Monday, July 31, 2017

Was This Your Vision of a Great America?

                                                         Image result for chaos

I often wondered when I heard Trump supporters talk about "taking their country back" or "making America great again" what they had in mind. They must have had a vision of an America they hoped to see. What did that vision look like? Was it the 1950's only with everyone carrying guns? Is what we have now it?  Did they hate their own government so much, they just wanted to blow it up and replace the old order with chaos? Are they satisfied that Donald Trump has given them what they wanted?

Did they really believe his extravagant promises? Did they truly believe that we would build a giant wall on our southern border that Mexico would pay for? Or that he would repeal and replace Obamacare on Day One....or maybe just repeal....or maybe just replace. Did they believe a Muslim ban would pass constitutional muster? Did they really believe he'd be a better friend to African Americans and Latinos and women and LBGT Americans than Hillary or did they secretly think that was a promise he never meant to keep? Did they really believe we'd actually win so much we'd get tired of winning?

There is nothing about Trump that is a surprise. He's always been who he is. We knew he was a pathological liar beginning way back with the birther theory before he ever announced his candidacy for president. He would say anything to undermine an opponent, such as that Hillary and Obama were responsible for ISIS, that Ted Cruz' father was part of the Kennedy assassination. Do Trump supporters not mind having a president who can't be trusted to tell them the truth?

We've always known Trump is vicious. Politics ain't beanbag, as they say but Trump's specialty is hitting below the belt. Saying, "who would vote for a face like that?" about Carly Fiorina. Little Marco - Low Energy Jeb - Crooked Hillary.

And his meanness has continued in his White House. He appears to enjoy humiliating his staff. He seems to get his kicks from sapping every bit of pride and dignity from the people around him - Jeff Sessions, Reince Preibus, Sean Spicer. A typical example of Trump's venality - Sean Spicer went on the trip to the Vatican. He is a devout Catholic and it was the dream of his life to meet the Pope but Trump forbid him from that meeting.

Then he hired a new Communications Director is a cruel little Mini-Me. I personally think it was all a set up. Scaramouche was set to go to the Ex-Im Bank. Trump wanted Spicer and Preibus out but didn't want to wield the ax himself. So The Mooch says, "put me in, Coach, I'll do it for you. Gimme' 10 days." Mission Accomplished and Scaramouche is off to the Ex-Im Bank as originally scheduled. Yes, Trump is turning me into a conspiracy theorist.

Do Trump supporters like this kind of president with no respect for anyone but his family and himself?

Not only are Trump and the Mooch nasty but they are both coarse and crude and classless. Donald told us how he liked to grab women by the pussy because, don't you know, they'll let you do anything if you're a celebrity. Scaramouche told us that he wasn't trying to "suck his own cock." I'm not prudish about cussing. My husband was a Vietnam veteran and he definitely cursed, as I do myself but both of us when it was tolerable and when it wasn't.

Is this what you want from your White House? Really?

Did you like the ideas that your president would betray our allies and defend our enemies? Oh, that Saudi Arabia, such a great nation. And we love us some tin pot dictators who kill their own people at the drop of a hat. Of course, no one can compare to our good buddy, good pal, Vlad, with whom Trump is so enamored tht even a Republican congress felt the need to restrict his ability to pull back Russian sanctions.

Do you really want a president who has screwed over practically everyone he's come in contact with from contractors to investors to employees, to student and now to taxpayers because he had more power and money than they did? Is this what constitutes being a strong leader, a macho man, in your world? Stick it them before they can stick it to you?

So, Trump supporters, when you daydreamed about how wonderful it was gong to be if he was our president, is this what you had in mind?


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Putin and Trumpies....So Happy Together

                                                  Image result for denial


Good Lord, Trump supporters, how deep into denial do you have to be to wave off what has become a mountain of evidence in the Russia investigation as a hoax or a witch hunt?

We've known for months that several of Trump's associates seemed to have an unholy affinity for meeting with Russians even before the election. We also know that they all lied about it on their various forms and interviews, including Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions and Paul Manafort and others..

We know that the only change the Trumpies insisted on in the Republican platform was to ease up on language taking Russia to task for their hostile actions in the Crimea and Ukraine.

We know that Trump has never fully seemed to accept the conclusion by our intelligence agencies that Russia made an all-out effort to screw up our elections in his favor. He seems to trust their guys more than our guys.

We know that Michael Flynn was on the payroll of the pro-Putin Ukrainian forces and possibly Russia itself but he didn't admit it or register as a foreign agent until much later. We know that President Obama warned Trump against naming Flynn as National Security Director but he did it anyway.

We know that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was so concerned, she went to the White House to warn them that Michael Flynn could be compromised and a potential victim of Russian blackmail. They ignored her and Flynn continued to sit in on highly classified meetings, including a phone call with Putin.

We know that when the administration finally was driven to firing Flynn, they made up a sob story about how he'd allowed poor innocent Mike Pence to go on television and tell a lie. But that WAS the lie. Mike Pence was the head of Trump's transition team and knew all of this.

We know that Jared Kushner has had to revise his security clearance application at least three times as more meetings with Russians came to light, including one with a sanctioned Russian bank and one to discuss the possibility of a back channel with Russia, using RUSSIAN facilities, presumably to bypass America's own intelligence services.

We now know that, in a scene reminiscent of the Keystone Kops, Donald Trump, Jr. received emails from Russian entities wanting a meeting and promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. "I love it," said dear old naive Don. He first told us that it was him, Jared, Paul Manafort, a Russian attorney and a translator. Mostly, he said, it was a bust because it was a discussion of Russian to American adoptions, not the actual collusion he was hoping for. "And that's everything," Don Jr told Hannity.

But we know it wasn't. Turns out there was also an ex-KGB agent and Russian/American "fixer", a total of 8 people in all and yes, they were concerned with adoption as it related to the Magnitsky Act, one of Putin's most hated sanctions.

We know Trump fired James Comey in an effort to shut down the Russian investigation. (We know this because he admitted it....on television).

We know that Trump invited the Russian ambassador and foreign minister into the Oval Office where a Russian photographer was allowed to take photos but NO American media was let in. We saw Trump yucking it up with the Russians. We know he told them Comey was a "nut job" and firing him had relieved some of the pressure on him.

We know that Trump blabbed some truly top secret information to the Russians...information we had gotten from Israeli intelligence.


We know that at the G20 summit, the meeting between Putin and Trump that was scheduled for half an hour lasted two hours. How much Trump actually "pressed" Putin on whether Russia interfered in our elections, we don't know, but it appears that they both decided to forgive and forget.

We know they also had another intimate meeting while at a dinner at the G20, with only a Russian translator to hear them (no American translator so Trump was at the Russians mercy, a position no smart American president would ever let himself be put in). This meeting lasted a little over an hour. We didn't know about this additional get-together until much later because the White House never announced it until they were forced to and we still don't know what Trump and Putin discussed.

We know that the Senate voted 97-2 to increase sanctions on Russia but the Trump administration is fighting it tooth and nail and it is now bogged down in the House.

Meanwhile, the Trump true believers continue to laugh all this off. Polls show that they like and admire Vladimir Putin. It matters not to them that his people poison, strangle, shoot, knife and throw their opponents off buildings. Or kidnap them and let them die in prison. Or murder journalists who are critical of the regime. Or lock up protesters.

What it shows is that they don't value our democracy. They don't believe in the checks and balances and system of justice that has made America great. They just want their own way by any means it takes to get it. I can see where they and their president would feel a sense of kinship with the Russian dictator.


Friday, July 7, 2017

The Deplorables


                                                           Image result for the deplorables trump



The Deplorables - someone signed me up to this group (click on the link if you want to see in more detail what they are about.) I think one of my conservative friends did it for a prank because they knew how disgusted I would be. And, yep, disgusted is a good word. So is sickened, shocked and horrified. They are Donald Trump supporters, of course - of the "he can do no wrong because he was chosen by god to be our president" variety.

They revel in being Deplorables. They vie with one another to see who can post the most vicious, vilest memes. Someone peeing in Hillary Clinton's mouth. Obama getting screwed in the butt.  A picture of Michelle supposedly trying to cover her penis. (You know she's really a man, don't you?) Naturally, they don't call them Obama and Hillary but Ovomit and Oblowjob and Obummer and Shrillary and Killary. POS, for Piece of Shit, works for both of them.

They think grossness is hilarious. You wonder if they are all 13-year-olds. Their humor isn't even sophisticated enough to be sophomoric. Among all of them there isn't a drop of subtlety or grace.

They bought into the Obama isn't really an American but a Kenyan Muslim traitor, hook line and sinker. Even when Trump himself finally gave up on the Birther theory, they kept believing because they saw that twinkle in his eye that said he didn't really mean it.

They are obsessed with the Clintons and the Obamas. The Deplorables trade in hate. They think the C's and the O's are traitors who should be locked up in Guantanamo for life. Or no, maybe burning them at the stake would be better. Their kids too. Most of them also hate immigrants and Muslims and minorities and gays and refugees and poor people. I doubt if they could even define mercy.

There is no sense trying to have a discussion with them. They know what they know and that's all they want to know. If you ask them to explain something, they ignore you. If you don't already believe what they believe, you're probably too stupid to understand anyway because you're just a moronic libtard.

My biggest question about The Deplorables is who are they and where have they been all my life? I'm 70. I've lived all around the country and worked all kinds of jobs - factory, bartender, office, salesperson. I never met people like this. Oh, there was the occasional asshole but even they weren't consistently this coarse and crude. Was it the internet that allowed them to "come out" as who they really are? Are they teachers and preachers and cooks and car salesmen? Are they parents and grandparents? Scary thought.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ugh! Bernie!

Image result for bernie sanders     


I don't like Bernie Sanders. I didn't like him yesterday. I don't like him today and I doubt if I'll like him any better tomorrow. I don't like Mrs. Bernie either. And if there are Sanders kids, I probably wouldn't like them if I knew them either.

Bernie may not have been the biggest reason Hillary isn't president today but he was the first. (She ran into a perfect storm of Bernie, Trump, Putin, WikiLeaks,  Jim Comey and sexism - a combined force it would have been impossible for any mortal human to overcome).

Bernie was the original Dog in the Manger. He wasn't a Democrat, has never been a Democrat but he latched himself onto the Democratic party to the detriment of their real candidate, and like a leech, sucked out enough of the party's life force to make a real difference. I don't think he believed for one minute that he would ever be president of the United States (though his faithful followers did). But he parleyed his crusty old purist persona into tons of attention. The media loved him. He was such a character and he helped them bring down, Hillary down, an effort they never seemed to tire of even after three decades.

Bernie and Trump were the traveling road show, each backing up whatever the other one said. "Hillary is owned lock, stock and barrel by the big banks," said Donald. "Just so," echoed Bernie. Of course, since then all those big bankers have gone to work for the Trump administration.

"Emails!" screamed Trump. "Emails!" screamed the holier-than-thou Mr. Sanders. Trump even made a negative ad against Hillary using Bernie quotes. On the other hand, he rarely laid a glove on Sanders because he knew Bernie was no threat to him.

And Bernie kept it up, even when it was obvious he'd lost the nomination. Rather than folding his tent right then and joining forces with the rest of the Democrats, he forged on to Philadelphia. Of course, he eventually endorsed her but it was too late by then. The Bernie Bots despised her and many voted for third party candidates rather than for her.

There is plenty of blame to go around for why Hillary lost. Mostly, we seem to have gotten around to blaming her. She was too quiet; she was too loud. She smiled to much; she didn't smile enough. She didn't campaign in the right states. She didn't appeal enough to the working class. People didn't know what she stood for (I did. I knew exactly what she stood for - a minimum wage increase, improving Obamacare, climate change, more help for women and children, equal pay for equal work, help for college kids with student loans....) Why didn't a lot of other people know? Because the media and her opponents focused on emails morning, noon and night.

I was bitter then and I'm bitter now about the man who jumped into the race in an effort to brush aside the "little woman". I'm even more bitter that so many Americans fell for it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Door

                                                        Image result for looking out door 

It is strange how a thing that lays around ignored for so long can suddenly make such a huge difference in your life but that is the case of The Door. It turned out to be a secret treasure.

I assume it was meant to be a storm door for the front of the house. John had bought a stack of gorgeous wood to build a new front. He had the plans in his head and when he came to Indiana and had a little time, he'd work on it. That didn't happen very often though so it mostly just stayed a stack of wood.

When he died, someone who bought some of his tools bought the wood as well.

John and LeAnn came to visit from Iowa last month. LeAnn and I mostly talked but, bless John's heart, he worked his tail off fixing things that needed fixing around here. Coming back from breakfast, he made the observation that my back storm door was looking pretty battered.

"Yeah," I said, "there used to be a storm door in the garage but I don't know if it's still there."

His handyman's eyes glinted at the thought of a more challenging project than installing support bars in the tub and balancing the float in the toilet so it would flush properly. As soon as we got home, he grabbed the garage key. The door was still there, still in it's packaging.

"John special-ordered this door in 2003," John told me.

I had figured it was just your basic white storm door but it wasn't. It was one of those kind that is all glass, trimmed in cinnamon to match the trim on the house.

John worked all day until he completed the job. When we opened the inside door to look out, something sort of magical happened. Yes, it was the same old view I'd been seeing out my back door for years - no mountain peaks, no rivers, no forests. Just an average street in an average small town but opening the vista to the size of the door gave it an entirely different feel. I could see the trees and the hill running down to Charlie Creek and my own back rolling hill with Mom and John's garden at the top.

I decided I would put bird feeders outside the door. Mom and I fed the birds for years but we gave up because the voracious Cemetery Squirrels stole every seed within 15 minutes of filling the feeders. I went to EBay and ordered two bird feeders, both GUARANTEED to be squirrel proof! Fingers crossed that at least one of them works.

Blythe helped set them up and I now have regular seeds and sunflower seeds and suet and thistle seed. I have two hummingbird feeders. She brought two lawn chairs around with a little table so there is now a kind of sitting nook out there for reading and drinking coffee and watching birds.

Mostly though, I just watch from my kitchen chair. I can watch t.v. and glance up to see who is out there.

Not only do I love it but so do all my animals. They have to squeeze together to all have their looking space and they do. I come into the kitchen to see, lined up, a black and white cat butt, a cream cat butt, a gray cat butt and a blonde Pekingese butt, all in a row, heads turning to see  who has come to visit.

I had a blue jay and a chickadee and sparrows and a hummingbird the first day the feeders were up (so far no squirrels!).

So that door sat out there, useless, for 14 years and now it has given the residents of this house a new view of the world. It's a pretty world, a sharing world, a green and blooming world.

One of the guests at my recent tea party said, "I think that door is John's last gift to you."

I'm not quite so sentimental and romantic as that but just in case she's right...."thanks, John."

(Thank you also to John Murphy who brought it out of the garage and into the light.

   


Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Wish List

                                              Image result for America

I read an article the other day that said Democrats don't have any plans of their own, all they do is bitch about Republican plans. Well, of course, that isn't entirely true. Hillary had plenty of policy plans but they got drowned out by endless discussion about e-mails.

But that's all beside the point now and I know that I've been so distraught about Trump that I am guilty of writing mostly about him for the last few months rather than what I'd like to see for America.

So, here's my wish list.

1) We have fought and wrangled and protested and debated so much about Obamacare, that I wish we'd just repeal and replace it with with Medicare for all. Rather than the endlessly complex components that go into creating the ACA, let's just make it simple. Figure out how much we all have to pay (based on income) to give every single America the ability to walk into a hospital or doctor's office and get the care they need. We know it is possible because a bunch of other progressive countries have had universal healthcare for years. Let's eliminate the middle man, which is the insurance companies. They've been the stumbling block forever.

2) Let's raise the cap on Social Security contributions and make it solvent as far as the eye can see. If you're one of those lucky people who've made a gazillion dollars thanks to being a part of the American Dream, more power to you. Now pay up.

3) I have always wondered why wages are considered more taxworthy than other types of income. Tax my neighbor down at the rich end of the block the same on his capital gains as you do me on the hours recorded on my time card. The rich create jobs by investing and building. I create jobs by consuming.

4) And speaking of consuming, let's raise the minimum wage to a rate high enough to support a family with at least some modicum of dignity. By doing so, we'd take millions off of food stamps and that would make higher-ups, who so resent having to help pay for "moochers" very happy.

5) Let's get that infrastructure thing going that both Hillary and Trump talked about during the campaign. And I mean, let's us do it. What I don't mean is for Saudi Arabia to pay Erik Prince billions to do it. We are America. Can we not afford to build our own goddam roads?

6) Let's make student loans, if not free, at least, interest-free. And while we're at it, let's do the same for vocational training. Not everyone is meant to get a 4-year degree but we'll always need plumbers and electricians and builders and mechanics.

7) But before we decide what our kids on going to do post secondary education, let's make sure they have a thorough grounding in the basics and that every child attends a school, a PUBLIC school, that is safe and sturdy and has all the resources and teachers it needs to do its job.

8) Let's encourage workers to join unions again. In every negotiation between management and labor, both parties should have representatives that have their best interest at heart. \\

9) Let's start valuing our earth again. We probably can't do away with fracking and drilling and mining in the next 10 years but that should be our goal - to turn to resources that treat land and the air and the water more gently....and to train our people for these jobs of the future rather than telling them they can still be coal miners. Do they really want their children to be coal miners if there is a cleaner healthier option?

10) Let's get out of Afghanistan. Have we made a difference in 16 years? Will we make a difference if we stay another 16 years?  What does the end game look like?

11) Far as I'm concerned, the same goes for Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen - let them all duke it out as best they can. We can't fix the whole world.

12) Let's have commonsense immigration reform. Yes, we need defined borders and we need to know who is coming across them. Yes, we need to vet all those people. But tearing families part who've done us no harm or leaving families stranded at an airport because they have a Muslim name - that's not the America I know and love.

13) Yes, let's pursue every alternative for limiting climate change.

14) The hardest one of all: let's stop hating each other. I have not a clue about how to make that happen.






Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fighting A Losing Battle

Related image                                    Image result for resistance


I guess, like Hillary, I am now part of the Resistance but I don't feel very triumphant about it. I don't have any bullets or bombs, only words, and they seem like pitiful weapons against what is currently going on in my country, the sliding backward that I'm watching happen before my very eyes.

I used to believe we were the best, certainly not perfect, but the best in so many areas. We were brave and bold and creative. We invented things and then invented ways to make those things faster and more efficient and cheaper. We built things - beautiful buildings and bridges and highway systems. In order to do this, we took in people from all over the world - scientists and architects and physicians and physicists and added their expertise to our own. We forged ahead to discover technological miracles. It was the American Way.

We have never been as kind and gentle as we sometimes like to believe, Every advance in civil rights had to be fought for with protests and police dogs and billy clubs, with arrests and even murders, but in the end, the right way always won. Before it was over, women could vote and Black people could drink at the same fountains and attend the same schools and gay people could marry the partners they loved.

We believed in science and education and we believed in using those things to help our country and the world. We were always the first to arrive with aid after any disaster. We showed up with food during famines and medicines during pandemics and weapons during genocides. We took in the refugees those catastrophes left behind. We were the world's generous-hearted Uncle Sam.

We were usually ahead of every modern curve - we pioneered workers' rights and environmental progress and medical cures and advanced education even for non-elites.

No more. We are regressing in every one of those areas. Our infrastructure is crumbling even though our rich are richer than they've ever been before. We are closing the door to immigration, even deporting, not just criminals but settled, productive residents. Trump's budget drastically cuts research into cures for diseases. We are moving away from public education into for-profit schools, from which politicians get huge donations. The E.P.A's funding is being slashed in Trump's proposed budget. As I write this, the Republicans are getting ready to vote on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something that barely qualifies as healthcare. (Guess who gets the biggest contributions from insurance and pharmaceutical companies?) Red states are passing ever harsher restrictions against voting and ever harsher restrictions against abortion and other areas of women's healthcare. The Republican Congress just passed legislation allowing employers to forego paying overtime. They passed legislation that allows companies to no longer keep track of employees who get hurt on the job. They are considering repealing the Endangered Species Act. They are considering privatizing our national parks in favor of drilling and mining. There may be an executive order today making discrimination legal based on religious grounds.

So, I'll resist in my own small way but I find it heartbreaking that all this was evidently what my fellow Americans wanted. It was totally predictable. The Republicans, now that we have given them complete control, are doing what Republicans always do. They've never tried to keep their anti-progressive views a secret. The best the Democrats can do is fight a futile rearguard action to lessen the awfulness a little.

So half me yells, "fight!" and the other half sighs and says, "fuck it."

As I watch us retract into a more fearful, smaller, sadder, selfish country.








Wednesday, April 26, 2017

When The Truth Is Too Dangerous


Image result for collusion            Image result for collusion  

I've always thought of myself as a practical, down-to-earth person. I don't generally believe in fantasies (even religious ones) or conspiracy theories. Do I think corruption exists?  Oh, absolutely, there is plenty of under-handed corruption that goes on in the world but I'm talking about big league conspiracy, the kind that form the basis for so many novels like The Manchurian Candidate. I'm talking about the kind of conspiracies that could cause a war or a governmental meltdown. I find the people who believe 911 was an inside job, the brainchild of Bush and Cheney, to be utterly ridiculous. I find the people who believe Obama was a secret Muslim, a traitor working to hand the U.S. over to the Muslim Brotherhood, to be totally nonsensical.
There was one conspiracy in my lifetime that I believe was such a case and that was the assassination of President Kennedy. I never thought we Americans were told the true story behind that tragedy and we probably never will, at least not in my lifetime.
Why? Not because our government didn't care but because the information would have been so explosive no one could have predicted the aftermath. Was it Cuba? If we'd known for sure, nothing would have satisfied the American people except blasting that island off the face of the earth. Was it Russia? Once we were forced to face that fact, there would have been nothing for it but to go to war with a nuclear state. So I believe the powers-that-be at the time decided the best course of action was to bury the truth deeply to avoid the catastrophic consequences that would have resulted from such a revelation.
I believe were are exactly at that point again. I think the evidence is overwhelming that the Trump administration colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. There is evidence galore of the contacts between the Trump campaign and the Putin people. I believe our entire leadership knows what happened - from the FBI to the CIA to the Republicans to the Democrats. The list of Trumpers who were intimate with the Russians (and later lied about it) is beyond any possibility of coincidence. We have Stone and Manafort and Flynn and Sessions and Kushner and the Trump sons and Miller. Some of them were working for and taking money from Russia even as they worked on the campaign, such as Flynn, who the Trump administration made National Security Director, in a position to attend every ultra-classified meeting. Did they even vet him? Would he have passed inspection if they had? We don't know because they refuse to turn over any documents regarding the situation.
The story of Flynn struck me as bogus from the start. The General was fired as National Security Director for supposedly lying to Vice-President Pence but at that point, the administration had known about Flynn's contacts with Russia and Turkey for over three weeks and Pence certainly must have known because he was head of the transition team and had been given a letter by Elijah Cummings, warning him about Flynn's background. And it raises the question: if Trump knew and knew Flynn was lying to Pence, then why didn't the president inform him? I expect the answer is that Pence knew the truth all along. (Pence, our see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil Number Two).
So, we are in roughly the same place as after the Kennedy assassination only this is even worse. At that time, if we'd been told the truth, we would have directed our fury outward at another country. (Although we did have militant right-wingers back then too who detested Kennedy). We are far from that same country today. We are now so divided that both sides are dug into their foxholes. We have our own news sources and we all think we know the difference between real news and "fake" news. 
One side will swear to their souls that Donald Trump is a hero, savior of the working class, sent to America directly by Jesus, being persecuted by a globalist cabal of millionaires and billionaires (except his own millionaires and billionaires, of course).
The other side, my side, believe in their hearts that he is a corrupt wannabe-oligarch like Putin, a liar and a scammer turning our country into a fascist haven as we watch. Even traitor isn't too strong a term for us.
So, this time, we would turn our on fire on each other. What does that mean? Would there be an actual revolution with blood running in the streets? Very likely. Our loathing of one another is so powerful, I don't think we would hold back. Who would the police follow? Who would the army follow? Who would win and what would the end look like?
I don't think our leaders know and I don't think they want to know. So, they all dither around and pretend they are doing serious investigation but they are really not.  They let out bits and pieces but no smoking gun. In the end, I think they will tamp it down just enough to muddle through without a civil war. They'll try to keep Trump in check. They'll hold their breath for four years (or maybe he'll get impeached for something else, like conflicts of interest, God knows, there are enough grounds) and hope that Americans come to their senses by 2020. 
Then they'll heave a sigh of relief at having dodged a lethal bullet.                                                                 


                                                     


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Retreating To Our Safe Spaces

                                                         Image result for earth day 2017

I've been called a snowflake more times than I can count in the last couple of years. Sentimental depictions like the one above are probably part of the reason why. Compassion is not an admired quality among conservatives. They think liberals are a bunch of squishes because they care about little kids shot in their schools and wolf families being gassed in their dens and immigrant mothers being pulled away from their terrified children and yes, the Earth itself.

Ya' gotta' be tough to make it as a Right-Winger. If you boo-hoo about things like toddlers drinking lead-laden water, you're too simpy to be considered a good conservative. If seeing birds covered in oily goo makes you sick at your stomach, you're a sissy libtard. If you worry about climate change and hungry children going without school lunches and Americans losing their healthcare, why, then you need to take your coloring book and crayons to your safe space and let the right handle the hard stuff.

They can shrug off frightened children in refugee camps and shot toddlers and deported fathers and young black boys dying in the street because, don't you know, all those people are scary and we have to think of our own self-protection. It seems to me, they are the ones who need to go to their safe space. They can build barricades around it and take their guns in with them. They can allow in only white people.

I don't consider myself a snowflake. I stand ready to face the problems of the country and the world, and deal with them but I will admit to being absolutely bewildered by what has happened to my country. I used to think the vast majority of people I knew in my youth were pretty nice. They weren't all saints or heroes but they were decent people. Now it seems that many us have gone from empathy for the world around us to completely uncaring about anyone but ourselves.

Were some people always so hateful and they just got sick of holding it in? Is what we're living through now some kind of backlash against what is considered political correctness? Have we always been this way but now social media gives us a platform to say anything we please? Some of what I read on Facebook is so vicious, it leaves me shaking my head. Who are these people? Where did they come from?

I've never been one of those "America is Perfect" patriots. We often been a long way from perfect but generally we tried to be leaders in helping the planet solve its most perplexing problems. When did we turn against education. When did science become a bad word?

Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act in 1970 - Republicans were environmentalists then too. Later in 1970, we celebrated the first Earth Day. Before the year was over, we created the Environmental Protection Agency and passed the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts. These were all popular with a broad cross-section of America.

I can hardly believe that less than 50 years later, we elected a government that is in a full-fledged retreat into ignorance. They've cut the budget and the staff of the EPA. They are once again allowing energy companies to pour their pollution into our waterways. They want sell off public lands and even privatize our national parks. They are probably going to end the Endangered Species Act. I could go on but it is too depressing.

In 2015, after years of negotiations, the nations of the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, a pact to lower emissions and cut CO2 levels in an effort to slow climate change, which 96 percent of all the world's scientists believe is a real thing.

But the Trump Administration pooh-poohs climate change and is considering whether the U.S. should pull out of the Agreement. China, which has long yearned to be the most powerful nation on earth, is standing by, ready to take our places as the movers and shakers on climate change if we renege.

Abandoning the fight against climate change is just another way for conservatives to take their crayons to a safe space. Unfortunately, dirty air and water will follow them there.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Easier If You Don't Have To Think

                                    Image result for poll syria 2013 2017 democrats republican

To me, this chart is the starkest illustration of the state of American politics today.  In 2013, when President Obama was contemplating bombing Syria over their use of chemical weapons on their own people, 38 percent of Democrats approved, as did 22 percent of Republicans. In 2017, when Trump actually bombed Syria for using chemical weapons, Democratic opinion barely changed - 37 percent approved. But suddenly, Republican approval climbed to 86 per cent, based solely on who was president at the time, although the 2013 attack was actually many times more deadly than the one in 2017.

Furthermore, Republicans are now on record as giving their president kudos for finally doing something Obama refused to do. No, Obama wanted to do it but he took the question to Congress (which Republicans then were adamant that he should do - the Constitution and all, you know) but Congress withheld their authorization. Now that it's Trump, who did not go to Congress prior to bombing, it is perfectly fine with his supporters.

Many people say that there isn't a nickel's worth of difference between the parties. They're wrong. It may have been so when I first got seriously involved in politics. Back then the parties had philosophical difference but they were both rooted in a desire to work for the good of the country. Oh, there were the bad apples, as there always will be in any conglomeration of people but for the most part, they were motivated by love of country.

Somewhere along the line, the Republicans changed. The heart and soul of their party was subsumed by a lust for power at any cost.

For the most part, they've used hate to do it. It wasn't enough to disagree with opponents, those opponents had to be demonized. It started with the Clintons. Yes, Margaret, there was a vast right-wing conspiracy and it is still alive and well today. The Clinton years were one long witch hunt. The Republicans threw everything at the wall and finally, Monica Lewinsky stuck. At long last, a reason for impeachment, even if it was trumped-up.

And at the same time, of course, stories circulated about the Clintons that they were drug runners and serial killers. Russia was not the originator of planting "fake news". The Republican right does a pretty damn good job of it themselves.

Then came Obama and conservative hate grew even more intense. Obama was a Kenyan Muslim who wanted to make Sharia law the law of the land. He was a traitor. The R's in Congress stonewalled everything he tried to do. They filibustered on a level never seen before. They shut down the government for the second time in recent history. They let our credit rating be downgraded. They threatened default of our debts and fiscal cliffs. I'm not making all this up. Mitch McConnell, a one-man wrecking ball when it comes to our democracy, has bragged about it.

Take the sequester. It was supposed to be so awful that neither party would allow it to pass. Supposedly, the Democrats were opposed to cuts in social programs while Republicans were opposed to the military cuts. It was supposed to force cooperation. But, surprise, the R's let it go into effect and they lived with it during Obama's administration. Now, they have total power and guess what? The social cuts will be maintained but the military part of the sequester will be overturned. Another battle won by hook or by crook.

Another huge win by McConnell and his crew is the destruction of the Supreme Court. They began by refusing to confirm any of Obama's federal court nominees. Didn't matter who it was. They simply refused to confirm the huge backlog waiting their approval. They practically forced the Democrats to resort to going nuclear if they wanted to get any of Obama's judges confirmed. That set the stage, of course, for what came next. McConnell and the R's simply refused to even interview Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by Obama to fill Antonin Scalia's seat. (You know, Antonin Scalia, about whom all those stories swirled that he was murdered?) The nominal reason was that Obama was in his last year and a president shouldn't be able to nominate a justice so late in his term. (Although we've confirmed 19 justices in a president's final year in office.)

So McConnell held the seat open for ten months until a Republican won the White House and then proceeded to get Trump's nominees confirmed by way of the nuclear option, meaning it no longer takes 60 votes to confirm a SCOTUS nominee. The Supreme Court will now simply be a partisan establishment, just like the rest of our government has become.

And then, after all this, Donald Trump came on the scene and ran the most hateful, vicious campaign I've ever seen in my many years monitoring politics. (I believe sincerely that he had help from the Russians which is rather amusing if Putin thought for one minute that Trump wouldn't throw him under the bus if he thought it was in his best interest. I don't believe The Donald has any loyalty to anyone whose last name isn't Trump.

So, the Republicans hold the levers of power in every area - the states, the Congress, the White House, all the federal agencies, the Supreme Court. Trump ran as a populist but so far, I can't think of one thing the R's have done to help those forgotten working people in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin....  If you know of something, please let me know.

What disturbs me most about all this is that  Republicans are so caught up in the pig wallow of their success that they don't even recognize what they've become.

Democrats felt the same about bombing Syria whether Obama was president or Trump was. But the sheep-like Republicans don't need to think about it. It's all about who made the call and they are perfectly happy to be led either way.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What Have They Done For You Lately?

Image result for Trump supporters



I assume this was the bottom line for rational Trump voters (not the Deplorables, of whom there are many - they have their own website where they compete with one another to see who can be the most vicious and vile or the Trump evangelicals who believe Trump was sent to us directly by God). I'm talking about the Trump fans who could be your neighbors or co-workers. Decent, kindly people.

I think this was the argument that sold them. Trump told them he was fighting for them, the forgotten Americans, as opposed to the Washington elite. With his populist campaign, he promised to bring back good jobs and eliminate the competitors for those jobs and re-write trade agreements that encouraged industries to outsource. And not only did they elect him, they gave him a Republican congress so he wouldn't be obstructed (as Obama was) by his opponents.

They gave the R's free rein to do all the wonderful things for the working class they said they would do.

By the time, Trump was inaugurated, I gave him almost zero credibility. His whole persona seemed like a giant shell game to me. But....if he'd begun with an infrastructure program, I might have begun to gain a little faith. If instead of trying to take health insurance from millions of Americans as his first project, he'd worked hard to accomplish the goal of jump-starting the economy and creating jobs by rebuilding our crumbling bridges and highways and electrical grid and airports and buildings and transportation systems, I might have started to buy in. And I don't mean by giving ginormous tax breaks to corporations to encourage them to do it. I mean by financing it ourselves, even if we had give up a ship here or a plane there or cut back on rebates for oil companies or tax breaks for billionaire realtors and bankers.

Jobs for real people - I might have considered that he was serious about "fighting for us".

And even now, after health care flopped, the next plan is tax reform. Like the Republican version of the American Health Care Act, tax reform will also benefit primarily the rich.

He brags about United Technology agreeing to move only 1000 jobs out of Indianapolis instead of 1,700 they'd originally slated for lay-off but they are in the process right now of closing their Huntington plant which is another 700 jobs. And Ford and others say their future plans for America were already in the works though Trump is taking the credit. Meantime, he puts a hiring freeze on federal employees, which incidentally, those are jobs too.

I've always thought I'd like to have a real conversation with a Trump supporter. Someone who would actually discuss our different political views. I would ask them what Trump and the Republicans have done so far to assure them that they are fighting for us. Trump's very first executive order raised the amount regular people pay on their mortgages. They've done away with regulations that mandated how much industry could pollute our waterways. They want to end the Endangered Species Act. They passed a law allowing hunters (I hesitate to even call them hunters, which is a name that implies some honor) to kill hibernating bears and gas mother bears and wolves and their cubs in their dens. They want to privatize some of our federally owned lands to open it up to drilling and mining and fracking. They approved both the Keystone and Dakota pipelines against the will of the people who actually live in those areas and fear for their clean water. The saving grace was to be a law that said the pipelines must be made of American steel but, of course, they've withdrawn that order. They've rescinded the regulation that says our employers must pay us overtime. They are adamantly opposed to increasing the minimum wage. They passed legislation that will allow our internet providers to sell every bit of information they have about us. They passed a law that says investment bankers no longer have to work "in the best interest of their customers". These are just things I remember off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm forgetting some important ones.

I'd ask my Trump friend - did you truly believe we'd have a wall and that Mexico would pay for it? I always thought that sounded absurd. And if you wanted illegal immigrants from coming to our country, why wouldn't they start with employers, which is the weakest link in the immigration chain? No jobs, no immigrants. Wouldn't that be cheaper and more humane than dragging people off as they took their kids to school or opened their businesses?

Did you really think their rushed Muslim ban was well thought out? Do we really make America safer by leaving students and grandmothers and sick babies stranded at airports? Are we safer because Muhammed Ali's son was interrogated at the airport....twice....simply because of his name?

I might have started to have a little faith in Trump if he'd appointed people to his cabinet who seemed eager to help their agencies become more responsive and more efficient. Instead he put a bunch of rich foxes in charge of the henhouse. An EPA Director who doesn't believe in climate change. An Education Secretary who doesn't believe in public education. A HHS Director who doesn't believe in health care, especially in the form of Medicare or Medicaid. An Energy Secretary who doesn't believe in energy policy. A HUD Secretary who knows jack shit about public housing. And I think he's up to seven former CEOs of Golden Sachs (the very people he used to call the "global cabal"). There may be others by now. He's barely begun to fill the jobs it takes to run these agencies. Who needs'em? We have too many people already.

If you're interested in seeing what cuts Trump has in his proposed budget to see if you agree with them, here is a list.

Instead of experienced people, America is being managed by Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner (Trump's son-in-law) who  seems to have a finger in every presidential pie, and of course, Ivanka, who will be her father's "eyes and ears" in the West Wing (which I would take to be a little creepy if I worked in the West Wing).

So tell me, Trumpie friend, just out of curiosity, what have he and Republicans done for you lately?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lead Me To The Low Road

                                            Image result for gorsuch hearing

As a Democrat here's what I wish that my fellow Democrats would do -  simply refuse to be involved with the Gorsuch hearings in any way. I wish they'd register their rejection of this theft of a Supreme Court seat by walking out, denying the process their cooperation and their votes. The Republicans have the power to confirm Judge Gorsuch and undoubtedly they will, but at least there would always be an asterisk beside his name due to being given a stolen seat despite the disapproval of the Democrats.

I have nothing personal against Gorsuch and I never have would never have recommended such a strategy two years ago. I doubt I'd agree with the Judge on many issues but I always believed that our constitution gives a president has the responsibility for nominating SCOTUS justices while in office, even ones who aren't my personal cup of tea.

But then, Antonin Scalia died and the Republicans engaged in an astoundingly egregious display of dishonest partisanship regarding President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland for the Court. They could have simply voted him down. They had the votes but instead, they took it to the nth degree of insult by refusing to conduct hearings or even interview him.

Mitch McConnell simply stated that Obama would not be allowed his constitutional privilege in his last year in office. In fact, he took it further by suggesting that if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, they would hold the seat open for four years! Only a Republican, I guess, in Republican eyes, would ever be allowed to choose new justices for the SCOTUS bench.

Now the tables have turned. McConnell intones in that irritatingly unctuous manner he has that the Democrats must stop stonewalling and get with the program of confirming Gorsuch. The Supreme Court needs that ninth justice (unlike the entirety of Obama's last year). Judge Gorsuch, McConnell tells us was overwhelmingly approved when he was nominated as judge - as was Garland. He is extremely highly thought of among his peers - as was Garland. Gorsuch is an good and honorable man - as was Garland. Garland's integrity and honor didn't cut any ice with Old Mitch when the shoe was on the other foot but now, Democrats need to be bipartisan good citizens and confirm Trump's choice. Uh huh.

Michelle Obama said, "when they go low, we go high". It's an honorable philosophy but we've seen how well that technique worked, haven't we? Those who took the low road seemed to always reach the finish line first. While they leveled howitzers at us, we tried to defend ourselves with squirt guns. Not very effective.

So where's that path down to the low road. I'm ready to take it all the way to the end.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Land of the Dumb and Home of the Mean

                                                        Image result for stupidity

I thought when I was in high school, I got an excellent education. (I graduated in 1964). Even the kids who dropped out to go to work in the factories got a thorough grounding in the basics before they turned sixteen. You could have a conversation with a guy who left school and went to work as a punch press operator at General Tire and you might know some things about physics and sociology that he didn't know by virtue of those missing years of education, but over all, he was just as intelligent as you. (Chances were, he was quite a bit smarter than me about math). He watched the news and read the newspapers and knew what was going on in the world around him. We had some less than average bright people then too, of course, but they were the exception rather than the rule.

I don't know what happened in the intervening years but America seems to have gone dumb and mean. And it doesn't have anything to do with i.q. They've chosen to be dumb. They've chosen to be mean. They've chosen to sneer at science and history. They are contemptuous of smart people, like college professors and economists and chemists. I had a Facebook debater tell me the other day that we don't need the arts and sciences anymore. We can figure out our own answers through our own rational thinking. It's safer that way, he said, because you can' trust anything the "Deep State" tells you anyway. The hoax of climate changes proves it. The vast majority of scientists who say they believe climate change is real are being paid off by the "global cabal" and only those few who deny it have integrity.

These are the people who elected Donald Trump despite the big black writing on the wall that was obvious to anyone who wanted to see it. They ignored his corruption, his constant lying, his hateful allegations about his opponents, his lewdness and crudeness and rudeness. They gloried in his cruelty, seeming to think hatefulness is funny....and they followed him right down into the gutter.

Someone on Facebook signed me up to a site called The Deplorables. You have to be approved to join so I assume someone did it as a prank but it has been an eye-opener. To me, these people are the heart and the soul of Trumpism. They glory in the title and try to prove it with everything they say. They seem to compete with one another to see who can be the coarsest. Their language is rife with niggers and skanks and wetbacks and sluts and towel-heads. It is not enough that they hated Obama and Hillary. They want to see them hung or shot or tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. At the very least, they want to see them in handcuffs and orange jumpsuits being led to prison. Presumably, the watchers would throw stones and laugh during the perp walk. One Deplorable said if they hung Hillary and put it on Pay per View, they could raise enough to pay off the national debt.

They revel in outdoing one another in nastiness. I can't even tell you some of the sickening things they say. They truly are the Deplorables. Hillary was absolutely right about them.

They believe Trump can do no wrong. The things they ranted and raved about with Obama are no big deal any more. They no longer care about their president spending millions of taxpayer dollars on luxurious vacations. They no longer care that Trump has played golf nine times in seven weeks. They no longer care if Trump has outdone his predecessors in signing executive orders. Ask them sometime what those executive orders were for and they don't have a clue. They no longer care if he does government business on an unsecured phone or that Steve Bannon has a private server. They exhorted Darrell Issa and Trey Gowdy to keep investigating Benghazi - time and money were no object. But when Trump's first mission in Yemen failed bigly and lost us the life of a Navy SEAL and an expensive plane, hey, it wasn't his fault, nothing to see here.

For all that they love investigations, they want no investigations of President Puffy Butt's Russian connections. Practically every member of Trump's inner circle had communications with the Russians during the campaign and lied about it until they got caught. And yes, Pence lied about knowing about it too. Elijah Cummings himself sent the head of the Transition Team, which happened to be Mike Pence, a letter saying that General Flynn was working for and getting paid by Turkey even as he was attending Presidential Briefs but Pence stood before us, all innocence, and said it was news to him. (The General has since registered, retroactively, as a foreign agent). Flynn got fired for supposedly withholding information from Pence but Trump himself  knew so if he knew, why didn't he tell Pence. The answer is: he probably did.

The Deplorables have bought into Bannon's Deep State myth and wish for nothing more than for Trump's appointees to take a wrecking ball to the agencies of the federal Government. Do they truly believe the country, and they themselves, will be better off when this is done? Do they truly believe Trump is doing it for their sake and the rich won't be the ones to profit from his tax reform and deregulation.

Some how they must have convinced themselves that the FDA and the EPA and the Department of Education and the Food and Drug Administration and the food stamp program and Medicaid and Social Security and OSHA and the National Parks and the Endangered Species Act have never provided them any benefits. They must believe that the diversity that has always defined America is a negative thing.

I sometimes ask them what America will look like if they get their way in everything but none of them have thought that far ahead, or if they have, they can't articulate their vision.

The other day on a conservative website someone said, "hey, you fucking libtard bitch, someone ought to knock your goddamed teeth down your throat". (This wasn't the Deplorable. I've never come out to them because I know they'd instantly block me. They only want to share with their like-minded pals. I want to stay on because I have a kind of sick curiosity about just how low they will go).

We used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now we seem to have become the land of the dumb and the home of the mean.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Take Your Unity And.....

                                            Image result for Trumps speech to congress


Well, I didn't keep count but I probably said "fuck you" at least 20 times during the course of Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress so that will probably give you a small clue about how it affected me

He modulated his voice somewhat more than he usually does. That's about the only difference I noticed between "presidential" Trump and not presidential Trump. His hateful policies are all the same. His details are as sketchy as ever. His pie in the sky promises still float over a rainbow of unreality. It seems that he equates being presidential with the inability to smile. If smiles were paid for in dollars, he'd be standing in a soup line.

We had to watch his speech punctuated by the fawning smiles and claps of the Bobblehead Twins behind him. Did they coordinate their wardrobes in advance do you suppose?

He's going to try for a new immigration ban that will pass muster with the courts, which means, the administration will have to be a little more careful about semantics....but the bottom line will not change. In fact, we are still causing pain for people who don't deserve it. A teacher who couldn't come to the United States with his students. A girl's soccer team. An elderly Australian children's book writer. Mohammed Ali's son and mother, for God's sake. What any of these people have to do with terrorism in America is absolutely zilch, zero, nada.

His own National Security Adviser tried to convince him to quit using the term "radical Muslim terrorists", saying it wasn't helpful in recruiting the Muslims who are our allies. But he couldn't resist. In fact, he placed special emphasis on those words Radical "Muslim Terrorists". You wonder how long the sane members of his cabinet will stick around when they are so disrespected. (McMaster doesn't even have Open Door privileges to come see Trump).

He still wants to build a wall and  round up millions of illegals....not just criminals, unless you count as the fact that just being here makes you a criminal, which they do. Your guess is as good as mine whether they getting hearings or simply being booted across the border (even non-Mexicans are being dumped in Mexico). You can practically feel the private prison companies salivating at the thought of all the big new prisons that will have to be built to detain them.

His new VOICE (Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement) is absolutely ridiculous. Illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than native Americans but I guess their victims are more worthy of attention than those black kids shot by police (the Justice Department informed us they'd no longer be monitoring police departments with histories of abuse, like Chicago) or victims of drunk white good old boys with guns.

Here are some of the things I remember about his planned spending: $20 billion for the Wall, $54 billion (just a down payment) for defense, a trillion for infrastructure, thousands of new border patrol agents, massive tax cuts across the board (although if you believe the rich and corporations won't get the lion's share, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale). Isn't it amazing how Republicans care so much about the deficit when Dems are in charge but max out the old credit card when the responsibility is on them?

We still don't know about Obamacare. Trump says he's going to give us something that includes more people, is cheaper while offering better coverage than the ACA. (Remember that bridge in Brooklyn?)

I can't help but smile a little when I read articles about how farmers are terrified that they won't have immigrant labor to help them pick their crops. Or poor white Appalachians who are deathly (yes, deathly, is the word) that they are going to lose their healthcare. These are all people who voted for Trump. Maybe they should have given that decision a little more thought.

I thought the wife of the Seal who died in Yemen was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. It started out all right but it went on and on, like a kind of torture. It looked to me like the poor woman was thinking, "oh, God, please, let this be over." I actually thought she might be going to faint.

And what did Mr Trump believe the spirit looking down on his grieving wife was thinking - "gee, wow, what an ovation!" No, Donald, that would be you that puts cheering crowds above everything else in your life.

We got a few little tips of the hat to unity. Yep, now that the Republicans have it all their own way, they think it would be great if we could just get over this petty divisiveness that has ruled the U.S. for the last 8 years.

Ain't gonna' happen. I despise everything Donald Trump stands for, everything he wants to do to my country to make it seem small and backward and cruel.

There will be no unity from me, Mr. Trump.




Monday, February 20, 2017

Not So Brave; Not So Free

Image result for aleppo children        Image result for aleppo children


Image result for aleppo children        Image result for aleppo children


I'm ashamed of my president and ashamed of my country for electing him and the Republicans. I'm ashamed of how mean so many of us are in 2017. What gutless cowards we have become in our irrational fear of Muslims and Mexicans and anybody else that differs from us. 9/11 totally broke our spirit. We are not the country we used to be or the people we used to be. Our determination to help the world become a better place is all but gone. Our dedication to helping struggling people has all but disappeared.

We've become a nation that loves walls now. Common folks want a wall between the U.S. and Mexico ('cause don't you know, Latinos are taking all those lovely dishwashing and tomato picking jobs we are clamoring for). But can't you see, it's no different than the walls the rich put up around their gated communities to keep us out? We are no better than migrant workers to them.

If you cannot find as much compassion in your heart for the brutalized refugee children of Aleppo as you can for a fertilized egg, then I don't want to hear about how you revere the sanctity of life. If you would deny South American children fleeing the death and destruction in their homelands the opportunity for food and a safe place to sleep and medical care, then don't give me any bull about what a loving, motivated Christian you are. If you piss and moan about the amount of your taxes that go to food stamps and Medicaid but you're fine with Donald Trump spending a gazillion dollars a month flitting around in Air Force One, then you're a hypocrite in the first degree. (Remember how you complained about Obama's vacations. Trump has spent almost as much in a month as Obama spent in a year but I guess it doesn't seem so bad now, huh?)

My God is not your God. I'm not sure I even have a God but if there is a Creator, the one I envision does not divide his children up between black and white and brown and red. I think he would feel agony at seeing babies mute from fear and loss. I think he would feel even more agony at those of us who could help but choose not to.

Our president sits in his gilt-encrusted penthouse or his fabulous beach front resort consorting with the rich and power and issues orders that will rip people lives apart without, apparently, giving it a second thought.

He has a rally and tells his followers how happy he is to be among them - his people. But when the rally is over, does he eat with them or sleep with them? No, he flies back to Mar a Lago to the soft beds and fine foods and the uppercrust of our nation and they plot how to sell our national parks and refuse to raise the minimum wage and kill off the endangered Species Act and allow coal companies to once again dump their sludge into our rivers and streams and rescind the regulation that puts a ceiling on how much the banks charge us poor schlumps who sometimes overdraw our checking accounts and repeal the Transparency Law that mandates that corporations must report payments they get from foreign governments and cut school breakfast programs and food stamps. (Yeah, that'll show those lazy bums...most of whom work, incidentally, but don't make enough to support themselves).

We love that his cabinet has almost no experience with the agencies they are expected to oversee and in fact, most likely are hostile to those very organizations. The Education Secretary who hates public schools. The EPA Secretary who despises the EPA. The Health and Human Services Secretary who detests Medicare and Medicaid. The Energy Secretary who sits on the boards of Energy companies. The Labor Secretary who, until he withdrew his name, had nothing but contempt for workers.

So, tell me, Republicans, what about any of this do you find supportive of working people?

Or of any people, really, except those you used to call The Swamp - the Goldman Sachs honchos and the multi-million dollar donors and the lobbyists and the Putin apologists.

We have become people who'd rather believe lies than the truth, people who look down on the poor and adore the rich, people who believe being selfish and hateful will make America great again.