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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

July 18, 2124 - The Democratic Presidential Nomination, JD Vance, Judge Cockamamie, and the Unsuccessful Assassin

Last-Minute Addition to this Posting on Jackspotpourri

(Most of the content of Jackspotpourri is prepared a few days in advance. That is the case with the material in today's posting introduced with blue headlines.)

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President Biden’s positive Covid testing yesterday should not affect any of the comments in this blog posting concerning his role in the upcoming election, provided that his symptoms are resolved and he repeatedly tests negatively within the next week or so.  (The strains of Covid that are infecting some people these days are much milder and the resulting infections are of much briefer duration than those of a few years ago.)

If that turns out not to be the case, please ignore the first item in this posting (‘Still for Kamala … But With a Role for Joe’) for the time being, and go back to my earlier posting where I supported Vice-President Kamala Harris replacing President Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate as soon as possible, and his also resigning, making her President for the remainder of his term.

And while I'm belatedly adding this preface to today's blog, I report that I stayed up late last night to take in the Republican Convention to hear JD Vance accept the vice-presidential nomination.  He aimed his remarks at America's unappreciated and unrewarded downtrodden working class, a group the Republicans are trying to wrest from the Democrats.  I got the feeling from watching a 'kvelling' Donald Trump during JD's speech that he wished that Vance were his son, and quite possibly, Vance sees Trump as another replacement for the father he never had.  He did succeed in locking in the 'hillbilly' vote for Trump.   Read more about him down below.

JL

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Still for KamalaBut With a Role for Joe

I’m somewhat changing my opinion included in the last Jackspotpourri where I suggested that Kamala Harris should replace Joe Biden as soon as possible as both the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate and also as president, completing his term.

I’ve come up with a better pathway to Democratic success.  It still includes Kamala Harris as the Democratic candidate but makes room for President Biden as well.

This might be the best way of dealing with the fears of many Democrats that leaving President Biden, the incumbent and likely loser (if you believe the polls) in the November elections, as their nominee would cause a ‘red wave’ affecting many Democratic candidates.  There is no way of knowing when his age-related fragilities will recur, weakening not only his candidacy but those of other candidates who have hitched their campaigns onto his. Yet, there is soundness to President Biden’s argument that he is the best candidate to oppose, and defeat, Donald Trump in November, and therefore, he should not withdraw from the election. How we can resolve that problem?

What if the Democratic Convention nominates Kamala Harris as its presidential candidate but keeps President Biden on the ticket as its vice-presidential candidate!

This would immediately put to rest Democratic fears that the occasional frailties and misstatements that accompany Joe Biden’s age would be a risk, not only during his and the campaigns of other Democratic candidates, but if elected, would remain as a liability to the White House’s occupant over the next four years. 

At the same time, it would leave him still able to directly campaign against Trump, pointing out his strong record of accomplishments during his presidency, and remind voters that the Democratic presidential candidate, Kamala Harris is twenty years younger than Donald Trump, who is also showing signs of aging.  Of course, Kamala Harris offers significant attributes of her own justifying her becoming president.  Harris and Biden together, sharing each other’s strengths, would greatly strengthen the campaigns of all Democratic candidates!

President Biden’s experience as both president and a vice-president would serve Harris exceedingly well.  From the office of vice-president, he would provide a much stronger influence on her than prior presidents, such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, as private citizens, had on their Democratic successors. 

Joe, of course would remain President until Harris’ inauguration.  How long thereafter he remained as her vice-president would depend on his health, his willingness to stay in that position, and President Harris’ wishes. 

Ultimately, on his resignation, President Harris will have flexibility in appointing a replacement vice-president, which would require majority votes in both Houses of Congress.  That makes the Congressional results of the 2024 election even more important.  A Harris/Biden ticket would give the Democrats greater strength in November for that purpose.  And winning control of the House is doubly important because its speaker is next in the line of presidential succession after the vice-president.

This is something for Democrats to seriously think about before their August convention!  I believe it is the preferred course of action.

JL

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JD Vance, Chameleon or Leopard?

Donald Trump’s choice of JD Vance as his vice-presidential running mate is strange, to say the least.  Vance’s acceptance of it, particularly in view of Trump not tolerating someone whose loyalty is questionable, as was the case with Michael Pence, provides some insight into who, or what, Vance really is.

Trump has bought a chameleon who may not be what he appears to be.  In fact, Vance himself may not really be too sure of who he is.  Quoting from a USA TODAY analysis,

 

Vance, who turns 40 next month, was born James Donald Bowman in Middletown, Ohio. His unique and evolving naming history reflects his personal journey. After his parents divorced, his middle name was changed from Donald, his father’s name, to David. During his teenage years, he adopted the surname of his stepfather, becoming James Hamel – the name reflected in his 2003 senior yearbook at Middletown High School.

As an adult, Vance decided to honor his maternal grandparents by legally adopting their surname when he married his wife, Usha, in 2014, becoming James Vance. Despite all these changes, Vance has always preferred to go by 'JD,' a choice he maintains in his official U.S. Senate biography.’’ 

 

Trump cannot be unaware that Vance once suggested Trump might turn out to be ‘America’s Hitler,’ and on one occasion, has referred to him as ‘an idiot’ who was ‘noxious’ and ‘hard to stomach.’  Vance came to the nation’s attention with his 2016 best seller, ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ which personally described the economic plight of the downtrodden folks in Appalachia that had been left behind by both the industrial and technological revolutions, and the failure of both Democrats and Republicans to solve their problems. (It is my feeling that Democrats have done more than Republicans, with the Tennessee Valley Authority bringing electricity and flood control to the ‘hollers’ where people like Vance were raised, as a strong example, and Vance knows this.) 


It used to be Marxists who called upon the downtrodden workers of the world to arise.  Now the Republicans are trying to do that here in the good old US of A, trying to shift the blame for their historic mistreatment to the Democrats, and Vance seemingly is in charge of that effort.

 

With the political rise of Donald Trump, it appears that Vance recognized that Trump’s supporters included many of the folks he had written about (‘Hillbilly Elegy’ was made into a Netflix film by Ron Howard in 2020) and latched onto him, supporting anything and everything Trump was for, whether or not he really believed it.  


Also recognizing this were several billionaires from the world of venture capitalism and cryptocurrency who chose to back and bankroll Vance, as the best choice to scuttle, or possibly manipulate, government regulation of business and finance. 


  

This combination is what got him elected to the United States Senate in 2022 and has paid off with the vice-presidential nomination.  Trump certainly isn’t picking up votes by nominating Vance, since Vance’s supporters were voting for him anyway, but Vance is clearly using Trump to anchor his position in American politics.  Vance is well educated (Ohio State and Yale Law) and is married to the daughter of Indian immigrants, a more stable family than the disfunctional one that marked his upbringing.  He is far smarter than any member of the Trump family.  Donald’s father, if he were still around, would be warning his son never to turn his back on  Vance, or whatever his name is.

 

A chameleon can change its body color as a protective device, but a leopard cannot change its spots, although Vance comes close to being able to.  When a new political party arises to replace the MAGA-owned Republican Party, only surviving because of the salesmanship of Donald Trump, Vance will probably be leading it, as it drives along the interstate highways of back-country America, paved by Democratic infrastructure programs, to the guitar-picking rhythms of country music.

 

JL

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The Latest from Ridiculous Judge Cockamamie in Fort Pierce

When the news broke of Judge Aileen Cannon’s throwing out the government’s ‘stolen documents’ case against the former president, questioning the appointment of a Special Counsel by the Department of Justice without specific Congressional approval, I submitted the following to the New York Times article’s online ‘comment’ section, where it appeared.  It pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

“This cockamamie decision by this cockamamie judge who is no more than a political hack appointed by one of the defendants in the case she just dismissed illustrates the disregard for the rule of law that is part and parcel of almost everything the Republicans do. She ignores precedent as if it didn't exist. The 11th District, where this will be appealed, is sure to reverse it if it gets to them before Republicans have the chance to contaminate that bench as they have done to the SCOTUS. This is an issue Democratic candidates should get some mileage from.’

For those unfamiliar with the word ‘cockamamie,’ here’s a brief explanation excerpted from the Merriam Webster dictionary’s website:

Cockamamie is believed to be an altered form of the term decalcomania, which refers to the process, invented in the mid-19th century, of transferring pictures and designs from specially prepared paper to surfaces such as glass or porcelain. (The word referring to the picture or design itself, decal, is a shortening of decalcomania.) The word decalcomania comes from French, with décalcomanie combining the verb décalquer, meaning "to trace" or "to transfer by tracing," and -manie, meaning "-mania." Starting in the 1930s, painted strips of paper with images capable of being transferred to the skin were called decals or, frequently by children, ‘cockamamies.’ Those familiar with today's temporary tattoos will understand quickly that these were regarded by many as silly novelties, lending the word cockamamie the necessary leeway for application to anything ridiculous.’

Referring to Judge Cannon as ridiculous, a silly novelty, or a ‘cockamamie’ is therefore appropriate. That’s what she is.  More seriously, check out what Professor Heather Cox Richardson has to say about this by  CLICKING HERE  or by copying and pasting https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/ on your browser line and checking out her "Letters from an American' dated July 15, 2024.

If this unqualified judge's decision is allowed to stand, democracy in America will have suffered a grievous blow that should serve to mobilize its defenders to vote in massive numbers to defeat any and all Republican candidates, who right now are encouraging fascism to metastasize into our legal system.

JL

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What Motivated the Failed Assassin

And here’s another thought about the motivation of the attempted killer, Thomas Crooks, a registered Republican, who attempted to assassinate Donald Trump on Saturday. (The other day, I had pointed out that Trump and all he stands for is a prime subject of Democratic political campaigning, there being no reason why they would want to remove this tool, their criticism of him, and that investigators should be looking in other directions in seeking the shooter’s motivation.)   

I had suggested that the shooter, a registered Republican who had donated $15 to a group objecting to Trump’s inspiring the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, might have wanted Trump out of the way because he objected to Trump’s having taken over the Republican Party, turning it into a right-wing  MAGA organization. 

The exact opposite, however, might be the case, ignoring his 2021 donation.  The shooter may have actually objected to the fact that Trumpism wasn’t far enough to the right for him.  Trump’s position, preferring to leave abortion rights to the States rather than banning it nationally, for example, might not have been sufficiently conservative for the shooter. 

The possibility also exists that the shooter was totally apolitical, seeking only to exchange the rejections experienced in his very ordinary life for momentary fame, or notoriety.  Right now, I am sure the FBI is seeking answers to what drove him to squeeze the trigger of his father’s AR15.   

And while on this topic, it is becoming increasingly clear that some parts of law enforcement present at the rally were aware of someone with a gun on the roof of the nearby building but behaved in almost the same way that the police did at the time of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, waiting for further instructions from the higher-ups  when only seconds remained to take action against the shooter.

JL

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Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’!  The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them.  

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog. 

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

 

JL

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Monday, July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024 - Reaction to the Assassination Attempt, Replacing Biden, Iguanas, and the Pathetic Marlins

 

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The Assassination Attempt

By now, unless you are living on another planet, you must know there was an attempt on Donald Trump’s life at a rally in Western Pennsylvania early Saturday evening.  Any news site on TV or the internet has the full story.  Check it out there.  But here are my thoughts on what happened and reactions to it.
 

Obviously, someone wanted Donald Trump dead, and a sniper, positioned on a rooftop about a hundred yards from where Trump was speaking, used a high-powered rifle with a telescopic lens, to get off several rounds.  How he managed to secure himself in such an elevated position, beyond the Secret Service’s ‘security perimeter,' is still being debated.

Because of the distance and angle, and possibly the shooter’s lack of real expertise, several shots were fired in rapid succession. The first few probably did not come anywhere near their target.  But succeeding shots, viewed through the shooter’s lens, enabled him to zero in and come closer and closer to Trump, killing one spectator and wounding at least another two.  All this took place within a few seconds.  The shooter’s final shot struck Trump in the ear, slightly wounding him, and taking away the opportunity for further shots.  It was reported that Secret Service personnel were then able to pin down the location of the shooter and kill him. 

As investigations proceed, there seems to be no evidence that the assassination attempt was part of a larger plot, although MAGA Republicans are anxious to blame it on Democrats. There already are baseless and dangerous conspiracy theories being voiced.  But thus far, it seems that the shooter was just a very angry young man armed with his father’s AR-15 type rifle.  If he were suffering from a mental problem, it doesn’t appear that it had been diagnosed.  The investigation will now center on who had responsibility for securing the rooftop, quickly located by the Secret Service as where the shooter was, (and beyond their security perimeter), and of course, the assassin’s motivation as well.

From the sparse information available about the assassin’s background, it appears that he was a twenty-year-old registered Republican, who had made one small ($15) donation to a liberal organization shortly after the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection that was allegedly inspired by Trump to halt the electoral vote count.

It occurs to me, on the eve of the Republican convention, that this could have been an insane act on the part of an otherwise normal young man, who happened to be a registered Republican and who might have been motivated by dissatisfaction with his Party’s ready acceptance of Donald Trump as its leader.  There still are many Republicans who quietly think that same way but fortunately, they are not as angry nor as mentally unbalanced as the shooter turned out to be.   

JL

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It’s Time To Cool It Down

On TV from the Oval Office Sunday evening, President Biden suggested to Americans, in view of the Trump assassination attempt, that ‘It’s time to cool it down.’

I suppose the easiest way to do that would be for Democrats and Republicans to devote their campaigns entirely to telling voters what they plan to do if elected, and what they’ve accomplished when in office, minus attacks on the other party or its candidates, however evil or wrong they believe them to be.  Rather than criticize the opposing party’s position on any issue, a constructive approach to dealing with that issue would be required.  Examples: NATO, inflation, climate change, LGBTQ and women’s rights, health care, social security, tax policy, tariffs, etc.

This would be excellent for Democrats, who believe in Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg plea for ‘government of the people, for the people, and by the people.’

It would be more difficult for Republicans who don’t really believe in government on those terms, at least on the Federal level where our Congress, our President, and our Judiciary are centered.  Some consider a federal government to be the foe of real democracy, which they claim is primarily based on State governments, and cite the Constitution to prove it.  ('States' are what are united to form the United States, but which still exist and govern independently of their being 'united.') Without constructive plans for our Federal government, Republicans might find it hard to ‘cool it down.’  Many of their efforts are the opposite, destructive in nature.  

Right now some MAGA Republicans see the assassination attempt as a Democratic plot, engineered by President Biden.  Others blame ‘inflammatory’ charges by Democrats against Trump as inspiring the shooter, even though they are far outnumbered by daily ‘inflammatory’ charges against Biden from Republican sources. (One woman interviewed in the parking lot after the shooting wore a tee shirt complaining about ‘Parasites.’ Can such people be convinced to ‘cool it.’)  Opposition to Donald Trump and his ideas is a major tool in the Democratic 2024 campaign, and they would be the last ones to want him out of the race, eliminating that tool.  It is bad enough for them that the failed assassination attempt has increased sympathy for him.

But both Democrats and Republicans will try to heed President Biden’s advice.  A good start, particularly in view of the failed assassination attempt, however, might be for Republicans to get behind real steps to avoid gun violence, including the Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the Second Amendment (they ignored its first thirteen words), which has caused thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Donald Trump should recognize that his name is now on a list that includes those who have been assassinated or survived an assassination attempt:  Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy, Gabby Giffords, and many thousands of other men, women, and children.  He now belongs to the club.  We hope he will accept his membership and ‘cool it down.’

If he doesn’t, read the following piece.  Ah, read it anyway.

JL

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Unfit to Be President - Trump!

Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have come out with lengthy editorials, declaring Donald Trump unfit to be president. Find the New York Times July 11 editorial at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/07/11/opinion/editorials/donald-trump-2024-unfit.html or CLICK HERE.  This appeared before the assassination attempt.

JL

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Replacing Biden

Replacing President Biden on the Democratic ticket is still being debated although it will not dominate the headlines during the Republican convention.  Some Democrats are walking around with blindfolds.  After this week, however, Democrats must face up to Biden’s shortcomings and decide if they can afford to risk losing the election and Congress by sticking with him.  (If Joe were your father or grandfather, would you take away his car keys?)  Some are already quietly resolved to accepting a Trump victory and fighting back from the trenches for four years, ignoring that they have many capable replacement candidates.  I am not among them.

I believe that Vice President Harris will replace him on the ticket (and in the White House as well at the same time), preferably no later than the August Democratic convention.  Any time afterwards would prove disastrous for their entire ticket.  That’s where I stand today.  Increasingly, more and more nervous Democrats are sensing ‘the sooner the better.’  But Joe Biden‘s continued presence as President prevents there from being active support for anyone else, including Vice-President Harris.     

JL

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Iguanas


For years my backyard was plagued by iguanas.  My community, having engaged a firm specializing in ‘iguana control’ has since gotten rid of most of them by somehow making the soil and vegetation unhospitable to them.  But here is a poem inspired by these ugly creatures.

Donna the Iguana

My name is Donna, and I'm an iguana.

To catch me, you can’t do whatever you wanna.                          

By canal banks I live, in tunnels I snooze,                 

That wreck house foundations, that’s the bad news.      

I climb up on trees, and I’m very bold,                      

I’ll hang on your roof, except when it’s cold.                      

Dare chase me, in water, quickly I’ll duck,               

Efforts to catch me all are out of luck.                                  

There’s laws to protect me, most are insane,                     

Hug me and kiss me, you must be humane.            

To catch me, you can’t do whatever you wanna,  

My name is Donna, and I’m an iguana.                                 

 JL

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Take a Break – Why the Miami Marlins Stink

From my observation, it appears that the Miami Marlins, when it comes to making deals with other clubs, have little more skill than ten-year-olds trading baseball cards.  Conceivably, they might today have an outfield consisting of Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna, a far better trio than they have today, if they hadn’t made so many stupid trades.  Except for Jazz Chisholm, whose days as a Marlin are probably numbered, De La Croix, Gordon, Myers and even hard hitting, but inconsistent, Jesus Sanchez are not in the class of these three.

Let’s start with Stanton:  When they traded him to the Yankees, they received Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers.  While Stanton hasn’t set the Yanks on fire, he was worth far more than these three combined.

Next, Mike Yelich, now star of the Milwaukee Brewers, for whom they received Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, and Jordan Yamamoto.  I haven’t seen any of them in a Marlins uniform lately.

The trading of Marcell Ozuna is a little more complicated, and still may not turn out to be so bad.  For him, they received Magneuris Sierra, and pitcher Danny Costenza, both of whom are forgettable, plus pitchers Sandy Alcantara, and Zac Gallen.  Alcantara turned out to be the Cy Young award-winning anchor of their pitching staff but is missing this entire season for Tommy John arm surgery, probably brought on by his being overworked in 2023, and will be a question mark when he returns next year.  Gallen has turned out to be a sterling performer for the Diamondbacks.  But getting Jazz Chisholm in exchange for Gallen no longer looks like an equitable trade any longer with the likelihood of Jazz being traded away coming closer to reality.  Trading Jazz, and their other most likely trade bait, star closer Tanner Scott, between them ought to enable the Marlins to acquire two established MLB starters, not necessarily stars, under age 29 with consistently favorable MLB win/loss records, and two relatively young major league position players who can consistently bat close to 300, hit homers and play their infield or outfield positions well. These are their needs. They shouldn’t be content with getting players still in the minors if they trade, Jazz, Scott, or both.  The Marlins’ line-ups these days feature too many ‘journeyman’ players and promising minor leaguers in these positions who blow hot and cold and cannot be counted on when a hit is needed to salvage a win. They need established professionals.

Last year the Marlins traded their number two starter, Pedro Lopez, to Minnesota for batting champ Luis Arraez, not a bad move until this year when they traded Arraez, still among the league’s batting leaders (but not for extra bases) for a bunch of no-names you would not recognize and who are still in the minors, and likely to spend their careers there.  A terrible trade.

Another rotten trade a few years ago (with the Phillies) that didn’t make sense was getting rid of catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is turning out to be one of the league’s all-time great backstops, for pitcher Sixto Sanchez along with catcher Jorge Alfaro and a minor league pitcher. Sanchez is still very far from living up to expectations and Alfaro’s skills were never better than those of a number two backstop and decent pinch hitter.  The Marlins should learn that quantity does not replace quality when making trades, especially when that ‘quantity’ is still in the minor leagues, yet to prove themselves in the majors.

As we approach the 2024 trading deadline, whoever manages trades for the Marlins should visit the nearest schoolyard playground and seek the advice of the kid who has accumulated the largest pile of MLB trading cards, provided he doesn’t still have a Magneuris Sierra card among them.

Ah yes, Stanton, Yelich, and Ozuna!  What a nice outfield that would have been, and they gave it away.

JL

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Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’!  The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them.  

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog. 

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

 

JL

                                                    

Thursday, July 11, 2024

July 11,2024 - Words From Timothy Snyder, Fascism, European Elections, Weather Info, 14th Amendment Misapplied, Project 2024, and 'My Cousin Vinny"

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Why Does ‘My Cousin Vinny’ Come to Mind

Those of you who remember the 1992 movie, ‘My Cousin Vinny,’ still showing up on late night TV, might recall this courtroom scene.  Two nice boys from the North were being railroaded into a murder conviction and were on trial in a conservative town in the deep South.  One had somehow gotten his cousin Vinny (played by a young Joe Pesci), possessor of some questionable legal credentials, to drive south to defend him.  The other was content to accept the services of the local Public Defender.

The boy who had chosen the Public Defender was already becoming disenchanted by that lawyer’s bumbling, stuttering, sometimes incoherent, performance in an earlier case on the day’s docket, and was beginning to fear years in prison, or worse, when Vinny stepped forward to defend his client.

Vinny was so powerful in his opening remarks that the ‘yout’ (Vinny’s famous mis-pronunciation of ‘youth’) who had chosen the Public Defender jumped up, pointing at him, saying ‘You’re fired!’ and turning to Vinny, continued, ‘I want HIM as my lawyer!’


Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci in 'My Cousin Vinny'

Vinny indeed got both boys off, but only after the intervention of his very smart girlfriend, played by Marisa Tomei, who had the last word.

JL

 

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Fascism, Fear, and Journalists
Yale Professor Timothy Snyder believes that There are three tests of good faith for those who are proposing that President Biden step down. The first is recognition that Biden’s first term has been one of extraordinary achievement. The second is a plan for what the Democrats would do, should Biden withdraw, to select a nominee and win the election. The third is recognition that the threat of regime change is what might justify changing the nominee.’ 

And that ‘regime change’ he asks that we recognize is a change from our representative democracy to fascism.  That is why it is crucial that there be a plan to select a nominee who can defeat Donald Trump, whose candidacy represents fascism.  Read what Snyder wrote on July 7 by visiting  https://snyder.substack.com/p/fascist-froth or by CLICKING HERE.

Democrats and others, including those in the media, have no compunctions about asking President Biden to step down so that they may have a better shot at defeating Trump in November. They have a right to do that.  But it is very strange that Americans of both parties seem to fear asking Donald Trump to withdraw from the presidential contest, despite his having flaws far, far, in excess of President Biden’s, including a felony conviction, and numerous other ‘scrapes’ from which SCOTUS justices and lower judges, often appointed by him during his earlier presidency, extricated him.  What are they afraid of?  Revenge?  Retribution?  I think so.


Snyder is writing about fascism here, and all that accompanies it.  You remember that, don’t you? It included the beliefs of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, as well as of parties attempting to come to power today in some European countries, often masquerading as ‘Christian Nationalists,’ and attacking immigration, minorities, and the media.  Hungary’s Viktor Orban is an example.  It is the antithesis of freedom, looking to ally themselves with Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi.


And when you are finished reading the article, read it again.  It might take twice to sink in.

JL

 

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Good News From Europe 

If the preceding piece by Timothy Snyder seemed pessimistic, there was some optimism in Europe this week.  French and British voters joined the voters of Spain of a few years ago in recognizing the looming dangers of fascism.  Moderates, socialists, and even some communists, joined to form ‘united fronts,’ to keep the fascists out of power.  This echoed the unsuccessful attempts of such coalitions to stop Nazi Germany in the 1930s but people now are smarter and harder to fool … except possibly in the United States.

My gut reaction at this point, however, is that Donald Trump is a weak candidate who cannot prevail over a Democratic opponent who goes after him, day after day, with a prosecutorial zeal.  Who that candidate is will be decided shortly.  Besides his authoritarian leanings, Trump’s prior presidency was unsuccessful in domestic and foreign policy areas as well as in its extra-legal activities, often crossing the line into criminality.  His major thrust was based almost entirely on lies to convince the naïve that he was their salvation.  That won’t work, however, in the upcoming election. 

I have my leanings as to who the Democratic presidential nominee will be, although the situation is still fluid, despite President Biden’s insistence that he will remain in the race.  Leaders such as Nancy Pelosi keep saying the decision is up to Biden himself, despite his repeatedly saying that he has already made his decision and will remain in the race.  There’s a disconnect there somewhere.

I think it will be someone else, but I am not ready to go out on a limb as of yet in Jackspotpourri, because that limb might yet be sawed off.

Watch for an imminent posting on Jackspotpourri for my further thoughts.

JL

 

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More Republican Trickery

The Fourteenth Amendment was designed, after the Civil War, to prevent individual States from taking away rights to which the newly enfranchised freed slaves were entitled.  It brought the Constitution up to the higher standards described in the Declaration of Independence.  Since then it has been the foundation for much of subsequent civil rights legislation, including that making segregation and discrimination illegal. 

The latest gambit of the Republicans now includes catering to those who still frown upon codifying civil rights with legislation.  With their expertise in twisting truths, they now claim that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to fetuses, accusing those who want abortions to remain the choice of the women involved, of taking away the rights of these unborn ‘persons.’ 

That’s another reason to never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, to trust any Republican.  History will label them as foes of democracy and proponents of fascism in its many guises.

Another twisting of truth, better known as lying, is Donald Trump’s statement that he is unfamiliar with Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s blueprint to destroy democracy in the United States. In fact, Project 2025 is staffed by almost 200 former officials of the Trump administration.  Yet Trump is scurrying around to establish distance between Project 2025, currently under attack by the Democrats, and himself.

Is it really possible that Trump is unfamiliar with the massive conservative project worked on by hundreds of his own former officials? Of course not.  He is so inured to lying that he doesn’t even recognize the falsehoods he speaks as being lies. 

If he weren’t such a force for evil, Trump would be more to be pitied than scorned.  But we do not have that choice.  His evil and that of the sniveling Republicans who support him must be defeated on November 5 when you vote and urge others to do so as well.

Check out what Professor Heather Cox Richardson had to say in her posting dated July 9.   There’s an awful lot going on and she manages to report on it all.  If you are trying to ration your online time, for which there are so many demands, you might agree with me that hers is the one daily posting that you should not miss. 

Visit https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/ or just CLICK HERE.

 JL

 

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Meteorology Department 

I’ve noted that the two prime online sources of weather information don’t always agree.  Accuweather seems to be more pessimistic about any day’s weather than the Weather Channel.  Check them both out first thing in the morning and see which one’s predictions for the day in your area turn out to be more accurate. 

Usually they agree as to likely temperatures but otherwise they differ, especially in the likelihood, stated as percentages, of precipitation throughout the day.  Both tend to suggest changes in the weather as happening earlier than when they actually occur, and both usually agree about vague generalities such as ‘a possiblilty of scattered thunderstorms,’ that anyone looking up at the clouds can predict.  Generally, followers of Accuweather’s predictions are more likely to carry umbrellas with them than those who follow the Weather Channel.

Really, their meteorologists are little better than political pollsters.  While Bob Dylan sang, ‘You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing,’ being a weatherman doesn’t guarantee that either.  This past Sunday (when I prepared the first draft of this item), Accuweather and the Weather Channel placed the direction of the day’s winds as coming from somewhat differing directions all falling within a range running from the east southeast to the south southeast, and they disagreed as to their predicted breezes’ timing during the day.

The very best way of determining wind direction at any hour is to moisten your forefinger and stick it up in the air.  Of course, this only works outside of your house, and it would help if you knew in what direction you were facing.  

Come to think of it, the same thing applies to the conclusions of political pollsters.

JL

 

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Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’!  The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them.  

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog. 

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

 

JL

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