The Different Drummer

By Carl J. Petersen

Politics, Family, Music and other Musings.

A House Strategy for Retaking the White House

The Blue Wave has crested and left Democrats with control of the House. Can they use this win to dislodge Trump from the White House in 2020?

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Are These California Values?

Meme distributed by David BraytonDavid Brayton promoted violence and hatred against a former president, Muslims, Jews, and the press. Congressman Steve Knight put him in an ad.

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Domestic Terror and Trump's Failure of Leadership

The threat from right-wing extremists like the MAGA Bomber grows while our President looks the other way.

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California Senate Race Exposes Rifts in Democratic Party

Senate Candidate Kevin De LeónAs the Democratic party concentrates on resisting Trump, deep divisions threaten their chances for winning the presidency in 2020.

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Blatant Lies and the People Who Believe Them

Renate Alumnius

- Brett Kavanaugh

Like a child who had gotten caught with his hands in the cookie jar, SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh looked into the eyes of United States Senators and the American people and said he did not do it. However, no amount of tears or righteous indignation will change the fact that placing “Renate Alumnius” on his yearbook page was not an act of “affection”, he was not old enough to legally drink at the time he allegedly tried to rape Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, or that he regularly attended parties like the one described by Ford.

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Sex, Lies, and Hypocrisy: Kavanaugh's Glass House

It is our job to make his pattern of revolting behavior clear -- piece by painful piece

- Brett Kavanaugh

Much like Dr. Christine Ford, Monica Lewinsky’s life was turned upside down by the glare of someone else's spotlight. While Brett Kavanaugh asserted that engaging in sexual relations with Bill Clinton turned “her life into a shambles”, from Lewinsky's point of view it was his boss, Kenneth Starr, “who turned [her] 24-year-old life into a living hell”. As tribal politics raged, it was not the sex acts, but Clinton’s use of her as “a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position” that provided his contribution to her enduring victimization.

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The Boys of Summer

Out on the road today
I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said
‘Don't look back, you can never look back’
"

- Don Henley


When Don Henley released the song “The Boys of Summer” in 1984, I had just begun my senior year in high school and life was exciting. With a long-term girlfriend, I was exploring what it was like to be in a relationship. My unrestricted driver’s license was brand new and I could now make plans without having to rely on my mother for transportation. My band, in which I was the drummer, was taking the first steps towards turning noise into music and my school notebooks were peppered with lyrics for songs that were waiting to be written. While I planned to move on to college, I dreamed of becoming a rock star.

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Losing the Sound-Bite War

Donald Trump is a master of branding. He took a “small loan of a million dollars”, bought some gold spray paint and turned the Trump name into something synonymous with how poor people think rich people live. Sure, you could not afford to live in the Trump Tower where the penthouse has “over over-the-top surroundings that might make Liberace blush” and the “upper-level residential floors are not equipped with fire sprinklers”, but what about some Trump Steaks? They were best when “cooked well-done and smothered in ketchup.” If these “dreadful pieces of meat for a high price” did not kill you and you still had room left on your credit card, you could have looked for a class at Trump University on how to inherit millions from your father and turn it into six bankruptcies.

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WANTED: A Resister-In-Chief

Chicken.JPG

As the temperature heads towards 120° in Los Angeles, I am trying to concentrate on cool thoughts. Having been part of the last generation of paperboys in suburban New York, there are plenty of snowy memories to rely on.

In one of my favorites, I woke up after an overnight snowstorm having to deliver a thick Sunday paper using roads that had still not been plowed. Not wanting to make several trips, I had the brilliant plan of strapping a milk crate to my sled. This worked great for the first half of my route, at which point the sun came out in full force and completely melted the fresh snow. It took me forever to finish my route as I dragged the sled over solid ground.

“Man Plans and God Laughs.”

- Yiddish proverb

 

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Lessons From A Tweet Gone Viral

"Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, as such, growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws permitting such activities."

- Obama’s Justice Department

While the right-wing likes to pretend that Barack Obama was “the most liberal president in America's history”, the fact is that he governed from the corporate center. He may have campaigned on a stimulus package that would have created a $10 billion foreclosure prevention fund and a $60 billion infrastructure bank, but the end result was a package that relied more heavily on $288 billion in tax cuts. In the 2008 campaign, he opposed Clinton’s call to use the Republican idea of mandating the purchase of health insurance coverage, but this was a key part of the Obamacare system that was eventually passed. Candidate Obama expressed concern about “a system that locks away too many young, first-time, non-violent offenders for the better part of their lives”, but President Obama left office with many of those prisoners older and still behind bars.

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