A few interesting headlines

Keith’s post today is a compilation of just a few of the latest headlines that prove just how low the once “Grand” Old Party has sunk. This is a big 10 on the growl-meter in my book! Thanks Keith!!!


From John L. Dorman of Business Insider yesterday – “Georgia GOP Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says Herschel Walker will ‘probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history'”

From The Guardian yesterday – “Brexit has fueled surge in UK food prices, says Bank of England policymaker: Britons need to be kept aware of the cost of leaving the EU, says Swati Dhingra

From Francine Prose of The Guardian yesterday: “Trump had dinner with two avowed antisemites. Let’s call this what it is: A 2024 candidate broke bread with Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist, and Ye, who has praised Hitler. Don’t normalize this”

From Newsweek yesterday – “Kari Lake lawyers sanctioned by judge over frivolous election lawsuit”

Taking these four headlines in order, let me offer these frank assessments. First, a party must police itself if it intends to serve our country. Republican Lt. Governor Duncan’s…

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New GOP Motto: Win Or Cheat

Among my favorite opinion writers is Frank Bruni writing for the New York Times.  His newsletter on Thursday takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the Republican Party’s new favourite toy:  election denial.  For months, they have been planning and plotting how to overcome their losses on November 8th and they will leave no stone unturned.  Never before in the history of this nation … and I hope never again, but … sigh.  Anyway, see what Frank says about it all …

Heads, Republicans win. Tails, Democrats cheated.

By Frank Bruni

27 October 2022

I appreciate little about Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, but I do thank her for her candor. For her transparency. For laying out and laying bare the double standard that she and other Republican candidates and leaders embrace:

A Republican victory in a tightly contested race means that Democrats’ desires or schemes to corrupt it didn’t pan out. Let freedom ring! A Democratic victory means that George Soros cast a magic spell over voters while a global cabal of socialists and pedophiles used space beams to scramble the results that voting machines spit out.

Those weren’t Lake’s exact words in a recent interview with Dana Bash on CNN, but that was the spirit of them.

Bash asked Lake about her crackpot insistence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump — a fiction that happens to enjoy special favor in Arizona — and whether Lake was prepared to concede graciously if her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, prevailed in the midterms on Nov. 8.

“I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,” Lake said, oracularly and obnoxiously.

Bash rightly pressed her. What if she lost?

“I’m going to win the election,” Lake repeated, word for robotic word, “and I will accept that result.”

I don’t know how you interpret that, but here’s my translation: The only outcome she will consider legitimate is her own victory. Anything else is potential grounds for a fresh round of rancor and a new cycle of conspiracy theories. She’s poised to pump more poison into the body politic. For Lake and too many other Republicans, there are just two possibilities: validation or victimization. There’s no such thing as losing fair and square.

Republicans are fashioning a politics without accountability. They’re rigging reality itself. And Lake’s interview with Bash was one of those moments that captured, in miniature, the broader dynamics and dysfunctions of its time.

Lake argued, for example, that the bogus issue of election integrity must be prioritized and addressed because many Americans believe it should be. See how that works? You sow the seeds of doubt. Then when doubt grows, you say: Look at all that doubt! It’s a garden, it’s a thicket, it’s a wild anti-Eden all its own. It must be tamed — and you know how? Elect Kari Lake. Bow to Ron DeSantis. Because they’re spotlighting that doubt. They’re boldly confronting it. They’re not letting evidence, or the lack thereof, get in the way of emotion.

A reasonable person might ask: If the system has been corrupted, if the counting can’t be trusted, why should we accept a win by Lake? Or by DeSantis? Or by any other Republican who is telling us how degraded the vote has become, how suspicious the returns are?

That’s my favorite part of their theatrical panic: how conveniently selective it is.

The same system that tallied fewer votes for Trump than for Joe Biden in 2020 also tallied more votes for many Republican senators and members of Congress than for their Democratic rivals, but Republicans didn’t emit so much as a peep of concern about those counts. The space beams, you see, operate with surgical precision.

I shouldn’t joke. This is no laughing matter. If enough Americans exalt feelings over facts, insist on their preferred version of events rather than the actual one, refuse to subjugate their personal wants to any public good and reject the processes and institutions that enable group decisions, we have chaos. We all lose.

And I, for one, am not prepared to accept that result.

Democracy Can’t Afford a Governor Kari Lake

There are so many truly horrible candidates on the ballot this November that I’ve lost count. However, a few stand out in my mind … Oz, Vance, Walker, Mastriano, and Lake for starters. Kari Lake is the most unconscionable woman I can imagine … she has none. My writing partner Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has done a good job of showing us just what Ms. Lake is and I hope Arizona voters are wise enough to keep her OUT of the governor’s mansion! Thanks, Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

Kari Lake has a charismatic personality that reflects her years as an Arizona media personality. She talks rapidly, much like carnival barkers Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz in the House of Representatives. And much like the Congressmen above, she lies with impunity. And she does it with self-confidence that ranks right up there with her hero, the disgraced 45th President of the United States.

And, if things do not change fast, Kari Lake will be the new governor of Arizona.

If you care about democracy, and I’m not sure how many Americans do at this point, Kari Lake must be defeated in the November election. If Arizona falls for this demagogue, the rest of us will have to pick up the pieces of what might be left of a democracy in tatters.

Kari Lake is an election denier and blind sycophant to Donald Trump. He’s proudly campaigned for…

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Education On The Chopping Block

The education of our young people is probably the single most critical issue, after climate change and the environment, that our nation faces today.  In recent decades, we have seen the decline of our public education system.  Schools have stopped or cut back on teaching such things as civics, social sciences, philosophy, and even literature, trading them for a more technical education based on computers and their applications.  That was bad enough, for we now have a generation of adults who in many cases are unaware of the role history has played in leading up to our lives today, do not understand how our government works, and are not deep thinkers.  They are not the problem-solvers of tomorrow that we so desperately need.  Oh sure, they can write a computer program to accomplish almost anything, but they are not well-versed in real-world issues, are not the problem solvers we need today.  Not every problem can be fixed with a computer application!

But today, rather than trying to address these problems, trying to give our youth a more well-rounded, liberal arts education, politicians and religious groups are attempting to diminish our schools even further.  I believe that there is a reason for this, that they do not want the kid from the poor side of town who put himself through college by hard work, to become the nation’s leaders of tomorrow.  However, the reason is less important than the effects, so let’s focus on what is happening in our schools today, the attempts to undermine the value of our children’s education.

About a month ago, I wrote about Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey who, rather than raise teacher’s salaries in order to attract more teachers, removed the requirement for teachers to have a college degree.  The only educational requirement to be a teacher in Arizona is that you be enrolled in college or university.  This week, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis is proposing a plan to bypass teacher certification and hire former first responders including former police officers, firefighters and EMTs as well as former members of the military.  Like Ducey in Arizona, DeSantis would rather lower the standards for teachers than use some of his budget surplus to raise teacher pay.  Obviously, the future of our country is not of any great importance to Ron DeSantis.

Meanwhile in South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem released a revised proposal for social studies standards in public schools that lays out a mostly shining vision of American history, one that omits large blocks of facts and focuses more on religion.  Noem claims she is “weeding out certain divisive teachings on race” in public schools.  Weeding out facts.  The new standards would put forth the idea that from its inception, this nation has provided equal rights and access to all races and genders.  The standards also include a significant amount of ‘Christian’ history.  Now, if I’m Jewish or Muslim, paying my taxes and sending my child to public school, I’m going to have a problem with her learning that there is some superiority to Christianity, that this nation is a ‘Christian nation’.  And if I’m Black or Native American, I’m going to have a real big problem with the whitewashing of the history of my ancestors.

And then in Arizona, there is Kari Lake, running for governor against Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs.  Lake claims she would model the educational model in Arizona based on that of Hillsdale College, a private Christian school in Michigan that’s influential in right-wing circles and is run by Larry Arnn who spearheaded Donald Trump’s short-lived 1776 Commission, created to support what Trump called ‘patriotic education.’  Ms. Lake has said she would work to “ban diversity, equity, and inclusion training in schools.”  Oh yeah, that’s just what we need!  Ban diversity, ban equality, encourage even more racism and bigotry than we already have!  Why not just start a KKK school and teach kids how to hate even more than their parents do?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

There are more examples, but you get the picture.  Our education system in recent decades has devolved.  Especially under the four-year leadership of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, schools have lost much of the emphasis that used to be placed on turning out students who were fully prepared to take on leadership roles, to help shape the future of the nation.  If the current trend continues, I don’t even want to try to envision this nation twenty years from now.