Lessons from the Trump-a-Thon

  by Walter Brasch The four day Trump-a-thon, sometimes noted as the Republican National Convention, ended this week in Cleveland, with the Republican party still divided and Donald Trump’s ego inflated larger than a Macy’s parade balloon. Trump was all over the convention hall, the hotels, and in the media, chatting, arguing, scowling, and boasting. It was Trump’s convention, and he knew it. Trump had begun his run for the nomination with a simple but powerful campaign theme, “Make America Great Again,” refusing to accept the reality that most countries see the United States as the world’s most powerful country and its president is one of the world’s most respected leaders. Slipping into the campaign, promoted by the Tea Party … Continue reading

Bathrooms are the New Battlefields for Politicians

  by Walter Brasch   When I was a junior at San Diego State, I had a sudden urge to need a restroom. The closest one was clearly marked, “Faculty Men Only.” The nearest one for male students was on the other side of the building. I did what any rational person would do—I used the faculty restroom. One of the professors, who was using a urinal a couple spaces away, told me the restroom was for professors only. (I assumed there were separate restrooms for staff.) “What department are you in,” asked the prof. In my deeper voice, I responded I was with sociology, hoping he knew little about the sociology faculty. “Just out of grad school?” he asked. … Continue reading

Senators Embedded Within a Brain Fog

    by Walter Brasch   The U.S. Senate—under the leadership of Mitch McConnell who once said his primary mission was to see that the Senate didn’t agree with anything President Obama said or did, and to limit him to one term—continues to be one of the nation’s leading obstructionists. This time, the Senate isn’t meeting to advise or consent to the President’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Garland was valedictorian in his class at Harvard College and magna cum laude from the Harvard law school. He worked in the Department of Justice before becoming the chief judge on the D,C. Court of Appeals, having been confirmed by the Senate, March 1997. The reason for … Continue reading

Chewbacca and the World of Semi-Reality News Media

  by Rosemary and Walter Brasch   A Facebook video of a woman wearing a Chewbacca mask and laughing almost hysterically in her car has drawn more than 140 million hits from numerous sources in the past two weeks. Candace Payne, a 37-year-old mother of two from Grand Prairie, Texas, has had to hire a publicist to help field the numerous calls from the media—and, perhaps, wookies who want to have an affair. Why so many people have been intrigued by the three-minute video may be because people just need to laugh in a year in which political hate and the media have come together to annoy anyone with a temperature. It may also be because the people realize that … Continue reading

History Must Not Repeat Itself: How the Democrats Could Lose the Presidency–Again

    by Walter Brasch In 1967, the United States was digging itself deeper into the war in Vietnam. The anti-war movement was being forged by the youth, energetic and willing to stand up to establishment values. They were the peace-loving environmentally-friendly hippies, the more radical but fun-loving Yippies, and those who held weekday establishment jobs and resented the structure and rules of an older generation that had survived the economic depression of the 1930s, the war years of the 1940s and early 1950s, and now wanted the “Happy Days” comfort of the 1950s. But it was during this decade that the Cold War emerged; the right-wing surfaced and declared anyone with non-establishment views were Communists. The witch hunts of … Continue reading

The Art of the Double-Dealing Megalomaniac

  by Walter Brasch   Savannah State University in Georgia will offer a three-credit course this summer, “The Trump Factor in American Politics.” The professor is Dr. Robert Smith, who says the students will read Trump’s policy statements and excerpts from Trump’s books, and then discuss his political philosophies. Many people may believe this is a terrible waste of any student’s mind and tuition payments. Some may even claim there are other courses that have higher value in the American educational system. For example, Rutgers offers “Politicizing Beyonce,” Skidmore College offers “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus,” the University of Missouri offers a class to better understand Kanye West and Jay Z, and hundreds of colleges have courses that look at … Continue reading

The Slow-Learning Retired Admiral with a Ph.D.

by Walter Brasch Joe Sestak, a liberal Democrat with a commitment to social and economic justice, is a slow learner. It’s isn’t because he’s dumb—he graduated second in his class of 900 midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, one of the most rigorous colleges in the country; a decade later, he earned a Ph.D. in political economics from Harvard. It isn’t because he doesn’t have reasoning ability—as a Naval captain, he was director of defense on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton; as a rear admiral, he commanded a carrier battle group; as vice-admiral, he was the deputy chief of naval operations, with a specialty in warfare strategy. No, Joe Sestak certainly isn’t a slow learner when it … Continue reading

Disenfranchising Large Segments of Americans

  by Walter Brasch   Several hundred thousand American citizens won’t be voting in presidential primary elections—and it’s not their fault. In Pennsylvania, for example, a registered voter who needed an absentee ballot had to submit the request at least one full week before the election, and then return the ballot no less than four days before the election. But, what if circumstances changed? What if that person became injured or had to leave the state after April 19, but before the election, Tuesday? If it was April 20, you could not receive an absentee ballot. You could still vote in person, but if you couldn’t get to the polls, you would be disenfranchised. There’s nothing you could do. In … Continue reading