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Showing posts from March, 2017

Some Weird Shit

or The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight

Leave it to W to sum it up perfectly.  He was referring to Trump's inauguration speech but it just as easily describes Trump's time in office.  Not a day goes by without some weird shit happening.

While we are still digging ourselves out from Devin Nunes "deep throat" contact on the White House grounds, Ryan Zinke tells us clean energy is a hoax and that he is all for his commander-in-chief lifting the temporary bans on coal mining leases on federal lands.  Dig, baby, dig!

The Secretary of Interior doesn't say that wind energy requires a certain amount of fossil fuels to get the turbines moving, he cites the loss of migratory birds as an inhibiting factor.  This has been an argument tossed out by birders, anti-wind groups and conservative pundits for years now.  The energy department devoted a paper to this during the Obama years, noting that efforts were being made to better locate turbines so that they kill less bir…

The Deep State

His Trumpness has tried to imply there is a silent coup going on, pinning much of the blame on the former Obama administration.  Spicey in a March 21 press conference sent everyone googling the term "Ramspecking," claiming the Obama administration had planted moles in bureaucratic positions who are now thwarting Trump's agenda by leaking information to the public.  The Ramspeck Act, which he was referring to, expired in 1997 and has not been renewed, so it would be illegal for Obama or any president to do this.  But, of course that doesn't stop this administration from slinging wild accusations.

However, the idea of a "deep state" has been around for a long time, although such conspiracy theories usually refer to the national security departments teaming together or working independently to push their own agenda counter to that of the President.  This season's Homeland is exploring just such a "deep state" during the transition of one preside…
It's a rare day when a conservative radio talk show retracts a statement much less what he regarded as a "major story," but Alex Jones did just that.  He has apologized for spreading the inflammatory "pizzagate" conspiracy theory that had actually drawn former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn into its web.  We are still waiting on Jones to drop his long standing view that Sandy Hook was a "false flag."

These faux news outlets are coming under increased scrutiny now that we have a President who draws heavily from them.  Trump's wiretapping claim was pulled from Breitbart, and Spicey spread a story aired by Judge Nap that Obama outsourced surveillance on Trump Tower to the UK Government Communications Headquarters.  Fox News later took action against Judge Nap for spreading a false story.

The basis for much of this fake news emanates from Russian and Eastern European sources.  Some of it is child's play like these Macedonian kids who wer…

"Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

It's been a another rough month for the Donald.  This Presidential thing isn't working out quite like the flamboyant one thought it would.  Granted, he wasn't too keen about the health care bill GOP Congressional leaders were offering, but he threw his support behind it, even tried to strong arm wavering House Republicans into accepting it or face the consequences at the polls.  Anti-climactically, the bill couldn't even get through committee, leading Trump to tell Ryan to pull it from a floor vote so that was spared the ultimate indignity for "Trumpcare."

This is what happens when you have no game plan but rather try to do things on the fly.  Of course, Trump can blame Paul Ryan, which I'm sure he will do, as he is the one who came up with this noxious health care plan that no one wanted.  Only 17 per cent of Americans showed support for it, and it is highly doubtful any of these persons knew what was in it.  
Republicans had been met by raucous town ha…
Last year Tony Toccone and Lisa Petersen adapted Sinclair Lewis' 1935 novel, It Can't Happen Here, into a play at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  They avoided updating the setting to reflect the ongoing election, preferring to stay in the Depression era when fascism was a palpable threat.  Lewis had teamed up with John C. Moffitt to first stage the book in 1936.

Since the rise of Trump, many periodicals have called attention to the novel.  However, critics then saw Lewis' principal inspiration as being Huey Long, who was toying with the idea of a run for President before being assassinated the same year.  Lewis certainly gave "Buzz" Windrip a down-home feeling, but he was projecting the rise of autocratism in Europe on America.

Oddly enough it was Roosevelt who took on an authoritarian air after his victory in 1936, as he tried to stack the Supreme Court in 1937 to obtain favorable rulings on his New Deal legislation.   Congress blocked these efforts, dealing t…

Trump's Left-hand man

There seems to be an odd alignment taking place in politics.  Listen to Dennis Kucinich defend Trump's allegations that he was wiretapped.  Kucinich also came out very favorably on Trump's first major speech to Congress.  He has become a Leftie apologist for Trump on Fox News, defending numerous positions the President has taken, including Syria.

Kucinich views Trump as a "transitional figure," although it is pretty hard to discern what that means.  It seems our erstwhile legislator thinks Trump will force a reassessment in traditional party alignments.  He is oddly optimistic that the new President will take a softer approach to climate change and foreign policy than his rhetoric suggested during the campaign.  However, Trump's first two months in office has pretty much made it clear that this will be a pro-fossil fuels administration and that its foreign policy will not be a radical departure from that we have seen the last 60 years.  Nevertheless, Kucinich is…

Fearless Girl takes on Wall Street

A Day Without a Woman sounds like the title of a campy science fiction movie from the 60s, but it was an attempt to show the world how important women are in the work force.  Unfortunately, it didn't gain the kind of groundswell the March on Washington and its sister marches did, and left some women wondering if this was more about privilege, as many women couldn't afford to take the risk of striking against their employers.

Nevertheless, the general strike created plenty of photo opportunities, keeping the issues of equal pay and health care in the public light.  On the same day, the little tiny country of Iceland, with the highest representation of women in parliament, went one step further by passing legislation that forces businesses to prove they are paying genders equally.  Little chance of that here in the US.  Most states have equal pay laws but they go largely unenforced.

Politicians pay lip service to the idea of equal pay.  Even His Trumpness tweeted how much he re…

The Rocking Horse Presidency

Just when it seemed that the Trump administration had found its footing, one of its key figures turns out to be neck deep in what is quickly becoming Russiagate.  The wily little former senator from Alabama wasn't forthcoming during his confirmation hearings for Attorney General and now finds himself on the hot seat.  Not only that but Donnie Jr. and his son-in-law Jared are similarly being implicated in the confidence game the Trump campaign played with Russia to undermine Obama's sanctions back in December.

All this came after the news media essentially gave His Trumpness a free pass on his Address to the Nation, heaping all sorts of praise on him for having found his presidential bearing after one month.  Van Jones, one of his fiercest critics, even opined that Trump could very well be a two-term president if he keeps giving speeches like that.

It wasn't like Trump offered any broad bipartisan plan.  What the media reported favorably on was his tone, with many comparin…