If I Was Rich Enough to Buy Fox News…

I do daydream of someone like Bill Gates buying Fox News, if it can be bought. . . I dream of what I’d do if I was rich enough to buy it myself. I would NOT turn it into a smug, snappish liberal network–I’d make it centrist, or center-left, even though I’m more progressive than that myself. Yet I’d fire Fox News’s famous racist immediately, and 95 percent of their on-air staff and most writing staff. I’d sure bring in diversity in staff and anchors. I would only change the network’s garish on-air look a bit, at first, but gradually make it more grown up. I’d set new rules for reportage: FACT BASED ONLY would be the first one. I’d have a smart staff of fact checkers. I’d make Fox News truly fair and balanced. I’d make the station more news oriented–actual news…I’d get a sane conservative on, with a weekly show, like SE Cupp–I don’t agree with a lot of her ideas, but she despises Trump and Trumpism and dishonesty in media and she’s a strong believer in climate change and vaccines. I would bring in Mitt Romney, a sane and decent conservative, and George Will, as pundits, along with, say, appearances by the likes of Lawrence O’Donnell…I’d have some not-too-liberal liberal with their own network show balancing Cupp….

Yes, I’d make it clear that FN believes Biden was truly elected, that climate change is real, that we should respect science; that vaccines are safe and necessary…I would have some special shows about what honest fact-checking reveals… I’d work toward a cure for the great disease of modern media: conspiracy theories…

Oh yes I’d transform Fox News, but I wouldn’t get all AOC in my changes...

Why, you ask, wouldn’t I make it flat out MSNBC liberal? Because I’d want to keep what I could of the previous audience and simply offer them the facts they’d been denied. I wouldn’t want to alienate every non-Democrat elderly person in the USA. I would want to gradually expose them to enough honest reportage that they’d decide, on the facts, that there was no need to go extremist-right in their thinking. No need to support those who undermine democracy. Yet I would respect their right to a more conservative point of view. And if I didn’t respect the need for a television venue featuring conservative thought (as well as pragmatically progressive, a balance of the two), hysteria on the right would result. Sure, you’d get some hysteria anyway but not suicide-bomber level reactivity…

Ah. A wistful dream.

A lot of people are feeling apocalyptic…Should they?

It’s not exactly apocalypse. The poorly addressed climate-change crisis is coming to a head.The likely collapse of American democracy, yes, is terrifying. The fact that the sea will soon be mostly bereft of fish and sea mammals–it makes me deeply sad and of course it is frightening.

But then the Roman empire fell, the Black Plague happened, the endless wars, The Holocaust happened, and–sadly–humanity is still here. We had to stick around so we could destroy many other forms of life, it seems. But not quite apocalypse.

Do you know what it is? It’s a dumpster fire–and picture someone slowly and steadily, at an ever slightly increasing rate, pouring gasoline into the dumpster…

Things are bad enough that even the New Yorker publishes cartoons like this one:

TRUMP is still in charge of Social Security Administration? So they make it seem…

So I sent a question by email about some confusion I had about a medicare deduction to my social security. I understand what’s going on with it but they’d sent me a letter that was really confusing. This is part of the answer I received by email.

From day one, President Trump has made it a top priority to lower drug prices. Currently, for Part B, the law requires CMS to pay the average sales price for a drug and also pays physicians a percentage of a drug’s sale price. This incentivizes drug companies to set prices higher and for physicians to prescribe more expensive drugs – because that leads to a higher Medicare payment. Through the President’s drug pricing blueprint, the Trump Administration is working to lower drug prices in Medicare Part B drugs.

This arrived TODAY. I suppose they have left over junk auto-responses from the last administration but him putting his name and his campaign claim in the thing…well I heard he did stuff like that…but it’s still there! What the hell! What else from Trump remains in these kinds of responses across government bureaus?

Does it have to be Kamala Harris?

If Biden isn’t able to run for re-election for health reasons, say, or if he is re-elected and Democrats must choose someone to run after him…Or if he’s not re-elected (supposing the GOP succeeds in rigging races through forcing their extremists into secretary of state positions in critical electoral zones) …does Kamala Harris have to be the next Dem nominee for President? I know, we tend to choose the VP of the Democratic President to run… I want a woman President too. I voted for Elizabeth Warren for President during the primary.

But, as per the Washington Post:

Staffers who worked for Harris before she was vice president said one consistent problem was that Harris would refuse to wade into briefing materials prepared by staff members, then berate employees when she appeared unprepared….’It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,’ one former staffer said. ‘With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.'”

And I remember when a reporter asked her a tough question about her plans for immigration and she got mad, bitterly sarcastic, with him–and she didn’t really answer the question. Harris doesn’t do well with pressure. During the primary debates, she got flustered and wasn’t very focused–unlike Warren–which might be explained partly by Harris over-reacting to pressure, and partly by her problem with prep. Not enough preparation… A political commentator I know said, I wasn’t a fan of hers during the primary. “She kept putting out position papers and then 180 degrees reversing herself when she got pushback. If you’re going to put out a position paper, shouldn’t you anticipate the pushback and have answers for it prepared?”

And she’s notorious for burning through her assistants and aides.

Now imagine what Biden has to put up with as President. Not only Covid and its new variants, not only vast misinformation and flat-out lies, not only the GOP openly preparing to steal elections, not only Trump and his buddies, not only inflation and school massacres, not only a kneejerk-hostile press–but the possibility of WWIII flashpoints in Ukraine and the China Sea.

How would Harris deal with that level of near-perpetual crisis? She wouldn’t. I’d rather have Stacy Abrams, or some other woman run.