Blog Archives

August 24 – 30, 2022

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Overbuilding Santa Cruz, Cummings for supervisor, Girl Scout Cookies. GREENSITE…will be back next week. KROHN…Political season is here, Joy for Mayor, Cummings for supervisor, empty homes tax, SF Mime Troupe. STEINBRUNER…will be back next week. HAYES…taking a one week vacation. PATTON…Getting the accent right. MATLOCK…The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy. EAGAN… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. WEBMISTRESS binges on snippets.. QUOTES…”Electricity”

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HIGH ATOP UCSC CAMPUS AREA, 1957. That’s Empire Grade on the lower left and Meder Street at the bottom center. This of course was nearly ten years before the University began building.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE August 22

STOP OVERBUILDING SANTA CRUZ!

Save Santa Cruz is a group of more than 1700 community members… they sent a letter to the City Council last Tuesday (8/16) referring to the corridors plan and upcoming planning disasters. You can, and definitely should, read all of their letter that’s right here…

Cutting to the chase it says,

“Council Members nor members of the public really understand what adoption of the proposed Objective Standards will mean for neighborhood residents and local businesses. What you will be considering is a series of fragmented changes to the City Municipal Code, but the overall outcome, the overall impact, is simply not clear. To say it again, what you will have before you for adoption is not understandable!

Second, and even more important, the proposal before you, if approved, will eliminate public hearings on many large and significant projects, stripping city residents of their right to comment and influence the development decisions that will have a profound impact on their lives, and their neighborhoods, and, for many small businesses, their livelihoods.”

There’s much more to grasp and there’s little time before this City Council allows so much destruction and loss to what we know as Santa Cruz.

JUSTIN CUMMINGS SUPERVISOR KICKOFF & FUNDRAISER PARTY. Very reliable reporters and attendees at Justin’s kickoff party last Thursday (08/18) at London Nelson Center supplied us with a list of some of his ardent friends and supporters who were at the party. Read the list, think of their community relations and contributions, it’s amazing. In attendance were Cathy Calfo, Sandy Brown, Bryan Murtha, Ellen Murtha, Dana Frank, Fred Keeley, Gary Patton, Will Lightbourne, Sean Maxwell, Tim Fitzmaurice, Ellen Farmer, Chris Krohn, Sally Arnold, Ron Swenson, Joy Schendledecker, Karen Madura, Barry Scott, Matt Nathanson, Cheryl Williams, Paul Elerick, Marilyn Patton and more. Yes, a goodly amount of funds were raised.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIESADVANCE WARNING!! I’ve been writing and complaining for decades now about how degrading and unhealthy Girl Scout cookies are to the girls and scouts who sell them. I always suggest they sell environmentally sound items. Anyways, a constant reader sent this item in just last week.

“The Girl Scouts are whetting your cookie appetite six months early. On Tuesday (8/16), they announced a 10th flavor will join the sales lineup in February 2023, and it’s a “sister” cookie to the top-selling Thin Mints. Called the Raspberry Rally, the cookie is infused with raspberry flavor instead of mint and dipped in the familiar chocolate coating.

The Rally will join Samoas, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Adventurefuls and Thin Mints when the Northern California cookie season commences on Feb. 1. Sales will run through March 19. But unlike the Thin Mints, you won’t find the new cookie sold at booths outside grocery stores. Instead, it will be the first cookie to be “exclusively offered through online sale and direct shipment only,” the Scouts announced.

The idea is to bolster the young saleswomen’s digital skills. “Our entrepreneurs have been engaging more and more in e-commerce and digital marketing in addition to in-person sales to reach their goals,” Marina Park, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northern California, said in Tuesday’s announcement. “We want to support them in their new ventures as they learn important business best practices that will undoubtedly be useful to them now and in their future.” That’s their opinion!!

I search and critique a variety of movies only from those that are newly released. Choosing from the thousands of classics and older releases would take way too long. And be sure to tune in to those very newest movie reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. (82 Rotten Tomatoes) At long last we can watch the PREQUEL to the nearly historic Game of Thrones. It seems more women centered as compared to GOT and there are numerous references to the good old dragons and even plenty of look a likes to get us hooked to this new series. It’ll make you try to remember just what was it that drew us and kept us so devoted to thrones? Watch it, see more dragons, streaming white hair, bits of nudity and I think it’ll develop into a worthwhile diversion.

INTERCEPTOR. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.2 IMDB). There’s a platform out in the Pacific that contains missile stopping rockets if/when Russia attacks the United States. This so called action drama centers on the woman in charge of that platform. The acting, the plot, the CGI all of it is barely watchable…and far from believable. The equality shown to women plot wise and otherwise is queasy…don’t watch.

UNCHARTED. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.4 IMDB). Mark Wahlberg, Tom Holland and Antonio Banderas head a huge cast and much CGI (computer generated images) in this “action adventure”. It’s silly, unbelievable and yet watchable for its abundance. These guys search half he world for Magellan’s hidden gold. Huge plot holes, lack of background, and yet nutsy enough to keep your attention.

DAY SHIFT. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.1 IMDB). Jamie Foxx mugs and struts his way through this vampire, bloodsucking, violent flop of a supposed comedy. It all happens in LA’s San Fernando Valley and it fails at being funny, especially in these times. Foxx poses as a pool cleaner and can’t quite seem to get his acting to match the script. I stopped watching after 10 minutes.

LICORICE PIZZA. (PRIME VIDEO) (7.2 IMDB). Not just superb but one of my favorite films of the year. The much recognized and honored director Paul Thomas Anderson created a swirling, tantalizing film about two young lovers coming of age in the 1970’s of the San Fernando Valley. The previously unknown leads Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman hold the twisted, clever, intricate plot together along with bit parts by Sean Penn, Tom Waits, and Bradley Cooper. Do not miss this excellent movie.

PERFUMES. (PRIME VIDEO) (6.6 IMDB). A woman who was a world famed perfume maker loses that ability. She regains that talent with help from a fellow middle aged guy who’s a taxi driver. It’s a fine and well executed film with tender and educational parts centering on what we can and can’t smell. Their relationship and being a well-made movie makes it very worthwhile watching.

THE SANDMAN. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.8 IMDB) This comic book hero named Dream also known as Morpheus (from Neil Gaiman’s pen) comes back from the dead in 1916 Britain and haunts and curses everybody from Berlin to modern day venues. Tom Sturridge plays Morpheus and if you like DC comics at their near best go for it. But only IF…

DAY SHIFT. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.1 IMDB). Jamie Foxx leads as a pool cleaner with a ten year old daughter living and working in LA’s San Fernando Valley. What he really does is hunt and kill vampires. It’s supposed to be a comedy, and it goes to extremes to gross out anybody willing to sit through all the blood, headless corpses, stabbings…it’s too much. We are living in such a scary violent world that I couldn’t stomach it. Watch it at your own risk!

SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, or PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.

CODE NAME EMPEROR. (NETFLIX MOVIE) ( 6.0 IMDB). Luis Tosar a Spanish actor you’ll recognize leads this former cops and robber guy through some extremely delicate and illegal gang scenes in Madrid and beyond. For some believable reasons he gets into cocaine smuggling and dealing with big time killer mobs. Complex, believable and well done movie. Go for it.

THE SANDMAN. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.8 IMDB) This comic book hero Dream also known as Morpheus from Neil Gaiman’s pen comes back from the dead in 1916 Britain and haunts and curses everybody from Berlin to modern day venues. Tom Sturridge plays Morpheus and if you like DC comics at their near best go for it. But only IF…

PERFUMES. (PRIME VIDEO) (6.6 IMDB). A woman who was a world famed perfume maker loses that ability. She regains that talent with help from a fellow middle aged guy who’s a taxi driver. It’s a fine and well executed film with tender and educational parts centering on what we can and can’t smell. Their relationship and being a well-made movie makes it very worthwhile watching.

BODIES BODIES BODIES. (DEL MAR THEATRE) (6.7 IMDB) Six young women (in their 20’s) decide to spend a few days and nights in a friend’s mansion. Along with cocaine, booze and increasing silliness they decide to play a “who kills them” game. So there’s murders and blood, and some very silly dialogue before we find out the truth….and you won’t be able to follow it any ways. Avoid this mess.

EMILY THE CRIMINAL. (DEL MAR THEATRE) (7.1 IMDB) Aubrey Plaza plays Emily and is becoming an excellent actress, whether being serious or into comedies. Emily has a student loan and needs more money to live and pay off her debts. She makes many decisions and gets deeply involved with phony big time credit card duplicators in Los Angeles. She makes friends with Theo Rossi who does a fine job as her mentor and friend. Fine exciting, fast paced movie…go for it.

NOBODY KNOWS I’M HERE. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.5 IMDB). A tender, unusual story of a young boy living in Chile who makes a hit record as a teen ager but then has huge issues and grows into a larger than life recluse. Slow pacing and barely average photography keep this from being a classic but it’ll make your troubles seem smaller. Go for it.

MINAMATA. (HULU MOVIE) (7.7 IMDB)  This should be required viewing for anyone concerned with industrial pollution. This true story has Johnny Depp as a Life Magazine photographer who forces his way to Japan to photograph the death and destruction caused by the Chisso Chemical plant that dumps its mercury filled waste into the local’s drinking water. Bill Nighy is the Life Magazine editor and does a memorable job. Don’t miss it.

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HIDDEN VALLEY STRING ORCHESTRA which is Sixteen of Northern California’s finest string players will perform without a conductor. Prepared under the direction of concertmaster, Roy Malan. Comprising sixteen of Northern California’s most talented and accomplished string players, the String Orchestra of Hidden Valley debuted to acclaim in November 2014. Lyn Bronson of Peninsula Reviews said of the String Orchestra’s debut, “A gorgeous performance. Every section . . . a perfect jewel.” Featuring works by Richard Wagner, Efrem Zimbalist, Jean Françaix, Germain Tailleferre, Wiliam Grant Still, and Frank Bridge in Santa Cruz Sunday September 11th at 4:00 p.m. at Peace United Church 900 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Go here for more info… https://www.hiddenvalleymusic.org/event-string-orchestra_491.htm

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS CONCERT. Their next concert will be Beethoven, Bagatelles, and Music for Winds and Piano. Music by Beethoven, Françaix, Ligeti, Jon Scoville, Couperin. It’s happening SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 7:30 PM and SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 3:00 PM. It features Ivan Rosenblum, Concert Director and Piano Lars Johannesson, Flute Peter Lemberg, Oboe Erica Horn, Clarinet Michelle Reem, Bassoon and Susan Vollmer, French Horn. It’ll happen at Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos

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August 22

Gillian will be back next week.

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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August 22

POLITICAL SEASON IS HERE EARLY

Campaign Kick-offs Everywhere

What a busy Saturday it was…up early to catch the Our Downtown, Our Future canvas training, then to help the S.F. Mime Troupe unload equipment at London Nelson…next it was putting peas, squash, basil and another round of early girl tomatoes into the home garden…followed by the Empty Homes Tax kick-off at the Shanty Shack, the SF Mime Troupe show, and the evening performance of Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s, Twelfth Night, in that order…it was an “Only in Santa Cruz” packed cultural Saturday…and that’s why I love this town so much!

‘Tis the Season of Joy

First, it was the Joy for Mayor campaign, which got off on the great musical notes of the local cumbia and reggae sensation, La Familia d’la Calle. It was a bright and sunny Friday afternoon at the London Nelson Community Center and the back deck was buzzing with political talk and also maybe a bit of salsa and cumbia dancing. Sandy Brown and Ami Chen Mills both spoke eloquently on why they support the only female candidate running for Mayor of Santa Cruz, Joy Schendledecker. More than 75 showed up and among the progressive-left was former Santa Cruz mayor Tim Fitzmaurice, Molino Creek Farm’s Roland Saher, student activist, Joe Thompson, Democratic Central Committee (DCC( members Stacey Falls and Nora Hochman, Santa Cruz district 4 city council candidate Bodie Shargel, and local community activists, Steve Schnaar, Ayo Banjo, and Nancy Krusoe. Franco Picarelli from the People’s Democratic Party was present as were UCSC professors Debbie Gould, Camilla Hawthorne, and Laurie Palmer, along with lecturer Josh Brahinsky. A local DSA contingent made up of Sarah Mason, Jeb Purucker, and Lisa Sprinkle also attended. A surprise appearance was made by former Lookout Santa Cruz reporter Grace Stetson. By the looks of it, Joy stands for putting municipal power(s) back into the hands of the voters; vigorously and urgently addressing the homeless-houseless crisis with not only compassion and care, but with new ideas and housing solutions; she also stands to direct the city’s planning staff, umm..city manager, to minimize (if not stop!) working with for-profit real estate and developer types and commit to putting all city staff resources into the affordable housing basket; and she may be the best candidate to finally place Santa Cruz back on the climate justice track that would have the city fully engaged in mitigating climate change and not morphing the bureaucracy into appendages of the developer class, or simply being parking attendants for the Cruz Hotel. Of course, Joy can use some of your hard-earned cash. Take a trip to her thoughtful and engaging website to see her entire campaign plan, and if you like it, make a donation. (I just did, it takes less than three minutes.)

Justin Cummings for Third District Supervisor

Last Thursday, inside the same London Nelson community room that hosted the Joy for Mayor campaign, Supervisor candidate Justin Cummings kicked off his race against fellow city councilmember Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson. It was a mix of old-guard progressives—Gary Patton, Cathy Calfo, Brian Murtha, Denise Elerick, Sandy Brown—and new political activists Amanda Altice, Sean Maxwell, and Celeste Gutierrez. Both Santa Cruz city mayoral candidates, Joy Shendledecker of the moderate progressive-left, and Fred Keeley the moderate’s moderate, were both there too, glad-handing when they could. Councilmember Sandy Brown, former 20-year county supervisor Gary Patton, and Cheryl Williams showered Cummings with kind words about being the affordable housing champion, homeless problem-solver, unafraid to confront racism, and head-and-shoulders best candidate in the 3rd district race. According to the current required fundraising forms submitted by both campaigns, Cummings has raised around $48,000, but is far-behind the status quo realtor and developer monied candidate, Kalantari-Johnson, who has amassed close to $90,000 with two months to go. To donate to Cummings campaign, go HERE.

No More Empty Homes, Truly Affordable Housing is a’Comin’

This past Saturday afternoon the Shanty Shack, that bohemian micro-brewery in the Harvey West Park area, played host to the Empty Homes Tax (EHT) campaign kick-off. After going out and amassing over 5000 signatures to get onto the November ballot, the real work now begins: how to amass 12,000-14,000 votes? The afternoon was highlighted by speakers Sandy Brown (she is everywhere!), Sibley Simon of New Way Homes, and that other progressive city councilmember, Justin Cummings, again. But, who really brought the house down was former UCSC student body president and current researcher, Ayo Banjo. He supports the measure because it advocates and puts funding behind the efforts of housing those who do the work in this town, but who must travel great distances to get here because they cannot afford the rent. Among those attending were UCSC professor Chris Connery, DCC chair Andrew Goldenkranz, climate justice activist and former supervisor candidate Ami Chen Mills, Santa Cruz Serf editor Sarah Ringler, and photographer Hanulo Tarmo.  Of course, EHT steering committee members Erin Tomey, T.J. Demos, and Cyndi Dawson were there too. Market-rate housing landlord, Darius Mohsenin was also seen lurking around the edges, gathering intel, and sucking down hoppy beers.

The San Francisco Mime Troupe, ¡Presente!

Perhaps the largest leftist crowd to be found anywhere this past week was at the first live Santa Cruz performance in three years of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Over 300 people crammed into the outside London Nelson Center Park and were treated to a rowdy musical performance and political messaging oracle from perhaps the chief diplomats of American political theater, the SF Mime Troupe. It was a show just for Santa Cruz, filled with housing, homelessness, anti-high-tech messages that, if they weren’t hitting you upside the head, they were getting you to think more deeply about solutions more than the problems themselves. You can see the Mime Troupe’s, “Back to the Way Things Were” on Vimeo right now and donate whatever you want…already can’t wait for the return of the Mime Troupe next year!

“If we can bail out Wall Street after their greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior drove us into the worst recession in modern history, then YES — we absolutely can cancel every single cent of student debt in this country.” (Aug. 22)

Some of the hundreds who came out last Saturday (6/20) to catch the latest S.F. Mime Troupe’s funny, silly, poignant, and always politically on-point musical, “Back to the Way Things Were.” If you missed it, you can watch it right now on Vimeo and pay anything you wish.

Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and a Santa Cruz City Council member from 1998-2002 and from 2017-2020. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. On Tuesday evenings at 5pm, Krohn hosts of “Talk of the Bay,” on KSQD 90.7 and KSQD.org His Twitter handle at SCpolitics is @ChrisKrohnSC Chris can be reached at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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August 22

Becky will be back next week.

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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August 22

Grey is traveling and will be back next week.

Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild, and his occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Visit his website at: www.greyhayes.net

Email Grey at coastalprairie@aol.com

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August 20

#233 / Getting The Accent Right

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times’ columnist, wrote a very nice profile of New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Dowd’s profile was published on Sunday, July 10, 2022. Online, the title of her profile is as follows: “Eric Adams, The Mayor Who Never Sleeps.” I enjoyed learning more about Adams, and if you can penetrate the paywall that probably awaits non-subscribers, I think Dowd’s profile is worth reading.

I was particularly struck by the following exchange between Dowd and Adams, as they discussed concerns about crime and public safety (big issues in the Big Apple). Adams is a former police officer, and bringing safety to the streets of New York was a prominent theme in his successful campaign for mayor.

I told the mayor that people I’ve talked to are still hopeful about him but seem to be getting impatient. One of my colleagues had told me the day before that she was taking the 2 train and saw a man punch his girlfriend in the face during an argument.

“If you place the accent on the wrong letter, you’re going to mispronounce the word,” Adams said. “If you place the accent on the wrong moment in your life, you’re going to mispronounce your life. Place it on how many times you got on the train and nothing happened to you. Nothing eventful. That’s where the accent should go, not ‘Hey, this is my 900th ride and you know what, I saw a homeless person today. Oh my God, things are out of control.’ They’re not.”

I think Adams is providing some pretty good counsel, here. The “meaning” of events is not necessarily inherent in the individual events themselves. Oftentimes, we bring a preconceived “meaning” to the events, and so the meaning of the events, as we perceive that meaning, can reflect what we are predisposed to think. If we are predisposed to think that things are “out of control,” then relatively minor events can confirm that predisposition. Of course, the opposite is also true. If we are of a mind to think that things are “just fine” in society at large, then even horrific events may not convince us otherwise.

As I have argued before, we all have a tendency to “do what is expected.” In the same way, we are also susceptible to “thinking what is expected.” We pick up the signals from the ambient environment, and all of our experience then tends to confirm what we are already predisposed to believe.

Do we see ourselves living in a “House Divided“? There is lots of evidence to confirm that hypothesis, but seeing things from a slightly different perspective, the evidence of division may actually confirm the opposite truth. Click that link (or click the next one) if you don’t remember my July 6th post!

We all speak with an accent of some kind. Like Mayor Adams says, let’s be sure we put that accent on the right syllable. Let’s be sure to get the accent right!

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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August 22

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS STILL MY ENEMY

Liz Cheney has now crossed the line into political martyrdom by messing with the MAGAts to investigate former president Trump and his involvement in the January 6 Insurrection. Her courageous and honorable stand to take the path against the lies and dishonesty of the new Republican party and losing her congressional seat to a relatively unknown, Harriet Hageman, a Big Lie stalwart, means that her term will end on January 3, curtailing her preeminence in the House investigation of the attempt to overturn Biden‘s election. With this chapter of her life ending, a further indication of the long reach The Don still has in the GOP political sphere, she vows to fight on, promising “to do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.”

She maintained that winning reelection “would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie” in her concession speech, and, “It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take.” Those who have followed her career will know what a dramatic turn this was for Liz to embark upon, a complete about-face, having supported the Trump agenda with 93% of her votes early on. As a Tea Party follower, she was viewed as unprincipled, a ruthless politician who fought the same people as the MAGATs, while parroting the lines of those in that bailiwick. Her father, former VP Dick Cheney, tried to bolster her campaign, by calling Trump the greatest threat to our republic in the nation’s 246-year history. Sort of like the pot calling the kettle black, with Charles Pierce of Esquire naming Dick “the poster boy for the Unaccountable Executive and Unitary Executive Theory,”  as he attempted to cover up the Iran-Contra fiasco, by deceptively leading us into a disastrous foreign war in Iraq, and turning this nation into waterboarding torturers. Those post-9/11 days were pretty heady times for the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice coalition as they pursued leftover dreams from the Daddy Bush presidency. For Liz, Pierce says, “It’s a choice between the seditious conspiracy of the bear spray and the mob, and the seditious conspiracy of the black site and the waterboard. The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.”

Prior to the 2016 election, Liz Cheney told Rush Limbaugh that the future of American democracy, and the nation’s place as a symbol of freedom to the world, was on the ballot, and the next president “would be the most corrupt individual ever to sit in the oval office” should Hillary Clinton succeed. With her father’s blessing, and the support of the Wyoming GOP which had great respect for the Cheney name, she easily won a seat in Congress, becoming a mouthpiece and apologist for the Bush Gang who had been largely ignored by the GOP once they left office; and, later with regular appearances on Fox News, she tore at the Obama presidency. She hyped her father’s career and his politics, and became chair of the House Republican Conference, some cohorts floating her as presidential material, even as she offered Trump her endorsement for his run at a second term. She formed a dark-money group called Keep America Safe, as she smeared Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder as weak on security – particularly after they hired attorneys to defend Guantanamo detainees. But, being dead-wrong on Obama and suddenly awakened about Trump doesn’t wash the filth from her falling star, nor does it warrant forgiveness for the breakdown in the guardrails engendered by the Bush years.

Mother Jones magazine’s word to the wise: Don’t overlook the work she has done with the House J6 Committee. She’ll be able to work things out both professionally and financially, but “her fate should be a lesson to aspiring public servants – that the movement you cynically stoke might someday come for you, too.” Her defeat, and that of Jeb Bush‘s son, George P. in his Texas run for attorney general, might be taken as an indication that voters are closing off that era of our nation’s history.

Sadly, however, it signals to the GOP, that being loyal to your tribe is what counts – not issues or governance, but what Donald Trump says it is. For this would-be-despot it is about attention to his presence, his grifting, and revenge upon those who would ignore or criticize him; and if his endorsed vendetta-minded candidates continue to win, with old-school politicians such as Cheney continuing to fall, a bleak future may await after the midterm elections. Should Trump choose not to run, or be disqualified in some way, Republicans are still seeking candidates who will carry forward with his policies and lawless style of governing. Liz Cheney phrased it well in her concession speech by saying, “This primary election is over, but now the real work begins.”

Speculation is that the Orange Menace will declare his candidacy to simply, somehow, escape prosecution, but skepticism does exist within the ranks that he might be unable to win the nomination should he run. The embarrassments in his conduct leading up to the Capitol attacks, as revealed by the House Select Committee, may have seriously damaged his political viability, with many hoping that he declines to run – very surreptitiously, of course. One Republican senator says, “I could count on one hand the number of colleagues who want Donald Trump to be our nominee,” adding, “I could count it on one finger.” Now, now – be civil, senator!

Many, including Senator Moscow Mitch, believe stiff competition awaits Trump in the GOP primaries, with heavy support being shown for Florida Dictator, Ron DeSantis. Even with enthusiastic support of some Republicans, Trump or any nominee will need to appeal to independent and swing voters to win back the White House, with poll results changing weekly. The GOP has crowed about Biden‘s slipping poll rating numbers, but with his recent legislative successes, that slump may be reversing. Regardless, it’s still too early to make any predictions for either party, with the fluctuations in the daily news. Heavily watched morning show, ‘Fox and Friends’ recently disclosed how DeSantis is leading Trump in some demographics, and is showing strength in several states. That resulted in an explosion from the former Commander-In-Tweet on his Truth Social platform, claiming that Fox botched his poll numbers on purpose. “That show has been terrible – gone to the ‘dark side’,” he raged.

Former Vice President Pence is still quietly making the rounds with speeches, and endorsements of candidates – some in opposition to DJT endorsements, while not openly declaring his intentions. By showing his character and bravery during the January 6 Insurrection, he has gained some standing within the GOP ranks by passing this test, while Trump failed his. Even Ted ‘Cancun’ Cruz is viewed as a potential entrant into the melee, but like the others is keeping an eye on Trump’s moves. When asked if he thought Trump has been damaged by the House Committee investigation, Cruz said, “I think the J6 hearings have been a political circus and a transparent campaign ad by the Democrats. I don’t think they move public opinion. I think they’re preaching to the choir.”

Beyond the J6 investigation, Trump is now being impacted by the FBI‘s removal of another set of boxes containing classified documents. As expected, the MAGATs immediately were ready to take the streets in defense of their idol, but a January 6 repeat failed to materialize, with only a few protests. Armed supporters showed up at some FBI offices, one of which was taken down in a pursuit after firing a weapon, but for the most part, the media personnel covering the story outnumbered the flag-waving weapon-bearing disgruntled. While the courts have wrestled with the requests and demands to release all documents pertaining to the ‘raid’, the big question remains – why were these boxes taken to Mar-A-Lago in the first place, and then placed in such  low-security storage? Trump, even as president, showed such utter disdain in his handling of secret documents by leaving them splayed on his desk for anyone to see, or during his hosting of South Koreans at Mar-A-Lago as alerts of North Korea‘s newly-launched test rockets mingled with the chocolate cake and the McDonald’s french fries in the dining room – guest’s cellphones capturing the newsworthy event as it unfolded. Benedict Donald didn’t comprehend the seriousness then, and he doesn’t get it now. Rudy Giuliani defended the purloined boxes as being as safe there as they were in Washington, D.C. So, Rudy knew they had been taken, and he’s telling us they were secure? Rudy doesn’t get it, either, and he just drove another nail into Trump’s political coffin. Of course, whiner/victim/thief Trump drove several nails when he was quoted as saying earlier, “They can’t have them…they belong to me!” Uh-oh, and have some documents already made their way to new owners by now? All together…WHY WERE THE BOXES REMOVED TO MAR-A-LAGO? Can somebody please ask that question?

Some simply ask, “Hasn’t Trump learned enough from his failures to get onto the right path?” And the answer is that he has learned enough from his failures to be even more dangerous. According to Charles Blow in the New York Times, he has learned that the political system is incapable of holding him accountable – neither his party nor our governmental system. He has tried to extort a foreign nation for political gain and was not removed from office. He has attempted a coup and was not removed from office with his party’s support. He has learned that many supporters have almost complete contempt for women, so he has been able to brush away all of the charges against him. With the involvement in the Insurrection to overturn the election, he is learning that demanding loyalty must be severe and that a power grab must come at the beginning of a presidency, not at the end…he is learning to break the political system.

According to Axios, “Trump’s top allies are preparing to radically reshape the federal government if he is reelected, purging potentially thousands of civil servants and filling career posts with loyalists to him and his ‘America First’ ideology.”

Blow goes on to say, “Most dangerous of all, Trump will have learned that although presidents aren’t too big to fail, they are too big to jail. A Trump free of prosecution is a Trump free to rampage.” We CANNOT fail to prosecute and bring this demon to justice!

Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky school of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email: cornerspot14@yahoo.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

    “Electricity”

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”.
~George Carlin

“We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires”.
~Dave Barry

“I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison”.
~W. C. Fields

“Without electricity, the air would rot”.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You may know that I have an occasional minor addiction to bingeing on snippets (always snippets, never a whole episode for some reason) from shows like The Voice, AGT (BGT, etc etc), and X-Factor. Well, here’s a really sweet compilation from auditions for The Voice from a variety of countries. What they all have in common is that the contestant is singing a song written or performed by one of the coaches/judges. Even if you have never heard the song, it’s awesome to see the faces of the coaches when they realize what’s happening 🙂


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!
Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
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Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com
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