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D-Day -1

Tomorrow is the anniversary of D-Day. Here’s a little refresher on the greatest invasion ever:

The parallels to the war in Ukraine are hard to miss. D-Day was the decisive day of the liberation of Europe. Zelenskyy is this century’s Churchill. England, America, Canada, the French military diaspora, the Resistance all coordinated their activities to make it happen.

Trying to predict when the Ukrainian counteroffensive is going to happen is like trying to predict the Second Coming of Christ. No one knows the hour or the day. And if you do know the hour and the day, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense asks you to say nothing on social media.

Perhaps unrelated, there is interesting new activity with new players outside of Ukraine. It’s fascinating. We’re probably only seeing the tip of the spear. Another interesting development is an uptick of appearances of Maia Sandu, the president of Modova, with many NATO allies. She made an appearance with Zelenskyy in Kyiv last week. In the last couple of days, Victor Orban of Hungary and Kaia Kallas of Estonia have met her in Chișinău. It looks like Moldova has officially taken a side, which could be complicated because there is a Russian presence on its northern flank in Transnitstria where it borders Ukraine. We’ve seen leaders of NATO countries meet with Zelenskyy in Kyiv acting like bodyguards. I’m wondering if the same thing is happening in Moldova. Sandu could be a massive pain in Russia’s neck and getting her out of the way would make it easier to prevent Moldova from providing assistance. Keep your eyes on Moldova.

D-day was brave, it was bloody, it was horrifying. There was no other way to free Europe from occupation, fascism and genocide.

And any day now, we could be watching it happen all over again. But this is the 21st century and ingenuity may play a bigger part in this than just sheer brute force. What that will entail may already be happening. The ideal situation would be for the Russian army to collapse along with Putin’s regime. That probably has to happen before the war is over. Is that possible? I guess anything is possible.

Slava Ukraini.

Steve Garvey Running for U.S. Senator from California?

Even if you do not follow baseball at all, you have probably heard of Steve Garvey. He was part of that great group of players whom the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted in the late ’60’s. He was a fine football player at Michigan State, and then an All-Star baseball player for the Dodgers.

Garvey looked like a prototype for a baseball star in a movie. Clean-cut good looks, square jaw. He was articulate, and loved to extol the virtues of baseball. He was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1974.

But some of the other Dodgers players did not like Garvey too much. Maybe jealousy, or maybe they thought he was a selfish player who cared mostly about his own statistics. One year, he had a hitting streak of games where he got least one hit, and was going for the Dodgers record in that statistic. He was at 30 straight games or so, and then didn’t get a hit, and had one more at bat in a game the Dodgers were losing 8-0 or so. He laid down a bunt, obviously to try to get a cheap hit to keep the streak alive. He got criticism for that.

Garvey ultimately finished his career with the San Diego Padres, and helped them win a pennant. After retiring, he became a spokesman for various products He still can be seen touting the very questionable providing of Reverse Mortgages by companies to people who are willing to sell the value of their mortgage for some ready cash. In a recent ad, Garvey says that his parents took out a reverse mortgage, which caused me to think that a star player might have helped them without them having to sell much of the value of the mortgage, but who knows?

What is known, is that Mr. Clean-Cut, Dudley Do-Right, Steve Garvey had affairs, and he admitted to fathering at least two children out of wedlock. This took some of the luster away from his reputation. But he has gone on, doing presentations about baseball and playing with the Dodgers, for which he of course gets paid. He is fun to listen to, he tells good stories.

Now I see that Garvey is considering running for Senate from California. As a Republican, which he was always known to be. That’s his right in either case, but what qualifications does he have for that? None, except for those which have gotten others like him elected in Caifornia.

I remember George Murphy running for Senator here, maybe back in 1964. My father scoffed, “He’s a song-and dance man!,” which he was, literally, in movies, though I had never heard of him. Murphy ran against Pierre Salinger, who had been press secretary in President Kennedy’s administration. Salinger looked like the prototype of a New York pol: jowly, beetle-browed, fast-talking. Murphy said he was a carpetbagger. They had a debate, where Salinger easily won on issues, because Murphy had no idea about most of them; but, in a precursor to other campaigns where television played a major role, the viewers seemed to like Murphy’s friendly demeanor more than Salinger’s fact-based statements. So Murphy won the election, stunning my parents.

That was just before Ronald Reagan, a former actor, pitchman for General Electric, mellifluous-voiced extolller of “good old-fashioned American values,” was elected Governor in 1966, on a platform of cracking down on student demonstrations against the Vietnam War. He was funded by some of the richest people in the country,. You know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say. He was almost the presidential nominee in 1968, but lost to Nixon; then was re-elected governor in 1970, and then President in 1980 and 1984.

Reagan is beloved by Republicans, who proudly call themselves “the party of Reagan” (of Lincoln, too, of course, even though there is no relationship whatsoever between Lincoln’s policies and ideals, and those of any Republican president since Theodore Roosevelt. But even many of the Republicans who do not support Trump, yearn for another Reagan, and say on television, that their party must go back to being the party of Reagan.

What does Reagan stand for, at least mythologically? Some kind of flag-waving, county fair type of preaching about “American values,” belied by the fact that all the money goes to the very rich. I don’t see Reagan as an evil person, more like a friendly emcee who presides over the fleecing of the American worker.

And then there is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a weightlifter and then action movie star, until the same kind of very wealthy Californians who got Nixon and then Reagan elected, saw an opportunity to reverse the liberal policies of Jerry Brown and his successor Gray Davis, by taking advantage of the Enron scam which made electricity prices shoot up, forcing Davis to make some kind of deal to keep the grid functioning, which they blamed on him, and engineered a Recall election, which got Davis removed from office, and Schwarzenegger put in.

In case anyone is wondering, Schwarzenegger was a bad governor, his only positive was caring about the environment. But his refusal to raise taxes (that was what the rich Republicans put him in for), caused a massive state deficit, as well as a yearly delay in having checks sent to Californians who were entitled to them under various state programs. Finally, after Schwarzenegger had served eight years as governor, Jerry Brown was eligible to run again, and he boldly got a tax-raising measure on the ballot, which voters were smart enough to pass,; and suddenly there was a budget surplus which has remained to this day.

And Steve Garvey is another in that line. A friendly, glib purveyor of homilies, and a kind of pseudo-patriotic campaign around getting back to old-fashioned values. That has won here before as outlined above; and even as Blue as California might be seen, they still love stars here. I wouldn’t count him out at all, particularly after what could be a grueling three-person Democratic Primary among Adam Schiff (my choice; he is eloquent, very knowledgeable, and the best suited for the foreign policy expertise important to the Senate) Katie Porter, and Karen Bass..

The past sometimes comes back again in politics. Or maybe it is just that the forces which started it are still there.

Shiny Happy People

It’s time we talked about the effect that Christian fundamentalism on reality TV has had on American culture in the last two decades. The most recognizable representatives are the Duggars but the Institute of Basic Life Principles that they were affiliated with is just a new manifestation of the older high control sect or cult. Let’s start there and then let’s move on to one of these organizations that flies under the radar but has a HUGE treasure chest with which to influence politicians. I’m referring to the LDS church aka the Mormons. We’ll leave the Mormonization of American Culture for another day.

I think I’ve mentioned this before but a my aunt used to look with a skeptical eye at the Duggars and 19 Kids and Counting and say, “One of these days, one of those Duggar kids is going to write a book”. She was right. Earlier this year, Jinger Duggar Vuolo wrote a book about growing up with the IBLP in a large family. Jinger’s book was revealing from the point of view of how the IBLP affected her mental health, her education and her spirituality. She’s embraced a kinder, gentler side of Christian fundamentalism now. It retains a lot of the features of the more extreme variety but she has more control over her behavior, clothing and relationship with god. She dropped a few bombshells about the IBLP but for the most part, she went easy on her parents.

Amazon Prime dropped Shiny Happy People today, a new documentary about the parents who got onboard the IBLP train and what it did to their children. Jinger’s sister, Jill Duggar Dillard, gives us the rest of the story. It’s must see TV.

One of the people interviewed for this documentary is a professor of sociology who studies reality TV. Right at the beginning of the documentary, she lays out what makes shows like the Duggars, Sister Wives, Kate plus Eight and The Kardashians so compelling to some audiences. For one thing, reality TV tends to pull in a conservative audience that is drawn to defined gender roles and behaviors, and are likely to be conventional thinkers. I can vouch for this. I have zero interest in reality TV and have only seen the Duggars out of curiosity after my mother went on and on praising Michelle Duggar for the obedient score of children she had, their remarkable self-control (aka their broken wills), and their musical abilities. So, I had to see what fresh hell these Duggar people were putting their kids through and it gave me flashbacks of my own childhood. Except for the zillion kids part.

My mother absolutely worshipped the Duggars and she wanted the rest of us to love them too. She wouldn’t shut up about them. I’m so glad that the IBLP wasn’t a thing when I was growing up because I’m pretty sure she would have signed us up. Instead, I became a child hostage to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The JW’s are very similar to the IBLP except in two areas: they don’t advocate their members to have a lot of children and they were ok with children going to public schools as long as they didn’t stay any longer than the law demanded and didn’t participate in anything that might be considered “worldly”. That term covers a lot of territory and keeps JWs out of politics. Keep that in mind if you watch this documentary because it’s an important distinction.

My mother always told everyone that she wasn’t a very good JW. Except EVERY JW doesn’t think they are good JWs. It’s part of the cult’s way of indoctrinating its followers. You can never do enough to guarantee your salvation at Armageddon. She managed to convert half of her family, no mean feat, so she was certainly good enough.

I think she was an extremely good JW. She loved the tyrannical aspects of the religion. She embraced submitting to authority and obedience. We attended long boring meetings on Sunday’s, personal indoctrination studies on Mondays, book Bible studies on Tuesday’s, Theocratic ministry school on Thursday and occasionally a house to house on Saturday’s. The one Meeting I can’t remember my mother ever attending was meeting any of my teachers on back to school night. That wasn’t important to JWs because we were all going to go into full time pioneering when we were old enough to get out of high school. Or get married. College was out of the question. I have cousins who were also child hostages of the JWs. None of us became JWs. The JWs should never have let us go to public school. We weren’t quite as separated from the world as the Duggars. Nevertheless, my mother out JWed her siblings with her relentless zealotry and when Armageddon didn’t come on her schedule, she left the JWs and joined a different fundy religion that was just as obsessed with the end times but offered the Rapture feature that the JWs lacked. (Ask me about Rapture clauses in wills)

I was lucky. Even at a young age, my spidey sense was telling me there was something wrong with the way JWs fixated on their conversions. My little brain was taking notes and stubbornly wouldn’t give in to indoctrination. I decided when I was a very little girl that living the rest of my life in a suffocating religion just wasn’t my bag, baby. I was told that I could do whatever I wanted when I was old enough to leave home but until then, I had to do exactly what I was told and never be defiant. Deal.

The reason why I’m bringing this up is because our culture is just now starting to get a clue about just how influential the Duggars and shows like theirs were in the past two decades. They hit the scene the decade after Ruby Ridge and Waco. The IBLP was particularly strong in the south where there was a lot of resistance to desegregation. The IBLP’s founder, Bill Gothard, convinced his followers that they could go back in time to when men were men, women knew their place, and children were beaten with a rod to save their souls. They are clean cut, modest and look like they came right out of the 50’s when America was great, depending on who you are. The men in IBLP are patriarchs screwing their way to dominion over the rest of us with their tribes of children. Their women sign themselves into covenant marriages that make no-fault divorce extremely difficult to get. And their children are homeschooled with their own curriculum and indoctrination materials. That’s how their stuck in the 50’s worldview gets propagated to a new generation.

Does any of that sound familiar? The attack on birth control, the submission to a strongman, the movement to control what is taught in school or get rid of public schools altogether?

Did you know that the IBLP has its own para-military wing? Oh yeah. They’re into that.

It’s a pretty good documentary. You’ll be fascinated to know just how insular, abusive and emotionally damaging these kinds of religions are. And you can see how the oath keepers, proud boys and MAGA contingent have taken some of those principles and run with them.

Fortunately, some of those IBLP child hostages are grown ups now, sounding the alarm. “Hey, America, let us tell you what they have planned for you. You’re not quite woke enough yet.” Good for them. They put family relationships on the line to give us an insider account of what Christian Nationalism is all about because it was people like the Duggars that helped it go mainstream.

Shiny Happy People is now available on Amazon Prime.

Oh yes Republicans would like to cut your social security and Medicare.

Kevin McCarthy said as much today. Note that the Trump tax cuts that added $2 trillion to the deficit is *not* the subject of his proposed panel to investigate where to cut.

Here’s the exchange from Fox:

McCarthy: “We only got to look at 11 percent of the budget to find these cuts. We have to look at the entire budget. The Congress has done this before after World War II –“

Harris Faulkner: “Why didn’t you see the whole budget?”

McCarthy: “The president walled off all the others. The majority driver of the budget is mandatory spending. It’s Medicare, Social Security, interest on the debt.”

Faulkner: “And he wouldn’t let you see? Wow.”

“But what about Ukraine??”, they whine. “What about public schools??”

First, if you can claw back the trillions of dollars we spent on a stupid, unnecessary, unjustifiable war in Iraq, then you can voice complaints about the comparatively meager few billions thrown at Ukraine. Until that day, zip it. Zip it good.

And if you want to take public schools away from parents who are unqualified or unwilling to homeschool their kids, go right ahead. I can’t wait to point them to your house with their pitchforks and torches.

The fact is that the wealthy libertarians who want to run everything in this country did not sign up for financing even a tiny fraction of your retirement back when they were merely a twinkle in their daddies’ eyes. If you didn’t work hard enough to fund your old age, that’s on YOU, sucker. You shouldn’t have been slacking in your 20s. Hard work! That’s what you should have been doing. Socking away every spare penny, living in a trailer if you had to, and not have any sex whatsoever that could result in extra mouths to feed. You should have thought of that.

I guarantee that’s how some of them see you. They really don’t GAF that you paid into social security and Medicare and the SURPLUS fund, to add insult to injury, all your GD life.

They got theirs. And apparently, they got yours too when they raided the trust fund through their bought and paid for representatives who sold everyone a story about rich people being burdened, nay, oppressed and robbed of all their worldly goods by all those horrible, life depriving income, capital gains, estate, corporate taxes.

OH the YUMANITY! Who will rid them of those meddlesome entitlements??

Well, it won’t be Biden. He took them off the table.

So, I guess it will be up to Kevin McCarthy and his freedom caucus to break the chains that bind the donors.

Don’t you feel the cool breeze of freedom blowing through your hair or is that just the cold shoulder from the MAGA contingent?


This isn’t very important, but I was going to write a little about it last week, but more important things came up. I just wondered if many of you watched the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, or whatever they called it, which was on for the last two weeks. I did, and it was a lot of fun. And I will note that in the final round, the one played last Wednesday, I might have won, had I been on!

That is hard to know, of course. I can try to answer the question before I hear the answer, and only give myself credit if that is the case. Sometimes it is hard to know when the light goes on to show that a player has pushed the button which locks other players out until he or she guesses. So I don’t know for sure how many times I would have gotten in ahead of everyone else, I can only estimate.

Still, I was very surprised at how many of the questions (actually answers, you know how the game is played, where you have to answer in the form of a question), I got, including a few where all three contestants took a shot and none got it, and I did. I wish I could remember more of those, but it is a week later, and you would have to take my word for it, anyway. But I was proud.

The players were very bright, of course. But there did seem to be a gap in their knowledge of things before 1970. There was one question about a Commission which wrote a report in 1964, and no one tried to get it; the answer was the Warren Commission, of course. Ken Jennings, who did a fine job as host, joked that “you seem to be too young to know a few of these answers.” There is some advantage to remembering the ’60’s.

I did pretty well on the earlier shows for those two weeks, but I would never say that I would have won on any of them. There are areas where I do not do well, mainly geography, which seemed to come up in various ways in every round. And the players were very good at knowing scientific things, which I rarely knew. Even so, I was gratified with how many of the questions I could answer, though of course again you would have to take my word for it.

I do remember the Final Jeopardy questions that day, there were two of them for the expanded round. One I was proud of, because I rarely get geography questions, though every player got it. It was about a city which is a seaport, and used to be a world capital; part of the name is the Arabic word for peace. I thought that Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace, so…Salaam is the Arabic word?, and the answer was…Dar Es Salaam, sp? It was.

The last Final Jeopardy was one that no one got, and I could have. It had a quote in Latin, which I could tell was “The Once and Future King.” it was used by a writer in a 15th Century work. I didn’t know right away, and all I could come up with was Spenser, which I didn’t think was right, but I knew he had written “The Faerie Queene,” so it could have been. One player did not know, so wrote a joke as the answer. One wrote “White,” who wrote a book with that title, but in the 20th Century! The other guessed Chaucer. The answer, which I should have known, was Malory, in “Morte D’Arthur.”

So I didn’t get that one, but I got as many as any of the players did, even allowing for the fact that to give myself credit, I had to say the answer before anybody did, maybe even buzzed in, that was hard to tell. So I had the mixed feeling which I used to have when watching Jeopardy, where I wanted to get the answers, but not so many that I would be upset about not being on the show to win.

I guess what was gratifying is that sometimes I cannot recall the name of an actor or two in a movie. That is just harder for me. I would wonder if my memory was not quite as good as it was, say, in my thirties. But getting so many answers right on this show, made me feel better! But of course I got no money for it, no fame, and just my knowing that I virtually battled against the best that Jeopardy had to offer.

I am glad that the two-week tournament drew such good ratings, it shows that there are still some people who like to be mentally challenged, and to draw upon their store of knowledge. Again, it was only that one two-hour finale where I did so well; on the other ones, I did pretty well, but would probably not have won a round. But for that one night, I coulda been a winner, not even just a contendah!

Memorial Day

It looks like there is actually a deal to keep the Republicans from defaulting on their responsibility to raise the debt ceiling, which had been pro forma for many decades,, until they started threatening to do it every chance they had, the cost of doing business with them,

I had serious doubts that they would accede, but it does look like they have agreed to raise it, after they got some concessions, not too many, but they shouldn’t have gotten any; and somehow Manchin got approval for another pipeline which had previously been stalled on environmental grounds.

We all know that the debt ceiling should not be made a Republican wedge; Democrats never did. But that is not part of the media framing of the story. At least we avoided default, and hopefully without too much economic damage, though Moody’s projected a rise in .1% to the unemployment rate a result of this.

Now we can go on to other things, such as “the horse race,” and I mean the political one, not the disgraceful tragedy that actual horse racing has become. I used to like going to the races with my father, with my mother sometimes coming along. And then I had a few years of going during the summer by myself or with friends, and trying to analyze the races, sometimes successfully. But I will not even watch it anymore, and it probably should be made illegal.

Memorial Day used to mean doubleheaders in baseball, but there are few doubleheaders now, as the teams do not want to give up an extra day of profits by letting people see two game for the price of one. I used to love doubleheaders, even just listening to Vin Scully announce them. Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day used to mean doubleheaders in baseball.

Memorial Day is a somber holiday, honoring the American soldiers who died in wars. It is a day to be respected. The independent movie stations show many “war movies” on this weekend, never extolling war, but sometimes reflecting on it, and the decisions made which saved democracy against tyranny and fascism. We’re still fighting those forces, of course, on the battlefield or perhaps even more unsettlingly, against out own fifth column of those who want this country to turn into Russia or Turkey or Hungary or Saudi Arabia.

We wish that we didn’t have to fight these battles every day, in one way or another. But we can’t just count on other people to do it. I think that President Biden did a pretty good job on these debt ceiling negotiations,, given the fanaticism and destructiveness of Republicans. Survive and Advance, as Coach Jim Valvano liked to say. Let’s hope we advance.

One Tiny Mistake…

Submitted by a lurker:

Whatever you do, DON’T forward this or post it on another social media site or make it go viral in any way.

Evil people want to shove a sock down doctors’ throats

Hey, remember that 10 year old rape victim in Ohio who couldn’t get an abortion because she was too pregnant the day a 6 week abortion ban went into effect? She ended up going to Indiana for an abortion. In Indiana, the doctor who performed the abortion submitted the paperwork to report the rape and then did the procedure. I don’t know if it was surgical or medical. Probably medical.

Then that doctor, Caitlin Bernard, talked to journalists about how serious this case was. A 10 year old was going to be forced to give birth to a baby that was a product of rape. A 10 year old


People all over the country were outraged and justifiably so. A 10 year old is too young physically to have a baby. It’s not her fault that the hormones switched on before her bones caught up. No 10 year old is capable of consenting to sex and most have no idea what sex is unless they’ve grown up in a brothel. This was a clear case of rape of a minor. But it made no difference to the state of Ohio. (We’ll get to what the state of South Carolina said about women yesterday in a minute).

Anyway, Dr. Bernard was breaking the glass when she talked to reporters. What was about to happen after the USSC cavalierly overturned Roe last year has played out exactly as doctors predicted. Women have been denied life saving care in states where abortion is outlawed. We are talking about women who literally have to be dying before they can get an abortion. The laws are written so vaguely that doctors are afraid they’ll lose their licenses if they take any steps to intervene. There are states where Ob/Gyn’s are fleeing. In Idaho, the shortage is so severe that hospitals are closing their maternity wards. Women who can’t get abortions for fatal fetal abnormalities are forced to carry to term only to watch their babies die a couple of hours later. Women who choose to go to other states face long drives and expenses they don’t have the money to cover. There are other stories of lives deliberately upended by having children at the wrong time, tended to by women who had to stop their educations or add another mouth to an already overcrowded house in a time when SNAP benefits are being terminated or reduced.

There are partners killing their girlfriends who returned from their abortions in other states. There are women whose friends are being sued by former husbands.

In South Carolina this week, the swing vote thar ended debate on the 6 week abortion ban said this:

“At some point in time, the right of the state to see the unborn child born does take precedent over the woman’s right to her body,”

Yeah, they said that out loud. Well, I guess they’ve said that out loud for 50 years now. Except now, the fruits of their labor are becoming well known and manifesting in a wide variety of unpleasant ways.

They can’t have that. They don’t want you to know how many women’s bodies have been damaged, how many women’s lives have been permanently changed, by the end of Roe. Even the Supreme Court didn’t want to hear about the expected fallout to women’s lives when they heard from lawyers on the matter before they pulled the plug on Roe. What do women lives have to do with abortion??

They just want to bury those truths. The flood of those truths are going to make the consequences of the undeniably religious, punitive and cruel actions of Republican legislatures, governors and AGs look bad. It will get too much attention. It will burst the bubbles and let reality intrude on the Republican voters that in a frenzy of mob mentality imposed these heartless laws on women and reimposed biology as destiny. It might make those voters question those votes.

That’s why the state of Indiana’s AG brought Dr. Bernard’s behavior to the state medical disciplinary board. She was in danger of losing her license to practice medicine because she talked to journalists. They voted instead to fine her and put a letter of reprimand in her permanent record. Rokita, the Indiana AG was furious that she spoke out and had an “agenda”. I hope she appeals. There can be no greater agenda than to protect her patients and ensure they get the best medical treatment. That is what she did. She pulled the alarm on these cruel laws because they threaten to harm her patients.

Her fine is $3000. I’m sure she can pay this but why should she be faced with a fine for exercising her free speech rights? She followed the rules, submitted the required paperwork and deidentified the patient. There was no violation of privacy.

For this, the voters who wanted to end Roe harassed her, accused her of lying and demanded a retraction. Speaking the truth cost Dr. Bernard. And it will have the effect of stifling the speech of any other doctor who sees something or has to refrain from treating a patient due to these arbitrary rules.

That’s the point. Shut them up so the politicians and their voters can pretend like nothing bad has happened. Just let the women who are affected go out there on their own without their providers backing up their stories.

It’s evil. Just evil. The people who are doing this to women and the voters who thought it was a good idea to put women back in the nursery are just evil people. But now they’ll be protected from knowing just how evil they are.

But it’s too late. The truth is out there. Pregnant women in Idaho will need to drive long distances to give birth. There will be more unwanted children. Can’t hide that. There will be more murdered women. That’s the kind of thing that true crime addicts get off on. There will be women who will eventually die from lack of treatment. It’s going to happen just like it did in Ireland and Poland. I’m not sure how you can hide that. One day, some pregnant woman will be part of an extended family and the next she’ll just be gone. Permanently.

Voters are eventually going to know. You can’t make women invisible even if you clamp down on publicizing the horrors of their medical treatments.

And it’s too late for another reason. Mifepristone is going to be as available as candy all across the country. You can stop the companies who make it from selling it. You can stop drug stores from carrying it. You can stop abortion clinics from distributing it.

But you can’t stop educated, motivated and trained women from making it. It will be as ubiquitous as fentanyl pretty soon and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

Then it will be less of an issue for women who get accidentally pregnant. The pills will be there.

Pretty soon, the only women who will be injured, die and made sorrowful will be the pregnant women in the midst of a miscarriage, or carrying a baby with no kidneys or a baby whose medical condition pose a grave threat to their carriers. Or it will be a little girl who doesn’t even know what’s happening. It will be one hard story after another and everyone will know someone.

Tina Turner (1939-2023)

She never ever did nothin’ nice and easy. She started out easy and did it nice and rough.

She had great legs.

We’re going to miss her.


The syncopation of the Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin song versions keeps running through my mind. Not that I want to make a joke of it. It is that I become more and more convinced that the Republican arsonist caucus fully intends not to raise the debt ceiling, something that has never happened in America’s history.

I hear the ostensible negotiators for the Republicans say that unless the Democrats rein in spending, etc., they will not have a deal. To me, that is more evidence of propaganda, trying to win political points by framing this on the terms they intend to run on, blaming Biden for the economy that they intend to crash.

It is so appalling that most of the media keep framing this as a budget negotiation. Republican leaders say, “We passed our bill.” What bill? The budget was passed last year in the House. This is about simply paying for the budget, which has passed every single time, except when Republicans hold a majority in the House, and a Democrat is president. This is not supposed to be a negotiation. It never was, until the media let the Republicans claim it is.

So inevitably, the news articles are about Biden reneging on his promise not to negotiate this; or about Progressives being upset. Once again, the Democrats are put on the defensive, to where there is really nothing that they can do to get any kind of “win” out of this, or to avoid at least some major damage to the economy. That was Republicans’ plan all along, it usually is. Run up deficits by giving tax breaks to the wealthy, and then demand that Democrats not spend on social programs. The ultimate trickle down, where eventually we look like feudal Europe.

Republicans are going to demand major concessions, or they have their speeches and media surrogates all ready to blame Biden for wrecking the economy. I had always felt that this was going to happen, and the last few weeks are just Republican posturing.

I am disappointed that according to some sources, reliability open to question, Biden feels that it is too late to try to invoke the Fourteenth Amendment. If that is the case, he should have done it sooner, rather than apparently think that Republicans were actually going to work with him. But of course then I am doing what the Republicans and their media want; to blame this on Biden, because Republicans are not held to any standard.

Bill Clinton was said to have urged Obama to invoke it when Republicans were doing this, but Obama did not. So here we are again. Who could have figured? And wait until there are budget battles this term. Some Democrat president is going to have to make a stand, for better or worse. Invoke the Fourteenth, and let the Republicans yell, and the Supreme Court try to abrogate its responsibility.

As far as the media ever informing people that the debt ceiling was always raised until Republicans started using it as a political cudgel against Democrats; and that Republicans are trying to negate the previously passed budget, and are intending to wreck the economy and blame Biden for it, that is a longer shot than an agreement being reached. “Sock it to me, Sock it to me….All they want, is a major default.”