Elton John

What are your three favorite Elton John songs?

Elton John

This is one of the hardest music questions I’ve ever been asked.

A few weeks ago my girlfriend asked me this one. And I thought – what a hateful question. Seriously – three? With some effort I might be able to get it down to ten or fifteen.

But it was a music question. So I thought. And pondered. And listened and relistened.

I may finally have an answer.

Number 1 is: Continue reading “What are your three favorite Elton John songs?”

The-WTF-Files

Why won’t the GOP act on gun violence? Here’s a BIG reason nobody talks about.

It isn’t just NRA money. Congressional Republicans don’t act because their families aren’t at risk.

Did you see this?

‘WTF’: Twitter furious as Florida lawmakers declare porn a ‘health risk’ but block assault rifle ban

The vote comes less than a week after the devastating shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school left 17 people dead

Less than a week after the devastating shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school left 17 people dead, Florida lawmakers rejected an attempt to discuss a ban on assault weapons. The Florida House voted 36-71 on Tuesday (20 February) against a motion to consider the bill that would have banned the sale or possession of automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines such as the AR-15 assault rifle used by the gunman who opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Republican Party (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the NRA) doesn’t care about these children. Your children. Continue reading “Why won’t the GOP act on gun violence? Here’s a BIG reason nobody talks about.”

Republicans

The most dangerous word in Washington: “reform”

Republicans

“Reform” is a DC euphemism for “somebody is about to get fucked.” The McDonald’s hot coffee case illustrates the point.

Sam Ervin, the late, famed North Carolina senator who presided over the Nixon impeachment trial, once said anytime he heard someone describe himself as a “simple country lawyer” he immediately checked to make sure his wallet was still there. Continue reading “The most dangerous word in Washington: “reform””

Bush-Trump

The lesson of Bush’s Trump speech: someday Sideshow Don will seem statesmanlike, too

Bush-Trump

Is there any such thing as “conservative enough”?

By now most of you are aware of former president George W. Bush’s speech earlier today, in which he offered up a pointed critique of Donald Trump (or someone exactly like him). Bush was certainly right about the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and we all ought to be distressed by the actions that prompted the criticism.

My problem, though, runs deeper: we ought not be terrified over the state of things at present, but at the arc of things, at the trend running from Trump all the way back to Richard Nixon and at what it portends for the future of American leadership. Continue reading “The lesson of Bush’s Trump speech: someday Sideshow Don will seem statesmanlike, too”

Mark-Steyn-Stephen-Paddock-Vegas

Mark Steyn’s Stephen Paddock theory: it was the liberals

Mark-Steyn-Stephen-Paddock-VegasFamous radio mouthpiece knows why the Las Vegas gunman did it.

While surfing my morning news feed I tripped across a new theory about the motivation driving Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock. Since investigators have not yet uncovered any agenda on Paddock’s part – nothing political, not religious, didn’t hate Country music, etc. – people are going to speculate. And our political climate being what it is, that speculation is invariably going to pursue angles that justify pre-existing beliefs.

Even so, this one is a doozy. Stay with me. Continue reading “Mark Steyn’s Stephen Paddock theory: it was the liberals”

Italian-Sangria-recipe

Dr. Sammy’s Italian sangria recipe

Italian-Sangria-recipeThis is the best sangria I’ve ever had.

The other night I was in the mood for sangria, but we were having pasta. I found myself wondering if there were such a thing as Italian sangria. So I hit teh Googles. Duh. There’s lots of recipes for Italian sangria.

Nothing looked quite right to me, though. So I took the parts that sounded good from three or four of them and decided to mash up my own little Frankensangria recipe.

Continue reading “Dr. Sammy’s Italian sangria recipe”

Hillary-Clinton-What-Happened

What Happened: Hillary Clinton blames everybody, but it’s a clearcut case of both/and

We Americans tend to see binaries. Right and wrong. Black and white. For us or ag’in us. Either/or. But in this case, the truth is both/and. Clinton’s What Happened is right. Her critics are right. A lot of Democrats wish … Continue reading What Happened: Hillary Clinton blames everybody, but it’s a clearcut case of both/and

Umair Haque and “moral universals”: a quick, very important read on the end of America

Working societies need “moral universals” to civilize them.

I don’t often do quick-link-to-some-other-post posts, but here I’m making an exception.

Umair Haque has an article up at Medium called “The End of the American Experiment: It’s Over. So What Can the World Learn?Continue reading “Umair Haque and “moral universals”: a quick, very important read on the end of America”

S&R’s 2017 Word of the Year: “re-accommodation”

Is it too early to name something the ______ of the Year? Heck no. Let’s call it.

You probably saw where United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz lamented the need to “re-accommodate” that uncooperative passenger.

What a word, that: “re-accommodation.” It doesn’t just apply to airlines – it’s application is nearly limitless.

Every night in bars across America bouncers re-accommodate unruly guests.

The US government re-accommodated the Japanese during WW2.

The US also re-accommodated the Native Americans. For example, they re-accommodated the Cherokees from NC to Oklahoma (although we have to come up with something better than “Trail of Tears”).

There’s some re-accommodation going on right now at Standing Rock. Continue reading “S&R’s 2017 Word of the Year: “re-accommodation””

The only way to defeat Trump and his supporters

It’s about tribalism. You cannot work with Trumpists. Period. You must defeat them and then fix the problems that handed them control.

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. – Jonathan Swift

Since the moment of Campaign 2016 when it became clear that Donald Trump actually had a chance, a lot of people have done a lot of thinking and pontificating and punditofying and writing and hand-wringing about the reasons for his viability. On one end of the spectrum: Donald gave the drooling, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, ignorant, anti-intellectual, hillbillies a cynical, smirking, dog-whistling charlatan they could line up behind. On the other, we’ve had all manner of thoughtful, complex analyses about how economic anxiety (and utter despair) fueled the rise of a non-partisan populist backlash against a political establishment that has spent decades betraying those it represents.

Both versions are compelling because each was built on a measure of observable truth. Continue reading “The only way to defeat Trump and his supporters”

Introducing the American Civic Debate Union: first event addresses the Electoral College

American Civic Debate Union logoWe need a new American consensus driven by a commitment to knowledge, reason and good faith engagement with those whose views differ from our own.

For decades I have toyed with the idea that we could use a civic forum for popular debate, an organization that would make it possible for communities to discuss the issues of the day in ways that would spark thought and reflection, perhaps enabling better decision-making come Election Day. This idea has grown stronger over the past 20 years, as the combined corrosive mechanisms of partisan tribalism, cable media and, worst of all, the Internet and social media seemed to find new and better ways of tearing society apart, making us dumber and more hateful in the process.

I broached the idea recently with friends and colleagues and their response convinced me that now was the time to give it a try. So I have founded what I’m ambitiously calling the American Civic Debate Union. Our first event will be held next Sunday here in Denver, and it will feature me squaring off with my good friend Dr. Frank Venturo over the question of whether the US ought to do something, once and for all, about the Electoral College. If so, what? Continue reading “Introducing the American Civic Debate Union: first event addresses the Electoral College”

Dear Liberals: you don't vote in your economic best interests, either

trump-votersBottom line: almost ALL Americans vote against their best interests.

For years progressives have been hammering conservatives – specifically social conservatives – who “vote against their own interests.” As in, poor working people who vote for the wealthy GOP interests that are the reason they’re poor, and whose policies insure they will remain that way. I have certainly been among this crowd – I remember wondering back in the 1992 election what the fuck could be wrong with Arkansas Bush I voters, for instance. They concluded that Dubya’s Daddy was the sort of guy “they’d like to have a beer with.” Somehow a Northeastern blueblood Skull & Boneser who’d been born with a silver spoon up his ass was more “one of them” than, you know, the guy who was actually born in the trailer park down the road.

It was irrational, it was self-defeating, and it was stupid beyond all imagining. Continue reading “Dear Liberals: you don't vote in your economic best interests, either”

Rural elites: I've had it with the arrogance of ignorance (and its promoters)

ignorance-is-powerThe only thing worse than the willfully ignorant is the legion of apologists enabling them.

Since the election – before, really – we’ve heard a lot of talk about how all those urban liberal elites need to stop being so arrogant and start listening to very real concerns of real Americans in rural flyover values America.

We have more recently begun to see some informed pushback against this silliness self-serving rhetorical engineering masquerading as good-faith socio-political analysis. Now we’ve hit the daily double, though.

First, our friend Otherwise passed along a righteous rant from a very frustrated Melinda Byerley, CMO of TimeShare. Have a quick look. Continue reading “Rural elites: I've had it with the arrogance of ignorance (and its promoters)”