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The Current Republicans May Represent The Last Gasp Of The Withered, Decaying Remnants Of A Once “Grand Old Party”!

March 9, 2017  — Frank Byronn Glenn

It started with Reagon, a once proud FDR new-dealer, finding religion as an “individual responsibility” champion — after he had lucked into howdy-doody-esque, feel good doofus movies and managed to carve out a small chunk of financial security for himself.  In no small part, I might add, by avoiding paying any taxes whatsoever  (providing him insight into the fact that there is more than one way to scam yourself into relative financial independence.  Like Trump later on, I’m sure most of what he did was in the strictest of senses “perfectly legal” — barring a few insider advantages and sweet heart deals that the advocates of the policies he was pushing allowed him to participate in — just for good old boy’s sake.

Even at that — he was a much more decent human being than most of the crop of Republicans that followed him.

Famous from the Bill Clinton administration days, Newt Gingrich reputedly responded to Bill Clinton’s incredulous query about Republicans in Newt’s time,  “Why do you guys always have to cheat?”

Because,” Gingrich famously was reported to have replied, “if we didn’t, we could never win.”

And I expect that is more true now than it ever was in Newt’s day.

Just put yourself in a Republican’s shoes.  You have very few policy ideas that actually benefit — directly or indirectly — the majority of the American people.  The demographic trends — long term — seem to be running against the GOP mind sets and policy ideas. At the same time (on the good side),  lobbyists representing the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the country come bearing sums of cash large  enough to swamp opponents in most modest representative and senatorial political contests around the country.

Simultaneously, the same lobbyists, representing the same or similar interests, have been bringing comparable sums of cash to elect partisan political allies to state legislatures and governor-ships  across the 50 United States.  And once ensconced, see 2010, they further gerry-mandered the legislative districts in their states to make it very difficult for non-Republicans to come out of the mainstream of American life and successfully run for and win offices.

With their lucrative Congressional jobs secure, their enormous perks intact, they practically have become “made men”, politically  — and unless they develop an uncharacteristically independent streak and try voting their own mind and dispositions at some point — they are practically set for life.  We all watched Saddam Hussein develop a touch of  independence after a few years as the U.S. power structure’s “boy”,  and we all know how that turned out.

As time went on, Republicans (and a lot of incumbents, really) felt comfortable doing almost nothing for the American  middle class and working poor people, because there was very little chance of them losing their elections no matter what they did — or how they  voted in Congress.  At the same time, they could not just stand up in public and proclaim over and over again on national television that they were for helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer — and feel comfortable about themselves —  and perhaps their political futures.  So a new occupation was born.  Political pundits and talk show hosts begin making up false theories about how when you cut taxes on the rich, it trickled down to all the people.  Things like every time you cut taxes on the rich — the economy boomed.  The famous “Laffer Curve”.

These Republican talking points and made-up p0licy positions really just represented the wishes and desires of the very wealthy individuals and corporations — which were there benefactors.  Good government became “big government”, and big government became “bad” government.  And Republican talking points to middle class Americans — blue collars workers — was that they were the champions and saviors that were going to get “big government” off their backs and “out of their lives” , so they could prosper again.

Everything Republicans did — or allowed — at the request of — or the behest of — the wealthiest in the country — became Republicans fighting to save the “little guy”.

These were lies!  But they worked well enough.  And because they worked well enough — whole industries sprang up generating the next generation of lies and talking points as it slowly dawned on the American people that “trickle down” never “trickled”.  And the “Laffer Curve” was really the rich and the Republicans laughing at the gullibility of working people.

And so it evolved.  Over time, all facts were disputed, because if you couldn’t get people to believe the lies outright — you could at least bury them in contradictory information until they became completely unable to discern facts from fiction — or, ultimately,they fatigued of trying — and simply gave up trying to discern truth — and went with the most captivating side-show and most sensational political production values. Negative, and often untruthful ads filled the airwaves.  The messages competed, and people had trouble telling what was true and what was lies.  In the end, they only remembered the most prurient, the scariest, the most horrifying and ghastly representations of candidates and their policies and viewpoints.  And generally the worst, most outrageous ads got the highest ratings and were remembered longest and best.  So the nastiest ads won, and the meanest, most deceptive, and the sometimes — the most untrue — candidates won.  Certainly the ones who had the most money to run whatever ads they ran the most times in the greatest numbers of cities in the largest number of venues — prevailed.

Lying paid.  Big, outrageous, memorable lies paid even bigger.  And the biggest, meanest, most outrageous ads with the most money behind them paid best — in fact,  almost never l0st.

So professional lying became not only the newest political art-form, but in many cases the surest path  to avoid true accountability and win re-election and guaranteed political longevity.  It slowly became passe to simply stand up and tell the honest truth on TV.  Not only was it a little drab and lifeless, it was not very interesting therefore not very fun — or memorable.

So a whole generation of liars emerged.  Now politicians in general, and Republicans in particular, have convinced themselves that now only does the truth not matter very much — it’s limiting, inconvenient, restrictive — and very unimaginative.  Unappreciated even.

Republicans now, led obviously by Donald Trump, believe that not only is truth “not necessary” — it doesn’t exist.  Truth is simply a point of view — to be won or lost —  and like all the political wins they’ve scored lying — truth is like advertising — the one able to repeat it the most times in the most places in the most venues — “wins the truth”.  That’s why Donald Trump either doesn’t know or doesn’t care whether he lies or not — because he really doesn’t.  It’s all “reality television” to him — and truth is whoever wins the ratings and whoever wins the ratings — gets to claim truth as his — in Trumps mind.

He has no shame about lying.  He sees it as just “part of show business” — and he’s trying to outpoint the Democrats — and the press.  And he actually believes that,  if he can do it enough times for long enough — he will prevail.

So the end result is that Republicans have gone so far in truth distortion and lying to stay in power and keep their gravy train rolling — that now they have lost their souls.  They have learned to lie professionally, without a tremor of conscience, because they know that if they tell they truth — the real truth — they do not have a prayer.  And yet, as the country evolves, becomes more diverse — better informed — with the explosion of information resources — the internet — social media — cell phones with video cameras — was simple lying and misinformation going to be enough?

Pundits wondered aloud if — with changing demographics in favor of the Democrats — would Republicans ever win a Presidential election again?

Panicked!  Did they pull out all the stops?  Did they consciously say, “this may be our last chance”!  We have to go for broke!  Did the Republicans not only sell “their” souls — but did they conspire to betray their country and their country-men — subvert the values and principles of the very country they owed their loyalty too — for one last chance to tip the political balance forever — permanently — in their favor.  Did they want their chance at power one more time — so badly — that they would do anything — to taste the “sweet lust of power” — one more time? It seems so.

But would they even commit treason against the country they claimed to love — and the countrymen they had sworn to serve?  And if they have, who among them, then,  will pay the ultimate price?  And who among them will have the courage to say, “not on our watch!  Not in our country?  Will there be anyone?  And will there be enough of us — that are courageous and committed enough — who realize what we have allowed to happen — to rally together and save this — our great experiment for mankind — that we call —  America?

 

What Hillary Means When She Says “Single Payer Healthcare Will Never, Ever Happen….”

By Byronn Glenn  — June 13, 2016

Those ‘Democratic’ apologists for Hillary Clinton, who say that she is right that “single-payer healthcare will never, ever happen.” and that “we can’t pay for it if it did”, either do not know how to add and subtract — or have forgotten how to dream.

Forgotten how to dream, as Bobby Kennedy so eloquently said the year he was assassinated.  Dream, he said, “not of things that once were, but of things that have never been.”

They have also forgotten that when Bill Clinton left office, moderate Republican  though he was, the defense budget was down several hundred billion dollars a year from what it was when he came into office, to a svelte $327 billion or so, and when Barack Obama came to office it was back up to $987 billion, and we were all still petrified of those big, old mean terrorists bad guys.

I ask you, after the 50 people were gunned down by the  “purported” radical extremist with Islamo-terrorist ties in Orlando over the week-end, “don’t you feel a lot safer now than you did when we were only spending a measly $327 billion dollars a year to “keep us safe.”

In truth, the reason we spend lots of money on national defense is so that corporations can have their own personal  “Republican Guard” looking after their financial interests and assisting them in their imperialistic predations around the world  — and to facilitate an occasional resource take-over or U.S. sponsored coup d’etat in a small,  uppity third-world country that had the audacity to nationalize an industry or re-take control of a natural or national resources — an insult our wealthy corporatists simple could not abide.

And — oh, yes…. we also have a big military budget because their are lots of wealthy people feeding at the easy trough of instant obsolescence manifest in the profitable defense and munitions manufacturing business — and lots of big fortunes to be made in the enormous wealth transfer — through taxes — from working people to the ruling class — in the name of nation-hood and keeping America safe.

To examine further:  When you say ‘single-payer health care will never happen”, all you’re really saying is the wealthy don’t need it, won’t permit it, and so it will “never happen”.  I bow to the so easily defeated!  The acquiescent. The unwilling.  The afraid?  The afraid to dream…….?

And when you say we could “never pay for it, if we did”.  All you’re really saying is that we can’t pay for it and still have tw0-thirds of our federal budget going to pay for corporate war and murder for profit. And we can’t pay for it without asking millionaires and billionaires to chip in a tiny fraction more of their ill-gotten largese.  And you’re also saying that that’s okay with you. And that those national priorities match up nicely with yours — and that those priorities fulfill your vision of America’s role in the world.  That they define for you what is good and what is desirable — not just in a country and a world — but in a civilization.

But sadly, you are saying something else, as well.  You’re saying that you won’t fight for a better country and a better world — a more hopeful path forward for civilization.  Or you are admitting that you are unwilling — unable — or unworthy….

And that’s a hard one to argue against.   Because,  if you really do believe we shall never have something like single-payer healthcare, and you really do believe that even if we did, we re not smart enough, capable enough, or good enough– to ever prioritize that it could come to pass and we could sustain it — over time — then I agree.  It may never come to pass for us.  And we will richly deserve to be deprived of that goodness and humanity in our world — perhaps, because we had forgotten, or never learned, or were simply unwilling to even dream…to try to dream —  of better life and world.
And as far as not being able to pay for it?  That’s just the child in us accepting, without protest,  the serial abuse of the older and more powerful in our lives…. because we did not have the simple courage to cry out and to ask to be treated better — and with greater equality and fairness — and to accept, instead,  that we — and mankind — simply are not worth of it.

In short, there’s twenty ways to pay for it, if we want it.  All we have to do is ask for — no,  demand — it.  Are you able?  Are you willing?

Is Hillary Clinton?

To “Extinctionist” Republicans Desparately Denouncing President Obama’s Plan To Help Save The Planet — I Say Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish!

By Bifford Caulfied — It’s not like we have been able to count on Republicans to come up with anything sensible in politics, business, tax policy, the middle class, or foreign policy for years, anyway  –— so I don’t know why it continues to surprise us when these knuckle-dragging troglodytes vehemently denounce a plan to make our planet a tiny bit more sustainable.

And when they cry out, “Hey, I’m not a scientist,  I don’t know”,  I distinctly hear, “I am just too dumb and too bought and paid for by the Koch Bros and their “ilk” to dare care about something like the health or sustainability of the planet.”  It’s hard to tell what they really think — or if there actually is any signs of life in those seemingly inert brains — but Republicans for some reason believe it is their designated mission (probably Koch Bros assigned) to protest that anything that might extend the life of the planet a week is inherently evil, European socialist with a twist of Obama-Kenya-ism, anti-jobs, and bad for the national debt — and therefore must be fought to the death and defeated.

I guess after watching the “extinctionists” for a few years now — I have just one question.  If you guys are so bound and determined to kill the planet and life on earth as absolutely “fast and furiously” as you can — why don’t you all form a Jones-town like cult — all of you go to an Alex meeting presided over by the Koch Bros on some scantily populated South Sea island — and all of you drink the poison cool-aid and kill yourselves.  Then you have achieved your goals (at least for yourselves) of ending life, you’re out of your collective misery, and the rest of us can go about the sensible business of trying to sustain life on earth for ourselves and our children and grandchildren.  Plus — what a relief to be rid of all of you Republican and Tea Party losers and your plutocratic boyfriends!

Or — as we used to say when I was a kid:   “Good riddance — to bad rubbish!”

 

Eric Cantor’s Money Couldn’t Buy Him Love!

By Frank B. Glenn — Despite the fact that Eric Cantor spent 10 million on his house race and David Brat spent less than $100,000, Cantor got soundly whipped in his Virginia Congressional race — and was quite surprised by the fact, apparently.  That Cantor lost was pretty surprising, because he had promenaded himself around town as a Tea Party advocate, champion, and cheerleader.  The truth of the matter was more that he pretended to be an authentic “tea partier”, but all he actually was in reality was a tireless advocate for the interests of the wealthy — wall street, big business, and corporations, in general.

 

Either he thought that by cozying up to business working as a tireless “tool” for their interests, he could use their substantial political contributions to overcome any trivial grass-roots protests, or he thought that because he was the Republican majority leader in Congress he was an untouchable —  money and connections didn’t matter  — and therefore he just  couldn’t lose.    The “punditocracy”  tirelessly beat the “immigration” drum, saying that Cantor had gotten out of step with his constituents on immigration and that that was what did him in.  They quoted showed video of, or quoted David Brat railing on Eric Cantor’s views on immigration almost exclusively  — but the reality was that David Brat’s entire campaign was based on the fact that Eric Cantor was out of touch — or didn’t care about the everyday people in his district — that all he was was an over-acheiving and predictable advocate for the interests of “big business” and not ordinary Americans.

 

In fact, surveys taken in Cantor’s district immediately before and immediately after the election showed that more than half of everybody — including Republicans — favored some kind of sensible immigration reform.  The only thing immigration related that they objected to with regard to Eric Cantor was that the way he talked about immigration was in the same way that big business and corporations talked about immigration — and that he was simply representing business’s position on immigration, not his the people in his Congressional district in Virginia.

 

Then, of course, there was the on going insult and disrespect evidenced by Cantor toward his district  –– in that as time went on he spent less and less time in his district communicating with voters about their concerns — ones that he might have spoken out for — or represented them about in Congress.

 

In short, I think Eric Cantor had served as a faithful “tool” or money and power — and obviously thought that with “money and power” his side, he didn’t have to worry much about the pointy headed professor running against him.  In fact, Cantor actually mocked David Brat for being an elitist college “professor” type — and implied that therefore Professor Brat could not be taken seriously by the voters.  It appears, Mr. Cantor, that you were wrong on that one.

 

In an interesting political twist, however, we suddenly see the potential for “real” political change emerging as the anti-corporate tea party views and the liberal progressive views coalesce around the ideas of reigning in the power of business in politics and trying to create an economy in which their is a more level playing  ground and more income equality.

 

 

The “Old” Indiana Pacers Returned On Sunday! But Was It Just A “Cameo” Appearance?

By Ritchie Totten — For most of the regular season this year, the Indiana Pacers were clearly the best team in the East — and maybe in the entire NBA.  They were rolling.  Players even compared the way they played defense to the way the World Champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFL played defense in the Super Bowl.  It was their “schtick”.  Their particular excellence!  Then came the Danny Granger trade.

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Now all things considered, Danny Granger had a pretty tough early part of the season with the Pacers.  He was injured for most of the first half of the season — but he was nevertheless considered to be an important part of the Pacers teams and mentality.  He was supposedly a team member who provided veteran stability.  He was talked about as being a locker-room leader — a force.  And — he was a force to reckoned with on the court — when he was healthy.  But when he went — and Even Turner came in — the Pacers went south.  I’m not saying that trade was the cause — necessarily.  Sometimes it gets to be a long season — and teams who are winning big — and steadily — lose focus a little and get tired of waiting for their “real season”.  Their play gets a little sloppy — the intensity and motivation for individual games drops off a little.  Then time goes on and playing that way kind of becomes a habit.  They fall into the “waiting for the play-offs” state of mind — and uninspired, unmotivated style of play becomes a habit — and it becomes a hard habit to break.

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It seemed at times that that was what happened to the Pacers.  Then the play-0ffs came, and it was a little like the Pacers thought playing that great Pacer style of defense-driven basketball would just return again — because it was the play-offs.  The  result was that the Pacers would look pretty good in one game — and lackluster and unmotivated the next game.  Roy Hibbard was criticized –then cat-called — and finally benched for inexplicable and extended minutes in key stretches  of play-off games.  Long story short, the Indiana Pacers did just enough in their first two series to get by — and move on.

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And then came the Miami Heat.  Even though the Pacers suffered a late season collapse, they had enough built-up mojo from the early part of the season to end up the Eastern Conference top seed.  So Miami rolls into Indiana and the “old” Pacers re-appear.  They absolutely “maul” the Heat. — winning 107-95 in a game that was never that close.  All the Pacer stars — young and old  — showed up and played like it was last November – December all over again.  Roy Hibbert dominates.  Indiana ended up winning by nine points — but the game, like I said, was never really that close.  The Heat’s best efforts by their “big three” could never get closer than eight points as the game rolled into the home stretch.  And for most of the game, the Pacer lead was in the high double-digits.  The Miami Heat had no answers — and no response.

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As Miami Heat coach, Eric Spoelstra, said after the game on Sunday,  “We’re just going to have to figure this out.”  My question is — is this just another flash in the Indiana Pacer’s pan — or has the part of the season Indiana has been waiting for all year finally arrived — and they are fully engaged again?  Or have they satisfied themselves that they can beat the  Heat now — and they can just relax again — Mission accomplished?

Swiss Vote to “Work For Less” in Sunday National Referendum!

By Frank Byronn Glenn — I was wrong.  I was very wrong.  I said in an article a few days ago that the American people should follow the lead of the Swiss, and use a national referendum to vote in a $25 an  hour minimum wage.  I both “denouce and reject” that headline.

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In one of the more puzzling event in the world Sunday, the Swiss people voted overwhelmingly  — by a 76% – 24% margin to defeat their national Minimum Wage Initiative.  In most countries, just getting such an initiative on a national ballot would have been a  modern day political miracle — but to get it on the ballot and then stomp it to death with such gusto defies the intellect.

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Why, I ask, “Once you have the corporate over-lords clearly in your sights — would you ever back away and let the opportunity slip away?”  I mean, the initiative going down to such a huge defeat is tantamount to the Swiss people saying, “No, we don’t want a significantly  higher standard of living.  We’re just not worth it.”

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As I said  in my earlier article, I talked to everyday Americans that shocked me by saying that $25 an hour was just too much money for entry-level workers to make.  Where, I ask you, would they ever get that idea?  I could (almost) understand a person making $18 to $25 per  hour in a low-end,  semi- professional  or white collar job worrying that suddenly a fast-food worker, a household domestic or nanny — or an agriculture field worker — would be earning as much per hour as they were — and that they might not like — or even feel a little threatened about their status in society because of it — but to outright resoundingly reject defies logic.  They have got to believe that because of the type of work they perform — they just are not worth it.  And it’s pretty hard to imagine that they just deductive came up with that opinion all by themselves.

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There was even a story circulating  about a Swiss citizen working as a household domestic making approximately  $3250 per month saying that she was going to vote against the initiative because if her employer was forced by law to increase her monthly pay from $3250 per month to $4300 per month, she would most certainly lose her job.  What could possibly have made her think that unless her employer had told her on no uncertain terms — that that was the case?

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But I can tell you one thing.  If a nation’s citizens, when given the chance, soundly reject an opportunity to take control of their own destinies and create a better life for themselves and their countrymen — an opportunity which is rare enough in and of itself — then the odds of their duly elected representatives in government — beholding, as they generally are, to financial contributions by corporations and wealthy individuals — ever passing significant, standard of living changes upwards in the minimum wage and closing the income inequality  gap — are probably “slim-to-none”.

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So — Americans — don’t do it.  Don’t take my advice.  Do not — under any circumstances — follow the lead of the Swiss.  Keep fighting for a minimum wage upwards of $15 per hour!  And if the opportunity comes  — seize it — and never look back!

 

Americans Should Follow The Swiss Example and Demand a $25 An Hour Minimum Wage!

By Frank Byronn Glenn –– The Swiss vote in a national referendum on Sunday, May 18, 2014 on whether to raise the national minimum wage to $25 an hour or not.  Meanwhile the American Congress diddles and dithers in angst — mostly over whether or not their corporate overlords will disown them if they raise the minimum wage to $10 dollars an hour in the United States.   Congress people who make around $90 an hour for a forty hour week — plus another amount equal to that in perks, franking privileges, expenses and other political largesse.  And we’d be lucky if  Congress worked even a 20 hour work week, so their pay is actually closer to $200 an hour for actual time worked. And they are worried they will anger their masters, like Sheldon Adelson  and other billionaires, who could spend $100,000 per day until the end of time and never deplete a dollar of their starting capital.  And the politicians, primarily Republicans — are so dug in that raising the minimum wage can’t even be debated on the floor of the House, much less voted on.  It is political anathema –and political poison for them to even acknowledge the issue would warrant an honest debate.

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And then there is progressive  old “left coast” Seattle, which has the gall to talk about the possibility and viability of a $15 dollar per hour minimum wage — an idea that right wingers predict would be the beginning of the end of the modern era —  as we know it.  It will “kill jobs” they say.  It will collapse the economy — increase unemployment.  Like they even cared about that.  These “out-sourcing” kings, queens, princes and princesses and their political lackeys have already sent every job minimum wage or above that they possibly can — out of the country —  where they are paying 30 cents to 2.50 an hour to make things like an inhaler at a cost of 15 cents that they turn around and sell to chronically ill people  in the U.S. for $75 dollars a pop.

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Help in easing the income discrepancy and the wealth inequality for the working poor and middle class in the United States will never originate or come from the House of Representative or the Senate in these United States.  Politicians are too dependent on donations and financing from the rich to further their careers and maintain their life-styles to ever do anything meaningful on behalf of the American people. In Switzerland, the $25 minimum wage increase applies to entry level jobs like house-keepers, nannies, fast-food workers, agriculture laborers, and other entry level and menial jobs.  The Swiss have a really stream-lined method of getting good ideas, programs, and policies onto the ballots so the whole country can vote on them as a national referendum.  Americans should learn from the Swiss.  If average, working-class Americans are going to ever improve their lot economically in this country, it is not going to come from the House of Representatives or the Senate — and probably not even the Presidency.  It is going to come because Americans have taken to the streets by the millions — demanding fairness —  and suddenly politicians are more afraid of losing their jobs — and maybe their heads — than they are of disappointing or displeasing their corporate and individual wealthy “sugar-daddies” and “over-lords”.  Anybody that thinks the politicians in the House and the Senate will — of their own volition — do anything significant to improve the lives of everyday Americans are smoking one too many of those funny cigarettes you hear about.  It just is not going to happen.  The politicians have too much of a vested interest in placating the rich people who finance their campaigns — and ultimately — their cushy jobs and luxurious life-styles.  Most of them are in the same economic class as the rich people they fall all over themselves to pass laws, policies and programs to benefits anyway.  So it’s win-win for them.

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And the weirdest part,  is  that corporations, rich individuals, their PR men, corporate-owned media, and their political “yes men” have been so successful in pushing the idea that only the rich are entitled to have a decent life-style — that I have even heard working class people say they think $25 per hour would be just “too much” for everyday working poor and middle-class Americans to get paid.  Too much for what, I ask?  It’s like the abused house-wife syndrome — where an abused spouse thinks that the beating she gets from her husband is her fault.  Is what she deserves.  And that what she should do is just try and work to harder not displease him — not rile or upset him so often.  The sad plight of Americans –economically — will not improve  — until everyday Americans value themselves highly enough to do  what the Swiss have done — demand to be paid enough money for their labor that they can live a reasonable worthwhile and secure life.  Raise their children — send them to college, take vacations once in a while — enjoy affordable, available quality health care — and retire with a modicum of dignity and security at the end of a long working life of dedicated and committed service in their country — and in their communities! Good for the Swiss!  You deserve it, too — Americans!

OKC Thunder Project Power and Depth — Eliminate The Clippers!

By Ritchie Totten — On a night when the Oklahoma City Thunder’s dynamic duo were off their game early — their tenacity — and the contributions of their big men bench when Serge Ibaca left the game revealed why the Thunder just might be the team to be reckoned in this years NBA Finals.  On a night when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook weren’t hitting early — they showed their tenacity and basketball savvy — just kept moving the ball — and grinding — and pushed thru to victory late in the game.  It was almost an act of basketball will and tenacity not basketball savoir faire that won the night for the Thunder in  the end.  And, of course, the sleeping dragon – Durant — reared its  head when it was “money” time in game six of the Western Conference Semifinals and pushed the Thunder up, over, and thru the Clippers — and to victory.

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And once again the Thunder, playing in their fourth Western Conference Finals in five years — meet their old nemesis – the San Antonio Spurs — for the opportunity to play for all the marbles in the NBA Finals — yet again. The Spurs — who can play with tempo — play big — play half court grind it out basketball —  shoot you out of the game from three-land — or just beat you with slash, opportunism, hustle, and finesse — await the Thunder now.  Something does seem to have changed in the dynamic between the Thunder and the Spurs this year.  The Thunder went 4-0 against the Spurs int regular season — and ever since the Spurs went up on the Thunder 2 – 0 in the Western Conference Finals a couple of years ago — only to lose the series 4-2 to the Thunder — the Thunder has seemed to have had the edge against perhaps the best-coached, most solidly fundamental basketball team in the NBA.

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In their games in the regular season — it did look like something was different between these two teams this year.  I think it is partly the match-ups.  The Thunder bigs — particularly rookie Stephen Adams and the aging warrior Nick Collison –are not only wider, nastier, and more bone-jarring in the paint — but Serge Ibaka  has added a reliable mid-range jumper and power and authority in the paint close in — that was lacking in prior years.  Ibaca, drawing attention from defenses when he sets up in mid-range jumper territory — has shown a new facet to his game — the power dribble-drive to the bucket from anywhere on the court.  And whether it is that the Thunder bigs are a touch faster — a touch nastier — good, quick passers and reliable as scorers around the rim, it seems like the Thunder wears San Antonio down as the game progresses.  And in several cases this year the well-coached, savvy, opportunistic Spurs succumbed to the high energy, high octane, up-tempo play of the Thunder dynamic duo — and their supporting cast.

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The entire play-offs this year has been one for the ages — and the Western Conference Finals — on paper — looks like it will be no exception.  The well-coached and savvy Spurs — representing old age and treachery — will test their will and aging bodies against the exuberantly high octane and athletic youth and dynamism of the up and coming Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Western Conference Finals between these two “best of the West” teams — should, past predictive of future, be one for the ages, also!  Bring the pop-corn and let’s get it going!

 

OKC Thunder “Snakebites” LA Clippers!

By Ritchie Totten –Oklahoma City Thunders, down 13 points with four minutes and change to play — down 7 with 50 seconds to play — use miracle finish and Clipper miscues to squeak by LA and go up 3-2 in the Western Conference Semifinals.  Durant, having trouble hitting his shots early, responded to score six points in a flourish when all the chips were on the line — and Russell Westbrook continued to streak and soar and defend and closed out with three straight free throws with six seconds left to win the game for OKC, 105-104 — capppng off a 38 point other-worldly night.

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The Thunder were up 16 points with 9 minutes left in a superb 3 and a half quarters in Game 4, only to falter down the stretch and lose the game to the tenacious Clippers.   In something of a reversal of roles tonight, the Thunder not only kept their push to the Western Conference Finals alive, but went up 3-2 and showed grit and uncommon opportunism in continuing to play against all odds — and came up winners.

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Man for man, the Thunder are probably as talented at all positions and the bench as any team in basketball.  But they play brilliantly for periods of time in games — and look  unbeatable  — then suddenly and inexplicably seem to lose their focus and their rhythm — and look average, sloppy, and careless with the ball for stretches.   The only real question for the Thunder this year seems to be — will they mature enough to get up and stay focused and finish in games that they should clearly win going away.

Karl Rove Says Hilary Clinton “Brain Damaged”!

By Frank Byronn Glenn Karl Rove did even his own disgusting, unethical, and lying self a new all-time low this week  when he fired his first desperate shot of the 2016 Presidential Campaign — stating as fact that Hilary Clinton suffered “brain damage” in the fall she took when she was Secretary of State — that she was in the hospital for 30 days — and that when she got out she had to wear special glasses that only a person  “suffering from major brain damage ” must wear.   Not only untrue — but absurd.  If that’s true, where are “Doc Roves”  special glasses — because I got news for you — Karl Rove has not only had “brain damage” for the last 10 to 15 years as a political slanderer and corporate “yes man”, but he, like his mentor before him, Lee Atwater, are (and were, as Lee Atwater is dead now)  guilty of moral turpitude in the conduct of their lives as “professional slanders” and are well-known by everyone who spends 10 minutes a week paying attention to politics — to be unconscionable liars, fact distorters and news and information manipulators.

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Almost everything Karl Rove says is a lie or a deliberate distortion anyway, because his entire career as a political hack for the wealthy and powerful is based on him getting paid to do and say in public — things that the rich and power would shudder to have  attributed to them.  Rove is a political prostitute of the first order who mentors and role models the Republican philosophy of:  1) lie about your adversaries in public forums and then fight as hard as you can to keep the commentary on your lies circulating and spinning as long as possible, with the goal in mind that before its all done there will be enough people who have heard the lies repeated all over the news so much and so often that they automatically assume there must be something to it — or it would not be being talked about so much.

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Rove’s other “nasty trick” specialty is to plan an underhanded and unethical attack or operation against his adversary, and then, just before he does the deed — he goes public  accusing his adversary of doing the dirty deed to him.

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In a way, you can almost understand and appreciate why Rove may be taking this tactic with Hilary Clinton this early in the campaign.  It is common knowledge that Republicans are scared “sh-t—s” that they can’t beat Hilary in 2016 — and the only way in hell they can field a candidate that everyone knows is “whacko-bandana-crackers” and have a snowball’s chance in hell of even being in the conversation is to build a case for the fact that while the Republican candidates are “nuts”, Hilary is brain-damaged.  And that’s how sad the Republican party has become.  Rove, their moral and philosophical leader actually thinks alleging Hilary is “brain-damaged” will cause the American people to not notice or deliberately ignore that fact that the Republican candidate is “certifiably insane” — and immoral besides.

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Karl Rove is a pathetic political prostitute and hack whose finest hour was his role as “architect” of the  George W. Bush and Dick Cheney” election campaigns,  and the subsequent enabling of the re-colonization of Iraq and the expropriation of the Iraqi people’s oil — and the concomitant slaughter of 10’s of thousands of Iraqis and the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and contractors — all  for a few more dollars profit for his corporate overlords.  That’s how Rove makes a living.  Prostituting himself to people with more power and money than he has!

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If Rove isn’t the saddest, most contemptible,  and most morally bankrupt of all the corporate  whores in America — I don’t know who is.

Ugh!