Tag Archives: GOP

The Greedy Old Plutocrats (AKA GOP) and Alan Dishwasher

Putingate never stops, does it? It’s kept me from the bulk of this post until now. I promise to catch up on Kushner, et al next time. For now, it’s mostly about the reverse Robin Hood policies of the GOP and Trump. But scroll to the end for a brief legal analysis of the potential senility of Alan Dershowitz, hereinafter Alan Dishwasher–his sophistry and that of all the Trump surrogates on CNN is what has vaulted MSNBC well past CNN in the cable news ratings.

Here’s the nutshell before the bullet points: The GOP could stand for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.    AKA Party of Scrooge, whose members are affectionately known generically as “Ebenezers.”

Mocking Paul Ryan's Scrooge-like cheapness

 

  • CBO score says 23 million will lose health coverage over 10 years
  • Young, healthy people will pay less
  • Older, sicker and disabled will pay more–LOTS more
  • Big savings ($836 BILLION) will come from cuts to Medicaid
  • Smaller savings ($276 BILLION) will come from cuts in premium subsidies
  • Wealthy/high income individuals/couples will get HUGE tax breaks (rob from the poor and give to the rich)

At a National Review interview with Rich Lowery, Paul Ryan recalled a college kegger Lowery put on. Here’s what Ryan said about Medicaid and other Federal programs for the poor.

“We’ve been dreaming of this [capping Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,”

[W]hen asked by Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”

What then of the Trump budget, released in more detail Wednesday? It cuts MANY Federal “safety net” programs. Including making even larger cuts to Medicaid. It also double counts a $2 trillion savings and posits an extraordinarily unlikely 3% growth rate (the GDP). It’s much worse than the AHCA. So much so that no less than John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it’s “dead on arrival.”   Other Republicans, as well as Democrats, had similar reactions. Too much bad to even bullet here. Instead, let’s just consider more reasons why “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron and the GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party but is really the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” Paul Ryan, unlike Trump and his progeny is only worth a few million–but others have far more.  Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director said about some of Trump’s draconian budget cuts. This comes from the same Vanity Fair piece above.

“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” in cutting Meals on Wheels (food delivered to homebound seniors) funding. Rather than being hard-hearted, he said, “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He was referring, of course, to the compassion showed to taxpayers who pay for the program.

Then there’s Ben Carson (aren’t you glad neither you, nor any friend or family member ever had surgery performed by him? That could have been disastrous given all the nutty things he’s said in the past two years!). Wednesday, Carson said in response to questions about the $6 billion cut in housing aid (he’s the HUD Director):

“[P]overty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”

 Ryan, Trump and many of the GOP are in agreement. Let me digress to mention my own childhood. Like many, I didn’t realize how poor we were until much later. My father died of cancer, after a long illness, when I was seven. My mother initially worked at a school cafeteria–with her 8th grade education (this was in the 50s). She had to stop due to crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Thereafter, she and I lived on Social Security spousal and dependent benefits–which were far from generous. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid existed then; they began in 1965. We had no health insurance. Doctors who formerly treated asthma and other problems stopped when the money stopped. Hospitals were required to offer treatment, but it was subpar. Things were tight enough that scavenging for bottles to return for deposit was a means that I undertook to supplement the meager money. Fortunately for me, by older brother and his wife took me in when my mother died around my 16th birthday.

So no, Ben, our poverty was NOT a state of mind you f—ing idiot. Nor is it for many others. Others who would suffer or simply die–without any number of Federal programs that the Greedy Old Plutocrats would like to cut for the benefit of the Trumps, the Kochs, the Adelson clan and other uber rich. 

On to Alan Dishwasher (what he’s now, possibly, best suited for). A couple nights ago, he opined on CNN that Jared Kushner’s lawyer should demand to know what crime it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to question him about. Otherwise, such inquiries could violate Kushner’s civil liberties. Let’s be clear, neither the media’s reference to Kushner being a “person of interest” or a “focus of investigation” are legal terms. They’re popular on crime procedurals on TV and on news media. In legal terms, the focus is on one of three categories–witness, subject of investigation or target. Since it’s been stated (up until yesterday’s news) that Kushner is neither a subject nor a target, that leaves him as a witness. If there’s a crime, it’s somebody else’s. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights for law enforcement, for example, to ask about a traffic accident, a burglary or an assault they witnessed.

Dishwasher also asserted that Mueller’s only focus is on prosecuting crime. Not so. Before anyone is charged with an offense, an investigation must be conducted. Only after an investigation determines a crime has been committed, will a prosecution potentially occur. Mueller is directing an investigation by the FBI–both into financial crimes and into espionage-related crimes by the FBI’s counterintelligence division. He has a broad mandate, because all the facts are NOT known as yet. There’s is plenty of suspicious activity–as former CIA Director John Brennan said in referring such things to the FBI before he left office.

Finally, Dishwasher said “collusion is not a crime.” BULLS**T! Being generous, we could call this sophistry. Yes, there is probably no statutory offense listed in the US Criminal Code (Title 18) titled “collusion.” Nonetheless, colluding with others to do a “pump and dump” stock scheme is a crime. Conspiring (colluding) with others to rob a bank, commit a terrorist act, etc., is a crime. With knowledge of an upcoming theft, colluding with the thieves to accept stolen merchandise is a crime.  Being an accessory after the fact is a crime. Aiding and abetting is a crime. Any or all of which can result from “collusion.” Hence, BULLS**T.  CNN should drop Dishwasher from their “expert” or analyst list–whatever legal reasoning he might once have possessed is not being demonstrated today.

To be clear–with respect to the Russian meddling with the US election of 2016, the “collusion” in question most certainly could entail any number of crimes. Just a few: conspiracy, accessory, espionage, treason, etc. All of which requires investigation to prove. Which brings back the “fairytale,” “FAKE NEWS” and other surrogate apologist protests about the investigation into the Trump campaign. There is “no evidence” of collusion BECAUSE the investigation is NOT OVER! Only the Red Queen of Lewis Carroll’s Alice adventures concludes guilt or innocence before hand. 

Again, MSNBC is cleaning CNN’s ratings clock because in their effort to provide balance by putting up Trump apologists, they are viewed as fools.

 

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Make Gotham Great Again?

So much anger. So much hatred. So much blame. Four days of the Republican National Convention. With only a few glimmers of light or hope. In his dystopian view of America Donald J. Trump sees the entire Country as Gotham.  A lawless place where terrorists from Islamic countries, murderers and rapists from Mexico, Black Lives Matters-inspired cop shooters and other evildoers  roam the streets preying on innocent Americans. Fear no more–Trump and the GOP (at least many of the delegates at the Republican National Convention who are office holders) will quickly make it safe again!

But how?

Well, in the minds of Trump, Congressional Republicans and many of the attendees at the convention, the rise of terrorism is all the fault of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The two Democrats probably recruited Osama bin Laden to organize the 9/11 attacks just to make George Bush look bad! So the first step is locking up Hillary Clinton, as the Rudelicans at the convention yelled over and over again. Or she could be shot by a firing squad if Al Baldasaro, Trump supporter and New Hampshire state representative has his way. Or she could be hung on the Mall in Washington, DC, if United Airlines pilot and member of the West Virginia House of Delegates Michael Folk has his way. United Airlines suspended Folk from flying. The Secret Service is investigating Baldasaro. If Trump is elected, Obama will be gone, of course, and Trump will change everything on Inaugural Day, January 20, 2017–instantaneously!

Seems unlikely at best but read on. The plans will come later of course; just trust him–but how can we when he lies cheats and steals so much (more on that later) and can’t even run as important an event as his own convention without screwing up so many things. Like Melania’s plagiarism, Ted Cruz taking his revenge for the Donald’s slander of Ted’s wife and father–just to mention a couple of the biggies. So if he couldn’t get this four-day event for himself right, how can he lead the country? Anyway, based on what we know now and what we might imagine could be on tap, here’s what to expect. Continue reading Make Gotham Great Again?

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Cleveland in July–Paper Bag Head Coverings?

I do try to refrain from too much political commentary. Definitely less is found here than in the past. But this year, especially after last night’s 3rd Super Tuesday fairly begs for some.

The GOP convention will be in Cleveland this July, about four months from now. Will Trump be the nominee? There are many Republicans who hope not. Will they be able to stop him? Will there be a contested or open convention? Image of elephant rump with text "GOP Nominee?" Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cleveland Browns NFL team has somewhat loyal, but dispirited fans, due to its poor record spanning many years. So what do the fans do? Some come to games with paper bags over their heads–a form of protest or perhaps to hide their identity. After all, would they want friends, neighbors or coworkers to see them actually sitting in the stands at a Browns game? Perhaps an entrepreneurial sort among them, maybe an alumnus of Trump University, will offer delegates their choice of designer bags to wear at the GOP Convention. I’m not saying anyone will actually do this, but if I were a Republican attending the convention, I very well might.

Cartoon image of man with paper bag with eye holes covering head and face with caption, "2016 GOP Convention?"

 

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Trump Pranks Party–New Cable Show: Run for the White House

It’s been the longest running trailer for a movie or TV show, Donald Trump’s White House Campaign. Finally the truth comes out–he never really sought the presidency. Rather, Trump is launching his own cable channel with the first show being Trump’s Run for the White House. The show will premiere January 31, 2016, the eve of the Iowa Caucus. Trump will announce his “campaign” was all about boosting the ratings of the show and never about being elected. His withdrawal from the race came live at the start of the show. The Trump House

Political pundits predicted at the outset of Trump’s campaign that he wouldn’t go all the way–wouldn’t file necessary papers, etc. He confounded everyone, including GOP officials as his support increased while he steadily offended people. As the punditocracy eventually accepted that he was really running, one after another confidently asserted his latest rants would doom his campaign. Instead, he gathered more and more support.

Theories arose:

  • He was a Hillary Clinton/DNC plant to elevate her candidacy by making the GOP look ridiculous
  • He was a megalomaniac
  • He was simply a lunatic
  • As his statements grew more offensive some called him a fascist
  • Finally, many thought he might be “The al-Baghdadi Candidate.” That seemed the most plausible, that he had been brainwashed like the fictional Manchurian Candidate. Rather than an assassin, his virulently anti-Muslim rhetoric would enhance recruitment to ISIS/ISIL and damage America’s national security.

Of course his statements DID have that effect, despite the campaign being a promo for the TV show. He is also, of course, a megalomaniac–which is why he doesn’t care what effect his words have. And, he is, after all a bit loony.

 

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Syrian Refugees and the GOP

It’s early for the political silly season but then the GOP political candidates have been pretty far out there for a while. Now their governors have joined the party. They should serve crackers and cheese with all the whining they’re doing.  They whine about debate moderators. Now they’re whining about the Syrian refugees possibly bringing terror to America. They whine incessantly about everything that President Obama says. Ted Cruz says if Obama wants to insult him, do it to his face and debate him. Did Cruz buy his degree from Harvard Law or did he skip class when Constitutional Law was taught? Maybe he doesn’t know about American law because he was born in Canada. [No offense to my Canadian friends.] I’ll put my Georgetown JD up against his Harvard (?!) degree and let him know that allowing Christian refugees into America but denying Muslims entry runs afoul of that picky little detail about religion in America’s First Amendment.

I suppose we could excuse non-lawyers Trump (shut down the mosques) and Ben Carson (no Muslim president) for being unaware of American constitutional provisions. But as President of the US, there really is no excuse. Many, if not most of those Republican governors that want to keep out suffering Syrians are probably lawyers as well. They should know better. For all those supposedly evangelical and otherwise devout types among GOP presidential candidates and their supporters there is another little problem–what the actual religious leaders say about the matter.

The National Association of Evangelicals says this:

“Of course we want to keep terrorists out of our country, but let’s not punish the victims of ISIS for the sins of ISIS,”  Leith Anderson, NAE president.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops says this:

“I am disturbed . . . by calls from both federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States. These refugees are fleeing terror themselves—violence like we have witnessed in Paris.

. . .

Instead of using this tragedy to scapegoat all refugees, I call upon our public officials to work together to end the Syrian conflict peacefully so the close to 4 million Syrian refugees can return to their country and rebuild their homes. Until that goal is achieved, we must work with the world community to provide safe haven to vulnerable and deserving refugees who are simply attempting to survive.” Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration

Ah, but those politicians know what voters want, forget what the religious leaders think–what do they know anyway!

Hey, if it were up to Trump and some of the others, if they were in the White House they would probably round up all the Muslims and put them in an internment camp annex to Guantanamo. Too dangerous to lock them up in America! None have proposed that publicly (yet) but you know some of them are thinking it.  It worked for the Japanese Americans in WWII; why not the Muslims now, eh? I suppose I shouldn’t be giving Trump, Carson or Cruz ideas–but if you happen to be Muslim, you should  just hope none of them are living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year. Maybe the DSM will add Islamophobia to its list of psychiatric disorders soon.

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The Rudelican Party

Oh it is so early in the season for a political rant. Somehow, despite the calendar showing October 1st on Thursday, it seems to be time already for it. Republican doesn’t seem an apt name, why not change the party to the Rudelican Party? After all, so many its political stars as well as its supporters among the media are demonstrably rude much of the time. One might think that many were among the bullies at school during their teen years. So who are these people that are deserving of the epithet rude? Well, unless you live under a rock, you know who they are. Here’s just a highly abbreviated list:

  • Donald Trump (is he really Don Rickles in disguise?)
  • Ted Cruz
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Sarah Palin
  • Jason Chaffetz
  • Michele Bachman
  • Darrell Issa
  • Ann Coulter
  • Harold Gowdy (Rep from South Carolina)
  • Joe “You Lie!” Wilson of California (outburst at President Obama during a State of the Union)
  • Bill “Oh Really” O’Reilly
  • Sean Hannity
  • Glenn Beck
  • Most members of the “Tea Party”
  • Most members of the “Freedom Caucus”

The list could go on and on but that should be unnecessary. How many of them spent hours badgering Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood? How many still claim President Barack Obama was not born in the US or is a Muslim? If they don’t actually say it, the polls are clear that they believe both of the specious claims about the President. Note, Ted Cruz was born in Canada and does not deny it, but apparently may qualify to run for President because his parents were American citizens. While we have lumped together media types with the politicos, the baggage falls more heavily on the latter. Unknown to many, if not most of them, the point of being elected to office is to a job. That job is to govern; a concept unfamiliar to them. If they want to sit on the sidelines and throw stones, they don’t need to be in Congress to do that. All they need to do is get a gig on Fox News , certain websites, etc. More on this below.

In addition to rudeness, the way that they behave when things don’t go their way one might think many were only children, so similar are they to spoiled brats. As some might say to them, “put your big boy pants on when you come to Congress.” How many votes past 50 did they take in futile efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (which they persist in calling Obamacare)? The newest campaign is to stop funding Planned Parenthood for which they are willing to throw rocks and sand in the gears of government—to shut it down if they can’t get their way. Why not simply throw temper tantrums on the floors of Congress? Roll on the floor, scream, kick their feet and so on like the infantile non-adults they are? Whatever merits their objectives may have (little to none, of course) what happens when the government is shut down? Air traffic controllers, the FBI, the Border Patrol (those people they are so concerned about for keeping those Mexican rapists and murderers out of America) and other essential employees must keep working. Others may be furloughed. But NONE are paid their regular checks on time. Oh, eventually they are. Unfortunately for them, most still have mortgages, a need for groceries, utility and medical bills, etc. But hey, they’re just part of that no good federal government. “F**k ‘em” the Rudelicans most likely say in private, if not in public.

OK, there are some of the Republicans that have sense. Some that are civil and courteous. Some that care about government employees and about actually governing and not pontificating rudely. People like John McCain, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and even—a fair part of the time, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell (but not all of the time. So for those that don’t belong in that new wing, let’s leave them as Republicans. For the rest, you know who they are and they know who they are—why not adopt this more accurate moniker, Rudelican?

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GOP Truculence Persists

From the time Obama entered office in 2009, the GOP has opposed virtually every initiative he has proposed. With little assistance and plenty of opposition, the economic collapse Obama inherited  from his predecessor Bush has been substantially dealt with–ongoing job creation has continued for nearly five years. GDP is on the upswing and interest rates remain low. Housing starts are up and unemployment down. A universal health plan first proposed decades ago by Republican presidents is the law of the land but the hair on Republican heads continues to blaze. One definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing with an expectation of a different outcome. The GOP-led house has attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (popularly/unpopularly known as Obamacare) over 50 times. The act has survived court scrutiny. Now Speaker of the House, John Boehner has said he will sue the president over it. Continue reading GOP Truculence Persists

Immigration Reform–Will Its Time EVER Come?

Lets be clear here, the number of  people crossing the southern border of the US has been steadily declining for several years, at least since the beginning of the Obama administration. At the same time, the numbers of Border Patrol agents has increased. The Obama administration has deported substantially more people during five and one half years than the Bush administration did in eight years. The US Senate has passed a bi-partisan bill to reform current immigration laws. The GOP led House has failed to take any action whatsoever and appears unlikely to do so any time soon. Only recently has the current crisis of children fleeing Central America into the US reversed the trend of border crossing. But that is NOT part of the overall issue. So what are the issues?  Continue reading Immigration Reform–Will Its Time EVER Come?

Republicans Say the Darndest Things

To paraphrase the inestimable Bill Cosby, Republicans say the darndest things. This time it was Tennessee GOP State Senator Stacey Campfield who made the news, saying on his “Camp4u” “Thought of the day” blog,

“Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory [sic] sign ups for “train rides” for Jews in the 40s.”

Wow, hardly requires a comment, does it? Stacey joins the club that includes Cliven Bundy (better off as slaves?), Mitt Romney (the 47%, “not concerned about the very poor,” likes “being able to fire people,” etc.), Todd Akin (“legitimate rape”), Richard Mourdock (about babies resulting from rape–“something God intended”), Louie Gohmert (almost anything he says) and the list goes on and on. Funny, if it weren’t so tragic.

Limbaugh admits tryst with Bill O’Reilly

The worst fears of dittoheads were confirmed today, when Rush Limbaugh confirmed rumors that he and Bill O’Reilly have been secret lovers for several years. Birds of a feather do indeed “flock together,” as it were. Whether this will forestall planned participation on next season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” is yet to be determined.