NEW JERSEY CHOICE FOR GOVERNOR IS SIMPLE

Aquarian Weekly
10/27/21
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
NEW JERSEY CHOICE FOR GOVERNOR IS SIMPLE
Treason, Banning Abortion, Lean on Voting Rights, and Attack on LGBTQ or Not
 
New Jersey is not Texas or Alabama, or God forbid Florida. We do not elect religious loons or social puritans. We occasionally get sucked into cults of personality, like with the tough-talking poser Chris Christie, who sold us a guy-next door boondoggle and ended up a spluttering sewage pump. He was a portly fucktard and a total bust as governor. Even a knuckle-dragging celebrity whore like Donald Trump routinely ignored him. This is the free-thinking state. Our stronghold against the national fervor to turn the concept of democracy into a propagandized circus freakshow for hack lawyers, Internet goons and land rapists. We have open debates on things like corruption here. We know who our criminals are and if we choose to elect them on merit, fine. But eventually we merrily expunge fascists when they reveal themselves. I helped get one of those out of my district, so I know. And this is why there is no other choice but to vote for Governor Phil Murphy for a second term.

It is odd to cite “the lesser of two evils” in this case. Murphy has actually been a solid governor. His leadership during the Covid crisis received less press than the shamed and sacked former governor of New York, whose name escapes me at the moment. The other guy, a shameless publicity hound and ego pimp, ultimately did more harm than good. There was a steady hand in this government during the depths of the pandemic of 2020 and beyond. No grandstanding. No panic. No shifting agenda. And, of course, there is the legalization of marijuana, the only reason I touted Murphy’s first run for the seat four years ago. He delivered. And soon we shall see its results on state income, as we have already seen a welcomed plummet in ridiculous drug arrests. Murphy deserves another term.

But this is less a full-throated endorsement for the Democratic candidate as it is a warning to New Jersey voters about Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli. The latter is a dangerous gamble with the state’s stand on women’s reproductive rights, a fortification of democratic parameters like voter protection, security for the LGBTQ community in the workplace, and the above-cited measured approach to the Covid crisis.

Firstly, make no mistake New Jersians; Roe v Wade is on life support nationally. Once this radical right-wing Supreme Court gets ahold of the phalanx of abortion cases coming this year, the matter will be thrown to the states. Nearly seventy percent of N.J. voters support Governor Murphy’s “Reproductive Freedom Act,” which expands the medical care for women and acts as a stronghold against the inevitable attack on women’s fundamental control over their bodies from federal government interference. A Don’t Tread on Me concept that has escaped those who wave that particular flag. Don’t get me started on the misuse of symbolic laundry. I have fought on that hill too many times to recall.

Nonetheless, women’s rights are in serious peril in the wake of a Ciattarelli administration. A source inside the campaign was quite open with me about the candidate’s Right to Life stance – a politically correct phrase for “Open Your Legs and Let the Statehouse In.” It is the most crucial issue facing the state, especially, again, with the imminent striking down of Roe v Wade in the Supreme Court.
  

A vote for Jack Ciattarelli means a total overhaul in our voting system.

The source also confirmed that although Ciattarelli has tried to distance himself from the treason-wing of his party, he not only attended a Stop the Steal event this past year, later claiming ignorance of the thing, which should make you stop for a moment and consider his mental faculties, but he also spoke at a Pro-Trump rally, boasting a roll back in the state’s current LGBTQ curriculum and pledging to wipe out mask mandates for schools. So, in a way, he is a Right to Life candidate who is okay with killing kids already out of the womb. This is a problem for me. I have one of those “out of the womb” kids. I like having her around. And Jack Ciattarelli is not allowing the state government to endanger her, so he can appeal to the zombies at OAN.
  

And make no mistake, a vote for Jack Ciattarelli means a total overhaul in our voting system; pulling polling stations out of Black neighborhoods and implementing all these useless and anti-democratic, anti-voting laws the other fascists are signing into law in Republican-controlled states across the fruited plain. Do you want partisan flunkies overturning your vote to give an election to the loser? That’s a thing right now. States handing over the power for government employees to blithely overturn the will of the people. And Jack Ciattarelli supports this. Loudly. Boldly.

Ciattarelli’s act may play well in goober states. But here his policies and beliefs are sadly atavistic, so he has predictably leaned heavy these past weeks on the Lower Taxes bullshit. Let me ask you, because I know the answer, I’ve been living in this state since late 2001; did your taxes go down over the two Chris Christie terms? No. They did not. So, if you are going to toss out democracy, habeas corpus rights, the protection of the socially persecuted, and put your kids in danger, shouldn’t you at least pay a little less money to the state? But you won’t. Not a dime. In fact, like with Christie, your taxes will go up. And they will continue to go up if this puritanical crackpot gets in office and turns the thing into the latest Republican shit-show.
 

And that is the nut, isn’t it? As my friend Doc Buzz once mused so presciently about all-things politics; Who’s kidding who? Ciattarelli is a Republican. And until further notice, this is the party of Trump. And Trump is a treasonous criminal, who should have been dragged from that podium on January 6 and tried on sedition charges instead of ending up shuffling his fat carcass around Mar-a-Lago speed-injecting acetaminophen and pissing on women dressed like his mother.
 

New Jersey is not Mar-a-Lago. There is a scrouge across this land and we need a defense against dangerous idiocy.

Vote Murphy.

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ALL EYES ON THE COMMONWEALTH

Aquarian Weekly
10/20/21
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
ALL EYES ON THE COMMONWEALTH
The Governor’s Race May Predict a 2022 Mid-Term Outcome      
 
In two weeks, the national temperature of the voting public will be taken again. The last one, the doomed recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, in September, did not end well for Republicans. But this was before the approval-ratings nosedive for President Joe Biden, who has appeared overwhelmed and mostly impotent in the face of several crisis from Afghanistan to the border to Covid-19 surges to inflation, which has led to a national malaise and as a result the hemorrhaging of the Independent vote. Virginia is not only a “purple” state but has leaned solidly in the Democrats’ column since 2012 – an unprecedented thirteen-cycle winning streak in a highly competitive state. While stressing again, as in California last month, most politics is local, a governor’s race in a key battleground state like Virginia is a fair to crucial bellwether on how badly things could go for Democrats in the 2022 mid-terms.

Beyond national prognostications – a fun exercise for political junkies like yours truly – reside the players. The two candidates acutely represent both parties. Former Governor of Virginia and current Democratic candidate to regain that title, Terry McAuliffe is a pre-Obama lifer, mostly centrist and connected to the national political machine. He has the full backing of the national party, which means his president Joe Biden. His opponent, Glenn Allen Youngkin, is a former CEO of the $260 billion global investment Carlyle Group, loudly endorsed by former failed businessman and recent ignominious loser of the 2020 presidential race, Donald J. Trump.

On the ground, Virginia is not immune to the national issues facing a mostly post-Covid United States. Economic strains including jobs, vaccine mandates, the undermining of democratic ideals and the state of the current presidential administration is on the table for Virginia voters.

So, the state (a bellwether of national politics), the parties (locked in a death-match of reality and conspiracy) and the candidates (reflections of this ongoing narrative) are all entwined in this one. It is why we have these elections. It is why we vote. And when it is done, we accept the outcome as the will of the people and not some lopsided agenda-fueled tyrannical overthrow of the system based on ego-addled lies. But that is for many future columns to come. Virginia is the order of the week.

Virginia – seemingly always at the center of the national fervor and our historical tipping point.

For the record, McAuliffe is a loathsome hack. He toiled for both Clintons in wins and losses and ran the party for a spate in the early aughts. He represents wheel-and-deal party politics and is roundly dismissed by most politicos as something of a relic. Youngkin is a Republican, which now unfortunately represents anti-American domestic terrorism. He claims to be against the brutal violence perpetuated during the dark hours of January 6 at our Capitol and is trying to distance himself from recent rallies for his campaign hosted by petulant thug Steve Bannon, who is soon to go to jail for contempt of congress in his role inciting the attempted overthrow of the 2020 election results in a bloody coup. At a recent pro-Youngkin rally, participants pledged allegiance to a flag used on January 6, which unfortunately for the candidate reminds voters of what it means to back anyone on a Republican ticket now.

But the Democrats have had a bad sixty or so days. The barely Democrat-controlled congress is in a stalemate on how much more we can jack up the deficit, duly bloated in record numbers by the outgoing Republican-led congress for four years of drunken spending. Both parties fight against the power of the other to spend our money and now it is the progressives v the moderates on what should have been a slam-dunk effort to expand infrastructure spending eight years ago. As mentioned, Biden’s national numbers (52-percent disapproval in Virginia as a result) are in a sinkhole and McAuliffe can no better hide from this than Youngkin can wipe the stain of Trumpism (eleven months of claiming the 2020 election was a fraud with zero evidence) from his candidacy.

Ever more the reason why the Commonwealth of Virginia, once the most powerful force in the nascent days of the republic, birthplace of Thomas Jefferson, the father of modern democracy and the former capital of the Confederacy, is back at the center of our national soul. The very history of America plays out on its bloody ground. And in two weeks it shall again.

As of this writing, McAuliffe barely leads Youngkin by three points, well within the margin of error. Biden easily carried Virginia by ten points only eleven months ago. Youngkin, a very wealthy CEO, has outspent his opponent, exposing his weakness on crime and economics in a phalanx of attack adds. McAuliffe is clinging to two key popular issues: The state favors vaccine mandates for businesses (fifty-four percent) and keeping Roe V. Wade legal polls at sixty percent. Recent abortion-restriction laws in Texas have alerted voters to the reality of this issue most of all. What a shocker. In a close race, the Republican is all about crime and the Democrat is all about reproductive rights.

As far as the numbers guys are concerned, this one is hard to prognosticate. Beyond the national climate or local issues, there is recent history in polling. According to the Five Thirty Eight estimates, a model for higher turnout has McAuliffe leading Youngkin by eight points instead of three points. This is similar to the 2017 race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam, in which the latter trailed by the same three points going into the election but ended up losing by a solid nine points. The problem with this, the celebrated prediction group notes, is that in 2017 there was an unpopular Republican president. Now that particular shoe is on the other foot.

The final word on this election, as in most close elections, is Independents. Right now, Youngkin leads McAuliffie by nine points there. That is the difference between Biden carrying Virginia last year and the Democratic candidate coughing it up in two weeks. Whether this tells us how 2022 will play out and the prospects for a Republican wave or a more tempered Democratic defeat is dubious. But less so when considering Virginia – seemingly always at the center of the national fervor and our historical tipping point.
 

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CALIFORNIA SCHEMING

Aquarian Weekly
9/15/21
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
CALIFORNIA SCHEMING
What the Golden State Recall Election Tells Us About National Politics 
 
 
Six weeks ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom was in trouble. The recall election slated for 9/14 looked to be hanging in the balance. When a recall was first broached last year after a backlash resulting from his flouting his own mask mandate and other stressing economic issues facing his state, the idea of ousting him before the end of his term was about 50-50. But there was a serious swell rising against the beleaguered Democrat. Since, there have been alternative Republican candidates entering “the race”. Then the numbers shifted dramatically. The frontrunner, Larry Elder is the biggest culprit, if Republican strategists on the ground are to be believed. Elder’s presence has morphed a competitive contest into a rather banal one.

Elder is another of these goofy “conservative” talk show hosts. Before the age of Trump this used to mean something. Now, it is a place for abject lunacy. His candidacy in a wildly Democratic state centers mostly around name recognition, the usual twenty-nine to thirty-eight percent far-right militant radical vote, and for window dressing, being African American does not hurt. For a while that kind of thing held some sway, especially when he received a rousing endorsement from Trump himself. It was enough to gain a plurality among the right. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the governor’s seat; Elder started appealing to the body politic. It was then when things went rapidly south.

And I need to stress rapidly.

Californians, it turns out, are not so keen on someone who says before his first cup of tea upon being sworn in he would eliminate the mask mandates put in place by the current administration, and then make it more difficult to fully vaccinate the state. This stuff is gold on the radio, where resentment, fear and outlandish blather helps sell beer. On the campaign trail, however, it is poison. In the past two weeks the nearly 50-50 split to kick Newsom to the curb has gone the other way almost twenty percent. Now nearly seven out of ten in the state support keeping the governor right where he is. Twenty percent did not shift by the selling of a new Newsom, but the very possibility of a crazy Elder.

What California tells us, if anything, is that although a chief executive may not be the popular choice, his opponent matters.

Now, I know that contextualizing a state or any local race into a national prognostication is foolhardy at best and quite frankly fucking insane at its core, but for the purposes of fun, let’s take what was happening to an obviously vulnerable sitting executive and extrapolate his story of seeming defeat to an unlikely reprieve on the national scene.

While Newsome’s governorship was being taken off life support, the president of the United States has been in a significant tailspin. Not since George W. Bush, the last president to enjoy a crossover appeal and rejection, has a president suffered the kind of nosedive approval ratings as Joe Biden in the past three weeks. As broached in the space recently, his steady fifty-three percent approvals since inauguration in January has sunk him to forty-five percent. Not once in those weeks has there been a respite. The numbers dive, slowly, steadily.

The botched and badly communicated exit from Afghanistan and the return of the Covid restrictions, rising hospitalizations and deaths being the two big reasons. There has always been a sense that Biden is not completely compos mentis, and the former did not help this assessment. The Covid thing is beyond his control. The federal government can only do so much. If states like Florida, Texas, and most of the South wish to force schools to not mask children and basically ignore the Delta variant explosion, then so be it. But among independent voters, these issues have led to a softening and then a mass exodus.

This is a crisis point for Biden. Independents decide close elections. And without an opponent, and if things were to be settled this November instead of three years from now, he would be very beatable.

Which brings me back to California. There is still a fervor to want change at the top, and Newsome’s approval numbers may not be overwhelming (he is at Biden’s former fifty-three percent) but once Larry Elder took his radio schtick into actual politics, it went the other way. If a Trumpian candidate is pummeled in California now, one wonders if Joe Biden might consider trolling Donald Trump to announce his candidacy. Because there is a very strong possibility that if a sane, actual conservative runs in 2024, the president is in deep shit.

Of course, Biden has three years, not three months. But what California tells us, if anything, is that although a chief executive may not be the popular choice, his opponent matters. Not sure there is (the November election is less than a year ago) the stomach for another Trump run or for another Trumpian candidate. And since Elder has already started predictably claiming election fraud a week out, the fallout might also be equally as ugly.

Let’s see if the Elder vote shows up to make this competitive. But if he loses, and if he loses by ten points, his presence in the race clearly forced the electorate to choose between incompetence and bat shit crazy dangerous.  

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WOMEN IN BONDAGE

Aquarian Weekly
9/8/21
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
WOMEN IN BONDAGE
Supreme Court Ignores Unconstitutional Bans on Abortion in Texas, Thus Enslaving Women’s Bodies at the Behest of the State
    
 
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
– Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
 
 
The moment former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg stopped breathing the rights of women were put on life support. This overwhelming conservative court is now poised to strike down the forty-eight year-old Roe v Wade decision that we were told (like we were told the twenty-year Afghanistan War would be swift) was “decided law.” It is not. It never was. Until an amendment exists, (but it kind of exists, doesn’t it? – more on that in a couple of paragraphs), there is no such thing as “decided law.” They are likely coming for marriage equality as well. If the slow gutting of the Civil Rights Act is any indication, there is some radical judicial shenanigans to come.

But this is not a column about the vagaries of political justices or religious fanatics or the age-old arguments about fetal rights or heartbeats. This is about one thing, and has always been about that thing: Can a democratically constructed government based on a human’s right to live free in a nation built on the concept of law dictate what happens inside the body of its citizens?

The answer to that question must always be no. The government should not demand you remove your appendix or change your sexual organs. There are anti-choice, pro-lifers who bitch about the strong suggestion they receive a vaccine to save their lives and the lives of other fellow citizens, many of them family and friends. Not a mandate. A Suggestion. Yet, they wholly support the government dictating what goes on inside their bodies.

Oh, no, wait a minute, not everyone’s bodies. Women’s bodies. Just women. So, um, it is prejudicial on top of the other life and liberty stuff. Oh, I get it. Sure. And so, the end of Roe v Wade, a correct legal decision based on the basic principles of liberty, would mean that there can come a day when the government could force a woman to terminate a pregnancy. Oops. Yes. It would. Why wouldn’t it? Roe v Wade protects the systemic control over the bodies of more than half our citizenry. It protects women. Women are citizens. Thus, striking it down makes women’s bodies slaves to the state. This issue should be argued on the merits of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Okay, so maybe the Thirteenth Amendment is going too far – not sure it is – but there is always the Fourteenth Amendment, which grants the rights of citizens (women, the whole of women, including the uterus) over draconian laws instituted by lunatics. Of course, that amendment, passed in 1868, only granted these rights to men. It is specifically in the wording. Men only. But then the Nineteenth Amendment, passed in 1919, supersedes it. Allowing not only women to vote but making them equal in the eyes of laws previously passed for men. So, now we’re up to three amendments. How many do we need to grant equal rights to women? Apparently more, as in the 1970s there was the proposition – stymied, of course – for an Equal Rights Amendment. Because maybe four fucking amendments might get women where they need to be.

Which brings us back to this: My daughter. Your daughter. Our daughters. Slaves to the state. None of them would have control over what happens inside them, now that Texas flouts the constitution, as they do, and many states do now with voting rights, and pushes this issue to its logical end – enslaving women. All of these things to be dictated by government over citizens. Unconstitutional. Period.

Women have taken your shit for as long as there has been anything known as society…

This has not been a good year for the constitution or democracy. It starts with a president trying overturn a free and fair election and become a dictator, then anarchists attacking the state capitol, and now the Supreme Court paving the way to enslave women’s body as the behest of the state.

Yeah, and we fear the Taliban halfway across the globe. No point. It’s here. And now. Next up, burkas. 

I shan’t get into the spectacular level of hypocrisy in the conservative, anti-government, Don’t Tread on Me clan that demand that women cash in their uterus. It is an appalling lack of ideological self-awareness, or really awareness or rationality. It is, in fact, the very definition of irrational, like most of the arguments to allow the government to take control of women. Government control. Over the body of a citizen of the United States. This is where we are heading.

And we need to get our heads around that. It is coming. Both of Donald Trump’s SCOTUS appointees are intractably anti Roe v Wade in previous rulings, comportment and commentary. We’ve already covered this. That particular ship has left the dock a while ago. It is a done deal. Its time is limited. And for those who have fought on the front lines against it for decades, your time has come. Good for you. But that does not mean it isn’t draconian and wrong and has no place in a society built on the concept that we are all free. Not women. Not for long.

Women have taken your shit for as long as there has been anything known as society – long before anyone considered freedom or that women were not property. Women. Property. To marry off and auction off and stigmatize and marginalize and objectify and demean and corner and make less-than. They’ve been on the butt end of religion and law and social mores and bigotry. But since 1973, when a woman couldn’t own a credit card or be a doctor or get a loan, they had at the very least, control of their bodies. And this is our ticking time bomb now. And this non-ruling ruling by the highest court in the land means, for now, there isn’t a fucking thing that can be done about it.

But right now, not tomorrow or next week or some time when we get our shit together, it is time to begin working out a plan to up-end anti-choice candidates for any office. It should be the democratic litmus test of all litmus tests. It used to be. But we got soft. The anti-choice crowd were hoping we would sleep on it. And we did. They made it their crusade. And now they are reaping the benefits. But the only way to protect the rights of women – even the unknowing women who support the pro-life movement at the peril of their own rights – is to upend this and make it our moral fight. Stop playing defense and get on offense to make it a law and maybe even an amendment, or at least evoke the rights granted by three amendments and the existence of a ratified constitution that the systemic control of any citizen is illegal and immoral. 

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AFGHANISTAN – THE BIG FAIL

Aquarian Weekly
8/25/21

Reality Check

James Campion


AFGHANISTAN – THE BIG FAIL

Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan.
– Italian proverb

Man, I have written a whole lot about Afghanistan over two decades. Not as much as Iraq, but a lot. It has been a long, strange trip, over three presidencies, two of which claimed some sort of victory there and all three that dangled withdrawal. This past week or so the announced finality and exit of American troops from the region after the nation’s longest war did not go well. The government that we spent two decades building and the military that we spent two decades training, folded in a week to the Taliban that we were sold were defeated fifteen years earlier. The United States streak of losing military actions and de-facto wars since 1945 continues. This is an epic fail for the U.S. And despite the above quote, it has a shit-ton of fathers.

This could have been predicted in 2001, when President George W. Bush knee-jerked into what we all thought – and were told – was a brief military operation to dismantle the wheels of terrorism that led to 9/11, the first in a series of spectacular lies that would take forty columns to review. The Soviet Union had a similar run in the Afghanistan in the 1980s that ran the gamut from swift invasion, troubled occupation, frustrated abandonment, and a nation completely sunk into chaos. Their final report on conditions on the ground in 1989 were as follows: “Clearly visible is the growth of [Afghan] self-sufficiency, self-confidence, ability to evaluate the situation correctly … which they lacked during our military presence in Afghanistan.”

Oops.

Does this skewed overview of the situation sound familiar?

Which brings us back to our own botched calculation over thirty years later.

Despite the above’s recent history readily available to all involved – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the usual suspects – five years into the “quick military operation,” Bush claimed victory, as he did three years earlier in the notorious “Mission Accomplished” speech about Iraq (that war is still going on, I think? Maybe? Sort of.), stating “We have defeated the Taliban and freed the nation.” Then he sent more troops in and went away, making way for Barack Obama. That didn’t go particularly well either, despite the obvious opposition to the campaign by the incoming commander-in-chief.

After running for office on ending “endless wars” and hoping to bring what was then an already “too long” fiasco in Afghanistan, Obama added 30,000 troops to the fray within months of being elected, claiming an eighteen-month surge to bring the war to a conclusion. This, as you might ascertain, did not occur. So, the last guy ran on absolutely ending “endless wars.” Donald Trump promptly told the nation that Bush and his cronies were war mongers, the generals were idiots, and he alone could fix it. Of course, like everything that came from Trump, this was total bullshit. The former draft-dodger told the press in 2017 after becoming president that “We have wasted too much blood and treasure on Afghanistan” and blustered about pulling out at least a dozen times in his four years. The events of this week prove that never happened on his watch.

This war… was about vengeance for 9/11 and to shroud our dependence on foreign oil in a patriotic security mission.

Then we have Joe Biden, who as senator, watched our secret war to arm the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to help facilitate the Soviet boondoggle, then abandon our allies, leading to the rise of al Qaeda, and the emergence in the 1990s of Osama bin Laden, and, well, you know the deal. Biden was even in the room as Obama’s vice president when word came that bin Laden had been killed way back in May of 2011. Everyone thought, well, maybe, now we can pull out of this mess after ten years. Nah. Let’s do ten more.

Biden, or someone after him, at some point, was going to have to take the L for this. How long are we supposed to police and build and manage a foreign government and prop up its military? This is not rhetorical. I mean to ask this: How long? Thirty years? Forty? Forever? This thing had to end. Afghanistan is not Syria or even Iraq – this was not an ongoing skirmish. This was a finger-in-the-damn proposition. The U.S. Army is not a police unit. It is not a building contractor operation. It is there to invade and break shit, kill people, and get the fuck out. Afghanistan was something else, and that something else, like all things, had to end. The defeat in Afghanistan was inevitable. Okay, you think defeat is too hard, you need the edges smoothed, then how about an Incomplete? Whatever the semantics, it was as immediate as it was predictable. The entire farce of the War on Terror – a never-ending money pit of violence, lies and fuck-ups – was set up for bad endings. Think of all of this like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. You just know… right?

This does not excuse the images of people hanging off airplanes and women and children running for their lives and the predictable anti-American chanting and effigy burning. These are not good looks for any president. Ask Jimmy Carter. Biden is in charge now, not Bush or Obama or Trump. He wanted the gig. He’s a big boy (unlike the last cry baby) and he has taken the shit storm like a man. And he should. His historically steady approval ratings have sunk five points to under fifty percent for the first time in his first eight months on the job, and while most of it is related to the backlash over the Delta variant and its probable negative effects on an economy that has already dipped its toes into the early stages of inflation, the swiftness of Afghanistan’s fall into the hands of an enemy we were told was bested fifteen long years is a tough pill to swallow for Americans.

But lest we forget, this war was never about protecting women’s rights or nation building or whatever Judea-Christian falderal you hear, it was about vengeance for 9/11 and to shroud our dependence on foreign oil in a patriotic security mission. It was all bullshit. It is always bullshit when it comes to war, and it had to end, badly or otherwise.

Here’s the only silver lining, and it is at best a long shot. I would think, moreover I would hope we take measured, reasoned, and careful consideration before going the war route in the future. George H. W. Bush promised “no more Viet Nams” in his Kuwait show that gave a generation the false hope we had learned from our mistakes there and in Korea a decade earlier. But we clearly did not. And if twenty years of wasted human life, abject destruction, and trillions of dollars spent in Afghanistan just to see the images of the last week isn’t enough a lesson, then we, and anyone we deign to assist in the future, deserve to be fucked.

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GOVERNORS BAWL

Aquarian Weekly
8/11/21

Reality Check

James Campion

GOVERNORS BAWL


To say the very least, this has been a strange summer for the governors of four of our biggest states: California, Florida, New York and Texas. To say the most, it has been a friggin’ shit show.

Two Democrats.

Two Republicans.

Half of this notorious quartet is mired in an alarming spike in the new Covid variant, Delta, while continuing to mostly ignore its impact on their citizens and play politics with their constituents’ lives. One barely hangs on beneath a torrent of several sexual misconduct allegations that this week came to boiling point after the state’s attorney general announced the findings of an investigation previously touted by the accused as his salvation. And one still faces a recall election this fall after his alleged failures in handling a growing housing crisis, rising homeless numbers, a distressing crime rate and climate change that’s fueled water and electricity woes – not to mention failing to curtail the virus outbreak last year, seemingly fiddling while L.A. burned, so to speak.

A couple of these gentlemen entertain aspirations for the White House, which means, if the last guy was any indication, they are well on their way. Donald Trump also monumentally fucked up a response to Covid and bragged about his assaulting women, and he got to be president. Never mind his continued lie about having the 2020 election stolen from him, which caused a violent breech on the Capitol, killing now… six officers, is it? Yes, Blue Lives Matter, except if you are protecting a federal building against heavily armed middle-aged white right-wing extremists. Then fuck it.

But I digress.

Let’s go alphabetically by state.

California is an economically savaged state with environmental issues from wildfires to floods to smog and pollution – make no mistake, if the northern part of the state goes bye-bye (the most beautiful stretch of land on this continent) then we may well all pack it in. But mostly, for now, it has a serious Covid issue. Although fifty-three percent of California residents are fully vaccinated, way better than most states, it has not been enough to prevent Delta from spreading. To make matters worse, beleaguered Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom was spotted late last year flouting his own mandates, eating at the ritzy French Laundry restaurant, maskless.

In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is facing increased pressure from inside and outside his party to take any action to address the state’s surging number of cases and hospitalizations from the coronavirus. He responded by signing an executive order last week banning cities and counties from mandating their kids wear masks in school. And as he did last year during the height of the pandemic, DeSantis has refused to heed CDC guidelines or even acknowledge any measure of mask mandates for businesses, leading to what is now the state’s worst Covid infection numbers, even when considering 2020, and, moreover, according to the Miami Herald, an unprecedented explosion of children being admitted to pediatric hospitals due to Covid. Only Texas has reported a higher spike in child patients, but we’ll get to that horror show shortly.

And while lives are not in the balance and the economic woes of New York, especially NYC, have been recently lessoned, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, once the darling of his party and the nation due to his handling of the pandemic for most of 2020, is being squeezed by Democrats and Republicans alike to resign his office following the results of an investigation conducted by the state’s attorney general that reported that he had sexually harassed eleven women and created a general “hostile” work environment for women. Not surprisingly, due to the new climate of boys will be boys set forth by “Grab ‘Em By the Pussy” Trump, Cuomo is digging in, using The Donald’s playbook of acting victimized by Cancel Culture and a politically motivated witch hunt. Problem for Cuomo is the Democratic Party kind of frowns on this behavior instead of celebrates it as some kind of dying breed of white male dominance. Impeachment is now on the table.

Four huge states. Large populations. Bad vibes. Crime. Ineffectual governance. Political survival.

And last, but certainly not least, is the sad tale of Texas and its governor, Greg Abbott. Like DeSantis, taking cues from failed real estate criminals rather than scientists and doctors, Abbott resists any changes in the state’s policies toward Covid-19 even as the Delta variant spreads at the worst rate in the country. Cases are up more than two-hundred percent in Texas over the past two weeks. On the surface that seems bad. Looking deeper, it is morally bankrupt systemic malfeasance. In the face of all this, Abbott doubled down on his do-nothing strategy this week, bringing to mind the incredibly ineffectual Herbert Hoover laissez-faire non-planning that worked so well to exacerbate the Great Depression. To put it mildly, the utterly silly apathetic governance applied here is gutting the state’s morale on beating back the disease enough to reduce confidence in both the private sector and its government. In other words, if the governor has no ideas beyond “Screw it”, then the only way to describe his office is useless.

Four huge states. Large populations. Bad vibes. Crime. Ineffectual governance. Political survival.

It’s going to be a fun summer.

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SUDDEN REPUBLICAN ABOUT-FACE ON VACCINES EXPLAINED

Aquarian Weekly
7/28/21

Reality Check

James Campion

SUDDEN REPUBLICAN ABOUT-FACE ON VACCINES EXPLAINED


After a year of claiming the Covid-19 pandemic was an orchestrated fraud on the American people, overrated, a weird flu that will disappear in a few weeks, a way for the federal government to strip its citizenry of its rights, and the ensuing vaccines being deadly tools to control our brains, the voices of the Republican Party have suddenly reversed course. This past week staunch detractors of the vaccine roll-out, cravenly fabricated for political purposes, have begun to quite vigorously implore that their loyal sheep march in a different direction. What the hell just happened?

Firstly, it should be pointed out that most Republican governors, members of congress, cable newsies and other voices from the right never truly believed this anti-vaccine, pandemic-denying bullshit. Most of these people hunkered down in their homes, slathered on the hand sanitizer, and masked up. These same people were the first in line to get vaccinated. There has been a wonderful line of Internet backlash against colossal idiot, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who a year ago told the world that once Joe Biden won the election, there would be no more pandemic. “He doesn’t even have to be sworn in,” Cruz proclaimed. “It will suddenly disappear.” Cruz, for the record, is vaccinated. His family, at least the ones who didn’t conspire to kill JFK, is vaccinated. Yet, he continues to take to the floor and rail against all of it. He is a phony. It is a political show to secure the former lunatic president’s slack-jawed base. No one believes any of it.

This shameless circus of hypocrisy brings us to the second issue: The Delta variant.

In the past few months, a second wave of a more aggressively infectious Covid virus has spread throughout the U.S. Depending on your source, ninety-eight to ninety-nine percent of those who are infected (and the numbers are rising every day) are un-vaccinated. The three worst states are Cruz’s Texas, run by Republicans, Missouri, run by Republicans, and Florida, run by one of the most defiant anti-vaccine psychos, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. One of the leading opponents of shutting down his state to curtail the spread of Covid last year, Florida had dips and spikes in the infected and the fallen like no other state. Now Florida finds itself at the epicenter of this new outbreak (45,000 new cases, 10,459 in June). There is widespread panic, especially among the elderly, a fair portion of the state’s population. But if last year’s ignoring of thousands of deaths is any indication, DeSantis doesn’t give a shit about old people dying. DeSantis cares about Republican voters dying.

It is bad politics to kill your voter base.

Nearly seven out of ten Republicans refuse to be vaccinated. These are mostly the voter base of the party – white and uneducated, or what is left of this cult. Do the math. If ninety-nine percent of the unvaccinated are getting infected by the new variant and seventy percent of these victims are Republicans, and you run a state that routinely has a one to three percent victory margin, then the governor cannot withstand losing votes to the Grim Reaper.    

Here is DeSantis two days before I’m writing this: “If you look at the people that are being admitted to hospitals, over ninety-five percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality. Telling them that the vaccines don’t work, I think that’s the worst message you can send to people at this time because I think that the data has been really, really good in terms of preserving people.”

Can a columnist write WTF?

I think I just did.

Getting back to Texas, according to a recent Texas Tribune report, the state has endured nearly nine thousand Covid deaths since February. All but forty-three were unvaccinated people. Not sure what nearly one hundred percent of eighty-five hundred people comes to, but as far as I can tell that is a lot of dead Republicans.

The other day, my pal, proud Republican and fierce anti-Trump voice, S.E. Cupp took to CNN airwaves to make this very case. “Republican politicians and right-wing radio and TV voices are literally killing their own voters,” she said. And for a shrinking party who has chosen to run amok all over voter and democratic rights to remain relevant, this is not a winning strategy. Within hours of Cupp’s declaration. FOX News nighttime rodeo clown Sean Hannity implored his listeners for the first time since the pandemic hit in early 2020 to take it seriously and get vaccinated. A lapdog shill for Donald Trump for four years and the purveyor of the worst conspiracy propaganda around, with the notable exception of comedian Tucker Carlson, (also vaccinated), who continues to rail against vaccines nightly, Hannity can nonetheless see the writing on the wall.

It is bad politics to kill your voter base. If you are going to make up stories about Trump winning the previous election, the one he was smoked in, to keep the thing breathing, why put a pillow over its face?

If this all sounds the bottom of the barrel being scraped, you know your sounds. But I add, again, for those with political aspiration. Keep those in your camp breathing. Helps come election day.

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THE OVERRATED CRIME NARRATIVE

Aquarian Weekly
7/14/21

Reality Check

James Campion

THE OVERRATED CRIME NARRATIVE
Backlash To Shitty Policing & Right-Wing Paranoia Fuels Myth


Last week I indicated the uptick in crime in New York City, mostly violent crime, which has, across the board in the U.S., increased during the pandemic of 2020 and spilled into the first six months of this year. This is why I touted the centrist, former police captain and current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for the next mayor of NYC. The trends are not good, but it is important to point out that they are a mere blip in not only NYC’s recent and ignominious crime history, but also the greater U.S. After a year of Black Lives Matter backlash to white cops murdering African Americans at an alarming clip, and the ensuing absurd Defund the Police movement, leading into an embarrassingly sycophantic pro-police resistance, the numbers of growing crime rates have not only been exaggerated, but fetishized, mythologized, and just plain made up.

U.S.: violent crime rate graph 1990-2018

The raw numbers do not back up this latest American hysteria, much of it predictably fueled by the Republican Party, currently out of power and viable ideas that don’t include Dr. Suess. Much of my sources within the party have openly admitted that “fear of crime” is the go-to for the 2022 mid-terms. Don’t get me wrong, I support anything a party can do to stay relevant, but it seems odd that one of the most heinously violent domestic terrorist crimes committed in my lifetime only six months ago, the January 6 attack on the Capitol, seems to not bother these people at all, yet they cling to fantasies of shadowy figures running amok killing innocents in record numbers.

And lest anyone think this is a slanted partisan deconstruction of Republican bullshit; I remind you that last summer when it would behoove me to continue to bash the former president for what appeared at the time to be a daily raging violent outburst of humanity – oft-times compared to the late 1960s – I cautioned readers  to pump the brakes, it wasn’t even close. And more famously, I took much shit from my liberal friends for tamping down the whole “Just like Vietnam” craziness that transpired during the height of the Iraq War, which, again, was not comparable in any possible way. The idea of Reality Check is to keep it real, to strip the usual “Worst Ever” or “Best Ever” miasma that has soiled what now passes for intellectual debate.

Now, back to crime.

“Americans overall are much less likely to be killed today than they were in the 1990s, and the homicide rate across big cities is still close to half what it was a quarter century ago.”

The fact is that 2020, while, again, showing a rise in violent crime, mostly due to a once-in-a-century pandemic, was concerning (homicides up twenty-five percent), it does not warrant this kind of public and political frenzy. In fact, last year, because businesses, bars, and general lockdown curtailed humans from interacting with other humans and their stuff, the U.S. crime rate dropped considerably: Over ten percent for robberies, nearly eight percent for property damage, and nearly fifteen percent for rape. According to a Guardian piece this week, “Americans overall are much less likely to be killed today than they were in the 1990s, and the homicide rate across big cities is still close to half what it was a quarter century ago.”

I remind you again, there were armed lunatics within fifty feet of the vice president of the United States screaming for his head in the U.S. Capitol a few months back. This seems to be an actual issue that maybe should be worrisome.

As the above quote hints, all of this numbers-crunching includes 1991, the “murder year” of all years. This includes the ultra-violent 1960s and the wild and wooly 70s, where the states with the most humans (Florida, New York, California, and Illinois – in that order) topped the charts. Ghost states like Montana and Utah with about two thousand people in them were predictably toward the bottom. Since 1991, and including 2020, and this year, the steady decline in crime (especially violent crime) has gone down considerably, and except for some anomalies like last year, has stayed that way.

There is also this silly idea that larger cities are currently under siege. This is also not true. And while there are more people with diverse racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds to consider in cities, crime numbers there may surprise you.

According to FBI 2021 data of the Most Dangerous Cities, the Top Five are Muskegon Heights, Michigan, Tukwila, Washington, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, Little Rock, Arkansas. Nary a Los Angeles, New York, Chicago or Houston in the bunch. For larger cities, would you guess that considering the murder rate per capita for the size and scope of cities that St. Louis, MO (69.4) is the murder capital of the U.S.A.? Followed by Baltimore, MD (51.1), New Orleans, LA (40.6), Detroit, MI (39.7) Rounding out the bad towns are Cleveland, OH (33.7), Las Vegas, NV (31.4) and Kansas City, MO (31.2) just outside the curve. New York and Los Angeles are not even in the Top Fifteen.

Now, it is a well-worn subject in this space how over-the-top this country is when compared to other advanced and rich nations in our gun violence. This has been the case in 1991, 2001, 2011 and this year. That has not changed for the worse. It has always sucked. It is a sad commentary on us, but hardly an indication that things have suddenly gone off the rails. But even considering these cases, the FBI figures that nearly eighty to ninety percent of the victims of these shootings know their assailant. And since domestic violence was the most significant issue last year – along with the insane anti-Asia violent crime wave – these stats have held true.

All of these numbers are easily found. I found them. Taking the word of desperate politicians and cable news for anything is a dereliction of your citizenry, but on a hot-button issue, and especially since it may keep you up at night cradling a handgun, it is probably a good idea you take a gander yourself.

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ERIC ADAMS NEEDS TO BE THE NEXT MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY

Aquarian Weekly
6/30/21

Reality Check

James Campion

ERIC ADAMS NEEDS TO BE THE NEXT MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY

I need to state first for the record, if I haven’t already over the nearly quarter century I have written this column, that I love New York City more than almost anything. Honestly. My family, sure. Music, absolutely. The Yankees, but they’re New York. The Bronx, really. That’s where I’m from. Born and raised. Well, actually, I was born in what was then called Columbia Presbyterian Hospital on the northeast end of Manhattan. My dad worked there at the time. Kind of a perk. But I grew up on Van Ness Avenue and White Plains Road, a short stroll from the Bronx Zoo. I did all the Bronx things – stickball, punch ball, fistfights in Catholic schoolyards at six, survived many of my friends being run down by speeding cars at eight, and throughout my boyhood, ducked the barrage of ammo that came raining down on us every Fourth of July.

Going to Manhattan in those years was always magical. Even when we moved to New jersey in the early seventies, and my dad was working in this incredible skyscraper across from the Plaza Hotel on West 57th, it was as if visiting Oz. All the best music, the best films, plays, books, came out of, or were centered on NYC. Spiderman plied his trade there. Come on. This is why I dedicated my only novel to NYC. In my twenties and early thirties, I only ever dated NYC women, Brooklyn girls, to be exact. I had to. They got me. And I got them. My current wife, from a small town up outside Syracuse, strangely possesses a cosmopolitan streak a mile wide. We practicably live on the island. She once walked a dozen city blocks in her bare feet. We were comfortable at three in the afternoon and three in the morning there. It has everything a Vegan/Pagan/Feminist/Progressive/Artist could want – food, yoga, bars, and weridos. Lots of blessed weirdos. Whenever we have been to other cities of repute, London, Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, she always remarks to me, “So… this is it? It’s not New York.”

So, I know when the city is in crisis. I can remember having my car stolen, and my girlfriend’s car broken into, and during that time when I drove medical records across all five boroughs in the early nineties, how much of a lawless wild west town it was. I could do anything, and I did. I drove along the street on the side of the Jacob Javits Center in reverse for four blocks, cut down one-way streets the opposite way to avoid traffic, drove on sidewalks, sped on service roads, and escaped a four-car pile-up I was in (but did not start, I promise), and double and triple parked like some petty outlaw. I saw drugs sold everywhere at any time and feral homeless attacking my car when I pulled off the Willis Avenue Bridge from Westchester, where I was living at the time. It wasn’t the romantic 1970s kind of hellhole, the Taxi Driver times, but it was bad. Race riots, carjacking, random shootings of all kinds by all ages across all races, neighborhoods, and economic strata.

The city is not there yet, but I see the signs.

I covered the Rudolf Giuliani election in the early nineties for the North County News out of Yorktown, NY. I was there that night when a Republican won and summarily announced he would clean up New York. We all laughed. And you know something, he did. A few things saved New York City in the 1990s – mostly Disney and MTV turning Times Square from a cesspool into a mecca, the Derek Jeter Yankees, along with the Rangers and Knicks being great, and the man I affectionately called Uncle Rudy. Giuliani did crack down on all the things we assumed could not be contained. His run was at times draconian and silly, and he could be quite the fucking asshole, but New York needed him.

This is a time to rebuild from the Covid-19 shutdowns and for real police reform, not combative Defund-the-Police nonsense.

This is the same man that has recently had his law license suspended for perpetuating Donald Trump’s hissy-fit election lie bullshit that led to the January 6 insurrections. Watching him blathering on like one of those lunatics on the subway, Giuliani has become America’s dupe and general embarrassment, and worse still, a threat to the nation’s democracy. He has fallen hard and should rightfully be locked up. Maybe he is mentally ill? It may have been contracting the prostate cancer that prevented him from going up against Hillary Clinton for that senate seat in 2001. Another race I covered in this space. Giuliani, like many New Yorkers could see a Robert Kennedy type carpetbagger thing going on. The hatred for the Clintons was strong in him. Giuliani is also a bleating media whore, precisely why he keeps constant vigil around Trump, another legs-akimbo hustler of a different ilk. This combination drove him to complete madness in 2016 when Clinton tried to be president and Trump was the only one who could stop her. And that obsession will likely land him in prison.

But all of this NYC reminiscing brings me to Eric Adams, the current Brooklyn borough president, and currently atop the leader board for Democratic nominee to run for Mayor this fall, which means, the next mayor. Crime rate and shootings are up – not at eighties levels, but they are on the rise, and speaking to people from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx these past few weeks, it is getting clear that public safety is key to keeping the city on its current trajectory back from the quarantine. I spent my 22nd anniversary, as we mostly do, in Greenwich Village a couple of weeks ago, and the town is teaming. It is making it back, and it does not need to get into culture wars, union falderal or progressive chatter. It needs stabilization. It needs time to breathe and welcome in more tourists and bridge-and-tunnel types like myself and my daughter, who grew up on the streets of NYC with her dad wheeling her around to the sights and sounds of the grand metropolis.

New York is plenty progressive, even Staten Island. Ask the people of central Brooklyn, southeastern Queens, and the Bronx, areas dominated by working and middle-class Black and Latino voters. This is a time to rebuild from the Covid-19 shutdowns and for real police reform, not combative Defund-the-Police nonsense. Weeding out the shitty cops is what Adams, a former NYPD Captain, can and will do. Center-right in this environment is the right way to go for New York. Trust me on this. I have been there.

Another key element, that should never be overlooked in this equation is that Adams would be the first Black mayor since David Dinkens (that is fucking amazing, there has only been one). I believe in what Adams is selling, and being a Democrat, he may be an even more effective voice for the city on that issue. Adams is also from my generation, the one that ain’t quite Boomer but sure ain’t X. He’s got that Barack Obama thing going for him. He has grown up in the same milieu as me.

Regardless how this Ranked Choice Voting thing goes – choosing a top-five candidates and figuring an aggregate winner from those ballots – and man it is stupid for a city this size, Adams, who is leading fairly substantially, needs to be the next mayor of New York City.

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THE JOE BIDEN BIPARTISAN FANTASY

Aquarian Weekly
6/16/21

Reality Check

James Campion

THE JOE BIDEN BIPARTISAN FANTASY
& The Waning Progressive Patience  


It made perfect sense that Joe Biden would use the kumbaya tactic during his 2020 campaign for president. The divisive atmosphere in Washington D.C. was ratcheted up to all-time highs during the previously disastrous presidency. He sold the image of the uniter. He had spent decades in the Senate as a mostly centrist Democrat, and he served two terms as Vice President getting things done for a mostly incommunicative novice as his boss. Biden, he told us, was the perfect choice to unite the political divides. But it was bullshit. Even if Biden didn’t believe it – because I think he did – someone needs to wake him up to reality. There is no bipartisanship to achieve. It is a fantasy, and whether his presidency amounts to much in the coming months before another election season emerges for the mid-terms, there will be stasis for any agenda. And in the process, he risks losing the progressive wing of his party in the process.

Once the Republican Party rejected a bi-partisan attempt to investigate the January 6 insurrection, it became plainly obvious, if the last twenty years hadn’t been enough of a clue, that neither party has any desire, or more to the point, political motivation, to compromise or even reluctantly work together for some of the most important measures in front of us; most notably infrastructure – purportedly supported by both parties and wildly popular in polls, and something equally supported by the prior Republican president.

Infrastructure – or whatever Democrats and Republicans agree its definition – is a must. This has seen some movement, as a bi-partisan group of ten senators recently came up with a proposal for $974 billion in infrastructure spending over five years and $1.2 trillion over eight years, including $579 billion in new government investment. This will doubtless irk progressives – no corporate tax hikes and very little on climate change initiatives – and scare conservatives, who want to do nothing and help Biden fail. But all indications are that it will be chewed up, fucked with, and tossed around by both parties until it is a shell of its original form. This is how gridlock happens.

The clock is ticking on majority rule for Democrats.

The other more pressing issue for the country is the attack on voting rights in full order by Republican-led legislatures and governors across twenty-two states now. More is to come. Nearly half the nation is restricting many ways to vote, which effects every voter, Republican and Democrat, but is designed to curtail lower-income African American areas that cost Republicans in key swing states. Congress, at the federal level, has been tasked with dealing with this. But remember, there is no political capital left for Republicans to fight their own on anything. As discussed here last week, as long as the former president claims, without any proof, that the 2020 election was stolen from him, his voter block must be kowtowed to. This is basic Politics 101. So where does that leave the federal government to protect the civil rights of voters everywhere? Or should the federal government even be involved? Can it not afford to? None of these questions seem to be recognized, despite the mounting evidence that the very core of democracy is being threatened.

This is Joe Biden’s fantasy obliterated.

And progressives, who were weirdly banking on a sweeping Roosevelt-type agenda, despite losing every candidate in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, are losing patience. Right now, many of them have seen fit to blame Joe Manchin, a heretofore strange anomaly, a Democratic senator from the deep red state of West Virginia, who has zero interest in going full-on progressive, and is happy to ride the Joe Biden bipartisan fantasy all the way to avoiding a vote that would cost him his seat back home. Manchin is certainly an issue for a 50-50 senate for Democrats, but infrastructure and a voting rights bill (there are currently two in question) need sixty votes. That is ten Republicans in an environment that saw merely six Republican votes for the attack on the Capitol in which their own lives were in jeopardy. Good luck with that.

Manchin is not the problem, bipartisan bullshit is.

Talk of blowing up the filibuster rule, which would make it purely majority rule, is madness. And Manchin is not the only one who will vote to stop it. Many Democratic senators have commented off-the-record that they have no stomach for it. Anything done from here on out on a Biden agenda must be done through reconciliation, which only needs a majority vote. In that case, Manchin needs to be corralled. Easier said than done.

And I haven’t even touched on police reform, which is woefully overdue for legislative debate, as it continues to be a systemic stain on this nation. The police unions must be made to cough up their racist, shitty cops, or the structure of the police, without the help of Defund the Police shouts or Black Lives Matter protests, and all the blue waving flags around, cannot hold this boondoggle. There is a reckoning coming on this issue. It is only a matter of time.

I do not have a solution for any of this. Not the point here. Just pointing out the obvious, that seems to have escaped our president. There is no path forward with bipartisan support in the senate. I think the best way to govern is with reality, and we already tried the last guy, who is not familiar with the concept. Let’s hope the new guy can get it together.

Seeing how the economy is opening up and jobs are coming back and the fallout of shortages and looming inflation could very well be on the horizon, this president must face facts.

The clock is ticking on majority rule for Democrats.

Fantasy be damned.

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