Archive for October 2017

The Fat F*ck Just Wears You Down

First, why Fat F*ck (FF) instead of Dotard in Charge (DIC). Well, DIC gives him too much credit for being senile instead of just being mean and ignorant. FF kind of captures that. Okay, I started writing this blog to try to put rational thought into the debate with the false notion that if people knew the facts, we might make the right choices. Little did I know that people don’t care about the facts, just snippets to believe what they already want to believe. It makes life so much easier (intellectually lazy) until the consequences of your ignorance comes crashing into to your made up reality. Enter the FF.

Now look, I will be the first to tell you that the Democratic Party lost its way, and may in fact still be wandering in the wilderness. They still seem to be in denial about their basic failure to stand for anything but against the FF. Until they understand that Progressivism is not extreme left, but the only way forward, they are going to be wandering aimlessly. People knew that under Democrats or Republicans, it was still going to be a 1% game. Everyone looks to the stock market for measures of success when for most of us, it does not flow down. Those offering real change got smacked down by the establishment, people did not show up at the polls, and we got the FF. Now you can make the argument, yeah, but Hillary won the popular vote. So what? We got the FF and a lot of people did not vote or voted for change. Boy are they getting their change.

So, here I am trying to explain how health insurance works (you only lower costs when everyone shares the burden), explaining why tax cuts won’t really stimulate todays economy, why walls are really really counterproductive, why striking down trade deals willy nilly is going to hurt us, and why our approach to foreign affairs will be self-defeating, and it is whack-a-mole time. I or others make a rational argument citing loads of facts and data, and the next day the FF is at it again with the same totally false narrative, and you think, do I have to go down this road again? Is it just blowing smoke? Sadly yes. Maybe the only satisfaction is when shit happens, I can tell you I told you so.

Pick up your daily paper, those few of us that do anymore, and there is a ton of data and analysis, no not from left leaning think tanks, but from reliable political scientists, that tell you the tax cut will cost us billions, not create jobs, and run up the deficit, or that the cuts to health care subsidies will hurt all of us and cost more than it saves, or read that our problem is the lack of a flow of immigrants, and all the things we need to know to make smart policy are out there. Then the FF makes up a bunch of lies and we have to go through the whole thing again and it still does not dent about 35% of the population. The FF is lying about the NFL take a knee, or John McCain, or some other personal snit, and then gets called out on the deaths of our servicemen in Niger and then makes up more lies.

Now this is truly disgusting and yet people still try to normalize him and discuss his lies as though somehow they are another reasonable policy position or just of difference of opinion, and once again I pull out my pen, as do most real journalists and try to set the record straight, but it never sticks. Tomorrow, after we have conclusively destroyed his lies, laid out the facts, it is like a new day and we have to do it all over again. There is no stable set of facts that we all operate from and no building blocks to the future. Just a new day with a new round of lies and yesterdays clearing the air made no dent in the chaos. At least that is the way it feels right now. I think I will go play golf.

The Fat F*ck

Sorry, but that is now how I see this despicable man we call the President. As the days go on, you start to wonder why the nation does not throw him out. He stands before us and tells one lie after another, and his behavior obscene, totally unbecoming a president of this country. I have to wonder how anyone at this point thinks he has either business acumen or is a crafty politician. He is a blathering lying fool. The latest was as he stood in the White House Garden pretending he and Mitch don’t despise one another and blatantly lied about President Obama and other presidents meeting with the parents of fallen service men. It was such a blatant and distasteful lie that went beyond the bounds of the new normal of his lying. There is such a sickness here that permeates everything he does. And what he does is out of meanness, spite, and ignorance.

Look at the lies he spouts about Obamacare. He is wrecking it with no thought to what comes next for the people who will suffer. He tells the whopper that most Republicans tell us that we will have more choice and our premiums will go down and he opens the door to junk plans and cuts subsidies to policies for the really poor. Oh and look at that group in the picture with him. Pander white f*cks who have got theirs. And any reasonable analysis tells us this is all a big lie. Sure you will be fine if you are healthy. But when shit happens, and it will, you are back to the pre-Obamacare days where the number one cause of bankruptcy was health issues and medical bills.

Then there is the nonsense he spouts on the Iran nuclear deal. And what he is doing here is mixing apples and oranges. Sure Iran does bad things, but the one they are not doing is building nukes. That is what the agreement was about. And no, there are no violations and it is working. So he just walks away or is going to “negotiate a better deal”? Um, what about the other countries that actually make this thing work? What we are seeing is that the trust of the United States to keep its word is non-existent. That ought to work out well with North Korea.

Here we have a man who is shocked, shocked, shocked at Harvey Weinstein and yet he admitted to sexually assaulting women, but that was just “locker room”. Here we have a man who flaunts using his position of power to enrich himself. Here is a man who stands before the nation and tells us lies about the electrical power plants in Puerto Rico, and threatens to abandon them, our fellow Americans. And here is a man who rates everything he does by the reviews he gets. He spends days on the NFL and says nothing until pressed about the servicemen killed in Africa.

I don’t know how much more evidence you need that he is not fit to be anywhere near the oval office. He is a smug, arrogant, buffoon in the best of lights, and a mean nasty little man who is working out his feelings of inadequacy on the nation by lashing out, destroying everything in his wake in the worst of lights. The really sad thing is that many of us and press lets him off as we get used to his lies. But I find him an embarrassment to the whole notion of what it is to be an American. So let me say this loud and clear, “THAT FAT FUCK IS NOT MY PRESIDENT. I think John McCain, knowing his days are numbered probably said it best when he took on the Trump/Bannon faction of his party when he got his Liberty Award yesterday, but his aim should have been wider at the lack of spine both he and his party have shown over the years to bring us to this abomination. Let’s not forget the ignorance of Sarah Palin. So I will leave you with this, and it is truly a sad thought. I have never been so ashamed and embarrassed to be an American. That is the times we are living in.

Level of Frustration and Other Topics

Today is one of those days I truly hate being old. I look at the devastation in Sonoma and Santa Rosa, and I want to get out there and help. I look at the devastation in Puerto Rico and I want to hop on an airplane and help them rebuild. And the truth is, I wouldn’t be much help. I would just get in the way. That wasn’t always the case, but I simply can’t do it anymore. It is this stark reality of my limitations. It is that reality that I am not what I used to be nor am I going to be again when I could take on almost anything.

I think what makes this doubly frustration is there is so much that could be done and we have a government led by a moron. His best attributes are his ability to tear things down, lie, pander with ignorance and racists, and connive. I know in California, we have good government and good people who will rise to the occasion. So does America, but under the leadership of Republicans and the village idiot, we see a wrecking ball, not leadership to build from the ashes. There is no vision there except some super capitalist utopian hell envisioned by Ayn Rand. I read this this morning about one Santa Rosa woman who lost her home and wanted to get in my car, but again, I would just get in the way:

She’s answering the logistical questions one-by-one: Where will they live? When will the children return to school? She has no answer for the most difficult questions about her upended life: Will things ever be the same?

“Our house had a certain smell to it,” she said. “It was our house. When you come home it has that smell. How can I replicate that smell for my kids, or is it gone forever?”

“This is ranking up there with when my brother died. It’s right up there — one of the worst things that’s ever happened in my life. But I’ve got to suck it up and power through — for my kids and for my husband and for myself. I can’t have a pity party, party of one. Because if I fall apart, we’re all going to fall apart.”

I like to think that we Americans are optimistic and enterprising, that we can fix these things. We are actually, and we can, except we now have a Republican led government that can do nothing, and wonders along with their leader, how they can blame the victims for this tragedy. Remember in Puerto Rico it was their fault because they were in debt (again aided and abetted by Washington and profit sucking financial institutions).

I guess my biggest frustration is there is so much that we could do. There is so much to fix and I want to leap out of my chair and get at it. But like our now Republican enfeebled country, my knees won’t allow any leaping, So I sit here and write. My time on this planet is now limited. But couldn’t we just start fixing a few things so when I do leave I know we are moving in the right direction? I have to figure out how to turn this ship around if only one mind at a time. Like the woman above, and I will rephrase: This is ranking up there with one of the worst times in my life. But I’ve got to suck it up and power through — for my kids and for my wife and for myself. I can’t have a pity party, party of one. Because if I fall apart, we’re all going to fall apart.  We so need a leader to lead us out of the wilderness we have gotten lost in.

Okay, perspective. I can only control what I can control and I am actually a very very lucky man even with the prostate cancer. The world (bubble) which I live in is very blessed. So let’s turn to baseball. Last night the LA Dodgers beat those uppity Cubs and there was a controversial call at home plate. Since some of the disastrous injuries in baseball occur with the catcher trying to block the plate with a runner trying to score (See Buster Posey), it was ruled that unless you have the ball, you cannot black the plate. In this game, as the catcher was catching the ball, he stuck his leg out behind him to block the plate (good way to get your leg broken) and tagged the runner out. On replay it was overturned ruling the catcher was blocking the plate before he had the ball. The old farts in baseball were all aghast. Stupid rule! That is the athleticism of the game! It was great play!

On the contrary, I think they made absolutely the right call. To do anything else would have once again announced open season on catchers trying to catch the ball or make a tag. It would have turned baseball into football at home plate. The thing I love about baseball is that it is driven competition without the violence and hate. This would change that. What I get from all this is how hard change is for people who are used to a certain way of doing things. And that is in a microcosm the problem this country faces as change is accelerating and the Republicans feed fear promising to drag us back to a time that never existed.

One last thought from Nicholas Kristof who took some criticism for his trip to North Korea, which I actually thought was quite informing and alarming as we move toward war and the DIC has no clue what game he is playing. Nicholas defended his actions with this and in this world where news is now a profit center so on-site reporting is at a minimum, we ought to think about:

Being on the ground in a country lets you see things and absorb their power: the speaker on the walls of homes to feed propaganda; the pins that every adult wears with portraits of members of the Kim family; the daily power outages, but also signs that the economy is growing despite international sanctions; the Confucian emphasis on dignity that makes officials particularly resent Trump’s personal attacks on Kim; the hardening of attitudes since my last visit, in 2005; and the bizarre confidence that North Korea can not only survive a nuclear war with the U.S. but also emerge as victor…

I left North Korea fearing that we are far too complacent about the risk of a cataclysmic war that could kill millions. And that’s why reporting from within North Korea is crucial: There simply is no substitute for being in a place. It’s a lesson we should have learned from the run-up to the Iraq war, when the reporting was too often from the Washington echo chamber rather than the field. When the stakes are millions of lives and official communications channels are nonexistent, then journalism can sometimes serve as a bridge — and as a warning.

And let’s never forget how they failed us with the DIC, right here in our own country. Not my President.

Harvey Weinstein, GMOs, Fire, and Living in Ignorance

ca. 2000 — Man Putting Fingers in Ears — Image by © Duncan Smith/Corbis

Are you sick to death of media coverage of Harvey Weinstein? The DIC (Dotard in Charge) has taken a sledge hammer to our democracy, and we get more coverage of Harvey and his perversions? The story here is not how Harvey raped (alleged) or exposed himself, but how his power and influence had others just turn away. See Donald Trump. NBC’s behavior about the story is despicable as they tried to kill it after pressure from Weinstein lawyers. Says something about news as entertainment and profit. People in Hollywood are just shocked and you know that they are shocked because now they can afford to be.

Hollywood is not the only place where who you know makes your career, it is just the most visible one, and with lots of beautiful women, there is going to be sexual abuse where someone in power abuses their power. Again see Donald Trump. The truly sad think is how many looked away because their career depended on it. There are lots of talented people, so who gets the shot, who gets the major role, who gets the promotion. We would like to pretend it is all on merit, but who you know is more important in many cases that your raw talent. So we are set up for abuse. Again see the DIC. Kiss his ass and you are his friend. It is the human condition and we just need to be braver at calling it out.

I have always thought the public outcry about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) is a bunch of pseudo science. Let’s face it, plants and animals modify their genes in nature all the time. They are called mutations. But a scientist does it to make a plant more hearty or healthy and we have Frankenstein. So you see non-GMO on packages because like the people who think vaccinations cause autism, people have a false sense understanding of science and nature. Now sure, there can be problems, but here is a story of survival of my favorite fruit, the banana. It is being wiped out world-wide by a fungus so scientists are trying to produce a more fungus resistant strain. Come on people, like everything else, its gray. Of course humans don’t like gray, they like black and white for simple minded decision making. Once again see the DIC in action. But that is not how our universe works. I would bet those folks in wine country would like to see some more fire resistant trees developed.

The fire here in California is probably the way of our future. We are having another Red Flag* day today and I got the message, have a bag packed with your getaway stuff so you can be out of here in 1 minute or less. Think about the essentials, a couple changes of cloths, passports, medicine, shaving kit, spare glasses, and a checklist for other critical stuff if you have time. This story in the WaPo is just harrowing and you think this will not happen to you, but I live in the forest and if Santa Rosa can burn down, well just wow. But the one thing about local news (Sacramento) was that most stations were just terrible at covering it. But when they finally focused, it was only for the big shots of flames. Now that the fire is semi-under control, well, on to other things. But the real story is the aftermath and how we recover. The real learning is there. But there is a car chase on I-5 so our gaze deflects… Oh, and think about it, California is a rich state and the damage was extensive with over 2500 homes just gone, schools gone, businesses gone, and this is very minor compared to Puerto Rico.  This President makes me ill.

Finally, we come to the sledge hammer wielding of the DIC fulfilling his “campaign promises” to destroy America. I wrote about them yesterday. Primarily we are talking about his assault on Obamacare and Iran, and nukes in general. On that latter case, the NYT had an excellent piece fact checking what he told us about Iran and nukes and how badly flawed the narrative was (untrue). Here is the WaPo on his subsidies claim as bailouts (four Pinocchios). I have no doubt he believes this stuff, but it is all wrong. How can you have effective policy based upon false assumptions about cause of problems? Or if you want to stay awake at night, think about how you have the facts wrong about Iraq, and totally misunderstand North Korea and have an effective nuclear deterrent policy. The sad thing is most Republicans are in the same boat as the block research and data that might show them the light. We are being lead by Dumb (the Republican Party) and Dumber (the DIC). Sleep well tonight.

*Red Flag means temperatures are warm, humidity is very low, and winds are high making any fire that gets started basically uncontrollable.

Big Brother – The Dotard-In-Chief (DIC)

Have you noticed that the Trump AKA the DIC is on television every single day and eating up news time with garbage and misinformation?  I used to like to listen to the news because sometimes they would discuss real issues instead of politics and I might learn something.  Now I have the DIC on at least once a day with replays (maybe intentioned by the DIC) of him saying stuff that is patently untrue throughout the day.  Today was lies about Obamacare, how what he has done will improve things (not one source including Hospital Associations think this is a good idea), and of course lies about Iran with no alternative for anything.  So we hear it over and over, and he is hogging airtime all day long.  Maybe that is the intent (of course it is) because his faithful just need things repeated for them to be true.  And by the time they figure out none of it is, we will be so screwed.  Thank God for the mute button.

More Sledge Hammer Stuff

That would basically be what the Republican Party is these days, the sledge hammer party. This morning I get up to the DIC (Dotard in Charge) slashing subsidies for Obamacare for those high risk patients whose costs raise the costs for all of us without them. Now tt will for sure raise everyone’s rates. Oh, and we are going back to more junk plans so we can pretend our costs are lower until we get sick. The NYT has a nice graphic about how the DIC Administration is destroying healthcare. But where are the fixes? Once again, and I apologize to my loyal readers if I am repeating myself, REPUBLICANS DON’T HAVE ANY FIXES! What fixes healthcare for all of us is not in their ideology.

It is also interesting to note that the DIC decried Obama’s use of executive orders to improve our lives, now the DIC is wielding the mighty pen hypocritically to ruin our lives, both under a Republican Congress. Does that even dawn on many voter’s brains that Republicans can not govern?

I have an anecdote here on people who hate Obamacare. I was out picking up wine from my many wine clubs and at one winery, the owner knew of my cancer and somehow the talk turned to Obamacare and how it had raise their premiums. You know, that evil Obamacare. I pointed out that without the yearly cap on out of pocket expenses that Obamacare brought to all plans, plus basic coverage of most conditions, I would have been priced out of my medicine. They had no answer for that. They have never really been sick to find out how bad the old system was. But it was cheaper.

Meanwhile in nuclear land, Trump “won’t certify the Iran deal, but won’t unravel it. Really? First of all has Iran violated the agreement? By all international partners the answer is no. There is other stuff they are doing that we do not like, like developing long distance missiles, but that was not part of the nuke deal, although the DIC can’t quite sort this out in his fuzzy brain. By all accounts the agreement is working and we are less at threat of nukes from Iran than ever before. So he wants to trash it like Obamacare, one plank at a time. Now LDs (Little Dotards – Trump supporters), if the man cannot be trusted to keep a bargain, how again is he going to be the great deal maker?

In Puerto Rico, as Paul Krugman points out this morning, “More than a third of the population has been without clean water for three weeks, and waterborne diseases appear to be spreading. Only a sixth of the population has electricity. The health care system is a shambles, and sheer hunger may be a problem in some remote areas.” Meanwhile the DIC, after both he and his pious little Vice Dotard in Chief. (Pence – VDIC) promised they would be with Puerto Ricans to solve this crisis, threatens the measly aid they are providing. It is, a moral failure of the United States, while the DIC and VDIC blame of the poor conditions there before and take no responsibility for helping out our fellows Americans. We should all be ashamed.. It is the United States of American you DICs!

To me as an engineer and as a progressive, I see the way forward. We reinvest in Puerto Rico. We forgive their debts, and we rebuild it to sustain the new normal caused by climate change. It could be the model for how to build with alternate energy and local sewage treatment, water treatment, and houses that can stand a hurricane onslaught. Most of this is not new technology. It would rejuvenate the Puerto Rican economy, and provide us with a model for how to proceed elsewhere. That is not going to happen with the sledge hammer administration. They don’t no how to build anything.

Meanwhile in California we are burning down our wine country. Is this a natural disaster or a man made one caused by maybe moving into areas we should should not, and of course climate change? I find that argument hard to follow (moving into rural areas) as Santa Rosa burned down. Of course, I do live in the midlle of the forest, so my opinion might be skewed here. What I can’t help thinking about is whether we can build more smartly with natural fire breaks, and materials that have very high resistance to combustion. Also we could probably manage our forests better in the future to prevent such wild outbreaks. Of course that would require government action, and according to Republicans, all government is bad so that is totally out of the question. Maybe this is a warning from God about wine swilling Californians? If so, screw God.

Yesterday, General Kelly, the DIC’s chief of staff, was put out in front of the press to calm fears of a disintegrating Presidency (See my blog from yesterday). What was interesting is that he denied nothing. He talked around the claims about the DIC’s unraveling and unstable behavior. On the surface it seem to put the question to rest, but if you really pay attention to words, it was just the opposite. Ali Velshi on MSNBC’s Last Word did a really amazing job of taking all this apart.

So if you have not got the gist of all this yet. The Republicans are going to take you back to the good old times when government did nothing and the market place was free to operate. And you will find out the world is not the simple place you thought as your situation further degrades. And I want you to keep one thing in mind, you can’t blame Democrats anymore. You threw them out. Maybe you will start to see the disaster that Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin has brought us with the vote of change. How’s that change working out for you? It won’t you little dotards and we will all be worse off, Then who are you going to blame?  Got a mirror?

I Said September, Could it be October?

There are two ways to remove a President, either impeach him or use the 25th Amendment to find him unsound. I actually thought he might leave on his own when he found out it was an actual day job and it is really, really hard. The impeachment thing was iffy because that would depend on Republicans thinking about the good of the country over their own party’s success, and if the years of the Obama Presidency have taught us anything, they don’t give a rip for the country. So unless Mueller delivers the goods (which he will) he might get impeached, but with this Republican Party, even that is iffy.

So that leaves the other two possibilities, either he will quit, or the Cabinet might just invoke the 25th Amendment. I thought the 25th Amendment was a reach because he put such toadies into his Cabinet. Who will forget when they went around the table to tell the President how wonderful he was. But recent reporting may indicate that these Republicans are waking up to the fact that the man is truly deranged and unstable. Who can forget or disregard Republican Senator Corker’s comments?

One might wonder why there is all this reporting citing White House sources about the “moron” comment, and so many other things that cast a bad light on just about everything going on there, and the answer is leaks. And these leaks are turning into torrents and the reason is because the people who serve there, yes, even Republicans, are concerned about the DIC’s (Dotard In Charge) erratic behavior.

Well Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair produce a piece you should read. Basically the DIC is becoming more unbalanced every day. I had actually thought that if I were a general, I would have maybe committed treason by colluding with my fellow senior officers to block a pre-emptive strike if the DIC tried to order one in a tantrum. Well, Sherman indicates they might have talked about just that. The whole scene there is chaotic with more and more attempts to control his ever increasing impulses.

For my part, the fact that people still try to normalize his behavior and do not see the psychopathy here is kind of amazing to me. We knew before the election that he was a pathological liar and a very ignorant many about the country. But the narcissism has come into full bloom and focus. Who can forget his interview the other day with Mike Huckabee, where he told reverend Mike that the people just loved him on his visit to Puerto Rico (where he was throwing them paper towels). First of all the scene was bizarre because they need a little more than paper towels and he does not seem to get that. Second, you know the “crowd” was carefully selected. And third, what President measure his success by a rabid pack of carefully selected supporters (or needs to?)? Right there was the all you need to know about his unfitness for office. Oh, and now he is threatening to cut off support to Puerto Rico.

The point here is that the man is becoming so unstable, as Bob Corker said, he might just get us in a nuclear war. It is certainly time to act. The question is, will anyone?

If There Were a God, I Would Think He is Trying to Tell Us Something

Devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Houston, and now massively destructive fires in California.  So when’s the big quake? I don’t want to point this out, but the pain and suffering is spread around between both partisan sides of the political spectrum.  The only constant through all of this is the President of the United States, who a minority of the people elected and then shit happened.  Could this be a sign?

Of course all of this could look benign compared to what could happen if the Dotard In Charge (DIC) starts a war on the Korean Peninsula, withdraws from the Iran agreement, hastening their nuclear program, kills Obamacare so millions are once again left without healthcare (oh, they have access, they just can’t afford that access), while his EPA Chief allows the raping of the environment again, all, of course, in the name of reducing regulations and letting the market place work.  There is nature’s fury, and then there is man made damage caused by the DIC put in place by ignorant and ill informed voters, and enabled by power hungry Republicans. If I believed in God, maybe a sacrifice, say the DIC himself, would appease him.

Speaking of God, the other day I was sitting in my truck in the grocery store parking lot waiting for she who must not be mentioned here to get her coffee (we were on our way to the big city to get my Lupron shot for my prostate cancer, maybe another sign), when a nice young lady tapped on my window and asked my about my decal on my truck (a fish sign with legs and the words Darwin written across it).  She said in these troubled times (no shit) she was using her religion to try to comfort people.  She asked directly if I was an atheist, which I said yes, and she asked why.  You try to answer that in 10 words or less.  She asked if something had happened to me to reject God.  I thought about saying I think he has rejected us, but I did not.

I did try to explain to her that being an atheist does not mean, even in these times, that I do not have both spirituality and hope.  Isn’t life a gift enough without a fairy godfather?  But I also explained to her that I respected her faith and would never try to change that.  Atheism is not a religion, and I do not need converts, it is just my personal observation.  I know that faith and religion greatly helps some people and who the hell am I to try to take that away.  The nice thing about this encounter was that she was not trying to proselyze me, but to offer encouragement to someone who she thought may need it.  Her way was through her religious beliefs and some of the wisdoms she found in her Bible.

I bring all this up because when shit happens, people mostly seem to come together and try to help each other whether they are gay, transsexual, immigrant, conservative, liberal, black, white, atheist, Christian, Muslim, well, you get the gist.  God is not a player in that we want to help each other because it is innate in the human condition.  One person who was standing in the dust and ash of what was left of everything they owned, said, you can either stand here and grieve or help others.  What we should learn from these disasters is that either God doesn’t exist, or he doesn’t give a shit.  Either way we are left to our own devices and what I have seen is that those devices in most people are something to be proud of.

In this world we live in, a lot of us define ourselves by our possessions so when we have a devastating loss, well, we are devastated.  And then we seem to be able to rise above it.  And the lesson in a world created right now by the DIC and Republicans is, they have it wrong, we are all in this together and shit happens.  It has nothing to do with how hard we work, or what or who we believe in,  We live in a world where chaos is becoming more prevalent because of man’s selfish actions.  Time to maybe understand we really are our brother’s keeper.  And that my friends, from an atheist.

One other thing as I watch disaster, man-made in action.  A Republican was being interviewed by Andrea Mitchell about what is coming out about the DIC, the meeting where he wanted to know why we weren’t expanding our nuclear stockpile, the shock of those around him, the fucking moron comment by Rex Tillerson, and the tweet storm.  This guy tried to normalize it as well this happens in all administrations and needs to be kept behind closed doors.  No it doesn’t you Little Dotard (LD).  This is not normal.

In the same vein, on CNN they were discussing NBC’s reporting of the above and the DICs tweet this morning:

Some pundit when asked about the DIC’s threat to revoke the license on NBC because he does not like the story, said he was probably joking, to which the host, who had a clue, said president don’t joke about attacking the fundamental value to our democracy of the free press, and the pundit replied, well this is the new normal.  NO IT IS NOT YOU MORON! This is absolutely abnormal and it is how we lose democracy if you start defining it as normal.  We have to understand that our democracy is under attack from the Oval Office and we had better start coming together to fight it because the Republicans are normalizing it.

Dismantling America One Order at a Time

Destruction in the Vineyards to the West, which is kind of appropriate to what the Republicans are doing to the country

The Dotard in Charge (DIC) decided to allow the religious discrimination of corporations and businesses to override the individual right to have access to birth control and personal choice. All those white women who voted for Trump might want to wake up. Why do men get access to Viagra and penis pumps and women can’t have birth control? Can you say second class citizen? Welcome to the Republican Party women. Meanwhile in Scott Pruitt land (EPA) they have decided to rescind  the limits on coal plants emissions. While all this is going on, basically taking the country back to the Dark Ages, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are screaming for help. The help they need is for us to go in and rebuild the island. What a boon to the economy. Nope, we won’t do that.

In Puerto Rico, what’s the lesson?  Well climate change is bringing more and fierce storms.  You can’t just restore what you had, because it is going to blow down again.  For power, they need a decentralized system and underground distribution lines.  Decentralized would be alternate energy like solar or wind, and good storage.  But we are trying to save a coal industry that does more to cause global warming than any other commodity, not to mention the environmental damage to the ecosystem of blowing off mountain tops.  WTF!  Oh, and save jobs?  Arby’s employs more people than coal.

How can we be so stupid?  How can people be so ignorant they are still complaining about Obamacare?  Anybody really think the Republicans can replace it or fix it?  How can we screw Dreamers who will help, not hurt, our economy for more draconian immigration measures that will stifle our growth?  Bob Corker, Republican from Tennessee, finally tells the truth about the DIC and all the rest are cowering in the corner, terrified of a primary challenge.  This is the greatest nation on earth?  Oh how the Republicans have destroyed us. And make no mistake, this is all Republicans.

Then there is the long awaited tax “reform” which is a giant lie and ticking time bomb.  Only the truly ignorant think this is a good idea (or ideology blinded).  Here is from my favorite thinker from the Baseline Scenario, James Kwak:

My friend and co-founder Marcus Ryu wrote an op-ed in the Times today. Here’s how it begins:

The tax cut framework recently put forward by President Trump relies on a central claim: that reducing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals will open the wellsprings of entrepreneurship and investment, turbocharging job growth and the American economy. Were this premise true, reasonable people might countenance giving a vast majority of benefits to the very rich, as Mr. Trump’s plan does, in exchange for greater prosperity for all. But it’s not.

Read Ryu’s op-ed.  These are guys who made millions as entrepreneurs, but they can think.  They also explain why lower taxes will not create jobs, nor incur investment because easy credit is already everywhere.  So why do we fall for this nonsense?  Well because few read this blog, think things through, read the links.  Intellectually lazy is the new exceptionalism of America.  We are exceptionally intellectually lazy. I know what I know and I don’t need no stink’in facts is our new creed.  Prime example, the DIC.

Then there was the VP (DIC Jr.) at the Ravens game who walked out when the 49ers took a knee during the national anthem claiming they are disrespecting our fighting men and women and our flag.  ARE WE THAT STUPID!  No they are not.  In fact they are showing great respect for America and its basic values by dissent, reminding us that our country is still flawed and we need to wake up.  They are the patriots, and DIC Jr. is the one disrespecting America, along with the DIC himself and the Republican Party.  Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (America’s Team?) told his players anyone who knees will be benched.  I hope they all kneel.  I am not sure we have that kind courage anymore.  Maybe they could just all turn their backs.  He didn’t say they couldn’t do that did he?

I am not sure why I write this anymore.  As James Kwak wrote in his own blog, “I haven’t been writing about the Trump tax cut because (a) a bunch of personal reasons, (b) intellectually speaking, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, and (c) lots of other people with much bigger audiences are doing it anyway. So please read what Marcus has to say.”  I feel the same on almost most topics today.  The press has finally caught on and there are plenty of stories and op-eds about the danger we face, and yet the DIC is allowed to perform his reality TV show every day, and he is everywhere.  Let’s just hope we don’t get used to this.  It is not normal.

Noise, Total Noise, Smoke and Mirrors

What we are getting right now is noise, smoke and mirrors. Why did he do it? Who cares, because the next one will be a different why? We pretend we will get some kind of closure when we know why, I guess because we think if we know why we can protect ourselves. But the next nut job will have a different why. Take the last big shootings, Sandy Hook, the Virginia Tech Shooting, and the Pulse Club in Florida.

What is the common denominator, their type of craziness, or the assault weapons they used. Oh, and you will feel so much better because look, look, even the NRA is moving to “talk” about banning bump stocks. Note that sales are soaring just in case they do. Unless we do an Australia, we haven’t even moved the needle, yet we are so excited that the NRA and Republicans will let us talk about bumps. I am just giddy. It would appear that the more guns we have, the more we need to protect ourselves from others who have guns. Maybe if I was carrying a rocket launcher I could have taken out that nut job shooting from the 32nd floor.  I wonder when we will ever have a real debate.

I listened to one Republican dissembler tell us that we need to debate and study this issue of bump stocks. Responsible people don’t over react (like tax or healthcare reform).  How long have we been looking at this? More noise, smoke, and mirrors. Remember guns don’t kill people, people do, but guns makes it so much more efficient and effective. So why is it again that we keep handing them more and more dangerous and lethal ways to go postal?  See nukes are not the problem, people are.  See the irrational logic line here?

Almost everywhere I look it is smoke and mirrors, noise instead of real change. Tax reform is a joke. Real tax reform is hard. Everyone has a vested interest and we don’t start from the same place. What has to be paid for before we going giving away treasury? No agreement there so this is nothing but a tax slash for the wealthy which is the only economic policy position Republicans know.

Climate change is happening, and we have just had three of the most disastrous storms we have seen in hundreds of years, predicted by global warming, and who is the lead of the EPA (a climate change denier), and now the Dotard in Charge (DIC) is appointing a coal lobbyist as the second in command at EPA. His boys and girls (Cabinet/White House staff) are using their private emails (lock her up) and flying around the country on private jets at your and my expense, and he is draining the swamp? Oh did I mention he is meeting with the generals on North Korea (“Calm before the storm”), and wants to change the Iran agreement? Meanwhile the Republicans are stonewalling the Russia investigation. It’s noise, smoke, and mirrors while the country slides backwards into chaos.

Now that I have thoroughly depressed you unless you are a LD (Little Dotard, Trump base), let me try to show you how we got on this path of ignorance. Right after the shooting in Las Vegas I heard an interview with a woman who was spouting the conventional wisdom about bringing the country back together. “We just need to start listening to each other. We need to lower the rhetoric and listen and try to understand the other side. Then maybe we can find common solutions.” Sounds great doesn’t it? It is horse shit. Pabulum for those who have not been paying attention. It’s pabulum because we don’t operate on the same set of facts anymore.

Were you not paying attention during the Obama years?  Much to my chagrin, because I don’t think Republicans have workable solutions, President Obama tried to compromise with them.  How many Republican votes did he get on healthcare (0).  It got to be a standing joke that even if Barack proposed a Republican plan (which he did on numerous occasions), they were against it.  There goal was to destroy the his presidency (remember Mitch McConnell’s one term President comment?).

In order to take the positions Republicans have taken and support their policies, one had to create an alternate universe, and they did.  Climate change doesn’t exist, tax cuts pay for themselves, immigrants are the root of all our economic problems, all trade agreements are bad, the EPA just hurts business with regulations, regulations in general are bad, government is bad, guns are a natural right, and they were extremely effect at then explaining away failure to act as both sides do it.  Now they are in charge, and they still can’t do anything.

But the point here is that they created a public that does not agree on a set of facts.  Does it not floor you that much of America gets their news on Facebook trending junk?  We can’t have effective solutions if we cannot come together on root cause and effect.  Republicans believe that more guns makes us safer.  How has that worked out?  Republicans believe that climate change is worst a hoax, at best not man-caused, so we do nothing as the conditions for disastrous climate changes increase.  How can all regulations be bad when many of them came from very bad situations where protections are in order? Obamacare is a disaster, but their answer for a fix is trust us, the market place will solve all issues?  The facts do not support any of their beliefs.

So back the woman who wants me to listen.  But the other side has already ended listening because I must be confused about my facts.  Why should I listen to someone who wants to take away gay, lesbian, or transgender rights?  Why would I want to listen to someone who wants to destroy Obamacare with no viable solution?  Why would I want to listen to someone wants to destroy the EPA and deny climate change?  Until we can establish again the difference between political differences and facts, there is no debate.

Let me leave you with this.  There will be no hand holding and coming together.  We have to re-establish facts before we have political debates about what to do about them.  Climate exists and is man caused.  Tax cuts in this economy do not simulate growth.  All government is not bad.  Immigrants help, not hurt our economy.  More guns are killing more people.  We live in a global economy and we need trade agreements.  If we could just start from those established facts (google them!).  Then maybe the listening could start.  But Republicans have made clear they have an alternate set of facts and no further discussion is necessary.

The only fix is that if we survive this four years, we need to hose out the White House and Congress after we throw all of the Republicans and “moderate Democrats” out, and get about the business of governing again.  We deal with facts, data, and science, develop policies based upon them, and if they need fixing, we do not have an ideological agenda or wanting to believe something that prevents us from doing just that.  It is just amazing to me that the real ideologues are not progressives who can change, but Republicans who cannot, and yet somehow we all just need to hold hands.  Bull shit.