Blog Catalog

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!