Sunday, April 8, 2018

Enough of the nightmare, where is the dream?

I am tired of writing about Trump and the Republicans.

Let it be stipulated that I think Trump is a dangerous and childish nitwit.

Let it be stipulated that I think Republicans have turned into uncaring and often cruel ideologs.

Let is be stipulated that I think the Democrats are over-reacting to the Republican fierce independence by becoming fierce advocates of entitlement.

Let it be stipulated that I think the right wing nutcases have overtaken the Republican Party, much to the detriment of the Republican Party and our Republic.

Let is be stipulated that the left wing nutcases are threatening to overtake the Democratic Party and our Democracy, but are not yet in control of the Dems.

Let it be stipulated that an unfortunately large percentage of conservatives are in the thrall of the right wing propaganda bubble and have sadly turned their backs on actual news.

Let it be stipulated that even though I fully endorsed our military invasion of Iraq I now see it as the biggest mistake our country has made, even more than the disastrous war in Viet Nam, because we have increased, not decreased jihadist threats in the world by doing it.

Let it be stipulated that the country and the world is in an unprecedented state of upheaval and both the Republican and Democratic Parties are trotting out worn out dogmas that address times long gone by, not today's chaos.

I look at WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War and I am extraordinarily grateful that we do not have hundreds of thousands and millions of our children dying overseas.  

Let it be stipulated that pretty much everything I can think of to make the world a better place probably isn't going to work, because I keep thinking in terms of politics, but politics itself is broken and becoming useless in the face of today's chaos.

The world is in a crisis - a political crisis - an economic crisis - an intellectual crisis - but mostly a spiritual crisis.

I can understand why the Muslims and the Christians are trying to answer this spiritual crisis by retreating to fundamentalist teachings of their dogmas, the dogmas of the past, both of which are moves to harsh and punishing crack downs on the perceived sins of the modern world, and a return to an imagined glorious past of a world of purity and piousness. 

But... the future is not to be found in the past.  I wish I had a better handle on how to bring the brilliant and loving and caring and abundant future that I am certain is waiting for us into existence.  

So far, I have mostly only been able to illuminate the nightmarish mistakes that are relentlessly before us.

I do not despair.  I choose hope and trust that our nation wide and world wide spiritual crisis is moving toward emotional, intellectual, political, and spiritual resolutions - to a world that both the Right and the Left, that both Christians and Muslims, that both sophisticated and unsophisticated are dreaming of.   

It is being created as the old is being destroyed.  I hope I can start writing about the New rather than just register my disgust of the nightmare before us all.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Trump initiates and escalates a trade war

Our president, who seems to be willfully ignorant of the history of the link between protectionism, tariffs, and trade wars as triggers to the Great Depression, has decided to escalate the trade war he started by imposing more tariffs on China.

One of the terrible problems with a grandiose ego is that it is a bottomless pit that can never be filled.  I am sure that this little man can only see retaliatory tariffs imposed by China as some sort of challenge to his manhood, so he is compelled to escalate – playing a game of chicken – with the U.S. and world economy.

When he imposes tariffs on goods coming into the country, that is just a tax on those goods that we consumers pay for.  Republicans are so proud of their disastrous tax cut, and then their fearless leader adds taxes to goods in the form of tariffs.

Plus, of course, the tit for tat tariffs being placed by China on our exports will shrink those exports and hurt those industries – mostly those in the areas of the country that voted for Trump.

But, the Trumpster cult will support anything this guy does.  ???? 

Just another day in Trumpland.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Stormy Daniels photos? of what?

Stormy Daniels says that the non-disclosure agreement she signed is void because Donald Trump didn't sign it.  Reading an article by a lawyer with some experience in such cases, Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast, says:

"I’ve reviewed dozens, if not hundreds, of non-disclosure agreements in my life. Pretty much all of them become voided once the confidential information becomes widely known. That’s true even of agreements like this one, which is unusually constructed, outrageously slanted toward one party (guess which one) and intended to keep Daniels silent throughout all eternity and the entire universe no matter what. In this case, when the Wall Street Journal revealed the details of the contract on January 12, 2018, that information stopped being confidential." 

So, the contract is already void.

He goes on to speculate that the reason for the particular strategy that her lawyer is using is to let Donald Trump (aka "David Dennison" or D.D." in the NDA document) know that she has photos or other evidence of their sex. (You can read the legal reasoning by clicking through to his article)

Is it just me, or has anyone else noted that the name used to identify her in this NDA is "Peggy Peterson" - whose initials are P.P.?  (remember the alleged sex tapes that the opposition research man referred to in his infamous dossier?)  Does she have the same Trump secret that the Russians do?  

I am  noticing that Trump never says a bad thing about Putin, or Daniels, aka P.P.

Doesn't bother me much, but it apparently bothers "D.D."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Trump's disgusting cruelty

Seems that every day Trump sets a new low in behavior.  A couple of days ago he fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe 24 hours before his retirement, stripping him of his earned full pension.  Just a disgusting cruelty. Decency demands allowing the man his pension before firing him.  Decency? Trump? Two words that cannot fit side by side.

I understand that Trump wants to discredit the Mueller investigation by discrediting one of the investigators and witnesses, Mr. McCabe.  But this is just sadistic.  I suppose his fans see Mr Trump as being Strong by being cruel.  But I think he is just showing his weakness and sickness by being cruel.  

We have many examples of Trump's cruelty.  His endless humiliation and demeaning of almost all of his staff and cabinet, trying to drive them out rather than manning up and talking to them directly or firing them face to face.  He shows himself to be cowardly and very unmanly in my opinion.

The first time I was shocked by Trump's astonishingly personal cruelty was when The Daily Beast published an article reporting that his first wife had claimed he had raped her in a fury when he blamed her for a bad result on a hair transplant surgery.  His attack dog lawyer, Michael Cohen sent this unbelievable threat to the reporter:

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”

“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added."

To add some credibility to this threat of personal destruction he also said:

"Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen bragged to the Daily Beast about the time he “destroy[ed]” Monnin’s life. Attempting to intimidate a Beast reporter, Cohen said: “Do you want to destroy your life? It’s going to be my privilege to serve it to you on a silver platter like I did that idiot from Pennsylvania in Miss USA.”

Cohen was referring to a $5 million lawsuit against a beauty contestant that complained that the contest was rigged - an amount a normal person like her, Sheena Monnin, had no chance of paying in her lifetime.

This guy thinks he is in a Godfather movie - The Godfather Goes to Washington. 

Someday Republican lawmakers are going to have enough of this and throw him out - but they will first have to know that he is hurting them personally.  It can't come soon enough.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Russia hacks U.S. power plants

Homeland Security and the FBI report that Russia has hacked U.S. power plants and other critical infrastructure. 

In addition, Russia cyber warfare hacked the voting systems of seven states in 2016.

This is pretty serious stuff. Russia is simply waging war against the U.S. and the West.  

There is simply no doubt that Russia did its best to influence the presidential election to benefit Trump.  Every U.S. intelligence source affirms this.  Using their "active measures" on social media to attack candidates and enhance others, using social media to inflame the tensions of polarization, using cyber warfare to infiltrate and perhaps disable or destroy power plants - there are essentially acts of war.

Too bad our president is being controlled by Russia.  He is their best weapon against the United States of America.

I hope that Republicans start waking up to this obvious fact.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Trade deficits explained by actual conservative economists

George Schultz, who served under Nixon and Reagan, and Martin Feldstein, notable conservative economist, explained everything you need to know about trade deficits a while back, before our ignorant president decided to do something stupid.  They explain it in 70 words.  Here it is in its entirety:

If a country consumes more than it produces, it must import more than it exports. That’s not a rip-off; that’s arithmetic.

If we manage to negotiate a reduction in the Chinese trade surplus with the United States, we will have an increased trade deficit with some other country.

Federal deficit spending, a massive and continuing act of dissaving, is the culprit. Control that spending and you will control trade deficits.

The only solution to trade deficits is to reduce the budget deficit.  But, of course, this president and his Republican Congress just massively increased the budget deficit with their tax bill which cut taxes on corporations and the plutocracy in order to be able to throw up their hands in alarm next year and claim they have no choice but to cut "entitlements" - i.e. medicaid, medicare, and social security - in order to reduce the budget deficit.  Their hostility toward the middle class and the poor is limitless, especially the people of color.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Trade war?

Our president has decided to do all that he can to hurt the American economy. He is putting tariffs on steel and aluminum. Will this spark a trade war?  Will other countries retaliate?  Smoot-Hawley?  Plunge the country into recession?  Depression?

Does he think there are steel and aluminum plants just ready to start producing? What happens to the price of goods made of steel and aluminum?  

Which exports will be killed in retaliation?  How many jobs will be lost?

Ignorant man does an ignorant thing in order to keep an ignorant campaign promise made to ignorant people. 

Oh well. he and his base will just blame liberals, or Obama, or Hillary.