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Saturday, November 3, 2018



"Blue Wave"-? "Red Retrenchment"-? Whatever it is, it is all TBD, and it's YOU who will decide. So, as the old saying asserts, "Assume nothing. If you 'Assume' you can express what happens in its constituent parts. You make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'."

*** NEW ***

We've made a LATE ADDITION: it's our "ISSUES CALCULATOR." With key issues from HEALTH CARE, to IMMIGRATION & "THE CARAVAN," to VOTER SUPPRESSION, to ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE, our "Issues Calculator" will help you sort-out who really deserves your vote -- regardless of the crap they're saying about each other on TV.

JUST LOOK FOR THE SECTION between the lines marked with "=÷=+=÷=" symbols. It's the last part, and it's what's NEW.


The Guide's presentation of concerts, festivals, film screenings, and other EVENTS are in the previous edition, at:

Lots of NEWS FEATURES have also run lately, so scroll-down past this edition, or get recent editions in the sidebar at left, depending on your device and browser.
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Now, to the very special reason for THIS EDITION. (Edition # 1,762)


To most folks, voting & politics are like a root canal. You need convincing that it'll hurt more if you don't than if you do.

But why HERE? Isn't this oasis of the arts the only place I can get away from all the bloviating rancor?

"Why jump into this cesspool?" you say. Okay, we'll tell ya. It's because too much seems like an "us" against "them" of late. And face it: those who want to control everything without "interference" from the people are the ones behind making you think it's a cesspool.

Oversimplification? Unfair? Yes to the first, no to the second. See? Just some "yesses" and "noes" and you're there! Not so complicated after all.

Now it's true that much of what ends up as a "proposition" on your ballot gets there because spineless politicians won't do the jobs we pay them to do, and they throw the hot potatoes back to us.

But no escapin' it -- now they're OUR problems, and if we chicken-out, that lets the pols leave them unsolved.

Our editor has had White House press credentials. He's authored a newspaper political column. He's been there, done that, on the front lines of issues, campaigns, and national and state political party conventions of both major parties, covered the Occupy movement, and taken to the streets with the Bernie revolution.

Thus, our recommendations and endorsements are NOT what you'll see from either the Democratic half or the Republican half of the Corporate Political Party.

Frankly, all of us around here are waaay more progressive than the old tired-ass political parties will allow anyone to be within their ranks, or on their podiums, or in their platform committees.

Thus, we offer the following because, face it, the politicians must carry water for their party's agendas, regardless of what's in the best interest of WE, THE PEOPLE, who pay the bills.


WHY YOU MUST VOTE, short 'n maybe not so sweet...

On Tuesday, American voters will determine the winners of all 435 House of Representatives seats, 35 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats (in both houses, enough to change who controls them), plus 36 state governorships, control of many state legislatures, and three U.S. territorial governorships.

That's in addition to choosing many city mayors, council members, crucially important college board and school board members.

And often most important of all, though they never get the headlines, are decisions by voters to determine the outcome of a plethora of state and local measures, including some of sweeping importance in shaping the future of California and Los Angeles.

please note...
Our nation's electoral history includes many races that were determined by just a handful of votes. And many things have failed when a presumed "Wave" didn't happen because pollsters were wrong or because VOTERS STAYED HOME, believing their votes were not needed or would not really matter. Don't make this an "oops" election.

Plus, we suggest you promise yourself a reward for doing your civic duty and VOTING, and making sure Obi Wan Kenobi won't need to get a message in some future that he's our only hope, because people in our time didn't care of bid'ness. (See the next item for that enticing reward.)



"REDACTED TONIGHT" host and impresario LEE CAMP has his own new comedy special coming out on Election Day.

He calls it the --


 You can pre-order now (Monday) or grab it Tuesday -- and because we look out for ya, you catch the trailer and order using the promo code "UNCLESAM" to get 25% off, at:

There's more at:


Now let's get serious.


We start with our


It's very easy to remember:

***** YES on everything except Proposition 5. *****

Here's why, proposition-by-proposition:


Prop 1. YES. This is a rather standard approval for $4 billion in bonds for housing programs and veterans’ home loans. While we do not like to see more and more land get devoured in subdivisions of ugly-little-boxes with ridiculous green lawns that waste water, we do recognize the following: we are becoming a nation of renters, with fewer and richer landlords. Home ownership is becoming an unachievable dream. Public sector participation with bond issuance is absolutely necessary to keep home ownership alive.


Prop 2. YES. Authorizes the state to use revenue from millionaire’s tax for $2 billion in bonds for homelessness prevention housing. Sure, there are questions of who will manipulate themselves into skimming riches. But is there any question of the need for what this is aimed at doing?


Prop 3. YES. Issues $8.877 billion in bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects. Simply put, as long as capitalism is dependent on the impossible maxim of constant growth; and people want to move to California; and their kids want to keep living here; and gov't will not pass laws banning useless expanses of green lawns; and old water systems wear-out and devour streets in geysers from water-main breaks -- then we must keep spending a LOT of money on our water supply.

Some have suggested it's just welfare for Big Ag. But the largest amount of bond revenue would go toward conservancies and state parks to restore and protect watershed lands and nonprofits and local agencies for river parkways. The measure would also allocate to groundwater sustainability agencies to implement their plans and for public water systems to meet standards and for affordability programs for the poor.


Prop 4. YES. Issues $1.5 billion in bonds for children’s hospitals. Vin Scully has this one right on one of the only TV ads that doesn't piss us off. Until we finally solve the national disgrace of a population without affordable health care, we need to solve what we can, piecemeal. California's systemless array of children's hospitals are one of the few things that are shining stars, and we must support what works.


Prop 5. NO. This one would "revise process" for determining property taxes for home buyers who are age 55 or older, or some who are severely disabled, enabling them to transfer their tax assessments to other properties. It sounds good, but hang on. It means the heirs of those with property get to keep their tax break. And it means something that we've needed to make "go away" for years -- the old "Proposition 13" -- would get new life as a fake-populist ruse, to benefit a few at devastating expense to the many. Local and state property tax revenues would drop by billions if this passes, and the rest of us would be stuck with the bill to make up the difference.


Prop 6. YES. Repeals 2017’s fuel tax and vehicle fee increases and requires public vote on future increases. This should be seen in the same light as Prop 10. But it isn't, because Dems and Repubs won't let it, to protect their parties' rich backers.


Together with rent, which keeps pushing people farther away from their jobs, transportation expenses crush many people's hopes and dreams. California has, overall, the highest state gasoline taxes in America, and vies for the highest vehicle registration fees. We are decades away from a public transit system that would allow us to get rid of our cars.

Since roads and cars -- and the environmental damage they do -- is NOT something most of us can solve on our own, we should not face extortion at the gas pump because we have no choice.

As for all the "public safety advocates" who warn you'll drive off a cliff, crash and burn, unless you defeat this proposition and keep high gas taxes and fees? The ads don't continue with the rest of it -- keep the Big-Oil-owned legislators able to raise gas taxes again and again, rather than fund alternatives? Just take a look at the $100,000+ annual pensions for firefighter and police retirees, which are protected when they cover for Big Construction and Big Oil and Big Politico pork barrels.

Do we need to maintain roads? Yes, of course, until we can abandon them in favor of futuristic options we do not yet have. But, must we tax the hell out of those least able to afford it? No. California is a rich state that can prioritize and reallocate other revenues rather than strangle those who must make expensive driving commutes from the only housing they can afford.


Prop 7. YES. Authorizes legislature to provide for permanent daylight saving time if federal government allows. Okay, let's look at the only time we have had year-'round Daylight Time, when Jimmy Carter was president. (Other than WW II,  when they had double and triple daylight time.) It was done to save energy, and it worked. The only complaints were from parents of small kids who sent them off to the school-bus-stop in the dark for about two months. The arguments against this come now, speculatively, on behalf of the same constituency. Well, had permanent Daylight Time remained, elementary schools would simply have adjusted their schedules to start and end an hour later. Which would save a lot of families on hours of after-school child care. While everyone saves energy and still has some light after work to go out and play. Passage won't automatically bring PDT,  but it starts it rolling for us to get it. A defeat will kill it for another generation or two.


Prop 8. YES. Requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds for revenue above a certain amount, and applies medical regulation.

Two giant corporations make hundreds of billions in an extortion racket that bilks insurance companies, Medi-cal, and Medicare for payments that are huge multiples of what dialysis actually costs to provide at a reasonable profit.

That's why these corporations -- who run "clinics" without medically-trained staff -- are instead running hundreds of millions of dollars worth of those "We will DIE!" TV ads every 10 minutes.

Because either those rich corporations protect their gravy trains by getting you to vote no, or they -- the rich corporations -- will die when they are replaced by medically-competent, medically-regulated dialysis providers who aren't in the business of creating billionaire investors off human misery.


Prop 9. There isn't one.


Prop 10. YES. Allows local governments to regulate rent.

There is a state law, passed by oligarch property barons, that did away with local government abilities to regulate what the shrinking number of richer landlords could charge the rest of us for rent. This proposition would repeal that protectionism for the rich and prevent them from doing it again.

It would RESTORE the ability of local government to reigh-in rents, and establish state-wide, for all local governments, the authority to establish rent control.

That's exactly why the rich owners of rental housing units are spending tens of millions on TV ads to stop this "power to the people" proposition. Their ads scare homeowners with lies that Prop 10 "would keep you from doing what you want with YOUR OWN HOME!" That's crap.

The rent IS too damn high, to the benefit of a very few rich individuals and corporations that own nearly all the rental housing in California. Prop 10 brings the power to end that.


Prop 11. YES. Allows ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks, and requires breaks be paid. Some have pointed-out that this proposition is funded by a large ambulance company. True. Does it feather their nest? Not really. It would level the playing field across a for-profit industry, requiring that everyone's EMTs are paid during breaks and remain available on- call. That does enhance public safety. Will it cost more to call an ambulance? It already costs a ridiculous amount unless you live where the fire department operates the ambulance transport service. So we say, go for better safety.


Prop 12. YES. Bans sale of meat from animals confined in spaces below specific sizes.

Farms animals are exempted from animal cruelty laws. There is some room for concern that previously-passed animal safety laws will have a delayed implementation if this passes. But that applies to only part of what Prop 12 covers and improves. It is sweeping and needed. All the major animal welfare organizations are aboard for this one, and so are we.



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The Guide's position: YES on B

On Tuesday, L.A. voters will be the first in the nation to vote in support of a PUBLIC BANK. Charter Amendment B lifts a key hurdle at the municipal level and removes a barrier in the City charter to allow the City to form a public bank.

*** Banks leverage our tax dollars to finance harmful industries, including:

- weapons manufacturing and the perpetual warconomy

- private prisons

- fossil fuel extraction and fracking

- pipelines, including Keystone XL that abused Native Americans at Standing Rock

•  Last year the City of Los Angeles paid $170 million in banking fees and $1.1 billion in interest to big banks and investors.

•  Charter Amendment B is the first step towards creation of a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible city-owned bank.

•  In 2017, the City of Los Angeles divested its funds from Wells Fargo, after that bank was fined billions of dollars for creating illegal customer accounts, added to its long history of discriminating against Latino and African-American home buyers, and financing industries harmful to Angelenos.

•  A public bank would safeguard and grow the city’s assets through loans to critical city projects and local businesses.

•  The public bank would be answerable not to politicians but to an independent board of governors comprised of residents. Its mission would be to serve Angelenos.

•  Charter Amendment B is a critical opportunity to pave the path for Los Angeles to divest our public finances from predatory Wall Street banks and recirculate our funds back into our City to finance community needs including: low-income housing, green energy infrastructure, and serving the needs of unbanked and underbanked populations.

•  Municipal banking is supported by a wide intersection of organizations across Los Angeles, including: unanimous support by the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Los Angeles Police Protective League, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, credit unions, social justice groups, environmental groups, Los Angeles Democratic clubs, Neighborhood Councils, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party representing over 2 million registered Democrats, and the California Democratic Party, representing over 8 million registered Democrats.

•  It's not just critical that Charter Amendment B wins, but that it wins by a landslide: Los Angeles is leading a national effort. There are more than 15 proposed laws -- for public banking legislation -- across the country, moving through municipal and state governments. So the outcome of the L.A. vote can send a powerful message, nationwide, and assure the bought-off politicians will not be able to quietly protect their big-money backers.

This is our moment in history to democratize our banking system and use our public finances to solely benefit, and be accountable to, the PEOPLE and our local communities.

YES on B.

Watch this short (1:59) YouTube vid to get awakened (we don't say "get woke" because that's ignorant):

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The Guide's position: YES on MEASURE W.

This will provide $300 million a year in Funding for Water Projects. It will update L.A.'s aging (in some places, collapsing) water system. The stormwater capture and storage projects funded by the measure will result in collecting enough water for 3 million people annually by the year 2050. That will make L.A. more ready and resilient for droughts.



We offer guidance for the US Senate, all statewide offices, and links for information / recommendations for local election candidates, judges, community college board candidates, and others, all below.

As for our own Guide ENDORSEMENTS, we are making them according to two criteria: (1) for statewide contests, to cut-through the TV ad BS, and (2) because specific contests are seeing huge infusions of big money, being used to create the impression that the oligarchs' choices are heroes and those who oppose the oligarchs are villains. And it's almost always the other way around.

You'll notice we make references, in some of the following, to the California League of Conservation Voters (that's "conservation," not "conservative.") Since 1972, CLCV has protected our land, air, water, and public health as the non-partisan political arm of the environmental movement in California. While all our recommendations are not the same as theirs, we do include their ratings for statewide candidates as an aid.

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The Guide endorses KEVIN DE LEON.

Why: This one is not easy. Our editor was among the first supporters of Sen. Diane Feinstein for governor of California. We've sat across the lunch table discussing issues with her, and celebrated her work to create and pass the California Desert Protection Act. We were impressed with her eloquence and focus as recently as the horrible circus of hearings for the most recent US Supreme Court nominee.

But she should have chosen to retire as this term ends. Six more years is a long time. There are too many questions over the many millions of dollars she has and invests with her husband. All that said, YES, she has been an effective champion for the people of California.


It is time for a more progressive voice with more progressive political ideology. Are with thrilled with Kevin de Leon? No. But while Dianne Feinstein's money can tout her accomplishments in TV ads, you probably haven't heard of the achievements of Kevin de Leon, which are considerable, and instead you hear from her that he can't handle the job. He is qualified and can serve us well. It's time to pass the torch.

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The Guide endorses GAVIN NEWSOM.

Why: As Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom passed the nation’s first mandatory composting legislation, first plastic bag ban, and first Styrofoam container ban. As Lt. Governor, Newsom has used his position on the State Lands Commission to guide the retirement of California’s last nuclear power plant, facilitated the termination of two offshore oil operations, and opposed Federal efforts to open our coasts to new offshore oil drilling. Newsom is ready to lead the resistance against the Trump administration’s unprecedented attacks on California’s best-in-the-nation environmental protections.

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The Guide endorses ED HERNANDEZ.

Why: His opponent, Eleni Kounalakis, seems to be progressive, and as Ambassador to Hungary, she pushed their government to become the first signers of the Paris Climate Accords. BUT, she is too concerned with protecting her aristocratic peers, as revealed in her opposition to Prop 10. Hernandez brings plenty of experience getting things done and working with leaders of both parties in the legislature, and he is a solid progressive.

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The Guide endorses ALEX PADILLA.

Why: During his time in the State Senate, Padilla earned a 93% lifetime score from California League of Conservation Voters ("conservation," not "conservative").

As the incumbent Secretary of State, Padilla has worked to increase voter participation in California even as his counterparts in other states have purged millions of citizens from the rolls of registered voters. In addition, he has worked for civic engagement and to increase campaign finance transparency, all things you've seen us write about here as matters of the utmost importance to protecting democracy.

Padilla was a public and stalwart supporter of the California DISCLOSE Act, passed last year to provide clearer disclosure on who is funding ballot measures and making independent expenditures in politics; the act makes it more difficult for corporate polluters to hide their expenditures, despite Citizens United and McCutcheon. Padilla is an advocate for the people's needs and interests.

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The Guide endorses TONY THURMOND.

Why: his opponent, Marshall Tuck, is part of the movement to de-fund public schools and divert our tax money to private, religious charter schools that teach anti-science agendas.

Tony Thurmond has a track record of solid support for public education, despite all the crap you're seeing on TV. As an Assembly Member, Thurmond has earned a 100% lifetime score from California League of Conservation Voters ("conservation," not "conservative"). Thurmond passed key legislation to punish polluters to help keep neighborhoods safe, arguing that illness was one of the top reasons that teachers couldn’t effectively teach and students couldn’t successfully learn. Thurmond will continue these efforts and work to increase environmental education and the value of civics.

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The Guide endorses RICARDO LARA.


Why: In his time in the Legislature, State Sen. Lara earned a 90% lifetime score from the California League of Conservation Voters ("conservation," not "conservative"). Lara supported key climate and clean energy bills, authored legislation to tackle the most harmful air pollutants, and supported efforts to ensure more funding from California’s climate and clean energy program is being spent to improve air quality in California’s most impacted communities. As Insurance Commissioner, Lara plans to prioritize work on how climate will impact the cost of insurance. That's an area that's being dodged by everyone in political office, so he'll be a needed pioneer.

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The Guide endorses XAVIER BECERRA.

Why: As a Congressman, Xavier Becerra received a 92% lifetime environmental score from the California League of Conservation Voters ("conservation," not "conservative"). That covers his more than two decades of public service. Now, as the incumbent state Attorney General, Becerra has been leading the charge to protect the environment from the Trump Administration's destructive policies. Currently, he has 44 active lawsuits for California against the federal government. 24 of these are to protect existing laws -- laws that do everything from increasing our energy efficiency to improving air quality. Becerra is a lawman who stands with the environment, and like CLCV, we, at the Guide, stand with him.

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The Guide endorses FIONA MA.

Why: During her time in the Assembly, Ma earned a CLCV lifetime score of 92%. Ma authored key environmental legislation including a ban on harmful phthalates in toys. Another of her bills increased the presence of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. As Treasurer, Ma will support transit-oriented development and financing for renewable energy projects.

She also wants to move investments out of polluting industries from the giant state employee retirement pension funds CalSPERs and CalSTERs.

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The Guide endorses BETTY YEE.

Why: As the incumbent Controller, Yee has worked to elevate climate policy in a number of areas. These include enhancing the stewardship of state lands and waterways by incorporating sea-level rise and energy intensity considerations; protecting and improving California environmental standards that exceed federal standards; and ensuring environmental equity across all communities by including the participation of underserved communities in planning and policy development.

Her office was always one held by a sharp-pencil accountant who had to keep business interests happy. She's made it one that manages the money and keeps the people's interests foremost.




(what we originally said, before adding the new section, is what's still here...)

The Guide considered several endorsements,  but ultimately we made none for any of the legislatures.

Why? We saw too much we could not support. Like challengers who were solid supporters of the perpetual warconomy, even as they aim to unseat rubber-stamp office holders for the Trump agenda.

That doesn't mean we won't make our own choices among them at the ballot box, nor do we suggest you sit-out those races where you see enough to enable a conscious choice.

But it is enough to prevent us from making ENDORSEMENTS when too much looks like two halves of one big Corporate Political Party that mostly uses social issues and tribalism to keep us divided.

To keep you from feeling abandoned, here is the link to the nonpartisan California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) page of ENDORSEMENTS.

It contains CLCV ENDORSEMENTS for all California seats in the US House of Representatives, and both houses of the California State Legislature (State Senate and Assembly).

CLCV did not make an endorsement for US Senate, but we do, above.



Is it harder to get info you can trust on any other office seekers? In particular, California does an awful job telling voters anything about wannabe judges. And local news sources too easily endorse the "good ol' boy" candidate.

So we turn to Ballotpedia, a proven national source that covers local elections, and links are below.


California judicial elections occur through the "retention election" of appellate judges and the nonpartisan election of Superior Court judges. Judicial elections occur in California in even-numbered years, though retention elections of appellate judges happen only every four years, at the same time as gubernatorial elections -- like now, in 2018.


That includes which governor appointed them, and to what position, when.

*  State Supreme Court candidates (2 seats, 12 year terms):,_2018

*  State Appelate Court candidates (35 seats):,_2018

 *  Superior Court and Local Trial Court Judges appear with






This section is a LATE ADDITION. We caught a lot of heat for not endorsing candidates for Congress, the State Senate, and State Assembly.

So, we are offering this. Everything between the lines marked with "=÷=+=÷=" symbols is NEW.

It's here to provide a quick look at the KEY ISSUES, as a "calculator" to help you determine who to support -- based not just on what the candidates are saying on TV, but as a way to know whether what you hear from them on TV is authentic -- or whether it's just what they need to say to get elected.

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For us, a politician who supports a perpetual warconomy or a foreign policy that facilitates it -- or who will not openly oppose it -- is unworthy of support, regardless of their stance on other issues. Yes, we will hold our nose and vote if the other issues make them better than their opponent, but we do not make ENDORSEMENTS when that's the situation.

In election/re-election campaigns, it's both a big deal in campaign financing and something that's kept insidiously quiet. The military-industrial-cybersecurity-complex manifests in countless ways in politics, most often as an issue of "supporting jobs and our economy" with no more than obtuse reference to Big Defense contractors. So everyone must develop a permanent habit of listening carefully. That really is necessary, considering that corporate mainstream media grants a free pass and does not examine politicians on this issue.

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Warconomy close-up...

Why is THAT particular concern so important? Take the example of Monday's Pentagon / US 6th Fleet press release:

"U.S. EP-3 Intercepted in the Black Sea Nov. 5, 2018 (Updated at 16:38 CET)

"11/05/2018 04:10 PM CET

"On Nov. 5, 2018, a U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27. This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second. The duration of the intercept was approximately 25 minutes."

To which we ask:

How would WE respond if a RUSSIAN spyplane flew close to the U.S. coastline? An EP-3 is an American spyplane and you, the Pentagon, flew it close to the Russian coast near their naval base.

These notions of "American exceptionalism" are how things get out of hand.

But the corporate mainstream media, sheepdeeped as it is in Trumpcentric fixations, isn't going to report anything that interferes with the almighty warconomy. They can't cause GE jet engine stock to go down, since GE makes US jet fighter engines. And they must look out for Boeing, who makes warplanes, and happens to be the exclusive sponsor of the "End Game" closing segment every Sunday on "Meet the Press," and countless advertisers and principal stockholders of Big Media corporations are hard-wired in the military-industrial-cybersecurity complex and its profitable paradigm of perpetual war, and they cannot risk causing trouble in their own extended family, no can They?

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If you're feeling the wind leave your sails because suddenly you don't see any politicians in white cowboy hats, hang on. True, this near to the election, if you don't already know know where your candidates stand on issues of the warconomy, perpetual war, proxy wars, drone wars, and military-based foreign policy, it's unlikely you'll have time to sort-out all that, this time around.

So look for their positions on a few key issues where they've put plenty on the record. Let's look at those together.


This is the # 1 issue, nationally, for Democratic candidates for Congress. That turns out to be a smart move for them, because nationally, in every poll that determines how issues rank across the board, it has become number-one in opinion polls of "what's important" in 2018.

Thus for many voters, perception of where a candidate stands with health care will determine who a voter will choose for both houses of Congress.

That doesn't mean the Democrats have a unified, or even a coherent, position. They don't. It ranges. At one end is the Bernie Sanders proposal to extend Medicare to all Americans, not just those over 65.At the far end are Dems who wouldn't do more than fix some structural problems with Obamacare. But all the Congressional Dems and Democratic candidates do agree that they don't want to return the for-profit insurance companies to the driver's seat, in the cruel old role of sole "deciders" motivated by profit, to determine who gets to see the doctor and who doesn't, ever.

It's in this, the political carnival of the arena of health care that we find the biggest smokescreen, obfuscating BS, and outright lie of the 2018 election. And we're not talking about those disorganized Democrats.

Literally EVERY incumbent Republican member seeking re-election in the House of Representatives or the US Senate has participated in the 70+ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). All but one of those efforts -- and that one is arguable -- if passed, would have abolished the requirements that pre-existing conditions be covered.

That includes everything from allergies to asthma, to an old sports injury that could eventually lead to the need for a knee replacement, to a hernia you already have, or kidney disease that may require dialysis (now or eventually), to treatments or surgery for cancer they could claim you already had but didn't know about. If you've ever smoked but don't now, lack of a requirement for coverage of pre-existing conditions allows insurance companies to refuse coverage for countless ailments, diseases, and medical conditions. (And if you lie about anything to get coverage, they can sue you into oblivion and terminate all your health care if they are given this "out.")

Let's say it clearly: The biggest lie of the 2018 election, throughout California and coast-to-coast, comes from each and every Republican incumbent claiming they are protecting your health care and coverage for your pre-existing conditions. If Republican-proposed "plans" had passed, it would have allowed the for-profit insurance companies to again operate without limits. Coverage of pre-existing conditions would have vanished, or become unaffordable for nearly everyone.

Trying to con voters on this issue, rather than stand behind their steadfast support for a profit-based, corporate-controlled health care system, is disgraceful hypocrisy on the part of Republicans.

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The other party's key issue...


This has become the # 1 issue, nationwide, for Republican candidates for Congress. It is being oversimplified to make it easy to polarize. And it is rife with craziness.

On one hand, a few Democratic candidates seek to boost Hispanic turnout in their districts by talking about abolishing ICE, the federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency that includes the old Border Patrol.

Within very specific constituencies, criticism of ICE is popular because of the documented abusive treatment received by persons entering the country. For others, "abolishing ICE" is a symbolic rallying cry against the Trump Administration's family separation policy. It is absolutely fair game for the GOP to say "Crazy Democrats" about that much.

Then there are the crazy Republicans.

Let's start with the fixation with "The Wall." Our editor was just on the border in New Mexico and Texas in September. The touted "Wall" exists in places -- where it consists of very tall, closely-spaced steel beams reaching vertically into the desert sky. And it's either there or it's not. A lot of money is being spent to erect sections, separated by open, unobstructed ground filled with tire tracks (and celebratory "donuts") in the dirt at the ends of the Wall sections.

And the Rio Grande River, absolutely necessary for agricultural irrigation, will apparently be abandoned behind a wall that gives it all to Mexico. Any idea of putting the Wall down the center of the riverbed is absolute lunacy.

We could build colonies on Mars for what it would cost to build a Wall in the middle of a river.

The people getting giddy over The Wall haven't put two minutes of thought into the reality of engineering and the astronomical cost.

So Republican candidates have instead obsessed, of late, on "THE CARAVAN."

As if it's a Normandy Invasion, or the Mongol Hordes on thundering horses coming over the Russian steppes. This "caravan" thing isn't even new or worthy of high-alert alarm as a one-time, unprecedented fear-bomb. Fact is, these congruent migrations happen often as summer temperatures drop in fall and winter. More so since people fleeing violence can motivate each other, then loosely organize themselves, with social media.

In the U.S., some tribal web presences go beyond the Fox News Alert "horde" alarmism and perpetuate fake news with false claims that "these illegal immigrants are being paid" to be part of the so-called "Caravan." (The proof they are not "being paid" lies in how many of them drop-out. If they were being paid, wouldn't everyone stay with the march to get their next paycheck?)

If the most ridiculous lies and whack-job fear-fomenting lunacy are not co-ordinated with the campaigns of Republican candidates, it's quite a coincidence. Because a strong national theme -- though played-down in the California election -- is the near-singularity of how "you need Republicans to protect you" from hordes of illegal immigrants and the "Democratic mob."

In fact, every one of these "caravan"-like mass-movements of Central American and Mexican citizens toward the U.S. border has always ended in exactly the same way: only a relative few ultimately reach the border, and nearly all of the few who do get to the border present themselves as asylum-seekers. In the two most recent massive movements, one ended with a few dozen reaching the U.S. border, and the other brought about 200 people into the hands of ICE. Not exactly "A foreign invasion!" and the dishonest, exploitive Republicans using this as an alarmist issue know it has no basis in reality, and therefore no merit.

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It's maddening and inexcusable that this receives selective attention from corporate mainstream media. It is THE most important purely POLITICAL issue in America.

Both parties bear guilt in disenfranchising American citizens and preventing them from voting.

In 2016, "Establishment Democrats" blocked people from voting -- both independents and registered Democrats -- in precincts that were strongly in support of Bernie Sanders in several key state Democratic primaries. The pains taken to make the Mueller investigation all about foreign "election interference," rather than ALL the voter disenfranchisement and failure to allow all votes to be counted? That's on the Democrats.

And incumbents like U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D, Missouri) are in statistical dead-heats to keep their seats because progressive Berniecrats can't support them after they ran cover for the corruption in 2016. (McCaskill, you may recall, was so arrogant coming into the primaries that she declared "There is a special place in hell for any woman who does not support Hillary Clinton.")

But BY FAR, the biggest, still-ongoing campaign to BLOCK MASSIVE NUMBERS of voters from casting ballots is wholly on the Republicans. Their national party funded the Kansas Secretary of State to develop and deploy a systematic method for taking people off the voter registration rolls in every state. And they've been diligently doing it, taking millions off voter rolls who have "black-sounding," "Hispanic-sounding," and "Asian-sounding" names.

That, combined with two decades of gerrymandered districts, crafted into crazy maps to deliberately produce larger numbers of elected Republican office-holders than the overall population and registration warrants has given them control in an assault on democracy, nationwide. (They use things like center dividers of interstate highways to connect pockets of voters across vast distances, producing "districts" to disadvantage Democrats.)

THAT IS WHY STATE LEGISLATURE AND GOVERNOR ELECTIONS ARE SO IMPORTANT. The national Census is conducted once every ten years and it determines how legislative districts are drawn. The next Census is in 2020. The people elected NOW, in 2018, will rule over the next Census and lay the groundwork for what happens for the next decade.

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It's easy to make the argument that nothing else matters if we get this wrong. That's because hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes caused by fracking, and poison air and water do not care whether they're killing people under Democratic or Republican administrations, or in nations where the people run things or the corporations rule.

Global climate chaos is an observable fact. Global Climate Change can be documented and proven by science. While this things can be expoited as political issues, anyone who things they are solely political issues is living in a fantasyland where they will awaken in a nightmare.

Every election, indeed every day, we put off taking bold necessary action, we lessen the odds that we will be able to make this come out well for ourselves and our offspring.

Any candidate who is a Climate Change denier is disqualified from receiving our vote, period.

We provide ratings from the nonpartisan California League of Conservation Voters League of Conservation Voters ("conservation," not "conservative") in all our candidate endorsements.

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There are, of course, a great many more. Some speak to racism, others to the admirable March for Our Lives campaign, still more to the sudden new cyber culture that has erased all notions of privacy and created gazillionaires of the most predatory data thieves. But exploring any more issues goes too far beyond what you, or we, have time to do in the context of a "quickie preparer" to be comfortable to go vote.




We sincerely hope all (or some of) that helps! Whether you are comfortable with marking a choice for every office, or for every issue on the ballot

-- and yes, being responsible does require that you know something about the issues before you vote on them --

you certainly CAN VOTE on everything that you know actualizes your ethics.




"A king can stand people fighting but he can’t last long if people start thinking."

-- Will Rogers, legendary American humorist (born Nov 4, 1879, died in a plane crash in 1935.)

(Quoted in Wordsmith / A.Word.A.Day)


The Guide waives our copyright on this edition, provided all information on any given ballot measure is shared in full, and not cut-off or edited. We don't want to be "credited" with anything we did not say.

We hope you will share this Guide to propel others to get out and vote, whether or not they agree with us, or with you. In a democracy, we're all in it together, and EVERYONE must have a voice -- a voice and a choice THAT GETS RECORDED AS A VOTE to make it the image of democracy a valid reality, and to make it work.

-- Acoustic Americana Music Guide, November 2018 election special.


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