Don Trump the pussy grabber is President-Elect of the United States. How did this happen, and what do we do now? My friend Charlie Quirk—an Aussie who works as a brand strategist in San Francisco—made a good post this morning dealing with the “How” question. Here’s an except: Trump made concrete claims that are easy […]

We are one week from election day 2016. The American experiment appears to be teetering on a precipice. While this is at once frightening and disturbing, I believe we’re living through a necessary disturbance in the system. Binary systems are breaking down. Industries are being disrupted left and right. Politics is no exception to radical […]

It pains me to admit that Donald Trump, a.k.a. The Don, knows more about the inner workings of today’s monolithic media companies than his opponent. But he does. From experience, he knows that big media favors entertainment over news and sensationalism over facts. Media companies make more money by feeding us hollow celebrity-driven mind-candy than […]

It’s an interesting time in America. We’re facing our demons as a nation right now, and this can make for an unstable and sometimes frightening situation on the ground. For instance, hating people of color and women is now an acceptable form of protest. The Donald has released the masses to take vile language and […]

Several people have asked me who I like for President. My answer has caught both friends and strangers off guard. One possible reason for their surprise is the fact that I have voted for third party candidates like Ralph Nader in the past, and I continue to advocate for reconstruction of the two-party system. Nevertheless, […]

If you’re a clown today, there’s a good chance the media will eat your act for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Trump proves this every day. Now, more angry white men with few facts on their side are stepping forward to follow his boisterous lead. Take the invading circus of clowns from Nevada (and Idaho) presently […]

In business, as in politics, it is wise to build for seismic events. The terror attacks in Paris, for instance, required a flexibile response from The White House that was largely lacking. Conservative columnist, Ron Fournier says, “For all his skills as an orator, Obama is a lousy com­mu­nic­at­or. He doesn’t lead, he lec­tures. He ar­gues […]

President Obama’s speech in Selma, Alabama on Saturday—commemorating the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”—was a major moment in his presidency, and a reminder to all how far we have come as a nation in 50 years. The context and setting of the speech helped to amplify the power of the President’s words, which ring poetic […]

Eminent domain seems unfair and un-American. Particularly, when called upon by a Canadian multi-national oil company to wrestle a rag tag group of ranchers for the last bit of right-of-way for its heinous oil snake pipeline. According to The Guardian, by law, TransCanada can use the courts to force Nebraska landowners to sell access to […]

On Nov. 4, Oregon voters will decide the fate of Measure 92, which would make the state one of the few in the country to require labeling of GMO foods. Opponents of the measure, mainly food manufacturers and chemical companies, have pumped more than $7 million into the No on 92 Coalition effort. If you […]

Rich Saperstein is conversant in Italian and is an avid salt and freshwater fisherman. He’s also Chief Investment Officer at Treasury Partners in New York City and one of the nation’s top financial advisors, according to Baron’s. Here he is speaking in optimistic terms today about the growting strength of the American economy. To repeat, […]

I think every American can agree that wasteful spending by the federal government needs to be corrected. The problem is we can’t seem to agree on the “wasteful” part. As we have seen, people with radical views on the right want to slash and burn any shred of a safety net for our nation’s most […]

When I make time for broadcast news, I am appalled. The product is increasingly unwatchable at a time when the need for insightful and brave analysis is at a premium. I feel like a lot of people are shrugging their shoulders these days, and asking what the hell is wrong, and what can we do […]

Since moving to Oregon in August 2008, I have had the extreme good fortune to spend my birthday celebrations with friends and family, mostly in pursuit of wine and food. This year, Darby and I motored to Seattle early on the 4th. After a morning business meeting and a light lunch on Capitol Hill, we […]

Politically speaking, last week was one for the history books. A black man with a funny name was voted to the highest office in the land for the second time, proving 2008 was no fluke. And the right wing’s chief screw tightener lost his shit during a live “news” broadcast. In case you missed it, […]

Thomas Peterffy, 68, of Greenwhich, CT is the epitome of self-made man, a first generation American and one of the richest men in the world. He’s also a political advertiser. According to Forbes, Peterffy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944 during a Russian bombing raid. He immigrated to the United States in 1965, and […]

It’s political season again and the airwaves are full of polluted words. Presidential campaigning is a travesty, an official lie. And mainstream media is a diversion, at best. It’s enough to drive a person to drink. Thankfully, there are voices crying in the wilderness. Voices like Arun Gupta’s.

Gupta, a journalist and activist, spoke in Seattle, WA on August 23, 2012. The transcript of his talk, plus the audio file are available for purchase from I plopped down my $3 to download the transcript after hearing a portion of Gupta’s talk on KBOO Community Radio, earlier this week.

As a radical independent, I enjoy hearing people eloquently make a case against the corporate, two party Babylon system. Gupta does it well. Let’s listen in…

The Democrats are a firmly right-wing party while the Republicans are a fanatical right-wing party. What we’ve had over the last 30 years or so is the Democrats take the right-wing radicalism and turn it into bipartisan consensus. So the next iteration of the right becomes more and more extreme. We do know, if the right does get into power, if Romney is elected, they will nominate extreme Supreme Court justices, they will viciously attack organized labor beyond what the Obama administration is doing, and they will, of course, viciously attack reproductive rights and access to birth control. So there is an argument to be made, yes, you should just go in the voting booth. But on a whole host of other issues it’s difficult to say who is going to be worse.

Both parties are going to pursue austerity policies on Social Security and Medicare, neither party will address global warming, or, in fact, they will address it—they will make it worse. It’s “Drill, baby, drill.” Those have been Obama’s policies for the last four years. The wars will continue, the Islamophobia will continue, the targeted assassinations will continue, the police and prison industrial complex will continue, the assault on civil liberties, spying on Americans, and on and on and on. We know that it really doesn’t make a difference, because liberals do not provide any sort of oppositional force when the Democrats are in power.

Gupta admits there is “an argument to be made” for voting for the least offensive of the two corporate candidates. It’s an argument I am working over in my head, just in time for our Oregon ballots to arrive via snail mail. I have a history of voting for third party candidates for President, because I prefer to vote my heart. That’s my preference and my right, misguided as it sometimes seems. My problem this fall is I feel as disillusioned with “making a statement” when I vote — which is what voting third party largely is — as I do with voting for a Democrat.
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It’s been 40 years since Nixon’s second successful bid for The White House.

It’s also been 40 years since the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP) sent a group of rubber-gloved thugs to break in to Democratic National Committee headquarters at The Watergate.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, who won The Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for their coverage of the break-in and political conspiracy, have a new piece in the Post that paints Nixon in severely dark tones.

In a tape from the Oval Office on Feb. 22, 1971, Nixon said, “In the short run, it would be so much easier, wouldn’t it, to run this war in a dictatorial way, kill all the reporters and carry on the war.”

“The press is your enemy,” Nixon explained five days later in a meeting with Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to another tape. “Enemies. Understand that? . . . Now, never act that way . . . give them a drink, you know, treat them nice, you just love it, you’re trying to be helpful. But don’t help the bastards. Ever. Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.”

This reflective piece from Woodward and Bernstein comes, for me, on the heels of my first reading of The Boys On The Bus by Rolling Stone reporter Timothy Crouse. His behind-the-scenes look at the media and the coverage provided during the 1972 Presidential campaign is a critical read. While it too is 40 years old, the narrative is far from dated.

Crouse argues that Nixon and his team played the press like a violin during the campaign, feeding them an official story of the day and running them here and there, all the while keeping Nixon almost totally out of sight. The team included H.R. Halderman, Nixon’s White House Cheif of Staff, who worked at J. Walter Thompson in NYC and LA for 20 years before joining the White House team. Halderman also brought Ron Ziegler, Nixon’s White House Press Secretary, with him from JWT.

Not surprisingly, Halderman and Ziegler had a well defined media and brand strategy, and they executed it perfectly. Consider that The Watergate break-in happened on June 17, nearly five months ahead of the election, and it had no impact whatsoever on the election. In fact, Nixon won a majority vote in 49 states, including McGovern’s home state of South Dakota.

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