Racine, Wisconsin: Storm clouds approach Webster and Drexel.

June 25, 2024: Storm clouds approach Webster St. and Drexel Ave. in Racine, Wisconsin.

Another Week: Number 79

by | June 30, 2024

On our annual rollercoaster ride, our train has reached the crest of its hill and has slowed there, tipping forward and creaking as we behold the long plunge toward Thanksgiving, then into the tunnel through Christmas and into 2025. The year is half over. The baseball season is half over. Days are getting shorter. We’ll have a quick flurry of fireworks, and then the back-to-school sales begin.

It was stupid of me to think any good could come from watching the Chicago Cubs.

I went for zero walks this week, but I did plant some promising asters and pull some weeds. The hummingbird that sipped from my feeder all day on June 10th has not been seen since June 11th. Nor have any other hummingbirds.

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Biden-Trump debate

The first general election presidential debate — Kennedy vs. Nixon — was held when I was almost three months old. Sixty-four years later, that tradition has deteriorated into utter absurdity.

I joined my sister Karen at my mom’s place Thursday night and we watched in horror as, on one side, Donald Trump spewed his patented firehose of bullshit at full strength: Democrats are aborting babies after they’re born; it was Trump who actually reduced insulin prices; Nancy Pelosi was to blame for the January 6 insurrection.

On the other side, Joe Biden often looked and sounded lost, amplifying fears about his age instead of quieting them, at the most crucial time imaginable.

Suddenly, the viewpoint of the so-called “double haters” pulled into sharp focus: neither of these choices is acceptable. The whole thing looked like the most pathetic game show imaginable, with both old men arguing over who could perform better on a golf course.

Now, to be clear, Joe Biden has had an outstanding first term and a lifetime of accomplishments. He is not the “lesser of two evils” because he is a good and honorable man and Donald Trump is a contemptible liar and convicted criminal who tried to overthrow our government. Biden has been deftly handling many complicated situations as well as any human could — walking tightropes and leading international alliances while driving inflation down more successfully than any country on earth, outwitting OPEC, and presiding over all-time stock market highs, astounding job growth, and reduced crime.

But his age is showing, he’s asking for four more years, and he’s fighting a powerful right-wing propaganda machine.

While Fox News, Newsmax, OAN and others are pure, pro-Republican spin, CNN tries to sit on the fence and grant equal time to “both sides,” no matter how ridiculous. Their debate “moderators,” Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, were more like mannequins. CNN advised in advance that their news organization didn’t consider fact-checking to be their job — and, upon testing it, Trump himself seemed surprised by the absolutely free reign he was given to lie.

The one network that came out of this admirably was the one I watch most, MSNBC. Their post-debate analysis was open and honest. One of the observations that seemed correct to me was when Joy Reid said, “The president is an avatar for the American people, and the American people have a very high opinion of themselves. … Americans want the president to represent them in the world in a certain way that has vigor, that has strength … You can’t become president again when America looks at you and that avatar, to them, looks broken.”

The next day, Rep. Jim Clyburn declared himself “a Biden-Harris person,” saying he would support both of them — or either.

Me too.



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