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Compromise, Consensus, Common Ground

President Biden is right. Politics is the art of the possible.

What was evident to me during my year on Capitol Hill was that compromise, consensus and common ground are no longer possible between Republicans and Democrats. Even as my boss Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) extolled the virtues of the “80% on which Dems and the GOP agree,” nothing got done without legislative tricks.

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Biden’s Big Bills

I was no fan of Donald Trump. I thought he set an awful example for the nation, but he did have some interesting policy ideas particularly in the international arena. He called out the Chinese Communists for the thugs that they are and actually made progress in the Middle East where none had been made for fifty years. He also initiated Operation Warp Speed and that got us vaccines way before anyone expected. He was not a complete failure and for the conservatives out there he certainly packed the courts.

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PC All-Stars

If you don’t get your way when it comes to a political decision, the recourse on the part of major league athletics and large businesses is extortion.

The Republican Georgia legislature and state Governor have enacted a new voting law in the state that they claim is aimed at assuring fairer elections and ending fraud. This took place after Donald Trump lost the state and the two newly-elected U.S. senators are Democrats despite the fact that there was no fraud. Hmmm—I wonder why the GOP legislature and Governor felt it necessary to advance a new law. If there was no fraud, why the new law?

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Finding News

If this is news then what I see on TV or hear on the radio or read on my computer does not strike me as really being news. It is supposed to be noteworthy as well as novel (not to mention true).

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Greene New Deal

This is not about the environment or climate change.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a freshman Congresswoman from Georgia who is on record as supporting Q Anon, anti-Semitism (Rothschild-sponsored space lasers caused the California wildfires), and the murder of Democratic members of Congress.

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No Cake For You

My conservative friends insist that I am a liberal. I did vote for Joe Biden, reluctantly, but given the alternative what else was I to do? I believe that Black Lives Matter has a point. As I recently wrote, I believe that the trans-female athlete competing against other girls is a particularly vexing problem, but one for women’s athletics to solve, not state legislatures. I also believe that there are too many guns in America.

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Migrants

      They’re still coming to America, just as they have for over 200 years. It’s just not as orderly in Juarez as it was on Ellis Island. Thus immigration 2021 is, unlike fraudulent voting, a real problem.

The United States has two main land-based borders with other countries. In the north, it is a lengthy one with Canada. As far as I can tell there are no crises brewing on our northern border. In fact, I suspect that there are few Canadians who wish to immigrate to America. Given the relative state of race relations, health care and poverty in the two countries, Canada’s only down side is its winter weather.

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Voting

This is an easy one. Whatever it takes to make it easier for everyone to vote, the better. Period. Mail-in balloting. Great. Longer poll hours. Fabulous. Same day registration. Great idea. Easier ID confirmation. Even better!

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Shots

Oh, the many meanings!

Just when we finally thought we had begun to gain an edge on the coronavirus with the shots to immunize, comes two incidents where shots rang out and killed 18 more Americans. It’s enough to make you retire to your favorite bar and start up on some of the third meaning of the word.

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Hate Crimes

This is another issue that has me deeply conflicted. It is not that I don’t believe there are evil acts perpetrated by those driven by prejudice. I do. As a Jew, how could I not? BUT—and this is a huge but—just because a white male has committed a criminal act and the victims are Black, women, Asian, Jewish or any other group that has been harassed over the decades does not make the crime a hate crime.

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Who Should Play?

I have been avoiding writing about this for months now. It is something that I have been trying to wrap my brain around for a very long time. It goes back almost fifty years. The question: how does a cis-gender, heterosexual, white male deal with the fact that the world is a very diverse place and all assumptions about gender, sex and race must be thrown out as prejudicial and wrong.

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The Wuhan Lab

It’s more than the elephant in the room. It’s the whale in the stadium.

Like all popular conspiracy theories, until they are officially and conclusively debunked, they linger. Such is the case with the Kennedy Assassination in 1963. Such is the case with the origins of the coronavirus that has caused a worldwide pandemic.

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Imperfect Docs

Two consecutive editorials in The New England Journal of Medicine of March 11 address an issue I have long contemplated. In effect, is medicine the exclusive province of the seemingly whole or is there room for the disabled and mentally imperfect? The editorials make a strong case for inclusivity and for changes in the medical training system to adopt it for those with physical disabilities and mental illness.

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It’s My Party

Lesley Gore was singing for most of the members of Congress. A member of one party would sooner die than cross the aisle and vote for a popular bill sponsored by the other side. The Covid Relief package is a great example. Almost three-fourths of the public favors the bill. Even half of Republicans like it. Yet, not a single Republican in the House or Senate would lift a finger to assist the President in getting it passed. This is as bad as ObamaCare which also passed with no GOP support.

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Nomadland

There has been a great deal written about this Chloe Zhao film. It won the Golden Globe award for best drama and the director won as well. It is an Oscar favorite.

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Why Bad Mouth Neanderthals?

President Biden has called those governors who have lifted covid restrictions such as mask mandates as using “Neanderthal thinking.” Why give our ancestors a bad rap? From what I have read, Neanderthals were pretty clever and what’s more there’s a fair amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. Calling Governor Greg Abbott Neanderthal gives Neanderthals a bad name.

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