Go figure. I don’t get the idea to write about St. Patrick’s Day until the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day. By the time I finish this post the day will be all but over. Oh wait, St. Paddy’s is on Friday which means there will be drunken excess for three days.
Of course I’m wearing green. And of course my roommate is making the traditional Irish dinner: Boiled corned beef and cabbage. I like the corned beef and cabbage, and the potatoes and pearl onions, carrots and celery, if they go into the pot, but I don’t care for the roots: parsnips, turnips and rutabagas. When I scoop out a bowl of the boiled dinner I avoid the parsnips, turnips and rutabagas.
Recently I got into an argument with my very progressive friend over the 2020 election, specifically the Democratic primary in South Carolina. We got into it because the Democratic Party changed the primary schedule to put the Palmetto State first.
I’m not going to play coy about why the schedule was changed. South Carolina Democratic Congressman James Clyburn endorsed Joe Biden and the majority of Democratic voters in that state voted for Joe, which had a cascading effect for the rest of the primaries, putting Biden over Senator Bernie Sanders.
The idea of putting South Carolina first is that it better represents the base of the Democratic Party, whereas New Hampshire and Iowa, the fine states that they are, don’t represent the diversity of the Democratic Party. That’s a valid claim. According to our most recent census, there are a bit more than 3.2 million people in Iowa … Damn! San Diego County has about seven million people — and they want to complain about the change to the schedule? Nah-ah.
Back to Iowa (but why?). White folks make up 90.1% of the state’s population. African Americans make up 4.3% and the rest of the population is made up of Native Americans, Asians, Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders and Hispanic people. Most of the white folks in Iowa — and I will hazard a guess that it is the same in New Hampshire — are well meaning and good folks, but they don’t have the ethnic diversity of other states. New Hampshire’s census data is relatively the same as Iowa.
Now let’s take a look at California’s census data. We have over 39 million people. White folks make up about 42% and Hispanics are 35% of the population. African Americans make up about 6.5% of the population. White folks are not the majority. How do I feel about that? I don’t really care. We still have the issues and problems we’ve had for many decades. My neighbors in this condo community are a very diverse collection of nice people — except for the guy who freaks out over our furry friends, Chica and Jackson — and he’s probably a nice person too if Chica and Jackson aren’t around.
There are Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics of all stripes, African Americans and a fair number of immigrants. Plus LGBTQ+ and of course religions of all types — or atheists. We all get along. We see each other when we walk our dogs, we compliment each other on holiday decorations and most of us are very happy to be living in San Diego, where the coldest daytime temps will be in the mid to low 50s … well, to be honest, some of my friends back in the Dairy State think I’m gloating.
Getting back to the argument … My very progressive friend thought the Democratic primary in 2020 was rigged, or at least Joe Biden got an unfair advantage when he was endorsed by James Clyburn. A lot of African Americans in that state, plus many white and other voters, cast votes for Biden. One person, Rep. Clyburn, and a significant impact on the 2020 Democratic primaries. It was as simple as that.
There’s nothing unfair about it. No one was coerced to change their vote, or to not vote. In other words it was a free and fair primary and the majority of Democratic voters chose Joe Biden. Andrew Yang and his Forward Party, Bernie Sanders and Marianne Williamson — and let’s throw Tulsi Gabbard — have nothing to complain about if they don’t win the primary.
Elections, voting, is a numbers game. A candidate (and their supporters) need to have a popular platform that appeals to a majority of voters, but the candidates must also be persistent, optimistic and have the ability to convey their message in a way that the majority of voters can enthusiastically support. I’m thinking specifically of Andrew Yang in that regard, although in the 2020 California primary I voted with my mind, choosing Bernie Sanders. He was most aligned with just about all of my policy views.
In my heart I knew Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, would never win a Democratic primary — ever. The entirety of the Democratic voting base isn’t there with the progressive wing of the party, although I get the sense more and more rank and file Democrats are getting much more progressive in their views. Just look at the caucus.
Nearly half of the Democrats in the House of Representatives are in the Progressive Caucus, including the so-called “Squad.” One name that piqued my interest was Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume. He’s been on the right side of the issues for a long time. He has been a progressive for many years. When I think of the “lions” of the house, I would include him. Along with Jim Clyburn, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Barbara Lee, Raúl Grijalva, and maybe a few others I can’t remember the moment.
It’s now several days after St. Paddy’s Day and the big news is, Donald J. Trump announced on his social media that he was going to be arrested on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. Yay! Everybody cheers … but wait … Trump is the only source of that information and his team of defense lawyers put out a press release walking back Donny’s ridiculous comments.
Before I go skipping down the sidewalk screaming “WEEEE!” I want to see the man in handcuffs, or at least his mug shot. All most of us are doing is speculating on what might happen and where. In other words we are dancing on Trump’s strings.
There’s a line in the Clint Eastwood classic film, The Outlaw Josie Wales, said by former Confederate officer, Captain Fletcher (John Vernon). He and some Union troops are trying to kill Josey Wales and Fletcher says, “I don’t want to hear Wales dead. I want to SEE Wales dead.”
That’s good advice. I don’t want to hear Trump will be indicted and charged. I want to SEE Trump indicted and charged.
Several days since I started writing … it is now the Spring Equinox, the Vernal Equinox, which means we had 12 hours of sunlight nearly everywhere on Earth. What else do we know?
Monday (March 20) was the 20-year anniversary of the “Shock and Awe” that started the Iraq War. So, people in the U.S. accuse Vladimir Putin of crimes against humanity and war crimes. As a nation we have no credibility when it comes to pointing fingers at bad guys. When are we going to hold the architects of the Iraq War accountable for that horror? Over 4,000 Americans killed and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. We have known for a long, long time the George W. Bush Administration lied to the American people and the world to try and justify their invasion.
“But what about the shock and awe?” Yeah, if you like blow’em up video games the shock and awe was meant for you.
There is a reason the U.S. is not a part of the International Criminal Court. Top government officials know we would have to pony up the men and women that lied about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and ties to Al Qaeda. The bottom line is, they wanted to get after Iraq’s oil fields. To justify their regime change war, the Bush (43) Administration they sold the American people on the fantasy that Iraq has so much oil they can fund the war and reconstruction. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously — or infamously — stated, “When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.”
What is the price tag for that war crime? Four trillion dollars — and that might be a low ball estimate. It’s good to see prosecutors at least investigating the Trump Crime Family. Will he ever be indicted? Will someone have the cojones and integrity to go after the ones who lied to get us into an eight year war? That will be the real test of our legal system.
So Tuesday is here and Trump still has not been indicted and arrested. I guess we will continue to speculate. We can all agree Donald J. Trump has been good for news agencies, legitimate or otherwise, and comedy. In that regard Jimmy Kimmel and Jordan Klepper have been the best.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.