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Showing posts from March, 2018

You're Fired!

Or How Long Will We Allow this Asshole to Remain President?

With the "removal" of former Gen. McMaster, Congressional Republicans may want to rethink their position on Mueller.  No one is safe in the Trump universe, least of all American interests.  This guy operates on the one simple premise: anything to protect himself.

A "blunt warning" simply doesn't cut it.  This man has no respect for anyone in Congress or throughout the country for that matter.  We saw that in how he chose to dismiss Tillerson, a billionaire oil executive, and now McMaster, a 3-star general.  Both were well respected, the latter exceedingly so.  But, they are both gone because their recognition of Russia as the most serious threat to our national security and global interests didn't resonate with their Commander-in-Chief, who continues to dodge any serious sanctions, much less strong words against Russia.

Instead, he initiates a trade war with China, which has everyone saying, "…

Divide and Conquer

Watching this season's Homeland, it struck me just how easy it is to manipulate our country right now.  Not just the President, but every facet of our society.  We have become so entrenched in our petty beliefs that all it takes is a snapshot taken out of context to be distributed through social media to set off an armed conflict.  This is what Homeland showed in episode 4.  The identity of the mysterious photographer was revealed in episode 6.  Spoiler notice: the agitator turns out to be Russian.

One might call this fantasy but Russian on-line trolls tried to do just that in 2016, creating phony protests throughout the country by advertising them on social media.  In one incident, these trolls managed to stage a rally in Houston, Texas, bringing out both state secessionists and an Islamic group to the same site through phony facebook groups.  Mercifully, no major confrontation took place.  The two sides yelled at each other from across the street.  It shows how easily people ca…

The shit hits the fan

You really have to wonder why John Kelly felt the need to tell us that Tillerson was sitting on the can when he broke the news to him on Friday that Trump was letting him go.  Rex gave everything he had to the role.  Granted, it wasn't much, but still he deserved a better send off than that.  I think McMasters is dreading going to the toilet now that it is rumored he is next on the chopping block, and that Trump plans to bring John Bolton in as the next National Security Advisor.

As ugly as that sounds, it was even more ugly the way Trump dumped Andrew McCabe the following Friday.  The deputy FBI director was two days away from retirement.  Trump took absolute glee in this decision, proclaiming it a "great day for Democracy" on Twitter.  He even wanted to strip McCabe of his pension.  As it is, Andrew will take a huge cut unless Rep. Mark Pocan is true to his word and gives McCabe a short term job to complete his retirement package.

As for Tillerson, he was none too ple…

Meet Conor Lamb

If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and that seems to be what the Republicans are doing in the wake of their electoral defeat in District 18 of Western Pennsylvania.  No sooner did Kayleigh McEnany make the absurd claim that Conor Lamb "ran as a Republican" than did Paul Ryan and no less than Dotardly Don himself.

Of course, many Republicans would love to run on Lamb's moderate values, but they would never make it out of the primaries.  Lamb won because he was able to siphon off just enough Republican voters to tip the final count in a deeply conservative district in his favor.   This is something the base of the Republican Party would never allow from one of their own.  Just ask Rick Saccone, who had to veer staunchly to the right on issues like abortion and "right to work" to placate this base.

This was the same reason Ed Gillespie lost Virginia and why the Republicans lost Alabama.  Ed was as moderate as they come, but his campaign advisers convinc…

Dumber than a Bag of Hammers

Nice to know that our education system is in such good hands.  We can thank Rep. Jared Huffman for that colorful tweet, as he reflected the opinion of many after Betsy DeVos' painful interview on 60 Minutes.  Maybe the White House lawyers should have blocked this interview from airing on national television instead of being so worried about Stormy Daniels.

Of course, Betsy didn't fair much better at her Senate hearing last year, but Republican Congressmen OK'ed her just the same, with the help of their sixth man, Mike Pence.  Murkowski and Collins voted against her.  She's made a fool of herself time and again, from misspelling W.E.B. DuBois to a tweet riddled with grammatical errors, which she later passed off on her staff.  Worst of all, she made no attempt to reach out to the students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when she had the chance to ease their anxieties over the mass shooting last month.  But, this interview may have been th…

On the Road Again

It was not so much a political rally as it was a vaudeville act.  Trump stumped for the sad-eyed Rick Saccone, who finds himself trailing his young challenger, Conor Lamb, in Western Pennsylvania.  You heard very little about Saccone throughout Trump's rambling speech in Pittsburgh.  It was mostly about himself and how badly he is treated in the media.  He called Chuck Todd a son of a bitch, and Maxine Waters a "very low IQ individual."  Every once in a while he came back to the theme of the special election, bragging that his recent tariffs would return steel to Pittsburgh and that he needed guys like Rick Saccone in Congress to push his message.

The only problem is that Saccone, who appeared to kiss Trump square on the lips when the President first came to Pittsburgh in January, probably regrets a second visit, as it isn't lifting him in the polls.  Like so many of these special elections around the country, it is a referendum on Trump, and if history is precedent…

Wilbur, the talking Campbell's soup can

Things have apparently gotten so bad in Allegheny County that the Trump White House thought steel tariffs might rally voters to Saccone in the final days of his election campaign.  The Trump surrogate had fallen behind Conor Lamb in the conservative 18th Pennsylvania district and the GOP is making a last ditch effort to salvage his campaign.  It is doubtful it will do any good since Western Pennsylvania is no longer steel country.  That honor falls to Indiana these days.  But, what do you expect from a White House that seems stuck in the 1970s.

Trump's latest round of tariffs landed with a dull thud.  No one seems particularly happy about them, certainly not Republicans who have long opposed such measures, knowing full well it will only lead to inflated steel prices.  Still, the White House tried to sell the idea by sending Wilbur Ross on the talk show circuit, illustrating how a 25% bump in steel prices would have a negligible affect on canned goods.  Poor ol' Wilbur doesn&#…

The Bend of Time

Reading James Gleick's Time Travel, one of the theories gaining traction in Physics is that we don't so much make choices but select alternative paths.  We may take one path, but the other path still exists in a space-time dimension, and if only we could find a "wormhole" we could cross through the metaphorical woods and see what it would be like on the other path, presumably retaking that path if we grow tired of the path we are on.  Fortunately, we come to other crossroads, and can branch again, creating yet another path not taken.

This kind of multi-dimensional universe is not so hard to grasp, especially in an ever expanding universe.  To a large degree, Lewis Carroll imagined it in Alice in Wonderland, using rabbit holes as his means of moving from one dimension to another.  Historians prefer "what-if" scenarios, imagining what it would have been like if the fledgling united states had lost the Revolution or Hitler defeated the Soviet Union or Hillary…