Category Archives: Politics & Economics

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.

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

What I Learned in 48 Minutes

It’s been 48 minutes since I began listening to and reading the morning news. Here’s what’s made an impression:

  1. Former CIA director, John Brennan, summed up Trump’s policy making style as, “fire, aim, ready.”
  2. The Democratic Congressman from the Youngstown, Ohio area says his district has lost 2,700 auto related jobs since Trump took office.
  3. Sixty-six percent of Americans have annual earnings of $40,000 or less. In other words, Trump economics has done nothing to improve the living standard of two-thirds of the nation.
  4. China is losing too many jobs, they need our help.

I haven’t a clue how long this list would be if I’d waited till bedtime to write it.

Whatever became of “America First: or, “China is raping our country”?

 

Is What We Have Here a Quid pro Quo?

A couple of days ago Americans woke to the surprising news that Trump had ordered the Commerce Department to work with the Chinese government and help save the Chinese phone manufacturer, ZTE. At stake is the loss of 75,000 Chinese jobs and Trump thinks this is, “too many Chinese jobs.”

After all the pre and post campaign anti Chinese screaming Trump engaged in, how could this be happening? Whatever became of America First?

Continue reading Is What We Have Here a Quid pro Quo?

It’s Missing? WTF?

When I started college in the mid 1960s I decided I’d give accounting a try. After a couple of courses I discovered I had no propensity for the subject. I test drove a couple of other business courses before deciding I might be better suited for art and politics.

With this in mind you can imagine how stupefied I was in learning last evening that the US Department of Defense can’t account for $21 trillion dollars. Yeah, that’s trillion with a “T”.

Putting some perspective on this number just let me say that the entire federal government budget for 2017 was just a little over $4 trillion. The entire national debt is $19 trillion. It is estimated that the gross national product for the United States in 2018 will amount to $20 trillion. So, the DOD is missing more than the value of all goods and services produced in America during the current year.

Continue reading It’s Missing? WTF?

The Ever Widening Black Lagoon

Needing his ego scratched, Trump headed back to a comfortable red state last evening to suck in the love of his suckers. He continued to ensure his love struck followers that the wall is going up and the swamp is getting drained. The truth is that the wall is going nowhere and the swamp is getting wider and deeper. Trump’s administration is increasingly viewed as one of the most corrupt in decades. Here are but a few tales from the Black Lagoon. 

  • Trump has been accused of using his money to silence charges of adulterous sexual adventures.

  • Trump is being sued for using his position as president to enrich his personal wealth.

  • Trump is a compulsive liar. Politifact has demonstrated that only 31% of Trump’s statements are true while 61% of what he says is either mostly false, false, or terribly false.

  • Speaking of lies… Sarah Huckabee Sanders, according to Politifact, lies 100% of the time. 75% of her statements are false and the remaining 25% are “pants on fire” false.

  • Trump has filled his cabinet with creatures from the Dark Lagoon. Tom Price, Steve Mnuchin, Ben Carson, and Ryan Zinke are just a few of cabinet leaders and Trump appointees who have been accused of living high off the taxpayer’s dollar.

Continue reading The Ever Widening Black Lagoon

Poor Puerto Rico, Still!

Late last summer the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was struck by two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Along with the US Virgin Islands these American territories were devastated. The physical infrastructure and economies of these islands remain far from recovery.  NPR recently reported:

“Puerto Rico still has areas contending with terrible living conditions following Hurricane Maria and the lackluster response to the storm from the mainland United States. Even the deadly effects of the storm are far from over: With many still living without power or their lives otherwise disrupted, particularly elderly populations, the overall suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 27 percent in 2017 compared to 2016 levels.”

These people are American citizens yet, in many ways our government has turned its back on them. Somehow America’s president appears to think that flying into the scene and tossing a few rolls of paper towels is all that’s needed. It gave him his photo opportunity.

 

A Nazi lives in the Bronx

Most likely you’ve never heard of Jakiw Palij and there’s no reason you should have. Palij has lived in America since 1949 and today is the last known Nazi war criminal living in this country. He was once granted US citizenship but in 2004 a federal judge stripped him of that and ordered he be deported. He is still here and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has no plans to boot him out because no nation wants him.

Another name you’ve probably not heard is Miguel Perez Jr. , Perez was in America on a permanent green card, joined the US Army and did two tours in Afghanistan. When he returned he was diagnosed with PTSD and possible brain damage. He was charged with cocaine possession, had his green card stripped, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. After serving half his sentence he was turned over to ICE and has since been deported to Mexico leaving behind his parents and children who are all US citizens.

Continue reading A Nazi lives in the Bronx

Roller Coaster Days

For at the past week life has been like an emotional roller coaster. At one moment I find myself elated and confident about my nation’s future, followed by my cart roaring out of control down the steel tracks and I am screaming at the top of my voice.

On the down side the nation’s pseudo president hires an ideological war hawk, John Bolton, to head a department charged with providing for our security. Bolton has a life’s track record of favoring war over peace. He has openly called for the unilateral preëmptive nuclear strike by the United States against North Korea and Iran. Seeming ignorant of the cost in human lives to our allies in South Korea and Japan. Also of the loss of tens of thousands of American military person stationed in Asia.

Continue reading Roller Coaster Days

When is Enough Enough?

There is some debate about the total number of guns in America with the consensus being above 300 million. The number of guns isn’t too different from the number of people, including children.

Adding to that is the millions of guns that continue to be manufactured in America every year. The chart below shows the numbers from 1986 through 2013 and one can easily see that the gun makers are on good times. In fact, the times are even better. Last week I heard the most recent report stating total manufacture in 2017 was in excess of fourteen million.

Continue reading When is Enough Enough?

Questions & Thoughts About the NRA

As I begin this blog it is Saturday, March 24, 2018 and all over the world people are gathering in protest of gun violence. The subject cannot be addressed in America without mention of the National Rifle Association and answering several important questions about the organization. Following is a small list of questions that we as a nation should be addressing:

  1. Should the NRA be a tax-exempt organization? The subject is complex but for simplicity, is there any reason for the NRA to be tax-exempt? The concept implies that some charitable activity is taking place, that somehow society is being served by the institution’s activities. We all know of the Salvation Army’s work during  troubled times and probably don’t question their tax-exempt status. What does the NRA do that resembles the work of the Salvation Army?
  2. Should trying to influence politics threaten tax-exempt status? If organized religions become involved in influencing the political outcomes in America, should they lose their tax-exempt status? Is the same true of the NRA? In 2016 the NRA spent tens of millions trying to influence political outcomes. They gave over $30 million alone to the election of Donald Trump. In the eyes of democracy, the collective donations of such groups far outweighs what the American people can bring forth. Should this be more tightly regulated?
  3. In 2011 Stephen Colbert wanted to show just how simple it is to raise money and play with the outcomes of American elections. He announced his candidacy for President of South Carolina and hired a lawyer to advise him about creating a tax-exempt “super”

    PAC to raise money. This short video clearly demonstrates the    system as it exists. Should these doors be slammed shut?

  4. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  5. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  6. 501 (c) 4 groups are not required to reveal their sources of income. Should this be changed?

This list is certainly not all inclusive. There are many more questions that need to be discussed. Feel free to ask your questions and leave your comments below.

 

 

 

Stinking Turds & Being Guilty

Midnight Express was a powerful film released in 1978. The story was about an American being arrested in Turkey where the onus was on him to prove his innocence. The exposure of the Turkish legal and prison systems was so great it almost destroyed that nation’s tourist industry.

Most Americans strongly support the idea that the burden of proof lies with the government. That a person is innocent until proven guilty. Turkey is one of several nations where the opposite exists.

While I’ve always supported this basic premise I may be changing. Frequently TV cops and lawyers justify incarcerating someone by arguing,  “well they may not have done this crime but they’ve done enough other things.” I so believe that Donald J. Trump and members of his family are so guilty of plural crimes I find myself increasingly willing to turn away from this innocent crap. There seems to be so many stinking turds in the Trump closets that somehow one had to be placed there by someone named Trump.

To paraphrase a familiar phrase, “Lock ’em Up!”

BJs are OK Today

I remember being one of those loyal Democrats who for a short time tried to support Bill Clinton getting blown and enjoying a fine smoke afterwards.

When the red sphinctered Republicans accused him of having sex with that woman I pointed out that even Eisenhower got his socks knocked off a few times while overseas. There’s a long history of presidents having sex in places other than the second floor of the White House.

There’s also a long history of men lying about their sexual exercises to keep their wives happy and in the dark. When the GOP finally got down to asking him if he had engaged in sex with Monica, Clinton messed up by saying it depended on how one defined sex. That’s when I stopped supporting Clinton and the aroma of family valued impeachment heat wafted over the great DC Swamp. Well, the self-righteous impeached, the wise men of the Senate refused to convict, and William Jefferson Clinton became member two of the Andrew Johnson Boys Club.

Continue reading BJs are OK Today

The Dreaded Scarlet “I”

When I moved back to Greenfield in 1970 I got a job in the local school system teaching Buckskin Elementary. There was a teacher in the high school who had his thirty years in and was ready to retire. I never knew the guy and don’t recall anything about him. The deal was that the administration and board of education decided to fire the guy on the grounds of incompetence. I don’t know how long he’d taught at McClain but there was certainly many operatives to try correcting his failures and/or firing him . Why wait until the last seconds of his career to brand his forehead with a dreaded scarlet I?

In today’s world we’re seeing the same thing happening with assistant FBI director, Andrew McCabe. Twenty six hours before he can retire, Donald Trump fires him and thus puts his reputation and pension in jeopardy.

The difference is, in the teacher’s case there didn’t seem to be any particular motivation. In McCabe’s case, however, the motivation is clear. Trump went to war with his law enforcement and intelligence agencies before even took office and that war has only grown in the subsequent fourteen months. American’s have clearly learned that Trump can’t take criticism and that any critic can expect retaliation of some kind.

While it is in Trump’s prerogative to fire McCabe is doesn’t mean it is the moral or ethical action to take. I’m sure that in my life some mentor told me that an action maybe legal but not necessarily best. Even my old gray-haired pentecostal grandma would have told me to turn the other cheek. Apparently Trump never had a mentor or an old gray-haired granny.