Let's Fix This Country

Up in Smoke: Biden’s Agenda Stymied by Contrary Senators

As the weeks passed this spring, two ostensibly Democratic senators discovered the thrill of power. They realized they have Joe Biden's presidency in their hands. They are not about to let go.

After signaling for weeks his opposition to scuttling the filibuster, West Virginia's Joe Manchin has now announced by way of an op-ed in the
Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin
the state's Charleston Gazette-Mail that neither will he vote for the For the People Act, the measure that would set down basic standards against the corruption of federal elections, finding it too partisan and containing extraneous add-ons that "don't pertain to voting". He wrote, “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy", he wrote, "and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act.”

There are reportedly other Democrats of the same view, but who realize that this is a make or break bill to counter the highly partisan election laws working their way through Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country, laws engineered to make voting difficult for certain Democratic groups, and worse, a new outbreak of provisions that allows legislatures to hand elections to Republicans even when the party loses. The president has lashed out against what states are doing as “un-American” and “an assault on democracy”. And Manchin, after 147 Republicans attempted to end democracy on January 6th…


America’s Infrastructure Earns a C-. Here’s the Report Card

Democrats and their progressive wing don't think President Biden's infrastructure plan has gone a bridge too far, but Republicans think it has strayed too far from bridges and what is commonly thought of as infrastructure. His plan doubles Update: June 3: Described by us as "a disaster waiting to happen", the Biden administration has given the go ahead for two tunnels under the Hudson River into New York City after four years of "politics and games".

as a program to combat climate change such as electric vehicle subsidies, clean energy manufacturing, and what appear to be social programs, such as $400 billion for care of the disabled and elderly. Even if pared back, Republicans refuse to raise taxes to pay for it.

Those controversies have preoccupied the media. Little to no attention has been paid to actual infrastructure — "classic" infrastructure, let's call it — and the need to reverse its deterioration. Here's a quick tour of a few infrastructure categories that should remind us how far behind America has fallen and how much needs to be done:

 Start with roads.  Our road network of over four million miles is the world's biggest. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was impressed by the German autobahns while commanding allied forces in Europe during…


Republicans Snuff Probe of Why and How January 6th Happened

Six Republicans were not enough when ten were needed to prevent a Republican filibuster from putting an end to any commission to investigate the causes of the worst attack on the seat of America's government in two centuries. In a 54-to-35 vote, Republicans gave license to the rabble to do it again. Eleven senators couldn't even be bothered to show up for the vote.

Mitch McConnell reportedly worked members of his Republican caucus to vote against the bill as a "personal favor", as good as saying, "Don't help the country, help me".

What a change from the days just after January 6th when Republicans and Democrats alike were horrified by the assault on the Capitol and laid the blame directly on still-President Donald Trump for inciting the mob at his nearby rally. Hadn't he encouraged the white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis to come to Washington, telling them, "Big project in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"? Hadn't he said to them at the rally near the Capitol,…


Suspicions Rise: Did the Virus Escape from a Wuhan Lab? »

A 15-member international contingent from the World Health Organization (WHO) journeyed to Wuhan, China, early this year to seek out the source of the original Covid-19 outbreak that has led to the deaths of close to three million people worldwide. At the end of March, they turned in their report. It did not go over well.

Earlier complaints that the WHO has been too deferential toward China were not eased by the WHO's member states deciding the
A wet market in Wuhan, China

junket should be a collaboration between Chinese and foreign scientists, not an independent investigation or audit, so the international 15 were joined by a Chinese delegation of equal size. The Chinese were even given the right of approval of who was permitted on the tour; two from the international group were halted in Singapore. And once the group arrived, they were required by Chinese authorities to spend the first two weeks in quarantine, cutting their month-long trip in half.

Under the ground rules China set, they would do the primary investigation and share their findings with WHO's team. The team saw only what the Chinese government wanted them to see. The report therefore came to no solid conclusions. It drew immediate doubts for its acceptance of what the Chinese told them.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, fresh from a contentious…

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the election

Trump Explores Options While Awaiting Reinstatement as President

Citizen Trump is mulling the many ways to return to the political arena. He admitted to Newsmax that he misses being president, but there are other possibilities.

The Senate seems to have once been considered; he reacted to an idea proposed on talk radio saying the idea "might be better than running

for the Senate", although with the assumption of a Senate takeover by Republicans in 2022 that would give him the opportunity to unseat Mitch McConnell as majority leader in revenge for McConnell's blistering criticism of the then-president's actions on January 6th.

The idea had been posited by far-right radio host Wayne Allyn Root. He suggested that Trump should run for the House:

"Why not, instead of waiting for 2024, and I'm hoping you'll run in 2024, but why not run in 2022 for the United States Congress? A House seat in Florida. Win big. Lead us to a dramatic landslide victory. Take the House by 50 seats".

Trump immediately warmed to the idea. "That's so interesting," he said. "You know, it's very interesting."

Democrats have only a thin 219 to 211 lead in the House, lost ground in 2020, and the opposition party typically retakes the House in midterm elections — viz. 2010 and 2018.

Mr. Trump would not just be a representative, of course. He would surely be elected Speaker. Root then enticed the former president by suggesting he "lead the impeachment of Biden and start criminal investigations against Biden. You'll wipe him out for his last two years."

Actually, the idea dates from earlier. It was first heard from former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who laid it out before a group of Boston Republicans in February. Trump would displace Nancy… Read More »

the media

Gaza: What the Media Doesn’t Report

The following article first ran seven years ago. It lists the deplorable conditions in Gaza. We bring it back to make the point that so little has changed

When the air strikes began, Israel’s representatives in the U.S. fanned out across the talk shows to state that “Israel has the right to defend itself”, imprinting the phrase so successfully (Netanyahu's envoy Ron Dermer has so far been accorded 55 interviews by the media) that we heard it repeated for days by television hosts and by Secretary of State John Kerry and the President, reaffirming his “strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself”.

Of course Israel has that right. But it seemed to lull the media, and the public in turn, into an expectation that defense was all that would happen rather than what was sure to come. You'd have thought from the coverage that Israel would just root out the tunnels along Gaza's border and go home.

But “Israel is not a country upon which you fire missiles and it does not respond”, said Tzipi Livni, when Minister of Foreign Affairs. “It is a country that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild”. The periodic crippling of Gaza when it resumes its rocket attacks is referred to in Israel as "mowing the lawn".

Our media seems unaware So when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) moved deeper into Gaza with relentless air strikes and artillery, American media's shallow coverage made them late to realize that Israel was once again going well beyond defense and was set on destroying Gaza. Missing was reporting on what has happened before in this recurring conflict — and to excess.

The other under-reported subject has been the conditions in Gaza that led to Hamas’ desperate gamble.

history repeating

There have been three outbreaks — 2006, 2009 and 2012 — all in response to Hamas’ rocket attacks. The current conflict began when Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza in retaliation for the killing of three young…

the election

Arizona Recount to Restore Trump as President Is Just the Beginning

Republicans of the Arizona senate have set out to prove that the three audits, reviews, and recounts of the state's 2020 presidential election came up with the wrong answer. It's always been a red state (1996 presidency excepted). Biden couldn't have won.

To uncover the fraud that must be the only explanation, yet another count of the 2.1 million ballots of Maricopa County was ordered by the state senate and is underway as we write.

Recount taking place in the Arizona Veterans
Memorial Coliseum

Maricopa weighs in with two-thirds of the state's votes; its votes delivered the wins for Democrats Biden and former astronaut and now Senator Mark Kelly, so other counties were not considered. And only the election of Biden and Kelly are being analyzed. Apparently there was no fraud in any of the races around the state that Republicans won.

The former president is, of course, ecstatic. He put out a "Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America" thanking "the brave and patriotic Republican State Senators from Arizona for the incredible job they are doing", admonishing Democrats for sending lawyers to Arizona…

"in an effort to stop this recount and full transparency because THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DID! The Democrats are desperate for the FRAUD to remain concealed because, when revealed, the Great States of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire, and the Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, would be forced to complete the work already started."

He concluded with "I predict…

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