Donald, Arnold & the 7 Dwarfs in 27 Tweets



And the winners of the #foxnewsdebate ARE: #DonaldTrump & #ArnoldSchwarzenegger! BOTH are expert salesmen of #videogames, or debates. Same.

Will someone wake up #BenCarson? #foxnewsdebate

Oily #TedCruz bankrolled by #BigOil and slammed by #Iowa’s #TerryBranstad slip slides away and picks #SteveKing as his hero. #foxnewsdebate

#RandPaul & #BenCarson give American Medical Education a terrible name…#foxnewsdebate

I never thought I’d ever miss #CarlyFiorna’s smiling face, but the other 7 dwarfs are so bad, I miss her endearing snarl…#foxnewsdebate

Trending bigtime on #Google: millions rushing to see what the word #SCHMUCK means, since there are so many of them at the #foxnewsdebate

The #GOP ticket: #DonaldTrump & #ArnoldSchwarzenegger! Both big winners tonight! Perfect pitchmen! @realDonaldTrump #foxnewsdebate

#MarcoRubio: the priesthood wants you! If you put your faith above your country, you’re disqualified to lead your country. #foxnewsdebate

Any difference between #RadicalIslamistJihadists and #RadicalChristianJihadists trying to force their faiths down everyone’s throat? #GOP

#Christie says he’ll keep #Hillary 10 miles from the #WhiteHouse. Will #Christie sit on the Beltway like he blocked the #GWBridge? #GOP
The two #foxnewsdebate winners: #ArnoldSchwarzenegger hawking #videogames and @realDonaldTrump hawking himself. #foxnewsdebate

Where is #HermanCain when we need him? #foxnewsdebate

#Christie swallows a mop LIVE on #FoxNews !

#Rubio kicks #Cruz in the groin. #TedCruz oozes blood along with oil. Why is he still on the stage? #foxnewsdebate

Where is @realDonaldTrump when we need him? #foxnewsdebate

#TedCruz oozes more oil than #ExxonMobil. Slimy, slippery, greasy political slime ball. #foxnewsdebate

#JebBush & #MarcoRubio from #Florida; #TedCruz from #Texas:why does ANYONE think they have any credibility on #immigration? #foxnewsdebate

#Christie on #PlannedParenthood: grounds to impeach as #NJ Governor. Kick him out! Oh, right, he’s already gone! Give #Christie a mop!

#foxnewsdebate: why is #TedCruz still on stage?

So far in the #foxnewsdebate, #ArnoldSchwarzenegger is the winner for his #videogames commercial! Go, Arnold, go! Terminate these fools…

Amazing that #BenCarson could operate on so many brains without any intelligence rubbing off on him. #foxnewsdebate

Did #ROGERAILES do #MegynKelly’s make-up tonight? #foxnewsdebate.

#TedCruz ’s threat to “leave the stage” of the #foxnewsdebate is best news of the night! #Cruz should leave the stage of political life!

What’s needed to watch the #foxnewsdebate is a supply of duct-tape to slap across each of the #GOP candidates mealy mouths. Just STF up!

#foxnewsdebate: STOP THE PRESSES! Did we just see #ArnoldSchwarzenegger doing a #videogames commercial! Has a new #GOP Pitchman emerged?

#GOPDebate: #foxnewsdebate #ChrisWallace should lend his poorly fitting eyeglasses to #MegynKelly so she can subdue her false eyelashes
#GOPDebate : Each #GOP candidate is more revolting than the other. #Yech. If I were @realDonaldTrump I’d have stayed home too.

The Instagraphing of Ideas

IMG_6891I’ve spent my entire life writing.  I write because I breathe, because i have to write to exist. I write to tell stories, and because I need to express my feelings, opinions.   I write to uncover facts, discover truths, and because I’ve always believed that presented with intelligent argument, information, or with a compelling personal story, people will make rational and humane choices.  I write because I believe we can touch each other with words, and inspire ourselves to be better than who we are.  Lately, I’ve been thinking I’m just wrong .

No one cares what anyone else has to say or thinks.  No one is interested in facts if they don’t align with their narrow perspective.  Outside of young children, few people want to learn something new, or a different view of the world than they hold and have always clutched onto, for fear of it coming apart.  Editorial responses have become like selfies:  the Instagraphing of snippets of ideas or what masquerades as thought..

There’s lots of anecdotal evidence to prove my point,  research studies, and even a Presidential candidacy or two serving as snapshots of how no one wants  any new information, especially if it’s based upon science or math.  That’s the equivalent of photobombing a make-believe pose.  We want things to be the way we want them to be.

My own recent case study came in the form of a thoughtful blog post published in the Napa Valley Register as an Op-Ed piece on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. My article was entitled, “Obama’s Last SOTU (State of the Union) is Too, Too Soft.”  I wrote the piece to express my disappointment with Obama’s lack of fire in his last fireside chat.

Within days of publication, 26 responses rained on the Napa Valley Register, each grinding out its own tune, clapping it own hands.   What was written may have well been part of a separate Instagram account.   Here’s a small sampling::

From “Rocketman;
“What Obama has figured out is that it takes more to be a President than having a background as a community organizer. His failures were guaranteed by his lack of experience and leadership abilities. Great speaking skills with no substance a president does not make.”

“Rocketman” got raked over by someone named “Grady.”:

“Everything he did was done with the ‘publicans resistance. They vowed to make him a one term president and obstruct everything he tried to do – they failed.”

Alucawanza agreed with Grady:
“That’s right 1Grady1. They failed. Now they want Trump! Heaven help us…’

An Instagrapher using the name “Ms. Demo” rushed to Obama’s defense:

“I think he has done a wonderful job and if the Republicans had worked with him instead of against every thing it would have been even more successful.  If you support Trump, Cruz or Rubio then i feel sorry for you”

Time for the Founding Fathers to flit in, under the name “Madison Jay Hamilton,”advancing their own Instanalysis:

“Authoritarian corporatists of either party will be unpopular in 2016. BTW, I recommend readers see “The Big Short” at a local theater to view a film depicting some recent economic history. (It’s a provocative film.”

After a Trump trumpeter tooted the Donald’s horn, “Rootin Tootin Putin” put him in his place:

“That’s why they have elections, you get to vote for Donald Trump, and the rest of the nation gets to vote for a reasonable presidential candidate.”

An Obama-backer rattled off a list of 14 accomplishments of the Administration taken right from the White House website. Finally, she injected her Instagraph:   “Oh, yeah, and Osama bin Laden is dead.”

Then, sounding like Sarah Palin blaming Obama for her son’s domestic violence & gun possession crimes,  “Tripnote” tripped on his own InstaNoise:

“if democrats didn’t block Bush, think of all the things he could have accomplished.”  Just think.

It was left to “Cross Country Kid,” to take aim at Obama’s brain and the nature of the game:

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” the Kid clicked “that if, after a cerebral snoozer like Obama, the voters overreact and put Trump into office. I’ve long thought politics is one of the better spectator sports. With Trump as president, every day would be like the Super Bowl. Let the games begin.”

I’m sure the people of Flint, Michigan, just can’t wait.

But it was Ms.Demo who had the last snippet:

” I am certain that President Obama will go down as one of the greatest presidents this country has had.  You will have even more to be sorry for if Trump and his new girlfriend are elected.”

So, apparently, will Trump’s wife.

Obama’s Last SOTU Is Too, Too Soft




President Obama’s final State of the Union (SOTU, for Tweet geeks) was like a glass of warm milk. Comforting, gentle and sleep inducing.

Having contributed to a few of Mario M. Cuomo’s speeches (like his speech at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, when NYC was reeling from riots in Crown Heights, and his NY Press Club speech on the First Amendment) my expectations for every important speech by a chief executive are extraordinarily high. Admittedly, I was spoiled by a master of the craft.

But, on the heels of his brilliant and poignant press conference on gun control a few weeks ago which had me, and himself, in tears, I expected Obama’s rhetoric and emotions to send the Capitol Dome into orbit—a Steph Curry like finish in the biggest fourth-quarter of his career.   But Obama proved, once again, that he was neither a Cuomo nor a Curry, but the same cautious guy who talked about getting red & blue states to be nice to each other, 12 years earlier.

After seven years of increasing partisan rancor, scarcely any of which was his fault as a focused, problem-solving President, Obama took the blame for not being able to diffuse it.  That’s like someone being badgered with “When-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife?” questions and instead of hitting the insulting troll in the nose for the insinuation and forcefully saying, “I never started,” Obama admitted that maybe he should have been nicer to the abusive questioner. Pulllleeeeeese, Barack.

While his so-soothing speech contained a few barbs aimed at Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Chris Christie and Mitch McConnell, and made a logical—and economically sensible—case for leading on climate change, Obama’s hour long fireside chat lacked fire.   Rather than lamenting obstacles in the way of voter participation and exhorting citizens to vote, a President can direct the U.S. Justice Department to legally challenge every single attempt to undermine voting rights. What was lacking on the voting rights issue, and on most others in Obama’s so-so speech, was a commitment to enforce the lofty ideals he believes in—ideals for justice and human dignity; ideals which led many of us to support him early on in his quest for the Presidency.

Despite living in NYC and being a constituent of Senator Hillary Clinton’s, I was an ardent Obama supporter going back to 2007. Attending one of the first fund-raisers for Obama at the Sheraton Manhattan Hotel with a few thousand die-hards, I was swept up in a wave of passion and hope which rippled through the mixed age, mixed-race crowd. Young people of color, clamoring to get close to the stage, held their cellphones high, cameras clicking as he spoke. This was our moment, and I was transported back to the first Bobby Kennedy rally I attended as a 15 years old, when RFK campaigned for U.S. Senator from New York.   At that rally, I held up a huge white sheet, with the words “Hello Bobby” painted on it in blue paint, and I was certain we would change the world for the better.

Forty-three years later, I held up my hands for Obama and cheered, whistling my ballpark whistle, feeling good about a new generation joining the fight for justice and equality. Having been robbed of two Kennedys and a King by gun violence, perhaps my hopes were too high, or I endowed Obama with gifts of leadership and toughness he never possessed.

The President said as much, in his last-hurrah speech, noting that if he were a Roosevelt or a Lincoln, he might have been able to get feuding factions to find common ground. It was a clever attempt to neutralize his critics, on both sides of the aisle, by invoking the images of Presidential giants leading a divided nation during times of great stress. However, his veiled comparison of crass political bickering to the national catastrophes of the Civil War and the Great Depression, was a classic Obama head fake.

Instead, his SOTU swan song, sounded to me, like a surrender. Once again, he backed away from hitting his disloyal opposition squarely between the eyes; once again, he attempted to play nice with the barnyard bullies bent on eviscerating his entrails. Obama’s last SOTU, became so…so… “too”: too soft, too little, too long, too accommodating, too trusting, too conciliatory, too weak and far too understanding,

And now, it’s too late for Obama to beat the shot clock, or hit an unbelievable three-pointer from beyond the paint. We’ve already seen all his moves.


I Am An Angry White Man



I am an Angry White Man..

I am angry at whatever I can,

And, there is no end.

I am angry at other white men,

Who think their lack of color

Enhances their lack of honor,

Or candor with themselves,

Over their lack of skills.


I am an Angry White Man,

And I am angry at other white men

Who look at women

As their pleasure,

Without any measure of sense

That they demean us all,

With brains, and hearts and dicks so small.


I am an Angry White Man,

And I will fight any man

Who treats my granddaughters

As less than equal,

And the sequel of my rage

Will fill another page

And pin you to the wall

Until, defeated,

you fall, and crawl back into your cage.


I am an Angry White Man,

And do not hide behind a gun,

Just for fun,

Or fondle it to prove my manhood,

Or drive a truck,

Or give a fuck

About your masked-ulinity.


I am an Angry White Man,

And I am angry at other white men

Who sold their souls and bought

The lie that money matters

More than love, or humanity,

And, to justify their bloat,

Try to push their hollow values

Down everyone else’s throat.


I am an Angry White Man,

And I am an angry at your stupidity,

At your smug, twisted face on questions of race.

I’m angry at how you can be so dumb

To think you are the chosen one,

Because you shout coarse and loud,

And mistake your insecurity for being proud

Of who you really aren’t.


I am an Angry White Man,

But don’t mistake my anger

For some pose, or passing storm,

Because I will not rest until

Rage becomes the aberration,

And love becomes the norm.






Remembering Mario Cuomo and the Legacy He Left Us on the Anniversary of his Death

(Reposted from my “Radical Correspondence” Blog of January 7, 2015)


(Mario Cuomo, me and my son, Matt Villano, following an event 30-years ago where Cuomo inspired young people to be part of something bigger than themselves)

Mario Cuomo died this week, and Andrew Cuomo was re-born.

Andrew Cuomo’s simple and eloquent eulogy to his father on January 6, 2015, was a bold and loving seizing of the the torch of humanist leadership his father ignited 33 years ago. In a remarkable love song to Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo became his father.

That chiseled, stately, large and determined face was the same look I witnessed up close on Mario Cuomo, many, many times. Snow falling on Andrew’s dark hair, and dark suit, dramatized the somber yet historic nature of what was about to happen even more. I witnessed Mario Cuomo prepare for, and deliver, hundreds of speeches during the eight years I worked with him; I studied each line in Mario Cuomo’s face as he read each line of his speeches, and as he black-lined out others. Getting what he “needed to say” just right was of great importance.

Up until this week, few of Andrew Cuomo’s speeches were memorable. Actions counted more to Andrew than words. Speech-making was often just another tool in the second Governor Cuomo’s operational repair kit for government. All that changed with Andrew’s eulogy for his father.

For once, Andrew Cuomo’s words and emotions moved us, and, more importantly, they may have moved him toward his father’s progressive, other-centered, enlightened form of leadership. Andrew’s words, personal and powerful, were a radical departure from his pedestrian prose of the past. His words were transcribed from his heart to the page from which he was reading, just as his father advised.

“Mario Cuomo was at peace with who he was and how he saw the world. This gave him great strength, and made him anything but a typical politician,” Andrew Cuomo said, after recounting his father’s advice about speechmaking to him. “Who cares about what the audience wants to hear; it’s not about what they want to hear–it’s about what you want to say.”

“And that, my friends,” Andrew Cuomo said to a church-full of mourners, including Bill & Hillary Clinton, “was the essence of Mario Cuomo.
He was not interested in pleasing the audience: not in a speech, not in life. He believed what he believed and the reaction of the audience or the powers that be, or the popularity of his belief was irrelevant to him.”

Andrew elaborated: “He wasn’t really a politician at all. Mario Cuomo’s politics were more a personal belief system then a traditional theory. It was who he was. Not what he did. My father was a humanist. He had strong feelings of right and wrong based on his religion, philosophy and life experiences. He was very concerned with how people were treated and that was the arena that drew him in….”

Then, Andrew Cuomo shared the essence of Mario Cuomo: “At his core he was a philosopher and he was a poet, an advocate and he was a crusader. Mario Cuomo was the keynote speaker for our better angels. He was there to make the case, to argue and convince, and,in that purist he could be a ferocious opponent and powerful ally. And, he was beautiful. He believed Jesus’ teachings could be reduced to one word, and the word was love. And love means acceptance, compassion and support to help people.

Then, Andrew Cuomo gave everyone insight into his relationship with his father: “It is this simple. I was devoted to my father, from the time I was 15 joining him in every crusade. My dad was my hero, my best friend, my confidante, my mentor. We spoke almost every day and his wisdom grew as I grew older. . But we carried the same banner. I helped him become a success and he helped me become a success and we enjoyed deeply each other’s victories and we suffered the pain of each other’s losses. My only regret is that I didn’t return from Washington to help in his 1994 race. Whether or not I could have helped, I should have been there. It was the right thing to do and I didn’t do it.” Powerful, and deeply personal, and unlike anything Andrew Cuomo has said before.

“Why didn’t he run for President, people asked? Because he didn’t want to,” Andrew Cuomo said. He was where he thought God wanted him to be. For Mario Cuomo, the purpose of life was clear — to help those in need and leave the world a better place.”

“I believe my father’s spirit lives,” the son said, citing family and community examples. “I will listen for your voice. You taught us well, you inspired us, we know what we have to do and we will do it. On that, you have my word, as your son. I love you pop, and always will.”

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