Author Archives: Bob Lord

Incompetence at the D Triple Out Of Touch?

Julia Conley nailed the title on her piece at Common Dreams: From Pushing ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ to Dissing Medicare for All, DCCC Called Out for Sabotaging Bold Demands.

She also did a damn good job writing it.

A few key passages:

“It’s becoming evident that the DCCC—and the billionaire donors and revolving door consultants that make up the Democratic Party establishment—believe Democrats can only take back Congress by running on a watered down message…instead of the basic values of decency and fairness that voters demand,” said Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats in a statement.

Documents on healthcare messaging that were handed out to House Democrats in the wake of the 2016 election treated universal healthcare as a fringe issue, suggesting that lawmakers are not to entertain Medicare for All as a potential solution to the nation’s high healthcare costs and poor outcomes.

Continue reading

Voters Who Can’t (or Won’t) Think Critically + Unimaginable Greed + Corrupt Politicians = Mass Shootings and Tragic Deaths

American acceptance of gun violence seems a lot like the frog in the pot of boiling water. If the frequency of mass shootings went from 1960 levels to 2018 levels in one year, the reaction by the public and political leaders would have been swift and decisive.

Yet, somehow, a gradual rise in the same degree has taken place, with precious little pushback. Until, of course, clear-thinking high school students started to scream “enough.”

How could this be?

I submit there are three ingredients to the madness.

First, there’s the unmitigated greed of the gun industry and its trade association, the NRA. Gun industry executives and major shareholders by and large are not gun nuts. To them, it’s not really about “freedom” or some bastardized reading of the second amendment or a sick fetish for guns and ammunition. Rather, it’s about money, their love of it, and their willingness to place their avarice above all norms of human decency. They don’t go to shooting ranges on the weekend for the thrill of firing an assault weapon; they go to country clubs to play golf, then to high-end restaurants. Other than the source of their wealth — mass death and destruction — the major shareholders and C suite occupants of gun manufacturers are no different than their counterparts in other industries. And, make no mistake, the NRA represents the gun industry, not hunters and other gun owners. Continue reading

Time For the Two Americas to Divorce?

Divorce in most states, including Arizona, is based on a finding of irreconcilable differences. Ordinarily, the issue is not contested. The spouse who files divorce claims the differences are irreconcilable, and the responding spouse agrees.

Typically, it follows years of bickering, culminating in the inability to agree on just about anything. Quite often, one or both spouses find other potential partners more attractive.

Viewed through that lens, isn’t it high time for the American left and the American right to divorce? Continue reading

Dark Days: America at the Abyss

How bad is it? Really bad. Abysmal. As in, staring into the abyss.

You could check the long list of clues to know that Trump engaged in criminal conduct on his way to the White House and after. Or you could just observe his behavior. From the repetition of “no collusion” a thousand times to the release of an inept memo against the warnings of his own Justice Department and FBI to the false equivalency attacks on Hillary Clinton to the firing of James Comey, everything Trump does screams “I’m guilty.”

But that’s not what brings us to the edge of the abyss. Richard Nixon’s criminality was on a par with Trump’s, as were his self-incriminating words (“I am not a crook”) and actions (Saturday Night Massacre).

In one crucial respect, Nixon was far more menacing than Trump. In my simple mind, the danger posed by an evil actor, by himself, is a function of two factors: (1) his level of moral turpitude — that is, his capacity for evil ends, and (2) his raw intelligence — that is, the means he possesses to achieve those evil ends. We could debate endlessly how Nixon and Trump compare on the first of those factors, but not the second. Nixon was an intellectual giant; Trump is a mental midget.

Ultimately, however, the danger presented by an evil actor is a function less of the actor than of the actor’s surrounding environment. And that’s what brings us so much closer to the edge today than we ever were in Nixon’s time. Continue reading

My View: Blaming the DACA Debacle on Schumer Is Absurd

Almost always, if you compare my view on an issue to the Blue Meanie’s, mine will be the more progressive.

Almost.

But not this time. AZBM recently shared his view, easily the majority view of progressives, that Chuck Schumer was a worse negotiator even than Trump.

I really, really wish Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were not the face of the Democratic Party. So Schumer taking heat here from the base doesn’t bother me personally. But objectively, it’s wrong.

Yes, the DACA situation is horrific and it was frustrating to see Schumer and the Senate Democrats not save the Dreamers. But blame would be appropriate only if a better result was achievable, and I don’t see how that’s so. Continue reading

An Open Letter to John McCain: Consider Your Legacy, Senator

Dear Senator McCain:

As the Senate vote on the House-Senate conference committee tax bill approaches, we urge you to consider your legacy and ask yourself this very basic question:

Do you want your last political act – your final legacy — to be one of rank hypocrisy, by all appearances motivated by the selfish desire to pad your own family’s already overstuffed pockets?

Because if you cast a “yes” vote before the time Senator-elect Doug Jones is seated, that is precisely what it will be.

The facts are clear. In a directly analogous situation, the election of Senator Scott Brown prior to the vote on the Affordable Care Act, you led the charge to demand that Senator Brown be seated before a final vote was taken. Here’s what you said in 2010:

So here we are, and now the rumors are that [Democrats will] jam this bill through the House of Representatives, and then bypass what has always been the normal legislative process. They should not do that. The American people have spoken. The people of Massachusetts have spoken for the rest of America. Stop this process, sit down in open and transparent negotiations, and let’s begin from the beginning.

You also have spoken, eloquently, about the importance of respecting the process.

At the same time, Senator, we’re all aware of the financial benefit the Republican tax plan would provide to your family.

So, the choice is yours. You can act with integrity and refuse to vote until Doug Jones takes his rightful seat as the next Senator from Alabama.

Or you can cast a rushed vote for a deeply flawed tax plan, in violation of your own stated principles, reeking of hypocrisy in light of your statements at the time Senator Brown was elected, and obviously bettering your family’s financial position.

It’s up to you. Nothing less than your legacy is at stake.

Sincerely,

Blog for Arizona