Forgettables and Lamentables: People and Things To Be Put to Rest



--Assuming the Election of 2020 is actually over, here are some things about which I’d like to forget.


·      Ranked choice voting: If you think Joe Biden won decisively, think again. Biden owes his presidency to Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate. Libertarians are on generally on the right, so we can assume that without Jorgensen, most of her votes would have gone to Trump. Look at the margin-of-victory numbers vs. her voting support:


            Arizona:     Biden +11,645      Jorgensen 51,057

            Georgia:   Biden + 24,000   Jorgensen, etc. 72,000

            Pennsylvania:  Biden +53,219  Jorgensen 78,083

            Wisconsin        Biden +20,040  Jorgensen 38,415


·      Bernie Bros cost Hillary the 2016 election. See the above bullet and get back to me. Democrats have issues they must resolve. Overall, progressives did better than moderates in 2020. Biden came close to losing, so compost all the “need-moderates” barnyard exhaust. Then explain how Sarah Gideon lost to Susan “The Waffler” Collins.


·      Partisan Polling.  It should be banned. How many pleas did you see from Amy McGrath or Jamie Harrison showing they were either ahead or just slightly behind? McConnell trounced McGrath by almost 20% and Harrison spent over $10 million and lost by 10%. If their campaigns were appliances, they’d be busted for bait-and-switch.


--I would be happy never want to hear these names again:


·      The Clintons: Bonkin’ Bill is one of the biggest frauds of my lifetime. A liberal Democrat? His name is on legislation not even Reagan could get passed: NAFTA, DADT, DOMA, IIRIRA, PRWORA, repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Omnibus Crime Bill, the US-China Relations Act, the Telecommunications Act, the pardon of Marc Rich, war in Somalia (but not Kosovo or Rwanda). If you don’t know about this stuff, look it up! 


    Hillary had public sympathy on her side during the Lewinsky scandal, but went full Tammy Wynette in exchange for access to power. She was a run-of-the-mill senator; a decent,  though bellicose, secretary of state; and squandered a huge lead in 2016. 


 ·      Nate Silver: Speaking of frauds! Here’s a guy who got the 2008 election right and hasn’t been in the money since. Now he pleads that his data points were wrong. All that means is that his polls were never scientific in the first place. Silver is merely an aggregator, though not a discerning one. Truly scientific polls–if they still exist–have margin errors in the plus or minus 2% range, not 9% or more. Even Nostradamus was better at predictions.


 ·      Sarah Gideon: If you can’t beat Susan Collins, you’re in the wrong state.


 ·      Gus Bickford: The head of the MA Democratic Party is accused of telling UMass students to go public with allegations against Congressman Richie Neal’s primary opponent, Alex Morse. Bickford claims he broke no laws. Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean he’s not crooked. 


 --I don’t need to hear these names again unless proceeded by modifiers such as fired, indicted, arrested, or sentenced:


·      Donald Trump: There are prostitutes with more morality than Trump. We know this from their testimony.


·      William Barr: He has no respect for the law, so maybe the law should show some disrespect toward him.


·      Mike Pompeo: He is despised abroad and unloved at home.


·      Betsy DeVos: Can she even spell “education?”


·      Jared Kushner: Sleaze? Flunky? Asshat? Take your pick.


·      Mike Pence: Machiavelli fell on his sword for 4 years. Let him bleed.


·      John Bolton: The “brave” man who didn’t tell the truth when it actually mattered.


·      Steve Bannon: Move to Russia; you and Julian Assange deserve each other.


·      Elaine Chao: Time to return this perennial toady to the muck.


·      Rudy Giuliani: Once a very good mayor of NYC. Must have met the Devil at the crossroads and traded his soul for slime.


·      Eugene Scalia: Antonin’s son as secretary of labor? How about Willie Sutton as secretary of the treasury?


·      Trump’s interchangeable eye candy: To Kellyanne Conway, Kayleigh McEnany, Stephanie Grisham, Sarah Sanders, Hope Hicks, etc. Don’t lose you looks ladies, or Fox News won’t keep you around very long.


·      Mitch McConnell: As honest as your average Kentucky basketball coach. So vile he might be Jesse Helms risen from the grave.












Moral Failings: Time for Ethics 101


This would be a good time to make ethics courses mandatory in high schools and colleges. It shouldn’t be so damn hard for Americans to do the right thing. Instead, we fall prey to selfishness and lawsuits rather than doing the right thing–like wearing masks during a pandemic–that would place us within what John Dewey called the Great Community.


The biggest cad, of course, is Donald Trump, who lost both the popular and Electoral College vote. True to his amoral soul, he’s suing rather than conceding. The only outcome of this will be blood in American streets–from both supporters he enrages and Biden voters infuriated by blatant attempts to steal the election. If Trump loves America he would say, “The will of the people has spoken. I want to thank my millions of supporters, but now I ask you to help president-elect Joe Biden for the good of the country.” That’s what George H. W. Bush did in 1992, Al Gore in 2000, and Hillary Clinton in 2016, though each could have fanned anger flames well past Inauguration Day. Two sentences, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Mephistopheles Trump to utter them.


Mark Meadows–currently recovering from COVID, whose seriousness Trump denies–could do a moral thing. He could advise Trump to concede. When Trump refuses, Meadows could resign and go public with his reason for doing so. If he doesn’t, he should prepare for the same purgatory into which predecessor chiefs of staff: Reince Priebus, John Kelly, and Mick Mulvaney were cast. Will Meadows actually tell Trump to step down? Probably not, though he has little to lose and his soul to gain by doing so.


You’d think that three marriages–the current rumored to shaky–rising numbers of rape and sexual assault accusations, serial lying, and blasphemous statements would cause religious people to recoil. Not for millions of evangelical Christians. Shame, shame, shame!!! They make mockery of the very tenets they purport to hold sacred. Media should stop calling them “Christians” and use more Biblically appropriate terminology: Sadducees and Pharisees. Repeat until those who walk their talk bring down modern-day Marjoes like Rodney Howard-Browne, Ralph Drollinger, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Franklin Graham, and Roy Moore. The list could go on, but what they share in common is growing rich by bilking followers. What sort of “Christian” bums money to accumulate worldly goods? Might be time to read that part in the New Testament about Jesus chasing money changers from the Temple.


A big raspberry to the Boston Red Sox for rehiring Joey Cora the moment his suspension was up. Many of you know I am a Yankees fan, but I’ve never hated the Red Sox­ until now. I never took part in perennial Red Sox suck/Yankees suck battles for the simple reason that it was seldom true. If you’re really a baseball fan, how can you hate players like Yaz, Tiant, Nomar, Rice, Pedroia, Martinez, or Sale? But Joey Cora? Yeah, I can hate him. All he did was steal a World Series from two more worthy teams: the Yankees and the Dodgers. Cora and A. J. Hinch should be banned for life for destroying the integrity of the game. That’s the de facto punishment MLB meted out to lesser transgressors such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, and Sammy Sosa. Willie Mays has been blackballed for doing promos for casinos. Imagine that! We all know that nobody gambles on sports, right? So, to hell with the Red Sox and Joey Cora. I’d hate on the Tigers too–they hired Hinch–but they do suck, so that seems pointless.


It’s also time for Massachusetts to walk the talk when venerating sports stars. The Bay State likes to flaunt its Deep Blue credentials, yet consistently worships sports stars who are redder than Santa Claus: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Bobby Orr, Curt Schilling…. Schilling in particular is a disgrace who lives down to his surname. I’ve no problem with sports figures holding whatever beliefs they wish–this should be true for all–but there is a huge disconnect between sports and values in Massachusetts. You can root for the home team without fawning over jerks.


The same point extends to music. I’ve never owned music from Jerry Lee Lewis, a pedophile, and never will. Put down your money where your values lie. There are lots of conservative musicians and that’s fine, but draw the line at idiots like 50 Cent, Trace Adkins, Toby Keith, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, and Kayne West. Plus, be the first to sign up for an ethics course if you buy hip-hop that celebrates misogyny, guns, or thuggery.


Rob Weir


How the Electoral College Disenfranchises Everyone



I am sick of presidential politics and how they pit Americans against each other. Only fanatics, madmen, and the greedy can applaud how Trump has cheapened the national discourse, the dignity of the presidency, and America’s standing in the global community. Nor was Richard Nixon called “Tricky Dick” for his magician skills.


Democrats also have plenty to answer for. It is hypocritical to ignore that Bill Clinton was every bit as amoral as Trump. Remember the parade of women who revealed his sexual peccadillos? Let’s not forget that several said he harassed them. Though we didn’t talk about such things then, Kennedy’s affairs rivaled Clinton’s.


At least Kennedy got more votes than Nixon and assorted small parties, but by the squeakiest of margins: 113,000 votes. In 1968, Nixon turned the table and won the presidency with just 43.4% of the vote. Clinton never got 50% + 1 in either of his elections. In 1992, he garnered just 43% of the popular vote and in 1996, just a tick over 49%. (He probably would have lost in 1996, had not the GOP self-destructed with its boneheaded impeachment for lying about his dalliances with Monica Lewinsky.) Move forward to 2000, and George W. Bush became president, though he got 500,000 fewer votes. Trump took office having decisively lost the popular will, so don’t cry for me Argentina if he ends up losing in 2020 by a Kennedyesque margin.


Yet because we have the Electoral College, the books are cooked to look better than they were. In 1960, Kennedy’s victorious Electoral ledger was 303-219; in 1968, Nixon prevailed by 301-191 (with 46 for George Wallace). You could be excused for glancing at the Electoral College and concluding that Bill Clinton was the most popular man in America; 1992 goes down as a 370-168 shellacking of George H. W. Bush, and four years later he spanked Bob Dole by 379-159. In 2016, Trump was trounced by 3 million votes but proclaimed a landslide based on a 304-227 Electoral College victory. Only in the disputed election of 2000 did the Electoral College come close to depicting a true split; George W. Bush took office with a mere 271-266 edge over Al Gore.


There is irony in all of this. Conservatives like to invoke the original intent of the Constitution. It’s an absurdity on many levels, but let’s stick to the issue at hand. A major selling point for the Electoral College was that it gave Congress an opportunity to undo an election in which an excited populace chose the “wrong” person, specifically (ahem!) a demagogue. Only once has Congress directly intervened in an election, the 1876 Hayes-Tilden bout, which Tilden clearly won but was shunted aside by a dodgy compromise.


My point is to emphasize that the Electoral College is a dinosaur awaiting a comet of doom. If Congress didn’t cast off a demagogue in 2016, there is no point whatsoever in maintaining that theoretical power. Make voters the final arbiters. A case could be made for European-style runoffs in no one gets above 50%, but the electorate should always decide. If you think the 2020 election is over, think again; so-called “faithless electors” could overthrow whatever the count or courts say.


Here’s why everyone should push for a Constitutional amendment to trash the Electoral College. For the most part, your vote does not matter. If you are a Republican in California, Massachusetts, or New York, you might as well sleep through presidential elections. The same is true if you’re a Democrat in Deep red states like Alabama, Idaho, or Kansas. Is it any wonder that between half and a third of voters sit out presidential elections?


We can pretend it’s the candidates, but it’s simpler: Why vote if it doesn’t matter? And if you’re running for POTUS, why on earth would you bother with rural areas, small towns, or thinly populated counties? The best way to fix this mess is to make sure that each vote counts. Trash the Electoral College now.


Rob Weir