Yes sir, all voting age Kansans should watch this brief but informative video just put out by young Davis Hammet of the Loud Light organization.
I've posted here before who Mr. Hammet is and what good work he does. He came to Kansas from Florida, of all places, and has been doing fantastic work educating now fellow Kansans on their state government. This is just one more of his excellent videos.
Once you've watched it, you'll know more about your government, what it's doing and which way you maybe want to vote this Fall.
It took far too long to get KCPT to get one token black person reliably, week after week, on their weekly news programs, "Ruckus" and "Week In Review" and even now, they still get left off some weeks.
That was bad enough but the station still hasn't recognized or accepted or something there is a Hispanic Community in the metropolitan area.
Sure, we still get loads and loads o' white folk what with Right Wing, Republican Mike Shanin and his also Right Wing, Republican buddy Woody Cozad (don't get me started) but the shows are heavily, heavily weighted with bleached white people.
As I've said before, their commercials are all the time putting up minorities in them, asking people to send their money like so many Christian churches but what is it going to take to get a token Hispanice on both these shows each week?
They've recognized there is the Dos Mundos newspaper, having one of their staff on not long ago. You'd think they could--and would--maybe call them up once a week and ask if someone would show up for the program.
At least they let women---one, usually, each week, another token--on the program but once again, it's usually a white woman to round out that very varied group.
This week on Ruckus, they had 3 white people---ONE WOMAN!--and Terry Riley, a former City Council person.
And forget about "Week in Review" this week. The entire show was bleached white people. Every one of them.
They don't live here in Kansas City!
I would like to now take this time and place to formally challenge KCPT---a PBS station, after all--to please, for the love of God and fairness and decency and all that is good, to start having, reliably, one Hispanic, one member of the black community, one woman and one---ONLY ONE--white guy on these two programs each week, going forward, indefinitely.
It just doesn't seem like too much to ask.
They say they rely on our contributions in order to survive, exist.
Someone on Quora asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response: Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever. I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
• Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are. • You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish: ‘My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.