The Next American President

Joe Biden still leads, on average, in Iowa. This is perplexing to me. I guess he’s the “safe pick” according to common wisdom. I don’t see it. He’s likable, but I guess that’s it. I suppose the country just wants likable in the wake of terribly unlikable. Likable over good ideas, which neither front runner from either party seems to have. Likable over a real leadership quality, which neither front runner from either party seems to have. Likable over erudition, which neither front runner from either party has, period. Oh, America, you need an education.

Perhaps if we take the exorbitant profits out of long-term learning then within a generation or two we can level up?

Common wisdom is anything but. I talk to people all the time about politics, football, business, the economy, movies, music, climate change, beer-guzzling, guns, fashion, and contrail conspiracy theories, among many other things. The most repeated response – by everyone on every side of every argument ever presented – is that we just need to use more common sense. I always challenge that.

“Whose common sense?” I ask.

Because there’s nothing common about common sense. It’s common sense for one person to think everyone should carry a gun, everywhere, and common sense for another for almost no one to carry a gun anywhere. It’s common sense for one person to accessorize their wardrobe with maximum bling and common sense for another to minimalize. It’s common sense that man is destroying the atmosphere with pollutants and common sense that man can’t possibly do that.

I get the feeling we need some very uncommon sense if we’re going to survive.

But here we are, with Joe Biden in the lead in the Democratic field and Donald Trump still very popular among Republicans. Maybe we ought to automatically exclude the top two vote-getters for a cycle or two until we can sort ourselves out. Lately, we just can’t pick ’em.

I mean, think about it. The second worst presidential candidate of all time beat the first worst presidential candidate of all time by 3 million votes in 2016 so, naturally, we put the first worst candidate of all time in office. Now the one we let in office is already in the conversation as the worst president of all time. Who saw that coming?

My list of favorites for this go around has, as expected, evolved. Harris made that jump after the first debate and seemed an interesting candidate. But the more we learned the less we liked. And then she was gone. Mayor Pete was at the top of my list in July, and still remains in my top 3-5. Warren was #3 and probably still is. Booker jumped ahead of Castro but then both were out. Beto, you remember, came on strong and then fizzled for me. For all of us. He was already #8 on my list by July. Andrew Yang is still my impossible #2.

The biggest evolution in my presidential preference came from a surprising (or not) place. From #6 to #1. Bernie Sanders.

Bernie was the best candidate in a very bad field in 2016. Now he’s the best candidate in a pretty good field, and the best leader for America next. Forget the “safe pick,” let’s start the revolution right now. America needs  a more social democracy, sooner rather than later. I’m down with SPC. Our biggest concerns are climate change and economic inequality. We need tougher gun laws. College for all. Legalized marijuana. Racial justice. Equal pay. High tax on extreme wealth. Wall Street reform. The whole enchilada.  I’m in.

So TBT is officially endorsing Bernie Sanders for President. Again. Final answer.

Aside from all that, I finally tried out my multi-cooker this week. Made some damn good hot dogs. Promise kept. 😉

84 thoughts on “The Next American President

  1. This will probably be one of my more head-scratching replies to one of your posts, Tom, but stay with me here: I agree with you 100% and I disagree with you to the same percentage. How’s that for bucking common sense? In an ideal world (i.e. a world with smarter people in it), I’d be all in for Bernie. I embrace his policies and I know that a healthy dose of socialism is the only thing that can possibly counteract the inhumane effects of unfettered capitalism. Here’s the problem: since your average American doesn’t even know the difference between socialism like they have in Europe and Canada and Communism, like they have in China and Cuba, his use of “the s word” will frighten off much of the ignorant electorate who would prefer a dictatorial moron over something they don’t understand. And Trump has to lose. If he doesn’t, we’re done for and the only silver lining to that will be the imbibing of my first (and second through twentieth) beer in many years. I can’t live in an authoritarian regime, but I also can’t afford to move out of the country. Thus, if Orangina wins, which he very well may since Putin’s already setting up the fix, my sober days are over. I don’t understand the appeal of Biden over Sanders or Warren, either, but it is what it is and much as I hate to say something as status quo as this, I throw my flag behind the person most likely to beat him, period.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh I fully get the uncommon sense! I started there, too, to be honest (and may very well end up there, too). “Electability” was numero uno. Even with that, though, I found it difficult to get excited about Joe. Joe has the same stink as Hillary (well, maybe not QUITE the same) and let’s face it: the media and DNC portrayed her as the one to beat Trump, cuz Bernie couldn’t. And when all was said and done we all realized that Bernie would have wiped the floor with Donnie, right?

      So, I don’t know. Who decides electability, anyway?

      With Bernie running at pace with Joe, despite the very true and accurate reasons you mentioned, maybe he’s more electable than we think. Maybe there are more wise Americans out there than we are giving credit. I mean, they ain’t “Andrew Yang” wise yet, but they just might be “Bernie Sanders” wise by now, eh?

      In the end, I’ll vote for the person not-named-Trump in November, you know that’s true. I hope it’s Bernie. Or Andrew. Or Elizabeth. Or Pete. Or one of the others. But if not, I’ll color in the bubble next to Joe. It’s not as bad as Hillary, and it’s worlds upon worlds better than Trump.

      But I absolutely catch your drift. Your sense, as always, is the most uncommon of all.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Get your booze ready. The rapid fire misuse the “S” word and historic stock market highs work in the Orangutan’s favor. (Old axiom: people vote for their pocket books.) You know it. I know it. And Biden…did, in fact, get his son a job for a million a year in Ukraine. (Google it.) Which is why he won’t even testify at the Impeachment hearings.
      –Where’d I leave those brown shirts and Jack Boots?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. People do indeed vote their pocket books — which says everything that needs to be said about my disgust for people. Greed over basic humanity makes us just another dumb, aggressive animal. I wish the stock market would drop 10,000 points tomorrow.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’d be cool with Bloomberg. I think it would be even cooler if Sanders or Warren or those of the more socialist-bent would ape the Republicans and pull a bait and switch. Make capitalist promises, get elected, enact socialist policies. What the hell, there are officially no rules to the politics game anymore, so the left might as well get just as sleazy in their tactics as the GOP.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I admit to knowing almost nothing about Bloomberg. I dig into those with a shot and he’s so far downfield I haven’t given him any thought. It’s a little late in the game to be polling 8th in the first primary, don’t ya think? In that vein, George, I hope your “heard it hear first” is dead wrong or it’s a lock for the Don.

        Although, as I check the numbers, Bloomberg polls well head-to-head with Trump, about the same nationally as Pete and Liz. But if we’re to believe those numbers than the only two with a better than even chance to beat the sitting narcissist are Joe and Bernie. Yup, Bernie.

        I keep hearing “we’re not ready for a gay first man” or “America still isn’t ready for a woman president” or “Bernie’s too old” but our current president and the current Democratic front-runner and the established third place Democratic runner (who also happens to be a woman) are all in the same age bracket as Sanders. And “a woman” beat Trump the first time, by 3 million sheer votes. And that woman was almost universally despised. The talk that “America isn’t ready for …” reminds me of the time we said a black man couldn’t win, and then he did. Twice.

        America is ready. We’re on the cusp. We don’t need a billionaire to beat the billionaire. We need the person with the best ideas and the respect of the American people. Bernie Sanders is the third most popular (behind Obama and Jimmy Carter) and 4th most recognizable (Obama, Hillary, JC) Democrat in the US (slightly ahead of Joe in both categories). His favorability numbers are strong (unlike Joe or Don). AND he has the best ideas for moving ahead to the next stage of our political and social evolution.

        He’s viewed as a person who “stands up for ordinary people, is intelligent, progressive, genuine and passionate.” That’s the guy we need.

        If we’re worried about age, give him Pete on the ticket. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Yea, yea. I love Bernie too, love to see him get elected. But Bernie won’t be able to compete with the soon-to-be-spent billion dollar budget of Bloomberg about to be spent to disrupt the democratic candidates. I don’t make the news…I call it as I see it. Americans are too easily influenced, and the “S” word is today’s scarlet letter.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. And you may be right about that, George. Maybe. The way I see it right now is that Bloomberg will cause a stir with his money but won’t make a lot of inroads. I think in 6 months he’ll be out, and probably throwing his support behind one of the others (again, I don’t know enough about him to speculate who). A few years from now we’ll remember that time the billionaire guy ran as a Democrat. If he ran as an Independent he might ensure a Trump victory by breaking up the vote, but as a longshot Democrat? I don’t see it. If I’m wrong I’ll be the first to admit it. And if he’s the last guy standing against Trump, somehow, he’s got my vote.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you think a free market economy should go away entirely? I lean more towards a blend of capitalist and socialist policies. First and foremost, get the private sector the hell out of criminal justice, military support and health care. Those are the areas where unchecked capitalism has destroyed the most lives, by far. However, if someone wants to start a business and work his or her ass off to turn a profit, I think they should be able to do so with minimal government interference.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Why would you want capitalism to go away? It is the most useful system that we have yet created. Sure, it could use some reasonable regulation and this usually happens in cycles.

      Maybe someday when humans evolve different traits, another system will work. But for your basic, self-interested, risk vs. reward human based society, capitalism works fairly well. There is a carrot and a stick. In most of your other systems, it is mostly stick with the carrots being reserved for the ruling elite.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. When robots take over all the low-wage jobs and there are riots in the streets and millions of displaced homeless, talk to me about capitalism and chasing the lowest-cost bidder/provider. Coming sooner than you think.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This has been going on for a century and a half of industrial capitalism. From the time when my great-great-grandfather was a subsistence farmer. Perhaps millions of jobs being lost to machinery and automation. The dystopia never happened though, but it is always about to happen when that next automation technology comes about. I was a child in the 1970s, but I remember the technophobia then of the master computers ruling us all. This fear spawned some great entertainment like Terminator and Battlestar Galactica, but it was science fiction.

        I understand the fear and uncertainty about this sort of thing, but it is based on the false belief that the economy is static and there is no growth. Productivity increases grow the economy. It has been happening for more than a century and is still happening. The economies of the industrial world have increased by thousands of percent. The robot dystopia is not coming and you need not fear the roomba.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I was gonna give George first crack at responding to this, but since he hasn’t yet:

        Automation has been going on for a long time, but the speed by which innovation is compiling is ever-increasing. Sure, there may be “new jobs” to replace the ones that will be lost – just like last time – but maybe not. There is increasing evidence that the pay-for-work thing may be obsolete in the next century. Harari talks about the rising “useless class.”

        But one thing that you are forgetting is this: Automation has made the American worker far more productive, but without the accompaniment of rising pay or rising benefits that should have come along with it. The unions got crushed. As corporations and corporate leaders took advantage of the gains of technology it gave rise to rampant inequality. We did not all gain equally.

        Just like progress, “replacement” can happen incrementally. We may not see it while we’re in it. It may not look like the dystopia of Terminator, or the utopia of the Jetsons, but it will look a lot like what we’re seeing now – with the rich getting ever richer and the poor getting ever poorer – except exponentially more so.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It is going to be hard to get more dramatic and sudden than the mass transition of a society of rural farmers to urban workers who buy food and do other stuff. This is all due to machines that do the work of hundreds of farmers and technology to preserve and transport food. Did some suffer, yes. Was there mass suffering? No.

        If you are concerned about unions, pro-union ‘conservative’ Trump may be your man with all of the protectionism, anti-immigration, and tariffs he has focused on. There is cheaper labor overseas because Americans are generally well paid and it is more efficient to make certain things in certain places. I am for mostly free trade, low tariffs, and mostly open immigration. I don’t worry about them furiegners taken’ my job and stealin’ my women.

        I can’t think of a society or system in which the rich did not get richer. In our system, the poor can also get richer (or they can stay poor). I do believe in a safety net, I just don’t know what the ideal net is. People do have to be willing to put in effort.

        I don’t think that history indicates that we are moving toward a dystopia or utopia. Only more somewhat problematic human society.

        If I am afraid of anything it is genetic engineering. That particular pandora’s box has been opened and I don’t know what to expect. A cure for cancer? Rich elite people with expensive genes? Longer life? New diseases? But we opened up the nuclear bomb pandora’s box and we are still here.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. The nuclear thing is still one of the biggest threats. On history’s radar that’s still a very recent blip.

        The next shift will be even more dramatic than the last; we’ll have to do something about it. Unions? That would have helped for the last 40 years but the next 40 years will require something more direct, like Yang’s Universal Basic Income. That, by the way, used to be a conservative mantra, as well. As for protectionism, I lean more towards open borders than shut ones. I don’t think we Americans, a full 4.5% of the world’s population, are somehow more important than the other 95%. Let ’em in.

        Let’s start with universal health care and some much stronger safety nets, just to catch up to the rest of the modern world. Pay for it with tax increases on the upper income levels, that would go a long way to leveling the field. But, again, that’s only the first step.

        The ol’ “everyone has the same shot” in America mantra is, and was, a myth. Capitalism hasn’t bred opportunity so much as the opportunity for those with means to stack the wealth. And they have. Some slip through and “make it” just like some slip down through even the greatest of safety nets.

        Genetic engineering, like automation, has the potential to greatly enrich the whole of humanity on one end of the scale or end it altogether on the other. What happens will likely be somewhere in between, but again that depends on us, on having the right leaders. I’m sure Warren has a plan for that. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I see nuclear weapons as the first species ending skill we learned. Maybe biological weapons, climate change, and genetic engineering are in that category too.

        As to the rest, if I had real solutions, maybe I would’t be just some button pusher in a corporation. 😕

        I do like the world being open so I can go see it. I don’t think that you only have a right to the stretch of dirt you were born on.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I don’t believe we’ll see the “end of capitalism” at all. In fact, like feudalism before it, it will take historians hundreds of years to realize we’ve transitioned. And we will. George makes an important point about automation. There will come a time, sooner than we think, when we won’t need most workers and soldiers, at all. In that time we will have millions (perhaps billions) of people with no stick or carrot, and a new system will have evolve.

      Incidentally, I can make an argument that the carrots are already reserved for the “ruling elite” in our current capitalistic clime. Not only regulation, integration of equitable social policy and redistribution of societal gains is needed, Jason.

      I think the Curmudgeon is right. We need a system that combines the best elements of capitalism and socialism to create a more egalitarian society. Again, Bernie’s got the truest ideas for that. I said in his first go around, “Only Bernie is talking about the things we really need to be talking about.” Some others have joined in on some of those ideas, and Yang is pushing it to the next level on at least one topic, but by and large Bernie is the only one with all the right ideas. And he can win.

      The best we got. Again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was for Bernie over Hillary in 2016… then the DNC screwed him over.
    But I’m afraid he missed his window of opportunity. Now? He just sounds like my husband’s grumpy uncle. The husband likes Pete, but I don’t think the country is ready to accept a first husband. There are almost too many good candidates to choose from. They tend to cancel each other out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A lot to unpack there!

      Yes, the DNC screwed Bernie over. If they hadn’t we’d be talking about Bernie’s second term election now and he’d be heading in there with an approval rating in the low 60’s, I’d guess. We’d be ahead of the game with regards to further health care and gun legislation reforms and the ultra-rich wouldn’t be basking in the biggest corporate welfare giveaway ever. We might even be considering a form of UBI already, and the Green New Deal would probably be on his desk. But alas, we can only go forward.

      Cantankerous is Bernie’s middle name and has been for decades. He got a lot of that in the last election cycle, too. And if you pay attention only to the highlights and cuts he seems that way. But in the debates, in interviews, in speeches, he’s honestly far more reasonable and measured and intelligent and coherent than we think. He’s so much more than his caricature.

      Perfect? Oh, heavens no. Just the best we’ve got (again). The Barack Obama’s are once-in-a-generation, and there is no one like him in this field.

      I love Pete, too. I’m not worried about the first husband thing, the country is ready (whether that comes from a woman or a gay president). Or, I should say, the majority of the country is ready. There is still that 30-35% base (that all votes for you-know-who). Yeah, those folks aren’t ready, but they are (by far, now) in the minority.

      “Too many good candidates to choose from”? That’s a good problem to have. In the last election cycle there were too few (really, only one) but this time: a lot of good ones. Some really good ones have already dropped out, too. As the field narrows it’ll be easier to pick from the crop. I even like Steyer, and a couple of folks here have brought up Bloomberg. Good people, with good intentions and good ideas.

      Who would have thought that Trump America would begat this?


  3. The Democratic Party really needs an energizing electable candidate to be beat Trump. They’re our only hope, but I am not seeing it. And Trump is the easiest target since Reagan beat Carter. This should be a slam dunk, but all I keep seeing is the same sort of uninspiring, safe, preach to the choir stuff they usually deliver. There just isn’t really anyone that inspiring among them, but surely one of them can be up to the task of taking on a bloviating jack-ass next November. I am beginning to have my doubts. Seriously, just run ads replaying his tweets with a voice that says “yeah, he really tweeted that.”

    I keep waiting for even a reasonable Republican to raise his head and say ‘enough’, but maybe they are all scheming for 2024. I have to believe that whether they admit it or not, most Republicans are a bit freaked out by Trump.

    I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some Republicans have spoken up, but the party is so in favor of Trump (which is even more perplexing to me than the Biden thing) that they get drowned out. His approval rating among Republicans is in the 80s. They love that we hate him, I think, because they hated that we loved Barack Obama. It’s a weird time, and of course we have the partisan media outlets to feed the rabid dogs of politics.

      I didn’t at first, but I’m seeing Bernie as that “energizing electable candidate” you speak of. Yes, I wish he was younger. But all the youth in this cycle is doing exactly what you said: playing it safe and preaching to the choir (moderate America). Bernie is the only one (with a chance) stretching the bounds. Liz is trying, but she waffles when the middle strays. That may be her best strategy. Bernie doesn’t have a strategy, per se, he has a movement. He has ideas, he’s always had these ideas, and he keeps pushing for them not because they are popular but because he believes in them. It just so happens that those ideas are the right ones, and it’s about time we got to them.

      It’s not a slam dunk. It’s a slam dunk for any Democratic voter and for most equality-minded Independents, but the Republicans have their guy. They have their judges and their shot at killing Roe and getting prayer and hard discipline back into schools and getting marriage back to being between a man and a woman with the man firmly in charge, and getting those lazy people off the streets and out of liberal colleges and back into menial jobs or profitable prisons or unregulated mental institutions. It’s not a slam dunk, for any candidate, because they actually love their guy!

      Republicans and Democrats are roughly split, and 90% of Republicans will vote for Trump. So he’s got 60,000,000 votes without trying. No matter what tapes surface, what documents, no matter what he says or tweets or does. He’s got 60 million.

      No matter who steps up down the stretch, the other candidate needs more than that.

      Whoever the candidate is they need our support. Bernie’s my favorite, Joe’s my least. They both get my vote, because the Republicans are rallying behind a demagogue.


      1. Open Kimono, I was a life-long Republican and voted Republican in every presidential election until 2016 when I was shocked by how utterly terrible the choice was. I voted for the third guy that I’d never heard of as a protest. I welcome with open arms a competent Democrat. Trump is disaster for my country. And it irritates me no end that Trump is considered a conservative; he is no conservative.

        I am afraid that Bernie has only really had to appeal to his base at this point. Does he have broad enough appeal to win the election. Maybe. I don’t think that he has the appeal that Obama did.

        I don’t agree with your lumping “60 million” Republican together like that. Yes, there are some hate-filled fringes (in both parties). I think that there are a lot of people who vote R or D with little to no thought because they think that they are supposed to. It’s no fun to pay attention to the issues. I know people like this.

        No Republican or Democrat has it locked up and they have to get the people who are usually disinterested to get out and vote. Obama did this and Hillary Clinton didn’t.

        Trump is such an ass, he would seem to be a fat ripe target for any competent Democrat. The Democrats just don’t often field a competent Presidential candidate (sorry).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No need to apologize, I’m not a Democrat, either. 😂

        I was a Republican from the late 80’s until around the time of the Crash, then I went Libertarian for a bit until I finally went Independent. I briefly registered Democrat to vote for Bernie over Hillary but then switched back when she won the nomination. What you say about Dems is true about Pubs: there are rarely good choices in either party. That’s a national problem.

        Nobody has the Obama appeal, that’s entirely true. Obama was special, as a candidate, but failed to become what I had hoped he would as a president. Still, overall, he was a better spokesman for the country then the guy before or after. But, in the long run, we need someone with the right ideas and the conviction of those ideas.

        When Trump got elected the most popular politician in America was Bernie Sanders. He has appeal.

        I didn’t meant to suggest that all Republicans were a member of a hate-filled fringe, but it did read like that. My apologies. A full 85% of Republicans, however, will vote for him whether they pay attention to the policie or not. For some reason, he has near universal appeal, even among the “liberal” Republicans that I know.

        I’m with you on Trump. He’s an ass.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ll never get Trump out of office if Biden is the Democrat candidate. I live in Iowa so I’m making sure I go to caucus for Bernie. My mom, Ricky, and my cousin are coming with. Last poll I saw, I think Bernie was the second here in Iowa?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you, Casey! And, yes, Bernie is second in Iowa and only barely. As of yesterday he was only 1/10th of a percent behind Joe! Go get ’em, Case!

      But you’re wrong about Biden not being able to beat Trump. We can’t think along those lines. Yes, Bernie is the far better person, and yes there are other, great candidates in this field. And, no, Joe ain’t one of them. But if he’s the nominee he’s our guy and when we all rally around him he will beat Trump. We can’t have any of this #NeverJoe or #NeverBernie or #NeverElizabeth stuff. We gotta stump for our favorites but, in the end, we have to rally around the victor. Kay? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Trump is the only candidate against which Biden won’t be the crazy old man.

        Geeze, if 2008 Jason heard me say this he’d flip his lid, but I would dearly love to be able vote for Obama right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I worry about that, as well. Some folks are telling me it’ll be the same with Bernie, so I guess it matters on one’s perspective. I’ll tackle it one leg at a time but, in my opinion, Bernie has the best ideas and strongest foundation to lead this country in the direction it needs to go!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Stock market hit another record high today folks. Dollars voting for Trump dudes. Capitalism works. It’s great. It’s the best. Get on the train or get left behind. Trump makes it happen. Environment? Fairness? Sexism? Racism? Fascism? Get a job and fergit about it…you can make $12.00 an hour and live in your car. meanwhile, an old man and women bicker on national television about who called who a liar…yea, the Dems gonna take out Trump. And then along came Bloomberg, like a gunslinger with a billion dollar budget in his holster…the hero of New York during 9/11…Like said friends, I may or may not like reality, but I’m calling it as I FORESEE it…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! Your belief in Bloomy is inspiring, I’ll give you that. Thanks, George, for making it interesting to pay attention to Mike!

      Your sarcasm is on point, though. The stock market isn’t making the average American’s life better, or helping the downtrodden in the US one bit. It’s making rich people richer and rich people love when politicians make them richer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely boggles my mind why minimum wage workers voted for Trump. Anyway, I don’t “believe” in Bloomy at all, I can simply foresee the consequences of his budget, his record, his presence in NY at the time of 9/11, and the perceived weakness of the democratic candidates. I’m not a Bloomy fan in the remotest sense of the word, but, as you know, money moves minds. “Money moves minds.” I like that phrase! I think I’ll use it in an upcoming blog post! George out on this topic. Thanks Tom!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure, Jason, that’s what the elite want you to think: as they get insanely more rich you get a slightly better retirement picture, and that’s the best you can hope for as they walk away with all the loot. In the meantime, most Americans have no 401k and no money for retirement, at all.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. The rich are getting insanely rich and I think that a reckoning is probably coming on that. But, the stock market is a good bet for long term growth.

        When I started working professionally, I started off with saving a lot of my income and so I never lived with the money. It is not incredibly hard to do, but it takes doing it and it is normal for me now. My colleagues often have nicer cars and houses and vacations, but I don’t have all that debt to pay on.
        I have tried to talk to my daughters about the power of savings and they don’t seem interested but maybe they are listening. I showed my daughter a NASDAQ chart from when I was 18 and the something like 3000% growth that I missed out on by not starting at 18. I think that most people don’t have these talks and don’t know about the financial traps that so many people fall in to.

        Does anyone not understand that they are growing old and will retire some day?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Most people live paycheck to paycheck (I think the number I read was 78%). Kudos to you for having money to put away when you were younger. Once we facilitate the reckoning (it won’t happen on its own) we can correct that sort of income inequality and create a better life, and retirement, for all. 😉


  6. Let me start off by saying I would rather see Tiny Tim in office instead of you know who, but Bernie Sanders would be the worst candidate to run against him if the idea to get him out of office, In my opinion, it would prolong our nightmare by another four years, with the fallout from that lasting who knows how long.

    No way in hell would someone with socialist tendencies get elected in this country, regardless of whether any of his ideas have merit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear ya, Steve. This country ain’t ready for a woman president, a gay president, a democratic-socialist president, or a black president, right? Except we are. He would have won last time if the DNC hadn’t gone with the “safe bet.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Several years ago I said “I hate politics” and a friend replied, “No, you hate the people in politics.” And she had a point. I hate the pettiness, the bickering, the backdoor dealing. Years ago The Onion ran an article with the headline “Tennessee Legislature Divided Over Ford-Chevy Issue” and it’s supposed to be satire but it’s not funny because sometimes it feels like the people who should know better have the biggest debates are over the pettiest things while they ignore the real problems because they’re not interested in solving problems. A surprising number of people in politics were members of their high school debate club and I think, well there’s the problem. The people who are the most motivated to get into politics are the ones who are more interested in just arguing than they are in actual substance.
    I had a point around here somewhere, and I think it was this: did you put ketchup on those hot dogs?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always do one plain and put mustard and ketchup on the other. Pickles if we have some on one or both. Sometimes I wrap ’em in tortillas and sometimes in a bun and I usually have a little puddle of ketchup on my plate to dip ’em in, if necessary. Generally, on the side, I’ll have some foil-wrapped veggies or tater tots.

      Same with the hot dogs. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you can! 🌭And thanks for reading, Kim!

      Yeah, it took almost the entire “offseason” for me to come around, but Bernie won me back. I think I started with the “too old” and “been there” arguments, and really wanted to see some young, progressive candidates emerge from this crop. But, the further along we went the more the young progressives either didn’t have “the stuff” or had to move to the center for a variety of reasons. So, Bernie’s ideas outlasted and out-bested the whipper-snappers.He is the most honest, most progressive, most consistent candidate in the field, so he gets Tom’s support!

      Do I think he’ll win? Well, that’s another matter. If I had to call the race today I’d say Joe Biden by a nose over Donald Trump, but we still have a long way to go. The longest-lasting growth economy in American history (10 years and running now) could continue apace, despite economic forecasts. That would help the sitting president, even if he happens to be the least-approved president of any first term we’ve seen. And Joe could still stumble. The next words out of his mouth could be a slip of the N-word or he might call a gal candidate a “See You Next Tuesday,” for all we know. 🤣 On the other hand, he could stumble onto some words that make him a glowing inspiration to the youth (quite by accident) and “pull a Homer”* so to speak.

      But Bernie has a shot. He’s polling right with Joe in Iowa, and has been a pretty consistent #2 in the Democratic field. And I’m convinced he would have beaten Trump in 2016 if not for the snake. Bear in mind, I think Hillary would have only been a slightly better rotten president than Trump. I think Joe will be a slightly better rotten president than Hillary. Go team.

      Anyway, thanks for reading. Sorry to make you read all this, too! 😂

      *From the Simpsons episode where Homer got hit with a baseball in the head to advance the full-bases run in and win the championship. In the episode, Webster changed its dictionary of idioms to include “Pulling a Homer” which meant, literally, “to succeed despite idiocy.” 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are on it, Brother Tom. I have now been schooled on ‘pulling a Homer.’ Too funny! Bernie. Will he win? I honestly don’t think so but I never thought Obama would win a second term. I was WRONG! ha. Biden… well he certainly is an interesting fellow. I know he has done some awesome visits to our troops. I’m afrtaid he will get in his own way once again! I’m just not sure about the canidate with the most promise. Trump will be difficult to beat as the economy is still booming. I only know the economic stuff because I get a DAILY report from that man I married who trades!!! I am just not a politics gal, anymore… you did get so many interesting comments. Good stuff. I guess you’ll be looking at Joe and Bernie. I really REALLY do wish you luck! May the best candidate (or at least the lesser of two evils) win. Breakfast on the flat top is almost ready! The hubby is doing bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Come on over!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My! Whisper “mouse” in the elephant tent or “skinner” where the jackasses congregate and you get a whole lotta politicin’ going on.

    Here’s a scenario to tickle your fancy: Drumpf gets kicked out. Pence gets impeached too—gone. Nancy Pelosi for President by September and the Republisnubs can’t figure out what hit’em.

    Capitalism in Europe is at the mercy of the People. Capitalism in the US has the people at their mercy. Government’s singular role in economic stability is to ensure a level business playing field. They’ve failed, mainly due to the sequence of events that gave corporations too much power early on. The problem is permanent. The revolving door of lobbyistsCongress and the failure of the Constitution to curtail “career” politicians has doom the United States Experiment.

    I’ve made numerous posts on this topic but here one which blends socialism and capitalism:

    I hate ’em but I love ’em, CostCo beef hotdogs. Wrapped and broiled in maple-bacon, dunked in hot honey mustard; a cool IPA sweating in my hand, the Eagles on the radio, a sweet woman makin’ eyes at me while we watch the California sunset.

    Where was I? Oh, yeah, the financial markets… They’re on fire as they KNOW the government is incapacitated. The mice are burning down the barn, while the cats are fighting in the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been teasing a young, conservative friend of mine with the Pelosi scenario for a good year now; drives him crazy! Honestly, scares the shit out of him. 😂

      You hit it on the head with something I try to drive home with everyone, every time an argument comes up about the role of the president (any president): we don’t work for them, they work for us. The Constitution, the flag, the House, the AG, all of it. Symbols, people, and guidelines that represent us, not the other way around. If the founders wrote explicitly in the Constitution that we should skin cats every third Wednesday in the streets while babbling odes to Bast, we don’t have to. If they thought everyone should have access to a musket we don’t then have to assume they meant everyone should be able to own an AR. We interpret the meaning and change the text for the betterment of society. Not the betterment of white society, or for those elected, or whomsoever has the most George Washingtons, but for us all.

      That means, in this day and time, a sensible mix of socialism and capitalism for Americans.

      It also means CostCo dogs for everyone.

      Great response, AM. Your mind is ahead of its time.


  9. We’ll see: From Yahoo news…
    …So what happened on or around Jan. 13?
    Bloomberg became a direct threat.
    Around New Year’s Day, the New York Times reported that Bloomberg had pivoted from biographical ads to anti-Trump attack ads, adding that he planned to invest $400 million in them by Super Tuesday — which would roughly equal Barack Obama’s entire 2012 ad budget.
    On Jan. 7, the Times reported that Bloomberg had just purchased a 60-second Super Bowl spot for $10 million — effectively forcing Trump to match him. “The biggest point is getting under Trump’s skin,” said Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the Bloomberg campaign.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope Biden’s toast, but it doesn’t look like it yet. Bernie’s pulled way ahead in Iowa, in the latest Emerson. Bloomberg is surging I’ll give you that. I think, ultimately, the money Bloomberg is spending will help one of the others more than himself. I’ll rally behind whoever goes against Trump, natch.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure would. If only wishing made it so. I still think, at the end of the day, Joe’s going to be the DNC pick. I hope it is Bernie instead, but I think it’ll be Joe.

        Just like this weekend I hope it will be KC, but I think it will be SF. 🤮😏

        Liked by 1 person

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