Life is too short to ever read a single column inch of Thomas Friedman. But the Times columnist was cited in a letter last week by a lady who liked his suggestion that Kamala Harris call attention to herself. Of course Friedman assumed the vice president could find a way to stand out – to define her distinct political identity – in a manner acceptable to the Democratic National Committee.
I, who long ago helped Kamala Harris draft a few statements (mainly she helped me), have no such false hopes.
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A Short Speech for Kamala
My fellow Americans, after years of doing my best to loyally serve President Biden, you may be wondering: ‘How would she be different if she became President?’
I owe you an answer to that question.
First and foremost the Harris Administration will redefine “national security.”
Ask yourself: Do all our multi-billion-dollar weapons systems and military bases in 100 countries make us, the American people, truly secure? I think not. I think security comes from knowing that the basic needs of you and your loved ones can be met – are being met. Housing, health care and nutrition, education, friends and family nearby – these are sources of real security.
It’s my sense that Americans who feel truly secure are relatively few, a fortunate fraction.
And are we, as a society, truly free? In 1940 Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms were freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Roosevelt died, the Department of War was rebranded the Department of Defense, and military spending came to be synonymous with “National Security.” In pursuit of “national security” we deposed duly elected socialists in Guatemala and Chile, intervened in Vietnam’s Civil War, attacked Iraq, and maintain military bases in 100 countries around the world…
I have been loyal to President Biden. Every year we’ve been in office, the Biden-Harris Administration has increased the Defense Department budget. In 2024 Defense will get 842 billion – up $100 billion in two years!
The Harris Administration, by redefining national security, will redefine the role of the Defense Department. The new mission will be to promote the safety and well-being of the American people.
It is my intention to reintroduce a draft of 18-year-olds for national service. This program will enable young Americans to receive high-quality education and training to develop skills that promote national security.
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• Rosie’s Hammacher Schlemmer catalog included an ad for “The All Night Sleep CBD Pillow.” The photo is of a white pillow with a graphic vaguely suggestive of a carbon ring stitched into it (or printed onto it) in green. “This is the pillow embedded with CBD to help encourage relaxation and induce a restful sleep,” says the text. “It is embedded with 150 mg of CBD that are slowly released through touch and movement. The pillow’s reverse side provides a surface with fluffed chambers that maintain consistent support. Treated with antimicrobial silver chloride that inhibits bacteria, mold, mildew and odors. 100% fiber fill. Machine washable. Include 0.35 oz spray to refresh as needed. Does not contain THC.”
The “100% fiber” almost certainly means “100% synthetic.” Going online I see that the Pacific Coast Feather Company sells its “Classic Down Organic Cotton Cover Support Pillow” for $100.
• On KTVU the other night I got a new entry for the Two Words Replacing One list. An Oakland landlord named Chris Moore used “housing provider” four times in explaining why the pandemic-inspired ban on evictions should be lifted immediately and entirely.
• The positive side of misplacing things: the pleasant relief when you finally come across them (often while looking for something else you misplaced).