Some things are hard to believe

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption package that they’re billing as a successor to post-Watergate reforms — updated for a potential post-Trump Washington.–Kyle Cheney

Some things are hard to believe:

  • A President who repeatedly misrepresents facts is respected by many.
  • A President would pardon close associates
  • Administration officials would secretly correspond with foreign governments
  • An Administration would ignore Congressional subpoenas.
  • The Hatch Act would be flaunted
  • The Emoluments Clause would be moot.
  • A President would disregard intelligence briefings.
  • Inspectors General could be removed on highly questionable grounds
  • The Dept. of Justice could be made subservient to a Presidents political interests.
  • A President would demand personal loyalty from subordinates
  • Administration agencies would adjust their recommendations to a president’s whims.
  • Whistle blowers would be fired.
  • A president would stonewall on releasing tax returns.
  • Confidence in fair elections would be seriously called into question.
  • A defeated presidential candidate might suggest clinging to office.

I am sure there is much more.

Posted in 2020, Political, President | Leave a comment

Facebook policy for representatives

Rep Tom Reed (R-NY-23)

This official page is intended to be a place for residents of the 23rd Congressional District to comment on current issues facing our nation. Comments that attack or are intended to harass an individual, group, or organization are unacceptable and will be promptly removed. Everyone has a right to express his or her opinion without fear of harassment. Individuals who repeatedly engage in such behavior will be reported to Facebook for Terms of Service violations.

As this is an official page, campaign references must be removed to comply with House Ethics rules. Users who repeatedly violate this rule may be blocked from posting on this page.

Please help us keep this a welcome place for everyone. Thank you.

Rep Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5)

The purpose of this page is for Congressman Josh Gottheimer to communicate with the citizens of New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District regarding matters of federal policy and for [his/her] constituents to provide pertinent feedback regarding those communications. We welcome your comments, however, please note that this is a moderated online discussion site and not a public forum. Comments posted to this page will be monitored. Comments that (i) are unrelated to the purpose of this page or are not topically related to the specifics of the posting, (ii) contain fighting words, graphic or gratuitous violence, vulgar language, profanity, nudity, obscene or indecent language or sexual content, or false representations of fact, (iii) promote or incite illegal or fraudulent transactions or activities, (iv) threaten, intimidate, harass, or defame any person or organization, (v) constitute “spam,” such as content that appears to be from internet bots or repetitive, copy-paste statements, (vi) are commercial in nature, such as advertising, promotion, or endorsement of services or products, or solicitation of funds, (vii) contain personally identifiable information about another individual, (viii) misrepresent the commenter’s identity or affiliation, (ix) contain links to any site [that is unrelated to the topic of the original post], and/or (x) constitute campaign-related communications, electioneering, or fundraising efforts will be removed and may result in the inability of the author to comment on future posts.


  • There is a big difference between these two statements.
  • Tom Reed flagrantly disregards his threat to remove offensive material.
  • It isn’t clear if either statement is consistent with House Rules.
  • Josh Gottheimer is known to remove critical comments.
  • All comments, including harsh criticism which is censored, may be valuable to the representative.
  • If criticism is censored, viewers may get a false sense of the representatives popularity.
Posted in Campaigning, Constituents | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Gray Panthers revisited

Susan J. Douglas, writing in The New York Times, reminds us of the Gray Panthers of the 1970s. The leader was Maggie Kuhn.

Infuriated by being forced out of her job at 65 (and even more irked that her parting gift was a sewing machine), and outraged by what gerontologists in the 1970s championed as “disengagement theory” — the notion that it was normal and natural for older people to simply withdraw from society — she took on what was then, and still is, one of the most socially acceptable biases in our country: ageism.

The idea that seniors should disengage from politics after retiring seems totally wrong to me. Working people might well avoid social media and political conflict. There is less reason for seniors to do so.


Posted in Seniors, Social Security | Leave a comment

Tom Reed’s local fundraising

One can search FEC data for political contributions from cities. Here is what I found for the current election cycle as of Sept. 11, 2020.

Branchport   $5,600 One person
Dunkirk   0  
Geneva   $10,100 $4,080 from Hudson Data, LLC
Jamestown   $5,500 Most from Jamestown Business College
Naples   $1,000 One person
Owego   0  
Penn Yan   $1,250 Three persons
Silver Creek   0  
Waterloo   0  
FEC Data

For comparison, Corning Inc. contributed about $20,000.

Hudson Data, LLC advises on outsourcing and seeks to hire foreign workers. No wonder they favor Tom Reed.

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


This was an interesting study. Here are some conclusions:

  • To better understand how these unwanted callers operate, we monitored every phone call received to over 66,000 phone lines in our telephone security lab, the Robocall Observatory at North Carolina State University. We received 1.48 million unsolicited phone calls over the course of the study. Some of these calls we answered, while others we let ring. Contrary to popular wisdom, we found that answering calls makes no difference in the number of robocalls received by a phone number.
  • Using these techniques, we learned that more than 80% of calls from an average robocalling campaign use fake or short-lived phone numbers to place their unwanted calls. Using these phone numbers, perpetrators deceive their victims and make it much more difficult to identify and prosecute unlawful robocallers.
  • No one knows how robocallers interact with their victims and how often they change their strategies. For example, a rising number of robocalls and scammers are now using COVID-19 as a premise to defraud people.

Posted in Constituents, Education | Tagged | 1 Comment

Held in Contempt

A list of those held in contempt:

  • Main Street Media
  • Reporters
  • Soldiers
  • Military Brass
  • Barak Obama
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Minorities
  • Immigrants
  • Women
  • Christians
  • Lying Ted, little Marco, etc.
  • Democrats, even though he registered as a Democrat most of his life.
  • Fox News on occasion when crossed.
  • Officials he appointed often enough.

Given the number of other categories, we might even add the enthusiastic supporters at his rallies to the list.

Posted in 2020, Trump | 1 Comment


Citing specific examples from Playboy, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan magazines, Professor Key explains the ways in which the media uses sex and violence to manipulate human action. — Google Books

Given his obvious incompetence, why do so many of us approve of President Trump? Misogyny, racism, xenophobia seem insufficient explanations. Ignorance alone can’t be enough. Could we be brainwashed?

In “Subliminal Seduction,” author Wilson Bryan Key explains how advertisers use fleeting images to influence opinion. Key claims that advertising images aren’t accidental — clouds, liquids, reflections include subtle images designed to influence the audience.

Political advertising frequently uses images, sometimes what appear to be photographs, altered to frighten or sow distrust. While doubtless effective, ordinary advertising can’t be expected to excuse or hide corruption and incompetence. Perhaps we had better take a more careful look at political advertising to discern how our opinions are manipulated.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Constituents, Trump | 9 Comments

The final straw?

ask notPresident Trump has said and done dozens of things that might have fatally damaged his administration, but seemingly emerged unscathed. Here are some:

  • Attacking FBI and CIA.
  • Denial of intelligence reports.
  • Attacking NATO.
  • Secret meeting with Putin.
  • Repurposing appropriated funds.
  • Withholding aid to Ukraine.
  • Withholding information from Congress.
  • Hiding his tax returns.
  • Praise for white suprematists.
  • Conflicts with military.
  • Lack of response to threat of pandemic.
  • Disregard of medical expertise.
  • Making personal loyalty to him a sine qua non.
  • Praise of Kim Jong Un.
  • Attacks on the Postal Service.
  • Thousands of lies.

Will reports that Trump regards killed and wounded soldiers as losers be fatal? Experience to date suggests it won’t.


Posted in Trump | 4 Comments

Two interesting interviews

She Calls Her Opponent a ‘Racist,’ He Calls Her a ‘Radical’: Catching Up With Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95

She Calls Her Opponent a ‘Racist,’ He Calls Her a ‘Radical’: Catching Up With Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95


The Pandemic Pushes Rep. Tom Reed’s Caucus to the Forefront — and the Campaign to the Background

The Pandemic Pushes Rep. Tom Reed’s Caucus to the Forefront — and the Campaign to the Background

Posted in 2020, Campaign Finances, Campaigning, Congress, Constituents, Education, Environmental, gay rights, Gun Violence, Health Care, Political, Racism | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

My country, right or wrong …

punditOur Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country! — Stephen Decatur

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. — Mark Twain

Children must be taught that America is “an exceptional, free and just nation, worth defending, preserving and protecting. — DJT

Stephen Decatur’s sentiment makes me uneasy; I prefer Mark Twain’s.

Teaching children what to believe about America; is wrong. That is indoctrination, not education.

Posted in Education | Tagged , , | 1 Comment