Two for the Price of One


With the Clintons, no doubt, reentering the White House next year, I’m reminded of their 1992 sales pitch extolling their ability to each influence the country’s policies, and the fact The Progressive Populist is only publishing once this month, Hillary, Bill and I offer you double your money back if you don’t instantly fall in love with our offer.

Not-So-Happy Memorial Day

Driving down one of my hometown’s main streets, I saw a sign asking that we have a Happy Memorial Day. It struck me as odd we should be happy on a day in which we mourn and honor America’s war dead.

Since 9/11, in particular, tens of thousands of brave men and women have put their lives on the line and thousands returned in casket for no other reason than the USA, recently, continues to have a meddling foreign policy, whereby, just for yucks, we must impose our will where so very few people hold us in high regard.

So, these days, America has no reason to be happy on Memorial Day. Instead we should spend that day, perhaps every day, remembering how our leaders took us down this dead end and why this country sometimes needs to butt out when their help really isn’t needed.

But this Memorial Day also gave us a chance to mourn those who died right here especially in Chicago. While the Cubs and the White Sox may have been enjoying their times over the Memorial Day weekend, 64 Chicago residents were shot; eight were killed.

What’s going on in this town and to a slightly less extent what’s going on in America is remindful of what went on in Fallujah and other Iraqi cities in the height of the war. This is not Iraq, and yet Americans are dropping like flies, not from IEDs, but from bullets.

Here’s an idea. Perhaps after he’s done being President, Obama could spend his energy bringing Chicago back from the brink of rampant urban warfare by becoming its mayor.

First of all his protégé, Rahm Emmanuel, needs to take a hike and let his former boss clean up his mess. Secondly, having a former streetwise Chicagoan and activist take the helm would be just what is necessary. Communications between the neighborhoods and the mayor’s office are not producing the desired effect, in part, because most people hate the mayor’s guts.

Wouldn’t it be spectacular, if Obama was able to take the reins and eventually quell much of the violence. With many wondering what Obama will do after leaving the White House, becoming Chicago’s mayor would be a perfect fit. And maybe, just maybe Memorial Days in that city be become less sad.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Way

By now, you’ve no doubt heard that this presidential campaign will pit two candidates who are each more disliked by a majority of the population. Furthermore, you could quibble over who is the most distrusted.

But Donald J. Trump and Hillary R. Clinton must have something going for them since they’re both their respective party’s nominee. As a result, I’ve spent the last week watching both of them, hoping to discern some glint of positivity between the candidates.

For Trump, his most endearing trait is he’s so brazenly infantile. Isn’t it fun to watch somebody else’s kid misbehave? I don’t know about you, but temper tantrums can be delightful to witness on TV especially when the baby is running for president. All the time his doting parents are praising his artistic prowess after he took his smelly feces and wiped them on the wall.

For Clinton, however, her most endearing trait is she’s so brazenly imperious. Everything that comes at her, and there’s a lot, seemingly never enters her realm. She’s been taught well, over the years, to float above the fray in hopes that if she doesn’t notice the wolves at the door, nobody else will. It’s almost as if she’s in her upstairs dressing room being fitted for her coronation gown while the rabble below scream for some relief. And though all of the crap that follows her around like a train on her most elegant dress, it’s clear as day her feces don’t stink.

Eric Blumberg is a former radio news reporter and talk show host who now teaches communications and writing at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. See

From The Progressive Populist, July 1-15, 2016

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