Archive for the ‘WTF Friday’ Category.

WTF Friday

I start with a quote from Eugene Robinson this morning taking on General Kelly and his racism as he cast the Civil War as a failure to compromise. This is from the Mississippi proclamation when leaving the union:

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”

Now Eugene was arguing about the debasement of the Trump White house and how they have reinvented history to their liking, but look at this in a whole new context, the declaration of corporations about how important their existence is and how they view labor in general. You think that is a reach. Remember when Bank of America downgraded Chipotle stock for over paying their employees? Think about how Republicans fight a living wage because it might make our products too expensive. Think about how corporations move jobs off shore to secure slave wages. No reach at all, but it is all justified much like the above in denying the basic humanity of all humans.

President DFF’s appointment of Jerome H. Powell to chair the Federal Reserve was the appointment of a financier and business (lawyer actually) man instead of an economist to the Fed. The DFF hates economists. But here is what you ought to think about. A financier and a business man should be an expert in microeconomics, what is good for a business or corporation at the expense of other business or corporations. An Economist would understand macroeconomics, how the entire economy responds to external and internal stimulus, not what is good for one business, which might be detrimental to others. More importantly, most economist understand the complicated connection between interest rates and monetary policy, In other words, what is good for the whole economy, not just my own profits and how to deal with recession and inflation. This confusion could be a very dangerous thing for the country as it is clear the DFF has no understanding of macroeconomics just as most successful business men do not.

President DFF lashed out after the attack in NYC against the “diversity lottery” for immigrants. He wants everyone merit tested. Now once again, this is a great example of how the DFF’s brain works, or does not work, and that he reacts to the anecdotal without a real examination of the facts. He is the perfect lynch mob leader, clueless and brainless, and quite dangerous. Karen Attiah gives us a look at the merit system and how it has worked for so many and made us a better country, but the reactionary DFF will destroy everything in his path as he reacts as a spoiled 3-year-old who does not like his cookie.

I would just like to say that the Tax Bill that Republicans have brought forward is a jumbled mess. There are two really good analysis of this by Paul Waldman and Catherine Rampell. Now first note that the budget resolution that passed the Senate (all Republicans, no Democrats) that allows this bill to cost no more than $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years is saying we are going to bust the budget by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. If you are slow, the balance budget folks just said we are going to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Say what? Next note that what they really did was try to give a major giveaway to the rich, some bones and scraps to the middle class, and then there is the math problem, how to keep all that within the $1.5 trillion. Thus the cut to deductions for student loans, home interest deductions, and state and local tax deductions. And as Catherine pointed out this hurts prosperous Blue States who have higher taxes and may make raising taxes for things we need to pay for harder. In a sense, reducing us to broke states.

Oh, and note that the average tax rat corporations pay is 12.6%, less now than what they want to lower the corporate tax rate to, without removing all their loop holes. And that brings me back to Eugene Robinson and the quote from Mississippi. It is the bill of rights of corporations and we are all so screwed. The WTF moment is that all this out there and the solutions are easy, but instead we have a DFF president and a Republican Party running on empty. Happy Friday.

Another WTF Moment

President Trump, know affectionately here as the Village Idiot in Charge (VIC) and sometimes as the Liar in Chief (LIC), was the honored guest at the Bastille Day events in France.  Now Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the prison by that name and symbolizes a turning point in the French Revolution.  Now let’s just stop and think about this.  The aristocracy had treated the masses in France as unworthy or as the famous quote reputted from Marie Antonette was  about the peasants having no bread, and she replied, “Let them eat cake”, clueless about their real condition.  Okay she probably never said that, but you get the point. So now the VIC is the honored guest at the symbol of bringing down the aristrocracy and establishing democracy in France (albeit a cruel and out of control democracy, see A Tale of Two Cities). 

Now here is the WTF moment:  Donald Trump is probably the most ignorant man we have every had as president, clueless about the real condition of the masses, and disrespectful of our Constitution.  He is the leader of a party whose “let them eat cake” moment, is “let them use emergency rooms”.  The Republicans have their own aristocracy of the wealthy whom they serve faithfully.  So does he best represent the guiding ideal of Bastille Day to bring down the aristocracy and become a more democratic country, or does he represent the aristrocracy they brought down.  Lop off his head!  NO I DO NOT MEAN THAT LITERALLY.  WTF!

WTF Friday

Just when you thought it could not possibly get any worse, BAM!  The big news this week was the Trump Jr. emails that many in the press considered a WTF moment.  Why oh why would he release them?  Answer:  They were already out there and they are trying to do damage control.  On the leaks thing, who is talking to the press, this has to be coming from inside the White House.  Could things be that dysfunctional (yes)?  And if they are leaking this kind of damaging material to control the message, you have to ask, what are they not telling us?

We do know that Trump Jr’s lawyers (another leak) had the emails for at least three weeks before they were leaked so again you say, WTF.  Why the changing story about them?  Sooner or later they were going to come out so why make up lies that are contradicted by the emails themselves?  And the whole part about Dad did not know, Manafort and Kushner did not know, nothing of value or interest was presented and we talked about adoption is another WTF moment of total unbelievability.  Dad came out just hours later and said he had the dirt on Hillary and then never delivered.  That was because cooler heads prevailed and they decided Wikileaks releasing them gave them cover.

Here is where we are waiting for the other shoe to drop (how many shoes does this guy have?).  That would be hard evidence that timing of the releases of certain emails was coordinated by the Trumpee boys and girls (Jr hinted at it in his email when he said summer would be better), and if fake news, no the real fake news, was aided and abetted by those same boys and girls.  That would be the smoking nuclear weapon, except for the Republicans, who no I am not making this up, claimed Hillary did it in Ukraine.  WTF!  Hillary did it too?  I was bad but so was Hillary?  Hillary did it first?  Sounds like 6 year olds fighting, and no Hillary did not do it.  These are very different if you read the link.  Basically one was fake news and illegal hacking and one was providing information about Paul Manafort operations in Ukraine,  If you can’t separate these out, well, then I can’t help you.

Meanwhile in another WTF moment, Dad is in Paris telling everyone that this stuff goes on all the time.  Actually it has never happened before, but that is the Republican counter attack.  Getting dirt is normal (correct) and who it comes from is irrelevant (incorrect and could be illegal).  Meanwhile the Party of Russia as the evil empire is now happily working with the Russians to undermine an election.  If that is not WTF, nothing is.  And of course once you enter into a deal with the Russians, they have you over a barrel since they can expose your complicity, which is another reason you would not want to do it.  Then there is just ethics, and of course you ask, what ethics?

The other major news of the week and WTF moment is that the living dead are on the march again.  The Senate healthcare bill rises to eat your brain with distractions while making sure your healthcare won’t cover it.  Just when you thought they finally got the message, they have no solution for repealing and replacing Obamacare unless your goal (fix) is to just repeal it, along comes another bill trying to please the throw them in the ditch crowd and the I know someone who needs it crowd, so for them we could add artificial sweetener to hide the really bad stuff.  Here is what I gleaned from Paul Krugman this morning and it is basically the same plan slashing both Medicare and Medicaid with the following glitter:

  • While rolling back some tax cuts for the rich, it allows “people to use tax-favored health savings accounts to pay insurance premiums. This effectively creates a big new tax shelter that mostly helps people with high incomes who (a) can afford to put a lot of money into such accounts and (b) face high marginal tax rates, and hence get big tax savings.”
  • “New money for the opioid crisis, some (but not nearly enough) money for patients at especially high risk, and some additional aid for insurers — you know, the same thing Republicans denounced as outrageous corporate welfare when Democrats did it,” and maybe why Rand Paul won’t vote for it (a throw them in the ditch person)
  • “Insurers be allowed to offer skimpy plans that cover very little, with very high deductibles that would make them useless to most people.”  Even the insurance industry is against this one, which “would “fracture and segment insurance markets into separate risk pools,” leading to “unstable health insurance markets” in which people with pre-existing conditions would lose coverage or have plans that were “far more expensive” than under Obamacare. Or to put it another way, this bill would send insurance markets into a classic death spiral.”

So anybody who considers this a fix, or that we discuss this as though this is rational healthcare police, wins the WTF award of the year.  But the real WTF moment might be that they may actually pass it.  The reason is simple.  This is key to their whole agenda which in a nutshell is slash government to favor the wealthy.  They need the cash they save in healthcare to splurge on tax cuts.  So if you believe in the Republican nonsense about the economy, and of course all Republicans do, this is key to establishing their agenda.  So some wavering Republicans who actually might have some soft spot for their constituents might be convinced, Party First! WTF!

Finally in a truly WTF moment, Nevada legalized Mary Jane, and now they ran out of it.  This could not be a surprise if you watch the news.  I wish I had some myself.  California growers are salivating, but of course selling across state lines crosses a big red line.  I have to laugh.  Our ignore past mistakes and restart the drug war Attorney General must be just beside himself as he sees marijuana like opioids and we have to throw these people in jail. So what are they going to do, put a wall around Nevada?  Just another Friday waiting for the another shoe to drop, and it certainly will.  TTFN.

WTF Friday

I always thought WTF blogs would be once in a while, but who knew the white mob was going to elect Donald J. Trump aka the VicLic (Village Idiot in Chief/Liar in Chief)? So now almost every Friday is WTF blog day.  There is of course the Joe and Mika thing, which is a trivial thing in terms of the issues that face us, but it isn’t because it represents the mental instability of our President.  Oh, did I mention the crassness and immaturity of the number one role model in the United States?  WTF.

Now there are offshoots of this which you might consider, especially if you are in the majority of white women who voted for the Village Idiot.  In fact he won the majority of all white voters which might raise the issue of why white people should never be in charge of anything.  Anyway, the VicLic has used blood derogatorily about women more than once and one pundit (woman) said she was not sure what that was about.  Of course she knew what it was about, she just did not want to say it on TV.  It’s about menstrual blood.  Women menstruate and in the VicLic’s eye’s that makes them unclean and dirty.  When he has one of these fits out come his real feelings about women. Another WTF moment for sure.

Then there is the Republican reaction which says all you want to know about Republicans.  They have sold their souls (if there was any left to sell) for their conservative agenda.  They are all taken aback by it, but as Susan Collins tweeted, just cut it out, like if he just stopped this behavior everything would be okay, (or buried in the closet until it erupts again, maybe in a much more dangerous situation).

Meanwhile, Lawrence O’Donnell brings us the hypocrisy of the religious right that is his base.  Sara Huckabee Sanders defended the behavior as if you strike out at the VicLic he will return it in kind (fighting fire with fire), or as Melania claimed, we will punch back 10 times harder.  It is the eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth that we so much respect from all the peace and tranquility it has brought the Middle East.  It is also The Old Testament, and not the Christianity that Jesus brought to his people, of which Sanders and the VicLic claim to be faithful to.  I believe Jesus said something about turning the other cheek.  Now I would admit when there are times when responding in kind is appropriate, maybe the red line for Obama in Syria, but what does it say about the President of the United States that he feels he must respond to every talk show out there?  Or, WTF!

Oh, and seen a healthcare bill yet?  Of course not.  The Republicans went home. There is no Republican fix to Obamacare if your goal is to make it work better. There really are no market place (read competition) for health insurance for the sick, only for the healthy.  You lose money on the sick.  If you can come to realize that, you know you are watching a Kabuki dance which is really trying to generate enough cover to pass a tax cut for the wealthy.  Will Democrats come to the table, if Republicans let them, and craft some bipartisan solutions.  Oh, this is another WTF moment.  There is no bipartisan solution because it would require fixes that while they would be highly effective, cross outside the known world of Republican conservative ideology.  If some Democrats did join the hunt and then compromise in what the Republicans want, only a little more kinder, they are just selling their souls to compromise.  It simply won’t work.

There is the story that our Secretary of State blew up at the White House because they were vetoing the staff he needs to operate:

The normally laconic Texan unloaded on Johnny DeStefano, the head of the presidential personnel office, for torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment.

Tillerson also complained that the White House was leaking damaging information about him to the news media, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Above all, he made clear that he did not want DeStefano’s office to “have any role in staffing” and “expressed frustration that anybody would know better” than he about who should work in his department — particularly after the president had promised him autonomy to make his own decisions and hires, according to a senior White House aide familiar with the conversation.

Apparently he is just getting tired of the micromanaging:

“Rex is a 65-year-old guy who worked his way up from the bottom at Exxon, and he chafes at the idea of taking orders from a 38-year-old political operative,” said a former transition aide who worked closely with Tillerson.

Okay now on to RUSSIA! My best advice is to pay attention to Rachel Maddow.  While we are distracted by blood and non-existent face lifts, things are happening that might make my prediction for a September departure for the VicLic come true.  The mainstream media has not really picked up on it, but there is now a story out there pointing to collusion of the Trump Administration and the Russians.  Apparently a GOP operative tried to get Clinton emails from the Russian Hackers.  This story has to play out, but it is certainly not very far-fetched.  Once the Trumpees knew there was hacking and before they were released, some thought what a good idea to get any dirt on Clinton.  The fact that they could be a tool for Russia never probably crossed their tiny little minds.  But it is another piece of the puzzle.

Then there is this, about the activities of our respected Republican Senators (Grassley and Graham):  “Rachel Maddow reports on how a letter from two Senate Judiciary Republicans to the FBI appears to be trying to set up a case to discredit the Trump Russia investigation, a familiar political tactic by those feeling the heat of an investigation”:

Now think about this.  The Republicans have decided that they don’t care about the evidence, discrediting Trump could be disastrous for the party so try to undermine the investigations (FBI and Justice Department (Mueller)) investigation, tear down our institutions, discredit our government in the eyes of the voters, all for a tax cut for the wealthy.  Again and the final, WTF!

The dysfunction is piling up and sooner (I am betting September) or later the house of cards will come tumbling down.  How is this working out for you white mob?  WTF were you thinking (or not thinking).

WTF in Spades

I am not sure after watching the Village Idiot in Chief in his press conference this afternoon whether we should call him the Village Idiot in Chief (VIIC) or Liar in Chief (LIC).  He certainly holds both positions.  He called on one American reporter, acted like a vindictive child, assuming he had the upper hand.  So on that count he is the VIIC.  Then he claim he said none of things Comey testified to and call Comey a liar.  On that count, and I know this is a shock, but considering track records on lying, Comey is much more believable than the LIC.

When asked if he would testify under oath the VIIC/LIC basically said bring it on.  Mueller will you fool and lying under oath should get the Republicans to wake up.  When pressed on the tapes he claimed to have, he would not confirm they exist or not, but you will know soon and be disappointed.  Hmm.  Disappointed because they don’t exist or disappointed because they do and back him up?  Now I can tell you if there were tapes and they did support the VIIC/LIC they would be out there.  So they either don’t exist or are being erased as I write. We will hear the tapes on the same day we get his tax returns

We are the laughing stock of the world and we have a very unbalanced pathological liar, ethics challenged, morally repulsive, nativist, racist, ignorant, misogynist in charge of the country.  You know those people who wanted to get their country back?  They were really shocked and appalled that a black man was our president.  But that black man had intelligence, wit, integrity, and grace.  Now they got their country back and we are lead by a Village Idiot in Chief who is also the Liar in Chief.  Who would  want that country back? Now do you understand why I have such distain for those who voted for this fool or thought their 3rd party choice was a principled one?  When you are standing in the middle of a smoking hole, aren’t you gald you were principled?

Friday Morning (WTF?)

Well, what a mess. I mean really.  The Brits were supposed to have a “snap” election to clarify things and instead there is total confusion about the country’s direction.  Here at home we have a village idiot where it is now common for respected journalists and public figures to commonly call him a liar.  So the British Empire and one of its former colonies is running amok, and France and one of their former colonies, Canada, seem to have young vivacious leaders who have a vision of the future.  WTF.

Our Republican Congress is patting themselves on the back because they passed a bill to repeal most of the protections put in place to try to restore Dodd-Frank after the great financial debacle in 2007 when we thought the banks would not over extend themselves in the hunt for profits.  Like it won’t happen again?  And since corporate profits are higher than ever, where is the need for this?  I kind of look at this as part and parcel of putting a village idiot in charge of the country.  We just de-regulate everything and business will take care of all of us, like they always have.  Again, WTF.

Meanwhile the VIIC (Village Idiot in Charge) really got slammed in the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday and he responds with accusations of lies, fake news, and vindication.  Boy do we live in two different realities.  Just for a reality check image, if this was Hillary doing this, would the Republicans be claiming that she is just inexperienced to the ways of Washington and did not really mean, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest.”  This is laughable.  Paul Ryan is telling us that the VIIC just doesn’t understand the ways of Washington, “He is just new at this,” which might work on the unwashed (his base), but for the rest of us, what he is talking about is ethics and morality.  And no, he does not understand ethics and morality.  If that quote by Paul Ryan was not a WTF moment, there simply aren’t any.

So what to expect after the big day?  Well, the quiet before the storm.  First, I can’t wait for the morning White House briefing to see how they reinvent reality.  Of course they may not turn on the cameras and if that is not a WTF moment about what is happening to our country, there aren’t any.  My guess here is that the VIIC and his minions will claim vindication, that there is no connection between the VIIC and the Russia investigations, and then we are sitting on a smoldering volcano.  That volcano is all the people with security clearances that know what is going on, and know we can’t keep pushing this under the rug and let the VIIC lie his way to giving away the country.  See Reality Winner.

That raises a whole host of WTF questions.  We knew probably back in 2015 that we were being hacked, and by 2016 we knew it was a full blown attack, and we said nothing?  Sorry it’s secret.  We can’t know we are under attack because it might reveal sources?  It raises the question which is worse, the disease or the cure.  So we find out in drips and drabs from leaks or being told by our allies who are concerned about the number of contacts of Trumps people with the Russians*.  We can’t know if there was real collusion because there is an ongoing investigation, while the perpetrators destroy the country?  WTF.  We can’t even know when we will know.  Again, WTF.  Thank god for the leakers.

So we have a President who has attempted to obstruct justice (Ignore Alan Dershowitz.  Like John McCain he is well past his prime).  You know it is nonsense when you Goggle it and all you get are right wing propaganda organizations (Brietbart etc.)), some very obvious collusion, and to nail the VIIC all you have to do is quote his sons or follow the money.  Hopefully that is what special counsel Robert Mueller is doing.  But you have to wonder what the Republicans are thinking (Republicans/thinking, is that an oxymoron?).

The case is getting bigger and bigger and if Mueller does his job sooner or later the truth will out.  And if he does not, there will be a revolt in government to get the truth out.  We may already be seeing the signs of a real crisis in government as those tasked to carry it out no longer trust either their leaders or the VIIC.  So how do they backtrack after all the cover they are providing the VIIC?  Are they so enthralled with their ideological agenda that they don’t care in the short term?  Watching them equivocate about the VIICs behavior is watching fat old white men (usually with a southern accent, but not always) is just another WTF moment except of course for the unwashed who suck in every word as the obvious truth.

And that leaves me with my last WTF thought:  Where the fuck are the Democrats?  Thomas Edsal delivers a devastating analysis of the state of the Party.  Now you can do one of two things with this analysis.  The first is what Democrats have always done and has, in my opinion, destroyed the Party (See Bill Clinton and the Democrats turn to conservative politics) and that is chase the numbers.  By that I mean, well if whites are afraid of immigration maybe we ought to pander to that, you know, be Republican lite.

The other option is to recognize it is a new world out there, understand the message of the young disaffected voter, and turn progressive.  Stand for something in a direction that actually moves the country instead of looking backwards.  Do the hard thing, the right thing and stand for something. So far I have seen or felt nothing.  Clearly we have to get the Clintons off the stage if we want to move forward. She may have been wronged, but moving forward is not opening old wounds.  So all in all we are living in amazing WTF times.  Let’s just hope this is not the new normal and to be WTF, they get even more extreme.

*Ex-Director Comey said in his testimony that these reports of multiple contacts was mostly false.  Nobody knows what he means by that and the NYT wrote a nice rebuttal.  One of the points they raised is that the FBI has a much tighter definition of a Soviet spy than other organizations, meaning they may discount meetings with bank and financial people that are really puppets of the Kremlin.   This is where Comey is his own worst enemy.  He is parsing definitions and loses the big picture, just as he did with the October surprise.

WTF!!! Or Maybe We Should Call This WTF Fridays

Oh how Fridays now deliver.  Used to be slow news day, but thanks to our intelligence community that is watching the nation on fire and seeing Congress move at glacial speed or obstructing what is really going on, we are getting the Friday night news flash.  This one is amazing from several different angles.  First, the leak is that Jared Kushner was meeting with the Russians to set up back channel secret communications (covert communications) channels between the White House and the Russians.  Secret from our own intelligence agencies in the Russian Embassy.  Secret for what is the operative question?

Now before you start with all the excuses about how this is just Trump being Trump or this is just inexperience, what would the Republicans have done if this was Hillary?  There were seven Congressional Committees on Benghazi and it was all nonsense.  Enough said.  The hypocrisy is boundless.  There is now real fire, fuck the smoke.

The second thing you want to think about is the source of this leak, the actual interception of communications with the Russians.  By leaking this they burned this intelligence source (the Russians will change their methods).  So this was so important that someone was willing to risk it.  Why now?  Maybe the fear that this information was getting buried?  Whoever did this is taking a hell of risk for our country.  This should alert you to the fact that we are only scratching the surface.

Now the apologists in the press are trying to paint this as inexperience or maybe an innocent attempt to try to establish communications with Russia to ease tensions that our intelligence community might resist (for very good reasons).  Try to remember that these are the Russians who tried and were successful at swaying the American Election (see the latest Comey stuff).  These Russians are Syria’s best friend.  They want to re-establish their control over Eastern Europe through stoking nationalism in the United States and Europe.  They want to set up the same conditions that brought us WWI and WWII.

I know what this is about.  You know what this is about.  It is about how the need for cash over the years in Trump’s many failed business adventures that has allowed the Russians to get their hooks into the Trump organization through loans that benefited both, laundering money for one, and providing cash flow when American financial institutions would not touch him with a 10-foot pole.  For the VIIC (Village Idiot in Charge) this is just business.  But the Russians understand this is about policy and a way to sway American policies to their favor.

There is no innocence here.  The VIIC was in Europe playing to the Russian tune to the consternation of European leaders and our real friends.  Trump wanted to conduct business without prying eyes.  The business is counter to our and the free world’s interests.  He does not care, but our intelligence world does.  So again the smoke machines are out there pumping out the smoke, but the fire alarms that detect heat are going off and the fire engines are responding.  In this case the Senate just got a giant kick in their butt and they are responding with subpoenas.  You think this is not a major focus of the Special Counsel?

So the as Shakespeare once said, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”*  And in that is the real danger.  While the dogs of investigation now have the scent, and havoc seems everywhere, the President has the power to “let slip the dogs of war” as he gets cornered in his lies about his finances and his Russian connections.  The Republicans have let us get here and the facts are obvious, but not proven.  The leakers are trying to save us before we go too far. The people who claim to  love freedom so much have mortgaged it for their ideology.  By the end of summer we will either have a new president, redo election, or a war nobody wants.  Again, thank you Republicans.  It is has been a long road of lies and misinformation that allows the chaos we see around us.  Yes they are evil.

*Julius Caesar

Random Thoughts (WTF)

In Texas according to the NYT, “Mary Lou Bruner, who claimed President Obama was a drug-addicted gay prostitute in his youth (among many other outrageous things), was defeated in the Republican primary for a seat on the State Board of Education.”  Now there are many things to consider here like why are school board elections partisan, but let’s just stick with her claim, which of course is untrue and President Obama’s childhood is an open book.  Say he was a drug-addicted gay prostitute in his youth, wouldn’t we admire him for how he has turned his life around?  Wouldn’t that say something powerful about President Obama’s character?  Oh, and as a betting man I would bet Mary Lou is a Christian with a capital “C”, so where is that redemption thing you all are so big on?  Could it be that none of it applies if you are black?

In another NYT story, “Protesters outside a rally for Donald J. Trump in Albuquerque threw rocks at police horses and lighted fires on Tuesday night, according to the police and postings on social media.”  Note that once again the news was from reported sources, not from objective reporters on the scene which is why they had to correct it for reports of the use of tear gas.  But once again, let’ assume it is true.  Is this equivalency to alleged folding chair throwing in Las Vegas?  My point here is very simple.  There certainly was a heated reaction in Las Vegas, but it does not rise to the level of the Trump folks as our media and Hillary supporters who own the airways want you to believe.  People are angry yes, but sucker punching no.  Bernie and his followers are not Trump and his followers which the media wants you to believe because it is good entertainment, and Hillary supporters want you to believe because they are terrified of Bernie.  Time to dial it back.

Then there was the headline, “Reeling From 2016 Chaos, G.O.P. Mull Over overhaul of the Primaries.”  That’s a laugh.  Remember their post-mortem after 2014?  See any changes?  And they did this before which resulted in the Donald getting a commanding lead early and not being vulnerable later in the process.  We have a problem here Huston and it is our entire primary system which the Democrats and the Republicans control, not the American people.  John Oliver had a great dissection of it last Sunday.  The prime example was that Washington State was voting yesterday, but their delegates had already been selected through the caucus system.  The vote doesn’t matter.  Go figure.

Okay, and in the last piece of news, “Millennials’ Roommates Now More Likely to be Parents Than Partners”.  And economic inequality is a sidebar to this election?  Wonder why the youth vote is not with Hillary?  Their parents like Hillary and it is their parents politics that got us here.  Okay, a way over simplified conclusion, but there is a giant kernel of truth in there.  Or could it be that grown up life in the mercantile world is just too boring?  To have or to be, that is the question.  Happy Wednesday.

WTF Saturday

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My associate (Sophie) and I discussing world events and deciding what we will write about in a pre-production meeting for this blog.

In our wonderful Senate the nomination for Surgeon General is in trouble:

The nominee, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internist and political ally of the president’s, has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, and opposition from the gun-rights group has grown so intense that it has placed Democrats from conservative states, several of whom are up for re-election this year, in a difficult spot. Senate aides said Friday that as many as 10 Democrats are believed to be considering a vote against Dr. Murthy, who has voiced support for various gun control measures like an assault weapons ban, mandatory safety training and ammunition sales limits.

The NRA now decides who our chief doctor should be? If the Flat Earth Society gained traction in red states would our chief scientist have to declare the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, oh, and global warming does not exist? Really? This is what we elect to high office?

Yesterday it was reported that the Senate had put together a more comprehensive package of aid for Ukraine and sanctions for Russia, except Mitch McConnell and the boys are holding it up until the President agrees to hold up on more stringent IRS regulations to ensure that 501 organizations still get their tax exempt status while they pour billions into political causes. We have a crisis in the world, they want the President to stand tall, and they are willing once again to use political blackmail on an unrelated issue? What a fine group of people. Even John McCain went ballistic on this one.

I see where Scott Brown has moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to run for Senator. Once he was a man of Massachusetts, you know, a man of the local people driving around in his pickup truck. Now he is a man of the people in New Hampshire driving around in his pickup truck. Or said another way, he is a man who will go anywhere and say anything if it gets him elected. He ought to fit right in.

I watched an episode of VICE last night reporting on the billions wasted in Afghanistan, and the true nature of Rio and the slums prior to the World Cup and the Olympics.  All I could think of was, isn’t this the kind of reporting we used to get from normal news and now we have to turn to HBO and this group to see the world as it is.  They are giving us the definitive reporting in Ukraine.  Whatever happened to CNN?  Oh wait!  We do have in depth knowledge of the charges against Justin Bieber.

And finally there is new information that 7-hours after contact was lost with Malaysia Flight 370, there was communication with a satellite indicating it was still flying and apparently the Malaysians have finally decided to investigate the two pilots. Is any of this true or verified? Don’t know, but it came from the Prime Minister of Malaysia who we know is an expert on aviation crashes. The other day I irreverently joked that maybe we should see if there is a used 777 for sale on ebay. Sadly that is not looking so crazy.

Well another Saturday morning sitting on my hill wondering how the human race got as far as they have.

Friday Morning Musings

Well first it is nice to see someone else start to notice that the conservative musing of Abby Huntsman on MSNBC are based upon a shallow reading of conservative blogs, which are shallow readings in and of themselves, not real economics (See Abby, Abby, Abby!). Dean Baker takes her on with her fear of dire consequences of the Social Security entitlements with facts. Oh, those pesky facts. It is a prime example of pseudo science applied to politics. On the other hand, it is the prime mode of thinking these days just about everywhere.

Speaking of wild speculation masquerading as fact, we had a moment of calm in the search for Malaysia Flight 370 when one expert actually told us that based on the known facts, speculation about what happened is just wild ass guessing. But today we have the specter of possible human intervention as a cause, and wild speculation of hijacking has commenced. You know pings from a satellite system leads to a nefarious plot. I guess from my perspective, I still have questions about what are facts and if the pings are verified as true indicators of engine operation. In other words, what a mess.

Meanwhile Putin seems to be trying to reinvigorate the Cold War and prove that the capitalist West is gutless. Now I think he will find that trying to control a new Soviet Union is going to be a disaster, but in the meantime we have to see if the West has the stomach to enforce economic sanctions. If it affects the bottom line of many of our corporations, well then let the people be subjugated. It will be interesting to see if this is really just about the money and we all lose.

It was interesting to see Paul Ryan try to walk back his words about the poor. You really have to pay attention to the first thing he says, not his clarifications because he said what he really means the first time. The poor are lazy and helping them makes them more lazy. End all entitlements because it just enables them. That is what he means.

Finally, as President Obama tries to get businesses to pay a fair minimum wage and to actually recognize and pay overtime, let the squawking begin. The basic argument is that this will hurt stockholders. Said another way as productivity increases along profits, they don’t want to share that with workers. The other argument is that workers choose these jobs in a “fair” marketplace and the government shouldn’t intervene. Fair would be defined as it was in the South before the Civil War or in the 19th century when the robber barrens turned workers into indenture slaves.

Oh, and all those entitlement programs like Medicaid and Food Stamps are not give aways to lazy poor people. They are give aways to corporations so people can work at slave wages and still survive. Think about it. Wine time.