The “October Surprise”: Throwing History Off Course

The “October surprise” worked its way into the political jargon in 1980 to describe the Carter administration’s efforts to obtain the release of 52 American hostages in Iran. President Jimmy Carter didn’t know, however, that his opponent’s campaign was planning its own “October surprise”—to elect Ronald Reagan by ensuring that the hostages would be held until after the election.

The “October Surprise”: Throwing History Off Course

How Twisted Sister Outclassed Congress

Rock & roll was under attack during the mid-’80s. As the music got more theatrical and provocative and MTV gave it a national platform, America’s youth screamed for more. It was obvious that pop music was experiencing a revolution it hadn’t seen since Elvis swiveled his hips on The Ed Sullivan Show. Enter Dee Snider and his band, Twisted Sister.

How Twisted Sister Outclassed Congress


1985 PMRC/Senate Hearings: Then and Now

YouTube: Dee Snider’s PMRC Senate Hearing Speech (Full)

YouTube: 1985- John Denver – Congressional PMRC Hearing Full Testimony

YouTube: Frank Zappa at PMRC Senate Hearing on Rock Lyrics

NATO in the Amazon: Petro Plays with Fire

By Roger D. Harris on October 26, 2022

NATO recently expanded to Sweden and Finland, has been de facto incorporated in Ukraine, and may extend to Georgia. Now, NATO’s entry into the Amazon is in the works under the aegis of newly elected President Gustavo Petro of Colombia.

NATO in the Amazon: Petro Plays with Fire


The US warns Petro of the danger of falling into the hands of China:

The Government of Colombia replies to Washington that if it wants to prevail over Beijing, it must finance the purchase of land from ranchers to distribute among the peasants

Quid pro quo?!

Could this SCOTUS case push America toward one-party rule?

The court considers ‘Moore v. Harper’ to be a legitimate constitutional question. Critics say it’s a ‘power grab.’

Could this SCOTUS case push America toward one-party rule?


Beware the “Independent State Legislatures doctrine” — it could checkmate democracy

The Independent State Legislatures doctrine used to be a fringe theory, but not anymore. Multiple Supreme Court justices are on the record in support of it. Right-wing legal activists from the Federalist Society and its “Honest Elections Project” are pushing for it in legal briefs authored by white-shoe law firms (BakerHostetler, counsel for the Honest Elections Project, has defended Republican gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.) And some GOP-controlled state legislatures, including Arizona, are considering bills that would allow them to intervene in presidential elections to choose electors themselves if election results are “unclear.” If a state were to pass this type of law, it would set the stage for a court to agree that the Independent State Legislature doctrine requires that in some circumstances, state legislatures rather than voters should determine election outcomes.

As Jane Mayer reported recently, right-wing funders like the Bradley Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have been working with Republican state legislators to advance ways to re-engineer how states allocate Electoral College votes. Last year, a GOP state representative from Arizona, Shawna Bulick, sat on an ALEC-convened working group that discussed the Electoral College, and this year, she introduced a bill that would have given the state legislature power to undo the certification of presidential electors by a simple majority vote up until the inauguration.

Peter Thiel Embodies Silicon Valley’s Conservative Past and Dystopian Future

Peter Thiel Embodies Silicon Valley’s Conservative Past and Dystopian Future

In August 2020, Thiel told Die Weltwoche that COVID-19 had created an opening. “Changes that should have taken place long ago did not come because there was resistance. Now the future is set free.” But the future desired by Thiel is one that involves less democracy, more restrictive immigration measures, and a tech industry even more aligned with the interests of the US government. Tech’s libertarian age is waning, but its future could be even worse.