Posts tagged ‘Kelly’

Some House Cleaning to Set the Record Straight

First if you read my blog you probably read the Facebook Post I republished regarding how a liberal thinks and why in a response to Republican policies and dogma. There were two curious responses to that post on Facebook which I would like to share and rebut. One was one who called the post name calling and would not change minds. I have to laugh at that one. If anyone cannot figure it out now, there is no changing their minds until their pocket book gets run over. Then they might come out of their alternate reality universe.

Then there was another post that said something to the effect, “some moderate Republicans feel the same way.” I wanted to respond, but I did not, but here is what I would have written: “If you are a moderate Republican who feels that way, why are you still a Republican? That Party is antithetical to everything she listed.” Really what we have is a fiction that there is listening on the Right if we just were kinder and listened ourselves, both sides do it, and we can get back that old moderate Republican Party. I have argued before that if you were a moderate Republican, you are just fiscally conservative and there are plenty of Democrats who feel the same way, called Moderate Democrats. They are wrong and do not see how the economy has changed to make their beliefs inoperative, but at least in the Democratic Party we can actually debate that.

Okay, next up is the hysterical Republicans screaming the sky is falling as they react to real fake news. Remember when Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, took one of the text messages between two FBI agents who were kidding about a secret society within the FBI to bring President DFF down? He and Fox News went berserk with it, and then it turns out when looking at the context of all the messages, it was another joke, poking fun at just such paranoid nuts as Fox and Johnson. Johnson later admitted it was likely a joke but he had been out there screaming it is true and the sky is falling with Fox News providing him a bull horn. Okay now he got some more texts he interpreted as Obama “wanted to know everything” about Hillary’s emails. Oh wow!

So Johnson, Fox Noise, and the Right wing blogosphere went into a hysterical fit showing that Obama did it and now they are persecuting President DFF. Even President DFF got into the act tweeting, “NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!” But once again the texts were taken out of context and what President Obama wanted to know about was Russian involvement in the election. Now what does this tell you about Republicans that they jump all over these false stories, and then irresponsibly start screaming for someone’s head? It tells you they should be nowhere near government or a position of responsibility. What were the people of Wisconsin thinking when they elected this fruit loop?

But wait! There is the Rob Porter and oh the so respected General Kelly. And let’s throw Orin Hatch in here. Rob Porter was accused of wife abuse by his last two wives. The White House knew about this because he could not get a permanent security clearance as the FBI had reported it. Orin Hatch first attack the media that reported it (all women are liars and it must be a smear plot). Then when the evidence became overwhelming, still regard Porter as a principled and honorable guy. Kelly was worse in that he fought all day long to keep him in the White House. What does that tell you about the boys club in the White House or how out of touch these people are? Oh, and his glowing statement about Rob Porter was written by Porters girl friend Hope Hicks, News Director for the White House. And try to remember that this is the same Kelly who tried to smear the Florida Congresswoman with a statement later proven to be false and he refused to apologized.

So just another day where the Republicans try to distract us from the Russian incursion and President DFF’s potential cooperation. The Russians penetrated 21 states voting systems. Oh, but that is all fake news, look the other way. The Russia investigation is a sham! How again is any rational person a Republican? This goes back to my very first rebuttal, there are not any Republicans who can be changed anymore.

Oh, and I forgot, a military parade, weapons and all in Washington? So now we truly are a banana Republic so insecure we have to show off our weapons. Just when you thought it could not get worse. Oh wait, does Der Leader want a uniform and fake medals? Yes it is going to get a lot worse.

The Tribalism B.S.

I listened to another pundit yesterday on TV use the tribalism excuse to explain why we are so divided. I just don’t buy it. There can not be two sets of facts. Sure some people are more conservative by nature than others, but when we know the facts, shouldn’t that only modulate how quickly we institute change? Instead, the two sets of facts stops all change in its tracks. I got to thinking about this when I read an article about how a survey showed that while the majority of Americans think our response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has been too small and slow, when you break it down by party, you get three quarters of Republicans who think things are just right, and just the opposite in the Democratic Party.

Why would party affiliation have anything to do with the fact that 78% of Puerto Ricans still do not have power and 28% are still without water one month after the Hurricane? I would bet if you were one of the 78% you would not think Trump and Company were doing such a swell job. If those are the the facts, and they are, how is that acceptable to most Republicans? I think I know the answer to that actually voiced by the FF himself. They are to blame for their own plight because of the sorry state of their electrical grid and their debt. They are lazy. So what we have going here is not tribalism, but a total lack of empathy, blaming the victim, and ignoring reality. What else could it be?

But facts should clear the air, and yet they don’t. Take the latest dust up in the FF’s White House where General Kelly came out and smeared Congresswoman Federica Wilson claiming he had been at an event where she grandstanded taking all credit for funding of a new FBI building being dedicated. He called her an empty barrel. Roll the tape. Did not happen. And now the White House Press Obfuscator (Sarah Huckabee Sanders) says how dare we question the integrity of a four star general. Roll the tape again. Either she did or she did not, and the video of her remarks shows the General was full of shit. Yet, the White House is still denying it. I think we know who is the empty barrel in this episode.

So why can’t they just apologize and get the facts straight? Because the whole existence of the Republican Party today is based upon an alternate reality that does not exist. From tax cuts solve all problems with the economy, to immigrants hurt our economy, all the way to health care is best provided by unregulated markets. It is all provenly false. But that is their dogma so they can’t let it go or see the grayness of the world where these ideas need to be expanded to reality. But since this acceptance of reality would upset their whole ideological apple cart, denial is their modus operandi.

But what is new here is the leader of the nation is now liar in chief. The White House has become the center of the real fake news. That is the end of democracy as we know it if you understand that democracy depends upon a debate of facts to arrive at the proper course of action. We no longer have that. So tribes my ass. One party is delusional and denies facts and the other actually has a grip on them. It would be nice if we quit trying to equate both sides as equal in this, two tribes not listening. There is only one set of real facts. Why oh why would you listen to lies and alternate reality when the future of your country is at stake? The media might want to think about that.

Have a nice Saturday. I am headed for the Van Morrison concert in Oakland as a nice treat from my daughter. If nothing else, we still have our families in all this madness.

General Kelly and Seeing the Real Problem

After the FF (Fat F*ck, aka President Trump) turned the killed servicemen into a political issue, and then totally botched  the call after the Press had asked if he had made any calls (where he lied about other presidents), Generally Kelly came out and made an impassioned plea to depoliticize the whole issue, explaining what happened.  Now this should have both been pointed at his boss and ended the issue, but then he turned around and made a partisan political attack on the Congresswoman in the car where call was made (at the request of the grieving parents).  Trump of course lied about all this instead of saying, I botched and I am truly sorry, to which Kelly did not deny the conversation, but attack the Congresswoman for making a “private” call public.

Well, bull shit.  First she was asked to be there and it was put on speakerphone.  Was the President alone when the call (No)?  Secondly he offended them with his lack of empathy, which is just another instance of why he should not be president.  But then Kelly made a partisan attack on the Congresswoman, racial in undertones, showing he is not the steady hand that some were hoping for.  Kelly even made references to “other” gold star families who have spoken out and he had no right to tell them they cannot use their First Amendment rights. Then there was what was sacred discussion that let you know this man is so far removed from reality that he too is dangerous. I think Lawrence O’Donnell took his attack apart better than anyone because he had the guts to.

I want you to note one other thing.  What General Kelly heard and told the FF to say is not the same thing he said.  It is a classic example of how little understand the FF has of the human condition.

Meanwhile the Republicans passed a budget bill on all Republican votes that most of them do not know what is in it.  It was to get a win.  So far the reasonable experts tell us a couple of things.  It busts the budget and like Kansas, may create a fiscal disaster. Tax cuts don’t necessarily equal growth.  Meanwhile Wall Street is doing great and the FF is taking credit when what is really driving the economy right now is low interest rates, set up in the Obama Administration.  If as most of us think, giant deficit spending that the budget bill and the follow on tax cut will create become a reality, the interest rate will go up, and kiss the economy goodbye.

The other part of this is that less than 52% of Americans own stocks, and the majority of the FF’s supporters do not.  How Wall Street does has little with working Americans, and let’s just review, Bank of America just downgraded Chipotle stocks because they think they pay their employees too much.  Bring back slavery!  That is the mentality we are dealing with.

Meanwhile, ex-Presidents Bush and Obam took on the FF finally.  Of course there is some real hypocrisy here, but at least major figures are starting to stand up.  I am off to Oakland for a Van Morrison concert and will try to ignore the madness that is our government these days.  Happy Friday.

Normalcy and Compromise

That's what this morning's news is about.  First we go on and on about General Kelly taking over the Chief of Staff position and establishing order and normalcy.  Ha!  Maybe the illusion of normalcy.  Their first action was to get rid of Anthony Scaramucci.  Not that anything changed, just the crude spokesman for telling it as it is, is gone.  But does that change any of the dynamics?  Time will tell, but the pundits are hoping Kelly will put a discipline in policy making.  I don't think you can put anymore lipstick on this pig which is really bad policies and chaos.

That has been really the pundits, mostly hopeful Republicans, who have tried to say things will settle down, Trump will learn, and normal policy will return.  Again, Ha!  Have we learned nothing in the last 6 months?  He is who he is and we will see how Trump destroys Kelly's reputation.  Even the most smooth and coordinated administration, with the policies of Donald Trump, will and does look like chaos.  It is chaos and bad policy based on an alternate reality.

The other talking point today is "compromise".  Maybe now the two sides will sit down and try to fix Obamacare.  We have this foolish idea that in this day and age that compromise is the best of all possible outcomes.  But what if you are compromising with policy based upon alternate facts that set up failure?  What if one side is so tied to ideology, that thinking outside the box is impossible?  Compromise is highly overrated.

Saturday, I tried to give you a blog that looks at proposed solutions to healthcare provided by Republicans and why they make no sense.  If you want to scream, "that's your opinion you liberal pig!" actually no when you get CBO (Congressional Budget Office) scores that tell you it doesn't work.  Republicans then decry the report as false from their own guy because they did not like the answer. And that is critical here.  We need to quit the ideological bullshit and just evaluate an approach and any possible compromise by whether or not it will actually be effective and efficacious.

Somehow we have gotten to think that both sides are as ideologically wedded to a certain solution and that is simply not true.  Republicans are because the market place must solve all problems and big government is bad.  If the market place would have solved all problems, we would not have needed Obamacare.  Obamacare was the Democrats trying to accommodate market place solutions and we have seen where that fell short. Paul Krugman today (Who Ate the Republicans Brains?) tried to explain how Republicans have created an alternate reality to uphold their ideology and they are now locked in a world of  dishonesty:

And that kind of behavior doesn’t come out of nowhere. The Republican health care debacle was the culmination of a process of intellectual and moral deterioration that began four decades ago, at the very dawn of modern movement conservatism — that is, during the very era anti-Trump conservatives now point to as the golden age of conservative thought.

A key moment came in the 1970s, when Irving Kristol, the godfather of neoconservatism, embraced supply-side economics — the claim, refuted by all available evidence and experience, that tax cuts pay for themselves by boosting economic growth. Writing years later, he actually boasted about valuing political expediency over intellectual integrity: “I was not certain of its economic merits but quickly saw its political possibilities.” In another essay, he cheerfully conceded to having had a “cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit,” because it was all about creating a Republican majority — so “political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government.”

The problem is that once you accept the principle that it’s O.K. to lie if it helps you win elections, it gets ever harder to limit the extent of the lying — or even to remember what it’s like to seek the truth.

Does that mean healthcare should be single payer only.  Of course not.  Medicare is not single payer only.  It is supplemented by market policies that fill the gaps.  But it does need to be universal care which is what the rest of the world's experience tells us.  The bottom line here is that we need to get to a place where not compromising is okay if the compromise is not the end in itself and will not solve the problem.

We just looked at three plans submitted by the Republicans and we all saw where they would lead, to a failure of healthcare.  So sure, go talk, see if we can get a consensus.  But don't stupidly kick the can down the road to hold hands and say we compromised when the solution is destined for failure.  We have data and metrics.  We know what will and won't work, and we have a Congressional Budget Office that will give us a real score.  Let's use it. Sure some solutions will give us unintended consequences so we need to then fix them.  Ideology is what has prevented us from fixing Obamacare. They hate it on made up facts and ideology so they can't stand to fix it.

One last thing, I and many progressive would like  Medicare for all, but we are open to anything that stands the test of reality.  Republicans, whether it is flow down works (tax cuts pay for themselves), big government is always bad (so how come Medicare works and Social Security saves many people?), or the market place left unfettered by government provides the best solutions (see the Financial Crisis 2007-2008), have had it wrong with a capital WRONG.  They are very good at identifying problems, but then their ideology gets in the way of evaluating solutions.  It is time to end that and not be afraid to not compromise with bad ideas.  Just evaluate the ideas with an open mind in the reality we live in, not the alternate one the Republicans have created.