THE ROAD WE ARE ON – Rich Raschall

It’s Not A Great One, by Rich Paschall

Aside from insulting our allies and befriending our enemies, here are just a few of the actions by the current administration. They show that we are actually taking away the things that made America great:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

This was the promise to help all people through tax cuts, but the truth is it primarily helped corporations and the top one percent of the wealthy. In defense of this, Republicans have argued the faulty theory of “trickle down” economics. That did not work in the 1980’s and it is not working now. Many corporations used the extra money to buy back stock and strengthen their company. Billionaires can donate some of their extra millions to Republican campaigns to help them maintain power.

The 2016 Overtime Rule:

The current administration would not defend the rule. Now low-level managers, making 23,660 dollars or more, can be made to work many extra hours for no extra pay, saving corporations a lot of money.

Pooled tips:

Some restaurants and bars used a “pooled tips” system.  This means all tips go into a pool and are then distributed among workers. busboys, and cooks, for example, might share these tips.  The current administration has taken action to remove any restrictions, allowing employers to pocket the cash.

Ending DACA:

One of the downsides of attempting to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is that it would take away documentation and the protections of young adults brought here as children. This could force them into working “under the table,” that is, illegally.

Companies could then pay them anything.

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces:

Initially, this sounds like a good thing.  We should not give contracts to companies that do not follow this rule.  The Trump administration, however, has backed the Congressional resolution to block record keeping in this area, making it hard to tell who is playing fair.

The Federal Reserve Board:

The current administration had three appointments to make and two more members have resigned since the beginning of 45’s term.  Appointments by 45 are there to protect Wall Street. The new chair is Jerome Powell, a Wall Street venture capitalist.  “We’re so bad at forecasting productivity, it’s just very hard to know when productivity is going to arrive and in what quantity….”

Well, I guess that is rather honest.

The Supreme Court:

Appointments such a Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have swung the balance of power to the extreme right. The current administration has sought to politicize the court with these appointments.  In addition to an expected challenge to the Roe v. Wade ruling (1973) allowing abortion, these appointments may, in fact, protect 45 and other Republicans from court challenges for things like tax returns. A challenge to gay marriage may also be coming.

Affordable Care Act:

Despite the promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare “very, very quickly” the Trump administration has done neither. Instead, they have taken actions to undermine its success.  “I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail.”

To this end they cut the budget last year for the marketing of the Affordable Care Act, apparently hoping people would miss the deadline for enrollment.

ISIS:

There was the campaign promise that ISIS would be defeated in 30 days by a “secret plan” only 45 knew.  Apparently, he is still the only one who knows it.  While ISIS has been driven from their stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, they have not been “wiped out” as 45 claims.

Infrastructure bill:

Promised, but never delivered.

The Wall:

You may recall the promise that we would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it.  While we have repaired a few sections of fence and added some additional fencing, there is no wall and Mexico will never pay for one.

The Paris Agreement:

Almost every climate scientist of note in the entire world agrees that man-made pollution is causing global warming with possibly dire consequences.  Despite this, the current administration has pulled out of this historic agreement that was signed by 195 nations.  The USA joined Nicaragua as the only nations not part of the agreement.

Tweets:

It is hard to quantify just how unpresidential this is.

LGBT:

Not only has 45 refused to sign the traditional Pride Month declaration, but he has also, along with Pence, spoken to the Values Voter Summit, an anti-LGBT group.

Trade War:

Tariffs are, after all, taxes.  By warring on China with tariffs, the administration has cost farmers billions of dollars in sales.  As a result, the taxpayer will have to bail out US farmers to the amount of 12 billion dollars. This will be paid for in part by borrowing money…from China.

If you are an ardent follower of the current occupant of the White House and his party, you probably have not read this far. Just as well. You would likely not believe most of it anyway, despite the overwhelming proof of it.

There are a lot more broken promises and destructive policies that could be listed.  If you have not gotten the point, more examples would be of little value.

Many Americans do not agree with the road we are on.  It is not the great journey that some believed it would be.  The choice is now.  Continue down this path, or vote for change.

Sources include: “Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year,” Economic Policy Institute, epi.org, January 12, 2018.
“Most millionaires don’t plan to spend their tax savings, CNBC survey finds,” cnbc.com, 27 June 2018.
“DACA alive, barely, a year after Trump ended it,” cnn.com, September 5, 2018.
“Did Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Just Say That?” forbes.com, September 28, 2018.
“With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade is likely dead,” Perspective, Carole Joffe, The Washington Post, July 10, 2018.
Trump Drops Key Campaign Promise to ‘Repeal and Replace’,” nbcnews.com, July 18, 2017
“Editorial: Wrong About ISIS,” The Weekly Standard, weeklystandard.com, September 26, 2018.
“Trump Has Now Broken Every One of His Economic Populist Promises,”  Intelligencer, nymag.com, May 11, 2018.
“Trump’s Trade Wars Are Bad. They Could Soon Get a Lot Worse,” foreignpolicy.com, July 25, 2018.
“Dem senator: Trump is borrowing money from China to ‘pay our farmers to not sell their crops to China’,” thehill.com, September 26, 2018.

 

FOWC – MEAN! – Marilyn Armstrong

#FOWC – MEAN!

To paraphrase my friend Tom,  “You don’t need a prick to be a dick, but it doesn’t hurt none, either.”

Have you watched “It’s a Wonderful Life“? With Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore? Lionel Barrymore was the meanest man in town … and he didn’t hold a candle to the meanest guy in OUR town.

Guess who I’m talking about? You betcha! Donald J. Trump. His sidekicks are pretty nasty assholes too, so don’t think I’m just picking on him. I’m picking on the entire movement, the complete political party made up of nasty racists, bigots, and hate-mongers. The kind of people who steal children from their parents and think it’s funny.

For further commentary on how “not being a dick” can be a meaningful political position in these, our modern times, please see Tom Curley’s post:

ARE YOU A DECENT HUMAN BEING, OR ARE YOU A DICK? – by TOM CURLEY

after which, ponder whether your “political convictions” exceed your conscience or any remaining ability to empathize with human beings. Because today, being a Republican is equivalent to abandoning anything that would normally identify you as a decent person.

And it ain’t just me saying it, either.

THE CRAZY IS BEING TURNED UP TO 11? – TOM CURLEY

OK, where do I start?


We live in an insane world. It got even more insane on November 9, 2016. As the year went by the crazy train just got crazier and crazier.

This week, the crazy got turned up to 11.

My crazy goes up to 11!

Devin Nunes, Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee, recused himself from the Russia investigation as the result of a Keystone Kops episode during which he was secretly snuck into the White House by low-level White House officials. He was then shown doctored material which purportedly showed that President Obama had wiretapped Trump during the campaign. The following day, Nunes went to the White House to report to Trump he had proof Obama had wiretapped him.

I know this because you told me.

The only problem was he was caught in the lie immediately and was made to look like a fool. Even though after this debacle he “recused himself” from the Russia probe, he apparently is now  back on the job.

Fast forward to now. Nunes’s staff has supposedly created a “secret memo” showing how the DOJ and the FBI have a “Secret Society” of FBI agents plotting to take down the Trump Presidency.” Nunes hasn’t read the memo and he can’t release it because it contains “sensitive classified intelligence.” But it’s explosive!

It’s so sensitive he hasn’t read it himself, but his staff has read it — because they wrote it. Does this mean his staff has a higher security clearance than he does?

(Are you following this? Let’s not always see the same hands.)

The Democrats have read it. They’ve also read all the other intelligence material behind it. They apparently also have higher security clearances than the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee. They wrote their own memo pointing out how fucking stupid the other memo is.

What do the Republicans do? They vote to release the Republican memo, even though they supposedly haven’t read it, but refuse to allow the Democrats memo to be released. Because it was only written to “obscure the truth.”  They are doing this with a straight face.

MEMO WARS! Two memos go in, but only one gets released.

So, Republicans are trying to discredit:

  1. FBI Director, James Comey. A Republican
  2. Assistant Director of the DOJ, Rob Rosenstein. A Republican who was given the job by George W. Bush. Another Republican.
  3. The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. A Republican.
  4. Robert McCabe, the assistant FBI Director. A Republican.
  5. THE FBI! A hotbed of liberal communists if there ever was one. Not sure, but I think that more than a few Republicans are working there.
  6. The Department of Justice. No Republicans to see here, move along.

Is there a “Secret Society” in the FBI?  This came from an email from an FBI agent and his girlfriend. It was a joke that referenced a Vladimir Putin beefcake calendar that he was going to send to co-workers as a joke. If you read the email, you can see it’s a joke. It’s called “sarcasm.” Something that seems to elude Republicans in Congress these days.

You get a calendar! You get a calendar! Everybody in the secret society gets a calendar!

But here’s the thing. They’re doing it! They think they will get away with it. They have gone beyond even Alex Jones’s levels of crazy. Fox News is eating it up. Real secret societies must be going nuts right about now. I can just imagine the latest meeting of the Illuminati, the Templars and the Tri-Lateral Commission.

ILLUMINATI: Have you guys been watching the news lately?

TEMPLARS: Yeah, WTF?

TRI-LATERAL COMMISSION: These guys are seriously fucked up.

Back in the 1950’s a Senator named Joe McCarthy held hearings during which he held up a folder declaring he had proof of hundreds of American citizens being Communists. He ruined hundreds, if not thousands of lives. The names were just made up. They were randomly picked from the phone book.

He was finally brought down by two things:

1 – A hearing where the lawyer for the Secretary of the Army, Joseph N. Welch, faced him down and said. “Senator, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, Sir at long last? Have you no sense of decency?”

We need to ask that question again.

And again.

And again.

2 – An episode of Edward R. Murrow’s show “See It Now.” In it he completely took down McCarthy. .murrow mcCarthy

The show ended with this.


“No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Good night, and good luck.”


Any of this sound familiar?

Good night all, and damn … we really could use some good luck.

Well,  they just released the memo. Here’s a review.

“The Nunes memo is a book report prepared by someone who didn’t read the book.”

Chris Hayes, an American political
commentator, journalist, and author.

THANK YOU to The New Yorker!

And The New Yorker released the memo.


 

A DEAL IS A DEAL

This morning, after last night’s midnight signing of a law to abandon Americans to the tragedy of poverty with no recourse to government, I realized that there can be but one reason this has happened.

The Republican party and nearly all its members have signed contracts with the Devil. Real contracts. Signed at the crossroads in the dead of night. In blood. Because this certainly can’t be any kind of “principles” from anyone who is supposed to protect this country from danger or economic collapse — or even nuclear war. This has got to be the foul paw prints of the evil one at his finest.

Christians? I don’t think so. Does anyone see any Christian act in any of the behavior of this band of evil-doers? I thought not.

At some point, late in the night, they all gathered and each drew blood and signed their name. From this they got “a career” and probably wealth — because in the end, it’s always about money. It is possible that the Koch brothers actually are emissaries of the devil, if not the devil incarnate. Hard to tell in these modern times.

Welcome to Hell, folks. I believe we are living in it.