Celebrating the Blue Tsunami and All U.S. Veterans

There are more than a few things that bug the crap out of me, although at my age I should be grateful the crap is getting evacuated out of me. Double spacing between sentences bugs the hell out of me. The Trump-QAnon Cult really pisses me off … and at least 250 of the GOP candidates for public service bow down to The Donald, forgetting the ring and kissing his ass instead, promoting the Big Lie and promising to make sure the Trump-QAnon Cult always wins.

Apparently the term for such candidates and voters is “MAGA Republicans.” That’s less cumbersome than “Trump-QAnon Cult,” but we ought not forget what and who is at the center of that hellhole of lies and conspiracy theories. What is very unconscionable is the Trump-QAnon Cult candidate in Wisconsin sued to reject all mail-in votes from military members who are stationed all over the world. When I was in the U.S. Marines so many decades ago I received my mail-in ballots with enough time to get them back in time. Because my dear, departed mother, worked for the Democratic Party in Milwaukee I always received letters from politicians like the last of Milwaukee’s Socialist mayors, Henry Maier. He switched his party affiliation to Democrat, but he was quite pointedly, against the Civil Rights movement. That’s hardly progressive.

There were also letters from senators William Proxmire and Gaylord Nelson, and some local and state Democrats who, at the very least, figured they could get in Mom’s good graces. She was an important muckity muck. In the Milwaukee Democratic Party machine. Her office was next door to Mayor Maier’s office.

The Democratic politician that sent a letter, who I remember most fondly, was Congressman Clement J. Zablocki. He could be a son-of-a-bitch — he was a strong proponent of the Vietnam War, for instance — but he was a very strong supporter of veterans issues, and most especially those KIA and MIA in the Vietnam War  The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Woods, Wisconsin (a plot of land just south of the Menomonee River Valley) is named for Zablocki as are an elementary school and library. He didn’t seem to care about my mother’s influence in the Democratic machine. Zablocki was getting re-elected regardless.

Unfortunately I’ve forgotten where I was going with this tangent … oh yeah, GOP politicians trying to void absentee ballots from the men and women serving in the U.S. military.

As I’ve said before: Republicans DO NOT support the military. They support the military-industrial complex. It’s the #1 reason the vast majority of your tax dollars are going to weapons system like the F-22 Raptor and the F-35b Lightning. I picked the F-35B variant because it is the USMC version that includes VTOL — Vertical Take Off and Landing. The F-22 Raptor is all about air superiority around the world and … what is the purpose of the F-35 Lightning? It too has stealth technology and can go supersonic It has various options to adapt to the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps … I just don’t understand why we had to have both.

F-22 Raptor at the MCAS Miramar Air Show (Tim Forkes)

Aircraft are not the only questionable expenditures in the military budget. There are around 9,000 M1-Abrams Tanks in the Army and Marine Corps inventory. Do we need that many tanks? Ordering tanks the DoD doesn’t need keeps the tank assembly factory in Lima, Ohio humming, thereby saving jobs. Having military contracts is very lucrative for the industrial side of the military-industrial complex.

The point is the GOP doesn’t give a damn about the men and women that are in the military . They have no problem slashing benefits for service members and veterans — men and women in the military have to pay co-pays for certain medical procedures. Most veterans have to pay co-pays for medication — and they are only guaranteed to have medical services for five years.

Since COVID-19 took over our lives I haven’t seen the sign about the five years of medical services at the main entrance to my local V.A medical facility. Who knows what that means? The point is the GOP doesn’t support the troops and the Democrats — to be honest — are not much better. Give the service members and veterans a dramatic increase in pay increase. Stop forcing service members and vets to pay co-pays.

What got me started on these rants was watching the election results. It’s been a little depressing. The GOP in Florida and Texas won more seats primarily because they re-drew the district maps to gain some seats that were formally Democratic. But Democrats didn’t do nearly as much as they could have to win some of those races, especially in Miami-Dade County in Florida.

In my boyhood state of Wisconsin, the voters re-elected Governor Tony Evers, over election denying Tim Michels. He boasted that if he were elected governor the GOP would never lose in Wisconsin again. After the recording of him spurred his opponents to paint Michels as an undisciplined and inexperienced extremist, the Michels campaign said that their guy was only saying he would support all GOP candidates.

Compare that to the election for Ron Johnson’s Senate seat. I just gotta’ ask my Wisconsin friends: “WTF!!” You re-elect Tony Evers, but you let Ron Johnson hold onto his Senate seat — the 2020 election denier Ron Johnson — by less than 30k votes, WTF!! Explain yourselves — your state.

It looks like Senator Mark Kelly, Mr. Spaceman, will hold onto his U.S. Senate seat, representing the Grand Canyon State. The TV pundits say his race against the 2020 election denier Blake Masters is too soon to call. As of this writing Kelly has 51.4% of the vote, almost 90,000 votes ahead of Masters.

In the Arizona governor’s race Democrat Katie Hobbs is leading the election denying — mega liar — Kari Lake, 50.3 % to 49.7%. Trump endorsed Lake mainly because she echoed all the ridiculous claims he has been spewing, frankly since he began campaigning in 2015. Lake was claiming the election, this current election, is rigged. She claimed the primary was rigged, despite the fact she won.

It was announced this morning that the Georgia race for the U.S. Senate … What the hell is wrong with those Georgians? How could a guy like Herschel Walker be so close to a candidate like the Rev. Raphael Warnock? Walker has lied about pressuring two former girlfriends to have abortions; Herschel Walker will tell lies even when he doesn’t need to. Hell, he can’t even keep his stance on abortion straight.

Walker lied about being a law enforcement officer, specifically a special agent for the FBI and a “certified peace officer” and a member of the Cobb County, Georgia police department. In 2013 he told a suicide prevention event for the U. S. Army, ““I worked in law enforcement, so I had a gun. I put this gun in my holster and I said, ‘I’m gonna’ kill this dude,’ ” Apparently, with a gun in his hand, Walker chased a man who was late delivering a motor vehicle.

What is wrong with the voters in Georgia? Why did this guy get 1,906,246 votes, forcing a run-off election in December? Other than meeting the age requirement Herschel Walker isn’t the least bit qualified to hold any public office. What the hell is wrong with the people who voted for Walker?

Here in Southern California I not only voted for the guy representing my district, Scott Peters, I donated money to his account and those of Mike Levin (CA-49), Sara Jacobs (CA-50) and Katie Porter (CA-47). She’s one of my heroes. Have you seen Katie Porter hold a CEO’s feet to the fire? When she first got into office and on a committee, a subcommittee I think,  Porter grilled JP Morgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, about how much a tarting employee makes at one of his banks. It was brutal. I almost felt sorry for Dimon, and then remembered the $31 million … just watch. It was a thing of beauty.

So, I want to keep Katie Porter in Congress forever, or as long as she wants to represent the fine people of Irvine and the surrounding area. Keeping the others in office helps the Democrats stay in control of the House of Representatives and for the most part we are aligned on policy.

Another California representative, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy won re-election. On Monday, November 7 he was very — overly — confident that his GOP caucus would be in the majority. Here it is, two days after the elections and we’re still not sure which party will control both houses of Congress.

As of now 192 Democratic seats have been confirmed and 209 for the Republicans. That means 34 seats in the House of Representatives have not been confirmed. Most pundits say the GOP is likely to gain control because they are only nine seats away from having a majority and history says the party of the president in power loses on average over 20 seats in his (or her) first midterm election. The trend so far in this midterm election is the Democratic Party is over performing and the GOP is falling apart. Who is to say, the Dems can’t keep control of the Peoples’ House? As it turns out many voters have rejected the Republican messages which, at their best, heaped plenty of blame on President Biden and Nancy Pelosi for high inflation and gas prices. As usual, the GOP has been lacking any details of what they will do if the gain power.

All except for Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He promised to put a bill up for a vote that would ban abortions throughout the nation. That sort of went over like a lead balloon with most Americans. Then there is this insurrection business …

Which brings to mind a cartoon I saw on social media. One stick figure was holding a Confederate flag and proclaiming that the Confederacy and that flag were part of his heritage. The other stick figure said destroying the Confederacy and all of its treasonous members was part of his heritage. I wish I had a picture of myself pissing on the Confederate flag.

Most Americans believe our democracy is in peril. They didn’t take too kindly to the Trump-QAnon Cult attacking the U.S. Capitol while threatening to murder Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — among others.

  • And I find it appalling members of the MAGA Cult and their supporters made light of Paul Pelosi’s injuries from a Trump-QAnon Cult member who broke into the Pelosi home and struck Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer.

Turns out most U.S. voters didn’t want a bunch of lying 2020 election deniers in any public offices, although a few of them did win their elections. They were rejected in Michigan, Pennsylvania and most likely in Arizona and quite possibly Nevada as well.

Should Senators Mark Kelly in Arizona and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada ger re-elected that will secure the Senate for the Democrats. If Senator Raphael Warnock win his run-off election in Georgia the Dems will have a one seat majority, assuring Senator Chuck Schumer of New York he will return as the Senate Majority Leader in January.

Here’s my confession and Mea Culpa.

Six years ago noted filmmaker Michael Moore (Roger & Me, Bowling For Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 to name three) was on TV warning us that TV conman Donald J. Trump was going to win the Electoral College delegates from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, among others, because the Democrats — and the Hillary Clinton campaign in particular — were not paying enough attention to those under-served constituents, assuming they — the Dems and Hillary campaign — had those states in their pockets because President Obama won those states — twice.

As we — the campaigns actually — learned once again, “All politics are local.” Which means if you want to keep those Electoral College delegates you better visit those states, including Ohio, which has been favoring the GOP, but is still a possible win. Since the 2016 general election I have been paying attention to Michael Moore’s pre-election predictions because he has always been right.

The Democratic Party leadership need to stay focused in Orange County, California. It still has some Republican representatives, like Michelle Steel in Huntington Beach. Makes me wonder: Is McCarthy and his party’s leadership counting on flipping the seats held by Porter and Levin? I have a feeling the Dems have at least two more seats when all the California votes are counted.

So after listening to Michael Moore several times in this election cycle assure me the Democrats will hold both houses of Congress, I’m going to relax, listen to some Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa and let the chips fall where they will.

“You ain’t really made for bein’ out in the street
Ain’t much hope for a fool like you
Cause if you play the game, you will get beat”

And last but certainly not least: When asked what keeps him up at night, Gen. Jim Mattis (USMC Ret) said, “Nothing. I keep other people awake at night.” As of November 10, 2022, we acelebrated 247 years of professional bad assery. Semper Fi to all my fellow Marines and all my fellow veterans. Somebody had to do it and I’m grateful to be counted among them.

The author, Tim Forkes, when he was an 18-yar-old Marine (Tim Forkes)