Readers Want News Not Fluff

by Walter Brasch The New York Post, a Rupert Murdoch tabloid publication that isn’t likely to win a Pulitzer Prize anytime soon, splashed a full page picture of a smiling Jennifer Anniston on its Sept. 21 front cover. In the upper left-hand space it placed all-capitals text: “BRANGELINA 2004–2016.” Inside the Post were four full consecutive pages, and a half page and part of a column deeper in the newspaper, all devoted to one of the most critical social issues facing the country—Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting a divorce. People magazine put the multi-million dollar couple on its cover, and teased us with the text: “WHY SHE LEFT” and “THE REAL STORY.” US magazine had an “EXCLUSIVE.” ABC, … Continue reading

The 24/7 Sneeze Factor

  by Walter Brasch Hillary Clinton is recovering from a mild case of pneumonia. However, shortly after she collapsed at Ground Zero while part of the 15th annual memorial of 9/11, her campaign staff said she was just exhausted and suffered heat exhaustion. It took a couple of days for her to reveal the extent of her medical issue. Donald Trump, who had many times this past year questioned Clinton’s health and suggested she should leave politics, now tweeted he was hoping his Democratic opponent would have a quick recovery. However, the Renegade Republicans, fueled by scandal-makers of the conservative media, think Clinton is a piñata, and are hitting her hard—she has Parkinson’s disease; she suffered from a concussion; the … Continue reading

Race Issues Dominate White House Race

  by Walter Brasch (part 1 of 2)   Donald Trump, who is commanding all of 1 percent of Black voters, according to an impartial Quinnipiac poll, says he could get as much as 95 percent of the Black vote in a second term. In June 2011, he had said, “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.” It’s nothing less than political hyperbole in a campaign for a first term, and meant to get a few thousand more votes in key states. However, Trump’s past actions don’t mitigate whatever future plans he has. In 1973, the Department of Justice sued Trump Management for civil rights violations for refusing to rent apartments to Blacks and Latinos who wished to … Continue reading

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