Another One Gone

Closing Thought–07Oct20

It has been a terrible couple of weeks for music….we have lost Helen Reddy, Mac Davis, Eddie Van Halen and now Johnny Nash.

Johnny Nash, a singer-songwriter, actor, and producer who rose from pop crooner to early reggae star to the creator and performer of the million-selling anthem “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday, his son said. Nash, who had been in declining health, died of natural causes at home in Houston, the city of his birth, his son, Johnny Nash Jr., told the AP. He was 80. Nash was in his early 30s when “I Can See Clearly Now” topped the charts in 1972 and he had lived several show business lives. In the mid-1950s, he was a teenager covering “Darn That Dream” and other standards, his light tenor likened to the voice of Johnny Mathis. A decade later, he was co-running a record company, had become a rare American-born singer of reggae; he was among the first artists to bring reggae to US audiences and helped launch the career of his friend Bob Marley.

He peaked commercially in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he had hits with “Hold Me Tight,” “You Got Soul,” an early version of Marley’s “Stir It Up,” and “I Can See Clearly Now,” still his signature song. Reportedly written by Nash while recovering from cataract surgery, “I Can See Clearly Now” was a story of overcoming hard times that itself raised the spirits of countless listeners, with its swelling pop-reggae groove, promise of a “bright, bright sunshiny day” and Nash’s gospel-styled exclamation midway, “Look straight ahead, nothing but blue skies!”, a backing chorus lifting the words into the heavens. The song, which Nash also produced, was covered by artists ranging from Ray Charles and Donny Osmond to Soul Asylum and Jimmy Cliff, whose version was featured in the 1993 movie Cool Runnings. It also turned up everywhere from Thelma and Louise to a Windex commercial, and in recent years was often referred to on websites about cataract procedures.

They will be missed……true musical talent has lost its founders.

Johnny’s biggest hit…….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


2020 VP Pre-Debate

Just a reminder in case you were unaware…..tonight is the only debate, the only chance to see Pence and Harris go head to head…..

Most voters are turned off….but since I am such a geek then you have me to let you know what’s what…..that is for those voters that think VPs are significant in some small way.

The candidates will be all but hermetically sealed in their debate positions…..

As Quartz notes, vice presidential debates are not typically a huge draw for audiences—but that could very well change this year, thanks to the participation of Kamala Harris. While VP debates typically bring in significantly lower ratings than presidential debates, the debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden got higher ratings than any of the debates that year between the presidential nominees (not to mention the highest ratings for any VP debate, ever). The second-highest ratings for a VP debate? The 1984 debate between George HW Bush and Geraldine Ferraro, the only other one to feature a female candidate. Add to that the fact that Harris is known as an accomplished debater and has already been at the center of several viral debate moments from this year’s Democratic primary, and the Wednesday night ratings could be pretty darn good. More on the debate:

  • Who is the moderator? USA Today’s longtime bureau chief Susan Page. The Los Angeles Times has an extensive piece on the “veteran White House reporter, who has covered six administrations and 11 national campaigns.” She’s also the author of a Barbara Bush biography and has a book on Nancy Pelosi coming out next year, and is a frequent panelist on political roundtable shows. The article notes she’s the first print reporter to moderate a televised debate since 1976.
  • Safety precautions: Harris and Mike Pence will be 12 feet, 3 inches apart on the stage, separated by a plexiglass shield, and will not come any closer than that for a physical greeting. The New York Times notes that while Pence’s team objected to the barrier, by late Tuesday it had acquiesced. Both candidates will also be tested for the virus prior to the debate; while Pence has had multiple negative tests in recent days, he had frequent interactions with multiple White House advisers who have since been diagnosed with COVID, and experts warn the incubation period can be as long as 14 days. Event organizers will escort out any audience members not wearing a mask.
  • What to expect: Per Fox News, don’t anticipate a repeat of the “chaotic” first Trump-Biden debate; pundits expect this one to be “more sane.” Tim Kaine, of course, debated Pence during the 2016 campaign; he tells the New York Times, “Pence is a professional communicator. He was a radio talk show host before he was in politics, so he can deliver a line. And, I think it’s frustrating when you’re onstage with somebody who’s delivering a line that’s false. But he does it—he can do it very, very well.” Read his full interview here.
  • What to expect, part 2: Harris’ former chief of staff tells the AP he hopes she won’t be forced into too conservative a stance: “Overly scripting Kamala Harris is tantamount to removing five bullets out of her gun before you walk into a gun fight.”
  • When, where, and how to watch: The debate starts at 9pm Eastern time in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will run for 90 minutes with no commercial breaks. CNET has a rundown on how to watch it.
  • As for the final two presidential debates: They’re scheduled for Oct. 15 and 22, but it’s still not clear whether President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and the larger White House coronavirus outbreak will impact them. Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that if Trump is still positive for the virus, next week’s debate should be canceled, Fox News reports. Biden added that he is looking forward to the debate, should it happen: “I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate for me to do. Listen to the science. If scientists say that it’s safe … then I think that’s fine.” Sources tell the NYT a virtual debate is being considered, and some close to Trump say the POTUS has suggested an outdoor debate.
  • Speaking of that outbreak: The very helpful WH Covid Tracker is tracking those whose infections have been publicly confirmed; check it out on Twitter.

I will return tomorrow with my thoughts on this debate.  You have been warned!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Who Controls The Nation?

We can pretend that it is the president….or Congress…..or even the people….all would be truly ignorant answers…..the real power at the helm of the nation is……the “Markets” control it all.

You really believe that it is different?

For instance Donald the Orange called off any more stim packages until after the election….and the markets fell drastically….

Stocks turned sharply lower on Wall Street Tuesday afternoon after President Donald Trump ordered a stop to negotiations with Democrats on a coronavirus economic stimulus bill until after the election. The S&P 500 index slid 1.4% after having been up 0.7% prior to the president’s announcement, which he made on Twitter about an hour before the close of trading. The late-afternoon pullback erased most of the benchmark index’s gains from a market rally a day earlier, the AP reports. The S&P 500 fell 47.66 points to 3,360.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 375.88 points, or 1.3%, to 27,772.76. It had been up by more than 200 points. The Nasdaq composite lost 177.88 points, or 1.6%, to 11,154.60.

The comments from the president came just hours after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell urged Congress to come through with more aid, saying that too little support “would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.” Optimism that Democrats and Republicans would reach a deal on more stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 election had helped lift the stock market recently. Now, investors face the prospect that more aid may not come until next year, after the new Congress is seated, says Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. “This isn’t just pushing it off until after the election, this realistically is pushing it off until spring,” Delwiche said. “I don’t think this is just a one-day financial markets reaction. This really goes to the health of the recovery.”

Then after the fall Donald the Orange had to try and save the markets with the less than 30 days away he needs all the good news he can steal just to keep what little support he has now…..

Donald J. Trump
If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?
Nothing I like better than a decisive president….(that is sarcasm in case you missed it)…….
And you think you matter.
Think Again!
The telling question will be….can Trump revive the stim talks by a simple text?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”

Will Biden’s Foreign Policy Make A Difference?

Easy answer is…of course not.

Our foreign policy of endless worthless wars will continue under Biden and his policies.

I have said many times that foreign policy is one of those issues that will draw me to a candidate….so far Biden has no draw for me.

Americans have opinions on foreign policy it is just not reported by the MSM…..

As the 2020 presidential campaigns hit the home stretch, the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) has sought to understand voters’ preferences for America’s role in the world.

This is the third consecutive year EGF has conducted a national survey to investigate the foreign policy preferences of the American public. More than seventeen hundred Americans were asked detailed questions about hot button national security and foreign policy topics. The following observations are included among the study’s findings:

Americans favor a less militarized foreign policy

Americans want to increase diplomatic engagement with the world

They also want less military intervention

Afghanistan will continue…Iraq will continue……the adventurism into Syria will continue… other words the foreign policy under Biden will show little change than that under Trump.

But the larger question remains…..

The “left” rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy outcomes for the “people” and nation. More importantly though, they assert, Trump’s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S. politics away from what they refer to as Trump’s neofascist inclinations.

I will not attempt to address this argument here. I have dealt with this cartoonish and idealistic conception of fascism in other places. I have also raised questions with my friends in the left regarding the basis of their confidence that Biden and the neoliberal class forces he represents are in possession of any ideas or policies that will address the irreconcilable contradictions of the late stage of monopoly capitalism known as neoliberalism.

Of course, on this last question, the response from my materialist friends is sentimental gibberish about holding someone’s feet to the fire.

Here I just want to briefly focus on the very simple question that many in the global South are raising in connection with the upcoming U.S. elections. And that is, if Biden wins, what might the people of the global South expect from a Biden Administration? To examine that question, I believe that the Afghanistan situation and the process for arriving at the current peace talks between the Taliban, the Afghanistan government and the United States offers some useful indicators for how that question might be answered.

Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?

So the answer for me is that the main issues will remain the same with Joe Biden.

Further Reading:

Download Full White Paper (as PDF)View the 2018 report (archived)View the 2019 report (archived)

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”