Posts tagged ‘crazy’

By George I Think They’ve Got It!

Frank Bruni, NYT columnist and liberal, had a long column this morning on my favorite topic, Cheeto-head isn’t shrewd or strategic, he is really just a petulant child:

For all of the negative news coverage that he receives, there has also been a strand of analysis that insisted on, or at least sought, a silver lining to the golden-haired huckster. It reflected all the rationalizations that I heard from Americans who had voted for Trump or were willing themselves to see some upside to his election:

The tweets weren’t merely splenetic. They were strategic, providing distractions when he needed them most. He was amoral, sure, but that was part and parcel of his craftiness, which could do the country some good. He was a liar, yes, but the best deals and the bent truth often went hand in hand — and he was a deal maker above all. He flouted norms, but that might be precisely the purgative our politics needed.

Commentators strained to spot and savor any flicker of something more dignified. Remember the accolades for his address to a joint session of Congress? All he’d done was the commander-in-chief equivalent of chewing with his mouth closed.

…And when I picture him at that Time magazine dinner, with a portion bigger than anybody else’s, I don’t see him on a throne. I see him in a highchair, keeping his audience guessing about just how much ice cream he’ll fling against the wall.

Frank is talking about the reporter dinner where Cheeto-head got served something better than anyone else including two scoops of ice cream instead of the one everyone else got on their dessert.  But the point is there is nothing strategic in his wild outbursts.  They are not to unbalance his opponent for strategic advantage.  They are just wild outbursts.  That ought to really work well when we have a real crisis not caused by Cheeto-head himself.

But wait!  Conservatives are also joining the wake up call.  Here is Ross Douthat, conservative columnist for the NYT:

The reaction to the sacking of James Comey is the latest illustration. Far too many observers, left and right, persist in being surprised at Trump when nothing about his conduct is surprising, persist in looking for rationality where none is to be found, and persist in believing that some institutional force — party elders or convention delegates, the deep state or an impeachment process — is likely to push him off the stage.

…Childish behavior can still lead to abuses of power, of which the Comey firing will not be the last. But liberals need to accept that the strongest case for removing Trump from office is likely to remain a 25th Amendment case: not high crimes and misdemeanors, not collusion with the Russians, but a basic mental unfitness for the office that manifests itself in made-for-TV crises and self-inflicted wounds.

Here is Charles Sykes, conservative talk show host, on what has become of the Republican Party to be able to support the unsupportable:

Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?”

For the anti-anti-Trump pundit, whatever the allegation against Mr. Trump, whatever his blunders or foibles, the other side is always worse.

But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish.

…As the right doubles down on anti-anti-Trumpism, it will find itself goaded into defending and rationalizing ever more outrageous conduct just as long as it annoys CNN and the left.

In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast.

By George, I think they’ve got it!  And on that note I will leave you with a link to Laurence H. Tribe’s call for Cheeto-head’s impeachment. Laurence Tribe is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, so he ought to know something about the subject. Here is his conclusion:

It will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self-interest and party loyalty, for a Congress of the president’s own party to initiate an impeachment inquiry. It would be a terrible shame if only the mounting prospect of being voted out of office in November 2018 would sufficiently concentrate the minds of representatives and senators today.

But whether it is devotion to principle or hunger for political survival that puts the prospect of impeachment and removal on the table, the crucial thing is that the prospect now be taken seriously, that the machinery of removal be reactivated, and that the need to use it become the focus of political discourse going into 2018.

I can’t help but think that if you buy Charlie Sykes’ description of the new Republican Party where there are no principles just anti left anything, then Ross Douthat may have our only way forward, the 25th Amendment.  The guy is bat shit crazy.

When You Live in an Asylum, After a While, they Don’t Seem so Crazy Anymore

Kind of like if you live in cattle country or on a pig farm, after a while you don’t notice the smell.  It’s still there though.  What I am trying to say is Cheeto Head is crazy.  Bat Shit crazy.  And the media and most Republicans are trying to normalize him.  “Oh, they are just getting used to leading, It’s just the first couple of weeks, everyone stumbles at first, Their just adjusting from campaign mode,” or “He will learn how to be presidential.”  B.S.  I am going to list the things this week that are deranged and then I am going to make a point, and that point is that with all this going on, we are being distracted from the real fundamental issue of our partisanship, whose freedom?

Okay let’s just consider Cheeto Head recently:

  • All news that reports criticism is fake news (i.e. Only I and my staff are the bearers of truth and wisdom)
  • The media is the opposition (Only I and my staff are the bearers of truth and wisdom)
  • The media is playing down terrorist attacks (Only I and my staff are the bearers of truth and wisdom).  Note this one was in front of CENTCOM where they know that is not true and again, I want to know how many penguins were in the audience to clap and hoot on cue.
  • Betsy DeVoss for Secretary of Education and Rick Perry for Energy.  Could there be any two people less qualified? Oh and the Senate Republicans just confirmed Betsy DeVoss.  What else do you need to know about how they are destroying America?
  • Jeff Sessions for Justice.  I was wrong, there could be someone less qualified and if you were going to create a stereotypical racist, he would be it.
  • Ban on Muslims that every non-political security specialist said was counter productive and now Iran’s Supreme leader is thanking Cheeto Head for as showing the true America.  And that does not even start on what it does to our efforts in Afghanistan.
  • When Rulings go against Cheeto Head, he attacks the judiciary personally (So called Judged).  Who needs three branches of government?
  • Says “haters” unfair on Putin and equates Russia’s actions with ours.  Oblivious to Crimea, Ukraine, murders of press members and political foes, etc. No question he is acting as their agent.  Think if Obama had done this.
  • Complains he has not been breifed on Executive Orders he is signing (they look two pages, how much reading is that?) I.E. he has no idea what he is signing.
  • Claims he has the power of the purse (reserved to Congress) on the Wall, defunding recalcitrant states, cities, and universities.  Clearly has no concept of separation of powers.

Okay, that was just last week and does not include threatening war with Mexico, hanging up on Austrailia, tariff to pay for the wall, crowd size, or voter fraud claims that he repeated this week.  The man is insane, has no grip on reality, and while we are busy putting out fires from his insanity, we are missing the bigger picture.

We have a deranged president at the helm and Republicans created him and are now trying to normalize the damage so they can hold on to control to implement their conservative nonsense.  Republicans are moving on all kinds of things like limits on pollution (coal companies can now dump waste into streams again), roll back even reasonable gun controls, continue to lie about the replace in Obamacare, and of course gut Medicare and Social Security.  And they are getting their way because they created a know-nothing base.  Here is conservative talk show host Charles Sykes on what they did:

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.

Now we have had tons of talks (one-way) on this blog about how we got an uniformed “rube” America that could elect a pathological liar, racist, nativist, xenophobic, and basically ignorant man to the presidency.  But little has been said on why.  The why is quite simple and that is because conservatives have a holy grail that is fake.  And in order to not let facts and data in to evaluate it and question their religion, they had to create an alternate reality.

By way of introduction to my next couple of blogs, assuming Cheeto Head does not do something so outrageous I get distracted again, which is maybe their plan, let me just say this:  We all want freedom.  But as I noted in an earlier blog from a lecture by Professor Jeffery Engels, we haven’t a clue what that really means.  Freedom is as nebulous as apple pie. FDR defined it as the four basic freedoms, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.  But as he and others have indicated there is a fifth freedom in play today, freedom of the market place, the god of conservatives.

What I want to explore is what the first four freedoms mean, and that the fifth may in fact compete with and negate the first four, and most importantly of all, how our assumptions about how the fifth freedom, freedom of the market place (or freedom to accumulate) is sold to us as creating the best outcome for everyone is based upon logic of Econ 101 that is badly flawed, but accepted by almost everyone.  That is what the partisan divide is really all about.  People want to be free and they have been told the fifth freedom, freedom of the market place will free them, and we have a whole party, the Republican Party who has created an alternate reality to implement that dream, and it could just be the end of us.

The answer to this dilemma is to take on this conservative ideology head on and debunk it.  So far we have been distracted from this basic problem as Cheeto Head careens madly from side to side and the Republicans look the other way in hope they can finally install their “city on a shining hill”.  Sadly the only way that is happening is to create an alternate reality where up is down and down is up, and could destroy us all.  But that has not stopped them.

Speculation, Mine

I don’t think Trump will last six months.  I think he will be removed.  Of course Mike Pense is no brilliant light bulb himself, but the keys to the nukes will be safer.  I think we are headed for a giant head on crash with reality.  Even before the press conference his approval ratings were slipping badly except with the 30% who is his base.  Historians tell us that as long as we have had polls, a president does not fall in the polls during the transition.  The Donald is:

53 – 39 percent that he is not honest, compared to 52 – 42 percent November 22;

49 – 44 percent that he has good leadership skills, compared to 56 – 38 percent;

52 – 44 percent that he does not care about average Americans, compared to 51 – 45 percent who said he did care;

62 – 33 percent that he is not level-headed, compared to 57 – 38 percent;

71 – 25 percent that he is a strong person, compared to 74 – 23 percent;

68 – 27 percent that he is intelligent, compared to 74 – 21 percent.

American voters give President-elect Trump a negative 37 – 51 percent favorability rating, compared to a divided 44 – 46 percent favorability rating November 22. Vice President- elect Mike Pence gets a split 37 – 34 percent favorability rating. First Lady-in-Waiting Melania Trump gets a 29 – 22 percent favorability, with 43 percent who don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.

Donald Trump will take the nation in the right direction, 45 percent of American voters say, while 49 percent say he will take the nation in the wrong direction.

His policies will help their personal financial situation, 27 percent of voters say, while 27 percent say they will hurt and 42 percent say they will make no difference.

A total of 44 percent of voters are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” that Trump will make things better for them and their family, while 53 percent are “not very confident” or “not confident at all.”

American voters disapprove 40 – 30 percent of the individuals Trump has nominated for his cabinet, with 28 percent who say they haven’t heard enough about them.

Trump’s election makes them feel “less safe,” 45 percent of voters say, while 27 percent say they feel “more safe” and 27 percent say they feel “just as safe.” 

Okay why did you elect him again?  And note all of this is before his press conference on Wednesday. Let’s see.  There are more questions about the legitimacy of the election with an inspector general looking into FBI Director Comey’s action during the election.  Meanwhile in a Congressional hearing they ask him if he will tell us about a newly revealed FBI investigation into Trump and his team’s possible connections to Russia and Comey replied that he could not comment on an on-going investigation.  Democrats noted the hypocrisy here. Apparently if it is Hillary Clinton it is okay.

Next we have both Trump and Kellyanne getting picked off lying about what the Intelligence Briefing did and did not include relevant to the two page unconfirmed summary of allegations of damaging information the Russians might have.  Apparently Clapper pulled Trump aside and explained to him that this is what was out there, but was totally unsubstantiated.  He also turns out that it was gathered by a respected intelligence agent although, again no confirmation.

Then we have the “Press Conference” where Trumps presidential turning the corner was on full display and now everyone is convinced there will be no turning the corner.  The nut job and pathological liar we saw on the campaign trail is exactly who we are going to get.  At least there was truth in advertising which our press media missed, but they are catching on fast after watching him decide which news medias he will talk to and which he would ostracize depending on whether he like the coverage.  And what we saw was a small vindictive dangerous autocrat. As one pundit said later, it is sad when if you are looking for the truth, it won’t be from the Trump Administration.

Then there was the wall, we will build it, and send them the bill later.  Makes perfect sense if you are a nitwit.  And of course it will bust the budget.  Wait, don’t forget Repeal and Replace, which he said would be almost simultaneous while the Republicans in Congress go about repealing Obamacare without a net (no replace).  Oh, they have plenty of options they haven’t settled on yet, BECAUSE NONE OF THEM WORK!  You have to have an individual mandate and tax the rich to afford the good stuff.  If they really want to replace it with something better, it would be a single payer plan.  Think that is where they are going?

There are more and more questions about the legitimacy of this president, his numbers are falling, and more and more we are seeing that he has no plan, his appointees are nutjobs, and the nation is waking up to the nightmare of Donald Trump.  No I don’t think he will last 6-months.

This Crazy Progressive

Crazy, it would seem, depends on your perspective.  While I, and much America, see the Freedom Party as crazy, from their perspective, they believe they are quite rational.  It just depends on whose facts are actually facts.  Yesterday there was the endless coverage of what happened at the debates and I heard to interesting comments.  The first from Chris Mathews who characterized Bernie Sanders as a radical left wing revolutionary.  The second from a CNN host (whose name escapes me) who comment about Bernie’s plan to pay for college, “That will never happen.”.  Crazy and what is possible depends upon the reality you perceive.

So here is the reality I perceive.  In earlier blogs I have indicated that there are really only two real issues, economic inequality and global warming.  All the other  issues, even foreign affairs are subsets.  I have rethought that and I have come to the conclusion that there is really only one issue, economic inequality.  Even global warming is a subset of that.  The reasoning is fairly straight forward.  Economic inequality puts all the money, and the power it can buy, in the hands of a few.  And that few wants to maintain the status quo.  See Exon’s program to deny global warming in the same way the tobacco companies denied the cancer caused by their products.

Change, moving from one energy source to another, to making college free, changes who the winners and losers are in our economy.  Conservatives love to point out the jobs lost, but not the jobs gained.  The status quo is their mantra. So if you believe that economic inequality is what empowers this bunch and makes our democracy an oligarchy, then you wonder what is the best way to redress that problem.  And given the power of the present system, how do make those changes?

It is refreshing to see that most of the Democratic candidates for President understand this problem.  But their understanding lies on a spectrum from tinkering with the existing system, to a complete overhaul of how the spoils of our economy get shared.  I am with Bernie Sanders and the Joseph Stiglitz in systemic changes to way we do business and I have written before about my justification for this.  But whether you agree with me or a more gentle approach of Hillary, the question is what and how do we get it through Congress?  Just hold hands and we will all agree?

That is where Bernie is speaking truth to power and everyone else still thinks you can just tinker with the system.  Bernie calls for a revolution in new voters who understand these issues and hold Congress liable.  So the big question is how do you mobilize those voters.  And here is why I side with Bernie, although Hillary will probably be the candidate, because Bernie is trying to mobilize an energized progressive base around these issues.  He promises real change.  Hillary promises safe change, but that won’t get the voters who need to change Congress out.

So what may sound crazy today, may just be obvious tomorrow.  I guess what I am trying to say is first and foremost, Bernie is right about we have to get Congress on board to make even minimal changes.  What I am trying to express is what a Black Lives Matter activist said in response to a question about whether Democrats take them for granted.  He simply said they better not.  They won’t vote for a Republican, but turn out could be a real problem for Democrats if they do not have real programs to take on systemic racism.  Unless the agenda and the base that Bernie has mobilized is adopted by whoever the nominee is, they find also find turn out an issue with no mandate to move the country, and a Congress looking like it does today.

So what sounds radical to mainstream Democrats like Chris Mathews and a certain CNN host who is probably a moderate Republican, may be the only way to bring about change and make America a better place for all of us.