Tuesday’s Debate

You probably didn’t watch it.

That’s the story of the social media age, we’re all in our own cocoons, and we get the news via absorption as opposed to first hand.

The younger generation does not read the newspaper, certainly not the physical one, but the headlines do appear in their feeds, they get a facsimile of the news online.

As for oldsters?

Sure, they care, they vote the most, but except for a small coterie who live for the political game, most are hunkered down in their bunkers, deep into news that confirms their bias.

Furthermore, an incredible percentage of Democrats have ankled their Republican friends. When these righties start spouting the talking points the Dems feel their blood boil, and since you cannot convince someone to change their opinion in an argument, at best they’ll reevaluate later, it’s a personal stand to avoid interaction, and many do.

So we had a debate and few people watched. Tuesday night’s affair had the lowest ratings for a debate so far.

But it was one of the best. By only having six candidates on stage there was coherence, everybody got time to respond, to not only the questioners but their fellow candidates.

Let’s start with Tom Steyer. How he polled high enough to get in this debate flummoxes me. As for those who didn’t qualify, they’re done, toast. Marianne Williamson dropped out. Cory Booker punted. You may align with one of those excluded but still running, but it’s a lost cause. Like a record, they’ve peaked, and no one is willing to invest in them anymore, not prodigious amounts, they want to focus on the winners.

Which brings us to Amy Klobuchar. The Trust Me candidate. Yup, she’s from a red district, so she can beat the Orange Menace.

Only Minnesota is one of the most liberal states in the union. The rap is it’s cold, but if you want a social safety net, if you want a cosmopolitan center, if you want elbow room and outdoor activities, move to Minnesota. The people there know this, everybody else is afraid of the weather.

So intellectually, we get Klobuchar. But we just can’t get behind her emotionally. We agree she could do the job, she looks good on paper, it’s just that it’s hard to work up a passion about her.

Also, Amy’s debating in an old fashioned style. Quoting experiences about her dad and her father, these tropes no longer work, especially after Joe the Plumber. You look rehearsed, when we’re looking for spontaneity, humanity. Also, Amy was a bit off her game.


Smooth. Compared to the alta kachers on stage, he was a breath of fresh air, in that he was young, his memory was intact, he could turn on a dime, the only thing is he didn’t run his own city so well and he’s not believable, as in he’s made the tactical decision to run to the center and there’s little appeal for this. Yup, just like with the nation at large, Democrats are now tribal. Either you want drastic change or you want to keep what you’ve got and get rid of Trump. Pete falls somewhere in the middle, and that’s nowheresville.

Which brings us to Biden.

I wish you’d watched this debate, because if you had there’d be no chance in hell you’d vote for Joe. He could not get the words out, he got confused. And sure, he was always this way, but now it’s worse.

Joe gained a bit of steam at the end, but you wince when he starts to speak. Furthermore, you should read the opinion piece in the “Times,” from a reporter in Iowa. Joe was speaking at a college and students were leaving. Because they disagreed with his viewpoints? No, because he was so boring!

“I’m a Reporter in Iowa. Here’s What My State Is Looking For. We don’t care about Biden’s electability. We want excitement”

Robert Leonard, the author of the above article, has it right, when so many in New York and D.C. have it wrong. He’s on the ground, he interacts with voters. He’s living it. And the truth is candidates are not math, they’re people. Come on, ever have a crush on a beautiful person and after talking to them you have no desire to interact with them further? Yup, it’s about more than looks, it’s about personality, character. And we tend to adhere to those with rough edges, as opposed to those whose are smooth.

So Elizabeth Warren generates excitement. It’s just that she blew it by repeatedly avoiding that question about paying for Medicare in that old debate and instantly she looked like a typical, two-faced, double-talking politician. I was for her. I’d still vote for her. But, you’ve got to deliver when the mic is on, and she did not.

That’s another thing that was evidenced in this debate. Experience. Steyer didn’t have it, he’s still on the learning curve, of how to deliver in these circumstances.

And Elizabeth Warren is too.

No, the person with the most experience debating, who looked most comfortable on stage was…

Bernie Sanders.

Now Warren had the winning speech of the night, when she talked about the women on stage being the only ones who never lost an election. That resonated. But it was so deep in the debate that most people were not watching. You’ve got to kill in the first twenty minutes, after that it does not matter.

But if you did not watch and are paying attention to the scuttlebutt you’d think the debate was all about a war between Warren and Sanders over whether a woman can win. What he said, what she said.

But during the debate, that was handled graciously. Warren did not double-down on Bernie. She took the high road and triumphed.

But then she was petty after the debate and the blowback is now hurting her. Yup, that’s the story of this debate, how she wouldn’t shake Bernie’s hand and she accused him of lying.

Do we care?

Not really. It’s got nothing to do with running for President. And is there anybody paying attention who believes a woman cannot run and win? After Obama won twice and Hillary won the popular vote and a gay man polls high enough to be on stage?

But the truth is we’re coming to crunch time. It’s getting vicious. For not only the candidates, but their teams. Yup, if you’ve been canvassing forever, you want to win, you’ll almost say anything to succeed.

So right after this debate was over, I went online to see what was being said.

Didn’t look like the debate I watched.

Proving how powerful the media is.

It’s not only Fox News. If you’ve got a substantial audience, you can sway public sentiment. So those not truly paying attention are not gonna get the real story, but a filtered one from someone with an interest in the game.

Now they batted health care around once more. Which was a complete waste of time. And Klobuchar even said this. That Medicare For All isn’t gonna pass right away anyway.

And Bernie gave an overall take too. That what it came down to was defeating Trump. That most of the details of the debate were irrelevant. And, he said he would support any of the candidates on stage who became the nominee. Which is contrary to what happened in 2016. Bernie seemed enthusiastic when he said this, irrelevant of the truth.

And the truth is Bernie is winning, and will probably win the nomination and the election and become our next President.

Whoa! Hold your horses there baby!

The pundits talking about McGovern? No one was passionate about McGovern, he was just a reasonable guy against the war in Vietnam. Sure, we were gonna support him, vote for him, but we didn’t really care about him. We cared about Eugene McCarthy, who pushed the envelope when no one else would, in 1968. Hubert Humphrey was a pretty good guy, but the wrong guy for the times. People wanted to be passionate, they wanted change.

Just like today.

So proving that you can’t predict the future, even though I just did, Bernie is more reasonable, even stronger since he had his heart attack.

Health issues used to doom you. But with a President who has had multiple divorces, never mind affairs, who got a scalp reduction and wears makeup…all the stuff that used to kill your candidacy no longer does, no matter how much the other side might harp on it.

But Bernie does look like he needs hearing aids. He kept putting his hand to his ear to hear. Now Klobuchar, even further away from the questioners, did this once too, but if Bernie needs to hear better, he should turn hearing aids into a good thing, Reagan did.

So if you take the temperature of the press, you have noticed that every paper has recently done a major article on Bernie Sanders saying he just might win the nomination. Nobody in these papers thinks this is a good thing, a lot of them believe he’d ruin the country, and they wouldn’t vote for him, but…

The younger people will.

That’s another canard, that young people won’t vote. It’s a new dawn folks. Young people have the most at stake, can you say “climate change”? They came out in 2018 and they’ll come out even more in 2020, if they’re passionate about the candidate.

I was talking to a rock star yesterday, a hero of the millennials, and he said his fans, the people he knows…if Elizabeth or Bernie are not nominated they’re gonna stay home, not even bother to vote.

This is what happened in 2016. This is one of the reasons Hillary lost. A lot of these people stayed home or voted for Jill Stein.

They’re not gonna now, if they believe there’s a chance of real change.

Now we’re gonna get a much clearer picture in a few weeks, when the vote begins. But let’s say Bernie Sanders wins…

Is he gonna take your house back? Not allow you to make seven figures? As for Medicare For All, I point you to another “New York Times” opinion piece:

“How the Health Insurance Industry (and I) Invented the ‘Choice’ Taking Point. It was always misleading. Now Democrats are repeating it”

Wendell Potter was part of the disinformation campaign. He was VP of corporate communications at Cigna. He knows of what he speaks. That’s right, the big companies spin to their advantage. Purdue Pharma said oxycontin was not addictive. The tobacco companies hid the perils of smoking. Oil companies hid climate change research. They didn’t want to sacrifice. And instinctively you know this. That the man is not on your side.

And Bernie Sanders is standing up to the man.

Bernie’s never wavered. Warren lost further credibility when she said she’d delay implementation of Medicare For All. Once you cave to the crowd, once you say what’s expedient as opposed to what’s in your heart, you’re history.

As for extreme positions… Just look at our President. Middle of the road didn’t defeat him!

But you’re afraid of change.

But there’s a huge number of Americans who are dying for it, some of them literally. Sure, the economy is humming, but not for many folks, who may be working but are underpaid.

It is not business as usual. The old rules no longer apply. And Trump has intensified the importance of the election. There’s so much at stake, climate change, abortion, Supreme Court appointees, war… People are scared and they want to take action and all the talking heads can do is cite nearly fifty year old history. As if we’re doomed, because nothing ever changes.

As for Bloomberg, he knows he’s done. How do we know? Because he’s already hedging his bets, he’s already pledged to spend all that money on the nominee’s campaign even if it isn’t him.

Now as we get closer to Election Day, we will end up with just two candidates. People are familiar with Trump, but whomever the Democrats nominate will get the benefit of the spotlight. And when the light shines on Bernie they’re gonna see someone who is confident in his positions, who does not waver.

You talk about history hurting him. But that’s just history, it’s not today, and the truth is we’ve all changed, we’re all fallible and we want hope.

What did James Carville say?


And that’s exactly what Sanders is talking about. Do you have an economic future, can you pay your bills?

And what was Obama’s slogan?


Biden’s not offering any hope. Neither is Buttigieg. And Klobuchar’s flame is flickering.

But Warren and Sanders are all about hope.

Get ready. The impossible is gonna happen. Get on the train early.

No one thought that a black man could win.

But he did.

We want someone to believe in, to get behind. That’s the story of today, everybody’s doing what’s expedient, you can only believe in yourself, but now…

Pete Tong-This Week’s Podcast

A progenitor of the electronic music scene, Pete Tong had his residency at Pacha, is still on the BBC and is now touring arenas with the Heritage Orchestra playing Ibiza Classics. Meanwhile, he’s still DJ’ing all over the world. Yup, Pete’s just that busy! Listen to learn how Pete and the scene evolved.





Whitney Houston In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

What kind of crazy, fucked-up world do we live in where Whitney Houston gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Judas Priest, Soundgarden and Todd Rundgren are not?

One in which the voters have lost all credibility, putting money over art, debasing the rock ethos and history to the point of irrelevance.

Come on, the only thing Whitney Houston has in common with rock is she O.D’ed!

Then they constantly wank about influences, yup, Patti Smith is gotta be in because she broke ground and influenced those at home. What new ground did Whitney Houston break? Another pop singer, so what? As for legacy…what did we get, “American Idol”? And to tell you the truth, Mariah Carey is more of an influence than Whitney, yup, melisma reigns on TV competition shows.

Or is it because she married Bobby Brown and became a bad girl?

This is execrable, this is sacrilegious, I feel like the Nazi during “Springtime For Hitler”…I knew rock and roll, I was there, these people have NO CLUE!

Come on!

The biggest breakthrough in rock and roll, what built classic rock, was FM radio.

Yup, the Beatles opened the door and then underground FM radio blew the doors off. FM stations played music AM wouldn’t dream of, or if AM played it it was eons late (kind of like terrestrial radio today if you think about it, stuff breaks on streaming services).

As a result of FM we got extended songs. We got side-long opuses. We got album-length extravaganzas. Yup, there’s more rock and roll in “Thick As A Brick” than in any song by Whitney Houston EVER!

But Jethro Tull can’t be in the Rock Hall because Ian Anderson is not warm and fuzzy and the band stole that Grammy from Metallica, even though that was the mistake of the ignorant Grammy voters, not the band.

Have you listened to “This Was”? A blues-rock masterpiece. I mean if you’re lauding Peter Green… And “Stand Up” is enough to induct any band. As for “Aqualung”… And if Kiss can get in based on popularity…were you alive in ’71, “Aqualung” RULED! “Cross-Eyed Mary” still populates classic rock radio, somewhere Whitney Houston was never played.

Kraftwerk? Only the most influential act in electronic music EVER! Yup, Kraftwerk were the progenitors, but according to the Rock Hall that’s not music.

Motorhead. Lemmy was the ESSENCE of rock and roll!

And anybody who doesn’t think Judas Priest has more rock bona fides in one song than Whitney Houston has in her whole catalog has another thing coming.

And Todd Rundgren is the genius behind Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band”…talk about rock and roll. We’re getting further from our home.

Soundgarden was the first of the Seattle bands to break through.

And when it comes to Pat Benatar… She was referenced in “Fast Times,” she was the biggest female rock act of her era, but she’s EXCLUDED?

Have you listened to “In The Heat Of The Night”? “Heartbreaker” burst out of the speakers like a screaming track opening a Stones LP. Isn’t it all about grabbing listeners by the balls and making them listen? Name a Whitney Houston track that does the same thing, I dare you!

Never mind the definitive version of John Mellencamp’s “I Need A Lover”…talk about ATTITUDE! Isn’t that what rock is all about? Where’s Whitney Houston’s attitude?

And if you purchased “In The Heat Of The Night” because you just couldn’t resist, because you needed more, you were rewarded with Neil Giraldo’s “We Live For Love” to boot. Sure, Benatar had hit singles, but her albums were totally playable, satisfying, whereas Houston was all about hit singles, the definitive lightweight.
And “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” became part of the vernacular.
And the hits were endless, all over MTV when that channel still meant something, stuff like “Fire And Ice”…

“Oh, you’re givin’ me the fever tonight”

There’s more sexiness in the delivery of that one line than anything in Whitney Houston’s catalog…and isn’t that the essence of rock, what’s between the legs?

And with “Shadows Of The Night” and “Love Is A Battlefield” Benatar cemented her place in the firmament, girls started dressing like her…who ever started dressing like Whitney Houston?

This is why we had punk.

This is why the Seattle sound decimated the hair bands.

Yup, rock has a long history of eviscerating that which has become overbaked, pompous, that which is all style and no substance…AND NOW WHITNEY HOUSTON IS IN ITS HALL OF FAME?

Rock was about innovation, testing limits, no one had heard a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody” before it existed…what limits did Whitney Houston test?

And there’s been a constant struggle between artistry and money. Used to be a badge of honor to be into that which was not mainstream but was excellent nonetheless. Those are the acts and albums we treasure.

And you wonder why rock is dead.

You need people to stand up for values, to say no.

This is just like the government, this is just like America today, it’s about what’s expedient, those with the most bucks triumph, they get what they want. Who in the hell pushed for Houston’s inclusion, never mind nomination? Give me the reasons once again, because I’m completely flummoxed. Yup, I want the Rock Hall to defend this position.

But no, it’s faceless. We’re supposed to trust these dudes, and it is mostly dudes, while they destroy not only the institution, but the history of rock itself. Yup, if you were born in the last twenty years you’re now gonna think Whitney Houston was a big rocker, whom we all respected. THAT COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

And what did John Lennon sing…GIMME SOME TRUTH!

So the truth is rock is about the people who make it, where they’re coming from, what they have to say. It’s about outsiders who the audience gravitates to, not the reverse. Once you start giving people what they want you don’t deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If there’s no one to induct, skip a year.

But certainly, install true rockers before someone who represents everything rock fans HATE!


Netflix: Occupied_Trailer

When the revolution comes, which side will you be on?

Even more interesting, which side WERE you on?

This is the story of billionaires, this is the story of impeachment.

Now I believe if a Democrat wins the Presidency all hell will break loose, the Trumpers will not accept it. And in a world where the Russians have hacked Burisma, to get info on Hunter Biden to use against a possible Biden candidacy, when the results come in it’s gonna be open season… Were the voting machines hacked? Can you trust the vote? Can you trust the news?

You certainly can’t trust the news anymore. Blame the internet. Blame the Republicans.

While the intelligentsia keeps lamenting the decimation of newspapers, that’s no longer the story anymore…the story isn’t reportage, but believability. Who do you choose to believe?

And it’s not only the ignorant right, but the educated left. Yup, I got e-mail saying I should not get the flu vaccine because it’s got aluminum in it. What next, no treatment for appendicitis, are we all turning into Christian Scientists?

So, if it’s in the NYT or the WaPo, it can’t be true. Yup, that’s what the right believes. And sometimes, up is down.

And the left can’t stop railing against Fox News, as if anybody on the right is listening to them complain.

And if you’ve got a name, and you stand up to the Administration, you’re inundated with blowback from the usual suspects, the same damn people, over and over. This is what bothers me about the mainstream news sources, they live in a bubble, out of touch with the rank and file, they’re behind a wall just like the CEOs. Oh, they’ll tap someone on the shoulder for their opinion, to get a story, but they don’t penetrate the scene. Actually, the scene penetrates you, if your name is big enough. And too many reporters’ names are not. Quick! Name the WSJ and WaPo White House reporters! You can’t!

And we’re living in a “2001” society. Where the machines have taken over. We keep reading about AI, but that’s not the issue. The issue is the aftereffects of the power of the platforms. Facebook has lost control, whilst trying to maintain control. Yup, Facebook employs subterfuge to hoover up your data, but is unable and unwilling to supervise behavior on its sites, saying it can’t when the truth is it doesn’t want to and won’t admit that it’s truly lost control of the content. It’d be like building roads and being unable to contain speeding, accidents. Or flying airplanes without air traffic controllers. And who is gonna tell the truth here and who is gonna believe it and..?

So if you sidled up to the billionaires, if you did it for the perks, believing you should not be left out, you’re gonna be in trouble. There’s a list, and you’re gonna be tainted. The tide has already turned, the mass is against the ultra-rich. The only way the billionaires sustain is if they arm up and shoot us.

As for the impeachment circus… History will not be kind to the Republican Senators who vote to exonerate Trump. They’re playing team politics, they’re afraid of Trump and their constituencies both. They believe that by doing the right thing they’ll end their careers, and it’s all about the personal in today’s world. As for the charges… Oh, come on. Trump trades aid for info. Kinda like Iran/Contra. If he’s not guilty, then I should be able to shoot people on the street, or at least rob a bank.

So today’s world is run by television. And I’m not talking cable news.

The truth is very few people watch Fox or MSNBC or CNN, never mind the antiquated network news. They’re busy watching the rest of the programming. They’re addicted to story, and that’s where the lessons are.

Like “Succession.” That’s where the average person learns how the rich behave, not in endless reporting in the paper.

And there are no lessons in music. That’s pure commerce. Or mindless hedonism.

As for books… The publishing business got exactly what it wanted, which is to keep its reach and influence marginal. What have I always told you, distribution is king? Well, Amazon had every Kindle book under ten bucks, growing the marketplace. The publishers got the right to set prices and raised them to the point where a physical book is often cheaper than a digital one, who’s gonna take that deal?

Yup, it’s all about reaching the masses.

And if you want to do this, you’re best off making a television show.

I take my TV watching seriously, very seriously. Because I don’t have enough time.

That’s what the film business doesn’t understand. Viewing is done by appointment, which is set by me, not them. That’s what’s great about the revolution in music distribution…I can listen anywhere, anytime, as long as I’ve got juice. And the ignorant still believe it’s about the connection, cell service, demonstrating that they haven’t kept up with technology, they don’t know you can synch tracks to the handset.

And those in power have not kept up with technology. Trump may tweet, but he’s got no idea how his phone works. He keeps telling us he’s gonna bring back manufacturing. What next, caning in schools?

So Jesper Berg wants to move beyond oil and gas. And Russia and the EU say no way!

So Russian invades Norway to secure natural resource energy production.

Jesper keeps satiating them, believing they’re gonna leave, that their stay is only temporary.

Bente is elated. Now her restaurant can stay open, all the rich Russians need to eat!

But suddenly she’s a pariah.

The news keeps telling everyone life is hunky-dory.

But the resistance? It is flourishing. And then the question…who on the inside is really on the outside?

Never ignore hearts and minds. That’s what the right wing revolution was all about, that’s why Trump got elected. The white nationalists, those left behind by globalization, they wanted to be acknowledged, they wanted to be recognized, have input, however deluded they might be.

Concomitantly, on the left throngs supported Bernie Sanders. Who right now looks like he’s gonna be the nominee, despite the mainstream informing us again and again that the now fading Biden is the people’s choice and the only electable candidate. Sanders fans are sick and tired of being screwed and are worried about the future, can you say “climate change”?

That’s what Jesper Berg is trying to do. Save society from itself.

But the Russians don’t want this, never mind the EU. As for the U.S? It’s no longer the world’s peacekeeper, it’s staying out, worried solely about its interests.

So Norway is on its own. Who is gonna save Norway?

Or, should I put it who cares about Norway other than the Norwegians?

Yup, “Occupied” is not far-fetched. It’s just a tiny step beyond today’s reality. We live in a global economy, isolationists are screwed. As for those doing the screwing…they’re not worried about the rule of law, they’re just worried about getting what they want. And the result justifies any means.

Come on, it’s not that different in America. Reality is whitewashed. The poor are subjected to cameras everywhere, never mind facial recognition. Commit a crime and you’re going to jail. But if you’re rich, if you’re a white collar criminal? You skate! Just ask Trump himself, who has decimated the IRS, never mind filed false tax returns (read the NYT story for edification: nyti.ms/2Nsq5aq). Yup, your heroes have clay feet. Believe in yourself, nobody else cares about you.

So when you watch “Occupied” you will not stop thinking about reality, truth, today. What would you do? Would you stand by frozen, would you be an opportunist, or would you fight for your country and way of life?

Funny thing, when the chips are down, you’d be stunned what becomes irrelevant, what you’re willing to sacrifice for the cause.

And judgment day always comes. Yup. The choices you made will impact your future. And everything’s on hard drive, nothing eludes those seeking it. They know what fundraiser you went to, they know who you had dinner with, they know everything about you and it’s gonna come back to haunt you, unless you’ve led a clean life.

Yup, when it’s all said and done it might come back to morality, the straight and narrow.

For now, watch this show and get back to me.