Saturday, December 23, 2017

January 9, 2017 - Hurricane Donald Makes Landfall


We've all seen them interviewed. Those people, who as the meteorologists frantically warn of the storm of the century and authorities urgently advise everyone to evacuate, decide to simply hunker down instead. they believe it is all fake news. To them, scientists have no credibility and you certainly can't believe a word the government tells you. .

If they are still alive after the hurricane strikes, they are calling to be rescued from their rooftops, if they even still have roofs, or they are slopping around in hazardous waste-laden water up to their elbows. Curiously though, even then they don't back down and admit that they should have listened and got the hell out while there was still time.

This is what hard-core Trump supporters remind me of. We all watched as Hurricane Donald bore down on the U.S. During the campaign, we certainly got and abundance of portents of how shallow and vicious and corrupt and dishonest he was but, as the storm clouds swirled and the rains came, Trump supporters pooh-poohed it all.

Historians and legal scholars and professors and scientists warned us of how much damage he was capable of causing but we ignored them.

Now, it is a year later and Donald is still churning around in our atmosphere causing chaos and confusion. Most of the foundations of our democracy have been undermined - the FBI, the CIA, the Justice Department, the rule of law, egregious conflicts of interest in benefit of the Trump crime family, the White House itself turned into a particularly low-grade reality show. .

We've discovered why we need laws. Most of the time, traditions and customs are honored and so we think we are safe to rely on them but then the "storm of the century" comes along and the winds are higher and the waters are deeper than they've ever been before. We discover that traditions and customs don't provide protection enough to keep a rogue president in check. We need to build our political levees much higher now that we've seen how easily they can be breached.

Still, the Cult of Trump insists everything is better than ever. You can say, "but your house only has two walls and those two are covered in mold."

"That's Obama's fault," they insist, "Trump is going to fix it all."

And you may as well just agree and walk away. They don't live in the same world you do.

Incidentally, speaking of hurricanes, here's my prediction - I read that more and more Puerto Ricans are fleeing the aftermath of Maria and foreclosures are rampant. I bet the Fat Cats are buying up properties on the cheap even now. Eventually, luxury resorts will replace native Puerto Ricans and their homes and businesses and the new rich owners will expect praise for "bringing Puerto Rico back."

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bizarro Trumplandia - Black is White and Up is Down


Yes - this is what it feels like to watch your country slowly circling the drain and feeling helpless to do anything about it. This is what it feels like to know that a significant minority of your fellow citizens have happily entered into Bizarro Trumplandia where up is down and black is white and Vladimir Putin is more trusted than our own law enforcement and intelligence services.

No one who is paying even minimal attention can deny that the Trump campaign/administration colluded with the Russians, then obstructed justice to cover it it. We now know about the many Russian contacts Trump officials lied about. We know from Don Junior's own emails that Russia offered dirt on Hillary and the Trumpies jumped at the chance to play ball. We now know that they were in league with WikiLeaks and getting advance notice of what would be dumped on the public. We know Russia had an advanced agenda of targeted fake news and social media hacks to sway the results of our election. We know Trump wanted to lift the sanctions on the Russians from Day One but Congress stopped it. We know that Trump refused to accept what all our intelligence services said was true and continues to love him some Vladimir.  We know that our government is doing absolutely nothing to prevent this from happening again in 2018 and 2020.

And we know that in Bizarro Trumplandia, the whole Russian investigation into the Trump administration is a hoax because it was really Hillary and Obama and the FBI and the CIA who were the guilty parties! Black is white and up is down!

We know we have to find out every single interaction between our President and Putin from the Russians. These aren't on Trump's official calendar. We don't know until the Russians tell us. It is only Russian interpreters who are invited to sit in, not Americans. When the president met with two Russians in the Oval Office, only a Russian photographer was allowed in, no America media. We got our pictures from the Russians. This was, incidentally, the meeting at which Trump revealed classified intelligence (originally from Israel) to the Russians.

This is what it feels like to see an authoritarian president undermine all the pillars of our democracy, one by one - the FBI, the CIA, the Justice Department - and on to lesser institutions like the EPA, the Center for Disease Control, the Education Department, the Interior Dept, the National Parks Department.

Have you seen the video of one of Trump's nominees for federal court judge who could not answer the simplest questions? Here is Mr. Peterson . Four of the president's nominees have been judged unqualified by the American Bar Association. This is the kind of boobs Trump is packing our court's with despite his assertion that he is putting in "only the best people".

And of course, the media comes in for consistent trashing. In Bizarro Trumplandia, you can't trust our venerable old new agencies like the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNN or NBC. No. Only nutcase conspiracy sources like Info Wars and Breitbart and Gateway Pundit can be trusted to tell you the truth. Black is white and up is down.

And what a huge disappointment the Republicans have been. Some of them had a bit of backbone in the campaign but now they've all seem to have tiptoed into Bizarro Trumplandia themselves. They are buying the story about the FBI and Robert Mueller being in cahoots in a biased investigation. Despite the praise they heaped on Mueller back at the beginning, they are singing a different tune now and it seems likely they will be willing to rubber stamp whatever Trump decides to do. Fire Mueller, for instance.

I guess this is all in service of their precious tax plan which looks as though it will pass. That has to be about donors (which, in fact, they've admitted publicly) because it certainly isn't about doing anything for the American working class, since the bulk of of the cuts go to wealthy Americans and corporations. The Republicans have these twin obsessions - tax cuts for the rich and repealing Obamacare. Both of those bills have proven to be extremely unpopular but the Republicans don't care about their constituents, they are forging ahead anyway. I think many of the old bull Republicans are looking toward retirement in this vicious Washington environment and simply want to take the money and run.

In Trumplandia, the president is little short of a God. I had a debate with a Facebook friend about her 401K which she said has increased tremendously under Trump. I said, "well, it must have increased tremendously under Obama too then, since the stock market tripled under his watch." But she absolutely wouldn't hear it and insisted it didn't begin going up until Trump took over. Black is white and up is down.

And so I watch despairingly. I have cancer. My hope is to live until this Trumplandia fever dream has run its course and my country is back on the right track again.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

We Need to Start From Now.

Why not Al Franken? Some think the senator and former comic could be Hillary’s VP - St. Louis ...

I am so sick of all this sexual harassment crap. Holier-than-thou Democrats force out their politicians while Republicans support theirs and say, "screw you if you don't like it". Meanwhile, Kristan Gillibrand (who I normally like) and her cohorts insist that Democrats must be the party of purity. Baloney, there is no such thing as a party of purity.

And there we Democrats sit with our thumbs up our butts and our purity hung around our necks while the conscienceless party controls the House,  the Senate and the White House. They flat out tell us they want the votes to give rich people a huge tax cut and savage our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to lessen some of the debt the tax bill will run up and they'll do whatever it takes to get them.

Do Democrats really think this is a winning strategy? I haven't seen any signs that the moral high has played into our hands so far, have you? True, we did well in Virginia and New Jersey this year but those states both trend blue anyway. Let's look at this again when we win in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee based on who can claim the moral high ground.

And this nonsense about every woman must be believed because she's a woman - do we think people like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, the Mercers, the Kochs, Judicial Watch wouldn't pay women to make allegations against Democratic politicians? Are you kidding? They are the same ones who made up a ludicrous trumped-up (and I do mean, Trumped Up) story about Hillary Clinton running a child porn ring out of a pizza parlor. There is no vile line in the sand they wouldn't cross.

And are there woman who would gladly take the money in return for dishing dirt? Yes, there freaking are! The Washington Post outed one just last week.

I personally always thought that at least some of Bill Clinton's accusers were paid by the "vast right-wing conspiracy".  

I certainly don't deny that we have a sexual harassment problem in this country but we've had it for years, decades. We can't go back 10, 20, 30 years and correct it now. We need to give everyone a clean slate and say, "now you know the rules and we will allow zero tolerance for breaking them so it will be on you if you do."

Women, if you didn't come forward until years later, too bad although I understand the reasons you probably didn't. You made your bed. We need to institute new policies that encourage women to tell their stories in a timely fashion and protect them if they do. We need to set penalties based on actual actions. What Franken has been accused of is not nearly as serious as what Roy Moore was alleged to have done...or even Donald Trump for that matter. And we need to set the same standard for all abusers - not a harsh one for Democrats and a tolerant one for Republicans. It shouldn't be that Dems admit what they did and apologize and get booted while Republicans deny everything and go on about their business.

I'm sorry, Ladies, if you think I'm not sufficiently sympathetic to your sad stories of groping or unwanted kisses 20 years ago. Hell, I was probably the subject of groping and unwanted kisses back then to. Life goes on.

We need to start from now and go from there.