Great Reads As Winter Nears

I have found a tonic for the soul in a raft of good books over the past months as the absurdity from Washington has grown, and the pandemic has only increased. As the fall days grow colder and darkness comes earlier in the late afternoons I offer some books that you might consider. I truly was absorbed in the following books.

Lincoln’s Last Trial takes a reader through a chapter of Abe’s life that has not before been revealed as Dan Abrams and David Fisher so ably do in this volume. An aspect of the book that is refreshing and insightful is court stenographer, Robert Roberts Hitt, who using a gold-nibbed ink pen, transcribed verbatim the trial proceedings. His type of work is illuminated for 21st-century readers.

At the end of the summer of 1859, twenty-two-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln, who had been involved in more than three thousand cases—including more than twenty-five murder trials—during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.

Harper Lee is one of those classic examples of a ‘one-hit writer’. Casey Cep allows further insight into the too-often sad inner world of this gifted person. In addition, to the deeper biography of Lee than most have read before, is a riveting real-life murder mystery set in the world of Lee’s childhood area of Alabama.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and The Last Trial of Harper Lee opens with that Southern style of lazy down-home writing and just enough wit and charm to pull you into the narrative. The murder wraps around and envelops Lee.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members. But he continued to escape justice until he is assassinated—at a funeral of a person he is believed to have helped kill. Lee will spend months in an attempt to write a ‘Truman Capote type novel’ of this entire episode. The book will never be completed. But Esp does write about the ending of the friendship of Lee and Capote—they were childhood friends.

It is an exceptional book!

For fast, well-plotted, and smart writing David Ignatius takes readers on a CIA-pumped journey in The Paladin. Timely, relevant as well as darn fun to read!

CIA operations officer Michael Dunne is tasked with infiltrating an Italian news organization that smells like a front for an enemy intelligence service. Headed by an American journalist, the self-styled bandits run a cyber operation unlike anything the CIA has seen before. Fast, slick, and indiscriminate, the group steals secrets from everywhere and anyone, and exploits them in ways the CIA can neither understand nor stop.

Dunne knows it’s illegal to run a covert op on an American citizen or journalist, but he has never refused an assignment and his boss has assured his protection. Soon after Dunne infiltrates the organization, however, his cover disintegrates. When news of the operation breaks and someone leaks that Dunne had an extramarital affair while on the job, the CIA leaves him to take the fall. Now a year later, fresh out of jail, Dunne sets out to hunt down and take vengeance on the people who destroyed his life.

So many books to enjoy and with winter soon to knock on our doors there is more reason than ever to escape between the pages of your favorite authors.

28 Years Ago Tonight, Halloween, Presidential Whistle-Stop Campaign In Stevens Point

It was a Saturday, Halloween, and the last weekend of a presidential campaign. But not 2020, but rather 1992.

October 31, 1992, was a cold and blustery day across Wisconsin.  Light snow flurries swirled through the air as many thousands stood for hours at the old train depot in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.   The presidential campaign that year was winding down, and even though President Bush was campaigning with David McCullough’s latest book Truman in his hand while reminding voters that he too could win the election as Harry did in 1948, the polls were all indicating the opposite.  In later news accounts and books, all would discover that it was that frigid day in Wisconsin when President Bush was told of his fate by his internal pollsters. In spite of that, there were still campaign stops to be made, as Bush was traveling Wisconsin by train while working over-time at trying to making his Truman moment come true. 

A Republican friend of mine at the Capitol had secured tickets for my mom and dad along with most of my immediate family, including nieces and nephews who wished to attend what turned out to be the most incredible campaign rally I have ever witnessed.  We had arrived very early which allowed us to stand in the very front near the podium allowing the young ones in my family to have a moment they will never forget.  I have been lucky to be up front at many of these election moments over the years, but nothing compares to the sights and sounds of President H. W. Bush arriving on the train to greet the people.  Being a lover of history this was a moment that made time seem to move backward as the loud engine and sharp whistle brought a President to that little depot.  I had at times wondered if my folks thought my involvement in politics was worth the time and energy which I had put into it.  But that day as I watched their  faces I had my answer.  This had impressed them!  

At about 5:00 P.M. off in the distance, the lonesome sound of the train was heard and the crowd exploded with cheers.  As the big locomotive brought the long line of train cars into the depot the President and his family were waving and ready to embrace the folks who were friendly in spite of the national mood.  The crowd was highly partisan, as it should be, for such an occasion.  I was mesmerized by the historical and grand moment that this old-fashioned campaign rally had generated.  Nothing will ever surpass that event.

While my nephew Troy and I had actually shaken hands with both President Bush and Barbara in Waukesha that summer at another rally at the rope line up front (where Bush was also talking of winning like Truman) we were not so lucky in Plover.  But it did not matter as we all walked away after that wonderful afternoon to find a small restaurant to eat and un-thaw at for a while.  We had all witnessed something that is left to the history books, and nostalgic memories of those who lived the 1948 campaign and saw trains used in national campaigns.

2020 Presidential Election Predictions From Caffeinated Politics

Given the chaotic and bombastic journey we all have been forced to endure it seems like several lifetimes have passed since January 2017. Finally, however, we are now only hours away from the conclusion of the 2020 presidential election. Soon the counting of the ballots from the voters will commence.

I have never before felt compelled to start my predictions with as frank a statement as I do this cycle. We are well aware that more than just the two names of the major presidential party nominees appear on the ballot. Because Donald Trump showed contempt and reckless disregard for our political institutions and constitutional safeguards means that our democracy itself is at stake in this election. Never before have I needed to add such a dire line to my predictions. That, too, is a sign of the times.

For the past four years we have watched Trump supporters applaud and give license to the most outrageous, unprincipled, immoral, and unconstitutional whims, desires, and transactional fancies of Trump. When religious people did not and would not call out for an immediate cessation of removing children from their parents at the southern border I knew there was no moral center left in those who called themselves conservatives. They had sold their souls to Trump. That was, for me, the point of no return when it came to Trump and his base.

Are the majority of Americans bitter about what Trump has done to this nation, and those from coast to coast who allowed him to undermine our democracy? Absolutely. But we did far more than just get angry. We worked, talked, blogged, encouraged, and then in the last weeks voted. Election Day will be our collective national response to Trump and his supporters.

Every four years since 1980 I have put my predictions down in writing as I have done below. Given the gravity of this traumatic time I will post up front what I view as the outcome of the presidential race.

Joe Biden will be elected President of the United States and Kamala Harris will be elected as Vice-President. Victory comes to the Democratic Party with 306 Electoral College votes. Farmers back where I grew up would report this news as Trump sure got his plow cleaned! Details along with how Democrats retake the United States Senate follow, along with other election predictions. As always thanks for reading, and please, no wagering.

(Please note that Nebraska in map below does not show–due to the program not allowing me the opportunity–to split the 2nd Congressional District apart from the whole. Therefore final Electoral College vote for Joe–and yes, he is the type of guy we can call by his first name– should read 306. We will soon all be calling him Mr. President.)

This year I have listed the 50 states in alphabetical order with each one either being Blue or Red. Biden wins 306 Electoral College Votes, Trump will get 233.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
–Pasco County early in the night will provide roadmap for state. If Trump cannot maintain 2016 percentage this will write the headlines.
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois

Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana

Maine—Without 3rd party interloper on 2020 ballot all Maine is for Biden.
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
The white male voters in McComb County and the Black turnout in Wayne County will reveal much about the state and our national future.
Minnesota

Mississippi
Missouri
Montana

Nebraskaexcept for 2nd CD which will cast Electoral Vote for Biden
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey

New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
–Wake County is an example of where Clinton did well in 2016. Now how much better will Biden perform with suburban women who consider the thought of Trump back in the White House akin to an outhouse breeze?
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas..
Follow Collin County as it will provide clues about what is taking place in Texas… Romney won the county by 32%, while Trump won it by 16% and in 2018 Cruz won senate race there by 6%.
Utah

Vermont
Virginia
Washington

West Virginia
Wisconsin–All eyes on the WOW counties, not the for winner, but the percentage of loss for Trump compared to 2016. Black turnout in Milwaukee County will be very useful information. Eyes also on white males without college degree in Brown County. Biden wins here by 6 points.
Wyoming

United States Senate

Arizona….If you wonder what creates excitement for this prognosticator let me point to this race. A Democratic astronaut who understands the need for gun control is about to undo a Republican xenophobe at the polls. Martha McSally loses yet another statewide election. Meanwhile, Mark Kelly rockets his way to Washington!

Colorado….Democrats pick up up this seat due to yet one more tone-deaf Republican who forgot the people matter more than fealty to Trump. All year Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper has correctly linked the two Republicans, and on Election Day the voters in this state will throw both overboard. Cory Gardner would not champion federal production of needed materials for the pandemic and no one now is going to rush production of lifeboats.

Iowa….Joni Ernst wins.

Maine….One of the long-standing troubling behavioral issues that Republican Susan Collins exhibited was acting like an innocent lamb who had no idea the forest was filled with carnivores. She accepted the craziest promises from the GOP in exchange for her votes and then never received what was promised. Truth is, of course, she knew all along there was nothing to be returned for her conservative votes, but that never stopped her wishy-washy statements to her constituents. On Election Day the voters have a clear unambiguous message for Collins. They will send her back to the potato fields and lift Democratic candidate Sara Gideon up as their new senator.

Michigan…The desire by Republicans to pick off this Democratic Senate seat underscores how desperate the GOP is in making an attempt–any attempt–to show strength someplace–any place this cycle. Gary Peters might have been more vulnerable two years ago, or two years hence. But with the right-wing lunacy of kidnapping a governor and the high unpopularity of Trump means that John James will lose yet another statewide race. A Black man as a Republican candidate in 2020 leaves voters wondering what else he is not wise to when it comes to issues that face the state.

Montana….This was never a real possibility for Democrats but one has to try. Steve Daines prevails.

North Carolina…All summer while following this race I have never thought Republican Thom Tillis would win. He is not popular or found favorable by the voters. While he tried to paint Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham as a cad, and one can agree the texts to a woman other than his wife were most unseemly, we can not forget Tillis supports a three-time married presidential nominee who paid for sex with a porn star. This race will not be won or lost on the field of morality. Cunningham simply wins due to voters liking Tillis even less.

South Carolina…Aunt Lindsey wins. But what an amazing race Jamie Harrison waged, and it shows again Democrats in the South need to be aware of the powerhouse political potential of African-American candidates in statewide races. Meanwhile, Aunt Lindsey needs to find a man and in so doing lose his inside-the-closet rage that he too often unleashes in his politics.

Wisconsin Legislature

The dream of legislative Republicans to further strengthen their political hand with a veto-proof majority in each house crumbled degree-by-degree with the hour-by-hour implosion of their presidential nominee. Slow motion train wrecks are the hardest thing for a political party to endure, while the opposition makes popcorn and settles in to see how many cars careen off the track.

I am not predicting, but all the same would not be surprised, to see the voters of the 8th State Senate District unend the political life of Alberta Darling. College educated women would be the reason for a GOP loss, should it occur. If it should happen means time to eat another Election Night celebrity brownie. (Yes, Election Nights at our home over the decades have traditions!)

In the 10th Senate District I predict a loss for the Democratic incumbent. Patty Schachtner, due to a special election victory not being able to be sustained with a general election turnout.

All in the family will be the outcome in the Green Bay area as Jonathan Hansen wins the 30th State Senate district. His uncle, Dave Hansen, has been a steadfast example of constituent-centered representation and that bodes well for the hand-off to his nephew. The ‘bread-and-butter’ style of running a legislative office is the smartest way to operate, and Dave’s’ good name counts far more than a bucket of Republican money for Eric Wimberger.

In the 32nd Senate District Donald Trump will help Democratic candidate Brad Pfaff. If not for Trump’s disaster in Washington Pfaff would lose as he is just too politically slick (and irksome) for many voters. But in a heavily Democratic election cycle the more down-home type candidate Dan Kapanke will lose. While disagreeing with Kapanke on the issues I would enjoy having dinner with him. Not so much with the other contender.

I predict Robyn Vining in the 14th Assembly District loses her seat. She has energy and intellect but the district is not drawn for a Democrat to win in a general election. Winning the seat in a special election is not a true indicator of the voter makeup of the district.

Statehouses

I add a few thoughts about statehouse chambers as my nerdy readers well understand to be vital as redistricting lines are created following the census. I note here Iowa is in this mix, even though they have a commission process (which has my support) of removing the partisan hands from the task.

I predict Republicans winning Iowa for Trump and Ernst therefore I do not predict the goal of Democrats picking the needed four seats for a takeover of the lower chamber.

I do, however, predict four seats are going to flip to the Democrats in Michigan where they will take over the House. This state has seen the dangers of Trump, lunacy from right-wing fanatics, and this all will aid in the public response via the ballot. The trend lines with polling in Michigan allow my confidence in this prediction.

Ballot Measures

Some of the ballot measures that will be settled this election strikes to the heart of what interests CP.

Alaska–Ranked-choice voting, which lets voters rank the candidates in their order of preference instead of choosing just one is on the ballot. In fact, this measure would also establish a top-four primary, where the top four vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election ballot, regardless of party.  It will pass.

Colorado–A measure to change language in statutes from “every citizen can vote” to “only a citizen can vote.” In this state 17-year-olds can vote in primaries if they will be 18 at the time of the general election. This measure, if passed, would remove that. I predict it loses. We should not in any way discourage soon-to-be adult voters from this civic responsibility.

Massachusetts–Here is yet another state that is primed to accept ranked-choice voting, which lets voters rank the candidates in their order of preference instead of choosing just one and this one is bound to win by a large percentage.

Mississippi–Voters have a chance to put an end to their Confederate flag and vote for a new design—a big magnolia flower. If for some reason they can not abide that there is comfort in knowing these folks can not revert to their racist past as the state legislature is committed to getting rid of the Confederate emblem. Since many voters there use their bed sheets as tablecloths and then night vestments means making a prediction on this measure would be folly. So CP will just watch the votes be counted.

This will be the first presidential election since being an adult and away from home where there will be no election party to attend or one to be given. The pandemic has marred everything in our land.

When working in radio in 1984, and after the station went off the air I headed to a political party in Sturgeon Bay where barbecue sandwiches abounded. I recall Mrs. Mosgaller bringing me a plate of food. Democrats lost to Reagan but the energy of America on such a night rises above the fray.

That election would prove to be one of the more gratifying ones as I was able to broadcast from WDOR as the results were coming in from the nation and around Door County.  With our national feed from ABC News, along with a reporter at the local courthouse, I was able to weave the narrative of the night, throw in tidbits and trivia, and anchor the proceedings from the studio.  I had prepared a binder of all sorts of information on state races and historical oddities that made their way over the airwaves that night.  If one can ever be ‘in their element’ that was certainly the moment for me.

In 2004 James and I started hosting every four years a huge party where people could arrive at any point they wished and encouraged to linger long into the early morning hours. Several always did! We always made food that promoted carbs and high-energy so no one would miss a single state being called.

This year James and I will still be creating in our home the same great culinary delights–lasagna, homemade bread with garlic, chips and dip, seafood with melted butter to bring a touch of Maine to Wisconsin, and of course desserts. And we have our home decked out for Election Night!

So to be safe in this pandemic we will be on the phone with those who share our love of politics. They may not be here in person but are in spirit as we watch the nation…….

.

White Teenage Vigilante Back In Wisconsin–Where Were Kyle Rittenhouse’s Parents When Assault Weapon Used By Troubled Teen?

The killer is coming back to Wisconsin.

Kyle Rittenhouse, the dim-witted terrorist, and Trump-supporting troubled 17-year-old who was arrested for shooting three protesters in Kenosha this summer is back in the state to meet legal justice. Two of his victims died.

An Illinois judge today granted prosecutors’ request to extradite this white thug to Wisconsin where he faces homicide charges. We know he did not legally own the AK-47, a weapon this blog has long advocated to be removed from further sales, when he created carnage in Kenosha. We also have to ask at the top of this post what type of piss-poor parenting allowed this slice of trouble to have an ability to get his hands on such a weapon? The night of the shooting did his mother think we was just going to shoot pool?

Since he was a caucasian and brandishing a military-type weapon he was allowed to wander about for hours in Kenosha in a very tense and troubling atmosphere.  The local police knew he was there but just gave this emotional rollercoaster a pass. We know precisely what would have happened had be been black with the same weapon.

The justice system is one I have faith in and as such know these crimes will be properly dealt with by the courts. But there is a question that society needs an answer to that the courts might not address in their investigations.

How is it that 17-year-old high-school dropout committed a double killing in a different state from which he lived with a military assault weapon he was not legally allowed to carry? Where was his mother? Father?

Conservatives get all lathered about the condition of Black families and teenagers that steal cars and commit crimes. Will conservatives be able to stand up and apply those same admonishments on one of their own who killed two people with an assault weapon?

Meanwhile Kyle Rittenhouse has been rightly charged with 1) 1st-Degree Reckless Homicide, 2) 1st-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, 3) 1st-Degree Intentional Homicide, 4) Attempt 1st-Degree Intentional Homicide, 5) 1st-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, 6) Possession Dangerous Weapon (Misd.)

Friday night more information, thanks to the reporters at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, provided light on the matter of the gun.

The assault-style rifle used in the shooting was purchased by an 18-year-old friend of Rittenhouse, and police found it in the trunk of the friend’s car later that morning. Neither Rittenhouse nor his mother had a permit for a gun in Illinois.

Rittenhouse told Antioch police his 18-year-old friend had the rifle in the trunk of his car. The Journal Sentinel is not identifying the man because he has not been charged with any crime.

Antioch police met the man at Rittenhouse’s apartment and he confirmed the rifle was in the trunk. The man was with Rittenhouse’s two sisters who said they feared for their safety after receiving messages from people about the shooting.

The man told an officer he had been with Rittenhouse in Kenosha. He was armed with a gun on the roof of a business and did not see the shooting.

Rittenhouse called his friend at some point after the shooting.

The man said he disassembled his own gun to put in his backpack, picked up Rittenhouse and then put both rifles in the trunk where police later found them.

In a police interview, the friend said Rittenhouse gave him money to buy the rifle at an Ace Hardware in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, and it was to be used only while hunting up north at the friend’s family’s property. In the meantime, it was stored at the friend’s stepfather’s house in Kenosha. 

Gun trace records confirmed the man had purchased both rifles at stores in Wisconsin.

Stonewall Jackson Statue Coming Down At VMI, Sick Confederate Fetish Must End

Virginia Military Institute’s Board of Visitors has voted to remove the prominent statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. It is a most appropriate action to take. Anyone who cares to defend the continued presence of such statuary must then also defend the Jim Crow era when much of these items were put in place.

Jackson’s location in front of the student barracks has long been a source of great animosity from those who had to walk by, and even salute the memory of someone who wanted to destroy the Union and perpetuate the original sin of our nation.

I am continually amazed at how removed many of the defenders of such statues are from understanding our history. They seemingly failed at showing up to school on the day when lectures occurred showing the two primary periods where the dedication of these racist symbols spiked. That being during the first two decades of the 20th century, when this Jackson statue was erected during the Jim Crow era, and the later erections during the Civil Rights Movement.

I have challenged those who revere Confederate statues to show me the losers from other wars in our nation’s history honored with statuary–and done so half-a-century following the last battle. It is obvious the losers of the Civil War and their racist attitudes that drove Confederates to revolt believe they can still perpetuate a myth of superiority. If anything the placement of Confederate soldiers on the Courthouse Square underscores weakness and an aversion to modernity. Living in a delusional land of Confederate flags until larger national forces demand accountability makes those defenders even more impotent.

Consider the level of absurdity that exists from those who can not accept the fact the Confederates lost. There are 1,747 publicly sponsored symbols honoring Confederate leaders, soldiers, or the Confederate States of America in general. These include monuments and statues; flags; holidays and other observances; and the names of schools, highways, parks, bridges, counties, cities, lakes, dams, roads, military bases, and other public works. Many of these are prominent displays in major cities and at state capitols.

The reason to undercut the argument of those who will not update their thinking since 1865 is because this nation should not expect Black people to salute a slaveholder. We must not allow the facts about the war to get replaced with the absurd narrative that slaves loved to be protected by their owners or that slavery was not the absolute driving force for Southern aggression.

The idea that the war was ‘between the states’ as the Confederate side wishes to term it, and can be ticked off as a sectional fight over slavery or trade or a host of other matters, undercuts a fundamental fact.  Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote roughly 30 years prior to the Fort Sumter episode that the absolute sovereignty of the nation was contained in the people of the Union.  That is a powerful concept and one which needs to be understood in its entirety.  He argued that even as far back as the Declaration of Independence the document underscored “implicitly the act of the whole people of the united colonies.”

In other words, this nation was always a nation-state and never just a contractual agreement between an alliance of sovereign states–or even colonies.  It is important to understand that sovereignty lies in the nation rather than the individual states.    That is why it can be easily argued the people as a whole had the right to secede from Britain and also had the right–and I think duty–to cripple and destroy the attempt by Southerners who wished to secede.  The fact that, as an example, the Daughters of the Confederacy would try to spin away from a constitutional foundation by questioning which majority had the right to authorize secession–a majority in each state or a national majority–cuts to the core of what their real mission is.

In his first inaugural President Lincoln, himself argued this point and took his listeners–and the rest of us over time–back to the solid claim that the Union is and always will be perpetual.  I will let Lincoln’s words carry the argument.

“Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of states in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peacefully unmade, by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it–break it, so so speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?”

What the Confederacy attempted with succession was unconstitutional and some have argued treasonous to the United States.  There are moral, and without doubt, constitutional reasons as to why slavery needed to be fought and eradicated with the war.  While it is true the South fought to retain and even expand slavery and statues to the Confederate leaders underscore that motive, I think a more fundamental argument can be made for removing these monuments.  That is because succession runs counter to how a republic should respond to severe differences among factions. What the South was advocating was not so much a process to alleviate grievances but instead to foment a revolution.

That does not then rise to the level of expecting future generations too, in some way, honor or revere those who worked to undermine the Union.   While our revolution against the Brits allowed for republican ideals to take hold there is nothing noble or inspiring about Confederates who wished to increase their hold on fellow human beings.

As such Confederate statues and other relics of slavery need to be placed in museums where context can be given so future generations can have insight. This sick fetish needs to end.

Wisconsin Residents Urged to “Shelter In Place” As Pandemic Rages

Having grown up in Wisconsin where strong and severe summer storms were not to be scoffed at made the recent words from Governor Tony Evers even more pronounced. He called for state residents to voluntarily “shelter in place” as the number of coronavirus infections climbs to troubling heights. His words struck a tone and feeling that took me back to the days when the dark bluish-greenish clouds were bearing down on the Hancock home of my youth.

Just as folks in my rural upbringing did not stop to ponder if there was a need to take precautions against the advancing wind clouds neither should people now question the severity of COVID or the reasoning about being careful. This week the state reached a new peak of 5,262 cases, record death tolls reported, and hospitalizations now stressing our medical facilities.

This blog was been continuously on the side of science and medically-backed data in the struggle to make it through this pandemic. Like so many in Madison and Dane County who pressed for a more thoughtful way forward, other than the announced plans at UW-Madison, it comes as no pleasure to now learn the Badgers’ game this weekend against the Nebraska Cornhuskers has been canceled. It is reported 12 members of our football program tested positive for coronavirus in the past five days.

As of this morning, six football players and their head coach Paul Chryst have tested positive. All team-related activities are cancelled for this team for the next seven days. Common sense calls for the football program to be shelved for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile our state today reported 3,815 new COVID-19 cases and 45 more deaths. Clearly, more of our citizens need to take this virus far more seriously and adhere to the warnings.

State epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Westergaard stated the gravity of the matter by calling the virus’ trajectory in Wisconsin “a nightmare scenario, frankly, that this could get quite a bit worse in the next several weeks or months before it gets better.”

My perspective on a raft of issues has been shaped by decades of listening to information and basing my actions upon the advice of professionals. I have no way to explain the reluctance of people to accept facts. I can not fathom why anyone would not heed the words of someone steeped in knowledge. Do act so recklessly is absurd.

I know when the clouds shout that danger is near one does not take a tractor out to the ‘back forty’. When a governor says to stay home, that is where I will be found.

I trust my readers are equally as prudent.

My Doty Land Podcast Makes Front Page Of Newspaper

I woke up to see an episode of my Doty Land podcast made the front page of my home-county newspaper. I was not expecting that to happen, and found a genuine smile came faster to my face than a desire to pour the first cup of coffee.

I truly enjoyed the time in production of this episode about the 1918 pandemic in Hancock, my hometown. The warmth I feel about broadcasting is why there is a studio in our home. The fond memories of my radio days in Sturgeon Bay, and the way radio played a most important role in my formative years are still very much alive within me. Being able to turn all that enthusiasm into podcasts and have a platform (Buzzsprout) along with listening apps from Apple, Google, and others have been a truly rewarding experience.

Decades back it all started when as a boy I ‘played radio’ using my father’s pocket watch for timing and a copy of the Stevens Point Journal for my copy…..

Spitting In Face Of Science Will Cost Trump Election

It would take a profoundly creative and skilled author to plot a storyline that could match what is taking place in America in the closing week of the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump is barnstorming key battleground states and holding super-spreader COVID rallies in defiance of coronavirus health recommendations.

The rallies are making some in the Republican Party who attend them turn all giddy. But the voters at home watching the rallies of Air Force One parked while music from the Village People is pumped up loudly–yes, conservatives are grinding their hips in tempo to gay culture this year–are only feeling more disdain towards an administration that continues to mishandle the pandemic. And again show complete disdain for science.

At the same time, Joe Biden grasps not only the medically-backed data and science surrounding the virus, but equally important in political terms the deep concern among the citizens about the increasing cases and deaths. The Democratic nominee is sending a very loud message when he refuses to hold political rallies and participate in spreading the virus. Voters are responding to his mature messaging.

While local leaders in places where Trump holds his rallies are pleading for him to stay the heck away the stock market has also sent this administration a strong message. With more than 40 states seeing stark increases in COVID cases with hospitals filling to troubling capacity Monday’s Dow Jones lost 650 points. Markets like stability but all they see down the road is economic distress as the pandemic rages. Without conservative Republicans able to realize the vital importance of more relief monies to state and local governments the markets will not be satisfied.

Nor will the voters.

The lack of logic from this administration or any regard for science was underscored when it was reported they had not spent $9 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing because of opposition from Scott Atlas, an advisor on the White House coronavirus task force. It needs to be noted Atlas is not an infectious-disease expert but has emerged as an influential and controversial advisor on the task force as he’s promoted ideas in line with Trump’s approach to the pandemic.

In other words, spit in the face of facts and medical professionals while discovering disco music at an airport hanger!

People are shaken by the crisis that has taken over the nation.  They are concerned about the economic impact, and the uncertain path forward over the next year.  They want a leader who can stand before the nation and be honest.  They are not finding that in Trump, who has butchered facts and honesty about every issue that has come before the public in the past four years.  Now when the nation needs to have confidence in a president there is no shred of credibility left in this White House.  Trump might as well walk out naked before the press as he has not one ounce of integrity remaining.

And given what we have seen this fall can anyone absolutely rule that possibility out?

And so it goes.