Mark Should Be Emperor of the World…

I have long felt and often said that the single most damaging event in American history was the destruction of the independent media.  I’ve occasionally made calls to restore independent media using various ideas and when I do, of course, other people have other ideas.  One of the bits of “push back” I get comes in the form of pointing out how many options exist for the people out there – so clearly, there’s no reason for a Fairness Doctrine or equal time rules.  There are just so many news outlets out there, the story goes, that if you don’t like one, you can always find another.  I’d like to think about that for a few minutes…

Let’s say I decide I should be Emperor of the World.  I write as much on my blog; ‘Mark should be Emperor of the World.’  Well, okay, that’s an opinion.  One voice on one blog.  One can do with that as one will.  But I really want to be Emperor of the World…so I start a second site.  This new site also takes the position that Mark should be Emperor of the World.  It doesn’t use the same language, necessarily, but it DOES express the basic sentiment.  Two sites aren’t going to give me much more impact than my one site so, before long, all five of my websites are expressing the opinion that Mark should be Emperor of the World.

As it happens, I’ve got some resources I can draw upon so I enlist a bit of help.  Now I’ve got ten sites, all hammering the idea that Mark should be Emperor of the World.  People start asking questions, the most salient of which is, “Who the heck is this Mark guy?”  Turns out, I’m pretty clever.  I realize that as people start asking about me, many may not like the idea that I should be Emperor of the World.  (They’re wrong.)  I add a few more sites.  THESE sites clearly don’t like me.  They take a “hard look” at the question of who, exactly, should be Emperor of the World.  Surprisingly, none of these sites questions the basic notion that we should have a single person functioning as Emperor of the World.  That part is a “given.”  Perhaps not surprisingly, they each arrive – reluctantly, of course – at the conclusion that, Wow, Mark really SHOULD be Emperor of the World…

I don’t mean to suggest all of this happens between breakfast and lunch.  It takes awhile.  But with enough resources and enough patience, eventually you can read any of my five hundred blogs (for me or against me), tune into any of my television or radio stations, pick up any of my newspapers and always receive the same basic message: Mark should be Emperor of the World.  Either with wholehearted endorsement or “reluctant conclusion” my entire network of two thousand outlets will simply continue to repeat the idea that Mark should be Emperor of the World.

BUT they’re all me…or controlled by me.  If someone on the staff of one of my outlets writes a piece describing how I should NOT be Emperor of the World, we just don’t publish that work.  After awhile, because that writer “never got published,” we let him go.  The other writers get the message.  Pretty soon, it’s all ‘Mark should be Emperor of the World’ all the time.

So…you can see the problem.  The key is not the number of outlets, it’s the number of owners.  You give one guy – me, in this case – far enough reach into the media and, with enough repetition, he can convince you of just about anything – Mark should be Emperor of the World.  Thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, these days, most of the media you see in this once-great nation is owned, operated, and/or controlled by five companies.  Five.  THAT is what the destruction of independent media looks like…and it was no accident.

But I’ll tell you this: YOU, my lucky readers, are in on the ground floor.  Today, it’s only one voice on one blog proclaiming that Mark should be Emperor of the World.  But give me enough time and enough resources and you just watch what I can do…

A Casual Encounter…

I was chatting up a pretty, young woman the other day.  No, not like that.  She was the checker at the grocery store line I happened to be standing in on the morning of Christmas Eve day.  I noticed that particular check-stand got closed behind me and by way of making small talk, I asked if she was done for the day.  She told me she was but she was coming back for a second shift later that afternoon.  I don’t know, maybe she perceived my ambivalence over her having to work on Christmas Eve.  She volunteered that she didn’t mind because she gets paid really well to work on holidays.  Her comment struck me in a couple of different ways at the same time.

In an instant, I wondered if she knew that she gets paid really well to work on holidays because of the efforts of unions – and I wondered if she knows how conservatives have fought (and still fight) each and every worker protection and benefit that comes down the line.  And always, it’s the same ole story: “Sorry, no can do.  “Giving” the workers that (safety, fair wage, time off, whatever) will simply destroy our business…and, probably commerce altogether.”  Conservatives are always wrong on that particular point but that never stops them from floating it every chance they get…

Nearly simultaneously, though, I was struck by the reality that this person could be so excited about working on Christmas Eve – because she could make some really good money.  To my mind, a comment like that could easily be a symptom of the wage gap here in America.  I mean, if she’s making enough money to live her life on a day in and day out basis, maybe she’s less interested in working on Christmas Eve – even for really good money.

I know, maybe not.  Before you feel obligated to point it out, allow me to acknowledge my awareness that there are a thousand ways a thing might be.  I admire an idea I picked up from – of all places – the HBO show called ‘Deadwood’.  One of the characters said, “There are so many ways a thing could be there’s no sense in deciding which one it was.”  I mention it, here, to make clear that I’m not claiming to know her actual or total motivation but SHE mentioned the money, that’s why I followed it as her reasoning…

It’s just…kind of a peak into what life is becoming in the United States today – happy to work Christmas Eve because one needs the money.  Apparently, there are plenty of people out there who think it’s just awesome.  I’ll tell you this:  I’m not one of them…

Wait, I’ve Seen This Before…

As the GOP hurtles toward passage of their tax assault on the American people, I just want to take a minute to say how it will work out.  I want to do it now so it looks like a prediction.  It isn’t a prediction, though.  It’s more like a history lesson.

The GOP is going to pass this nasty thing.  They want a “win” and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process.  (In fact, it often appears as though the GOP gets happier as more people suffer…)  My guess is that they don’t know what’s in it.  I presume, based on past behavior, much of this bill has been written by corporations and other vested interests.  Mostly, it’s a gift to the richest people and corporations according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.  Still, it’s got some short-term goodies for the masses so, initially, people won’t notice the damage.  But it won’t take long.

The goodies for the masses all expire over time.  The goodies for the one percent do not.  There will be no “trickle down.”  There will be few, if any, wage increases.  The economy will begin to falter, perhaps crash.  (Whether or not it crashes depends on how quickly they move to phase 2.)  Phase 2 is an increase in taxes and fees on the middle and lower classes, along with cuts to programs intended to help middle and lower class families.

That’s it.  That’s the entire prediction.  More money in the pockets of those whose pockets are already brimming with money, more suffering for everyone else.  Why do I think so?  Well, because that’s what has happened every time the GOP has pulled this trick on America!  Listen, anybody can be conned.  Con men are good at what they do and anybody can fall prey to the stories.  But, really…

How many times are people going to buy the same bridge from the same conman even though the judge keeps pointing out the bridge wasn’t the conman’s to sell in the first place?  At some point, it’s just embarrassing…

I take SOME comfort in the idea that I haven’t seen too many rank-and-file conservatives out there trying to support this…plan.  The posts I HAVE seen seem…halfhearted…as though even conservatives have begun to figure out that this is not a battle between left and right.  This is the one percent against everyone else.  The one percent has decided they’re simply going to take it all.  The question is, are we, the people, going to let them?

I’ll tell you this: left or right, if you aren’t actually and already in the one percent, you’d better pick up a phone, call your Congress Critter, and urge a no vote on this thing.  Sure, they’re going to do whatever they want, anyway.  But at least they’ll understand why they’re seeing all the torches and pitchforks…

One Way A Thing Could Be…

I hear a lot of talk, these days, about impeachment.  From the left, the conversation is “What are they waiting for?”  On the right, the conversations is, “Move along.  Nothing to see, here”.  (Okay, actually on the right the conversation is, “What about Hillary?”  Tell you what, we’ll investigate her Presidential crimes just as soon as she’s the President committing crimes…)  In truth, the Democrats may not be “waiting” at all.  These things take time.  One of a lawyer’s prime jobs is to delay.  One never knows how a thing may play out over time so the more time one can stuff into the process, the better.  But the natural process of legal proceedings could well work to the advantage of the Democrats (and, of course, the country as a whole…) for two reasons.  One, the order of succession and two, the rules regarding terms of office.

Do you know the order of succession?  If the President can’t serve, in comes the Vice-President.  If both the President and Vice-President are unable to serve, here comes the Speaker of the House.  Trump, Pence, Ryan – in short, there’s no escape…at least for now.  Besides, with conservative control of Congress, there’s not going to be an impeachment, anyway.  Period.  Sure, it’s a flagrant disregard of the Rule of Law but Trump said, flatly, he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and it wouldn’t affect his base.  He’s right, too.

One possible assessment (presumption? guess? hope? dream?) is that the Democrats intend to take advantage of the glacial movement of legal proceedings, hoping to benefit from the 2018 “elections.”  IF they can recapture Congress – or even one chamber – the madness stops – or, at least, slows.  IF they can recapture Congress, impeachment might proceed.  And, just for fun, IF the Democrats can recapture the House, impeachment proceedings might be possible against both Trump and Pence…and the new Speaker would be a Democrat!  That last possibility, there, is mostly wishful thinking.  It’s true, Mueller and I aren’t talking but I haven’t seen anything against Pence so far.  (That doesn’t mean much, either.  I’d never even heard of Popadopoulos until his plea deal was announced…)

Here’s the other piece: if the President is ousted for any reason, the amount of time remaining on his current term defines whether the incoming replacement can run for one more term or two.  If the replacement serves more than half of the ousted President’s term, the replacement is considered to have served one term.  If the replacement serves less than half, they can run twice.  That means one President could serve as many as 10 years…

So, to recap: the order of operations for Democrats is; win back the House, seat a new Speaker, THEN impeach the national embarrassment.  It’s that first one, though, “win back the House”, that’s going to be the hardest.  You see, whether Gerrymandering, voter suppression, or outright manipulation – conservatives cheat.  They cheat bigly.  If an “election” is close, conservatives “win” (search “Goo Goo Syndrome”) because conservatives have a finger on the scale.  These days, it’s more like they’re actually standing on the scale…

They have to, really.  You see, those who dwell inside the conservative bubble think they “win” because their positions are the most popular but as it happens there are far more thinking people than conservatives.  The thing is, lefties don’t enjoy the group-think and obedience of the right.  “Herding cats” is the phrase people commonly use.  Lefties commonly don’t turn out, particularly for mid-terms.  But the fact is, when liberals DO turn out, we win.  We CAN overwhelm the right with sheer numbers but we HAVE to overwhelm the right with sheer numbers.

I’ll tell you this: we’d better.  This whole thing is going to come down to 2018.  Conservatives just think it’s about “their team.”  Everyone else – by now – knows it’s about saving what’s left of this once-great nation…

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Apparently, I haven’t settle on “a day” when I’ll be posting, yet.  It would be BEST if you’d just come over to http://www.MyBaconPress.com and follow the blog.  (There’s a little button in the bottom right corner.  You’ll be asked for an email address, then the next awesome – or awful, depending – piece will be delivered right to your inbox.  How convenient is that?)

Franken vs Moore…

Look, I get it.  I do.  I’m supposed to believe the women no matter what and, mostly, I do.  But as it happens, my faith is not universal.  I have in the back of my mind a single fact which must not be ignored: conservatives will say anything – anything – to “win” an argument.  They’re not hampered by facts, honesty, nor reality.  Their positions change as quickly and easily as the wind shifts.

When the first woman said Al Franken touched her butt at a fair, he didn’t want to disrespect her.  He didn’t flatly deny it.  He simply said he didn’t remember the event the way she did.  He didn’t call her a liar – he COULDN’T in this current environment.  But it opened a door and when it became clear that “he touched my butt while taking a photo at the fair” was recognized as a “legitimate” line of attack, I knew Franken was in trouble.  Not necessarily because he touched any butts at any fairs but because Senator Franken (D) is a major nemesis to conservatives and – as I’ve already indicated – conservatives will say anything to “win.”

All they needed was a few women to “come forward” and complain.  Franken was kind of “low hanging fruit” as the saying goes.  He’s a guy whose been to countless fairs and taken countless photos with countless fans.  There’s no way he could dispute every single accusation some loyal conservative might be willing to sling – yet never have to prove…

Franken, of course, is the “offset” for GOP-supported pedophile Roy Moore (R, of course).  As a sidebar, I have a question.  Moore insists he had “permission” from the mothers of the children he…”dated.”  Moore was the District Attorney.  What, I wonder, what the legal status of the mothers in question?  Were they facing charges that could be reduced if Moore could be allowed to spend a little private time with a daughter?  I don’t know.  I have no information suggesting any quid pro quo but the question has crossed my mind…

The worst part about the entire Franken issue is that it could undermine other claims made by other women.  Of course, for the GOP, that’s an actual benefit.  It might even be the goal.  If Franken’s accusers are lying, couldn’t Moore’s accusers be lying, too?  (They could be…)

For the record, I’m going to continue to believe the vast majority of these claims.  My feeling is that most of the assaults that have been revealed are more about power plays than anything else.  Yes, the exercise of said “power” was in whipping out one’s junk or touching something that shouldn’t be touched (or both!)  But Franken wasn’t exercising any power when he was taking a photo with a fan and, frankly, a hand-full of butt for a couple of seconds just isn’t enough of a thrill to risk everything on.  But it IS an easy story to tell…

…and conservatives will say anything to “win”…

 

Free Advice To The DNC…

Look, mostly, I just want the Dem Wars to end.  I’m saying that because this piece might come across as facetious and I don’t mean it that way.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the DNC might have handled things differently – in a way intended to prevent the problems the left experienced during the primaries.  I figured it out, too.  As it happens, the solution is simple, though I can see how it might have seemed less simple at the time.  Here it is:  Dear DNC, the next time you pre-sale the nomination, say so clearly and publicly…and cancel the primaries.

I know that last bit is likely to evoke howls of protest from party members insisting stubbornly – and often rudely – that there has never been a more fair process in the history of fair processes.  I get it.  Frankly, I’m going to put less stock in the scripts of the Democratic talking heads like Maddow and Hayes or the speculations of the rank and file and MORE stock into the statements of the acting head of the DNC, Donna Brazile so…save it.  I’m going with the notion that Brazile knows more about the inner workings of the DNC than you (or I) know…

The first question that comes to mind when I suggest making an announcement and canceling the primaries is, “Do you know how mad people would be if they just announced the candidate?”  I got stuck on that one for awhile.  But it turns out, the answer is, “Did you notice how angry people were – and still are – after the way it actually played out?”

Look, I can see how it happens.  They sell the nomination.  (Apparently, all legal, I’m told.)  They let the old man with the crazy hair run for appearances.  As soon as people hear about his crazy ideas, the pre-sold candidate seems the obvious choice.  The DNC gets the cash infusion it needs and the preferred candidate ends up on the dais and the rank-and-file are none the wiser.  On paper, it seems simple enough.  But this falls under the category of “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive…”

See, the DNC severely misread the mood of the people.  Most people on both sides of the political divide are unhappy about the direction this country is taking and the “more of the same”, “incremental baby steps” candidate was NOT bringing the message most Americans wanted to hear.  The real problem was that the crazy socialist caught on.  NOW things had to be…adjusted.  The rest, as they say, is history…

So, what if the DNC HAD just announced the candidate?  Obviously, they wouldn’t say the part about the pre-sale.  ‘Poor optics’, it’s called.  (That means it doesn’t look good…)  They’d say, instead, the candidate was swept into the role on a tide of public opinion.  Sure, people would have been angry.  But they would have been angry an entire year earlier.  They would have had an entire year to “get over” the insult of having their “choice” taken away.  The DNC wouldn’t have had to make the “adjustments” that cost them so dearly in their reputation.  They would have avoided the potential legal troubles of fraudulently collecting money for a candidate they had no intention of running.

Most importantly, there would not have been a more appealing candidate for the disenfranchised voters to rally around.  I think it likely that even people who were angry the “choice” had been made for them would have, eventually, come around to the pre-paid nominee.  So, you see?  It actually makes more sense.

The truth is, I don’t even know if they WILL pre-sale any more nominations but knowing corporations the way I do, I’d bet they will, if I had to bet.  So, I hope they’ll at least consider my proposal should another pre-sale occur.  Make an announcement, cancel the primaries.  In the long run, honesty might have made all the difference…