Editors note: it looks like this was written in Febuary, in Curaçao on vacation.  I found it in my drafts, and it was probably something I was screwing around with on the patio holding my laptop at a funny angle to get wifi so I could watch a primary debate.  Just me writing down what I wish he had said as I’m wont to do. Whatever problems it has, and it has problems, I don’t really care about anymore.  It’s not groundbreaking, but it somehow encapulates issues and a time that I find funny, sad, and ancient today – ten and a half months and a lifetime later.  So it’s going up.  This election could have been about great things, wonderful ideas that made the world a better place.

You asked me to rank the main threats to our country, I’m not going to do that.

I think that such a simplistic answer to a soundbite question not only puts this country at risk, but ties the hands of the next president.

No one would argue that Secretary Clinton is the country’s best choice to manage the foreign affairs of our country.  She was in the White House for eight years, served as a senator and Secretary of State.  Her credentials are beyond question. I hope that she’ll join my administration.

If you think that our chief threats are foreign actors then she is the obvious choice to be our next president.

I believe that those who paint the world as a place of only threat are trying to scare you.

Many of our bogymen are self created.  If we engage in a real way with other countries, rather than just ranking them on some sort of ‘threat matrix’ we might have a better chance of living in a more peaceful world.  Remember that we created ISIS by causing a power vacuum in the Middle East.  Our support of Israel in opposition of true democracy has destabilized the region for over half a decade.

We should stop meddling in the affairs of the world and focus on our values.

However I believe that the greatest threat to our republic is not a foreign power somehow disturbing the domestic tranquility: after all we spend more than the next eight nations combined in the name of defense.  Rather I think that our greatest threat comes from within.  Our nation’s very values are under siege by the financial industry and the accumulation of wealth that it creates.  The top 1% our country now controls the top 99% of our wealth.  The Republicans want you to believe that a tax on people leaving over $5 million of wealth to their  estates constitutes a ‘death tax’. Think about that: one of their main concerns is for people dying with over $5 million.  Corporations are now people and it costs over a billion dollars to become president. Why does it cost so much money if nothing’s for sale? Why are so many people clamoring to offer me money for speeches if they don’t think I’ll help them.

I want real change to come to our country, but not disruptive change: a return to American values.

Let’s focus on the things that have made America great.  A true middle class, a spirit of working together and politics that stop at our borders.  We’ve never been in a stronger position, and yet our leaders continue to say that we need to be great ‘again’.

I say we’re great now.  We’ve just forgotten that we need to be great together.


Posted in Politics at December 19th, 2016. Comments Off on Sanders.

For Brian Haw

This song by the XX Teens came up on random today, and I couldn’t find the spoken-word section by Brian Haw anywhere online.

I wrote it down. It feels like it should be somewhere.

good afternoon
i came here nearly six and a half years ago, second of June 2001.
i came here because i discovered what my country was doing to the children,
the children of iraq, the children of the world.
it’s called infanticide, genocide, torture, looting of nations.
bloody mess,
and I’m responsible.
see I happened to be born in Britain in a place called Woodford, Essex,
and my country’s doing this,
and I came because I couldn’t live with it,
because as a dad who loves his kids,
and this lady, this wonderful lady, who is the mother of my children,
i was taught a lot of good things in this country
and I was taught about fairness at my mother’s knee.
we know what’s right!
we have to stand up and do and be what’s right, don’t we?
I do, you do, each one of us does.
I’m an old man now of 58, I’ve been quite a few places,
and I’ve been a seaman, I’ve been an engineer, I’ve been a builder.
I used to make fine furniture,
done quite a few different things.
I’ve probably sat where you sat, I’ve probably done your work.
I probably understand you.
And you, with your experience and your knowledge, use it to know and say what’s right.
You are you, and I’m me, and we’re each individuals aren’t we?
And I talk too bloody much,
so it’s over to you now, what are you doing to do about it?
Thank you.

Posted in Music, Politics at March 23rd, 2016. Comments Off on For Brian Haw.

Meanwhile in the rest of the world…

Turkish soldiers fired over their heads, and Silva, opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out.

They have been trying to make her laugh ever since.


Posted in Politics at October 23rd, 2015. Comments Off on Meanwhile in the rest of the world….


I’m pretty shocked to see someone, especially a public economist, ask a question like this:

But it’s just another example of how the specifics have flown under the radar, or been dismissed because it’s just another trade agreement.

Everyone should read this.

Posted in Economy, Politics at April 23rd, 2015. Comments Off on TPP.

Has the G.O.P. Gone Off the Deep End?

One word: Gerrymander.

Be careful what you wish for.

They have nothing to fear but primary challenges.

Posted in Politics at July 18th, 2013. Comments Off on Has the G.O.P. Gone Off the Deep End?.

Ten years on

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI think by now nearly everybody realizes that we made a mistake, and most even agree on what the cause was and how it happened.

And yet we keep letting the same things lead us into making more mistakes.

I hope everyone takes a moment today to think about where we’ve been, what we’ve become, and how we can take at least a few small steps in the direction of what we want to be.  What we deserve to be.

Posted in New York, Politics at March 20th, 2013. Comments Off on Ten years on.

Meanwhile in a world populated by grownups…

… And I’d like to take a moment to address this charge that I’ve cut Medicare by $716 billion, and by so doing reduced benefits to seniors.

First of all let me categorically state: this reduction in our Medicare expenditures does not come at the expense of any current or future benefits.  Please understand that and also understand that anyone who says otherwise is not giving you the full truth.

Let me explain.

My opponent and I both agree that we need to do something to curtail the growth of Medicare spending.  If we don’t make important changes the costs of healthcare for America’s seniors will bankrupt future generations.  On this there can be no debate and it’s one of the many things that the governor and I agree on completely.

To that end, my administration negotiated and reached an agreement with healthcare providers and insurance companies that would reduce their reimbursements under Medicare by $716 billion.  They were willing to accept this reduction because the additional coverage provided by Obamacare (I still do love that name) would benefit them.  This is exactly the type of public / private partnership that Governor Romney has often said is beneficial.

So in summary:

  1. we agree that Medicare costs need to be reduced
  2. I made a reduction in those costs without cutting benefits
  3. I worked with businesses that were involved in the process and agreed to this reduction to everyone’s benefit

Let me be clear: we need to fix Medicare in order to fix our ailing healthcare system.  We can’t continue to cast every cut in costs as a cut in benefits.  We agree we have to cut costs – I want to do so without hurting our seniors and I have done so.   Vilifying these reductions without giving people all of the facts makes our country weaker, not stronger and lessens our national debate on an important issue.

(just dreaming about rational debate vs. war of the soundbites.  I know it’s too much to ask)

Posted in Politics at October 4th, 2012. Comments Off on Meanwhile in a world populated by grownups….

Two! Two. Two?!

Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’

Two dissents.  Two.

Posted in Politics at February 19th, 2012. Comments Off on Two! Two. Two?!.

Root Strikers

I don’t want to be melodramatic about this, but it could seriously be the most important idea of the last few decades.  It’s bigger in scope than the Move to Amend plan, and it’ll take time to see which is more achievable.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.  – Henry David Thoreau

Posted in Economy, Politics at January 23rd, 2012. Comments Off on Root Strikers.

Bikes & Politics

A great summary of recent history.

I blame Critical Mass.

Some people say that the growth of bikelanes over the last few years has sparked the backlash, but it’s hard to argue that those aren’t a net positive.

I commute to work by bike, and have for nearly a decade.  I’ll admit to not stopping at every light, but for the last six years I’ve been fortunate that there aren’t many lights between home and work.

I’ve been noticing lately (because I’ve been trying to pay attention) that when there is interaction w/ a pedestrian, either on the commute or on the weekend, it nearly always ends with them apologizing to me for jaywalking in front of me.  I’m no saint, but this city’s filled with people who aren’t following every law they’re supposed to follow.

Posted in Cycling, Politics at May 10th, 2011. Comments Off on Bikes & Politics.