The US leads the planet in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Yes, with only four percent of the world population, it’s America First. That’s probably not what Biff (AKA, Donald Trump) meant when he adopted that international perspective. But he earned it.
Currently, twenty percent of new cases are generated in America. Five percent of those who contract it die–here and around the world. Over 125,000 dead so far–more than all military engagements since WWII.
Meanwhile, the Coronavirus Task Force held its first briefing–in two months! Here’s what VP Mike Pence, leading the briefing spoke of Americans “seeing encouraging news,” and said.
“all 50 states and territories across this country are opening up safely and responsibly”
If America leading the world in COVID-19 Cases AND Deaths, is encouraging–what the hell would he find discouraging?
GOP means: Gaslighting Offenders Party.
More than half the states have surging cases of COVID-19. Few, if any, reopened safely and responsibly. Most of the cases in those states weren’t declining AT ALL . Like Biff, Pence, Trump TV (AKA Fox News), all were pandemic deniers and/or gaslighters. Those red state governors had to dutifully, lemming-like, let people go wherever they wanted without any restrictions on social distancing or wearing masks. Continue reading America First–The MOST COVID-19 Cases and Deaths!→
A very mixed post today. A very long post today. Bear with me as I cover
Progress and obstacles to getting out the Eagle Peak Annual
Trump and the GOP
Creating value from chaos—not being provoked into a responsive rant
Well, the Eagle Peak Annual is moving along—ponderously slowly. More obstacles arise when one is striving to accomplish a thing of value. So it goes for one who lives the life of a Bodhisattva—dedicated to leading others to enlightenment.
I had my annual Medicare wellness visit on Tuesday. Tests were all great. HDL cholesterol is outstanding and LDL is low. Perhaps it’s something untested or a medication that could/should be stopped or its dosage reduced. As it is, I sometimes (over the past two years) have as much as three or four good writing hours a day. Other days I may have an hour or less.
Non-creative tasks or chores are possible. Walking the dog, sweeping and vacuuming. Even financial entries on Quicken or the spreadsheet—a mental subroutine, as it were. I have prevailed upon my primary care physician, who is now aligned with me to solve the problem. He and I will be victorious! I have too many books to write before I die.
Meanwhile, Donald “Biff” Trump and the KK-GOP conspire to cause a reactionary rant. That won’t help. It just feeds into the mindset of them and us.
Send her back his supporters yell at his North Carolina rally. He, them and the GOP persist in an effort to destroy America. I can’t abide that.
So, instead of working on the Annual, I must now work on yet another response to all them.
That, after returning from the vet to get my dog an antibiotic shot and some pills for a gastrointestinal ailment.
Obstacles! One cannot allow them to defeat progress.
Yes, I AM calling out the GOP. They are reincarnations of the Know Nothing Party members from the 1850s. They are reincarnations of the enablers of Adolph Hitler—who promoted his rise to power as an expedient. Hitler had ten times as much charisma as Trump. Watch Leni Reifenstahl’s Triumph of the Will–which G. Gordon Liddy showed at the Nixon White House as leader of the Plumbers.
Laws were passed giving Hitler autocratic power. Would the GOP do that for Trump?Probably, if they had a chance–but they don’t, NOW.
In the run-up to his reelection campaign for 1972, Richard Nixon came up with the Southern Strategy. Very conservative Southern Democrats became Republicans. Nixon won reelection in a landslide—then he was impeached.
Trump is worse, of course than Nixon—as far as criminal offenses go. He’s also not nearly as smart as Nixon.
Nixon was an anti-Semite. Trump is fine with Jews. He hates Muslims (except rich, nation-leading ones like MBS who might spend money at Mar-a-Lago or his golf courses, etc.), Mexicans, people from s-hole countries and other non-whites.
During the Vietnam War era, the bumper sticker for the right was America, “love it or leave it.” The response among antiwar people during Vietnam, was “change it or lose it.”
The Vietnam experience, Nixon and Watergate ineluctably led me to Buddhism. From the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and the SGI, I learned that to change the world, I must change myself. Read the book, Waiting for Westmoreland—you’ll understand.
Trump recently invoked the memories of love it leave it. In his warped mind, he equates criticism of his policies as hatred of America. He, of course, is NOT America. He doesn’t care about America–he cares about money and adulation from fans.His values are not those of American democracy. His policies are racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc.
Pundits or analysts offer an armchair diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder for Trump. Yes, but that’s not the whole story. How about the Dark Triad?
The Dark Triad personality is one that combines narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. A Psychology Today article from 2013 says the Dark Triad is:
“Defined as a set of traits that include the tendency to seek admiration and special treatment (otherwise known as narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy) and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism) . . .”
They also note that: “Researchers are finding that the Dark Triad underlies a host of undesirable behaviors including aggressiveness, sexual opportunism, and impulsivity.”
Wow, sounds like him, doesn’t it? Check out the 12-question test in the article to confirm the diagnosis. But does anyone really need to identify Trump’s problems?
The real problem is that his behavior and actions are not only condoned but endorsed by the Republicans. A party that destroyed the hope that the election of Barack Obama engendered. A party that is OK with the rollback of regulations that would protect America from dirty air, dirty water and a sooner devolution into economic chaos (see the deficit increase their tax cut wrought) even as they deny the Climate Crisis.
So, are more rants needed? Hell no! More protest marches? Hell no! More sit-ins at Congressional offices? I marched in countless protests to end the Vietnam War. Nixon and his supporters were unmoved.
What does work?Voting?
Democrats took over the House by 40 seats. That’s not enough.
What then? The Senate and the White House? That’s not enough either.
No, the ill-fated strategy of the Vietnam War was winning the hearts and minds of the people.The Vietnamese people. America didn’t succeed at that. For good reason.
This time, it’s the hearts and minds of Americans that need winning.The Americans who are misguided and deluded by the Dark Triad Trump and the Neo-Nazi/KKK/Know Nothing-Republican Party. Those who believe that immigrants, non-whites and of other than Judeo-Christian beliefs are the problem.
We must create value—not simply respond to insults in kind. Which it may read like what I am doing descriptively about Trump and the GOP.
If we hold hate in OUR hearts and minds, we cannot change America. We will lose it.
In Buddhism, we understand that our karma—the results of our words and deeds creates effects we would as soon not endure. We have the President we have through some horrible collective karma as Americans. A very large, very hard pill to swallow. You may well not believe that.
Buddhism is not a turn the other cheek religion. It’s OK to send bad people to jail. It’s OK to impeach presidents or to vote them out of office. It’s not OK to physically attack them. We can argue with them–show them and tell them the error of their ways.
So, we begin by changing ourselves and by so doing, changing them. It’s not enough to blame or hate them. They are human, if mistaken and misguided. I can hope and imagine that the GOP as it is now known will fail as a party or be reconstituted with more principled and morally correct members. But that’s not MY job.
We must create value in the workplace, on the highway, in the neighborhood, at home and in school. Sit with the other. Talk with the other. Aid and give comfort to the other. Don’t just castigate those whom we hold responsible for the ills of America–despite the distinct possibility our assessment is correct.
I preordered the Kindle version of Woodward’s book, which notified me of delivery to my account at 10:15 last night. I guess Amazon is on Eastern Time; I’m in the Mountain Zone.
Is it a coincidence that Simon and Schuster released this book by Bob Woodward on 9/11, the anniversary of America’s worst attack since Pearl Harbor? I think not.
I have already posted three commentaries on the events of 9/11, their personal connection to my family (2008, 2011 and 2014) and how my Buddhist faith applies. This will be my fourth post on the subject, in which I will explain my lack of coincidence comment and how times have changed–for the worse, politically. Some snippets from those prior posts will help explicate things. I’ll start with the 2014 post.
At the outset, I offer my profound sympathies to those who lost friends and loved ones to the actions of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist followers. . . . While death comes to us all, it is disturbing when it comes unnaturally at the hands of another. From my Buddhist perspective, this is a function of karma–the effects one receives as a result of causes one has made.
My wife, who worked as a civilian for the Department of the Army, had applied but failed to get a job at the Pentagon a few years before the 9/11 attack. Here’s an excerpt from the 2008 post.
The location of the section she applied for was at or near the point of the plane’s impact on 9/11. Several people in the section, including the person who did get the position, died in the attack that day. . . . Karma is a strange thing, which we cannot fathom or explain completely. . . . I empathize with those who lost loved ones on that day even as I feel great appreciation that my wife didn’t get a promotion that would have killed her.
The clip below comes from the 2011 post. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack, a bipartisan fervor swept the the nation, during which Democrats and Republicans united in support of efforts to care for survivors and rebuild. The unity and bipartisan cooperation lasted perhaps 18 months.
More than ever, we all need to remember the sacrifices of those who died on 9/11 and as a result of the aftermath. More than that, we need to rekindle the compassion and cooperation that briefly enveloped America.
Alas, for the last 15 years, division and derision have instead enveloped America. The 2016 election gave us Donald J. Trump–the most corrupt, ignorant, incompetent, racist and unfit person ever to occupy the White House. He did so only with the able assistance of Vladimir Putin’s agents, James Comey’s inappropriately ill-timed announcements about investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Clinton’s own inept campaign strategies–not to mention voters who stayed home. Then there’s the antiquated Electoral College. Continue reading Fear: Trump in the White House and 9/11→
So long ago, there was Vietnam and Watergate. Experiences that profoundly altered the trajectory of my life. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, I couldn’t just go to college to find that day job to backstop my goal of being a writer. Instead, I embarked on a quest to reclaim my ideals and find a way to make the world a better place.
I despised Nixon as I never had any man before (well, perhaps not including the M. Sgt who was the bane of my Vietnam tour existence). Not only that, I felt cheated of my future. In the end, it all worked out for the best. The 20th century Candide found the faith and practice that has ensured his happiness and his fortune (not just financial–but health as well). You can read all about that in Waiting for Westmoreland, my memoir.
Nixon’s malevolence pales in comparison to Trump’s. Now I have another disruption to my existence. I am sorely tempted to spend days and nights railing about Trump’s cruelty, his narcissism, his misplaced belief in his own competence, his pride in his own ignorance, his assaults on the rule of law, his racism, his rapturous adulation of despots and disdain for democracy. I could go on and on. Instead, I’ll offer just one token image of contempt. This post is not simply another polemic about politics generally and Trump specifically. Read on after this faux Vogue cover.
Those of faiths other than my own Buddhism, might say “this too shall pass.” For me, as with Vietnam and Nixon, it will do much more than that. I won’t be diverted from my writing of fiction. I won’t be diverted from enjoying the fruits of my labors enjoying travel and other retirement pastimes. I’ve cited these words of Nichiren here on Views before, in relation to optimism:
After Vietnam and Watergate, the American people accomplished great things. Laws were enacted to prevent the worst excesses of Richard Nixon. Decades later, there are those who forgot them. George W. Bush talked of “compassionate conservatism.” It turned out to be just as much of an oxymoron as could be expected. Now America has the party of Trump–a cult of personality that formerly was called the GOP. What will result after Trump? What great good will follow?
After the great evil–the lies and deceit, the children sent to concentration camps, the corruption of “all the best (sleaziest, stupidest, most incompetent, most criminal) people hired to staff the Trump administration–here is some of what will happen:
People will go to jail (many people–you’ve seen the list before)
People (Trump, et al) will wind up with much less wealth than they claim to have)–it’s possible the Trump Organization will be dissolved (one could hope;karma is a serious thing)
Laws will be passed to rein in an imperial presidency–excessive executive powers will be curtailed
The justice system will be restored
The GOP and its foolish followers will find a new path or splinter into new parties that won’t be of consequence for years to come
America’s diminished role in world affairs and the world economy will eventually improve–but never to the point that it occupied prior to Trump
Identity politics will be recognized for the positive and pragmatic response to the policies of elitism, racism, neofacism, White nationalism and the many other failures of both Trump and the GOP as it now exists
And then we’ll do it all over again. As someone has said, history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. We must relearn and overcome again the mistakes made before. It’s all part of the human existence. But from 2025 to 2060 or so, America and the world will be a better place–in my opinion. What will you do to make a difference? Don’t stand idly by or be too disturbed by the ugliness of today in Trumpistan. Engage with others with compassion and concern. Have hope. Don’t let this simply pass–make something good of it!
Happy New Year! Hope you had a great 2017 or at least survived it and look forward to a wonderful 2018. 😀
Like the blog itself, this will be an eclectic post. Often, the posts here are about my thoughts or opinions–it is my blog after all. 😉 In 2018, we’ll try to reach out and involve others more. What are friends for after all? 😛
Here’s what’s in this New Year’s first post:
A thank you to the friends I grew closer to and valued more, as well as some new ones who I discovered or who discovered me
Accomplishments we have made in 2017
A blessedly brief reminder of the most frequent topic here in 2017–Trump and the GOP (Greedy Old Plutocrats)
A very short synopsis of and link to a post about resolutions that has graced Views before–the point being to regard them as real as you want them to be and how to make them happen
My own goals and determinations for 2018–in other words, not what I wish for but what I will do [if you want to skip ahead, it’s at the end of this longish post]
Getting more engaged with more fellow writers–a resolution that I didn’t make expressly clear in my own mind but succeeded at (somewhat) in 2017. So thank you to all that visited here or elsewhere among my blogs and websites. We helped one another this year. I will extend myself more in 2018. The value of that became evident to me as I launched The Fountain short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland.
So thank you to Debby Gies, Sally Cronin, Chris “The Story Reading Ape” Graham, Nicholas Rossis, June Randolph, Tina Frisco, Byron Edgington and many more. For those I didn’t name, please don’t feel slighted; the memory isn’t what it used to be and time is running short to finish this. 🙄 Many of you launched new books this year as well. I will try harder next year to be of more help to you. I know the 80-20 prescription–I just need to follow it. 😉
2017 Revisited–i.e., mostly victories
Lost more than 23% of body weight (nearly 60 pounds), substantially exceeding the goal I set
Exercised more consistently than ever
Unexpected bonus–the change in our eating habits that made weight loss possible also saved big bucks on the grocery bill!
As noted above, published a short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland
Made more connections with other writers
Made more sales of my books (thankfully, I’m retired and don’t need to sell books to meet expenses, hahahaha)
Gave away many more books than ever before, see above 😎
My wife and I made a trip back east to visit family and friends that we greatly enjoyed, while the traffic and human congestion reminded us why we don’t miss the DC suburbs
Victories were many and defeats few–most of the latter were minor home maintenance issues which themselves were covered by warranties (hurrah)
Trump and the GOP
Just do a search and you’ll find 30 or so posts on them, just last year with more in 2016. I will try to restrain myself to one per month in 2018. Let’s do the first one right now–very short.
Let’s make a new fairy tale for the 21st century–“The President Has No Sense.” Today, the GOP sycophants all praise the mindless Trump as if he has wisdom. We all know differently. His tweets reveal the truth.
David Rothkopf said this morning on MSNBC, “It’s not hyperbole to say Trump has lost it.” Not hyperbole, just mistaken. Trump couldn’t lose what he never had. How can anyone run a casino into bankruptcy?
Steve Bannon says the June Trump Tower meeting with Donald Junior et al, was “treasonous” and that Mueller will “crack him like an egg on national TV”. Quite possible.
Consider Junior’s own words, there are people “at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.” Exactly, people like himself, his father and other members of the White House–not to mention the members of Congress who want to destroy the FBI and other institutions. Trump and many his supporters in the GOP would rather America be like Russia.
Do you suppose Trump will throw “his own son” under the bus during the Mueller investigation? Take a close look at the jet black hair and the face on “junior.” Was there a sperm donor way back when? Junior somewhat resembles Ivana, but not his supposed father. May make a difference when the fecal matter hits the fan!
Did you happen to watch the Bill Murray classic “Scrooged” this holiday season? We did and couldn’t miss this line while Mr. Cross (Murray) found himself below a street grate with an ice-covered Herman (Michael J. Pollard)–“Where are we, Trump Tower?” This movie was released in 1988! Trump Tower opened five years before!
To paraphrase Ivanka, there’s a cold place in hell for people who rob from the poor to give to the rich–and saddle grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a massive deficit to pay for. They’re the Greedy Old Plutocrats who passed the “Tax Scam and Millionaire and Up Wealth Enhancement Act of 2017.”
Finally, who has the smaller hands and shorter fingers–Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump? We know the latter is worried about the size of his manhood by the tweet about nuclear buttons don’t we? Maybe there’s been more than one sperm donor along the way, eh?
Make Your Resolutions Come True
Don’t call them resolutions–call them determinations
Make an action plan to attain or achieve them
Execute the plan
Monitor your progress
Forgive yourself for occasional shortfalls
Never give up
Reread my Resolutions Revisited post from last January–I planned on losing 36 pounds–I got there by the end of July and kept on losing.
2018 Goals, Determinations, Plans
Reconnect with our daughter (a blindsided estrangement that happened late summer of 2017–at her instigation)
Lose 30 more pounds and tone up the muscles on a home gym
Connect with many more fellow writers and bloggers–to support them and gain wisdom from them; I’ll flesh out some target numbers of subscriptions, follows, etc. by February 1st to make this real
Make more effective use of Goodreads
Read at least 24 books and post reviews of them
Transition from LinkedIn to Facebook mid year and retain 500+ connections
Publish a novel, The Vacation, for the 2018 holiday season–at 35,000 words of a first draft I have a long ways to go!
Post less political stuff and more writing tips here–subject to the winds of change 🙄
Continue posting snippets of works in progress on John’s Writing
Continue publishing the Eagle Peak Quarterly
Take at least one great vacation, location TBD, and a few short excursions
It’s been so long since I posted a political diatribe. Been too busy being positive and working on books, websites and more. We’re overdue! Even as I busy marketing books, I must return to the field of political battle.
How apropos, how exquisite the timing of Time Magazine’s Person(s) of the Year Cover and Al Franken’s resignation. Franken noted the irony was not lost on him that a man who has bragged of his sexual assaults sits in the Oval Office while he, Franken, resigns for much lesser offenses. Still, Franken did resign and did recognize the gravity of the accusations against him. Time, of course, denied Trump’s assertion that he put them off in considering him for the Person of the Year. Fat chance, fatso.
The Greedy Old Plutocrats revisited (see this item on the GOP failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act). The GOP derisively renamed the ACA as Obamacare some years ago while the Dems accepted it as a compliment. Now, the Greedy Old Plutocrats have passed a so-called Tax Reform Act that is a deficit buster which robs from the poor to give to the rich, donor class. They had no shame trying trying to kill people by destroying the ACA. Now they have no shame increasing the deficit and screwing the poor and middle class.
Of course, as some expert commentators point out and Paul Ryan has already apparently confessed, deficits are part of the plan to “starve the beast” as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said decades ago. By that process, the only GOP approved way of dealing with a ballooning budget shortfall is to cut entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. Don’t just screw the middle and lower classes once, keep screwing them!
The Grand Old Pedophiles also have no shame in fully supporting (with very few exceptions) the credibly accused child molester Roy Moore. Well he denied it after all—as did Donald Trump. In the alternate, Bizarro World of the GOP and Orange Top there is no shame for those who deny their misconduct (no matter the number of credible accusers) but all ignominy to those who admit sexual assaults or harassment. Faultless logic for those without a moral compass. Meanwhile, such behavior is OK for their evangelical supporters–so long as they deny it.
They may not support terrorism like ISIS or Al Qaeda, but the Evangelicals warp the tenets of Christian faith just as much as the Islamic terrorists distort the teachings of Islam. Peas in a pod. Pro-life but child molestation is OK. Hey, at least those girls weren’t aborted. Can’t have fun with them if they’re aborted, eh? If Jesus were walking the earth, you have to know he would cast them out of their mega churches faster than he did the moneychangers from the temples.
Ever hear of dry mouth or throat causing a slurring of speech? Me neither. Trump may have had a stroke. Maybe we’ll know after he gets that physical at Walter Reed—or not, if the results aren’t redacted. He doesn’t smoke or drink (so he says; are they pouring grape juice in those glasses he toasts with at diplomatic affairs?). But the only exercise he gets is getting in and out of the golf cart he rides in during those 900 rounds of golf he’s played this year. Then there’s those 3,000 calories a day of greasy fast food he consumes. Collectively this doesn’t lead to healthy arteries. Will impeachment, Mueller or a medical event get him out of office get him out of the White House first?
He must be slipping mentally though. Consider the look of adoration that Pence used to give him (it’s quite similar to the lusty look that Melania gave him at the inaugural ceremony. I won’t be crass enough to remark what physiological process might be ongoing given that look, but one could be excused at thinking she was thinking he’d “get lucky” that night. Now Pence has a more concerned look. Check Pence’s face in the backgroundwhile Trump bloviates about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and slurs his speech. Pence has less love or admiration for Trump now. Or, just maybe, he’s just considering how Karen might want to change the drapes in the White House.
Indictments! Guilty pleas! The terror begins in what passes for Trump’s mind. What will Flynn say? What did he hear—plenty, no doubt. What will the financial documents reveal? What will happen with Junior (BTW: why does he appear so dark, Italian-looking—is he really Trump’s kid? What about Jared? Erik Prince and all the rest of the collusion cast of characters? Who will be going to jail? Too late to pardon Flynn–he’s already pleaded guilty and is cooperating!
Ah, but Trump buys Ty Cobb’s assurances that Mueller will conclude the investigation before year’s end and the nut job in the Oval Office will be exonerated. When that doesn’t happen, how high will the orange top blow? Oh, never mind. Sean Insanity, the rest of Trump TV (AKA Fox News) and the Reprehensible Republicans are already smearing Mueller, the entire FBI and everyone who attacks Trumpty Dumpty. Still, if Trump gets even more unhinged, smearing Mueller won’t matter.
Only once, in many decades of voting, did I ever vote for a Republican. I’m sorry I did, back in the 80s. I will never do so again in my remaining lifetime. Anyone who runs under that banner owns the behavior of the that party.
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.”
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.
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!
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?→
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions
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