Category Archives: politics

Democrats Choose Another Dead End Road

By John Geluardi
Hillary Clinton, Tom PerezThe Democratic National Committee has decided to stay on a lost road risking more failure, loss and corruption. By electing former Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, the party has signaled that its traditional base will continue to be strip teased while in the backroom, corporate interests are fully serviced.

Perez won the election on Saturday by beating progressive favorite Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison by a second-round vote of 235-200. Unfortunately, Perez is a symbol of how Democrats have abandoned their base. As President Barack Obama’s labor secretary, Perez was a supporter of the Trans Pacific Partnership despite the strong opposition of nearly every major U.S. union. As a Clinton campaign adviser, Perez sewed division among Dem voters by arguing for whitewashing Bernie Sanders’ campaign with false claims that Sanders’ support was driven by whites.

Perez’s victory will assure the corrupt and  failed wing of the Democratic Party will stay in power, if that’s a term that can any longer be affixed to the weakened political faction symbolized by a jackass and characterized by rent seeking. Under Obama’s two pro-corporate terms in the White House, the party suffered unprecedented losses. Democrats list of losses is long and depressing. It includes the White House, the Senate, Congress and more than 1,000 seats in state legislatures and a dozen governors’ mansions.

Now, more than ever, it’s critical Democrats revitalize the party. President Donald Trump is poised to roll back nearly all the hard fought advances in environmental policy, race relations, Wall Street regulations (such as they are) and what little political influence labor unions have been able to grasp onto.

bern-crowdAnd there’s no disagreement over which party has the energy to revitalize the Democratic Party. The primary campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders made it clear through the large rallies, individual donations and resonating message, that Democrats realize they’ve been abandoned by the party’s establishment. And the DNC has as much as admitted the party establishment is uninspired, outdated and corrupt by working to undermine the party’s own voters by attempting to suppress Sander’s surging popularity through Deborah Wasserman and John Podesta’s dirty tricks.

With the election of Perez, Democratic voters can only hope that fear and hatred of President Donald Trump will be enough for the Party to start winning elections again. Otherwise, short of finding another charismatic Barack Obama, the party establishment is embarrassingly lacking in inspiring candidates. Nowhere is this more problematic than the Rust Belt. Democrats need to bring Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota back into the fold, and unless Perez can break free from the Clinton-designed Democratic establishment, the Party will continue to flounder on a road to nowhere.

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Filed under Corruption, Democratic Party, Journalism, Presidential Primaries, The Convention, Uncategorized

Conflict Breeds Corruption

 

corruption

By John Geluardi

819cab198a0b83ce288b2cdd6afe483f_400x400Public corruption is a negative force that has an impact far beyond any single act of paying for favors and privilege. Public corruption cost taxpayer millions of dollars annually and casts a shadow over government ability to make sound policies, assert the rule of law and the citizen’s ability to pursue economic prosperity.

It’s for that reason the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies, makes it a priority to investigate allegations of public officials who use their positions to enrich themselves. But suppressing corruption once it has occurred is expensive and not effective. It is also important for government officials to be  proactive by not enacting policies that foster corruption, rent seeking and extortion. That’s why it is critically important that the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws are resolved as soon as possible.

In those states that have legalized the sale of medical and recreation cannabis, the industry is flourishing. State and local laws have done great work in creating policies and laws that give such businesses a sense of stability that allows them to make business decisions with some confidence. But federal laws still regard cannabis as a schedule 1 narcotic and have not only closed access to reliable banking, the U.S. Postal Service and fair tax laws, but there is also the constant threat of law enforcement raids, lengthy and expensive court battles and prison.

Even in the states that have legalized cannabis, federal law has created a climate of fear and uncertainty among cannabis entrepreneurs and some politicians and law enforcement officers are exploiting that fear to enrich themselves. There are numerous examples of this type of corruption. In fact, The Daily Chronic, an online news source that covers the cannabis community, has a pages-long section devoted to cannabis related police corruption nationwide.

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Filed under California ballot November, Corruption, Crime, politics, Pot and Politics, Uncategorized

Stage Set for Wild Season 7

By John Geluardi

hbos-game-of-thrones-season-6-episode-10-the-winds-of-winter-cersei-lannister-sits-on-the-iron-throne

As the sublime sound of dragon wings fades into the distance, we can start to look up from the bleakness and possibly see a pencil-thin ray of hope. Yes,  Game of Thrones season 6 is over and our lives suddenly seem so vacuous that we wonder about how our geekiness is effecting our personal relationships and mental stability. But we can also maybe see that the Thrones’ skilled storytellers, Martin, Benioff, Weiss and incredible directors like Miguel Sapochnik, have left us with the makings for an incredible season 7.

Cersei Gets Her Ring Kissed

In a scene reminiscent of Godfather I, Cersei cleared the decks of all her enemies and became Queen of Westeros. All she had to do was by blow up the Great Sept of Baelor and kill hundreds. The list of dead is long, but I’ll see if can name the most important victims – there was the High Sparrow and all of the little sparrows, her son King Tommen’s wife, Queen Margery, the queen’s brother and heir to Highgarden Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Mace Tyrell, Cersei’s Uncle Kevan Lannister, her cousin Lancel Lannister and nearly every member of the high court.

When King Tommen learns of his wife’s death, he throws himself from a window in the Red Keep. Cersei’s consigliere, Qyburn, has Grand Maester Pycelle brutally stabbed to death by a pack of precocious, preteen “little birds” and Cersei herself takes care of Septa Unella, the cruel nun-type character who tormented Cersei while she was imprisoned in a cell on the orders of the High Sparrow. Cersei introduces Unella to her “new God,” the Frankenstein-like Ser Gregor Clegane who presumably is going to torture her until well into next season.

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Filed under Arya Stark, Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones Geeks, Jon Snow, politics, Sansa Stark, Uncategorized

The Bastards and a Darker Sansa

sansa-stark

By John Geluardi

The Battle of the Bastards was one of the most exhilarating set pieces ever created for television and perhaps film. The hacking violence and overwhelming confusion of horses, arrows, swords and axes was depicted in graphic medieval detail. The Stark Sigill flies again from Winterfell’s walls after Ramsey Bolton’s army was routed, and Bolton himself was set upon by his own hounds in an inglorious death that was among the most highly anticipated of all  Thrones’ despised villains.

But while the loser of the Battle of the Bastards was easy to identify, the winner is a bit more vague and the uncertainty is deeply troubling. The messy victory raises many questions about who will rule Winterfell and how heightened tensions between Sansa and Jon Snow will play out in the season’s final episode this Sunday.

There has been a lot of speculation among my fellow Thrones geeks about Sansa’s important role in the battle and a good deal of celebration about her officiating over Ramsey’s gruesome death. Most of the comments I’ve read about the new, ruthlessly pro-active Sansa have been positive. After years of watching her be victimized, fans are apparently rejoicing to see her take control over her life and seemingly to assert herself as a potential worthy leader of Winterfell and possibly the North. There’s no doubt, Sansa has become a major player.

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Filed under Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones Geeks, Jon Snow, politics, Sansa Stark

Bernie Sanders And The Change-Phobic Mainstream Media

Blue Bernie

By John Geluardi

While Sen. Bernie Sanders’ thrilling primary bid has exceeded all expectations, it has also drawn out the mainstream media’s resistance to change. For decades, the default mode for political coverage by large, corporate media outlets has been to protect the political status quo, and perhaps its own interests, no matter how corrupt, dysfunctional or apathetic the ruling political parties become.

It’s certainly true that Sanders has received a great deal of positive press and he is beloved on the internet, but there is still a prominent reactionary thread that is constant in its mission to undermine the independent minded Sanders’ message of economic fairness, Wall Street reform, ending corporate influence in politics and climate change. In fact, the more Sanders excites the Democratic base, the more plaintive these media forces become and one doesn’t have to do much Googling to find media dismissals of Sanders as a viable candidate.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times unabashedly compared Sanders, a respected elected official with a political record that stretches back to 1981, to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a wealthy real estate investor and flamboyant television personality with no political experience whatever. In a subtler approach, the Chicago Tribune assured Sanders’ supporters that they are not “delusional,” and that they should have fun while his campaign lasts, but then reminded them that “it’s still pretty clear that Sanders has no real chance of defeating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.”

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Filed under Journalism, politics