. The Fourth of July, Independence Day, one of my favorite holidays. Its been a good day. I worked half a day, hung out with a couple friends while they did demolition on their new “used” home. It looks like a lot of work and a huge money outgo, but the place is in a great neighborhood and the house has great bones. After the fireworks I was too tired to finish my Independence Day post. So, here are ’66 Things To Smile About’:

1.) Hours at the library 2.) Remembering my reusable bags when I go shopping 3.) The Budweiser horses 4.) Summer Solstice Parties 5.) Wall art 6.) A room filled with music 7.) Houseboating at Lake Shasta, California 8.) A seaplane landing 9.) A lazy game of golf with the girls 10.) A bag of tennis balls for the dog 11.) A twisted toothpaste tube 12.) Animal cookies 13.) Elevator door opening just as you reach it 14.) Playing darts at the pub 14.) A new litter of puppies 15.) Roses growing up a picket fence 16.) Getting the local paper at the doorstep 17.) Breakfast with Tracey 18.) Antique car shows 19.) Having a plan 20.) Astoria, Oregon 21.) Air shows 22.) Girl’s softball 23.) Dancing with a great dancer 24.) Kids in the sprinkler 25.) Thrift store shopping 26.) Hot air balloons 27.) Upscale resale shops 28.) Loading the fishing gear 29.) River walks and Ocean Promenades 30.) Saturday Night Live 31.) Remembering a loved one with graveside flowers 32.) Inspiring a child 33.) The tingle of stage fright just before a performance 34.) Chasing rainbows 35.) Chintz curtains blowing through an open window 36.) Country stores 37.) Fresh baked bread soaked with butter 38.) Castles sitting high above rivers 39.) “Getting away” for the weekend 40.) Coconut milk fresh from the coconut 41.) Kah-Nee-Ta Resort 42.) Shiny firetrucks 43.) Plate size cinnamon rolls shared with friends 44.) Antique quilts on display 45.) Pressing Restart after a bad episode 46.) Hitting a home run 47.) Marching for a cause 48.) Seeing football teams wear pink for breast cancer awareness 49.) The Ferries of Puget Sound 50.) Vancouver Island 51.) Sidewalk dining 52.) Finding a childhood toy when unpacking boxes long stored 53.) Street rods 54.) Consciously stirring a conversation to avoid an argument with a co-worker 55.) One trusted and forever best friend 56.) A “Make Over Day” 57.) Wind chimes quietly tapping in the wind 58.) Catfish caught in the early morning and fried for breakfast 59.) Fortune tellers and Ouija boards 60.) Mexican tooled cowboy boots 61.) Beer in iced glasses 62.) Making, and then eating cannabis cookies 63.) Hanging an oil painting you did when you were 25 over the fireplace for a new showing 64.} The ‘mission’ you create with a ‘To Do List” 65.) Self help books, purchased, but never read 66.) A joke well told

Thank you for joining me for my weekly smile session. Remember to do your part; call Capitol Hill, fax and email your reps, write letters to congress, letters to the editors, tweets, blog, protest, run for office.

Join the Resistance.



Dear Nancy,

I woke up to a very somber crowd at the Morning Joe table.  All kinds of thoughts and commentary were tossed around about how the ‘face’ of the DNC is Nancy Pelosi, and in many districts, your name has become toxic.

It seems that brilliant powerful women cannot be tolerated in this country. If you were morphed into your male alter ego, HE would go down as one of the most brilliant strategic planners and policy makers in House history. And, without a doubt one of the biggest fund raisers.

With that said, I must acknowledge that I am 71 years old. I know that you are 77 years old. As an older person I am glad to see the new faces in the stores, in the offices, and hopefully soon in the Congress. Nancy please step aside.  When you step aside, it should not be in anger, or contention, but rather a natural changing of the guard.  Teach your successor. Nancy, pick your successor and then help them succeed, that’s what great leaders do.

Your admiring fan,

Darlene Mitchell


Russian Flags Over the White House

Russian Flags Over The White House

By D. S. Mitchell

A Fitful Sleep

I went to bed and fell asleep with the TV on.  Something that I have done a lot of recently. I slept fitfully while the station played.  Dream and nightmare merged as I flopped to and fro. Visions of red, white, and blue, twisted weirdly on a brisk breeze over the White House.  But in my confused sleep, I knew something was wrong.  Something was very wrong.


In my sleep, I couldn’t make sense of it.  What the fuck?  Why does the flag look so strange?  Where are the stars?  OMG.  The stripes aren’t the stripes of My flag, and My country.  The flag flying over this White House, is the tri-stripe red, white, and blue of Russia.

Joe and Mika

My eyes flew open.  Joe and Mika were talking with the usual crowd at the “Morning Joe” conference table about the General Mike Flynn resignation.  I shook my head. The rest of the Morning Joe story centered on Trump Campaign officials having been in “continuous” contact with Russian officials throughout the 2016 Presidential campaign. No wonder I’m having nightmares.

A Smoldering Fire

I know there is a lot of political wrangling going on in the Congress. Democrats smell a Russian fire smoldering behind the doors of the White House, but there is denial.  The Trump Administration continues to deny Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Republicans, current in control of House, Senate and the Executive Branch are in the middle of an election high and refuse to see the Russian fire.

Smoke Screen

It looks as if the Democrats and the voters are the only way to make our Republican brothers and sisters see the danger for what damage such a potential blaze could do. The main stream press, CNN and MSNBC  and the on-line news sources are screaming bloody murder, but the GOP have blinders and ear plugs in place. Every one outside the Republican sphere is calling 911  but are getting no answer. Right now the Republicans are drunk with power and can’t see the fire for the smoke.

Join the resistance.