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Hammer Museum Vote Center, Westwood, California (November 3, 2020)

After they were finally declared the winners four days after voting concluded in the recent presidential election, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris graciously gave a shout-out to poll workers.

“To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials — you deserve a special thanks from this nation,” Biden declared. The “nation owes you a debt of gratitude,” Harris added.

I won’t deny it. I felt a small flush of pride as they did, because for the first time, the ranks of those election workers included me.

In 2018 my wife and I…


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QAnon supporters at 2018 Trump rally (photo: CNN)

There was a time when we might have been shocked to read that Oregon Republicans have nominated an extremist who believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory to be their candidate for U.S. senator this fall against incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump, I stand with Q and the team,” Jo Rae Perkins triumphantly tweeted, quoting the QAnon rallying cry in a video that garnered more than 141,000 views before it was taken down. “Thank you Anons, and thank you patriots. Together, we can save our republic.”

As her qualifications for…


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Ron Cobb, Los Angeles Free Press (1966)

by Joel Bellman

Never in my lifetime — never in American history — has a president been as dangerously ignorant as this one, his disastrous incompetence on full display throughout the coronavirus pandemic. If you wonder why fewer and fewer Republicans accept the theory of evolution, consider the intellectual trajectory of Republican presidents from Reagan to Trump. The evidence is clear: Darwin was wrong.

This is not to argue that the Reagan era represented a high-water mark of scholarly statecraft, even compared to today’s idiocracy. Reagan wasn’t as dopey as he was depicted, but to the dismay of critics and…


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I am aghast at the amount of nonsense I’m seeing in my social-media feed from formerly sane friends who have seemingly defaulted to sheer blind panic mode in the last couple of days over the coronavirus pandemic.

We know there is not yet enough testing available, and that many people are certainly infected who don’t know it and may therefore inadvertently spread it to others. So far, there is no approved vaccine, and we don’t know when or if one will be proven effective and made widely available. …


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A scar reminds us to be careful, and vigilant.

A Cancer, and the Presidency

by Joel Bellman

On the morning of March 21, 1973, White House Counsel John Dean famously issued a blunt warning to Richard Nixon that the Watergate coverup posed a mortal danger to his presidency. As Dean later recounted the conversation in testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee — drawing on his prodigious memory, not contemporaneous notes — he told the senators, “I began by telling the president that there was a cancer growing on the presidency and if the cancer was not removed that the president himself would be killed by it. …

Joel E. Bellman

Radio and print editorialist, documentarian, columnist, political press aide, journalism instructor, digital essayist

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