The first line ending is the year 2020. I know it officially ends tomorrow night, but today is the last new, live show of the year. I know I speak for Brad and Desi when I say 'good riddance' to what was probably the worst year of our lives.
We may be reaching the end of the line in this 244-year-old Democratic Republic. We are witnessing the unraveling of the shaky foundation of this nation as the madman whose power ends in three weeks is getting more desperate and reckless by the day.
We're at the end of the line for the 116th Congress. It moves into the history archives on Saturday; the 117th Congress will be sworn in on Sunday.
Donald Trump seems to be embracing a scorched earth policy, deciding to burn the whole place down if his minions won’t break every rule, law and norm to overturn our Democratic election and install him as Supreme Leader. The reason there's still news breaking and the Senate is in session right now is all due to Trump's destructive and dangerous behavior. And no one in the Republican Party is willing to stand up to him to protect our delicate Democracy over his authoritarian ambitions.
The past four years have been a blur of gaslighting and lies. One of the more reprehensible falsehoods they've pushed is the idea that --- led by Jared Kushner --- they've negotiated Middle East Peace! What was fostered during this time was an unholy alliance between the right wing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (who is under indictment on a number of counts of corruption and worse) with the American dictator-wannabe Trump.
When the Trump Administration announced the first of their so-called peace agreements --- this one between Israel and the United Arab Emirates --- my first thought was, "when were Israel and the UAE at war?" (They weren't.)
Over the next few months, they rolled out a few more of these deals...with Bahrain, Sudan and finally, just a few weeks ago, they announced a fourth one... saying "President Donald Trump has brokered a peace agreement between Morocco and Israel."
This one might have been the most offensive of the four, as the so-called deal legitimizes the Moroccan occupation of the Western Sahara.
Some years back, I learned about Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace bloc, led by activist Uri Avnery. I had the honor of interviewing him a few times over the years. His is a fascinating story. Well into his 90s, Avnery passed away a few years ago. But Gush Shalom continues its advocacy for peace and a two-state solution.
After the so-called peace deal between Morocco and Israel was announced, I received an email from ADAM KELLER, a co-founder with Avnery of Gush Shalom, strongly condemning the deal.
So I reached out to Mr. Keller to get the side of the Israel story that the corporate mainstream media doesn’t report.
Mr. Keller has a thick accent, but I took great care to edit the interview to make it as easy to understand as possible. I hope you’ll give it a listen. Their position is not an isolated one. As I told him, just as I have nothing but contempt for the administration currently in power over here, I know that there are many Israelis equally horrified by the Netanyahu regime.
It's now also apparently the end of the line for Netanyahu's government! We taped that interview two weeks ago. I got another email from Adam on 12/26 that reads...
Anyway, the next few months are going to be interesting, one way or another..."
Misery loves company, I suppose.
And we’re at the end of the 2020 line too, thankfully. I made a concerted decision not to produce a Year in Review show this year because, well, 2020. Enough said.
But I always look forward to Dave Barry's year-end missive. One of the few good things about living in South Florida is that Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen and Leonard Pitts are columnists based at the Miami Herald.
Dave Barry's 2020 Year in Review is too long for me to read in its entirety. But I ended the show with a reading of one pitch-perfect section, the part he calls MARPRIL. Just think back to March and April and you’ll understand...
And I've now reached the end of this post. Thanks to Brad and Desi for trusting me with their show, and thanks to you, Brad’s readers and listeners, for welcoming me into your ears.
Here's wishing us all a return to decency, normalcy and democracy in 2021. Happy New Year!...
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