It is time for Senator Feinstein to Retire with Dignity

Dianne Feinstein October 14, 2020 questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barret

Reaching the position of United States senator is a role almost every politician dreams to achieve.  There are no term limits and so once obtained they remain there almost to the day they die.  Eight senators died in office since the year 2000.  The last was John McCain who died August 25, 2018 from uncurable brain cancer.

In 2003, South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond retired at the ripe old age of 100 after 48 years in the Senate. The not-so-hidden secret was that his staff did everything but actually push the vote button during his last term, which ended six months before his death.

The current leader of the Republican caucus in the Senate is Mitch McConnell who is 81. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader is a mere 72.

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the oldest serving member of the Senate, at age 89, has missed 60 of the 82 Senate votes taken so far this year due to illnesses.  After announcing that she was not running for re-election, the following day she has forgotten that she had made the announcement.

With memory problems and the stresses of participation in the Senate it is time for Senator Feinstein to retire with dignity.

Then comes the next issue.  Governor Gavin Newsom will be deciding who will replace Feinstein.

Melania Trump is filing for a Divorce from Donald Trump

It was reported in 2021 in a candid interview with New Yorker magazine guaranteed to make headlines, Melania Trump revealed that she wished she could get a divorce “just by thinking about it.”

While stressing that she had no plans to divorce her husband, Mrs. Trump said that doing so would require “a lot more than having the idea in my head.”

The situation has changed as a result of the indictment of Donald. It has now been reported that she will file for divorce within a week of his formal surrender in a court in New York City. Most newspapers will not report on the divorce filing until after Trump’s surrender.

Is a Recession coming? Maybe

When major companies start large employee layoffs you know a recession is coming.  Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve are raising interest rates and the effect is obvious. Powell is not finished raising rates as proven by the continuing low Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report issued by U.S. Department of Labor.

Major US technology companies have collectively laid off more than 100,000 workers in January alone, with the majority of the firms citing a bleak economic outlook and recession fears as the core reason for the layoffs.

Amazon on March 20, 2023 announced that it will cut additional 9,000 jobs, after announcing 18,000 job cuts in January 2023. That included the closing of DP Review the camera advice web site. 

Electronic Arts, the maker of video game franchises such as Battlefield, FIFA and Madden, announced layoffs affecting roughly 6% of its workforce in March 2023. That translates to 775 jobs.

Warner Music Group, the New York-based entertainment company announced job cuts affecting 270 positions. 

Lucid Group, a San Francisco Bay area electric car maker, announced an 18% job cut of its more than 7,200 employees. 

Disney announced earlier in March that it is planning to layoff 7,000 employees across divisions. 

PayPal unveiled cut 2,000 employees, becoming the latest U.S. company to reduce its headcount, just hours after software company HubSpot announced it would lay off 500 positions in an effort to reduce costs. 

DP Review is being closed

For those of you who are professional & amateur photographers the end of DP Review is a sad event. I have used this site repeatedly over the years to learn more about cameras and their abilities. I do not know of a site that does the job they perform. The site is owned by Amazon. Amazon is all about making money. Think about that.

The end of DPReview


The end of DPReview

Sadly, the decision has been made to end and DPReview

President Joe Biden is Riding High

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech was a success in ways that he could not have predicted. Republicans were laid bare as a noisy group with no plans for making the country a better place.

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: “Oh, absolutely. I mean, they literally played into his hands. You know, I don’t know if the people of the White House as they were drafting it at Camp David this weekend envisioned that happening the way it did, but it played out perfectly. And you know, I’m looking back at the end of that whole sequence where he was engaging back and forth with the Republicans, he said, so tonight, let’s all agree to stand up for seniors.” And everyone did standup. That settled the talk of some Republicans wanting to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.

Republican lawmakers defied House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s call for civility and interrupted Biden’s speech several times. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) called Biden a “liar” and other Republicans shouted “border”— a reference to their claim that Biden hasn’t done enough to stop illegal immigration.

A Whopping 72 Percent Approved of Biden Speech — Including 43% of Republicans.

Was this a start of a 2024 presidential campaign or does this mean his next two years as president will enable him to leave office with a smile on his face?

Is NORAD really doing its job?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a United States and Canada bi-national organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America. Aerospace warning includes the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands.

So how did a Chinese balloon the size of three buses end up flying from Alaska to Canada and then across the United States? Is NORAD really doing its job? There were many uninhabited places that the balloon could be shot down in Alaska and the North West Territories of Canada. So arguing that they did not want harm coming to populations does not hold water.

The Sunday morning news shows had guests that gave politically motivated commentaries. Of course the Democrats defended the actions of the Administration and GOP guests attacked. No surprise. Sadly no one provided real answers.

Update on February 6, 2023 is horrifying.

“Every day as a NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats,” Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command said when asked about the three other balloons.

“And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out, but I don’t want to go into further detail.”

Who wants to be a Senator from California?

California Senator Dianne Feinstein is 89 years old. Her term in office ends in two years. From all appearances she looks frail. The picture above was taken October 14, 2020 when she questioned Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. There are multiple reports about her ability to remember who she had just spoken to. The position of Senate president pro tempore is a position almost always given to the senior senator of the majority political party. That person would be Senator Dianne Feinstein. In an opportunity to become Senate president pro tempore, a position laid out by the Constitution to chair the Senate when the vice president is not present Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Democrats he won’t nominate Sen. Dianne Feinstein due to her mental acuity.

Feinstein has refused to say whether she will run for re-election. As many believe she will not run there is a growing list of well known congressional representatives who have declared their intention to run for the Senate seat. With the overwhelming Democratic registration in California the winner is almost certain to be a Democrat.

As of this date four well known liberal Democrats have announced their intention to run for the Senate seat. All four hold similar positions on most issues. Barbara Lee, Katy Porter, a rising star in the party who has notched close victories in competitive Orange County, Ro Khanna of Fremont, and now Adam Schiff representing Burbank and Glendale. Lee’s reputation is as the lone vote in Congress against the Afghanistan war in 2001.

So the question is how can these people run against each other when they have the same views on most topics? They all hold similar objectives. More gun control, eliminating the use of gas and oil, abortion access wherever you live, immigration reform are some of the topics they most likely will say are important and need new legislation.

They are left with just a few things. Name calling. Sewing petty doubts about their opponent’s loyalty to liberal ideas. The campaign is going to be very nasty.

The Grapes of Wrath in 2023

Henry Fonda as Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath

I just finished watching Grapes of Wrath. It is based on the book by John Steinbeck. It is a tear jerker. The movie does an excellent job of depicting the camps of Dust Bowl migrants coming to California for work. The last chapters of the book are not in the movie. As I watched the movie I could see the relevance to today’s homeless on Skid Row and other homeless encampments around Los Angeles. Police in the movie chasing those Oakies are the same police chasing homeless people today. Steinbeck offered no solution just as today’s Los Angeles mayor has no solution. There is no place to house 40,000 homeless people in 2023.

You may believe the mayor (Bass) and the county supervisors can change the situation but there really is not an idea of how to resolve the issue of 60,000 homeless in Los Angeles County. There is no plan for permanent housing and I doubt we have the money to accomplish that goal.

The real question should be how did we get here? Those people living in motor homes and tents are not all on drugs and mentally ill. The shrinking number of low paying jobs is an ever feed to the homeless population. Many of those people may not be able to handle anything more difficult than janitors and fast food workers.