Doc SportelloDoc Sportello's Journal
I also won't be talking to Vice-President Harris or telling everyone how important I am.
Once, when the teacher had gone inside, I was dragged off to a mock court behind a large tree where the child bullies charged me with being too short to be in school and threatened to punish me by whacking me over the head with a baseball bat. A kind third-grade boy came over to defend me, saying, This is unfair! and commanding them to release me in so loud a voice that they did.
For the next few years, I became adept at finding older boys whod protect me from bullies. When visiting my maternal grandmother at her cabin in the Adirondack Mountains, I met Mickey. He was a kind and gentle teenager with a ready smile who made sure I stayed safe from the local bullies.
I dont recall asking Mickey to protect me. He wasnt the kind of hulking kid I usually chose as protector. He was on the short side and thin. And I dont remember Mickey putting up any kind of fight to defend me or even quieting the kids who made fun of me. But I do remember Mickeys warmth and reassuring presence. His calm good nature seemed to automatically cast a positive spell over kids whod otherwise turn to bullying.
It wasnt until September of 1964, my freshman year in college, that I heard what had happened to him.
From Robert Reich (with a chart showing that 97% of corporate assets are controlled by the top 1% of corporations):
The social costs of corporate concentration are growing.
The typical American household is paying more than $5,000 a year because corporations can raise their prices without fear that competitors will draw away consumers.
Such corporate market power has also been a major force driving inflation.
Huge corporations also suppress wages, because workers have fewer employers from whom to get better jobs.
And corporate giants are also fueling massive flows of big money into politics (one of the major advantages of large size).
Includes many examples from past "dire warning" polls and hot takes that proved in the end to be totally wrong.
I'm reminded of Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, who wrote in September of 1995, "There is little unity among Democrats or on the center-left on the desirability of reelecting President Clinton." He was right. At the time there were pitched battles going on among the centrists and the progressives which made the prospect of solidarity in the party a distant dream. The huge Republican win in the midterm election of 1994 as well as the non-stop scandal-mongering and investigations by the congressional Republicans had Democrats everywhere wondering how Clinton could possibly win re-election. The only thing that seemed to unite the party at the time was a mutual loathing of Newt Gingrich. 14 months later, Clinton won a decisive victory.
Similarly, at the same point in the 2012 election, there were rumblings from certain quarters that it might be wise to run a primary challenge against President Barack Obama after his approval numbers fell to the 30s in some polls. It had been a very rough three years trying to recover from the financial crisis, not to mention the rise of the Tea Party and a political massacre in the 2010 midterms. The New York Times reported in September of 2011, "Democrats Fret Aloud Over Obama's Chances": In a campaign cycle in which Democrats had entertained hopes of reversing losses from last year's midterm elections, some in the party fear that Mr. Obama's troubles could reverberate down the ballot into Congressional, state and local races. "In my district, the enthusiasm for him has mostly evaporated," said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon. "There is tremendous discontent with his direction."
The media was full of stories of unhappy centrists, moderates and progressives alike, all of whom were sure that Obama was in trouble. 14 months later, Obama beat Mitt Romney in a romp.
Just two years ago there were endless stories about Democratic hand-wringing in advance of the 2022 midterms, mostly due to the off-year win by Glenn Youngkin in the Virginia gubernatorial race that supposedly portended a red wave like no other. In December of 2021, Thomas Edsall of the New York Times wrote a story headlined, "Democrats Shouldn't Panic. They Should Go Into Shock."
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