Living Large In Carson City: And When The Band Plays “Hail To The Chief” Oh, They Point The Cannon At You, Lord CCR Edition


“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” JFK

Ever since the 2018 election and the ushering in of progressive/liberal ideas into the United States Congress, the climate of the Democratic Party discourse has moved inevitably to the left. Whereas Bernie Sanders once resembled an Old Testament prophet howling into the wind over some sub-Saharan desert landscape, his ideas today are the backbone of many of the Democratic 2020 hopefuls. If ever the seeds of revolution in America have been sown, these “ideas” offer hope that true political and social change might be possible. “Might” being the operative word here. More on that point later.

With all of the chaos surrounding the early days of the Democratic primary race, it is nearly impossible to keep a tally of all the new progressive ideas floating around the field. Fortunately, the always reliable NPR news service broke down the ideas for us. In an article by Danielle Kurtzleben titled Here Are The ‘Outside The Box’ Progressive Ideas 2020 Democrats Are Pitching, she lists some of the most current and tangible progressive ideas being bandied about by a number of Democrats. The number and depth of ideas out there is astonishing in these days of Donald Trump.

Kurtzleben notes when Bernie Sanders came up with the single-payer health plan, he was written off as a fringe candidate. Now, Sanders says the idea is supported by 70 % of Americans. As NPR’s Scott Detrow wrote, when Sanders submitted the single-payer health plan in 2013, there was not one single cosigner. When he reintroduced it in 2017, he had 16 cosigners. Single-payer health plan morphed into Medicare for all and is supported by a number of candidates as something who’s time has come.

Kurtzleben points out that some topics have tacit support throughout the field like the $15 an hour minimum wage, free college for all, and repairing of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Other topics are being pushed by individual candidates like Cory Booker’s guaranteed jobs program. Kristen Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders also support some form of guaranteed job initiatives which speaks to the synergy currently flowing through the party. Kamala Harris is promoting a hybrid of the Earned Income Tax Credit called LIFT the Middle Class Act as refundable credit guaranteed tax return even in the absence of income up to $6,000 per family for low income families. There is a caveat for now that states it is only for families already working and earning a modest income. Similarly, concerning rent relief, Booker and Harris support refundable tax credits to people paying large shares of their income to rent. Elizabeth Warren is all for overhauling corporate accountability laws while improving working conditions in the job place is supported by Booker, Sherrod Brown, Gillibrand, Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Warren as well.

Possibly, the most controversial topic is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her New Green Deal. Honestly, I think this such a frightening concept that it’s hard for me to get my head around the entirety of changes it would bring to the American commercial, social, and judicial scenes. The only thing more frightening is if we don’t get behind something like this. Folks, the Earth is dying. If we don’t do something now (yesterday would have been better), life on this planet is going to be altered in seriously detrimental ways. Is Ocasio-Cortez’s plan the right plan? Who knows? But it is a start of the conversation that has to be had by Americans whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Democratic Socialists, or whatever people want to label themselves.  NPR

Of course, there are pros and cons surrounding all of these ideas that will have to be hashed out over the next two years throughout the Democratic Party. However, Democrats seem more likely now than ever to consider moving toward change; a stance the Republicans will challenge at ever step of the process. But there is hope. Kurtzleben quotes Jared Bernstein, Joe Biden’s former chief economist as saying,

Bernstein knows many of these criticisms exist, but he isn’t worried just yet.

“I would actually caution many of my fellow progressive wonks out there not to immediately reject these ideas because of their technocratic limitations,” he said.

What he means by “technocratic limitations” is that in some cases, these policy proposals do not, technically, exist yet. But in his view, that’s not necessarily bad.

“It may well be the case — in fact, I’d say it is — that they don’t have a clear path from where we are to Medicare for all, or an ambitious guaranteed jobs program,” Bernstein said. “But what’s important right now is the aspiration that those programs represent in terms of finally trying to really do something about the profound gap between the haves and have-nots in this country.” NPR

If these changes are going to take place, America needs a revolution in government like we saw under Roosevelt in the 1940s and under Kennedy/Johnson in the 1960s. Revolution is a funny word. The mere utterance of the word conjures up scenes of fighting in the streets, destruction, and division on all levels of society. It is important to remember that change on this magnitude is going to be messy. Republicans will fight to keep their status quo of the richest of the rich staying in power while raping the other  98 % of Americans toiling in the trenches.

And there will be Democrats that will need to be led kicking and screaming down the path of change. The moderates and conservatives within the party will oppose these changes on the same grounds as their Republican counterparts. Kurtzleben gave one pertinent example,

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been out pitching his economic ideas. But at a spring think tank event, he “stopped short of pitching some of the more sweeping proposals emanating from the party’s left flank,” as CNN’s Lydia DePillis noted. “Instead, he offered up more mainstream ideas, like providing more federal funding for infrastructure projects and making the tax code less friendly to investors while expanding tax credits for low-income families.” NPR

The outlier here as it has been for the past two years is Trump. Let’s face it; much of what the progressives are proposing is going to be über controversial unto an anathema to the Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean  Hannity, and Vlad Putin gang of thieves. There will be those in the Democratic Party that will plead for the progressive wing to wait until the party wins control of Congress before trying to push these ideas. Others, and rightfully so, will argue that the most important 2020 goal is to defeat Trump. They will push a more moderate, centrist candidate who is not as radical or frightening to the body of the party as a whole.

The voter in me who has followed the clashes of the Republican and Democratic parties over the years want to say yes to these suggestions. Why risk another four years of Trump’s tyrannical rule? The problem is that there is no guaranteed outcome of any election after what we saw in 2016. The realistic voter in me knows with increasing certainty that our time is up. Not going to be up, but up. Every day we put off changing the way we view our stewardship of this planet in a more healthy and less destructive way is one day closer to the tipping point. When we reach that point, it won’t make a damn bit of difference how cautious we felt like we had to be.

Now is the time for revolution. not hand wringing and submission.

Living Large In Carson City: Insanity Is A Legal Term. Crazy Is An Art Form. HST Edition


I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion. Jack Kerouac

I constantly struggle when writing my blogs thinking they are so negative and dismal that who would want to read them? It’s like the world has been turned on its head without hope or clarity anywhere to be found. Gone are the days of American exceptionalism, altruism, empathy, and the belief that the world works better when we all work together, or at least, with those who share the same values and insights as to what makes for a better world. Yet, every news cycle is just another day of the same roller coaster ride from hell with a sad queue of people committing horrible, clueless acts as if it is a game meant to fry our senses and put our heads spinning off our shoulders.

For instance, Roger Stone, contrary to a court gag order issued last week, tweets an image of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (the imposer of said gag order) with a picture of the judge and bull’s eye placed just above her right ear with accompanying text,

. . . that included mentions of the “Deep State” and, of course, all of the usual conspiracy subjects and suspects: Benghazi, Hillary Clinton and Obama.  Rolling Stone

Either Stone doesn’t understand the concept of a gag order, or he is being willfully provocative. Time will tell since the judge has ordered him to appear in court later this week to discuss whether or not he will walk the streets as a free man until his trial or be given a ticket to the slammer immediately. What is it about Trump and his minions that makes them so clueless it’s funny and mystifying at the same time.

The toll these acts of stupidity accrue are now being felt on the international stage. This weekend at the Munich Security Conference, America got the equivalent of a bitch slap from world leaders that was too embarrassing to believe. Mike Pence was Trump’s point man at the conference and gave his typically unctuous comments. At one point he intoned in a near reverent voice these words,

“I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.”

Then nothing. Not a cough. Not an errant door slamming. No bodies shifting in their seats. Nothing. Pence, obviously expecting a roaring round of applause, merely stood looking down at his notes like a white headed step child before continuing with his prepared speech. The silence was deafening. For one tiny moment, I almost felt sorry for him. Then I remembered he is an integral part of the most ludicrous, evil, sham of a presidential administration ever seen in the United States, Sorry gave way to a delicious surge of something akin to the joy one feels when you are at the end of an LSD trip and the knowledge suddenly hits you that you are going to make it through without a serious mental breakdown. Bitter but triumphant. If you haven’t seen Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference yet, go here to see the tape.

The fireworks were only beginning.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the podium and all but eviscerated the Orange One over his lack of understanding about trade and car production. Calling out Trump and his administration for claiming that German cars are a threat to American national security, Merkel was barely able to disguise her disdain. In a voice that dripped with incredulity, she noted that the largest BMW plant in the world is in South Carolina where BMW cars are built and shipped out to places as far flung as China. In closing she made the tongue in cheek observation that the cars built in South Carolina are no more threatening to American security than the ones actually built in Bavaria. The crowd loved it. Well, all except for one conference goer, Ivanka Trump, who sat stony faced throughout Merkel’s speech, eyes smoldering and lips set in a grim line across her scowling face. It was priceless. You can see Merkel and Ivanka here.

But the enormity of the over-the-top Trump shenanigans is compounded by the fact that the fuck ups not only occur in real time, but also emerge from the past. The New York Times published an article late yesterday with these surprising revelations,

Late last year, the Times reported, Trump called the acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker (who was just replaced by William Barr), to ask whether Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, could be put in charge of his office’s investigation into Michael Cohen. This would have required Berman—who worked on Trump’s transition, was appointed by Trump, and recused himself from the Cohen investigation—to un-recuse himself from the inquiry. (Trump, of course, wanted his previous Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to do the same with the Russia investigation.) The Atlantic

Two things are problematic about Trump’s actions. First, Whitaker told the House Judiciary Committee in sworn testimony that Trump never coerced him to interfere in any ongoing investigation related to Robert Mueller Russia probe or any other ongoing case pertaining to the president’s personal business. The above statement clearly shows that Trump did indeed try to gain influence over the Cohen investigation by asking Whitaker if Berman could be put in charge of the case.  Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), invited Whitaker back to the Hill to sit before the committee to “clarify” his previous statements.

Second, it is quite possible that by asking Whitaker to put Berman back in charge of Cohen’s case that he committed obstruction of justice, or at best, attempted obstruction. One of the most telling discussions of the implications of this story comes from and unlikely place, Fox News.

Speaking with Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Tuesday, Fox News commentator Judge Napolitano noted . . . the president’s reported phone call to Whitaker demonstrates “corrupt intent.”

“That is an effort to use the levers of power of the government for a corrupt purpose to deflect an investigation into himself or his allies,” he pointed out, adding that the SDNY has two ongoing Trump investigation and the Times reported that Trump wanted his ally Berman to oversee both.

Smith, meanwhile, wanted to know if this rose to the level of obstruction of justice.

“Yes. Well, attempted obstruction,” Napolitano replied. “It would only be obstruction if it succeeded. If you tried to interfere with a criminal prosecution that may knock at your own door by putting your ally in there that is clearly an attempt to obstruct justice.” Daily Beast

Confused? Yeah, me too. But there is more. Today, sources reported that Mueller’s investigation is supposed to be wrapped up by next week. It will then be up to Attorney General William Barr to write an official confidential report and submit it to Congress. It is still unknown how much of Mueller’s findings will be released to the public. So, theoretically, Mueller’s two year investigation at a cost of $25 million might very well never see the light of day as far as you and I are concerned. Granted, Trump is far from out of the woods yet. Depending on the source, there are between 6 to 17 ongoing investigations into Trump, his business, his foundation, his children and a raft of Southern District of New York federal investigations.

And it’s only Wednesday. Add to the mix, Trump’s upcoming tango with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, U. S. saber rattling in the Middle East, more European Union bating over sanctions against Iran, and a very real possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela, and it’s easy to see why we are confused and frustrated over the state of our democracy.

Twenty-twenty can’t come soon enough.


Living Large In Carson City: Great Is The Guilt OF An Unnecessary War: John Adams Edition


Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean: Can’t have a war without an enemy. . . You could have one, but it would be a very dull war . . . (Robert De Niro Wag the Dog)

The premise for the 1998 movie Wag the Dog has always had echoes of degradation with what is going on in the current White House and Donald Trump. The movie begins with a scandalous scenario where the president is accused of having an unwanted and illicit encounter with a young girl scout visiting the Oval Office. The fondling accusation proves to be true, and understandably, the White House is thrown into chaos. Making matters worse, the election is just a few days away putting the president in a precarious situation to say the least.

Enter a mysterious character played by Robert De Niro named Connie Brean. He along with the Anne Heche and Dustin Hoffman characters set out to create a diversion of monumental proportions – a fake war with Albania. What unfolds over the next 90 some odd minutes is a travesty of justice and a perversion of reality. Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson (Good Ol’ Shoe) deliver riotous cameo appearances which only add to the surreal nature of the story line and add to the quixotic blend of what is and what could be.

In a real life scenario of art imitating life, the world is seeing much the same circumstances unfolding this week at a Polish conference in Warsaw dealing with stability in the Middle East or, more to the point, War with Iran. The conference is a serious attempt to redirect the world’s sentiments against Iran and is being attended by an array of heavy hitters from across the globe. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the embattled Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu are two of the most influential. And then there is Rudi. Yes, that Rudi. The mealy mouthed, bug eyed and unhinged Rudi Giuliani who is Trump’s personal lawyer and spokesman (using that term loosely).

Sixty-five governmental delegations are attending the talks with the theme of how best to control Iran’s future, and how to limit its extension of influence across the Middle East. No shrinking violet, Rudi went straight to the heart of the matter by stating,



Former NY Mayor @RudyGiuliani in Warsaw:
In order to have peace & security in the Mid-East there has to be a major change in the theocratic dictatorship in . It must end & end quickly in order to have stability

For the president’s personal lawyer to make such a strong statement, the Oval Office must be staunchly supportive of his official presence there. Think again. Rudi made the trip to Warsaw representing his client the he National Council of Resistance of Iran. Also known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the group was once a terrorist organization within Iran around the time of the 1979 revolution. The investigative group called the Intercept describes the group as,

Members of the MEK helped foment the 1979 Iranian revolution, in part by killing American civilians working in Tehran, but the group then lost a struggle for power to the Islamists. With its leadership forced to flee Iran in 1981, the MEK’s members set up a government-in-exile in France and established a military base in Iraq, where they were given arms and training by Saddam Hussein as part of a strategy to destabilize the government in Tehran that he was at war with.

In recent years, as The Intercept has reported, the MEK has poured millions of dollars into reinventing itself as a moderate political group ready to take power in Iran if Western-backed regime change ever takes place. To that end, it lobbied successfully to be removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2012. The Iranian exiles achieved this over the apparent opposition of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in part by paying a long list of former U.S. officials from both parties hefty speaking fees of between $10,000 to $50,000 for hymns of praise. The Intercept

While Rudi acknowledged he was not in Warsaw as an official delegate, nor would he attend the talks, his presence as a paid speaker for the goals of MEK is troubling.

One official delegate, Benjamin Netanyahu, however, was more than willing to speak his mind on the purpose of the talks and give his view of what he seeks to come out of the meeting.  He stated,

Even before the conference began, the Israeli prime minister appeared to shrug off efforts by the State Department and the Polish government to portray the gathering as broadly focused on Middle East peace, describing it as primarily a meeting of Iran’s enemies. The Intercept

Never one to pull a punch, Netanyahu even went so far in the article to say “war with Iran is (the) aim of the Warsaw talks”. It doesn’t get more explicit than that in anyone’s mind. One has to ask why now? Why make incendiary statements about Iran now when peace in the Middle East is on the front burner of diplomatic circles in the region more than ever? More on this later.

Rudi is not the only MEK supporter in the ranks of the Trump administration. John Bolton is a supporter of MEK as well. Here is a tweet describing Bolton’s position on regime change in Iran,

Bahman Kalbasi


8 months ago among MEK supporters tells them they will overthrow ’s regime and celebrate in with Bolton himself present, “before 2019”

The speech exile Kalbasi speaks of was well before Bolton was named as Trump’s national security adviser at a rally in Paris held by the MEK. He also predicted that the regime change imminent. He stated,

“The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday,” Bolton said. (The 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution will be on February 11, 2019.) “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton added. “The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself.”The Intercept

While he was obviously wrong,  but the implications are disturbing coming from someone so mentally unstable and with so much power.

On Valentine’s Day, Mike Pence while attending the Warsaw Talks called out members of the European Union, most notably France and Germany, for trying to undermine the United States sanctions on Iran and urged them to pull out of the Iran nuclear treaty. Both countries refused to send delegates to the Warsaw meeting fearing the meeting would devolve into a free for all condemnation of Iran which would only further isolate the Iranian government from the rest of the region and the world.

Pence’s condemnation of the EU members is particularly galling considering that it was Trump who blew up part of the deal by withdrawing from the treaty. Barrack Obama secured the treaty in the hope of taking the only realistic course to impede Iran from furthering their nuclear capacity. All indications and reporting on the treaty point to the fact that the treaty is working and the U.S. sanctions are only exacerbating the problem. (PBS)

So, a quick score card of who’s who in the rush for war with Iran. There is Netanyahu who is facing corruption charges and a tough election coming up at home which bodes badly for him. John Bolton is simply a dyed-in-the-wool maniac when it comes to Iran, and who harbors a deep-seated need to blow them off the face of the earth. Mike Pence is little more than a puppet for whatever Trump tells him to think and say. Then there is Rudi, the president’s personal lawyer. It has become obvious Rudi does not have an intelligent thought in his head these days and has become the president’s stooge saying anything and everything that comes to mind.

But most of all, there is Trump himself. Beset by the Robert Mueller investigation, the newly empowered Democratic majority and Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives, and in the face of monumental failures in the form of the shut down and the newly signed immigration bill, it is safe to say Trump might be feeling the heat for all sides. The condemnation of Iran takes on both ominous and strategic importance to the president. Could there be ulterior motives behind the machinations of so many world leaders and their minions who are in such deep do do?

Or as Conrad ‘Connie” Breansaid: Can’t have a war without an enemy. . . You could have one, but it would be a very dull war . . . (Robert De Niro Wag the Dog)

Living Large In Carson City: The Sins Of The Fathers Edition


A “Black Face?”/A “Black Heart?”
Choose for yourself.
Rinkle Shah

My intention this week was to wait until after the State of the Union address to see what gut cringing bullshit that Trump came up with to further humiliate himself. Like last years speech, however, this year’s  was no different . . . a yawner. He did make several references to his legal woes and the Democrats intention of looking into his criminal affairs as “ridiculous partisan investigations”. The president is such an ignorant little shit that he doesn’t understand words matter. The pundit’s takeaway on his calling for an end to the investigations was obvious. He’s scared and wants all the meanies to stop picking on him. Fat chance on that front Donnie.

So, other than making several off-the-wall comments about immigrants, the wall, and the usual crap du jour, the evening was more of a showcase for the Democratic women dressed in white in the audience and Nancy Pelosi who Trump managed to all but ignore in his decidedly rude manner. I think, however, there should be a law that presidents can’t call out members of the gallery to highlight specific atrocities to gain emotional points from their base. Granted, most of the people deserve recognition for their individual acts heroism or the misfortunes that befell them. Since Ronald Reagan started the practice, the call outs have gotten out of hand and should be prohibited. It’s about the State of the Union, not the misfortunes of others.

Because of Trump’s stagnant speaking style and  lack of glamorous presence, the speech was a wash, which is fine with me because there are hugher issues out there that need discussing.  A headline I saw earlier today stated something like What’s Going on in Virginia? Beneath the headline were three images: Governor Ralph Northam,  Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring. Fairfax is accused of sexual assault stemming back to a 2004 encounter that he calls 100 % consensual. His partner, however, didn’t see it that way. Fairfax doesn’t concern me at this point. He will have to deal with the accusation and justice will prevail. The Governor and the Attorney General, however, are another matter.

In the past I wrote about growing up in East Texas in the 1950’s and 1960’s before and during the Civil Rights movement. In our part of the Texas, blacks and whites didn’t mingle until late into 1960s when segregation was forced on public schools. I am a little older than Northam, but generally speaking, not that much older in terms of cultural maturation on the subject of race. So, in one sense, I can understand both him and Herring not giving a thought to painting their faces black to go out partying. I certainly don’t condone it, but at the time, black face simply wasn’t an issue to white Southerners. This fact does not make the act any less abhorrent.

The question in my case, and the majority of the friends I grew up with, is were we racists? I think the honest answer is yes and no. I never saw any of my friends dressing up in KKK sheets or darkening their faces with shoe polish. Indeed, acts like that would have been seen as stepping over a line, and no one wanted to go there. For the most part, we were products of our culture. One which raised us to be respectful of others and to cause no undue pain on those we came into contact with on a daily basis. Granted, as I said above, ours was an insular existence in which 99 % of the people we came in contact with were as lily white as we were. This represents the “no” part of the equation.

But were we racists? Yes, I am sorry to say we were. Racists in the sense that the predominant influences in our culture were exclusive of other races simply because that is the way the south operated back then. I know that some of my friends were raised by more enlightened parents who had experienced other parts of the country and saw the race issue differently. For those of us who’s families lived in our area of East Texas for generations, we got a lethal dose of racists ideas and attitudes instilled in us from birth until the time we were able to break free and form our own more enlightened ideas about people of color. Some, unfortunately, never did and remained under the thrall of the zeitgeist of the time and region.

I am proud and fortunate that I left home shortly after high school and made friends with several influential people of color who changed my way of looking at race and the differences between people that don’t really exist in reality. As I have said often, race is a cultural phenomenon, not a genetic, religious, or based in law. It is a choice we make consciously every time we look at someone different from us. In East Texas when we were growing up, we literally had no choice.

Granted, the 1960’s and Martin Luther King, Jr. helped ease many of us into a new reality, but honestly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Racism still exists, not just in the South, but across the nation. As long as people choose to separate themselves from others who have a different color of skin from themselves, there will be racism, ageism, and ever other kind of hatred that is based on culture, not reality. I think many people who lived through and emerged on the other side of the Civil Rights Movement chose to be enlightened. That in itself is honorable. Yet, it does not negate our youthful ignorance and the ideas our society foisted on us.

Getting back to Northam and Herring, I guess what I am driving at is that, yes, I can understand how two men from the South could think painting their faces black was not something they should worry about. It was a joke. Nobody would get hurt. Yet, we now know a lot of people can and would get hurt. As a white person, there is no way I can understand the pain, degradation, shame, and anger that a Black person endures throughout their lives simply because of their skin color. Dr. King described it best in Letter from a Birmingham Jail when he wrote;

“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. ” Letter from a Birmingham Jail

If you never read the Letter or have not in a long time, you should. It puts Northam and Herring’s foolish acts in perspective. Should they be forced to resign? Yes, I think so. They were both grown men in a more enlightened time than when we were raised and should have known better. Additionally, they both have courted the Black vote to gain success throughout their political careers and owe a deep debt to their constituents; a debt that the cloud of racism will almost certainly taint making it impossible for them to repay.

It is sad that in the 21 st century we are still battling stigmas that have been around far too long. When will we grow up as a nation and find the clue to overcoming our less charitable natures? This is why Donald Trump has to go. If you are not part of the solution, you are most definitely a part of the problem.