Vote for Bernie (& Hillary, Too!)

635501804068694446-2016IowaCaucus-720x163Iowa Banner 2Iowa Banner 3Tonight, Americans will begin the process of choosing their next President when voters across the state of Iowa gather to participate in a strange democratic ritual known as the Iowa Caucuses.

iowa-county-mapRepublicans and Democrats (and Independents joining one of the two major parties for the night) will get the electoral ball rolling just as a major winter storm threatens to keep them from congregating in large numbers at the 1,681 caucuses across the state.

I understand there will also be one Democratic telecaucus. I have no idea what a “telecaucus” is. (Sounds like a dinosaur.) I’m surprised I haven’t heard Rachel Maddow try to explain it to me dozens of times in the past two weeks.

For the Republicans, the caucus is a relatively simple affair: show up, register your vote, and go home to your warm hearth and home.

web1_0_no_image_title_151Democrats, however, will play an oddball game of musical chairs – herding themselves into “Presidential preference groups” supporting the candidate of their choice. Candidates who don’t garner the support of at least 15 percent of the folks in the room are no longer “viable” and their supporters can either “acquire people into their group to become viable” — or switch chairs and join another viable candidate’s herd. Sort of like a Midwestern political mating ritual.

screen-shot-2016-01-31-at-8-31-17-pmThen, in order to determine which candidate has won the most delegates at the caucus, the Democratic Party of Iowa uses this simple equation:

“(Attendees in preference group × Total delegates the caucus elects) ÷ Total number of eligible attendees = Delegates for group to elect”

Math was never my favorite subject, but I’m sure Iowa Democratic Party officials will eventually determine who came out on top in the Iowa Caucuses – and then the Presidential pageant will move on to New Hampshire and beyond.

bernie_2It’s my hope that Senator Bernie Sanders will emerge from the Iowa Caucuses with a victory – and that he’ll score another win in New Hampshire. I’ve been listening to Bernie for years, and I like his vote against the Iraq War, his passion for advancing the interests of the poor and middle class, and his refusal to accept Wall Street greed and rapacity.

I hope Bernie continues to mount a positive, uplifting and inspiring state-by-state primary challenge. I want to see him come to the convention with a ton of delegates. I’d love to see him become the Democratic nominee.

And I think Senator Sanders will mop the floor with Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or anyone else the Republicans serve up. (Plus, it’ll be fun to keep watching Larry David’s Bernie imitation on SNL.)

081815_otr_panelBut if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination – I will happily support Hillary Clinton.

And every progressive in America should do the same.

Alas, I’m starting to hear the same kind of “cut off your nose to spite your face” foolishness among some liberal friends about how they just can’t support Hillary. They’ll sit this one out if Bernie isn’t the nominee. Or they’ll vote third party. Yeah. Just like the Naderites couldn’t support Al Gore, spouting the nonsense that “both parties are the same.”

300px-2000aWe can thank such high-minded yet unimaginative progressives for the slim electoral margin that gave the GOP the White House in 2000 and the 8-year fiasco that was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Don’t believe it? Here’s a quick history lesson. Bush won with 271 electoral votes. Gore had 266. New Hampshire was worth 4 electoral votes.

And here’s what happened in New Hampshire:NH

Do the math. If the progressives backing Nader had voted for Gore — Gore would’ve taken the Presidency 270-267.

Both parties are the same? Really?

140416_POL_BarackObama.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlargeDo my well-meaning pro-Bernie/anti-Hillary progressive friends actually believe that Al Gore and George W. Bush are both climate change deniers? That President Obama and George W. Bush are the same on LGBT issues, a woman’s right to choose, and voting rights? Do they really feel that President Hillary Clinton and President Cruz or Trump will make appoint the same type of Justices to the Supreme Court? I could go on and on.

bernie-sandersI love me some Bernie Sanders. I really do. But if you think there’s no real difference between the Republican and Democratic parties then show me a self-avowed Socialist running in GOP primaries and calling for a political revolution in a GOP debate?

Senator Bernie Sander is not only welcome in the Democratic Party – he has a puncher’s chance of winning the Democratic nomination for President. And I hope he does.

But if he doesn’t – I’ll be a happy warrior for Hillary.

Let’s keep the “progress” in progressive.

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Changing Place Names in Yosemite? What Would Teddy & John Say?

Yosemite Art JPEG

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January 16, 2016 · 7:01 pm

Fun with Emilia in the New Year!

E GigMy very funny daughter Emilia will be playing the Belly Room at the world famous Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood on SATURDAY, JANUARY 9th at 7:30 pm.

Here’s the ticket link for the show:

https://nightout.com/events/bitch-jan-9/tickets#.Voer3njZWNc

ADVANCE TICKETS are $11.00 – These tickets will expire at midnight on 1/8/16.

ADVANCE TICKETS are $15.00 – They’ll expire at 5:00p on 1/9/16.

Hope to see you there!

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New Musical Treasures at The Mint!

Eva Banner1408403552-the-mint-venueThis Thursday, January 7th at 7:30 PM, a group of talented young musicians will take the stage at The Mint in Hollywood for an eclectic evening of rock & roll, jazz and blues.

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Among this fine collection of artists are my daughter Eva and her band The Eva B. Ross Foundation – along with her friends from UCLA, the popular Nick Valentini Collective.

Eva 3Eva is an emerging singer-songwriter who plays originals, rock classics and standards from the Great American Songbook with a bluesy, jazzy flavor, tinged with shades of Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones.

Eva might argue with that description, but that’s what I hear. Lend her an ear and hear for yourself.

D29ADBBB-F0B4-3EEF-49CD24BE7FE975F6This show will also be an opportunity for folks on the West Coast to hear Henry Hall play. I’ve known Henry since he was born – and he’s grown into a fine young man with great guitar skills and a singular musical vision. Check him out.

the-mint1The show will be a musical treasure.

That’s why it’s at The Mint.

The Mint is located at 6010 West Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles. For ticket information, click here.

Hope to see you on the dance floor!Eva Mint Art JPEG

 

 

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Emilia Presents Free Beer & Belly Laughs in Westwood Tonight!

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December 12, 2015 · 1:36 pm

Victory at Pearl Harbor…

The significance of December 7, 1941 is something that most of our parents do not need to be reminded about. It was a shocking, indelible moment for them, much like September 11, 2001 was for another generation of Americans. I don’t want to spend time here comparing those two disastrous attacks: one by a hostile state, the other by a handful of extremists. That’s for another time, another post.

This is a day of remembrance.

There are not many veterans of Pearl Harbor still with us. Not many left who saw the Japanese planes diving out of the sky, felt the concussions as great battleships shuddered, burned, and sank. Not many left who can stand on the observation deck of the USS Arizona Memorial, gaze at that sunken iron tomb and say, “I knew a guy who went down with that ship.”

On December 7th, we remember what was lost at Pearl Harbor: the lives, the ships, the planes – our national innocence.

But on this day, we should also remember the miracle of Pearl Harbor: the incredible effort that raised so many of those ships from the bottom of the harbor, patched them up – and sent them back into the fight. Only three of the ships that were bombed in Pearl Harbor on that day of infamy were forever lost to the fleet.

And of the 30 ships in the Japanese fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor, only one survived the war without being sunk.

The dynamism, optimism and resolve displayed by those military crewmen and civilians who, within months, raised and repaired the devastated wreckage of Pearl Harbor are qualities that Americans must call on once again to overcome our national challenges. Would that our leaders would spend less time sowing the fear of future attacks – and more time appealing to the better angels of our national identity.

“Can do” was the unofficial motto of the Seabees, the legendary Navy outfit that led the reconstruction effort at Pearl Harbor.

Where’s that American “Can do” spirit now?

P.S. Click here for a WWII-era Pearl Harbor song I found online. It may seem a bit too upbeat at first, but in the context of our ultimate victory at Pearl Harbor, it’s not too bouncy after all. It’s got that confidence and “Can do” spirit.

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Now, The Fun Begins…

VPD Art 11-19-15 JPEGThe first performance of “The Vic & Paul & Dana Show” is TONIGHT.

This comic toast to grown up fun amid the craziness of contemporary life runs Thursday thru Saturday, November 19-21 at 7:30 pm at iO West on Hollywood Boulevard.

Click here for tickets.

See you at the show! And if you’re going, please let us know.

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