Posts tagged ‘Pence’

I Am So Ashamed

I watch Mike Pious Pence and I am disgusted. Yes North Korea is a brutal horrid place. And yes they are developing weapons that threaten the whole world. But here we are at the Olympics and it is about the athletes and the competition, not regimes and we can’t get off our ass and welcome the North Korean team. Aren’t we bigger than that? North Korea may become a pariah of the world, but for this moment can it not be about nationalistic posturing and be about the common human experience of competition and giving it your all. President Moon may have it right. It will be the interaction of North Korea with the rest of the world that will be the biggest weapon we have to bring them out of the dark. And America stands and turns their back on them. I am so ashamed. We are being destroyed and soiled by Trump and his cronies. Hopefully our athletes will engage for a moment of human to human, something the Administration of President DFF has never experienced or we would not be expelling Dreamers. I am so ashamed.

Our Theocracy of Economics and Religion

Here is one thing few people are writing about*, I guess because they think Trump is not really a religious man, many of the policies that will come out of the Trump administration will be based on a very narrow view of religion.  Not only did we get conservative economic ideology (also a religion**), but in many of the social policies, they will be heavily imbued with a religious belief.  I guess because the media is afraid to point out or criticize religion and its influence in our government, this is just ignored.  The idea is that we respect freedom of religion and attacking religious beliefs is really un-American.  But what do we do when they define Government and our policies, and those religious beliefs are a narrow conservative evangelical Christianity?

Think about Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education.  She wants to basically end public education and fund religious schools and charters that, “will continue to advance God’s kingdom.” Note that while it barely came up in the hearings, she has given generously to groups “funding Christian schools, evangelical missions, and conservative, free-market think tanks like the Acton Institute and the Mackinac Center that want to shrink the public sector in every sphere, including education.”  She has support groups who want to relax the boundary between religion and government. (Mother Jones). It’s all about getting our kids to be thinking right evangelical thoughts.

Think about the EPA nominee, Scott Pruitt.  He is another conservative Christian who “as a state senator,  proposed one of the most onerous anti-abortion laws in the country, and as attorney general, he helped lead the opposition to the recent Department of Education guidelines on transgender students using gender-appropriate bathrooms.”  As the Daily Beast implied, he comes from the evangelical groups that believe, “Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.” In other words, What Me Worry.  Science is rubbish.

Think about the Vice-President, Mike Pence whose policies on abortion and gays is driven by his evangelical Christian views.  Then there is Ben Carson, and like Pence, a creationist, or Rick Perry who has been quoted as saying evolutionists are “out there”.  A more in-depth look at this comes from Israel’s Haaretz.com and I suggest you read it.  Basically we are seeing an evangelical religious government being put in place.  But what of the  inclusion of so many Goldman Sachs alumni former generals and billionaires?

There is no contradiction here.  The folks that come from conservative economic ideas have the same zeal as religious fanatics and approach other points of view with the same closed mind and sense of heresy.  The market place is God, deciding winners and losers. the winners are the anointed people, and government intervention is heresy.  Wealth flowing to the wealthy is a result of this system and is a system of right, wrong, punishment, and reward determined by their God, the market place which fits very nicely with evangelical Christian belief.  If many suffer under this system, it is okay because they deserve it, just as those who don’t believe as the evangelical Christians believe, are doomed to hell.  We are now living in a Theocracy of Economics and Religion.

So when you see the first policies coming out of the Trump administration, things like moving the embassy to Jerusalem, moving quickly on defunding Planned Parenthood, another round of attacks on gay rights, an attack on climate change, even defunding the Endowment to the Arts, it makes perfect religious sense.  Wait till we see what Betsy DeVos does in the Education Department.  It is about taking narrow evangelical Christian beliefs and forcing them on the rest of us (the Endowment to the Arts attack is because the arts challenges us to think about who we are as opposed to accepting scripture).

The Economic theology will come quickly enough as the attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and of course using that money to fund tax cuts. Only the right people are rewarded. We are about to become a total Theology which has combined conservative economic ideology with evangelical religious beliefs.

The Constitution is clear about religion and government, but this flock sees no problem with using their religion to define the world and use government to inflict it on the rest of us.  Rational debate need not apply.  And that is what is happening.  What will save us is that reality will run head long into ideology and finally something will have to give.  But in the interim a lot of us are going to suffer and there could be violence and unrest as these failed ideas are put into policies around the world.  We are entering a new Dark Age.

*I found the best coverage of this from all places, Israel in Haaretz.com which is an Israeli publication.  I thank them for their work.

**I use the term religion to mean a set of beliefs not subject to rational debate, but accepted on faith.  Not all religions are like this, but in this context, that is exactly what is going on.

Reality Intrudes on the Republican Retreat in Baltimore

I am sure that some of you at least saw in its entirety the exchange between the Republicans and President Obama on Friday (Baltimore Republican Retreat).  It was reality meets talking points.  There was the President ready to take on all comers without help or script and the Republicans had all their talking points ready.  The poor Republicans had no idea what they had got themselves into.  As the President pointed out the false assumptions many of their “questions” were based on, you could see them shaking their heads.  They weren’t having any of that reality stuff.  If you hate big government, any reality that upsets that underlying belief is just noise.

What was probably most amazing about this encounter was that President Obama had his facts all in order and could parry and pivot on every allegation.  Media morons take note:  When you let these people spew their lies, it would really improve the interview if you had done at least some homework so that you just didn’t just act as a megaphone for their propaganda.

But the most important thing that happened there was the point that President Obama make over and over again.  Republicans have painted themselves into a corner with their outrageous claims that Obama was destroying the country.  Now if they decided to work with him, and their base believes all the outrageous stuff they have been putting out about him and his policies, they are committing political suicide.  In other words the dialogue that has been part of their talking points, egged on by the media who loves outrageousness, crafted to ignite their base, is the primary factor in preventing any solutions.  Now if they find something they like, they can’t be caught working with him or they too will be a traitor to the country.

So did he make any headway?  No, of course not, at least not with the Republicans.  Note it was going so bad for the Republicans that Fox Noise cut off coverage in the interest of not confusing any of their viewers with reality or facts.  But maybe if enough of those independents out there see it, they will start to finally understand the problem.  Maybe they will start to understand that the Republican agenda is failure for this President and the country.  Just saying no is not a policy and wrapping lies around their alternative solutions that don’t stand the test of a real examination is not governing.   Oh come on Congressman Price, nobody believes you can cover everyone with health care for free through Republican alternatives .  Well maybe some of your moron followers do who think that all it takes to fix the country is more free rides for everyone (tax cuts and elimination of government spending).  Everything they do is to make the President look bad, not to try to find solutions.  If you want to define unpatriotic, this is it.

I think the President has staked out the way forward for Democrats.  Engage these guys, because even a cursory look at what they are proposing shows the bankruptcy of their ideas.  Example: Congressman Pence, their heavy hitter, wants to cap all spending and have cross the board tax cuts.  So which is it.  Spending cuts devastate the economy although help the deficit, while tax cuts empty the Treasury.  So are you trying to solve the deficit problem or bankrupt the country?  Probably what was most evident is that they accepted no responsibility for how we got to where we are today. Some how it was all Obama’s fault.  So now it is time to take the battle to them on the offensive.  Maybe eventually they will re-engaged with real ideas.  Oh, I forgot.  It was those same ideas that brought us down.  What it will do is expose how there failure to engage, there lack of realistic solutions,  and their blocking any way forward is truly hurting the country and just maybe there will be a political price to pay for this.

It was an amazingly frank exchange and hopefully the Democrats will now be reinvigorated to take the fight directly to the Republicans and make them pay a price for their nihilism.  It is the only way to get the country back from the brink.