Jay Inslee’s Out. Joe Walsh Might Be In.

Up until a few minutes ago, I had totally missed that Jay Inslee ended his presidential campaign yesterday.  Of course, most people missed that he had even started a presidential campaign in the first place so I guess it all evens out.

I’m actually surprised Inslee didn’t last longer.  Inslee’s entire campaign was centered on climate change, which is the sexy issue for rich political activists right now.  Inslee even received the Bill Nye endorsement, which had to have carried some weight with the large number of people who believe that being the science guy is the same thing as being scientist.

On Monday night, Inslee’s campaign was still soliciting donations and trying to qualify for the third debate.  But, on Wednesday, Inslee announced he was withdrawing and instead running for a third term as governor of Washington.  I wonder if Inslee would have still withdrawn if Tom Steyer, who has a similar message and a personal fortune to spend, hadn’t gotten into the race.

With Inslee gone, we are now down to 22 major Democratic candidates.  Meanwhile, over on the Republican side, former Congressman Joe Walsh is talking about challenging Trump in the primaries.  Walsh was previously known for being one of the most corrupt and bigoted members of the U.S. House but he’s figured out that the easiest way to redeem your image in 2019 is to loudly denounce Donald Trump.  Bill Kristol, who really should know better, has even said a positive word or two about Walsh’s potential candidacy.

(Back in the day, Walsh was an even more enthusiastic birther than Trump.)

If he does run, Joe Walsh would actually be the second Joe Walsh to run for President.  The legendary guitarist for The James Gang and the Eagles ran for President in 1980.  His slogan was Free Gas For Everyone.  He didn’t win but his campaign still inspired more good music than John Anderson’s.

 

It’s Time To Pass The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act

Seth Moulton is one of the more obscure Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination.  The congressman from Massachusetts has never polled above 1% nor has he been invited to any of the debates.  Unfortunately, for Moulton, Tim Ryan seems to have beaten him to the punch when it comes to claiming the role of the moderate, youngish congressman who knows how to win over blue collar workers.

Seth Moulton will probably never be president.  Because his last name isn’t Kennedy, he probably won’t ever be a Massachusetts senator either.  But he and Chris Stewart, a Republican from Utah, have teamed up to sponsor a very good bill.  The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act would replace the current suicide hotline with a three-digit dialing code.  The bill would allow Americans experiencing a mental health emergency to get help by dialing 988.  Not only would 988 be easier for everyone to remember (like 411 or 911) but, for someone having suicidal thoughts, the difference in the amount of time that it takes to dial just three digits as opposed to ten can be the difference between life and death.

Moulton and Stewart have set aside partisan differences to co-sponsor this bill.  Hopefully, Congress will do the same and pass it.

Which 90s New York-Based Sitcom About A Group Of Sex-Obsessed Friends Was Better?

For the past 24 hours, people online have been debating a very important question.  Which 90s New York-based sitcom about a group of sex-obsessed friends was better?

Now, for me the answer is simple and it’s really not even up for debate.

The Single Guy was infinitely superior to Caroline In The City.

Your mileage may vary.

Both The Single Guy and Caroline in the City premiered in 1995 and they were both based on the same general concept.  In The Single Guy, Jonathan Silverman (who was an inexplicably busy actor in the 90s) played an award-winning novelist who was unlucky in love.  In Caroline In The City, Lea Thompson plays an award-winning cartoonist who was unlucky in love.  They both lived in New York.  They both had a group of wise-cracking friends.  They both appeared on shows that haf very loud and very active laugh tracks.

For years, fans have debated which show was better.  Caroline In The City or The Single Guy?  On the one hand, it was easier to buy Lea Thompson as a cartoonist than Jonathan Silverman as a writer.  Caroline also kept the same cast for the course of its four-season run while The Single Guy jettisoned half of its cast halfway through its run and then was cancelled after its second season.

However, The Single Guy had something that Caroline In The City didn’t.  It had Ernest Borgnine as Manny the Doorman.

Sorry, Caroline.  But you just can’t beat Ernest Borgnine!

Planning A Vacation In A Time of Uncertainty

A burning newsagent’s shop is seen during a demonstration by the “yellow vests” movement in Paris, France, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Lisa and I are planning on taking a vacation in November.  Up until a few weeks ago, our plan was to travel to the UK so that I could visit with family and so we could cross the channel and spend at least a day or two in Paris.  When we were in the UK last year, our plans to see France were canceled as a result of the Yellow Vest Riots so we were hoping to make up for that this year.

However, the problem with making vacation plans right now is that I’m not sure what type of state the UK’s going to be in, come November.  Boris Johnson has said that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31st, regardless of whether a deal is in place or not.  No one seems to be sure what a No Deal Brexit would be like.  Depending on who you read and where you read it, it could either be no big deal or it could be the end of the UK as we know it.

Boris and Jeremy

That’s assuming, of course, that Boris Johnson is even prime minister in November.  Jeremy Corbyn has been pushing the idea of Parliament to make him a “caretaker prime minister,” in order to ensure that there won’t be a No Deal Brexit.  The day that Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, I swore that, if Corbyn ever did become PM, I would not step foot in the UK until he was out of office.  Considering that most of the family that I have in the UK is also planning on leaving the country in the event that he ever becomes PM, there wouldn’t be much reason for me to visit.

Fortunately, I doubt that Corbyn could ever get the backing necessary to become even a caretaker PM.  If Corbyn’s ever going to move into 10 Downing Street, Labour’s going to have to actually win a general election.

Still, in this time of increasing uncertainty, we have to ask ourselves if not Europe, then where?

Greenland, perhaps?  If it’s going to be the 51st State, now seems like a good time to visit.

Welcome to Greenland

Kennedy vs. Markey

According to the New York Times, Rep. Joe Kennedy III is considering challenging Ed Markey for his senate seat next year.

Since they’re both Democrats, this would mean that they would face off in the primary.  Usually (but not always, as the last two Democrats who ran for governor can attest), most statewide elections in Massachusetts are determined by who wins the Democratic nomination.  Markey is 73, which is not terribly old by Senate standards, a reliable liberal, and not currently mired in any huge scandals.  It seems like the only argument for Joe to run is that he’s a Kennedy and he wants the seat.

Some of it may have to do with age, though it’s more due to Joe’s age than Markey’s.  Joe is 38.  When John F. Kennedy was Joe’s age, he was already in the Senate and came close to being named Adlai Stevenson’s running mate in 1956.  When Joe’s grandfather, Robert, was 38, he had already served as Attorney General and was running for the senate in New York.  When Ted was 38, he was still being described as a future president despite his role in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.  The Kennedy tradition has always been to move up the ranks quickly.

Markey has never been an inspiring senator but then again, Joe has never been an inspiring Kennedy.  If Joe does run, it’ll be a test of just how much power the Kennedy name still carries in Massachusetts.

Peter Fonda, Rest In Peace

I wrote about Peter Fonda for Through the Shattered Lens.

Through the Shattered Lens

Peter Fonda has died from complications due to lung cancer.  He was 79 years old.

As an actor, Peter Fonda never got as much respect as the rest of this family.  Unlike his sister or his father, he never won an Academy Award, though he was nominated for two of them (one for writing Easy Rider and another for starring in Ulee’s Gold).  During the late 80s and the 90s, he was better known for being Bridget Fonda’s father than for the majority of the films that he appeared in during that time.  While the rest of his family was appearing in prestige pictures and working with directors like Fred Zinnemann, Sidney Lumet, William Wyler, Francis Ford Coppola, and Quentin Tarantino, Peter Fonda spent most of his career appearing in B-movies.  But today, many of those B-movies are more fondly remembered than the big films that he missed out…

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