Tag Archives: POLITICS

The Dream

Teach your children, and maybe yourself, some important American history today. Do some reading about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Watch the video of King’s entire I Have a Dream speech.

You might even read the attached article about King.

Click the button for a great article about King. 

 

Stars to the Rescue!

Many Americans and citizens of other nations are worried about the coming of Trump. I’ve given this some thought and concluded that nothing can be done to totally shield us from the harm that precedes the arrival of this so ill prepared politician. All we can do is work on what we can to lessen the damage he is capable of.

The one solution I’ve arrived at is to distract and keep him distracted. We all know is his Achilles heel is his ego and how difficult it is for him to manage that ego when it’s been challenged. To date, anyone who has insulted him has ended up being counter attacked in the next day’s Twitter cycle. At the recent Golden Globe Awards Meryl Streep laid into him pretty hard about some of the things he did during the election. Next morning we were treated with a streak of anti Streep tweets from Trump’s Twitter Tower, (Please notice the wordplay!).

Continue reading Stars to the Rescue!

More Whys About Guns…

I’ve been trying to make sense out of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting and while none of these mass shootings make sense this one has a special element about it. The law seems to have allowed the shooter to have his gun near by.

With all the regulations regarding air travel that came out of 9/11 I’m shocked that you can travel with any form of firearm in any form of manner. Remember when you couldn’t even board a plane with a toenail clipper in your pants pocket?

As I understand it, the law permits one to travel with a firearm if you lock it and the ammo in a solid case and store that inside your checked luggage. You can’t carry it on to the plane with you and store it overhead, it must be secured in the cargo belly of the plane.

Continue reading More Whys About Guns…

Bombing

WE LOVE TO BOMB: Researchers have estimated, probably on the light side, that during the last year of Barack Obama’s administration the US military dropped 26,171 bombs on seven different nations. Continues to leave open the question of the worth of Curtis LeMay’s aerial bombardment as a workable strategy.

We’re Screwed & I Ain’t Lying!

This past week was not comforting. Trump’s false information and lunacy wagon rolled on at full nonsense. Rachel Maddow did a revealing segment on the dishonesty for profit of the National Enquirer and other check out stand tabloid magazines. Breitbart dishonesty still held a seat at the right arm of Trump, and Vice News did an interview with the current leader of the asylum and reigning leader of the war on truth, Alex Jones. And, if you listen closely you can still hear the whiny little bitch, Rush Limbaugh, whimpering from his den of darkness.

That there is such a profitable market for such extreme entertainment does not speak well of us or our future. Add to the mix that Alex Jones said to Vice that we ain’t seen anything yet.

And by the way, check out my recent story about the website that’s keeping track of all Trump’s lies.

We are living in a post truth era and many of us seem to be enjoying it.

Wanna Visit Your Favorite DJ Trump Lie?

A couple of years ago I became aware of an organization called the Internet Archive. It is a repository of just about everything that’s been posted to the Internet since www was just a w. It is a favorite research tool for political reporters in their quest to keep the politicians honest.

Yesterday I received a message about the IA making available a growing collection of all the things Donald Trump has said since he rode that escalator to the ground floor of the Trump Tower to announce that most Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers. That certainly wasn’t the first lie Trump told but it’s a good place to begin.

I’ll provide the link to the site but first I just want to say that each statement has been independently fact checked by one of the major fact checking sites that exist today.

Click the button to see Trump’s lies.

NOTE: You may notice at the top of IA’s page they are halfway there to raise $5 million. The purpose is to create a mirror of their servers in Canada out of fear that Trump will attempt to shut their American site down. 

Want to Contest Trump’s Behavior?

I don’t know about you but I would like to be associated with people who will work to closely monitor the actions of the Trump presidency and bring pressure wherever pressure is warranted. But, I don’t want to drive to WDC and march in a Million Woman March. Last evening I learned of an alternative, organizing on a local level, with like-minded people, and truly resisting at the grassroots level.

An organization has been formed called Indivisible and its goal is to learn from what the Tea Party has shown us and adapt those lessons to fit progressive needs. To facilitate this a group of former Democratic congressional workers has written a small simple guide to help provide direction and ideas. To learn more about Indivisible and get your name on their email list go to their website.

And, to download a .pdf file of their printable guide just click on the link below.

A Few Notes on History Repeating

I was listening to a TV discussion this afternoon and one of the subjects talked about was how we are having to deal with things that most of us thought were long gone into the pages of history. As a history major in college I was required to take a class in historiography, which includes theories of why things change. One idea that most are familiar with is that history repeats itself.

There are other theories but what we’re seeing unfold today has elements that were common in the decades between the two world wars. Throughout much of the world there was a huge increase in militarists and nationalists groups. In Japan the military came to power and pushed for military solutions to Japan’s problems. In Italy and Germany people turned to dictatorial leadership and its promise of resolving the effects of the First World War and the Great Depression.

I grew up and became educated after these things had occurred. In my time most of us came to believe we’d seen the last of fascism, Nazis, genocide, and religious and ethnic wars. My generation grew up in the post war prosperity of the 1950s, got an education,  a decent job, and went on to out do our parents. I suppose we thought it would always be that way, if not get even better.

Well, it wasn’t to be. Changes in business practices and rapidly changing technology turned against the middle-class prosperity I had witnessed. Millions of jobs went where labor was cheaper, became obsolete, or are now performed by robots. The good “people” jobs remaining in America now go to those who have a high degree of technical skill. What’s left are low paid, low skilled, and too few.

So here we are, back to those days when jobs are few, education expensive, young adults are still living at home, and whole parts of America is in ruins. The same feelings of despair that turned Germans to fascism in the 1930s have given rise to right-wing extremists in 2016’s America. Both Hitler and Trump are the products of people feeling desperate.

Next time you’re wondering what causes our story to change, add desperation and despair to the list. But keep in mind that history repeats itself so the good times may someday return. I just hope we don’t have to endure what the world witnessed that last time so many became desperate.

FOOTNOTE: Since I wrote this piece both Putin and Trump have began talking about increasing each nation’s nuclear arsenal. From out of nowhere the world is suddenly knocking on the door of another nuclear arms race and the weapons makers are seeing their stock values hit the roof. It’s good to be a war monger!

In an attempt to end on a happier note reading this article I’m reminded of the bit they did on Hee Haw about, Gloom, Despair and Agony On Me!

ACLU & You

Just read about the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) writing and releasing a open letter to Trump explaining how many of his campaign promises threaten various parts of the US Constitution, established law, and international agreements. Afterwards I wondered how many people really know what the ACLU stands for and fights for.

In conservative circles the ACLU is seen as a threat to all things red, white and blue. But in more open minds the ACLU is viewed as a group of active attorneys whose mission is to help ensure the people’s rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. In doing so, however, they have often taken positions that some fail to understand. The example that comes to mind is their defense of a neo-Nazi group in Skokie, IL. A lot of people don’t understand that the Constitution says we have a right to assemble, but it doesn’t exclude Nazis.

Continue reading ACLU & You

A Town Hall I Hoped You Saw

One of the best things of a political nature I’ve seen lately was a town hall meeting from Kenosha, WI moderated by Chris Hayes and featuring Bernie Sanders. The room of around 300 people was composed of Democrats, Republicans, Sanders supporters, independents, Trump voters, literally the spectrum of Americans. Much of the conversation centered on why did people vote for Trump. The answers ranged from:
 
1. He’ll bring our jobs back.
2. He listened to us.
3. He wasn’t Hillary.
4. And so much more of what he often heard during the campaign.

We Need You Gene Feldman

I’ve been thinking about a statement being made by Trump, that he wants people in his cabinet who have made a fortune. It made me think of a man I knew in CA named Gene Feldman. Gene was the VP of the company I worked for and had made his fortune from the ground up. He began life at the bottom and through education and hard work became very wealthy.

About once every other month Gene would take whoever wanted to go to a local restaurant for beer and finger food. We’d all sit there as equals and do what people do, talk sports, jobs, family, etc. The “as equals” thing was at his request. For a couple of hours he wanted to be one of the crew and not the boss. He wanted us to know each other as people and not as boss/worker. We all knew and accepted that when the evening was over Gene became, Mr. Feldman again.

Continue reading We Need You Gene Feldman

The Mouse is Staring at the Cheese

A friend posted concern that most of Trump’s nominees are very wealthy people from banking and Wall Street. Trump argues these are the people who understand the system and know how to fix it. I don’t have a problem with that. A guy who runs a 300 acre corn and bean farm probably doesn’t have what it takes to rewrite and correct the US income tax code.

But I do question whether the Wall Street insider who has the knowledge will also have the desire. It smacks of putting the mouse in charge of protecting the cheese.

Continue reading The Mouse is Staring at the Cheese

Medicare’s Future

Lots of us are receiving healthcare from Medicare and while Trump promised to protect it there appears to be continued pressure in the GOP congress to attack it. Here’s a piece that appeared in today’s New York Times Opinion section. Well worth a read.

The debate that the country may soon be having over Medicare is shaping up as one of the stranger political debates in a long time.

Medicare is an extremely popular program, and it mostly functions well. Its main problem — a large and long-term funding shortfall — has even become less serious lately, thanks to a slowdown in the rise of health care costs.

In the campaign, Donald Trump said he would protect Medicare. Yet many Congressional Republicans have long wanted to change the program and privatize all or part of it. One of those Congressional Republicans is Tom Price of Georgia, whom Trump has chosen to run the Department of Health and Human Services, where he will have sway over Medicare.

I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some changes to Medicare — especially moving it toward paying for the quality of medical care and away from paying for the quantity of care, as the Obama administration has instigated. But the notion that a radical overhaul of Medicare should be one of the country’s top priorities seems bizarre. Democrats, wounded as they are right now, would no doubt be happy to have this political debate.

Our colleagues at Room for Debate preview that discussion with an overview of the substantive questions likely to come up.
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including Janet Napolitano on young immigrants and Jeff Biggers on reason for climate hope.

David Leonhardt
Op-Ed Columnist