Posts tagged ‘Bannon’

Miscellaneous

Many are describing President DFF’s changing stances on immigration, being reasonable to crazy build the wall, as being easily changed by those around him. That is only a small part of it. What is really driving the train is the Mueller investigation and him hanging on to the deplorables (his base) to hold power over Republicans. The Republicans are facing a Blue wave and their only hope is the rabid deplorables vote. So racist, wall building, healthcare killing, immigration blocking policies will continue. It is not about a grand strategy for governing the country, it is about surviving an impeachment.

Speaking of Mueller’s investigation, we all saw a House Intelligence Committee interview Steve Bannon, and then when he stonewalled, subpoena him, yet they have treated no other witness like that and the very next witness (Cory Sadowski) who pulled the same stonewalling got let off Scott free. So what is going on? We all thought, so there, finally the House Intelligence Committee actually wants the facts and then not so much. Well Rachel Maddox offered an answer last night that I might think makes sense.

The Republicans on the committee might be trying to mess with Mueller’s investigation by getting Bannon on record first and in some cases tainting the testimony. That makes sense to me watching their general behavior. I don’t think they got God, I think they just used different tactics to thwart the investigation. Mueller is no fool which is why he dropped the subpoena on Banner, and now will sit down with him before he testifies in the House.

The doctor who look at President DFF gave him a clean bill of health and now we know the rot extends to military doctors at Bethesda. Of course he does not have a clean bill of health as attested to by many other doctors looking at his LDL numbers. He is obese, eats high fat foods, and does not expertise. He is the perfect candidate for a heart attack. No, I am not going to say it, but I am thinking it. But when medical professionals are also being tarnished and lie for their careers or whatever, it is just so sad to see. Now Medicine is partisan. Try to keep in mind that the facts have a liberal bias in the first place.

Meanwhile in government shutdown land, President DFF apparently threw a wrench into the GOP plan to extend the government into February. He is against the CHIP part. Go figure as almost everyone except probably his band of deplorables support health insurance for kids. That is really good news because that stop gap CR was another poison pill for Obamacare, killing needed funding. Some “moderate” Democrats might have fallen for that. The Progressives seem to get it and there will be no more CRs until DACA gets resolved.

The solution for a Republican led government is simple. Pass the Durbin-Graham compromise and put it on President DFF’s desk. While Mitch, the evil, McConnell pines he does not know what to do because President DFF won’t tell him what he will sign, the government goes rudderless. They won’t do the above because they know it will pass and then it will then put the blame for the government shutdown squarely where it belongs, on President DFF. Of course it would take Congress off the hook, so who knows. Political calculations instead of doing what is right are twisted at best.

One last thing. We have been hearing excuses why these high minded and moral generals (Kelly and McMasters) are staying in the White House to reign President DFF in and it is, how to say this, BS. Kelly showed himself to be a racist in the incident with the Florida Congresswoman where he lied about her and then never apologized, and McMasters was part of President DFF turning right on DACA when everything blew up. Lesson here is generals have no monopoly on ethics or morals.

So the weekend is almost here and the government shutdown is looming. Hopefully people will finally figure out this is what you get with Republicans controlling government. It has always been their way that compromise means capitulation for the other side. Have you woken up yet?

Attention Deficit Disorder

Okay, I get it that I am almost 72 and may be behind the times, but sometimes there may just be a grain of wisdom in age.  This blog is about Trump and our fixation on him, but it starts with kids and mobile devices.  Let’s face it, everywhere you go kids (anyone under 35) have their noses stuck in their mobile device and it is not just them.

Texting while driving goes on continuously.  Just watch some erratic driver on the freeway and then pass them to get safely away and as you pass you see them holding their phone.  Walk down a city street and dodge all the people focused on their phone instead of where they are going.  Hell, who can shop at the grocery store without running into people with a phone glued to their ear. Being in the moment does not exist. Incessant video games, addicted to the ding announcing a new email, and movies that are one giant adrenaline rush (fight/crash/chase/flying etc.) where dialogue died.  Or said another way, have we hook ourselves on constant stimulation where the last rush has to be topped by the next one?

Enter the age of President DFF. First, just the act of electing him was a leap off a cliff.  There was no surprise that he is ignorant, racist, nativist, and xenophobic during the campaign.  But there was a justified unrest in the country, but it did not justify leaping off a cliff.  There were difficult problems and the choices were not good (except for Bernie), but we leapt anyway.  Chaos ensured as predicted.  Now some tried (and some are still trying) to claim this is shrewd calculated chaos, but we know the man is deranged.  This is just chaos for chaos’s sake.

We are now bombarded with bombastic tweets at about the twelve-year-old level.  Diplomacy by tweeting.  We have to see and hear him every day.  It is like a three-ring circus with his craziness, the investigation into his affairs, and Republicans trying to normalize this.  There are so many balls in the air, it is dizzying.

Insult Pakistan, North Korea, and try to tear down the one thing that is keeping Iran from getting nukes.  Withdraw from the world stage and let the Chinese run the Pacific Rim.  Appoint heads of major Departments who are dismantling government as we know it.  Pack the courts with Right wing ideologues.  Push a Tax Cut that will bankrupt the country, decimate agencies by pushing out the professionals, and play nice-nice with dictators.  Lie continually and no one cares.

And now we have the Bannon-Trump food fight at again the level of 12-year-olds.  No wait!  I defame 12-year-olds.  The Wolfe book raises an interesting prospect that Trump is suffering from dementia.  It is feeding the 24-7 news cycle like throwing chum into a school of sharks.  And maybe we are getting addicted to it.  Maybe we need the constant stimulation and soap opera.  Ever notice the soap operas that occur in the work place are usually created because the work is so hum-drum?

What happens if we return to sanity? Let’s just say for a moment that we actually had a sane president.  I remember one just before this one, but many Americans were frothing with hate because he was black.  So let’s just say, and no offense women, but those frothing at Obama also froth at women, we get a nice rational white guy who starts to really solve our problems.  And assume we get rid of the crazies in Congress (Republicans). The news would have nothing to discuss but actual policy.  Snore.  Where is the fire?  Where is the over heated rhetoric we are all used to?  Where are the outrageous claims.  Well, we will still have Fox News, but what are they going to do for 24/7, focus on car chases, close up shots of crash scenes? If it bleeds, it leads?

That’s my fear.  We are becoming so addicted to constant stimulation that the next person running for president should also be able to juggle four chain saws while he tweets.  Is that the new normal?  Think about it.

Afterword:  If you think this is far fetched, think about how the mainstream press covered the Donald 24/7 because he was so entertaining, failing to fact check him and normalizing him.  When he was elected, for a short moment they understood their culpability, but then quickly move along to the next 3-alarm fire.  Think about how we got into the Iraq war as again the mainstream press was chasing the sensational news about WMD being feed to them by Darth Vader, oh, I mean Dick Cheney, failing again to really fact check this stuff, and how many dead later.  Fact checking is boring.

Two Things

First and really noteworthy is the book called Fire and Fury:  Inside the Trump White House, where according to a quote in the book, Steve Bannon blasts Donald Trump Jr. for his meeting with the Russians:

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers,” Bannon continued, according to the Guardian. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately….”You realize where this is going … This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose (senior prosecutor Andrew) Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy,” Bannon reportedly said. “Their path to f***ing Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

Now I happen to think Bannon does not do anything without an agenda and the fact that this is coming out says the rats are abandoning the ship.  Maybe I am wrong and we will be able to tell in the near future if other Republicans start to distance themselves instead of trying to cover up the investigation.

The other thing to think about is that it is reported in this insider book that on election eve, Trump was shocked, horrified, and then became enamored with being the most powerful man in the United States.  The fact that he won was a shock to everyone.  This again makes the point how badly Democrats misjudged the mood of the country and ran the wrong candidate with the wrong message.  That establishment is still around and makes me fear for 2018.

Okay the other thing is for sure we need no stink’in gov’ment or do we?  The other day I talked about Paul Krugman’s theory about the survival of small cities and whether they have evolving industries to stay alive and flexible to the market place.  Today the Washington Post had an interest article about the sam them and the fact that many people discount the value of trust that residents of these towns feel, making them hesitant to move.  These were Trump voters that wanted their past back and the Democratic approach was evolve or move on.

“Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says Trump’s obsession with muscle jobs is shortsighted. Stiglitz is advocating for totally transforming what these towns are known for, taking them from blue collar to green collar — or even high-tech hoodie. Stiglitz points to Pittsburgh as the true American success story, a place that evolved from a steel city into a tech and health-care hub.”

And where do you think the money to do this is going to come from, especially small cities without universities and an already diversified economy?  That stink’in gov’met.  

But an example closer to home on the need for government is flying the friendly skies.  In the WaPo there was an article about how miserable airlines are getting and how they are hiding more and more fees as government regulation and rules to make them divulge these fees in ticket prices so a real comparison can be made are being gutted by the Trump administration.

Delta Air Lines dropped a bombshell on its Europe-bound passengers. Starting April 10, it will charge basic economy passengers checked-baggage fees — $60 for the first bag and $100 for the second…Look closer, and an even more troubling picture comes into focus for passengers. The department hasn’t implemented rules required by Congress that would allow families to sit together or regulations that would require airlines to refund checked-baggage fees when they lose passengers’ luggage. “It’s as if the police decided not to do their job,” said Charles Leocha, chairman of Travelers United, a Washington passenger-advocacy group.

Then up the fees for early boarding so you can find overhead space.  So wait!  Won’t there be competition to drive down these fees? “With just four major carriers, which many consider an oligopoly, you can’t threaten to take your business elsewhere.”  That is just one of the thousands of reason we need that stink’in gov’met, to level the playing field and not be a slave to those that control all the money.  Just saying.