Category Archives: Politics & Economics

The Cost of Living with Trump

According to CNBC  Trump’s tariff on steel and aluminum will add $1,800 to the cost of a Toyota Camry sedan, assembled in Kentucky. A similar cost would occur for a Tundra pickup truck and around $2,900 on a Sienna minivan. To some degree the same will happen to all automobile costs because so many materials and parts are imported.

Trump loves to brag about the economy and takes major credit for it. He mostly points to the rising stock market and falling unemployment rates. What he doesn’t mention is the stagnation of wages  for the working class, the shortage and rising cost of housing, the skyrocketing cost of education, the in-affordability of medical care, and the enormous tax breaks he’s given to the super wealthy.

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A Little Political Science & History

I watched the attached video and had no problem whatsoever seeing the parallels and similarities between Mussolini and Hitler as compared to the rise of Donald Trump.

I’m not saying they are a perfect match or that the times are exactly the same. But, I do believe that Trump craves total control, has contempt for intellectuals, fears opposing political parties and ideologies, wouldn’t hesitate to stomp out the free press, curtail free speech, align himself with the military, and wouldn’t turn down an enabling act if offered one.

I don’t live my life in fear of Trump but I do keep aware of how close he comes to walking in the footpaths of Il Duce and the der Führer.

The ball’s now in Trump’s court

One of the great coffee shop discussions these days has to be, what does Putin have on Trump? Is there a pee pee video? Are there videos of Trump with Russian prostitutes (and are they as good as Putin claims)? Does Trump owe Russia yuge sums of money for backing his European and Asian projects? Well yesterday, I read an article that claims we now know what Putin has on Trump and the answer is simple.

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Why do we kill paradise?

Recently my wife and I were re-watching the 2009 blockbuster movie, Avatar. First time we saw it was with our entire family at an IMAX theater. Avatar on the huge screen is certainly candy for the eyes. But in reality it is just another retelling of the age-old tale about man finds paradise, paradise inhabited by nice but different beings, nice beings have something man wants, man rationalizes killing nice beings and taking their stuff, man destroys paradise, end of story.

The part of man is played by the owners of profit justifies anything big corporations and their army of highly paid, massively armed, and highly capable mercenaries. The part of nice beings is played by beautiful creations who live idyllic lives and are in perfect harmony with their world.

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Calling All Moderates

I was thinking about the retirement of Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and what effect it could have on America’s future. Even though Kennedy was a conservative he often acted as the swing vote in a Court of four liberals and four conservatives. If Trump appoints a conservative the Court would five-four conservative and America’s resent could revert to America’s past along with its future being very uncertain.

A five-four Court could put the hopes of continued social and economic equality on hold for a generation, or more. So, the question is, how can a minority of Democrats in the US Senate protect a balance on the Court. The only viable answer is for the Senate to find the courage to only confirm a moderate or centrist nominee.

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You take the high road, I’ll take the low road!

In the aftermath of several Trump staffers being harassed in public, including,  Sarah Sanders being 86ed from a small Virginia restaurant, California congresswoman Maxine Waters told a group of her supporters to challenge Trump’s administrative staff where ever they are encountered.

While it can certainly be argued that Waters should have remained on the high road, she didn’t. And if her pep rally words did anything they got Trump supporters all in a wedgie over incivility.  I find such to be humorous given that Donald Trump is a poster child for incivility. He even road on the Incivility Float during the 1982 Rose Parade.

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Yes America, They do Have Rights

Donald Trump cannot accept defeat. If he can’t get what he wants one way, he’ll try another. After getting his butt nipped with the child-parent separation nonsense he’s decided to go another direction. While being chauffeured to his Virginia golf resort he tweeted that illegal immigrants are not entitled to Constitutional protections and should be immediately be sent back over the border without a trial or any other legal protections. Trump, and I’m sure his minions in tow, believes the American legal system owes them nothing. Well, they are incorrect. Going back to James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, there have been numerous Supreme Court cases and reams of case-law supporting the idea that Constitutional protections apply to all in America, including those who are not citizens.

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Damned the Union & Fuck Those Lead Pipes

On day one Trump walked into the WH accompanied by Steve Bannon and Steve Miller. Both are avowed members of the Alt-Right and both have the goal of systematically dismantling the US Government.

To help accomplish this Trump has rescinded about everything the Obama administration accomplished and severely weaken vital departments of the Federal government. The Federal government has been furthered weakened by those he has appointed to head up its departments and agencies:

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Smilin’ Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III couldn’t have a more fitting name. He is a true son of the South and about as conservative as they come. For years I’ve listened to him speak in the US Senate and so far haven’t heard a thing I agree with. To me he’s just another product of a Bible belt state, Alabama. A person ironclad whose ironclad views cannot accept that there are Americans who disagree and are different from him. He has trouble accepting that those who are different are still entitled to the same rights and protections that he is.

There is adequate evidence to support the claims that Sessions is a racist and opposes LGBT rights. He is steadfast against a woman’s right to choice. He denies this even though he has said, “It is not legitimate that an American citizen feels that they are more likely to be arrested or held to account or stopped and searched than someone else simply because of the color of their skin…” How can anyone with an open mind and clear understanding of reality say that it’s  un-American to claim people of color are treated differently? It’s been reported that Sessions once remarked about the KKK, ““I thought those guys were okay until I learned they smoked pot.

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I’ll Take Reagan & Give You Three Trumps

I never had much use for Ronald Reagan and in my mind my reasons were justified. When he became governor of California he set about destroying some of the best things living in California had. At the top of my list was essentially access to free college education. The junior colleges cost $7 a semester plus books and the state colleges just $47 and books. The result was the state becoming one of the most educated citizenry in the nation which played no small part in  California eventually developing the worlds 5th largest economy.

You asleep yet? Just couldn’t stop thinking about you.

Elected to the presidency in 1980 he didn’t travel abroad until two years later when he visited several European nations working to strengthening the bonds between them and the US. While in the UK Reagan very eloquently addressed the English Parliament and last week I got to see some of that film footage. The contrast between that man’s seasoned political and communicative skills was incredible when compared to what currently occupies the White House. Reagan knew who America’s enemies were and spelled it out in very clear terms. Trump doesn’t seem to have a clue about who’s threatening this nation and seems hell-bent on climbing into bed with those who threaten us the most.

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A Poll on Religious Freedom

This question resulted from a Twitter tweet. It obviously has to do with religious freedom, which is a hot topic at times. Feel free to post your answer in the knowledge that your identity will remain anonymous from myself and others. If you want to express an opinion please use the comments section below this post.

[socialpoll id=”2506221″]

Orange County, California

I lived in Southern California in the 1960s and went to college and taught for a year in Orange County. At the time the word on the street was, Orange County is the most conservative in America. We didn’t have Google back then so I really didn’t know but much of what I witnessed agreed with common beliefs.

California is having their primary elections today and in recent weeks much has been said about the Democrats being able to flip conservative Orange County. Out of curiosity I did a little snooping and found more than one article refuting the conservative claims.

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Contrasting Ideas About Trump

I continue to be amazed that so many Trump voters remain supportive of him. If you as an American wanted someone in office that would undermine America’s basic and important institutions, someone who thinks the Constitution doesn’t apply to him, someone who wants to continue widening the gap between the rich and what little remains of the middle-class, someone who insist on rewarding our enemies while pissing off our age-old allies, someone whose ignorance of foreign affairs that America is no longer seen as a leader, someone who lies to you an average of nine times each day, someone who has emboldened racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry in America, someone who seems dead set on tearing down so many of the social and environment gains this nation has made, or somebody who reigns over a nation whose children will likely never earn more than their parents, then Trump is your guy.

I recently read a scathing article on Trump written by the noted economist, Jeffery Sachs. Sachs pretty much said what I just said but he did it much better than me and with a great deal more knowledge and experience. You need to read Sachs’ words and you’ll find them at this link.

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The Dumbing Down of His Tweets

The following quote was taken from the Boston Globe. If true it doesn’t say much about Trump or his followers. I don’t know which came first, Trump’s inability to spell and his poor use of grammar or, his Twitter staff deliberately dumbing down his tweets to increase his appeal to the Kool-Aid crowd. Neither speaks highly of the man and/or his administration.

White House staffers who compose tweets for President Trump’s Twitter feed often add grammatical errors and an abundance of exclamation points to mimic him more realistically, The Boston Globe reports. Two people familiar with the process told the Globe that some of Trump’s staffers believe the error-laden tweets boost the president’s standing among his supporters by making him seem more relatable. The key features the aides use to replicate the president’s writing style include an overuse of the exclamation point, capitalization of random words, and fragmented, loosely connected ideas, according to the report. Staffers generally include three to four sample tweets in a memo to the president any time they want him to comment on a specific topic, sources told the Globe.”

BJs vs. Pussy Grabbing, They Ain’t the Same

My wife and I were watching Rachel Maddow last evening and most of the segments had to do with the ever growing list of potential legal problems for Trump. At some point in the program I had to hit the pause button and let off some steam.

One of the major news is Trump’s affair with, and attempt to cover up, Stormy Daniels. He’s admitted paying her to keep quiet and we know he paid another woman $150,000 to keep quiet about their long-term affair. Stormy’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, says he is now vetting two more women who claim to have had affairs with the Donald. Trump is well-known for his adulterous affairs and maybe better known for admitting he felt empowered to grab women’s pussies. Throughout his life Trump has appeared to have been obsessed with women and sex. He once told Howard Stern that avoiding acquiring a sexually transmitted disease was his equivalent of serving in Vietnam.

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