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Random Thoughts

Kirsten Gillibrand- I’m beginning to think she and Elizabeth Warren are more formidable opponents to the GOP than originally thought. I LOVE Gillibrand’s ad about being brave. I think that’s a message that a lot of voters need to hear.

The GOP would have everybody scared crazy about Muslims and Mexicans and while we’re hiding under our beds, they clean the rest of the house out, snickering “suckers” as they leave.

I’m beginning to notice a pattern. Maybe I’m slow to this one. Whenever there’s a strong primary challenger, Democrats are going to start hearing something about that person that person that puts us off our kibble. In Gillibrand’s case, she has to appeal to more left voters. I’m thinking of potential Bernie or Warren voters. Gillibrand’s pressuring Franken to resign rubs them the wrong way. You can be sure that this narrative will be maxxed to the hilt.

Context matters. Gillibrand didn’t have the power to strip Franken of anything. The atmosphere that #MeToo created made Franken an ongoing target that Republicans would have used to distract us from everything Trump was doing. AND Franken, whether aggressive or not, had violated personal space repeatedly. It wasn’t going to go away.

Franken’s resignation was like giving up the rook on the left side. It put him out of play and rebalanced the moral authority of the Democrats. Franken’s a very smart guy and he probably recognized this. So he did the right thing and we got one more female senator in the bargain. If Gillibrand had a hand in that, she should get credit for it, not blame.

So, I caution everyone to not fall for these narratives that are designed to split us. Besides, a politician should be graded on more than just one awkward situation or negative vote. We should take a look at their record, their policies, their integrity.

With Warren, the narrative is to throw the swing voter or working class voter off their kibble. Warren’s policies are more likely to help those voters. Her specialty is the dual income problem, bankruptcy and consumer financial products. She made an impact before she was ever elected with the CFPB. The GOP has been gutting that bureau ever since because it protects consumers against bad financial advisors, pay-day loans and credit card company practices that screw the user.

Calling Warren Pocahontas is a clever thought stopping trick. It makes everything else that she says untrustworthy. The GOP is signalling here that it finds Warren’s policies appealing to the masses and dangerous to it.

We haven’t heard anything negative about Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden or Beto O’Rourke. Nothing that would stick anyway. Beto might have gotten some notice for acting like he owns the place and his DUI, but really, what else is there to say about the guy? He doesn’t have much of a record. I’m guessing that none of these guys are much of a threat to the GOP right now.

Amy Klobuchar got my attention for a split second. It wasn’t that her Minnesota Nice image was destroyed by her “boss from hell” reputation. That could have worked in her favor. No, it was more about her attitude that if she was elected, she’d just say “No!” to any innovative or working class policy. I just got the feeling that she isn’t into trying anything new, she’s not a big picture person and I’m not sure that telling voters to just suck it up is a good working strategy. Life might not be fair but that’s why we vote for new people. We expect them to try to make it fairer.

Kamala Harris seems to be floating under the radar. She’s formidable because she’s got California locked up. I haven’t heard any strong narratives around her. Maybe the opposition thinks that not mentioning her will decelerate her momentum.

Booker, I’m looking at him again. I’m open to him but, again, I want to see policy initiatives.

Bernie. I haven’t really got an opinion. We’re discussing Democrats that are running and Bernie is not a Democrat.

Tulsi? For all we know, the Russians are going to push her on us and she’ll end up as Trump 2.0: without strategic landscape and experience, more than capable of pandering to the evangelical vote, and weirdly sympathetic to war criminals. But she’s pretty. Gotta give her that. Is she enough of a babe to turn the working man’s head? IDK. Let’s just hope she fizzles out quickly.

**************************

Podcasts.

I listen to a lot. But recently, many of them have stopped putting full content on their site. Now, they put teasers to the episode you really want to listen to and those episodes are behind a paywall. There’s Slate Plus, Cafe, and whoever hosts After On.

Look, people, I *know* you have to get compensated for your work but I’m already subscribed to YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Audible, Spotify and iTunes. (Going to drop iTunes) I can’t add another subscription. If I’m going to subscribe to anything, it will be Nature or Science or Cell. I hate having to pirate papers.

Here’s my recommendation, get some common platform for your subscriptions. See what you can work out with Audible. If Amazon bothers you, try Tablet or whatever the hell that magazine app is called. Make me only have to subscribe ONCE at a reasonable price.

I know it’s only $35/year! Or $5/month! Or $10/every 3 months! But sooner or later, it adds up to real money and I’m being pinged for more and more of it.

Put your heads together and work it out.

*****************************

I get a lot of advice from well intentioned relatives and friends about the benefits of natural therapeutics for my illness. I consider all of them carefully and read all the adverse drug reactions I can find for them. That’s because some of the best chemotherapy agents are derived from nature. Yep. Vincristine and Vinblastine are derived from periwinkle and Paclitaxel comes from the pacific yew tree.

Here’s an image of Paclitaxel, my favorite drug du jour 🥰:

Not a medicinal chemist’s dream molecule to make in a lab (can almost see them rolling their eyes over drug designers’ crazy obsession with chiral carbons). So, it’s synthesized in cells now and then purified.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are no “bad” molecules. There are definitely substances that will hurt the body but natural products have no more virtue than something that’s synthesized in a lab and some natural products are fine as they are and only need purification and formulation.

In other words, use what works, read all adverse drug reactions and consult with your doctor and pharmacist.

A molecule is a molecule is a molecule. They don’t come with halos.

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