Peter Cavanaugh

Breakout for Bernie

Bernie was best.

That long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs ducked and weaved and shimmied and shook all the way through Sunday’s Democratic Debate like Tony Dorsett for the Dallas Cowboys in 1983. Remember? 99 yards from scrimmage to touchdown - the longest run in NFL history. The wild, crazy, unlikely turns of fate these last two playoff weeks are making me think the old goat might just have a chance.

I hasten to add that Bernie and I were born on the same date - Sept. 8, 1941.

I was highly enthusiastic that we might elect our first female president this year, initially abandoning such hope when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts chose not to run, then reluctantly accepting the fact that we might have to settle for the candidacy of Hillary Clinton - baggage and all.

As far as I’m concerned, Hillary’s baggage has nothing to do with Benghazi, emails, possible federal indictments, or any other nonsensical right wing fantasy bubbling forth from the frothing cauldron of hate-filled talk radio, or even the wild ways of a wandering Willie.

Hillary’s baggage includes an uncomfortably close association with big money, a disturbing reticence to acknowledge such and, most of all, a marked tendency to blithely resort to fabrication in the pursuit of ambition.

During Sunday’s debate, Senator Sanders characterized Secretary Clinton’s attacks on his gun control record and health plan ideas as being “duplicitous.” I would more bluntly use the word “deceitful” - and alarmingly so.

Hillary’s shrill accusations that Bernie will “tear up the Affordable Care Act, hike taxes on the middle class and push our country into a contentious debate with Republicans” is a gross distortion.

Senator Sanders courageously states that he wants “Medicare for all” with a single payer, universal health care system that covers every American as a basic human right.

Bottom line? Each dollar you now pay for insurance premiums would be replaced by sending half as much to a collective fund - this action now termed a “tax hike” by Hillary rather than what it actually is - part of a viable plan to save the average middle class American household $5,000 a year. That’s hard-earned cash back in your pocket, even if this upsets Republicans.

Republicans have enough to be upset about these days without any help from the Democratic Party. I would give an alphabetical grade to the GOP debate of last Thursday from South Carolina, but, alas, there are no letters after Z.

Ted Cruz wants to nuke Tehran for embarrassing us by detaining American sailors who were released the very next day, despite their inexplicable violation of Iranian waters only hours before President Obama’s final State of the Union address to Congress. Ticklish timing.

Marco Rubio appears more and more like a pugnacious pug. Down, doggie, down.

And the Donald is The Donald - a billionaire with a trillion red ties.

And why does former front-runner Jeb Bush always seem on the verge of tears?

The rest of the field is inconsequential - as is O’Malley with the Democrats; more decoration than meaningful declaration.

Definitely of consequence was January’s Tea Party Meeting here in Oakhurst at the Best Western Gateway Inn on Jan. 12 that enjoyed overflowing attendance for a talk by Tony Gurule on Islam and Sharia Law.

Invited by my friend, Central Valley Coordinator John Pero, I found Tony’s address informative and instructive, although final conclusions drawn might differ from my own subjective analysis. Still, it was A+ in presentation and provided a valuable learning experience.

Folks in my old hometown of Flint, Michigan are learning that pennies saved can bring a nightmare earned.

Attempting to limit spending on a basic necessity, state government decided the Flint River should be used as a supply source instead of slightly more expensive Great Lakes water, bringing on extensive lead poisoning of the entire city population for well over a year. There was a cover up.

And even as Bernie Sanders keeps climbing the polls in his historic rise against the most uneven distribution of wealth in our nation’s history, what other two words mean corporate greed?

Delaware North.

We’ve been victimized and violated. Ripped off.

No thanks for the memory.