Monday, November 4, 2019

November 4th: A Day of Various Remembrances and Too Many Electoral Anniversaries -OR- I've Never Met a Present-Day Repub I Liked

Today, November 4th, is a day of a variety of anniversaries of sundry sorts -- personal and, more notably, historical. This entry seeks to chronical some of them, but not in any deep detail. Rather, I'm just noting that these events occurred on the calendar day of November 4th.

For starters, my late dear paternal grandmother was born on Nov 4th, 1908 -- or 111 years ago today …

My grandmother and yours truly on the occasion of my 4th birthday -- November 26, 1973 -- in our house in Long Branch, N.J., as shown in torn, old photo that I managed to scan into an electronic version.

God, so many of my dreams even now take place in that house -- which, for its part, now looks totally different than when I lived there, a fact that is now reflected in those recurring dreams.


Turning to events historical …

It was 11 years ago today on November 4th, 2008 that Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. That is, he was elected President on what would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday (alas, she passed away in January 1988).

It's also the 40th anniversary of the initial seizing of the American embassy personnel by Iranian students under the direction of the then-new and unheard-of radical Shiite Islamic regime epitomized by Ayatollah Khomeini.

That seminal event of the "Iran Hostage Crisis" and the 444 days sealed President Jimmy Carter's political doom in a way that paralyzed the country -- and the occurrence exactly one year later, Nov 4, 1980 -- of the landslide presidential election that gave us Ronald Reagan and a political revolution, of sorts in this country.

All that 1970s stagflation and supposed "malaise" also helped Reagan -- as did the lack of an "October Surprise" (James Comey was busy that day, I guess). The hostage crisis itself ended on January 20, 1981 -- the day Reagan was inaugurated in what was probably not entirely coincidental timing.

I guess this is as good a time as ever to bring this up: What is it with the Iranian government and hostage-taking? That's been its go-to mode for 40 years. You'd think a badly overcrowded, polluted mess of a country under a brutal but empty theocratic regime that is long-since-past-its-expiration date would have better things to do.

Al Qaeda had (has?) its fixation on air hijackings with spectacular suicidal endings … And ISIS has its endless beheadings and "Caliphate" atavistic fantasies. But with Iran, it's ALWAYS about the hostage-taking. It doesn't even make sense as "asymmetric warfare" or whatever is the rationale.

Back to the Reagan Revolution of 1980 …

True, that endlessly relived conservative "revolution" was already underway stretching back to Nixon's narrow win in 1968 -- but the "Reagan Revolution" put it on steroids.

I remember that election day, which was the day my grandmother turned 72. Not quite 10, I was living in Long Branch, New Jersey.

That election outcome also set in motion everything that paved the way for the transmogrification of the Republican Party into the malevolent Trump cult that it is today. Part of this is simply because while the economic oligarchy part of the "revolution" won out, the culture is completely run by a sort of cultural Marxist left -- and the once-dominate white Baby Boomer generation can't handle that fact. It's a weird clash.

Barack Obama's election as the country's first non-white President combined with the Great Recession, collapse and no-fault taxpayer bailout of the parasitic financial services sector, the necessary Recovery Act "redistributionist" response, and Obamacare all combined to create that racist and fascist reactionary backlash of the Teabaggers, er, "Tea Party" crowd and culminating in the 2010 Republican wave and the most illiberal and vicious set of GOP pols up to that time. And, no, I honestly failed to see this coming.

It also set the stag for Trump, who moved decisively in the late stage of his life to the ultimate con -- hijacking the ready-to-be-hijacked GOP and making its "Long Con" HIS con, beginning with that Obama Birther racist horseshit.

And now I fear we're never going to get rid of this syphilitic gangster of Donald Trump and his gangster-kleptocratic regime -- all under the hideous visage of Mitch McConnell. Let's face it: None of those Dems except Biden and maybe Buttigieg have a prayer of winning. Not Sanders, not Warren, not any.

And that's even WITHOUT the Russian government-sponsored social media information warfare and any outright strategic hacking of local voting systems.

Above: Graphical representation of the outcome of a poll of 3,766 registered voters spread across six key battleground states that the New York Times released today -- and that is causing massive Democratic panic and anxiety. The result speaks for itself: Trump can lose the national  popular vote by up to 10% and still thread the Electoral College needle (and if he can, it means he will).


Whatever the outcome, the next election is a notional one-year-to-the-day away in that it is 365 days from now -- November 3rd, 2020 -- but it is not technically "one year" since 2020 is a leap year (which made Sunday, November 3rd, 2019 the one-year-to-go marker).

As for Jimmy Carter, now 95 years, has been since March the oldest former President in U.S. history, although he is in very frail health, which is exacerbated by injuries from several fall-related injuries in recent months.

Left: Former President Jimmy Carter on April 28, 2019 at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, where he still attends weekly.

This followed a bout of liver and brain cancer several years ago that nearly took his life but he got through it with special treatment. Even today, Carter is still doing his decades-long Habitat for Humanity work. Carter's wife, Rosalynn, 92, is also still going. They've been married since July 7, 1946 -- that is, for over 73 years.

A lifelong traditional conservative Southern Democrat, and his politically unsuccessful term notwithstanding, President Carter remains one of the most decent human beings we've ever had as President. His entire life is an indescribable contrast to the mentally imbalanced, malevolent clown we now have hijacking that office.

Finally, today was also the 140th anniversary of the birth of Will Rogers on Nov 4th, 1879 -- or 100 years to the day before the Iran Hostage Crisis started.

Google featured the above animated Google Doodle today.


Will Rogers' Wikipedia article describes him as "an American stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator."

Born to a Cherokee family in the then-Oklahoma territory ("Oklahoma's Favorite Son," he has been dubbed "America's Cowboy Philosopher" for quotable quotes such as "All I know is what I read in the papers" and what is arguably his most famous and enduring one: "I never met a man I didn't like."

I sure as hell can't say that.

This "Five Fast Facts" article on has some interesting biographical information about Rogers.

Rogers was killed along with aviator Wiley Post on Aug 15, 1935 when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer aircraft they were flying in from Fairbanks crashed about 20 miles southwest of the promontory known as Point Barrow, itself nine miles from the town of Barrow, now Utqiagvik. This also explains the name of the Utqiagvik airport: Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport.

Rogers apparently was intrigued by the possibility of an air-and-passenger route between Alaska and eastern Russia. I find that rather interesting -- but I'm not going to get into my Bering Strait fixation right now.

Rogers and aviator Wiley Post on Aug 15, 1935 hours before their plane crashed in the far north of Alaska.


OK, I'm going to end this entry now rather than go into any more detail. My next planned entry will be tomorrow or Wednesday.


No comments: