Showing posts with label Kamala Harris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kamala Harris. Show all posts

Friday, July 5, 2024

Kamala Harris is the real-world Furiosa after Immortan Joe's bad night

 Let me begin by admitting that I had a bad night. I had a cold that I might have taken Nyquil for, and I was suffering from prolonged jet lag from a trip to Florida a couple of years ago when I crossed into the Eastern Time Zone.

I have always enjoyed dystopian stories, so I settled into my Lazy Boy recliner and rented Furiosa to watch on my home TV. It only cost $25.

Furiosa is two and one-half hours long, but it seemed interminable. I got confused and lost the plot line. The movie is a story about a bewildering cast of people obsessed with the lust for power and a thirst for revenge. There was an old white guy named Immortan Joe, who appeared to be hooked up to an oxygen machine, and a young woman named Furiosa, who seemed to be attracted to chaos and never said anything coherent.  Furiosa may or may not have been a woman of color. Furiosa spent the whole movie plotting to kill Dr. Dementus, a strangely sentimental psychopath.  (Back story: Dr. Dementus received his doctorate from Delaware State University.)

When the movie ended, I switched on to CNN, which was breathlessly reporting that Joe Biden, an old white guy on oxygen, was being pushed out of the presidential race. Kamala Harris, CNN averred, remained fiercely loyal to Biden but was waiting in the wings to replace him to fight the epic election battle against Donald Trump, our present-day Dr. Dementus.

I'm embarrassed to confess that I got Furiosa and the CNN news coverage mixed up (head cold, jet lag, etc.). 

Then I realized that the CNN news coverage was really the trailer for the sequel to Furiosa. Kamala Harris is cast in the title role. Joe Biden will play the part of Immortan Joe. and Donald Trump signed on for the role of Dementus.

Furiosa has a host of minor players who will reappear in Furiosa II. Pete Buttigieg is cast as Bommyknocker Warboy, and Alejandro Mayorkas will play Pissboy and is already rehearsing.


Immortan Joe had a bad night.





Monday, June 17, 2024

Pax Americana will die in the wheatfields of Ukraine: The American Century is over

 About 100 nations attended a peace summit on the Ukraine war last week, held at a 5-star resort in Switzerland. Ukraine wasn't invited, and several invitees—including China—did not attend. Most attending nations signed a communique on the Ukraine conflict, but some important countries did not: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and India. 

Hmmm. The BRIC nations, which are working to undermine the status of the dollar, were all nonsigners. What do you suppose that means?

The United States--far more interested in cramming a Gaza ceasefire down Israel's throat than peace in Ukraine--sent VP Kamala Harris as its official representative, and she only attended briefly. Meanwhile, President Biden spent time with George Clooney and Julia Roberts out in Califonia, raising money for his reelection campaign.

None of these world leaders proposed a plausible plan to end the Ukraine war. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it won't be time to discuss a peace plan until Ukraine's military position is more robust.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "saneceasefire proposal that would require the West to renounce Ukraine's membership in NATO and cede the Donbas and Crimea to Russia. Ukraine dismissed Putin's offer as a nonstarter.

The Ukraine war has only three possible outcomes: First, Russia will win the conflict and absorb the Donbas into the Russian Federation. It already has a firm hold on most of the territory it demands.

Second, the United States, ever more desperate to defeat the Russkies, will escalate the conflict, eventually pushing Putin to use tactical nuclear weapons, which he has repeatedly threatened to do.

Third, the Ukraine war will simply drag on for several more years until Ukraine is a wasteland and Uncle Sam is dead broke.

The third possibility is most likely. If the Ukraine war drags on for a few more years, the U.S. will no longer be a world power. In other words, Pax Americana is in its twilight years and will end as the BRICs accede to world dominance.

Personally, I think the collapse of America's status as the world's leader is a high price to pay for fucking with the Russians in the wheatfields of Ukraine.







Sunday, March 26, 2023

Froma Harrop Has Spoken: The Democrats Will Show Kamala Harris the Exit Door

 Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop is a faithful spear carrier for the Democratic Party. It was Harrop who publicly suggested that Bernie Sanders was a racist ("racist lite")when he was battling Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party's presidential primaries in 2016.  Harrop's views seldom depart from those of the Democratic Party's insiders.

Thus, I was startled to read Harrop's scathing criticism of Vice President Kamala Harris in a recent op-ed essay. Harris, Harrop wrote, has a "record of problematic conduct" and gaffes "and doesn't understand that California swagger married to identity politics is not universally loved by American voters."

Harrop professes to be mystified by Biden's choice of Harris as vice president. "Why Biden made her his running mate floors me to this day." 

Harrop even goes so far as to challenge Harris's status as a member of an oppressed minority. "Harris'[s] mother was a medical researcher from India and her father a Jamaica-born professor of economics at Stanford," Harrop observed. "She was hardly a disadvantaged victim of Jim Crow." Ouch!

In my mind, Froma Harrop's flaming denunciation of Kamala Harris is a clear signal that the Democrats are dumping Harris before the 2024 presidential race. I certainly hope so.

Perhaps President Biden could find a quiet post for Kamala to get her off the national stage. She'd make a great U.S. Ambassador to Chad.









Monday, September 16, 2019

Higher education leaders oppose Democrats' proposal for free college: Why?

College tuition has risen faster than the rate of inflation for the past quarter-century. While wages have remained stagnant, the cost of going to college has shot through the roof. According to Forbes writer Camilo Maldonado, tuition rose 8 times faster than wage growth during the years 1989 to 2016. Eight times faster!

Why? The colleges say they are forced to raise tuition rates because the states are providing less support for higher education. But this lame explanation--repeated ad nauseam--is mostly bullshit. The colleges don't mention the explosion in administrative positions-the profusion of assistant vice presidents, executive associate deans, etc. It is not uncommon for senior administrators at public and private universities to draw salaries that exceed a quarter-million dollars a year.

In any event, everyone agrees that rising tuition costs have forced millions of American students to take out student loans, which now total $1.6 trillion. Something must be done to alleviate the distress.

Several Democratic candidates for the presidency have proposed making college education free at all public colleges and universities. You would think the higher education community would love that idea. But it doesn't. Vassar president Catharine Hill criticized Bernie Sanders's free-college idea when he ran for president in 2016. Her lame-brained solution was to expand long-term income-based repayment plans. And that's basically what we've done--creating repayment plans deliberately structured so that students can never pay off their college loans.

Now we are in the early stages of the 2020 presidential election season, and more Democratic hopefuls have joined Bernie in proposing a free college education for everyone. Senators  Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand (who recently dropped out of the presidential race) have all endorsed a free-college proposal.

But the higher education community still opposes the idea. Just a few days ago, Brian Rosenberg, president of Macalester College, published an op-ed essay in Chronicle of Higher Education, in which he cited a couple of liberal tropes to justify his opposition to free college.

A free college education would hurt low-income students, Rosenberg argues, because they would be "squeezed out" in the application process that would become more competitive if tuition were free. And he also contends that free college would exacerbate the nation's already low graduation rate.

Huh? How could free college be bad for low-income students? How could it make graduation rates go down?

Mr. Rosenberg is the president of Macalester College, a very good liberal-arts school in Minnesota, but he does not mention that free college at public institutions would severely disadvantage the private colleges. Who would pay $54,000 a year in tuition and fees to attend Macalester College if they could enroll at the University of Minnesota tuition-free?

 I'm sure Mr. Rosenberg's arguments against free college are sincere and his commitment to private liberal-arts education is genuine. But a great many university presidents and higher-education policy wonks simply don't care about the student-loan crisis, which has motivated political leaders to propose a free college education.  They want to preserve the status quo in higher education, with the federal government spewing more than a $100 billion a year to support the present system.

How many elite-college presidents have come out in favor of a free college education? I don't think any of them have. Unlike Mr. Rosenberg, most college leaders are keeping silent about their qualms, but rest assured they will fight tooth and nail if a Democrat is elected President and tries to get a free-college plan through Congress.

Meanwhile, I don't think any of these arrogant college presidents have lifted a finger to ease the student-debt crisis.  The status quo works just fine for them.

Macalester College: $54,000 in tuition and fees
(the bagpipe music is complimentary)



Sunday, February 24, 2019

Congressman John Katko introduces bill to make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. Will presidential candidates endorse the bill?

Last month, John Katko, a Republican congressman from New York, filed H.R. 770, a bill that would make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy like any other consumer debt.

Titled the "Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act," Katko's bill is quite simple. It merely strikes the "undue hardship" clause from Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code.

Congressman Katko filed the same bill two years ago. When he filed the bill in 2017, it had ten co-sponsors, including Maryland Congressman John Delaney. When Katko refiled the bill last month, he only had two co-sponsors.

If H.R. 770 becomes law, millions of Americans who are overwhelmed by student loans will get relief in the bankruptcy courts. They will have an opportunity to start families and buy homes. They will get the fresh start that bankruptcy is intended to provide.

Let's make Katko's bill the litmus test for everyone who is running for president or is thinking about running. Let's ask them one simple question: Do you support Katko's bill or not?

  • President Donald Trump, do you support H.R. 770?
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren, do you support Katko's bill?
  • Senator Kamala Harris, do you support H.R. 770?
  • Senator Bernie Sanders, do you support Katko's bill?
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden, do you support H.R. 770?
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, do you support Katko's bill?
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar, do you support H.R. 770?
  • Michael Bloomberg, do you support Katko's bill?
  • Beto O'Rourke, do you support H.R. 770?
  • John Delaney, former Maryland congressman who co-sponsored Katko's bankruptcy-relief bill in 2017, you are now running for president. Do you support Congressman Katko's bill?
Our federal legislators are fond of holding committee hearings where they bully witnesses by demanding yes-or-no answers to all their hectoring questions.

Well, here is a question to everyone who wants to be president, and we should demand a yes-or-no answer. Unless a presidential candidate can say "Yes, I support H.R. 770 without qualification," that person is nothing more than a windbag who doesn't care about average Americans and does not deserve our vote.

*****

Note: I am grateful to Phil Uhrich for calling this bill to my attention.  Mr. Uhrich wrote a provocative essay on national politics in 2016 that is still timely.

Representative John Katko (R-NY)