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

What Lies and is Orange All Over? The Republican Finalists, of Course

  by Walter Brasch   Donald Trump, whose ego is larger than Trump Towers, called  Sen. Marco Rubio “Little Rubio,” a derogatory reference to the Florida senator’s height. Rubio responded by saying that Trump’s hands were too small for the size of his body. “And you know what they say about guys with small hands,” Rubio counterpunched, adding that Trump “doesn’t sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan.” Trump, said Rubio, “isn’t gonna make America great, he’s gonna make America orange.” The pro-Rubio crowd in Salem, Va., loved it. Unfortunately, Rubio wouldn’t be able to zing Trump much more, dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination less than a month later. During the past two … Continue reading

The Trump Tower of Egotistical Exaggeration and Lies

  by Walter Brasch   When the presidential primaries began more than a year ago, the two leading candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democrats and Jeb Bush for the Republicans. It seemed at that time that there would be another Clinton–Bush race in the general election. That, as any voter knows, has changed drastically. Sen. Bernie Sanders, officially an independent but running as a Democrat,  has shuffled off his one-digital support to being about equal to Clinton among Democrats, tying with Clinton in Iowa, beating her in New Hampshire, but losing in Nevada. Sanders’ supporters tend to be younger and are energized by his presence and persistence in pushing a liberal agenda that focuses upon individuals and how … Continue reading

Sick of Presidential Politicians Grubbing for Votes

  by Walter Brasch   Like millions of Americans in the middle of February I have the flu. Unlike millions of Americans I have a deadline. Forced to stay at home, sucking Vitamin C drops, I have read newspapers, listened to radio, and watched television as a source of diversion. Dominating the media is the campaign for the presidency. In Iowa, all of the candidates went to fairs, restaurants, and anywhere there was any sign of carbon-based organic life to grab votes. Because hogs and corn stalks haven’t yet been granted the right to vote, the candidates resorted to talking with humans, and making sure that everyone got more useless swag than the presenters at the TV awards shows. The … Continue reading

Marching Bands and High School PE

  by Walter Brasch   The Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Neb., will not allow its students to substitute marching band for its requirement that students take three semesters of physical education. The proposal would save about $75,000 a year, according to the administration. But, the administration also said if the proposal was implemented it would negate the district’s emphasis on wellness and promoting physical fitness. There are two issues here. First, as almost everyone who ever was a member of a marching band knows, it’s physically challenging. Every member must not only march, sometimes at a rapid pace, but also read music, do maneuvers and play an instrument at the same time. Some parades are a mile; the Rose … Continue reading

A Large Problem for Circuses

    By Walter Brasch   By May, there will be no more elephants in the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus. The circus management had originally said it would cease using elephants by 2018, but revised its estimate by two years. Management said the cost to retire the elephants to the Ringling Brothers Center for Animal Conservation in Florida is less than it had first anticipated. The 13 Asian elephants on tour will join 30 others at the 200 acre facility, which has a $2.5 million annual budget. “Our family’s commitment to save the majestic Asian elephants will continue through our breeding program, research and conservation efforts at the Center,” said Alana Feld, executive vice-president of Feld Entertainment. P.T. … Continue reading

Sarah Palin’s Quixotic Quest for Relevance

      By Walter Brasch   She’s back and tightly holding Donald Trump’s coattails. That’s right, Sarah Palin, having again found the media spotlight, is casting her shadow across the more thoughtful conservatives. This past week she declared her undying love and support of Trump’s attempt to seize the presidency from the more experienced and knowledgeable candidates in the Democratic, Republican, and Green parties, and is blathering her way throughout Iowa, New Hampshire, and several early primary states to stir up Trump’s far-right base. At a media circus press conference this past week in Ames, Iowa, Palin gave the far-right wing goose bumps of excitement with her opening declaration, “Looking around at all of you, you hard working Iowa … Continue reading