MontClairVoyant: Mayor, Mikie, Mike! Some Actions Not to Like

Mayor Jackson is said to not be seeking a third consecutive term. Others have announced for that job. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president. There was another contentious Board of Education meeting. Learning Express is leaving Montclair. Where to begin?


If you’re running the next New York City Marathon, begin on Staten Island near the Verrazano Bridge.

Your take on the mayor, and some pros and cons of his 2012-2020 tenure?

Evaluation Situation

A smart, genial guy whose accomplishments include greatly reducing township debt. But he has backed WAY too much overdevelopment — mostly for the affluent, even as some rents in older buildings also soared. The result: Groucho Marx’s secret word is…”gentrification.”

Um…Groucho’s “You Bet Your Life” TV show ended in 1961, and gentrification is no secret as Montclair sadly loses some economic and racial diversity. But our town has ethnically diverse…

Quiz Show Jo

…luxury cars. American, Japanese, German, Italian…

When I drive down ever-more-skylined Bloomfield Avenue in my unluxurious car, I pass the partly built “arts district” and feel SO claustrophobic. What can I do?

Seymour Than We Want

There are different-colored calming pills for that — blue, red, pink, yellow… Another example of all diversity not being lost.

What about Mayor Jackson’s many Board of Education picks?

Georgette Inness

Some good appointments, some problematic ones. I would’ve liked to see more BOE members with a background in education, with kids currently in the school system, and who attended at least five Rush concerts.

Township Council members Renee Baskerville and Sean Spiller announced runs for mayor this week, and others may also do so as the May election nears. Comment?

Rising Tide Lifts All Votes

More thoughts on the contest in future columns. All I’ll say now is that the mayoral candidates will have plenty of energy to campaign in Montclair after skipping the New Hampshire primary.

Won by Bernie Sanders! But on to Sherrill, whose 11th District includes Upper Montclair. Are you appalled that she endorsed billionaire elitist Michael Bloomberg for president?

Jade, Dismayed

Nope, I’m VERY appalled. Bloomberg is good on guns and climate, but otherwise has more negatives than someone with a Kodak camera dependency.

What are some of the former New York City mayor’s drawbacks?

Manhattan Clam Louder

His “Stop and Frisk” policy hurt countless innocent people of color, he has a history of crude remarks about women, and his Valley & Bloomberg project placed an iceberg atop Valley & Bloom.

Not recalling that. What else is problematic about Bloomberg — who donated, through a PAC of his, $1.87 million to Sherrill’s 2018 campaign?

I Dislike Mike

The ex-Republican helped over-gentrify NYC, brazenly changed the rules to get a third term as mayor, and is trying to buy the presidency with an advertising blitz that almost rivals last spring’s fence ads at Kaveny Field.

There are much better Democratic candidates than Bloomberg, who spoke at the 2004 GOP convention in praise of renominated right-wing Iraq War starter George W. Bush. Now, about that contentious February 5 BOE meeting…

Mission Not Accomplished

I need specific questions. Like, did Bloomberg buy ads that aired on the video of that meeting? Did he also buy ads on Mountainside’s colonoscopy monitors?

A real question: There were continued calls February 5 for the resignation of Interim Superintendent Nathan Parker over racially charged comments from last fall, so, should his tenure end?

Remarks Cause Sparks

As I’ve said before, I don’t see how Parker can be very effective after losing the confidence of many parents. But I do give him credit for not endorsing Bloomberg.

Other BOE audience speakers lamented that there hasn’t been a qualified permanent AP Physics teacher at Montclair High since the start of the school year. What message are we sending students?

Science Friction

“I’m not Mike Bloomberg, and I don’t approve this message.”

There was also talk at the BOE meeting of tough times ahead for the 2020-21 budget. Might Sherrill get her buddy Bloomberg to cover any shortfalls?

Wallet World

He could fund a canopy over the short falls flowing down the Montclair Art Museum’s future water wall.

Turning to another topic, Tim Stafford has been acting township manager since 2014! Is “acting” still in his title to save some money on his salary? Because he’s not a Montclair resident? Another reason?

Left in Limbo

Beats me. All I know is I’ve seen many Studio Playhouse productions the past six years, and never saw Stafford acting. Speaking of stages, the Wellmont could have Bloomberg and Sherrill serenade each other with “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Ugh. Gag me with a spoon.

Utilize a Utensil

If you say so. But the spoon will have a Bloomberg ad on it.

Finally, Learning Express will sadly close its Montclair store (while keeping its Verona one). Did high rents doom that great toy place?

Vincent Pricedout

Quite possibly. Meanwhile, I’m hoping the next tenant at that prime Valley Road/Bellevue Avenue corner won’t be a Bloomberg campaign office where leftover Calico Critters are stopped and frisked.


Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.



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  1. Fun fact:
    The prior tenant to Learning Express was The Baby Registry (by It was one of Amazon’s early forays into bricks & mortar retailer as a prototype. It didn’t do well. Truth was it was a bomb… but, was ahead of its time.

    Amazon wanted to use the hybrid model of a store front as primarily a ‘catalog’ showroom to transition customers to online and for order fulfillment. Shoppers might have noticed that U Mtc’s William-Sonoma and Gap have been moving to this model….over a decade later. On the flip side, Amazon continues to struggle with bricks & mortar business…primarily because they don’t really believe in it. I know, crazy! Whole Foods, Amazon Go, etc.

    Anyway, they decided on Montclair to test because they bought Montclair-based 1-800-diapers (and, as memory serves, folded it into its and Upper Montclair seems like a good test market! I sold my stock shortly thereafter.

    They do get credit for the original doorway awning design that Learning Express tweaked.

  2. Thank you, Frank! Very informative and interesting. I had forgotten what preceded Learning Express at that great location.

    I made one last gift purchase there last Saturday for a seven-month-old relative. Wonder how many different stores will be at 596 Valley before she graduates high school…

  3. Thanks, but not really. It sounded like light fun as I typed, but my post shows itself as just silly this a.m. Oh well, I’m going to bring it to the Community Swap @ Hillside next Friday btwn 4:30-6:30.

  4. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr. Astor. I saw this nice Valentine’s Day card at CVS that made me feel warm like when we have coffee in the morning. It had no heart on it. So I cut out a big red heart and put both our names on it “Mr. Harris & Mellie.” I glued it to the card and stuck that card to my refrigerator. It looks real pretty.

    On Saturday I put all the ingredients up in the pantry where Henry never goes. This morning I sent him off to the Brookdale Shoprite and said to get his breakfast at Ray’s. He won’t say it’s true, but he likes to go to Ray’s some mornings for their ham and egg sandwich.

    That black fruitcake with burnt sugar syrup is Henry’s favorite. When it’s out of the oven I’ll put a whisk of spiced rum on it. He is going to complain again that I went to all that fuss just for him.

  5. Thank you, Melissa! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too! I enjoyed your very nice three paragraphs about Valentine’s Day, your husband, love, food, and more.

    I’ve had an un-romantic Valentine’s Day so far — just got back from doing the weekly food shopping. But I guess sharing chores and parenting 50/50 is romantic in a way. πŸ™‚

  6. Dave, Why are you appalled that Sherrill endorsed Bloomberg? Mike bought her election so of course she had to endorse him. He can spend billions to get endorsements and he will. He obviously just greased Rev. Al. Bloomberg is just getting started. Maybe he will send some of his Bloomberg Babes out on the campaign trail.

  7. Thank you for the comment, flipside. Glad to hear from you again (seriously).

    There’s definitely the strong possibility of a quid pro quo there, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if Mikie Sherrill had endorsed Bloomberg even if he hadn’t contributed so lavishly to her 2018 campaign. After all, she is not that liberal, and he isn’t, either. But your central point about Bloomberg disturbingly trying to buy the presidency is dead-on correct.

  8. Some Actions Not to Like

    Freeholder Gill supporting the right to bear assault-style arms at a Feb 13 Break The Hate conversation. Fake news? Blue Wave turning purple?

  9. Thank you for the comments, Frank!

    I googled what you wrote in your 6:57 pm comment, and couldn’t find anything. Do you have a link?

    Your 7:09 pm comment reminded me that Montclair resident Liz Haigney Lynch was a Jeopardy winner in 2016!

  10. During a local event he reiterated the position of the Democratic Party that supports the 2nd Amendment. Well, warfare has progressed beyond arming militias with muskets. Are 10 or 30 cartridge magazines loaded with bullets designed to maximize catastrophic bodily damage for uses of sport, hunting & self-defense really counted as gun violence progress? Whether one can fire 40 bullets a minute or 120 bullets a minute doesn’t seem like it. As I said, it is something not to like. It is something that can’t change unless the 2nd Amendment is put on the table. Freeholder Gill and the Democratic Party won’t.

  11. Thanks, Frank. I totally agree with you that the impact of the 2nd Amendment is much different today than it was when ratified in 1791 — five years before Montclair’s Crane House was built! When it comes to weapons, it’s a whole different world today, as you note.

    Repealing the 2nd Amendment, or any amendment, would be hugely difficult (see link below), but I’d certainly like to see a ban on powerful assault weapons and the passing of other gun-safety measures. Also very difficult, but not as difficult as repealing an amendment.

    While the Democratic Party is better on gun control these days than the GOP, many Dems are still too cautious pushing for major changes — whether it involves guns or other issues.

  12. I attended the event last Thursday organized by Reverend Singleton at the Union Baptist Church to talk about gun violence, Freeholder Brendan Gill appeared to lament the fact that “some” gun legislation had not been passed in Washington.

    He talked about “white nationalists” and “hate.” But then he went on to suggest that after the 2020 election we may all need to grab our guns in order to install a new government.

    I think more than half the audience could not believe his suggestion of a potential need for rising to arms and using gun violence. This man and his ideas are dangerous.

    I agree with Frank Rubacky. The 2nd amendment is no longer fit for purpose. It works neither for those who want to own a gun or those who want to limit the public’s access to guns.

    Thank goodness people did not stop writing and amending the Bible after Moses. Our Constitution loses its force when seen to be written in stone. Revising the 2nd Amendment would be in everyone’s interest.

  13. I was not there to hear his remarks. I very briefly met the man, once, but I casually follow his positions locally and as a EC Chosen Freeholder. I obviously disagree with his reported stance on the 2nd Amendment vis-Γ -vis gun violence. I find what you heard him say to be inconsistent – really far outside -my perception of the public man and his service. I believe he said something that caused a stir. Could it have been a one-off, very regrettable, flip suggestion or is there no doubt in you mind? Trump does have an uncanny ability to drive people crazy…which he will likely do for another 4 years.

  14. Dave, those of us who have been around here long enough remember when the former Geismar Kaplan Men’s Clothiers inhabited the current Learning Express space. That was during the days when only an occasional NY license plate was seen in or around 07043. Now I can’t discern whether I’m on Valley Road or in Valley Stream.

  15. Thank you for the comment, Michael Joseph! I would love to see the 2nd Amendment repealed or seriously revised. I agree that nothing should be set in stone forever. I just think it would be very hard to do something with that amendment unless there were eventually many different people in the Senate, a number of different people in the House, and of course a different White House occupant. Here’s hoping…

    As for the 2020 election: If Trump wins (whether legitimately or with the help of cheating), his awful authoritarian bent is going to get even worse. If Trump loses, it’s not impossible to imagine that he might refuse to leave the White House. Either way, most Republicans in the Senate and House would probably support him, and the now-majority-right-wing Supreme Court might, too. So, one does wonder what could be done if that ending of democracy happened.

  16. Frank, I would love to read a media report or hear a tape of what was said — which is also outside my perception of someone I’ve met and heard speak a few times. And, yes, Trump can endlessly infuriate decent-minded people. πŸ™

  17. Amendment to my 2:58 pm comment above: “I would love to read a media report or hear a tape of what was SAID TO HAVE BEEN said…”

  18. Thank you, silverleaf, for that historical info on the Learning Express space! I guess Geismar Kaplan back then was a competitor of sorts to the men’s part of the now-also-closed Olympic shops? And nice Valley Road/Valley Stream quip! πŸ™‚ (Some of Toney’s Brook is near Valley Road, making it a near-Valley stream…)

  19. Yes, they were (friendly) competitors, but I’d guess that many customers shopped at both places, as I did. Geismar Kaplan has been gone for at least twenty five year now; The Olympic Shop closed it doors some years later. Both proprietors, Ed and Jim were gentleman, terrific businessman, and treated their customers well and with respect.

    The proximity of Nassau Road much closer to Valley & Bellevue than Nassau County, that’s for sure!

  20. Frank, you wrote in your 7:09 pm post yesterday: “Uh-oh. Never good when I hear the theme song to Final Jeopardy.” I have a guess what you meant (Trump and his cohorts bringing U.S. democracy to ruin?) but I could be wrong. Could you explain more? Thanks!

  21. Dave, Seriously!?!? Do you really believe Trump would refuse to leave the White House? That is hysterical! Sometime I forget that you attempt to be humorous….or maybe you have been hanging out with Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters. You do realize there is plenty of insanity on the left as well as the right. If you weren’t joking you might want to check your oil…could be a quart or two low.
    If you think Trump is authoritarian what do you think of Bloomberg? If he gets the nod he will spend billions not only on his own election but to put into place minions at every level of government…ala Mikie Sherill and a host of others he has already placed.

  22. silverleaf, nice that both places had wonderful customer service! Harder to find that in chain stores. I never shopped at Geismar Kaplan (perhaps it closed not long before I moved to Montclair in 1993?), but I visited Olympic several times. Great place. I got a spring jacket there that lasted more than a dozen years before it gave up the ghost a few months ago.

    Hmm…Nassau Road and Nassau County, Valley Road and Valley Stream… πŸ™‚ There’s also a long island in the middle of Glen Ridge Parkway, Edgemont Road, Clairidge Court…

  23. Thank you for the comment, flipside. I’m of course not 100% sure Trump would refuse to leave the White House if he lost, but I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility. He could falsely claim cheating, blah, blah, blah. Trump has certainly displayed authoritarian tendencies with his trying to rig the 2020 election (what he was impeached for), with his forbidding people to testify in front of Congress, with his interference in the Roger Stone sentencing, with his pardoning of some people who did very unsavory things, etc.

    As for Bloomberg, I think my column this week made it clear what I think of him. πŸ™‚ He is almost as authoritarian as Trump, and scarier in a way because he’s competent. Bloomberg is better than Trump on some issues (whether sincere or not, he has plowed money into gun safety and trying to slow down climate change), but — like Trump — he’s a racist (“stop and frisk”) and a misogynist (crude remarks about women), among other things, despite some convenient “apologies” made because he was running for president and needs African-American and female votes. I would hate it if Bloomberg got (bought) the Democratic nomination.

    I admire Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters.

    “…you might want to check your oil…could be a quart or two low.” I don’t buy olive oil in such large quantities. πŸ™‚

  24. flip – It is absolutely conceivable that Trump would refuse to leave the White House. Why wouldn’t he? Since his first day in office, he has misused, abused, eroded and tested the limits on just about every Presidential standard and Constitutional norm there is. You dare have the temerity to doubt his voluntary departure from the White House?

    No Dave, Bloomberg is not almost as authoritarian as Trump. The gap is cavernous.

  25. Frank, you asked me to “search brendan gill break the hate.” I did, and found an article with his February 13 remarks. He brings up an important issue: What could be done if Trump lost the election and refused to leave the White House? As I said in an earlier comment, the usual institutions would not necessarily do the right thing. (I wrote that “most Republicans in the Senate and House would probably support him, and the now-majority-right-wing Supreme Court might, too.”) I guess a lot would depend on whether the military obeyed or disobeyed Trump’s orders. (If he lost the election, he’d be a “lame duck” Commander-in-Chief.) Re what was said February 13, there are probably a lot more guns out there owned by Trump supporters than owned by those who oppose Trump, so I’m not sure how much the 2nd Amendment would help the oppose-Trump side if he refused to leave the White House.

    Anyway, I hope all this discussion ends up being hypothetical and that Trump would leave the White House if he lost, like every defeated president did before him.

  26. Dave and Silver….all I can say is YIKES! There is no way anyone could come to these conclusions without an outside influence from a 24 hour news channel or some whacked out web site. You guys do realize a lot of the far left and far right websites everyone loves to post on social media are fake…it’s those darn Russians messing with your heads.
    Now, I think I go will buy a 64 oz soda and put some more salt on my fries before Mike gets elected….nah, he is not authoritarian at all. Hate trump all you like, it is easy to do, but don’t let the hate blind you. Bloomberg may be a good president but rest assured he will bulldoze the process to get his way. The problem will be the precedent he sets.
    All that being said, whenever I walk or drive around Montclair and the surrounding area it seems like things are pretty, pretty, pretty, good. Not for everyone but when was that ever the case?

  27. silverleaf, you nailed it with this line: “Since his first day in office, (Trump) has misused, abused, eroded and tested the limits on just about every Presidential standard and Constitutional norm there is.” So, he could continue that behavior even more “big time” by refusing to leave office if he lost.

    Trump is clearly worse than Bloomberg, but I think the latter is pretty bad. I just don’t trust his opportunistic part-liberal “conversion” of recent years and feel he could be a very conservative president. I also think, if Bloomberg became the Democratic nominee, that he could have a tough beating Trump given that many African-Americans, other people of color, women, and white progressives might sit out the election or vote third party. (Unless Bloomberg uses his billions to buy off enough people from those groups.)

    If the U.S. had a purely popular presidential vote, I’d probably VERY, VERY, VERY reluctantly vote for Bloomberg. But given the dismal reality of the Electoral College’s existence, and given that New Jersey will clearly go Democratic this November, I’m not sure whether I’d vote for Bloomberg. I’d have to see how things go during the next few months and decide this November what to do.

  28. “Bulldoze the process to get his way.” “The problem will be the precedent he sets.”

    If you don’t know it, this is called transference. A page right out of the ol’ authoritarian ‘Where’s my Roy Cohen” playbook and just as transparent.

    The sugar from the soda and salt fro the fries have already gone to your head, I’m afraid.

    Your last paragraph is just as solipsistic. Is your world really that pathetically small?

  29. “You mean, ‘like every defeated, DECENT, LAW ABIDING, SELF-RESPECTING president did before him'” — great addition, silverleaf!

  30. flipside, given Trump’s behavior the past three years (examples in my 4:42 pm comment), there is every reason to be worried that he wouldn’t behave honorably if he lost the election. One doesn’t need to be influenced by suspect news channels or websites to feel that way. The Russians messed with the 2016 election (in favor of Trump), not with my head. πŸ™ πŸ™‚

  31. Dave, it does not matter if you think Bloomberg is pretty bad. The objective here is to get Trump out of office. We could debate the individual qualities of the Dem candidates all we want, It does not matter. They need to nominate “THE” person who can defeat him. And if anyone thinks that Bernie can win in a general election, they are fantasizing. Trump will eat him for breakfast. At this stage of the game, I’m beginning to believe that Bloomberg is the Dem’s only shot.

  32. silverleaf, yes, Trump and many of his supporters are masters at transference…and projection. Trump has set the precedent for a highly authoritarian presidency; if Bloomberg succeeds him, Trump would have created the template that Bloomberg could conceivably follow in a slightly or somewhat less right-wing way.

    I agree that another four years of Trump would be a disaster! I do think Bernie Sanders (who I favor) would have a chance against Trump because he could bring in many new voters and has an enormously enthusiastic group of supporters — including MANY people of color and MANY women despite the false trope of his backing coming mostly from white “Bernie Bros.”

  33. Silver…Thank you for the attack. You took a page right out of Trump’s playbook. Bravo!!!
    “Solipsistic is as solipsistic does.” …Forrest Gump
    Actually, my world is quite large. I spend a fair amount of time with the heathens west of First Mountain…and in Europe and Asia. A lot of nice people out there.

  34. Dave – Conceivably yes, but respectfully, I don’t see that happening; especially in light of the fact that we’d be coming off four years where the previous POTUS had just did that very thing. Where did Bloomberg demonstrate that authoritarian character trait when he was major of New York?

  35. flip – I used the word “solipsistic” referring specifically to you, not in the same context as in the film. People do that, you know. Use a word previously uttered in the history of the spoken word, but not a part of anyone’s “playbook.” Do you not know that there are only a finite number of words to go around. Think about it.

  36. Sorry, my brain froze – I had the equivalent of the Mac spinning wheel of death – and had to reboot. I could, if I wanted, recover the Brendan Gill data, but it is not nearly as provocative as where this thread went.

    My two cents on the November election is the Democrats will lose again, and possibly outright on the popular vote, with the Anybody But Trump platform. I think this is shaping up to be a repeat of 2016. Bloomberg is the wild card as he has his own playbook.

  37. I hear you, silverleaf. I realize there’s a chance Bloomberg could be a less authoritarian president than I fear. People can change, but it’s unusual for any politician to wait until they’re in their 70s to sincerely (as opposed to opportunistically) change.

    Bloomberg showed an authoritarian trait in several ways as NYC mayor: imperiously continuing/ramping up “stop and frisk” of innocent people of color despite a strong outcry asking him to stop, his smashing (via the police) the Occupy movement in 2011, ordering the arrests of people peacefully protesting at the 2004 Republican convention in NYC, etc.

  38. And Sanders has lost control of his own campaign staff. If he can’t lead them, he can’t lead a country.

  39. “…the Mac spinning wheel of death” — ha, Frank! I know it well. And, yes, the discussion has moved on…

    There’s certainly a chance Trump will win — if so, undoubtedly with the help of voter purges, voter suppression, foreign interference, and other shenanigans. But I think the Dems have a chance despite all those obstacles. Obviously, a lot can happen during the next few months with the economy and other things. There’s also a chance Trump will finally do something so outrageous that he would lose some of his diehard support, but losing even a little of that near-cult is unlikely… πŸ™

    As for Sanders, I like the fact that he gives his campaign staff some license to speak their minds. Un-authoritarian of him… πŸ™‚

  40. “Bloomberg is the most authoritarian of the current Dem candidates” — okay, I can work with that, silverleaf. πŸ™‚ And I’ll acknowledge that he would most likely be a less authoritarian president than Trump. For one thing, Bloomberg wouldn’t be as “empowered” because the “bigger tent” Democrats would not support him in the mostly lockstep way that Republicans support Trump.

  41. Dave:

    I’m not going to step into this political conversation but I thought of you when i read this article on You have often talked about the decreasing diversity of Montclair and I accepted that it was probably true. The data in this article says otherwise. It’s largely flat with a slight bend towards more diversity. Of course this only covers racial diversity, not economic diversity but I think that’s mostly what you mean when you lament the loss of it.

  42. Dave, not to belabor a political point, but I am amazed by people like flipside. There are those, like myself, who did not vote for Trump, mostly based on policy issues, but not exclusively. I found him to be racist, sexist, incorrigibly self-important, an inveterate liar, etc, etc, etc. What I did not expect was that he’d have the unmitigated gall to intentionally *uck around with our system of justice. Given this, it is absolutely inconceivable that he’d even garner one single vote this coming November.

  43. Silver…you have no idea where I stand politically. Here is what I stated and I will keep it simple.
    1) The thought that Trump won’t leave the White House if defeated is lunacy.
    2) Bloomberg has the smarts to steam roll the system and the money to back it up. He proved it by helping to turn the House with $100mm dollars very smartly directed where it would count.
    3) Things seem pretty good for most people.
    All middle of the road stuff. What amazing me?? That for some reason people choose sides and refuse to acknowledge the corruption and abuses of power on BOTH sides of the aisle. Self-righteous blather gets a little boring from a middle ground view point.

  44. Thank you for the comment, montclairskier! I checked out the link, and it seems Montclair’s diversity increased from 58% in 2010 to 60% in 2018. Very slight, as you note, but something, I guess. Not sure if that small uptick will continue into this year and beyond, as many more pricey apartments will soon be available downtown and some rents continue to rise quite a bit in some older buildings.

    I couldn’t find the article’s definition of “diversity,” but could it also include white ethnic groups? Montclair has unfortunately lost African-American population, as town and school-district statistics have shown; perhaps there was some gain in Asian-American population, Hispanic-American population, etc.?

    Lastly, Montclair is indeed most likely losing economic diversity — which is a shame. πŸ™

  45. Thank you for the exchange, silverleaf and flipside.

    silverleaf, I’m also amazed that Trump continues to have the amount of support he has. He is an absolutely awful human being. And his recent actions alone — firing people who complied with House subpoenas to testify, meddling in Roger Stone’s very deserved sentence, pardoning rich corrupt white-collar criminals, etc. — are appalling. He is indeed messing with a U.S. justice system that has always been easier on rich white right-wing men but Trump is tipping the scales even more.

    flipside, you said “things seem pretty good for most people.” I think it’s some people, not most people. Millions don’t have medical insurance, millions have to live on poverty-level wages, people of color have to deal with racism, women have to deal with sexual misconduct, LGBTQ people have to deal with discrimination, immigrants have to deal with ICE harassment, and so on.

    And then there’s false equivalence. Sure, there’s plenty of corruption on the Democratic side (as evidenced by the DNC and the way it’s handling the Democratic primaries). But the rampant corruption in the REPUBLICAN Trump administration is absolutely breathtaking.

  46. flip, Undermining the D.O.J. is not “middle of the road stuff”, yet I have not heard you denounce Trump or Barr’s actions. You have not criticized Trump on any other grounds for that matter. Why would you not do this unless you believe in what you wrote, “I walk or drive around Montclair and the surrounding area it seems like things are pretty, pretty, pretty, good” and “it’s those darn Russians messing with your heads.” To say that “people choose sides and refuse to acknowledge the corruption and abuses of power on BOTH sides of the aisle” is disingenuous at best. A politically corrupt and morally bankrupt Republican president occupies the White House at the moment, but you insist on assigning guilt to both parties. Your partisanship speaks volumes as does your silence, which is deafening. Like it or not, those comments makes it crystal clear to all and demonstrates exactly where you stand politically.

  47. Dave, When have things been great for everyone? The DNC is child’s play when it comes to corruption from the left. I don’t have the time or desire to list all the examples of the past administration but if you like you can start with Solyndra and go from there….that is if you don’t lose your breath.

  48. “The DNC is child’s play when it comes to corruption from the left. I don’t have the time or desire to list all the examples of the past administration . . . . ”

    You see what I’m getting at Dave; deserved (to a point) criticism for the left – not a word against the right.

  49. flipside, false equivalence again. I had mixed feelings about the Obama presidency — he was too centrist and even conservative-leaning at times — but his tenure was FAR less corrupt than Trump’s tenure. To say otherwise is just plain Orwellian.

  50. I hear you, silverleaf. When I get into political discussions with conservatives here and on Facebook, I periodically acknowledge the flaws of the Democrats but almost never get reciprocal acknowledgement of the (much greater) flaws of today’s Republicans.

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