Bread and Circuses

“Bread and circuses” used to be a fairly common reference to the Roman government’s practice of distracting the masses by providing food (bread) and circuses (contests between lions and Christians, etc.) in order to keep them occupied. The term–used far less frequently these days– is a reference to superficial perks used to appease popular passions, a tactic to generate public approval through diversion and distraction.

I’ve been thinking about that tactic in connection with the GOP’s “middle class tax cut.” (I love GOP titles–remember George W. Bush’s “Clear Skies” moniker for a bill permitting more pollution? This time it’s a “middle class tax cut” for a measure that is anything but.) My specific question goes beyond the dishonesty of the bill’s title, however: I wonder whether the lower withholding requirements, which will initially allow workers to take home a somewhat larger portion of their paychecks, will be enough to distract Americans from the other, less pleasant and less immediate consequences of that bill.

Will it obscure the fact that tax “reform” will further enrich the already wealthy without stemming the job losses that are accelerating as companies increasingly automate, and as retailing faces enormous challenges? After all, this tax “reform” was hyped as a (trickle-down) measure that would incentivize those “job creators” to do their thing–to create jobs and raise the pay of their workers.

How’s that working out so far?

Harley-Davidson just closed a plant in Kansas City, laying off 800 workers. Managers blamed both a provision of the tax bill and Trump’s decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Passage of the tax bill didn’t affect or delay the decision of Toys-R-Us to close 180 stores–nor the closing of 63 Sears locations. Kmart has closed 45 stores; Macy’s has closed 68. Walmart made a big deal out of its response to passage of the tax bill, announcing $1000 bonuses (the company made less noise about the fact that only employees who’d been with the company for 20 years would actually get a thousand dollars), and immediately followed up that PR blitz by closing 63 of its Sam’s Club stores and throwing thousands of people out of work. (Given Walmart’s turnover rate, I’d guess there weren’t a lot of 20-year veterans getting the full bonus amount, either.)

Industry publications are filled with layoff announcements: Pfizer announced it will eliminate 300 research jobs in New England; another 4,000 are expected to lose their jobs with AT&T. Kimberly-Clark is using its tax windfall to reward shareholders, while laying off between 5,000 and 5,500 workers. Comcast said the $1,000 bonus it splashed across the news would serve as severance for 500 terminated employees. Microsoft, Coca-Cola and a host of lesser-known brands have also fired hundreds of workers.

The tax cut didn’t change any of these decisions, and other policies of the Trump Administration are only accelerating the job losses.

Those of us in Indiana know that Carrier has now completed its move to Mexico, despite Trump’s much-hyped “intervention.”

Meanwhile, the President’s love affair with coal led him to impose stiff tariffs on solar panels–a move that will not only depress sales and increase prices for environmentally-conscious consumers, but will cost a predicted 23,000 workers their jobs. Meanwhile, although coal is not coming back, the tariffs will slow the replacement of fossil fuels with clean energy–further enriching the Koch brothers, who demonstrated their gratitude to Paul Ryan for passage of tax “reform” by giving him $500,000 a mere two weeks after the bill was signed. (Estimates are it will save them a cool billion a year, so they could afford a paltry half-million to their House puppet. Quid Pro Quo much?)

American workers aren’t even getting bread and circuses–unless you count the circus that is Washington, D.C. And that one isn’t entertaining; it’s terrifying.


  1. In the mid 30’s in France, this same type of IMPOTENT OPPOSITIONAL PARTY [Popular Front] led to the demise of their democracy and the spectacular rise of FASCISM.

  2. I am not sure why anyone would blame the Democrats for the tax bill. Ryan and McConnell crammed it through Congress using a method that prevented the use of the filibuster. And even the majority of the Republicans did not know what was in the bill – though they voted for it anyway. That says something about whom they represent.

  3. After the recent “memo” fiasco, I started wondering if the Republicans in Congress weren’t part of a Russian sleeper cell.

  4. “Meanwhile, the President’s love affair with coal led him to impose stiff tariffs on solar panels–a move that will not only depress sales and increase prices for environmentally-conscious consumers, but will cost a predicted 23,000 workers their jobs.”

    Will those tariffs “trickle down” to local levels such as here in Indianapolis where Indianapolis Power and Light is trying to take control/ownership of solar panels on private home and control the usage of saved, extra solar panels on their homes? If they succeed in their efforts, would this effect loss of jobs for local solar workers? Both sides of the old Eastgate Mall are lined with row after row of huge solar panes; on both Shadeland Avenue and Shortridge Road. Are these the property of IPL or the City of Indianapolis who have offices in the old Mall and where is the solar power being used? Are other cities/states attempting the same takeover of privately owned solar panels and power?

    Trump’s current “circus” operation reminds me of a news article I read years ago regarding home burglar alarm systems; “There is no guarantee of protection, criminals will quickly find away around the alarms.” Trump is quickly doing away with all forms of government protective measures by simply repealing bills and ending regulations with his Executive Orders. As for the “bread”; he is taking the bread out of the mouths of the poor at a faster rate with his acceleration of job losses.

    “Those of us in Indiana know that Carrier has now completed its move to Mexico, despite Trump’s much-hyped “intervention.”

    But the state of Indiana still owes Carrier owners that $6 MILLION promised by then president-elect Trump and vice-president-elect Pence as incentive to keep the jobs here. I was one who watched as they announced their “deal” to the cheers of Carrier workers surrounding them. While Lt. Gov. Holcomb was “acting governor” at that time; Pence was still technically governor of the state of Indiana.

  5. The January jobs number was very good, see Becky’s link to a WSJ article above. the unemployment rate is about as low as it can go. Although one can cherry-pick job losses, the fact remains that jobs available remain high. The economy has always gone through periods of job losses and job gains. The situation now is not nearly so bad as Shiela makes it out to be.

  6. Unless you are among the jobless or are a senior or disabled trying to survive this economy. That highly praised “tax cut for middle American” – highly praised by Trump – is only one month old. They still face the loss of exemptions when they file with IRS and their home states and learn how little that increase means – IF they actually received an increase – and they check prices at the grocery store or cost of prescriptions which also increased last month.

  7. Pence is the Koch puppet in the administration. It’s also why the IDEM in Indiana and EPA is now corrupted with industry puppets in leadership.

    The circus is the questions asked by the media and the answers from the puppets. It’s a diversion to make Americans think our press and politicians are working for the people. They blame one party and tell us life will improve if we vote for the other party.

    Guess what?

    It’s a circus…a facade. Shakespeare would call it “political theatre”.

    As Marv said, the democrat party is a joke. Their only hope is pointing out how bad Trump and the GOP are and count on voters (lemurs) to cast ballots for democrats.

    This charade has been going on for decades but the real power and their agenda hasn’t changed the direction of America and our role in the world.

    Spend some time reading about the world leaders who attended Davos and then listen to Trump. Then listen to the democratic party leadership. Our leaders see globalism as US hegemony – the US dominating the world like an Empire.

    The rest of the world leaders are scared to death about social unrest and what steps they need to make to level the playing field for global citizens. You can’t even hear an intelligent debate on USA TV, although I haven’t watched a news channel in over 3 years.

    Our answer to social unrest is censorship, surveillance and militarizing the police. Do you really think Homeland Security is to protect Americans from terrorists?

    If we had a democracy and a representative republic, we wouldn’t need a massive military budget, surveillance, etc. The people would be happy and content. See the Scandinavian countries Happy Index compared to ours.

    The rich have lots of lions and the working class is getting eaten by the millions.

  8. Todd,

    Not much to add. Any positive movement, at the present time, can only come away from partisan politics. Recently, I’ve discussed Trump with a few long-time friends who voted for Trump. They’re scared, but where can they go? They aren’t fools. The Democratic Party isn’t going to change anything. There’s a good chance they could make things even worse as was the case with the election victory of the Popular Front in France.

  9. I limit my daily news intake but usually go indepth on various articles none the less. My thoughts have of late made me wonder more and more about the absorption campaign the ‘administration’ has pulled off on the media – everywhere is fuckface von klownschtick’s mug. it is straight up brainwashing. It is straight up a Fascist campaign of creating some kind of demented state of reality. And it seems to be working – even my wife commented on how tired She was getting at listening to his ‘apologists’! Now coming out of Her mouth – that takes a lot! That is the height of ignorance is its meaning!… and She’s a Jew, and I’m 5/8ths Native American… with all told a mutt… but we grade the class an F for ‘falling into line with the fuckface’… wow! We are so screwed!!!!

  10. Manuel,

    “We are so screwed!!!!”

    So right you are. “It is straight up a FASCIST campaign of creating some kind of demented state of reality.”

    From the beginning, in the late 60’s, it has been right out of a Nazi Playbook.

    The only difference this time is that the Religious Right/Far Right found a few Jews and even fewer African-Americans who were willing to front the movement.

  11. Kochs gave Paul Ryan $500,000 after passing tax reform bill! Looks like our government is up for sale to the highest bidder! Congress is negligent/complicit in not acting to impeach Trump!

  12. I would suggest that our first step to moving forward would be to admit, politically speaking, that George Soros’s $$ are not worth as much as the $$ of Charles Koch. I would strongly suggest, that would be a “giant step” toward understanding the political reality we’re facing in the U.S.

  13. Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was pilloried overnight and into Sunday morning after posting a tweet on Saturday—one he later deleted—bragging about the $1.50 per week a public school employee was “pleasantly surprised” to find in her paycheck following the passage of last year’s tax cuts which gave the nation’s corporations and richest people cuts worth millions, and in many cases billions, of dollars.

    Back in his home district, Ryan’s 2018 Democratic challenger Randy Bryce, a progressive-minded ironworker with the moniker @IronStache, immediately leapt into action.

    Bryce shamed the Speaker—whose political machine was showered with $500,000 in contributions from the billionaire Koch Brothers just days after the #GOPTaxScam was signed into law in December—by pointing out how the Kochs measure their tax windfalls in the billions of dollars, as opposed to quarters or dimes:

    Not long after Bryce pointed some of this out, Ryan deleted the tweet.
    But because the Internet never forgets, the damage was already done. Behold, the #WithABuckFiftyAWeek hashtag was born:

    Among the comments: #WithABuckFiftyAWeek you can save $10,000 for a downpayment on a house in 128 years! Home ownership here we come!

    #WithABuckFiftyAWeek I can save for my kids’ future and afford their college tuition in 820 years, thanks @SpeakerRyan !!

    #WithABuckFiftyAWeek I can finally pay off all my student loan debt in 1,025 years! There is hope! @SpeakerRyan and the @GOP do care about the little guy! Praise Orange Jesus!

  14. The circus only has one ring and Trump is the guy in the red coat. The bread is stale and moldy, but the people are starving.

    Those of you who continue to bash the Democrats fail to understand that the Republican control of Congress, the White House and the media are preventing real government from working. That’s what fascists do. Most of you, perhaps, voted for Democrats, and are wondering why none of your desires are happening. The basic reason goes back to majority rule. The big difference between “then” and “now” is that the Republicans began refusing to listen to any compromises the very day Barack Obama was elected to office. They have continued to rule the narrative and convince everyone that they are right and Obama was wrong – about everything.

    No, the Democrats aren’t good at capturing the narrative and the sloganeering that makes the masses move. Their donor class is much less evil than the Republican donor class. The Democrats don’t have the fascist Mercers behind them or the anti-democratic lunacy of the Koch brothers. All the Democrats have is “we the people”.

  15. While it’s fun to blame Trump, and apparently fun for some to blame Democrats for Trump (leaving us no alternative), not everything bad is caused by their actions bumbling though they be. The world is changing and from that perspective the actions in DC are “static” on the screen. I know this would wound Trump’s massive Twitter ego but in the grand scheme of things he’s a pimple.

    The economy is strong thanks to Obama’s recovery from the Cheney/Greenspan Great Recession. That’s the role of government: to step up when business fails. Now that the free fall has been stopped, even though at great expense, business is doing business, individually making more money regardless of the impact on others which they see as externalities.

    One of the realities that many businesses see clearly coming is a massive change in retailing as big as the massive change in manufacturing was and as big as the move to autonomous shared electric vehicles will be. Consumers have collectively decided. Internet shopping wins. Huge opportunity for some, huge blow for others, and smart investors are betting on the opportunistic horses.

    The dysfunction of Trump is that he thinks that he can direct progress rather than anticipate and react to it, which is sort of laughable. That’s one out of control ego right there.

    By the way, a little sidebar. Those of you interested in politics well done go see “The Darkest Hour” and step into the critical moments of Churchill’s life played out in superbly done cinema. The orange tabby’s first grade rhetoric sometimes lead us to dispair at the godawful state of disrepair of the most powerful tool for good on earth, language. This movie celebtates one of English’s peak moments.

  16. Vernon,

    “Those of you who continue to bash the Democrats fail to understand that the Republican control of Congress, the White House and the media are preventing real government from working.”

    I for one understand that. Two weeks ago the New England Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Title Game. Are the Jaguars faultless for losing the game? No one in Jacksonville thinks that to be the case.

    Was Barack Obama faltless? Hell no. He was naive and failed to take preventative action. I warned in The Nation Magazine four months before he was elected that he would hit an ICEBERG. Failing to do your homework has never been an excuse in my book.

  17. I am hearing putdowns of the Democratic Party from my fellow commentators to the effect that they are powerless, can’t do anything for change etc. Let’s not forget that Republicans are in power, control all committees, decide what bills can come to a vote etc. Given such a situation perhaps the best we can hope for from any minority party is that they do their best to prevent further damage to the economy and our democratic underpinnings. I think our party leadership is doing as well as can be expected from a minority in protecting our FBI, our DOJ, the Mueller investigation and our democratic institutions, considering Tea Party excesses, Fox propaganda, Koch & Mercer $$$ and a lunatic in the Oval Office.

    I will not therefore put down my party’s efforts or lack thereof; I will instead laud our party’s attempts to save our democracy until this coming November when (hopefully) we retake the House and (perhaps with a wave – the Senate) and gain an opportunity to end the giveaway tax laws, rule making and Putin-loving insanity put in place by Republicans. While I think our lack of stridency may be a problem, the real problem is Republican right wing extremism that could lead to a loss of our democracy, the ultimate catastrophe.

  18. To add insult to injury, here is Indiana the governor announced his successful campaign to get the DT administration to change the Medicaid rules linking that program to an more acceptable work requirement.

    “Indiana has become the second state to win permission from the Trump administration to require certain low-income residents on Medicaid to work, study or perform public service to qualify for the health insurance.”

    The attached article says that Azar make the trip to Indiana his first stop in the new position as HHS Secretary as he and the governor touted this change as “the gold standard” for Medicaid as “a pathway to work”. It begs the question of where these jobs are, what employers have job available and are willing to hire often disabled workers. The public service part may be the real issue in the long term.

    So while the circus is distracting and outrageous, the audience now has to work in service to the circus for their moldy bread, if they are lucky enough to live anywhere with available jobs. Maybe chain gangs with be back in fashion?

  19. Marv,

    You are right, of course. Obama had the childish notion that he could work with Republicans to help get the nation out of the Bush-created ditch. They didn’t. The moment his hand came off the Bible, they were dedicated to thwarting EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that came out of the White House – including some of their own ideas.

    These are the actions that created the toxic political environment in Washington. Who is behind this? Read Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money”. The capitalist bastards who want to run an oligarchy of their own making are the very people Marx warned us about. They have NO conscience regarding country over party. They don’t even care that much for the political party. All they want is power over making money. Money is their god. Money is their patriotic icon. That’s it.

    The irony is beginning to take hold as retailing is shutting down. Consumers are running out of disposable income. Bankruptcy will once again be the bane of the elderly and the sick. Can the Democrats save America from the crypto-fascist, super-capitalistic swine that are bringing the nation down? Can they finally get us out of this endless cycle of wars and recessions? We’ll see, but more than one charismatic leader must emerge for this to happen.

  20. Gerald,

    You are right the Democratic Party is powerless. And I suppose we are to assume they bear no responsibility. The fact of the matter is they are scared to confront on major issues which is not the case with many of the commentators on this blog. And I have seen nothing on the horizon that they have altered their suicidal path in any significant way. It probably is impossible.

    I for one am not willing to go down with the ship without a fight. I sincerely apologize to all of you that I offend.

  21. Vernon,

    You see what’s happening, but you’re scared of a major shake-up. No doubt that it is dangerous. But it is called reality. And this political reality is very hard to accept at our age.

    Todd is much younger and can get through the upheaval much better than we can. His vision is not clouded.

  22. I would agree with Marv @ 7:08 am > Much of the blame can be directed at the Democratic Party. At the PRESENT TIME, it is worthless. It is not a legitimate OPPOSITIONAL party. <> You can’t even hear an intelligent debate on USA TV, although I haven’t watched a news channel in over 3 years.<<<

    The Corporate Democratic Party has decided it's best tactic is to run against The Trumpet and let Muller carry the water. The talking heads on CNN and MSDNC have no other subject matter to present except some variation on why The Trumpet is so bad. I cannot find anything re-motley resembling some intelligent battle plan by the Democratic Party based on core issues.

    The reverse side The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry definition. Ode to Mouse Robert Burns. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. However, from Louis Pasteur chance favors the prepared mind.

    CLAUSEWITZ is quoted as saying: The object of defense is preservation; and since it is easier to hold ground than to take it, defense is easier than attack. "But defense has a passive purpose: preservation; and attack a positive one: conquest. If defense is the stronger form of war, yet has a negative object, if follows that it should be used only so long as weakness compels, and be abandoned as soon as we are strong enough to pursue a positive object."

    Right now I see the Corporate Democratic Party in the Defense mode, i.e., reacting to all the Trumpeting by the Republican Party.

  23. Monotonous,

    “Right now I see the Corporate Democratic Party in the Defense mode, i.e., reacting to all the Trumpeting by the Republican Party.”

    You’re exactly right. Now is the time to ATTACK for the reasons you have so well outlined. This isn’t politics as usual. It’s much closer to WAR. You can’t afford to sit around and do nothing. That luxury is gone.

  24. Back in Dallas in the mid 80’s during the successful BATTLE for 1 man, 1 vote, I asked Mayor Annette Strauss in the televised City Council Chambers, if she was a fascist, she didn’t answer but had me removed by one of the security guards who I had earlier requested, “please be gentle while you are removing me.”

    The next day, the extra large-print headline on top of The Dallas Morning News read: “Dallas Attorney Calls The Mayor A NAZI” [more accurately, I asked her, “Are you a fascist?”] I didn’t expect accuracy, the editor of the newspaper was her son-in-law.

    Believe me, that was not a good social or professional move. It wasn’t meant to be. However, it was a very good political move. From then on things opened up and we, eventually, won the landmark battle for 1 man, 1 vote.

    “There’s a time to live and a time to die.” Along the same lines, “There is a time to attack.” It is NOW.

  25. By the way, the brother-in-law of Mayor Annette Strauss was Ambassador Robert Strauss, the Democratic Party insider, who was the person most responsible for convincing President Bill Clinton to adopt his ill-fated TRIANGULATION STRATEGY against his Republican opposition.

  26. I couldn’t read through all that, so please forgive me if I am repeating something already said.

    I am tired of playing nice. You are either a Democrat or a Republican, or you don’t participate at all.

    1) If you don’t participate at all and truly don’t care what happens to this nation, you are a lousy American. Leave.

    2) If you are Republican, God bless you. Maybe someday you will grow up and transcend your animal instincts.

    3) If you are not a Republican, you are a Democrat. If you sit at home and complain about Trump, if you whine on this page, if you vote for Jill Stein or Ralph Nader or whatever leftist loon has had dinner with Putin before the next election, if you vote for whatever burnout the Libertarians nominate, you are a Democrat. The problem with Democrats is not Hillary Clinton or others who have worked all their lives for good causes but chose solutions poorly or allowed themselves to become cynical and corrupted, the problem is those who whine instead of participating.

    You know what active Democrats, party members who give their resources and time to try to improve things are whining about? The fact that American people have given this country away to human slime through nothing but distraction and laziness. Bread and circuses, indeed.

  27. To address Becky’s post…yes, jobs have increased and the economy appears to be on a good path. However, at what cost? Our country is divided, hate crimes have increased, our leadership (or lack thereof) is no longer respected by other countries. We have a man who occupies the oval office offering up vengeful and childish tweets daily. I don’t see integrity or compassion in mr. trump….and I would trade the state of the economy for an honest, dignified, caring president any day.

  28. Vernon,

    “See you at the barricades, Marv.”

    Great! At least there is now two of us at the barricades. I’m sure my deceased partner, Professor Harvey Wheeler would have made it three. Hopefully, more will join us in an eventual exponential rush.

    In the meantime, we can both sit back and watch the video from the musical Les Miserables until the battle is joined.

  29. Retail has been shutting down for well over a decade,why is that? The Democrats spent the Obama years abetting and coddling the the top 20%,how did that work out? Too many middle-class and working-class falling down? What did the party of the people do? Bailout the bankers and investment-class.

    Trump is a symptom,not the problem. Of course, for ignorant partisans voting for a specific party is the panacea–not.gonna.happen. Both commercial enterprises known as political organizations are owned by the donor class. Voting for an impotent Democratic Party will not make a damned difference at this point. The Democrats had their opportunity,they blew it. As a people,we had years/decades to make changes because of the detrimental effects to our environment from commerce and the takeover of government by the investor-class–we blew it. It was a nonviolent revolution by the donor-class and they won. Instead of guns they used money and think tanks. It worked.

    We (as ordinary plebes) have no control over the political system. We failed. We are now reaping what we have sowed(including abroad) . America needs a real revolution. America’s future is what Venezuela is going through today. Because of our naive belief in the Democratic Party as an effective opposition party,this outcome is inevitable. The suits won. Still, we simply whine.

  30. Marv; a question, are Democrats attempting to wage a “class war” while Republicans are being led to believe they are waging a “holy war”? Those are the only terms I could find trying to ask the question why there seems to be no common ground on any of the countless issues before this country and this government today…and I do not consider the current government as part of this country today as it founders with no stability in sight. The second government shutdown in less than a month is looming and Trump’s wall has divided the parties and divided the members within the parties over one idiotic issue in the personal war Trump has declared against President Nieto of Mexico. The entire idea of America building an actual wall between America and any country is incomprehensible to the meaning of America. Or is the wall the excuse to distract us from covert Russian domination as Trump and Putin feint punches back and forth? What is the real reason Sessions is going to Russia; didn’t he recuse himself from all things Russian pertaining to Trump? Well; I guess that is more than one question, isn’t it?

    Or do I have it all wrong, Marv? Didn’t the Romans call, “Let the games begin!” when they opened each circus? Should the phony prayers and banging of the gavel to open Congressional and Senate sessions should be changed to “Let the games begin!”

    This being Super Bowl Sunday; maybe I should be asking for someone to drop a penalty flag before Thursday.

  31. JoAnn,

    “Marv; a question, are Democrats attempting to wage a “class war” while Republicans are being led to believe they are waging a “holy war”? Those are the only terms I could find trying to ask the question why there seems to be no common ground on any of the countless issues before this country and this government today…and I do not consider the current government as part of this country today as it founders with no stability in sight.”

    No argument from me on your insight. But as you can see it’s a terrible mess. We have been facing a long-term, domestic, VIRAL war from the Religious Right/Far Right. Probably, it is HATRED VS. HATRED where we’re headed for, as there seems to be, as you have so well pointed out, NO common ground in sight.

  32. Here,some of us need to do some soul searching..

    An excerpt:

    The result was an American political movement whose center was a moral void. When John Kerry spoke out against the death penalty, his opposition was based in flawed application — the punishment just wasn’t smart. When he criticized Bush’s handling of the War in Iraq, his position was similar: he would continue the war but be more strategic about it. When Kerry lost, American liberals opined that there were just too many rubes out there. They would have voted better — smarter — if only they had had the right data visualizations in front of them. When Barack Obama won, and then passed the Heritage Foundation’s health care policy while carrying out a drone war responsible for the incineration of children in half a dozen sovereign nations, he did it while remaining the smartest guy in the room. That was what mattered. At the dawn of the 21st century, we stood on the doorstep of a permanent managerial world order. The wonks just needed to finish explaining it to the rest of us.!

  33. Marv; thanks. Just a suggestion to RETURN to common ground which has been lost;

    “We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, to ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    It leaves nothing out.

  34. JoAnn,

    I like it, especially INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY. Donald Trump is making sure that we don’t have domestic tranquility. Some would call that TREASON.

    I think you have come up with a great observation. Our biggest problem is that there is no oppositional leader from the Democratic Party. Since the medium is the message, maybe the Constitution has to be our MEDIUM of communication as a countervailing force to obtain some sense of equilibrium until an oppositional leader arises with an effective program for change.

  35. From Wikipedia:

    “The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.

  36. I want Pete (Feb 4) to run for Congress in 2018 and for POTUS in 2020.
    Rational Pete could easily win in November. Crazy Trump with the Mussolini grimace and Pence with the beatific mugshot wouldn’t have a chance if you Democrats gather around such a ticket! The GOP has already self-destructed thanks to the Orange Ogre.
    Add Adam Schiff’s speech clarity and you have a winning triumvirate!!

  37. OMG,

    “Rational Pete could easily win in November”

    I’m afraid not. What we’re facing is completely IRRATIONAL. It’s a STAGED ARMAGEDDON. The Republican Party represents the Christians and the Democratic party represents The Anti-Christ. It’s that simple.

    The problem is that this PRODUCTION or POLITICAL PASSION PLAY can easily get out of hand and turn into the real thing.

  38. Marv – Do you really think that no Republish*ts, scared about the erosion of the Social Safety Net, the Drumbeats of War, the Boon to the Few by the Tax Code Reform that will Take From the Many, do you really think that these Insults and More are insufficient to awaken the Dumbed-Down American Electorate?
    Do you really think that the 60% is going to fail to Rebel at the Polls?
    To me the Push-Back of the Build-the-Wall Movement is Testing the Mettle of Their Madness.
    And will Americans miss the Talent of such as Schiff and Pete and You and Many More? And how do you Figure In the Robert Mueller Equation about to be Solved so Close to the Election in November?

  39. OMG,

    “Marv – Do you really think that no Republish*ts, scared about the erosion of the Social Safety Net, the Drumbeats of War, the Boon to the Few by the Tax Code Reform that will Take From the Many, do you really think that these Insults and More are insufficient to awaken the Dumbed-Down American Electorate?”

    Answer: It’s insufficient, the Electorate is aware, but they aren’t motivated enough to change. They need more stimulation.

    “Do you really think that the 60% is going to fail to Rebel at the Polls?”

    Answer: Yes, if they do not have something concrete to rely on. It certainly isn’t the Democratic Party as it is now constituted. The world is not going to sit still waiting for the November elections. We could have riots, war, economic collapse etc. before then, all of which would change the PRESENT EQUATION.

    “And will Americans miss the Talent of such as Schiff and Pete and You and Many More?”

    Answer: More than likely. There sure isn’t any big line outside my door.

    “And how do you Figure In the Robert Mueller Equation about to be Solved so Close to the Election in November?”

    Answer: I don’t. Solving the Robert Mueller Equation will only open up another “can of worms.”

    OMG, Terrific questions. I wish I could be more positive. But Donald Trump is only the tip of an ICEBERG. Mike Pence is much more difficult to combat. If Mueller is successful, it will only bring Pence to the forefront.

    The only answer to this mess, in my opinion, is to create a POLITICAL FRONT, as early as possible, that can neutralize all three: Trump, Pence, and Bannon. Nothing less will be sustainable.

    Toward that objective, see my website still under construction at

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