Monthly Archives: February 2016

What will The Brothers do?

Have we begun to see the so-called Republican establishment accept Donald Trump as their leader? First Governor Chris Christie and then Paul LePage of Maine have now accepted him.  Well what else can the establishment do once their carefully cultivated base of the stupid nominates Trump?

Will this be enough to elect Trump as President? Perhaps not if he can’t tap the Koch brothers money machine.  They may be leary of him –  a loose cannon who might act against their fossil fuel  interests or their favored tax status.  After all Cruz is attacking Trump as a fake conservative. Charles Koch is  VERY conservative and likes to full control where he spends.

Faced by this temporary set-back, will they withhold support for Trump and instead just continue their heavy financial support of state and local politics to maintain the Republican domination there?

Trump might win the election without the brothers although he may have less money himself than he pretends to. Once he has the nomination he will probably turn somewhat left and Democrats are just as vulnerable to this kind of phony “strength” as Republicans. Or, of course, he could make a deal with the brothers, trading support for their interests for their financial support ab=nd giving them control. He claims to be great at deal making.



I’ve been collecting quotations for years. Here are a few of my favorites. The first is the best, especially in this election year.

No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up. – Lily Tomlin

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.  – George Bernard Shaw

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. – Joe Ancis

Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. – Sir Arthur Eddington

We’ve had class warfare for the last twenty yeas, and my class has won.  –  Warren Buffett

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity. – Tom Stoppard

Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember. – Oscar Levant

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. – Paul Dirac

Whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other people’s characters. – Margaret Halsey

Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person? – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. – Thomas Carlyle

No hypocrisy is too great when economic and financial elites are obliged to defend their interest.  –  Thomas Piketty

There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it. – Cicero

Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be. – Jim Horning

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards. – Arthur Koestler

Bernie and the Settlers

The Republicans still seem to be concentrating on Hillary, but the establishment Democrats have Bernie in their sights. The reason is obvious – they think Bernie could take the nomination but would lose the election, leaving the federal government in the hands of the irrational right.

Have you seen the TV commercials for a satellite TV service? The one that features a farm family out of the past who describe themselves as old-fashoned “settlers”, who reject the good and new for the second class fare of the past.  That, in my view, is what Bernie’s Democratic critics are – settlers for the status quo in politics.

Listen to them carefully and you can see that they can only contemplate a future with the Right in control of at least the House, and likely the Senate as well.  So they consider Bernie to be impractical, favoring programs that could not possibly be passed by Congress in the foreseeable future.

This neglects the possibility that Bernie is counting on, to head a “revolution” that can take back the Congress and make a highly progressive  public policy practical.  Can he do that? We don’t know, but it won’t happen if we don’t try.
It won’t happen with a lukewarm candidate.

I can’t see Hillary doing that, and evidently she doesn’t think so either.  Bernie has shown signs that it could be done. He has the young people and if that can be parlayed into voter turnout anything is possible.

The Republican party, at the national level, is a complete mess this year and should be beatable.  But it won’t be by a tired campaign from the Democrats that can’t visualize victory.

Bernie Sanders campaign reminds me of Harry Truman in 1948, and Brendan Byrne’s campaign for NJ governor in 1973. Byrne ran hard against a miserable candidate put up by the Republicans whose only claim to fame was his defense of Nixon on the House Impeachment committee. Byrne won big and his coattails pulled into office Democrats who would normally have no chance of winning.  Including even me, a humble candidate for Borough Council. We got the first Democratic majority in Madison since the 1930s!

The ghastly Congress we have now came into being under the same Democratic establishment that fears a too liberal Bernie. It caught that establishment by surprise but it was a carefully plotted and supported movement run by the billionaires “right wing conspiracy.” At least Bernie knows who he enemy is.