Posts tagged ‘Trump’

Oh the BS

Secret society inside the FBI against Trump! Nunes the Ninny has the memo! The FBI is out to overthrow the President! Palace coop! OH THE NONSENSE! Republicans have been spouting this for days now with the tempo and noise level raising as we get closer to a show down with Mueller, the Special Investigator’s office, and President DFF. Does anybody remember that Comey and Mueller are or were Republicans? Who was it again that really caused Hillary Clinton not to be President by announcing a new investigation that did not go anywhere? Want to know what is really sad? It could be playing out there among the unwashed as the numbers who approve of the Mueller investigation drop.

Remember back in the day when you went to the supermarket and you saw people reading those supermarket tabloids and you thought, wow, how gullible can people be. Well, I think it was a disease that ate everyone’s brain. If you are following the investigation, who has been interviewed, and what we know (rumor a third flip is coming), you know that the noose is tightening. So we have the hysterical reaction by Republicans. But their hysteria is catching and as the defame and demean the Justice Department and the FBI they may be destroying the rule of law in America. No may be is not correct, they are. Then we become the nation of the rule by rumor and hysteria.

When you look at and listen to these barking dogs, you know what treason and lynch mob mentality looks like. The sad thing and what really may determine our fate, is that “responsible” Republicans are staying silent. They are complicit in their salience. Meanwhile in President DFF land, he spouts out last night that he will be interviewed in person and unlike Hillary, will be under oath. Now first he is not going to show up, and this is just another giant blovation before his lawyers pull him back in, kind of like his statements on DACA before the Stasi (Kelly and Miller) pull him back in. Oh, and that “under oath” thing, nobody is under oath unless they are before a Grand Jury. His ignorance knows no bounds.

Nunes the Ninny’s memo is probably a very selective and out of context summary of things that make the FBI look bad. Oh that ought to help respect for government. They ought to know better, but like the Bush Administration, they started with a wild belief and look only at evidence that supports their belief. And what it might lead to is a rush to release everything because the Republicans are releasing carefully crafted partisan information. Democrats will have to respond and the flood of information in already overloaded and uncritical thinking public will result in chaos.

Of course there was obstruction of justice, it was out there for all of us to see and he admitted to it. Of course there is money laundering, where do you think the leverage on President DFF and his family came from? Of course they colluded with the Russians although the trail into the Oval Office might be harder to prove as we have seen how his Trumpets will lie through their teeth to hold on to power. Muller will have the goods. Then it comes to the majority in Congress, Republicans, to do anything about it. Think they will? I don’t.

But things are starting to come to a head. At Davis it was noted that because we have fewer travelers to the United States. Canada just went on its own with an Asian trade agreement, and it would seem that the tariffs President DFF could cost more jobs than it saves. World trade is moving on and soon we will feel it in our pocket books. The dollar is weakening and in one sense that is good for trade (our stuff costs less) but in another sense it could be a disaster if foreign countries look elsewhere for a stable currency as a world standard. All of this should just be reaching the perfect ripeness when the 2018 elections hit. If Democrats can avoid shooting themselves in the foot like on the government shutdown that went nowhere, we might just have a chance.

Why Should We Accept Immigrants from Shithole Countries?

Yeah! Why not more from Norway? So I thought I would do a little homework. How many immigrate from Norway these days. In 2010 it was about 1000. Well they certainly are not in the top 100 countries and to be quite honest, I have considered immigrating to Norway. You know, better standard of living, good guaranteed retirement, free education and healthcare, better social mobility. Of course the answer to the question is in the question itself. They want a better life and opportunity, just like all our relatives did. Yeah, you too American Indians. Anybody walking across the Bearing Straights is definitely looking for something better. And of course those are just the ones we want to immigrate, people who are will to risk everything to come to a new country and start a new life.

Of course this was a racist rant from a racist little man who can’t hide how small he is. And now today, although he said it in front of lots of people who reported it, he says he did not say that. I wonder if he knows what he said or if lying is just all he does actually know. According to the Washington Post he has 1950 false statements in 347 days so far, that is 5.6 lies a day. And speaking of shithole places, why are Puerto Ricans moving to South Dakota to work at a Turkey processing plant? Both kind of qualify in my mind after we did nothing to help our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico, so they were forced to find a home in a slightly less “shithole” environment. There might be a lesson there for President DFF if he could learn which he has now proven is a lost art to him. Wouldn’t reading be a prerequisite to learning?

Some other fun facts about President DFF from the news today. He has cancelled his trip to London for the opening of the new Embassy with the excuse that it was a bad real estate deal. No, I am not kidding. Of course the real reason is that no one over there wants him in their country and would have put up some great demonstrations had he shown up. Mr. Tough guy is hiding behind his desk right now. Too bad Americans cannot take a que from the British and give him the same welcome everywhere he travels.

He also boasted that he had a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un, you remember the guy with the smaller nuclear button than he has. Define relationship. Really? What relationship? If you want to see someone who leads a country but lives in an alternate reality, read the newspaper about President DFF. And let’s just say if he did. Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator. Maybe they could form a club with Vlad. Of course, I am not going to mention that he watched a Fox News show spewing falsehoods about the deep state and then tweets out his lack of support for the bill he does support on warrantless searches. Oh those freedom loving Republicans.

Nope, we are in really good hands with our racist, nativist, xenophobic, ignorant pathological liar of a President. I want to again thank those morons in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin for this disaster. Oh, and a special shout out to Florida, but hey, you won’t have drilling rigs off your coast will you? I think the word shithole states comes to mind, but shithole I guess is in the eye of the beholder.

Words Mean Something and Hyprocrisy

This morning the TV cut away to President DFF’s comments after some meeting.  First he comment on DACA saying we just need a few Democrats?  Say What?  A clean DACA bill would get 100% of all Democrats.  Then he launches into problems at the border.  First thought is what problems at the border?  Crossing are way down, but then he brings us a drug epidemic in America, conflating it with the border,  Say what?

Our drug epidemic is opioids and guess who manufactures them and lobbies against enforcement of laws to curb their easy access and over prescribing?  Oh, and as an aside, as anyone knows, opioids cause constipation, so now who is making a fortune on drugs for that symptom?  The opioid crisis is a real money maker for drug companies.

Then you get it.  DACA, a few Democrats, be afraid of drug mules, it is about a compromise that includes a stupid and frivolous wall.  The Press ignored all of that and failed to fact check his bullshit and false conflating, because they wanted to see what he would say about Steve Bannon.  SQUIRREL!

Meanwhile in hypocrisy land (Republicans), the Attorney General, little Jeffey Sessions, wants to take our drug policies back to the dark ages as he is rescinding an Obama executive order putting a cabash on federal prosecution of marijuana violations.  Note the Feds have put marijuana on the Schedule 1 list of drugs like heroin and cocaine.  Its beyond stupid and science, but that is Republican these days.

But the hypocrisy comes in when the boys and girls of the stupid Party used to shoot states rights because they liked that states were restricting freedoms like voting, gay rights, civil rights, but now when 30 states have reach sanity, they want to drag us back to the drug wars.  Of course Congress could do something about this, but who are they controlled by again?  It is like free speech and love of democracy for Republicans.  Everyone should have it unless you disagree with them.

Yes words mean something and we ought to pay attention to them.  Do we really think the White House is getting rid of personal cellphones for national security or is it because the truth is damning?

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.

Last Day in Paradise And Then Back to a Sinking Ship

 My how a week can fly by. I am just beginning to get my bearings and tomorrow we head home. Downloaded a few podcasts and a movie to watch on 5+ hour flight home. Now the rest of the day will be focused on fun. Went to a restaurant in Haleiwa last night that specialized in seafood (Joe’s Grilled Seafood). I had the whole cooked fish. I am eating pineapples and fish like it is going out of style (must not forget the vinegar and salt wings at Foodland). Today another trip to Shark’s Cove and then maybe a hike in Waimea Canyon Park, then maybe one more trip to the ocean.

I am a mass transit nut and Hawaii has an excellent bus service. #55 runs about every 25 minutes (both ways) (weekdays) and goes from the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu to North Shore (actually stopping at Turtle Bay) all the way to Haleiwa. If you wanted a shopping trip or to get where you have trouble parking, this is the ticket. You can get a one-day pass from the bus driver for $5.

Okay, one last Hawaiian thing. I have been struggling with the names of streets, towns, you name it until I came across this website. The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters, 5 of which are vowels. The consonants sound pretty much like how we normally pronounce them except “w” which after an i or e is “v” most of the time. If you see a ‘, it means a pause. Vowels once you get them allow you to pronounce Hawaiian words and they go like this:

a – ah
e – eh
i – e (as in easy)
o – o as in pole
u – oo

Meanwhile on the sinking ship (Mainland), I see that employees are leaving in droves at the EPA now that they have forsaken science for business. Something like 700 employees have left since the nation put President DFF in office (If you a new here DFF means Dub Fact F*ck). I would expect the same at FDA and the CDC for the same reason, and a mass walkout at Justice if they go after Mueller. Also note the moral and dislike of President DFF at the intelligence agencies, CIA, and FBI after his attacks on them. Some government we got going on here. Remember some of those science fiction stories about the United Federation of Corporations? We may have arrived.

Did you see the Bit Coin just took a 25% hit. I believe that is what is going to happen to the stock market after the Euphoria of the tax cut wears off and the reality of this massive mistake sinks in. Oh, of course not, The bit coin is based upon pure speculation and market psychology (herd) and Wall Street is built on …Uh oh.

But what depresses me the most is my own home town/state where I read in the Sacramento Bee yesterday. The state has passed an 12 cent tax increase on gas and raising license fees to fund our badly needed infrastructure improvements. Now it appears in a latest poll people want to repeal it:

A new poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found 52 percent of likely voters would support an initiative repealing California’s recent increases in gas taxes and vehicle license fees, while 46 percent said they “strongly” support repealing the charges. Republicans overwhelmingly favor repeal, with 80 percent of them indicating that they’d support rescinding the gas tax.

Voters in the Bay Area are most supportive of the tax increase and transportation improvements it’s projected to fund. Inland California voters especially oppose the tax, and voters in coastal counties narrowly oppose the new charges.

Read that as liberals for, conservatives against. I wonder how they think we can repair our infrastructure if no one is willing to pay for it. I think this is what President DFF has brought us. Selfishness. I think this best represents my thinking here:

“The Bay Area is a much more liberal-leaning, progressive electorate that I think puts more stock in the greater good. That’s a progressive value, if you believe the greater good is served by this modest increase in gas taxes, versus others who say, ‘I’m already paying too much in taxes, therefore I’m in favor of repeal,’” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll.

President DFF and Ronald Reagan have a lot in common in this attitude best expressed by Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street, Greed is good. Ronald started that whole trend that government is the problem and I got mine screw you of today’s Republicans (also known as flow down). So California was headed in a good direction and now in the era of President DFF we are hunkering down to take care of ourselves. I live on a hill with a gate, how about you?

Hope and Redemption

I think I mentioned in my last blog that I was on a plane to Hawaii. Five plus hours to kill and with a guy with advanced prostate cancer, and eye on the seat belt light and the line at the latrine, distraction is a good thing. I was going to read a couple of mystery novels, but I thought maybe after listening to the Ezra Klein conversation with Paul Krugman, I should download some other Podcasts and listen if my eyes got tired. So what you are going to get here is kind of an eclectic mishmash of Buddhism and hope for our politics going forward. As one of my categories for these blogs go, they connect the dots.

I got an text from a good friend worrying about how things are falling apart. My last blog written a couple of hours ago reflected that malaise. What happened to us? Well I will get to that in a minute, but the real question is what can we do about living in this atmosphere of continuous stress? So the first conversation I listened to was an Ezra Klein interview with Robert Wright, about What Buddhism got right about the human brain. Now this discussion was a trip through mindfulness, trying to transcend self, and to find contentment.

Wright made an interesting observation, and that is that the human brain did not evolve to live in the world we live in. The brain evolved to never be satisfied. Had we achieved satisfaction we would stop the search. We evolved to spread our seed, so sex, food, all the the things that keep us going were designed not to satisfy us so we would sustain and keep eating and spreading our seed. Might spread some light on why monogamy is maybe an adaption we still struggle with. In many ways we were built to be anxious. Buddhism through meditating and mindfulness tries to control all those thoughts that are careening off our brain and just be in the moment, to become more fully aware of our oneness with the world.

Okay so much for the theory. The interview was about an honest attempt to get there, can any of us really get there, and what may be the benefits. But one of the experiences that I have found in my old age is instead of being controlled by my reactions to things, to really see and examine the experience, which then de-arms the emotion and lets us chose our own feelings/reactions about it. Here is an example. You are driving on the freeway and some dumb shit asshole with a death wish cuts you off. See the loaded language here. You are angry. But I have been lately finding myself saying, wow, that was interesting. Okay, not all the time, but most of the time. It is a state where you become much less judgmental and more accepting of what is going on around you. Yeah, he is probably a total jerk, but I don’t have to be and oh my, I did a really good job of dodging that fool.

Of course there is a lot more to this interview and if you are interested in Buddhism as an approach at peace and more tranquility in your life, it is worth a listen. But they ended the interview by talking about the world of Trump and how we deal in a world that could be falling apart. I will not try to summarize, but you still can be active, you don’t float away on another plane, but you deal with what you can change and like the driver careening into your lane, wow, how interesting, maybe I can make a difference by writing this stupid blog instead of sulking or throwing stuff.

One last thought before I leave this topic. I am a Vietnam War Veteran. So the day came when I packed up my stuff and left my family for a year. I learned some really important things, actually all the same thing, in that year, one from Earnest Gann (author of The High and the Mighty), one from Victor Frankl (The author of the Meaning of Life), and one from mindfulness without the meditating.

First Earnest Gann, and being cool under high stress. He tells the story in one of his novels about a pilot who is ferrying a bomber over to Europe for WWII. They are below the weather flying up a fjord with shear rock walls on either side, unable to climb up because if they do, they can’t get back down through the weather to land, and hoping the airport is at the end of the fjord. The copilot is going nuts while the pilot is calm as a rock. Finally the panicking copilot can’t stand it and asks the pilot how he is so sure the airport and their only hope of landing is up ahead. And the pilot replies, because we don’t have any other options. When you don’t have any options, enjoy the ride.

The second is a little shorter but in the same vein and that is from Victor Frankl who studied survival in the death camps in WWII. What he learned was that when you can no longer control anything, and they have taken everything away, there is one thing that you still control and they can’t take away. You have the freedom to choose your attitude. The last thing was what I learned in my year of wishing I was home and being lonely, missing a year out of my kid’s lives. And it is that if you can’t do anything about it, be in the moment. Look around you. This may be all there is. Take it in. I kind of think Buddhism is really intuitive. So if Donald Trump and the Republicans really are the Apocalypse, well that’s interesting. Got wine?

Okay, the other interview was with three really smart people on Trump’s America, how we got here, what failed, and is this the end. These would be Ezra doing the interview, E.J. Dione, Norm Ornstein, and Thomas Mann, all savvy observers of Congress and our political system. This Podcast was called, How the Republican party created Donald Trump. Now I don’t want to take you through this trip, especially if you are a reader of this blog. But they started with an interesting question. The framers had designed our system so that a Donald Trump would never be president. What happened?

I will give you the short version, The Republican Party became the problem when the party was taken over by people who hate government. The system in the electoral college no longer stops an unfit candidate, the unfair representation of conservatives who hate government from state by state gerrymandering, and the power of Senators from small population urban areas skewing representation. Urban areas, where most Americans live, are underrepresented. The impact of social media, fake news, Fox News, and right wing talk all played a role, not to mention Democrats losing touch with the problems of America. Finally, Republicans, instead of drawing a line, saw advantage in feeding the base racism, nativism, misogyny, and ignorance, were riding the tiger to election wins, when the tiger ate them. When they tried to stop Trump in the primaries the establishment was slaughtered. Good and tasty.

So where does that leave us? Well here is the plus side. Changing the Constitution to change some of these problems, which I have weighed in before, is very hard. But Thomas Mann and others think that maybe Donald Trump just gave the whole system a jolt. Maybe it was just what we needed. From the chaos and disaster of a Donald Trump, the nation may just have gotten their wakeup call. I have argued that Republicans with their failed ideas have had traction because people could be duped as long as those ideas were not put into play. Well now they are and the failures will be in some ways catastrophic, people will die and that is not hyperbole.

But maybe that is the cost. We have lost so much in the eyes of the world, in our own integrity, and yet, maybe this is just the jolt to get us back on track. Remember, you always have the freedom to choose your attitude. RESIST! TO THE BEACH! WHERE THE HELL IS MY LONGBOARD? That is the moment I am in.

Impeachment and the Failure of Our Constitution

Ezra Klein wrote a piece yesterday that everyone should read on impeaching the President.  At this point most sane people have arrived at the conclusion that having a racist, misogynistic, pathological liar, who is unstable and may be losing his grip on reality for President is a very dangerous situation.  Ezra argues that impeachment should be used more frequently to protect America from temporary moments of insanity. Then he chronicles why it hasn’t.  I will just summarize here.

First the Founders put high crimes and misdemeanors as the justification, and then rejected defining those terms.  To make a long story short, it is up Congress.  We seem to be locked into the idea that it must be an actual crime or mental incapacity (25th Amendment) when in fact, it can be anything they want.  Ezra makes a good case that utilizing the 25th Amendment could cause a civil war as the deplorables who have their own reality, would see this as usurping power by the Republican elites.  It is a good point.

He also points out that the Founders put into place many checks and balances to ensure we would not be found in the situation we re in today, starting with the electoral college where the political elites were suppose to assert their better judgement when the rabble got it dangerously wrong.  Today we have a rubber stamp electoral college that overrides the popular vote.

He also points out that the Founders did not foresee the two Party system we have today that basically protects their own no matter how bad.  He noted that the impeachment process only happens when the opposing party to the President occupies Congress.  Today we see that in operation as a man who even many Republicans are calling unstable, protect him to protect an agenda.  But as Ezra pointed out, the Presidency is not what the Founders envisioned and the amount of power it has today is unparalleled.  In a moment he can destroy the modern world.

Yes, we should use impeachment more often, but as Ezra pointed out, not likely.  I think we are reaching a point where our Constitution does not work anymore.  On the tax cut debate, I listened to Bruce Bartlett, economist, historian, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan, and Treasury official under George H. W, Bush, ask if we had lost our brains.  He is a traditional Republican who believes in controlling our debt.  He points out that the Republican Congress is in an alternate reality,  tax cuts have never paid for themselves, we are almost at full employment, and business are awash in money. A tax cut is not even called for, but tax reform is.

Further he makes a really insightful observation, the majority of the country is against this tax cut, and Republicans don’t care.  He points out that it is possible under our Constitution for 40% of the population to elect a super majority.  In other words we have a system where our representatives are not responsive to the electorate, but only to their donors with no fear of retribution.  In other words, our system doesn’t work any more, from the electoral college and gerrymandering, to unfair representation by rural states.

I really wonder as Ezra did if we have the wrong system for today’s world and we need a system similar to a parliamentary system where a vote of no confidence would force an election where the people can speak again and not wait 4 years.  We have a lot to fix and it is becoming clear that under our system, we can’t fix it.

There is one bright side, assuming with the latest with Flynn going for a plea bargain doesn’t send the President over the edge and start launching missiles, the Republicans may get their way on tax cuts and other policies, but the result will be a slow crash and burn because these policies don’t work.  See Republican Bruce Bartlett above.  As the nation is wrecked, Americans just might come out to the polls in 2018 and 2020 and turn this around.

I will add this caution. It is clear looking at the contacts with Russians, that there was collusion, they had a hold on Trump, probably through money laundering.  It is no coincidence that Mueller interviewed Kushner just before we find out Flynn pleaded guilty.  He was going to catch him in a lie and probably did.  Our unstable President will get more unstable and hopefully the generals in the White House will have a 24/7 watch on him.  The noose is around the neck and tightening and he could do anything.  We live in very dangerous times. If we get through this, we have a lot to fix.


Why Trump Won

Fareed Zakaria, who I think is one of the best journalist out there, and there are a lot of good ones, reporting on CNN in a special, Why Trump Won, I think nailed it. This is not a new show and I think it aired back in August, but I finally saw it last night. So I will cut to the chase on this one. As Fareed pointed out Donald Trump was the perfect storm when the circumstances were perfect for the perfect storm.

And for you Hillary fans, an interview with Nate Silvers basically pointed out that Comey cost her the election. Her lead was 6 points and then a week before the election he comes out with his letter, and her lead was cut to 3 points, then in the margin of allowing the electoral college to elected the one with a smaller vote count. So it certainly cost her the election. But, and here is the thing, it should have never been that close. As we entered the 2016 election, Hillary was not a good choice and Fareed makes that point by showing how Democrats had lost the working middle class as they had become the party that represented the professional class. Hillary was also the perfect storm in that she epitomized the Democrats aloof view of the working class.

The head of the Democratic Party in Ohio was sending memos to the Hillary campaign about the pain and anger out there in Ohio and they were being ignored. Meanwhile Trump was filling that vacuum with vague promises of bringing their jobs back and representing them as an outsider and it was selling like hotcakes. All lies of course, but that seem to have made little difference. In middle America’s state of anger and frustration. Race and blaming was working well and Trump was the master salesman as Hillary made his point of the out of touch aloof politician. Fareed even made the point that Hillary actually had policies that would help them, but they were throwing over establishment Washington, clearly a Washington they no longer trusted.

That should have been the message loud and clear when Bernie came so close. Many said it was not rigged (this is me not Fareed), but of course it was. They had already anointed Hillary and the Democratic Party was lined up against that upstart Bernie when he was actually the only one with a message that resonated. It was noted that many discouraged Democrats turned to Trump after Bernie was finally beaten. There is another statistic that Fareed pointed out that should have told Democrats they were in big trouble. In a usual election the undecided voters are around 6%. In 2016 it was double that. Again, looking at who Donald Trump was, it should not have been close and that tells you that Democrats had lost their message and their messenger was the wrong person.

Now no one (who is rational) will argue that Hillary would not have made an excellent President, but in a way her defeat, while devastating to the short-term interests of the country, was probably inevitable as the Democrats had lost touch with the people it most needs to help. Even with good intentions, we would have seen more gridlock and both sides do it instead of a clear distinction between the two parties we are getting now (although establishment Democrats still seem to have not got the message). Sooner or later Democrats were going to have this “come to Jesus” moment and maybe sooner is better. It would appear at the grass-roots at least they are regrouping and refocusing.

So in a nutshell, Trump was the perfect lynch mob leader as establishment politics have failed middle America, but have worked fine for those of us in the professional class, and the banking class, the professional class represented by establishment Democrats, the banking class represented by establishment Republicans. Trump came along and lied through his teeth that he was an outsider who represented them when in fact, if they ever figure it out, he was all in with Wall Street. Hillary sadly, came across as just what the working middle class was mutinying against, establishment elitism, or “let me explain it to you Alice” (Jacky Gleason from the Honeymooners). The fact that she actually had policies to help them was irrelevant.

My own personal observation at Trump rallies was an America I found despicable. Hillary’s deplorables, which of course they were. They had thrown out their brains and the level of anger and hate was palpable. As Fareed pointed out they were the part of America most disenfranchised by the world economy and their reaction was anger, blame, racism, and hate. And Trump was the master at stoking that. It is no coincidence that this was dominate by those without a college education. They were the losers in the economy we have built. Sadly when the elected Trump, they doubled down on their losing. In case they haven’t noticed, there are no jobs, and Wall Street is back big time.

Having said that, we do have to pull them up, not by false lies Donald Trump pumped out there, but with a real plan to get them back into the economy and give them jobs and a future. Unless you haven’t figured that out, it is not by giving more tax cuts to the wealthy, or quite frankly to most of us. It will be by creating jobs by investing in infrastructure, alternate energy, helping middle America get off their addiction to opioids, making college affordable, and making fundamental changes to the economy that let’s them share in the bounty. Oh, and give them a safety net they can depend on until we can restore the middle class. FDR did it, and now we have to, because middle America really is in a depression that led to the rise of a moron like Donald Trump.

Fareed ended his program by saying we are waiting for a leader that can cross the divide between the two tribes. But Fareed is one of those too invested in the way the economy works today, instead of the reality that capitalism has to be brought to heel for all of us to share. To my ear, Bernie got closest to that ideal. Let’s not lose that momentum. Progressivism is the only way forward and only government working with industry is going to solve the problem of the declining middle class. It is time to bring back ideas again instead of blame and hate. It has not worked out well so far and maybe middle America is starting to figure that out. Now we need to get out there with a plan that gives them hope, not the same old, same old or from Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, SSDD, Same Shit, Different Day. That is how middle America saw the establishment in 2016. The Democrats failed to head the message and ran an establishment candidate, and all the rest is history.

“I Really Believe That When He Tells Me That…”

President DFF is being, well, a DFF as he goes about once again tarnishing our intelligence agencies and showing how truly stupid the man is. Of course I am referring to his comments about Putin’s claim of not interfering in our elections when the intelligence agencies have tons of data to show just exactly what they did do. We have tons of supportable data in the media to show exactly what they did including all the ad buys for Facebook and Twitter. But none of that matters because he has looked him in the eyes and can tell he, Putin, is insulted. Oh, where have we heard that or something very similar before? Wasn’t that George Bush?

I was at a party last night and someone who despairs this whole nightmare of President DFF and the Republicans was just despondent about this latest episode. I was not. I spent my after military service life as a lower level bureaucratic lackey serving the American public building and cleaning up things for the government. I know those people who work in the government well. Most are hard working, dedicated, and proud of what they do. President DFF just pissed off a whole bunch of people who probably have the goods on him. Here is from the Washington Post (WaPo):

On Saturday, Trump described the former top U.S. intelligence officials who concluded in January that the tampering took place — including former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and former CIA director John Brennan — as “political hacks.” He called former FBI director James B. Comey, who testified to Congress that Trump asked him to drop an investigation of his campaign’s connections to Russian officials, a “liar” and a “leaker.”

Clapper said in a statement that “the president was given clear and indisputable evidence that Russia interfered in the election. His own DNI and CIA director have confirmed the finding in the intelligence community assessment. The fact that he would take Putin at his word over the intelligence community is unconscionable.”

…Former CIA director Michael V. Hayden said he was so concerned by Trump’s statement that he contacted the agency to confirm that it stood by the January assessment. He described Trump’s remarks as “egregious comments on the character of folks who have been public servants . . . [and] the public should know that these guys are thoroughgoing professionals, and what the president left unsaid is that the people he put into these jobs agree with the so-called hacks.”

Senior officials in the intelligence community will be dismayed by the disparagement of two respected intelligence veterans, Hayden said. “People have a right to ask at senior levels: ‘Does what I do make a difference anymore?’ ”

In other words, other than his comments being imbecilic, he just kicked a hornet’s nest. Stand by for the leaks and ever more cooperation with Mueller. I opined in this discussion that it would not be long until President DFF probably gets removed and she shuddered at the thought of Mike Pence as President. But here is the thing. Republicans got nothing, and I seriously mean that. We have problems, big problems, and we have solutions. None of those solutions are palatable to Republican ideology. So things are going to get worse. It doesn’t matter if it is pious Pence or Joe College Ryan, they got nothing.

Their plan for the economy is tax cuts that only help the wealthy. They have no plan for healthcare which should be obvious by now. If they are successful at their tax cuts, which they won’t, President DFF’s base will be hurt and there will be no jobs. If they build the wall it will drag down our economy, not to mention be an environmental nightmare. Global warming which they ignore, will just get worse, and do you really think these boys and girls are going to pony up for infrastructure improvements without it being some giant give away to corporations?

We are in a waiting game for America to wake up out of their focused ignorance and finally understand, Republicans are bad for their health, livelihood, and peace of mind. You can only watch things crumble for so long before you say, let’s do something. Ask yourself this about the effectiveness of Republicans, how many people in Puerto Rico are still without power, our fellow Americans? You could be next. When that dawns on us and it seems to already be doing, things will start to look up. 2018 could be a banner year.

The DFF In China

I happened to think China is brilliant.  They just welcomed President DFF with a standing ovation at the dinner last night.  They ought to.  He is leaving the playing field wide open for them to take over America’s interests in the Pacific Rim.  Additionally, well, they are brilliant because he is a fool for praise and pandering.  Praise him, send him home, and he feels like the great leader while you rob America blind or at least continue to make America small again.  These guys have a long-term plan for where they want to be, unlike the United States which is purely reactionary and has gutted our diplomatic corps.

Not sure how much more damage President DFF can do, but he always rises to the occasion.  Even Republicans should be getting nervous.