Good Job, Fareed

If the reader missed last Sunday’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria (CNN), you missed an excellent broadcast. Fareed interviewed U2 rock group’s Bono and followed that with an extensive interview with Michael Bloomberg, a likely personality in the 2020 Presidential elections.

Bono – Sometimes it takes a poet.

Bono has campaigned around the world in an effort to dispel the ravages of populism and nationalism. As Fareed notes, issues within the European Union are virtually identical to issues in America. Bono, campaigning for unity in a fragmented EU, spoke with Fareed:

“Europe needs to go from being seen as a bore, a bureaucracy, a technical project, to being what it is: a grand, inspiring idea.”

Further, Bono said “Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling.” He says the EU is a collection of countries that once were at war that now must learn to come together in peace and celebrate the diversity of peoples, languages and ideals. Bono said, “I believe they still leave room for what Churchill called ‘an enlarged patriotism’: plural allegiances, layered identities, to be Irish and European, German and European, not either/or.”

“The word patriotism has been stolen from us by nationalists and extremists who demand uniformity. But real patriots seek unity above homogeneity.”

Michael Bloomberg – A tour de force.

The interview was long and it is difficult to draw meaningful quotes. Mariner will paraphrase briefly: Bloomberg is a billionaire ex-mayor of New York who is unfalteringly pragmatic in the Jewish tradition but is an affirmed social liberal, indeed a humanist of proven quality. His broadcast channel, Bloomberg (BITV) has a balanced but certainly market-oriented coverage of business, investment and government policy. On Saturdays, there are a number of more intellectual programs that are informative about the arts, science and culture.

Michael is outspoken about the travesty of Donald’s Presidency; Michael is openly critical of just about everything Donald is doing – especially the tariff war and isolationism. Michael believes personal income taxes on the wealthy are very much out of line and would provide funds needed for repairing the nation’s many infrastructures.

Donald boasted he would pay for his own campaign because he was rich (he didn’t but has arranged to actually make money for his businesses while President). Michael truly can pay for his campaign many times over; dollar for dollar, Donald will run out of campaign financing early in a campaign against Michael.

The question is open whether Michael will run independently or under the democratic flag; his pragmatism and wealth would counterbalance many liberal, leftist intentions. In any case, he will be a formidable candidate refreshingly unlike retarded Donald and his buffoonery – Michael is completely rational and does not favor emotional values in his decision making.

Keep an eye on Michael Bloomberg; even today he is one of the top contributors to democratic campaigns around the country.

Ancient Mariner



What lies ahead

Mariner recently posted a metaphor relating the status of the United States, its culture and its economy at war with itself. This cultural war is the result of inadequate regulations on wealth. As if this were not enough, another war is horning in on the citizen’s awareness: Artificial Intelligence (AI) – but even more so the domination of daily, personal human life by computers.

Artificial Intelligence will displace our need to perform mundane tasks, even sophisticated tasks. The hidden agenda is that using AI, corporations will know so much about our daily activity, preferences, illnesses, and common daily behavior that computers will decide how much insurance will be available at what cost, how much salary will be permitted, what we can eat, buy or have access to. Where we are permitted to live, how much housing cost we will be allowed and what medical insurance we may have based on our daily behavior, all will be based on monitoring our lives in minute detail. In short, computers will control our choices in life and our routine behavior – the concept of privacy will disappear.

The simple conveniences of talking to ECHO or similar devices will do us in. The data tracking behind ECHO will capture every instruction, every activity, and every movement of daily activity into a complex database that will determine who you are – statistically. Not so much who you are as an individual but who you are compared to everyone else. You will be allowed behaviors commensurate with your statistical relationship with the population – statistically.

Perhaps younger generations see no problem being defined as a statistic somewhere in a database. Mariner is of an older generation, perhaps one that has lived too long given its genetic foundations. Mariner still has a unique persona with its own consciousness, intellectual awareness and the idea that he can be who he wants to be in society. While statistics may describe him, they do not create him; free will is still a dream with which he can build his life.

Ancient Mariner


Of Battlefronts

Mariner hopes dearly that most of his readers have not experienced a battlefront experience. The noise can be truly deafening; there are bombs, tanks, airplanes, field cannons, grenades, machine guns and incessant gunfire; acrid smoke clouds vision; soldiers screaming and dying – some by a soldier’s own hand; good friends are lost; anxiety reaches peaks destructive to the human psyche. It is no wonder survivors of a battlefront choose not to talk about the experience.

Not as life-threatening and not as explosive, the battlefront metaphor can be applied to the battlefront of the United States, its governments, its human values, its economy and the security of every individual citizen. All are at a point of open conflict. There are visible battles like the elections and the battle-hardened party war; there are regulatory battles that fall on industries and individuals alike as if they were hit by a grenade; there are battles involving humaneness and civil rights that are scarred by political strafing; dollars are the ammunition – oligarchs sending ammunition to preferred hot spots in the battle.

As in any war, it is the human casualty that remains afterward. We live today amid the rubble of an active battlefront. What will remain of trusted values, citizen rights and family security? From what values will we, the citizens, build a post-war peace? What new influences will be imposed in a new age?

We are the soldiers. We will suffer the confusion, the irrationalities, the false promises, and the politically motivated leaders who lead us into battle. We will suffer losses. When the smoke clears, what will we soldiers have accomplished?

Ancient Mariner


Everyone’s Main Topic

Mariner receives many emails from news services, magazines and news analysts. Today, with a rapid fire sort of experience, mariner copied the following quotes from his emails and could have copied many more:

֎ Trump won by speaking directly to voters who had the least experience with democratic institutions… A nation of passive observers watching others make decisions is a nation that will succumb to anger and resentment—witness the United States. [Yoni Appelbaum, journalist]

֎ “Whatever may be tolerated in monarchical and despotic governments, no republic is safe that tolerates a privileged class, or denies to any of its citizens equal rights and equal means to maintain them.” [Frederick Douglass, December 1866]

֎ “Human beings are tribal,” says Amy Chua, Professor of Law at Yale Law School. “We’re hardwired that way. We need to belong to groups.” The problem, Chua says, is when tribalism takes over a political system—and that’s just what is happening in America.

In a new video filmed at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival in June, Chua explains that, in an unprecedented fashion for America, whites are on the verge of losing their majority status, leading to “destructive political dynamics” that are difficult to curb.

֎A longer article in the Atlantic marked the beginning of tribalism or identity politics to the influence of the Tea Party. Referencing a quote from Adolf Hitler who said early in his political life, “If they stop me early, I will not make it to power; if they don’t act early, they can’t stop me.” The reference alludes to the fragmentation of the citizenry and the government when one clique is allowed to derail normal democratic processes.

– – – –

The disappearance of democracy as a philosophical model producing equality for everyone regardless of tribe has malfunctioned quite dramatically in just 30 years. Today, it is the main topic of writers, thinkers, political practitioners and even many individual citizens.

Who should we blame? Just about everyone from our prominent political and corporate leaders, to Congress, Courts, and especially to the individual citizens who chose not to maintain the American experiment – democracy.

We could blame automation and electronics which make it easier to stay home rather than participating in clubs and civic organizations. We could blame public education for not requiring civics in 12 years of instruction. We could blame capitalism with its tendency to hoard. We could blame the media for championing tribal values, jousting at one another like knights in the lists – thereby creating fake news and alternative news. Each of these examples has, in its own manner, attacked democracy but at the core, it is the public citizen – the electorate. The electorate is Chairman of the Board for democracy.

Above, Amy Chua references an issue deep in this caustic salad bowl: racism. The penchant of the United States to sustain racism is about to turn around and bite the whites in their butts. Certainly a deep and visible characteristic of American culture, the transition may emerge subtlety as a shift toward socialistic governance.

On the other hand, more direct conflict emerges daily between tribes. Consider the following, each one entrenched with an attitude of ‘my way or the highway’:

-Theocratic dominance. The idea that a religion (Christianity???) supersedes state rights. There are several confrontations: abortion, gay marriage, right to deny service because of Christian values and the intent to oppress other religious principles, e.g., atheism, Islam and situational ethics as law (Roe v Wade). Whence the desire for equality?

-Libertarianism and Tea Party conservatism. (Modern libertarians defend the right of productive people to keep what they earn, against a new class of politicians and bureaucrats who would seize their earnings to transfer them to nonproducers.) Government must be kept to an absolute minimum; size and multiplicity are dangerous and unfair to the liberty of individuals to live prosperous, self-managed lives. One can imagine the conflict with a government whose discretionary (transfers to nonproducers) budget is more than half of the entire budget. Harari draws his opinion from this philosophy when he says useless people will not be cared for in the future.

-Progressives. The antithesis of libertarianism. Probably the least wordy description is to borrow Jesus’s words when he says,

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” [Matthew 25:40]

In other words, equal value among everyone – regardless whether they are producers, nonproducers, wealthy, poor, healthy, sick, etc. An interesting reference, Native Americans were progressives in the sense that everyone was cared for. Of course, survival was more of an issue than it is today unless one is truly indigent.

-Conservatives. Share economic and capitalistic views of libertarians but more important is social order. Change is anathema. A good example is the persistence of racism; it is difficult for conservatives to change social order. The same is true of whatever subtribe is important, e.g., having a job is a universal discriminator, what neighborhood they live in, how the church service is run. In mariner’s town, well-kept lawns are an important demonstration of community unity and, if conservatives have anything to do with it, will be sustained into the future.

-Climate Change. This isn’t really a battle between advocates and deniers; it’s a battle between the massive, global investment in fossil fuel and those who want to shut down fossil fuel. It’s all about dollars and profit versus a slow, inevitable impact on the state of all economic and political circumstances. A characteristic of capitalism is greed – take the profit up front, push the overhead into the future.

Mariner can name several more tribal conflicts but already he is on his third page. No doubt readers understand that when tribal values dominate the overall political condition, fragmentation is bound to happen. The Russians understand this even if the US doesn’t. Remember Rodney King? He was right.

Ancient Mariner.



In reference to mariner’s recent post about cronyism, a report from Politico shows a racial pattern in Congress reflective of older folk who still have pre-civil rights attitudes:

More than 1,000 top House staffers are white. Out of 1,174 top staffers, 79 are African-American, 45 are Latino, 32 are Asian American/Pacific Islander, one is Native American and four are bi- or multiracial. The report defines top staff as chiefs of staff, legislative directors and communications directors in members’ personal D.C. offices; chiefs of staff, policy directors and communications directors in the top four leadership offices of both parties; and staff directors assigned to full committees.

“This systemic problem matters because Congress cannot effectively create public policy that benefits all Americans if the people making policy decisions don’t look like America,” said Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. The report recommends that House members collect and disclose detailed demographic data on staffers, adopt a rules package in the next Congress that includes measures to increase diversity and inclusion, apply the “Rooney Rule” — interview at least one person of color for each open senior position — in hiring and offer paid internships and fellowships.

– – – –

Mariner was incensed yesterday when he read that Donald reallocated 10 million from FEMA to ICE – even as a strong hurricane approaches the Carolinas. Mariner should not be surprised; Donald has a public record of disregarding the purpose and designations of different accounts. He drew down all the cash from his casino business, driving it into bankruptcy; he uses a charity account as a revolving door to avoid taxes; he has settled multiple times for fraudulent business practices. Now, he is in charge of dispensing the Federal budget. He and his sycophant cabinet must be gleeful at the opportunity for abuse.

– – – –

Three sources have suggested that the next significant socio-political upheaval in the United States will not be the liberals and the progressives nor will it be African Americans. It will be an emergence of Latinos as a major influence in political change. No authors were able to connect the dots from the present but base their assumptions on demographics in the US and the whole of Central America and South America. At some point the politics of immigration will transition away from Europe and the Middle East and turn to the relationships between nations on North and South America.

It has been speculated for more than a hundred years that a mega nation will emerge on the two continents. Mariner asked Guru about this; he said a lot of current history has to adjust to that circumstance. First the new world economy, China emergence and artificial intelligence all must arrive at that opportunity. Still, within the US there are enough Latinos to launch a shift in politics.

– – – –

Patrick J. Egan of New York University writes that identity politics is beginning to shift in US citizens. What led identity politics heretofore was one’s religion, political party, economic class, and race. However, recent surveys by the General Social Survey, a reliable survey of American attitudes, shows that citizens are modifying their root identities to align themselves with an ‘ism’. Examples are liberalism, progressivism, libertarianism, conservatism, etc. Is this the beginning of the end for identity politics?

Ancient Mariner


Contemporary Blood

Mariner has lamented in the past that our government representatives do not relate to today’s culture. The existential experience of citizens today is not an experience that folks over 60 can have. He coined the term ‘codgerism’ to identify this phenomenon. This is why mariner advocates age limits rather than term limits.[1]

Mariner therefore was pleased with a spread in USA TODAY that presented ten strong women who, if elected, by themselves will introduce contemporary thought in a codger-bound legislature. Topping the youngness statistic, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Abbey Finkenauer (IA), ages 28 and 29 respectively, will set records as the youngest Representatives in the House.

Further, Congress may feel a change in priorities as a record number of young nonwhites and nonChristians are running for Congress. Politico reports:

Congress is poised to look a lot different next year. With primary season winding down this week, Democrats have nominated a record-breaking 180 women in congressional primaries. They’ve also nominated at least 133 people of color and 158 first-time candidates. “White men are in the minority in the House Democratic candidate pool,” Elena Schneider reports. In the 125 districts where the Democratic incumbent isn’t seeking reelection or the Republican-held seat is at risk of flipping, 65 nominees are women, 30 are people of color and 73 have never run for elected office before.

– – – –

Mariner suggests beyond youthfulness another significant change in legislatures will occur when states begin using the speed and much less expensive methods of mail-in and electronic voting instead of mandating walk-in, in person voting; this is imminent especially at the state level as one solution to international hacking. The Dixie states will be the last to make the change because ID and inconvenient polling centers are a way of sustaining blatant racism.

– – – –

Mariner predicts that not much will be restored or improved by Congress if Donald is not impeached. His cabinet and his executive powers will thwart democratic efforts. This situation is important because the next election is only two years away and progress may not be visible to the electorate.

– – – –

Many controversial issues may be ignored by the Federal Court system because Donald and the GOP have appointed an unusually large number of judges. Jeff Sessions has been busy appointing judges in the special courts under Department of Justice control. In addition, the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will send the bench back into the last century (Judges can be too old, too).

Ancient Mariner

[1] See Coming of Age Past 60, May 6, 2018 for a full lamentation.

Do you know your epitaph?

True, tombstones are not so much the fashion today but one should not ignore one’s epitaph whether on a tombstone or not. In just a few words, certainly less than a dozen, a person’s life is encapsulated for all time. Who are you? What is it about you that contributed to reality?

Addressing the enormity of the epitaph with humor, mariner’s family and friends are well aware mariner considers the verb ‘get’ to be an evil destroyer of vocabulary. American usage, especially the simple past and past participle (got), displaces at least 17 additional words every day. What happened to “I received mail?” or “I understand it?” and a myriad more forgotten words that actually have a specific meaning. Even word partner ‘have’ is left out: “I gotta go.”

Mariner’s wife was quick to offer her choice for mariner’s epitaph: “Here lies mariner. He got dead.” Her own characteristics of never being able to leave the house just once without forgetting something and coming back – two or three times – provided her epitaph: “Here lies mariner’s wife. She’ll be back.” Identifying one another’s epitaphs should be entertainment for the family or even at a party.

Humor aside, although it is the fun part, identifying the most important influence one has had on reality is a personal value that carries serious import. The ego, too, is close to the surface. The caveat is that the opinion of others may not be as rosy or complimentary as one’s own opinion. In short, epitaph may become epithet. For example, “Here lies Sam. He never met a prejudice he didn’t like.” Perhaps, “Here lies Darlene. She made the most of eleven marriages.

The subjects of these two examples likely had more grandiose images of themselves, perhaps invoking thoughts of sacrifice to others in spite of the world the subjects lived in. Many are aware that they have committed their life to a cause. A very common example is caring for the quality of life in a spouse; another common raison d’être is raising one’s children.

It is true that epitaphs based on behavioral characteristics tend to be humorous but there is merit to identifying within one’s self what one did to improve the world in some way. One doesn’t need to discover this at a party. In fact, each of us needs to give time every once in a while to what value our life has been to reality.

Ancient Mariner


Conflict in Purpose

Mariner never has been able to fully reconcile the split between church and state in the United States. One can make convincing arguments for the authority of either over the other as a foundation for American culture. Each, in its own way, espouses equality; each endorses spiritual reward for compliance with its doctrine – one the New Testament, the other the Constitution.

The United States was begun in the midst of serious conflict between the Anglican (state) Church and several spiritualist sects that saw the role of faith in a different light. In many instances these sects migrated to North America. Their intent was to have the freedom to practice their religion without Anglican constraints. Freedom for any religion was not the intent – only that sect’s interpretation was acceptable; dissenters were burned at the stake, had noses split, were cast out from the community and suffered other harsh punishments during the early decades of settlement. For about half of the colonies, religion was the only law; governments had not formed independently until later.

The ‘state’ side followed early settlers to the US for economic and political reasons. 150 years after the first settlers arrived, a war broke out between Great Britain and France over who would colonize North America (Seven Years War AKA French and Indian War).

Mariner digresses. If the reader seeks more detail about how church and state began in North America, visit a preferred library or search engine.

The specific enigma about which mariner has difficulty is cultural morality. How can a singular national ethos and inclusive human rights be governed by two masters?

Mariner has personal interest in the conflict over abortion because Roe v. Wade didn’t exist in the 1940’s. No doctor would breach Christian decorum to perform an abortion; abortion was performed on the dark side – if one could find it. Mariner’s mother died at age 26 because she had to carry and give birth to a child doctors said she should not have.

To start, let’s read about Deborah Copaken’s life experience:


A quote from Deborah Copaken – an advocate to keep Roe v. Wade in place.

The day when you find yourself six weeks pregnant at the age of 17, as I did, is not a joyous day, particularly after doing all the right things, birth-control-wise, including getting yourself fitted for a diaphragm at Planned Parenthood. For one, you can’t have a baby. You’re still a baby yourself. You would (you know, even then) cause permanent emotional damage to a child, in not wanting to have one, never mind that you have neither the skills nor the means to raise one properly. For another, you’ve just been admitted to college, and though you love your high-school boyfriend dearly, you have no idea who you are or what you want out of love or life. Plus, raising a baby in a freshman dorm was never part of your plan. Nor your college’s. And adoption—for you, personally—is out of the question. The pain of handing over your child to another person would, you know, become a lifetime of “Little Green” sorrow.[1]

Your parents drive you to the abortion clinic in Maryland. No one in that car is happy, but everyone is nevertheless grateful for one another’s love and for your right to legally choose this option. The clinic makes you answer a bunch of invasive questions to prove you know what you’re about to do, as if you hadn’t been thinking only about this moment for the past week. You’re awake for the entire procedure, which is painful. You cry a bucket of tears into your saltines in the crowded recovery room after, because it hurts and because you’re still 17, the age of emotional roller coasters under the best of circumstances, which this is not. But not one of those tears can be traced back to shame or to regret over the decision to abort the minuscule embryo of cells inside you. In fact, it was not a “difficult decision.” It was easy: the only rational one, to your mind, to make.

– – – –

Deborah made a decision based on her situation. At that moment, a Federal law, Roe v. Wade, ergo a ‘state’ law rather than a religious one, allowed her to choose an abortion. Some would say Roe v. Wade is an affront to religious freedom.

The question always evaded is, doesn’t freedom of religion mean any religion can practice its unique doctrine and ritual but cannot restrict those who have another religion from practicing their doctrine and ritual? Following the Constitution in principle, the answer is yes. What confuses the dialogue is the total dominance of Christian-based religions versus nationally dominant state law; if other world religions had prominence in the US along with Christianity, ‘freedom’ would be better defined. There are dozens of Christian religions from the snake believers in Appalachia to the Mormons in Utah to… on and on. One of the major variations is the Evangelical Christian; there are enough members – particularly in conservative states – to influence legislators. Opportunistic legislators, which abound today, forego state law (Constitution) to placate those who would restrict not only state rights but other religions as well – thereby violating the Constitution. Unfortunately, legislators aren’t selected for their wisdom and ethic.

There is an unhappy truce for the moment because the Supreme Court is bound by the Constitution. Here is a challenge: would it be legal under the freedom of religion clause for some Islamic sects to eviscerate the clitoris of pubescent girls if this were practiced in the United States? Here is a similar challenge: Does the owner of a slave have the right to inflict torture, starvation, rape or religious practices on that slave? How about circumcision? This is relevant today; thousands, including family members, are held in slave relationships not to mention contemporary slave trading almost entirely with helpless women.

As we ponder these challenges, the core human issue is whether someone can impose bodily modification on another person. Is Deborah a slave? Is Deborah an Evangelical Christian? Is Deborah Islamic? Is Deborah a US citizen? It seems the value is one derived from social morality rather than religious doctrine. National statistics suggest social morality says no one can impose physical conditions on another person.

If one is abiding by one’s Christian doctrine, a case may be made that having an abortion is unchristian; if one is not Christian or is of a variety of Christianity where abortion is not an issue, having an abortion is subject to situational ethics which, typically, reflect cultural expectations.

Brett Kavanaugh, a well-known conservative and Roman Catholic is nominated to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. In an interview today he said, “A woman has a right to have an abortion but the Government doesn’t have the right to pay for it.” This is an excellent example of why mariner is so confused. With us since ancient times, the Byzantine two-headed eagle[2] is still around.

Ancient Mariner

[1] Song by Joni Mitchell; see lyrics at

[2] The Emperor of Byzantium wore a crown topped by a two-headed eagle. One head represented his supreme authority over the politics and power of the empire; the second eagle head represented his authority over the Gods, of which he was one himself.

About that last post

Please view a very short animated video –


In the last post mariner mentioned that many issues would be too large for nations to manage well given their current economic structures. As Harari suggested, massive numbers of people will be jobless by current definitions of ‘job.’ Many of today’s nations, especially smaller authoritarian nations, will experience a virtual disappearance of national economy similar to today’s situation in Venezuela where even today a crooked, profit-driven authoritarian government cannot hold an economy together.

The future phenomenon will roll out slowly; there will be time for nations to take several steps in preparation for the economic collapse of the Job Religion. If the reader watched the animated video, it will be clear that, like climate change, slowly a clearly unbalanced economy and its negative impact on the world’s population already is beginning to emerge; especially given the ill-fitting capitalist, oligarchical economy in place in the US at this time.

The current emigration reflects the same issue as millions and millions of humans are displaced by oligarchies, religious and political wars and shifts in the climate on several continents.

Needless to say, there is feedback: Mariner is a socialist; mariner is a communist; mariner is a lazy person who does not want to work. Without gathering numbers, mariner suspects virtually all these criticisms come from members of the Donald Party – rich and poor, entrepreneur and laborer. Mariner’s wife will confirm that mariner is not happy with any –ism. Nor is he happy with the American electorate in general – including all the identity groups across the rainbow.

For the record,

Capitalism works best to fill economic vacuum – like the early US or now, artificial intelligence.

Socialism works best to homogenize and pasteurize a disruptive and unstable culture.

Communism works best to standardize diverse cultures and contentious economies.

Humanism is the best generic umbrella for any –ism.

Somehow, somewhere, Christ’s second commandment, the 6 – 9th commandments in Islam, or achieving dharma in Hindu, will become central principles for governing the populations of the world. Albert would call it reverence for life.

Ancient Mariner

The Future

֎Yuval Noah Harari

Mariner has mentioned Yuval Noah Harari in previous posts. He is an unusually pragmatic futurist not prone to future utopias, fantasies or whimsy. His main concern, as is mariner’s, is that there will be large numbers of humans who will be useless to society and for which there is no reason to exist and no way to participate in the world of artificial intelligence (AI). How will AI deal with these humans? Mariner highly recommends you read his article.[1] Having finished the article, mariner turned to his wife to describe the future:

Future reality will be like a glove we wear on our hand – but it isn’t our glove and our hand does what the glove tells it to do.”

֎25 percent for every 1 degree Celsius

Using reliable news services and scientific journals, mariner has kept abreast of climate change and the unexpected effects of global warming. Hotter temperatures will, according to a new study in Science, make insects hungrier, which in turn will spread more disease and decimate more crops. For every 1 degree Celsius (about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in global temperature, wheat, corn and rice will be damaged 10 to 25 percent.

֎The Democrats are sailing a ship named ‘Liberalism’ and enjoy good winds as they sail toward November 6 2018., mariner’s reliable oddsmaker gives the Democrats a 7 out of 10 chance to win the House. Mariner’s alter ego Amos is worried that (a) ‘Liberalism’ will lose its favorable wind as the election nears. He is skeptical that the likes of Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are the types that will unify the electorate behind a new liberalism. (b) Donald has left the electorate in disarray; the Trump party and its base will not play nice; the Democrats have their own problems with identity politics; the disemboweled Department of State, Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, and especially the Department of Justice will be unable to provide signs of early progress and reorganization. This inadequacy may run long enough to influence the 2020 Congressional election.

֎By the way, did anyone notice someone named Martin O’Malley stumping in Iowa for Democratic candidates? Turns out he ran against Hillary in the 2016 primary and is a former Governor of Maryland. Hmmm.

Ancient Mariner