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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Very Safe Predictions On This President

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One of three things are going to happen to this very orange Republican President Trump in the next year. Either
  1. He actually does get impeached, which is an admitted, if hopeful, long shot or
  2. He quits the job out of pressure and frustration because the evidence of all his misdeeds and illegalities are so strong against him and he just can't take it or, finally
  3. He gets voted out of office next November.
One of those 3 things will take place in the next year, mark my words. Whichever it is, the people win, the nation wins.

Stay tuned.

Quotes of the Day -- On This President

Today's New York Times is chock full of good, if not, in fact, out and out great and even possibly, very likely important articles on this Republican Party President, his current situation, his tweets and statements and moods and responses, mostly to criticism. He apparently thought once one becomes President, no one evaluates, read: criticizes, that person or his or her Presidency. Whatever.

Anyway, as I said, the paper is full of great articles, this being the first I'll briefly mention today.

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Is this Trump’s public suicide or his genius for survival?

This is the most scathing, but true, summation of this man, his Presidency and administration I've seen this week. A bit from the article:

We have hit uncharted political territory. An unstable president has lurched under the pressure of an impeachment inquiry into a form of madness that is either a very public suicide or some weird genius for survival. Trump is Robert De Niro, armed with a gun, in “Taxi Driver” gazing into the mirror repeating: “You talkin’ to me?”

We are. Nixon wanted his profanities deleted from transcripts. Trump has no such qualms. He trumpets his view of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on Twitter: “BULLSHIT.” He will not be a one-term president! That’s weak, like Carter, like Bush One! He cannot be WEAK like them! He cannot lose! It’s all an attempted “coup”!...

...The White House, I hear, now operates like the 26th floor of Trump Tower during the campaign. There’s no structure or plan. There’s no war room or communications cell. People wander in and wander out, except they’re all lawyered up now, no doubt. They’re not even in crisis mode. Trump just goes out and shoots his mouth, as he has from Day 1. Like a good Mafia boss, he now has everyone complicit. They’re all in this together — Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and the rest. Since John Kelly escaped in January, Trump’s henchmen are all that’s left.

...Polls show a plurality of Americans now supporting impeachment and Trump’s approval rating sinking as low as 41 percent. He is vulnerable in several states he won in 2016, including Ohio. If he shrinks to his core unshakable support, he probably has no more than a third of the vote.

So what does he do? Double down! If there’s any guiding principle it seems to be: If Trump says often enough in broad daylight that he tried to get foreign powers to interfere in our election to his benefit, how can it be wrong? “China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” says Trump, as he leaves the White House to go to Florida.

The remark is met with justified outrage. This is abuse of power. This is abuse of foreign affairs authority. These are impeachable acts. But, guess what, everyone starts reporting and writing on what Biden and his son Hunter did or did not do in China. Trump is a mass-media magician. He got McLuhan — “the medium is the message” — without reading McLuhan.

The term self-impeachment is now doing the rounds. As with a self-immolation, it can be hard to watch Trump’s blathering at its current crazed pitch. Can this be anything but the long-awaited and very public self-destruction of a man unfit for office? It may well be, but I am not entirely convinced.

As always with Trump, the rational and the Cartesian bump up against his fiendish antennae for the mass hypnosis of our age. He has his finger on the pulse of the technological character of evolution — even though he knows nothing about it. Repeat something often enough, brazenly enough and aggressively enough to people dazed enough by the cacophony around them, and they will lose their bearings enough to believe anything, even that his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect.”

There is no down range for this president. He’s too disorganized. There is only the next minute. Let’s talk Trump and golf for a minute. He likes to say, “I’m a feel player.” He’s not a believer in going to the driving range. Drop it and hit it. Fire and forget. Just hit the effing thing! Well, fire-and-forget got him to the White House, so why would he stop believing in it, even now?

Because, if Trump could manage a glimpse over the towering heights of his ego, he might see that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has him in her sights. She knows he will grow madder and madder under the pressure of the impeachment inquiry. As that happens, those working-class white women and suburban housewives who voted for Trump in large numbers in 2016 may well desert him: Derangement is not really their thing. Can the 53 Republicans of the Senate be far behind?

Then there is this.

Californians don’t vote for Trump, and he’s showing them what he can do about it.

For the last few weeks, Mr. Trump has been deep into retaliation mode, occasionally for reasons of policy, more often out of pique. His decision last month to try to revoke California’s historic right to set its own fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards was largely a policy matter, part and parcel of his effort to roll back President Obama’s aggressive clean car rules. That effort would be rendered incomplete as long as California maintained the right to set its own higher standards, which govern a huge chunk of the car market now and would do so going forward unless somehow Mr. Trump, in plain violation of the original Clean Air Act, got rid of it.

First Trump
  • Tries to revoke California's right to set its own fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards that they've historically had so they can clean their admittedly dirty air then he
  • Accuses the state of failing to meet federal air quality standards and threatens to withhold billions in federal highway funds if California did not do more to clean its air.
The guy is nuts. Vindictive and crazy.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Probably the Most Important Article on this Presidency We Can Read Today

The latest of just what we’re getting with and from this Republican Party President.

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“The president’s personal concerns have become priorities of departments that traditionally have operated with some degree of political independence from the White House — and their leaders are engaging their boss’s obsessions.”

“Barr and Pompeo are stuck in the fog machine. They seem captives of the president’s perverse worldview,” said Timothy Naftali, a historian and former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. “Authoritarian regimes have this problem all the time . . . when all government activity is the product of the id of the leader. But in a republic, that’s unusual.”

Trump was sworn in as the 45th president with less governmental experience than any of his predecessors. His advisers tried to tutor him about the three branches of government and the constitutional balance of powers. The general ethos among Trump’s top aides then was to protect institutions and moderate some of the president’s swings — to resist rather than follow his impulses, as described by one former senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment.

Since then, Trump has become more emboldened to make decisions and has systematically dispensed with much of his early team, including former defense secretary Jim Mattis, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, former White House chiefs of staff Reince Priebus and John F. Kelly, former White House counsel Donald McGahn, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former economic adviser Gary Cohn and others.

“I’m not sure there are many, if any, left who view as their responsibility trying to help educate, moderate, enlighten and persuade — or even advise in many cases,” the former senior official said. “There’s a new ethos: This is a presidency of one.”

“It’s Trump unleashed, unchained, unhinged,” this official added. “He continues to go further and further and further, and now I don’t think there’s anybody telling him, ‘No.’

That, all that, is dangerous. It's certainly no way to run a nation. Not a first world nation, anyway. A Banana Republic, maybe, not the United States of America.

Then, as though that’s not enough, there’s this that hit today, too.

This is what’s being examined:

House investigators are looking into an allegation that groups — including at least one foreign government — tried to ingratiate themselves to President Donald Trump by booking rooms at his hotels but never staying in them.

It’s a previously unreported part of a broader examination by the House Oversight Committee, included in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, into whether Trump broke the law by accepting money from U.S. or foreign governments at his properties.

“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a House Oversight Committee member who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Trump’s hotel in Washington. “That was the risk from day one — foreign governments and others trying to seek favor because we know Trump pays attention to this.... It’s an obvious attempt to curry favor with him.”

The investigation began after the committee received information that two entities — a trade association and a foreign government — booked a large quantity of rooms but only used a fraction of them, according to a person familiar with the allegation but isn't authorized to speak for the committee.

Emoluments Clause of our Constitution, anyone?

Finally, this happened:

Trump Completely Loses His Mind At Press Conference With Finland's President

What a guy.

Thanks, Republicans!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Donald Is Getting In Way Over His Head

The stuff with this Republican Party President Trump is really starting to hit the fan, so to speak, this week.

For all the breaking of the Emoluments Clause and contacting and connecting with Russia and Russians all through the 2016 election campaign, what's been said to, if not even already shown to have taken place with this man and now the Ukraine, likely pushes things off any balance there supposedly was. I am referring, of course, to the following:

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And note, please, right off the bat. This is not from the Washington Post or The New York Times or any other supposed "Left Wing rag" or source but none other than Rupert Murdoch's own solidly Right Wing, very Republican-supporting Wall Street Journal. Just some of their points and reporting:

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden ’s son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani on a probe that could hamper Mr. Trump’s potential 2020 opponent.

“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Giuliani has suggested Mr. Biden’s pressure on Ukraine to fight corruption had to do with an investigation of a gas company for which his son was a director. A Ukrainian official this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son Hunter Biden.

But wait. It gets better. It's not just The Donald. Rudy jumped in this mess, too.

Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. After the July call between the two presidents, the Ukrainian government said Mr. Trump had congratulated Mr. Zelensky on his recent election and expressed hope that his government would push ahead with investigations and corruption probes that had stymied relations between the two countries.

Mr. Trump only recently emerged from the nearly two-year investigation by Robert Mueller into whether his campaign sought help in the 2016 election from a different country: Russia. While Mr. Mueller said in his report this spring that he didn’t establish a conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign, Mr. Trump’s efforts to seek Ukraine’s help in damaging a potential political opponent are certain to revive criticism that the president welcomes campaign help from foreign countries.

Mr. Trump on Friday defended his July call with Mr. Zelensky as “totally appropriate” but declined to say whether he had asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate Mr. Biden. At the same time, he reiterated his call for an investigation into Mr. Biden’s effort as vice president to oust Ukraine’s prosecutor general. “Somebody ought to look into that,” he told reporters.

In recent months, Mr. Giuliani has mounted an extensive effort to pressure Ukraine to do so. He said he met with an official from the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office in June in Paris, and met with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Mr. Zelensky, in Madrid in August. Mr. Giuliani said in an interview this month that Mr. Yermak assured him the Ukrainian government would “get to the bottom” of the Biden matter.

That's not bad enough for this President. He apparently had to also add a monetary quid pro quo to this offer--and with our government's tax money, to boot. Your and my tax dollars, Mr. and Mrs. America.

The August meeting came weeks before the Trump administration began reviewing the status of $250 million in foreign aid to Ukraine, which the administration released earlier this month. Mr. Giuliani said he wasn’t aware of the issue with the funds to Ukraine at the time of the meeting.

And as usual and ever, this President isn't even bright enough to know when he's in over his head. Far over his head, as it turns out. Check this out, coming up.

Mr. Trump is to meet with Mr. Zelensky in person for the first time next week, at the United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York.

Whattya' bet The Donald now cancels that meeting? Wait for it.

What isn't to loathe of this man in the White House is to love, love, love--for sick humor.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Quote of the Day -- On America and Universal Health Care

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Quote today from one George D Morgan on Facebook.

He's so right.

"I spent 36 years in the insurance business. So I know a thing or two about the subject. The one thing everyone needs to understand is that insurance is an exclusionary product--though it includes good risks that the insurance companies want, it EXcludes bad risks they do not want.

Because of the exclusionary nature of insurance, health care is not, never has been, and never will be, a good candidate as an insurance product. This is because everyone needs health care.

Everyone---without exception.

So don't talk to me about Socialism or Capitalism or anything in between. We need to adopt a universal health care system because health care is universally needed--unlike what is provided by insurance.

It's really that simple."

And the rest of the Western, industrialized world does it. 

Somehow I think we could manage.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Singular Most Important Article Any Adult American Could Read Today

There is a fantastic, long, long overdue article in today's Sunday New York Times that says everything I and a lot of us have ever thought about present day America, our defense spending and our insane, inane perpetual, endless war.

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The Only Way to End ‘Endless War’

First, America has to give up its pursuit of global dominance

Dr. Stephen Wertheim

As I said, I think all Americans should read it, all of it, absolutely but herewith, I'll post just a few of the most important quotes and clips. I'll begin with a stunner from none other than Republican Party President Donald J "the John" Trump.

“Great nations do not fight endless wars.”

“We have got to put an end to endless war,” declared Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Thursday. It was a surefire applause line: Many people consider “endless war” to be the central problem for American foreign policy.

But vowing to end America’s interminable military adventures doesn’t make it so. Four years ago, President Barack Obama denounced “the idea of endless war” even as he announced that ground troops would remain in Afghanistan. In his last year in office, the United States dropped an estimated 26,172 bombs on seven countries.

President Trump, despite criticizing Middle East wars, has intensified existing interventions and threatened to start new ones. He has abetted the Saudi-led war in Yemen, in defiance of Congress. He has put America perpetually on the brink with Iran. And he has lavished billions extra on a Pentagon that already outspends the world’s seven next largest militaries combined.

Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war.

In theory, armed supremacy could foster peace. Facing overwhelming force, who would dare to defy American wishes? That was the hope of Pentagon planners in 1992; they reacted to the collapse of America’s Cold War adversary not by pulling back but by pursuing even greater military pre-eminence. But the quarter-century that followed showed the opposite to prevail in practice. Freed from one big enemy, the United States found many smaller enemies: It has launched far more military interventions since the Cold War than during the “twilight struggle” itself. Of all its interventions since 1946, roughly 80 percent have taken place after 1991.

Why have interventions proliferated as challengers have shrunk? The basic cause is America’s infatuation with military force. Its political class imagines that force will advance any aim, limiting debate to what that aim should be. Continued gains by the Taliban, 18 years after the United States initially toppled it, suggest a different principle: The profligate deployment of force creates new and unnecessary objectives more than it realizes existing and worthy ones.

In the Middle East, endless war began when the United States first stationed troops permanently in the region after winning the Persian Gulf war in 1991. A circular logic took hold. The United States created its own dependence on allies that hosted and assisted American forces. It provoked states, terrorists and militias that opposed its presence. Among the results: The United States has bombed Iraq almost every year since 1991 and spent an estimated $6 trillion on post-9/11 wars....
Armed domination has become an end in itself. Which means Americans face a choice: Either they should openly espouse endless war, or they should chart a new course.

...the United States should pursue the safety and welfare of its people while respecting the rights and dignity of all. In the 21st century, finally rid of colonial empires and Cold War antagonism, America has the opportunity to practice responsible statecraft, directed toward the promotion of peace. Responsible statecraft will oppose the war-making of others, but it will make sure, first and foremost, that America is not fueling violence.
On its own initiative, the United States can proudly bring home many of its soldiers currently serving in 800 bases ringing the globe, leaving small forces to protect commercial sea lanes. It can reorient its military, prioritizing deterrence and defense over power projection. It can stop the obscenity that America sends more weapons into the world than does any other country. It can reserve armed intervention, and warlike sanctions, for purposes that are essential, legal and rare.

Shrinking the military’s footprint will deprive presidents of the temptation to answer every problem with a violent solution. It will enable genuine engagement in the world, making diplomacy more effective, not less. As the United States stops being a party to every conflict, it can start being a party to resolving conflicts...

Today a world with less American militarism is likely to have less militarism in general.

...there’s a reason no one can connect the dots from unceasing interventions to a system of law and order. After decades of unilateral actions, crowned by the aggressive invasion of Iraq, it is U.S. military power that threatens international law and order. Rules should strengthen through cooperation, not wither through imposition.

In truth, the largest obstacle to ending endless war is self-imposed. Long told that the United States is the world’s “indispensable nation,” the American people have been denied a choice and have almost stopped demanding one. A global superpower — waging endless war — is just “who we are.”

But it is for the people to decide who we are, guided by the best of what we have been. America “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said in 1821. “She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

Two centuries later, in the age of Trump, endless war has come home. Cease this folly, and America can begin to take responsibility in the world and reclaim its civic peace.

Benefits to the nation, to us all, if we were to do this?
  • First and foremost, it would save our military soldiers' lives..
  • As the article points out so clearly, it would reduce war and terror in the world.
  • Next, it would cut our spending, our obscene government spending
  • We could spend far more wisely on our infratstructure--schools, bridges, roads, HEALTHCARE. 
  • In short, we could support and invest in our people, in the nation. Imagine better roads, smarter healthcare, better schools, no poverty, fewer, in not zero Americans on the street, impoverished, sick, etc. 
  • Finally, on this short list, we could also SAVE MONEY.
Any of those, let alone all, are worthy and all are possible, honestly, if we only ended this insanity of perpetual war, the path we're on now.

We have been in Aghanistan EIGHTEEN YEARS. Does anyone really think we've improved things over there? Worse, does anyone think we will (improve things there)?

Finally, here today, for anyone who says we must keep up our "defense spending" because have a "war on terror", I quote the following:

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."  --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor - with the cry of grave national emergency."  --Douglas MacArthur

"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War on Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over."  --Gerald Bard Tjoflat

"Terrorists can endanger some of us, but the war on terror endangers us all. How much more can the Constitution be diminished before it is completely replaced by arbitrary government power?"  --Paul Craig Roberts

And the best, most true quote on the "war on terrorism" nonsense comes, for me, from Gore Vidal:

“You can’t have a war on terrorism because that’s not an actual enemy, it’s an abstract. It’s like having a war on dandruff. That war will be eternal and pointless. It’s idiotic. That’s not a war, it’s a slogan. It’s a lie. It’s advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented in America. And we use it to sell soap, war and presidential candidates in the same fashion.”

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Entertainment Overnight: Debut of a Stunner

Nearly as good as the music is the gorgeous, rich, black and white video.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

This Downtown Ballpark Idea Needs to Die

How many times is the Kansas City Star going to float this absurd, outrageously expensive, completely unnecessary idea that we need to somehow vacate our perfectly good, very usable ballpark for the Kansas City Royals and build a new one in the middle of our downtown?

For the love of God.

Let me quickly get to all the reasons is beyond not a good idea but a patently, thoroughly bad one.

--It would be outrageously expensive. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to do. Hundreds of millions.

--We already, obviously, have a very good, very state of the art, already-functioning ballpark, thanks very much.

--The parking for the new stadium, God forbid, downtown would be ridiculously difficult in and of itself.

--It would further complicate parking downtown.

--We just got finished, not that many years ago, paying for a renovation of the present ballpark to the tune of 250 million dollars. I don't even know if that is yet paid off. Paid or no, we just did this.

--Kansas City taxes are already high.

Kansas City sales tax tops in the nation

Even the Star rightly recognizes how high our taxes already are--

On the following list, we are the city with the 9th highest taxes of any other in the nation.

We penalize everyone.

Kansas City serves up nation’s 12th-highest taxes on diners

Heck, taxes are high if you even just visit here. We even penalize visitors.

--As bad as parking already is downtown, again, a new, downtown ballpark would sit empty most of the year.

--Downtown already works. What, exactly, at this high a price, are we fixing here or trying to fix?

--We would WALK AWAY from a totally, completely functioning, attractive, successful baseball stadium now. 

You would think every Right Winger, Republican and Libertarian, all, at least, would be screaming bloody murder about this. More taxes, in whatever form we call them? To build another baseball stadium? When we have a good one lots of us love already? That's easy to access? That's easy to park at? That's easy to exit from and get home? Seriously?

And then, get this. Dave Helling down at the Star pointed out this week in our local paper that the old bi-state tax still exists, at least on paper. It's still available. Not only could we pay for a new baseball stadium WE DON'T NEED, downtown, where it would be difficult to get to, difficult to park at, then difficult to leave, WHEN WE ALREADY HAVE A FANTASTIC MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM, but---get this--WE COULD GET JOHNSON COUNTIANS AND KANSANS TO HELP US PAY FOR IT!!






maybe not.

Please. For the love of God, common sense and all that is good.

It's difficult we have to even say this.

These people that want a new ballpark downtown---

Do you suppose they haven't driven down Wornall lately? Heck, Ward Parkway? 63rd Street.

Could we please, please be fiscally and yes, environmentally responsible and not further even explore this bonehead idea?

Please, Kansas City Star?

I mean, we know you need readers but get out and report on fascinating, accomplished, accomplishing area citizens.

Let this absurd idea die.

This is beautiful. It works. Leave it alone.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Loving a Local Protest

This couple stands, regularly, on the corner of 63rd and Ward Parkway, as I found them Tuesday evening.

Anyone who knows me, anyone who reads here, anyone who watches and follows this President would know I stand with and behind them 100%. Fortunately, as I was there, they get plenty, plenty of supporting horn honks, at minimum.

God help us.

And thanks, Republicans!

Kansas City Fugly

There is a page on Facebook with this very title--Kansas City Fugly.

I think you get the idea.

It shows ugly, really ugly, new buildings all across the city. I've posted at least several there in the last several months.

Sadly, companies and corporations want to, yes, understandably, keep their costs down but they do so with their new buildings by stripping them bare, calling them "modern" and honestly making them monstrosities.

I happened upon this one, below, going up on Westport Road diagonally across from the Quik Trip--which, itself has become even more of a monstrosity in the last year. But I digress.

So here it is, some shots.

This is right along Westport Road so it is the front of the building.

This is the part going down the side street by Mike's Liquors.

Nice, huh?

I've never seen more gray, concrete blocks. Well, no more than if I went to a hardware store and saw their inventory.

The only thing worse than the companies buying and building these things are the architects that create them. It is stunning. And they're pervasive. Look around.

We've had thousands upon thousands of years of development and education and advances, we humans. And this is where we're headed? This is our future? This is what we all have to look forward to?


I hear people say they won't bring children, babies into the world because of the way we're all headed, we humans, this human race.

This seems very clearly like one more indication. 

And that it won't be pretty.

Far from it.


A Timely Reminder of Things Republicans Have Gotten Us All

It was honestly quick and easy to do but I was thinking the other day about just how many things Republicans had gotten us Americans in the last several years. Republicans alone, too.

First, let's start with the Gipper--none other than Ronnie the Raygun, Ronald Reagan.

The Iran–Contra affair (Persian: ماجرای ایران-کنترا‎, Spanish: Caso Irán–Contra), popularized in Iran as the McFarlane affair[1], also referred to as Irangate,[2] Contragate,[3] the Iran–Contra scandal, or simply Iran–Contra, was a political scandal in the United States that occurred during the second term of the Reagan Administration. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo.[4] The administration hoped to use the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government (except for the Office of the President and the National Security Council) had been prohibited by Congress.

And that just gets us started.

Then we go to the Shrub---George W. "Dubya", Not the Brightest Lightbulb in the Pack, Bush.

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Very Republican Party President George W. Bush got us 9/11. The attack. Everything. The whole thing. It's documented.

Look it up.

He completely ignored a Daily Presidential Briefing warning of such an event.

And now, geez, this is too easy. Way too easy. 

Now we have--shudder--The Orange One. Again, Republican Party President Donald "The John" Trump.

Where to even start? Where to stop?

I'll stop there. It can go on. Easily. And at length.

So once again, to our Right Wing, Republican Party fellow citizens, we'd just like to say a great big, juicy THANK YOU! to one and all. Thank you for these incredible gifts you've given us all, bestowed on us, forced on each and every one of us.

We don't know what we'd do without you.

Obey the law?

Have a Democracy?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Trump Outdoes His Own Ignorance and Stupidity

Negative interest rates.

Now this Republican Party President is calling--publicly--for negative interest rates.

Trump now has everyone, everyone who has any savings against him. Every senior citizen. Every retired person, everyone.

And it's not enough he not only thinks this is a good idea, either. He has to think it, then publicly put it out there--economists be damned--and then insult the economists at his own, our own Federal Reserve.

You'd think he was 6 years old with this stuff.

And banks. Forget about banks. They won’t be behind this. They can’t be. It destroys the reason for having your funds with them.

What an idiot.

This is precisely what you get, what we all get when an emotional, uninformed, irrational person with no economics background is purchased as your leader, your President.

He's a businessman. It's all he's ever been. It's the only way he can think. Sure he wants negative interest rates. Naturally.


Thanks, Republicans! Once more, thanks very much.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Republicans Getting Crafty. And Desperate

Big news out today. 

Republicans in at least 4 states are dropping Presidential primaries leading up to next year's election so no one can even challenge Trump.

This is pretty fascinating.

What this means is that they are doubling down on Trump. They're solidly backing The Orange One.
This has a distinctly high possibility of making the Democratic Party's chances even stronger. They're backing him to the hilt. Meanwhile, his approval ratings, nationally, with all Americans, are at least weak, now, and that's with, so far, a reasonably strong economy. 

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And already, not only are economists predicting strong likelihood of a recession but today's jobs report showed weakness.

With all this and the knowledge, the very sure knowledge, that Donald J. Trump is not a man of nuance or thought or careful consideration, if things should get tougher for him in the coming election and campaign, we will most surely be witness to still more and further emotional, rambling, attacking, incoherent episodes, as we've already witnessed.

Finally, not to be done there, there are these lovelies taking place. First, Trump attacks his own people, his own political party, his only support, last July, because, well, he's Donald Trump.

Then, far more recently, at least some Republicans, anyway, show some sense.

Ever since the 2016 Presidential election campaign, nothing has been predictable, that's for sure. It seems, however, now, we do have things going our way, the way of and more for the people.

All that said.... we must TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED.  We must vote! And help get out the vote!


Friday, August 30, 2019

Money Is Crushing Our Nation

I think we Americans love the fact that we are supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the planet, in the world. A "nation among nations" I think we believe ourselves. Partly in what is--or was supposed to be--our "democracy" or "Democracy" and then, too, in our success, our money, our wealth. I think it's a pretty widespread and common thought and assumption.

Ironically, though, we've come to a time where, in at least several ways, our money is crushing us. It's crushing the people and so, the nation. I'll give examples.

First, there is our healthcare. The evidence:

  • We are the only nation that ties health and healthcare to profit and profits
  • Ours is the most expensive in the world
  • Our citizens, lots of them, go bankrupt, due to healthcare costs and expenses
  • We are the only Western, industrialized nation whose citizens do go bankrupt due to healthcare costs and expenses
  • More of our citizens go bankrupt due to these healthcare costs than any other reason or source of expense
  • Some, far too many, of our citizens die, actually die because they can't afford healthcare

Second, next, is higher education--colleges and university study. We did and do the same with it we did with healthcare. That is, we've made it outrageously expensive, just because we don't limit corporations over-arching need and goal to make money above all costs, students and citizens be damned.

The U.S. Leads The World In Tuition Fees

Then there's what we call defense, military defense of the nation. No one even remotely comes close to what we spend on bombs and tanks and bases around the world. It's crushing us.

Meanwhile, our schools and roads and highways and sewage treatment and all we need the nation over, goes wanting so we, the people go wanting. And let's all keep in mind, it was military spending the world over that bankrupted the now-former USSR. We learn nothing. (And under the "We Learn Nothing" file, look at Vietnam and Afghanistan as just two perfect example).

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we let business ruin us, ruin the nation--we legalized bribery of our government representatives, most specifically in Congress, in the nation's Capitol.

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And this is the result.

We have to take our nation back. We have to take it back from the money, back from the big money, back from the corporations and already-wealthy. We have to take it back, honestly, from the Republicans and their political party.

And it's got to come from us, people.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Immigrants Are Bad For America, Mr. Trump?

Immigrants are bad for America? Bad for our country? Our nation? Really, Mr. Trump? Republicans?

Forget that we're a nation of immigrants, of course, this article points out exactly why we, uh, actually NEED IMMIGRANTS?

A bit from the article:

“The disconnect between Maine’s aging population and its need for young workers to care for that population is expected to be mirrored in states throughout the country over the coming decade, demographic experts say. And that’s especially true in states with populations with fewer immigrants, who are disproportionately represented in many occupations serving the elderly, statistics show.

Care workers in Maine were paid about $11.37 an hour in 2017, according to an AARP report, with a 2019 minimum wage of $11 an hour. As Kristi Penny, who has cared for Honey for four years, noted over the phone: ‘Even Dunkin’ Donuts pays you more.’

So actually, folks--this is especially to the anti-immigrant crowd--AMERICA COULD USE AND IN FACT, NEEDS IMMIGRANTS.

You racist rocket scientists.
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Quote of the Day -- Pertinent Edition

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"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise to the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

--Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Chiefs Rightly Get Some Great Press This Weekend

I saw this Associated Press article in today's New York Times. I had to search it out. Turns out, it was all over multiple media sites.

Patrick Mahomes

A bit from the article:

The Kansas City Chiefs needed a playmaking safety and signed coveted free agent Tyrann Mathieu.

They needed help at cornerback and signed Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne.

They had to address the pass rush and extended the contract of defensive end Frank Clark.

That aggressive approach to roster turnover speaks volumes about the job Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has done in Kansas City. But it also speaks volumes to the fact that the Chiefs, for years a franchise that struggled to lure top talent on the open market against higher-profile teams, has become a destination for players seeking playoff glory and Super Bowl rings.

"I wanted to come to a team that had great talent, great core players," explained Mathieu, who signed a $42 million, three-year contract in March. "Any time you can play for an organization that has a great history and obviously a great quarterback that's really going to take this league over, really by storm — really this was a no-brainer for me and my family."

In fact, that may be the biggest reason everyone seems to want to play in Kansas City: the unique combination of an innovative players' coach in Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whose record-setting debut as the starter portends postseason success for years to come.

"They've got a good ball club and the best offense in the league," said Claiborne, a former first-round draft pick who signed a $3 million deal late last week.

It goes on.

Yes sir, it's great. We're sitting on the doorstep of what could and maybe should be one stellar football year here in town.

Sure, they lost last night. 

They played their B string, at least. Mahomes played the first half only. The first half of the first quarter.

Stay tuned.

For anyone out there, KC blogger or whomever, who wants to poo-poo this team needs to stay tuned.

They'll likely be eating crow soon enough.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

All the Ways America Is "Exceptional"

That last "American Exceptionalism" post here yesterday got me thinking. In fact, I've been thinking about it for some time. So on that thought, let's have a list of some of the biggest things we're "number one" at, America.

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  • We pay more for health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation
  • Only nation wherein people go bankrupt for healthcare costs
  • Only nation with the highest amount of bankruptcies due to healthcare costs
  • More guns than any other nations, per capita
  • More shootings than any other nation
  • More killings, homicides than any other nation
  • Spend more--far, far more--than any other nation on guns and bombs and weapons, calling it "defense." We spend 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet. Worse,  U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined
  • We have more foreign military bases than any other nation; Empire much?
  • We have more citizens incarcerated, in prisons, than any other nation
  • We have the highest percentage of the population that is obese
  • We have the highest divorce rate
  • Highest rate of illegal drug use in the world
  • More reported murders than any other nation
  • More total crimes committed in the US than anywhere else in the world
  • We have more student loan debt than any other country and finally, at least here and now, 
  • We have the most complicated tax system in the world
  • Biggest Weapons exporter in the world
  • We kill more people with drones, presently, than any other nation; Some of what our big "defense" budget gets us, I'm sure
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But wait. There's more. There's more of our positions in the world and these are things we're not number one at:
  • The U.S. ranks 23rd in gender equality
  • The U.S. ranks 33rd in internet download speeds
  • The U.S. ranks 46th in freedom of the press
  • The U.S. ranks 26th in child well-being
  • The U.S. ranks 24th in literacy
  • The U.S. ranks 19th in perceived honesty
  • The U.S. ranks 27th in leisure and personal care
  • The U.S. ranks 17th in happiness
  • The U.S. ranks 9th in retirement security
  • The U.S. ranks 99th in peacefulness
  • The U.S. ranks 24th in freedom from corruption
  • The U.S. ranks 16th in manufacturing compensation costs
  • The U.S. ranks 29th in intellectual property protection
  • The U.S. ranks 23rd in wage distribution
  • The U.S. ranks 10th in purchasing power of minimum wage
  • The U.S. ranks 11th in minimum wage
Don't get me wrong.  I like this place America. There are some things, plenty, I guess, we're doing well or right at. But the fact is, we need to take a good, hard, long look at ourselves and maybe, hopefully, work on changing and improving.

Let's do this.


The Myth of American Exceptionalism

One Is The Loneliest Number - America Is Number One At Things We Shouldn't Brag About