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Showing posts from June, 2017

A little hyperbole never hurts

or the art of catfishing
The New York Times devoted a full page to Trump's Lies since assuming office on January 21, urging the country not to become numb to this unprecedented level of duplicity.  Yet, I noticed a chain letter very similar to this one floating around facebook, urging Trump supporters to stand by their man in the face of the unprecedented assault on his presumed integrity.

The interesting thing about this chain letter is that persons are cutting and pasting it to their timeline, adapting the first line to reflect their age,and signing their name to it.  The one posted on reddit dates back to April 17 so it has been at least two months in circulation.  This tells you a lot about his supporters who seem to be crying as much as their President over the adverse press he has received since day one.  One might call them snowflakes.

As I noted in a response to a friend on facebook, all presidents go through the media gauntlet.  What is happening to His Trumpness is no di…

Deathcare 2.0

It's a big mystery whether the Republicans have enough votes to carry their infamous health care bill.  There are holdouts from both ends of the narrow conservative spectrum.  Cruz Missile Ted doesn't think the bill goes far enough in its repeal of Obamacare and Dear Susan Collins of the Great State of Maine is worried too many people will lose their insurance.  Mad Mitch can afford to lose two votes as he has a trump card in Mike Pence, who doubles as a Justice of the Peace when he isn't breaking ties on the Senate floor.

The CBO score is not quite as harsh as it was for the House version 1.0, saying the Senate bill would cut one million less Americans from health insurance.   It is really surprising that Trump would put his name on it given all the promises he made on the campaign trail.  You might remember he was going to cover everybody.  If this bill goes through, as many as 22 million persons could lose their insurance and millions more will see their premiums skyro…

No mas

Bloomberg throws in the towel

So much for the good fight, Mayor Bloom's retreat is the equivalent of giving up after 7 rounds in what one hoped would be a long fight.  Of course, the former New York mayor appears to have tentatively announced his own run for President in 2020 in the process, but who will support a guy who now says, "Let's just hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States?"

The funny thing is that the Russia investigation is finally starting to heat up.  The President was forced to admit that meddling took place, but in typical Trumpian fashion passed the blame off on Obama for not having responded sooner.  In fact, the Obama administration announced several times during the campaign that Russian hacking and meddling had taken place, but the media was too caught up in the many personal scandals surrounding Trump to care.  As a result, Russian hacking was relegated to the back pages.  Now, it seems Trump and his accomplices are actu…

District 6

It is understandable that the Democrats saw a ray of hope in this Georgia district after Hillary nearly took it in the 2016 Presidential election (47-48 per cent).   It is a traditionally red district that looks like it is shifting demographically, even though Tom Price handily won re-election as US representative.  All they had to do was find someone who would secure the Democratic vote, and maybe take 5 per cent of the disgruntled Republican vote.

Enter Jon Ossoff, a guy no one outside of his circle of friends had ever heard of.  He is young, charismatic, articulate, although some saw that as a fault.  He very nearly took the election in the first round of voting with 48 per cent.  The Republicans had no less than six candidates to fill Price's shoes and they split the remaining 52 per cent of the vote.

Karen Handel emerged from the conservative heap to be the GOP representative.  She is the mirror opposite of Ossoff in every way, relying solely on the Republican political mach…

The White Rabbit

It feels like we are following the white rabbit in Trump, as we slide deeper into an alternative version of reality that changes from one day to the next.  An "unpresidented" amount of innuendo and misinformation spews from the White House, largely through his never ending stream of tweets, which he regards as his way to skirt the "dishonest media."

There are a few polls and news sources he likes.  Rasmussen is generally favorable to him, currently giving him a 50 per cent approval rating, which he boasted on twitter as "great news."  I suppose when you spend so much time in the red, it's a boost to see a daily tracking poll give you an uptick.  The bounce appears to come from the way he handled the Shootout in Alexandria, which got favorable press almost across the board.  Even Stephen Colbert paused to thank Trump for his appropriate response.

Yet, His Trumpness wasted no time undermining this moment of unity by tweeting his anger over finding hims…

Guns, politicians and anti-vaxxers

America is in such a state of denial it is hard to know where to begin, but I'll start with a little fray I had on facebook with an American friend living in Sweden over vaccines.  Like me, he is an expatriate, but has isolated himself in some remote part of the country, living the spiritual life he longed dreamed of.

He likes to post anti-vaccine memes on facebook.  One of his favorite news bites is of the Amish living just fine without vaccines and any other ties to the pernicious world around them.   Yet, the Amish aren't so secluded.  In fact, their children attend local schools, and many parents have their kids vaccinated.  However, the vaccination rate is low in some of these Amish counties, which is why there was a measles outbreak in Knox County, Ohio, in 2014. 
Back in 1996, Andrew Wakefield published an article in a medical journal linking the MMR vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella) to eight cases of autism.  The highly specious article was quickly debunked, but these …
The "Ugly American," has become synonymous with the uncouth American traveler who makes no effort to integrate into a country he is traveling through.  Rather, he puts his chauvinistic attitudes on full display, like this man at a Shanghai airport recently.  Fortunately, it seems that more Americans try to be respectful when traveling abroad.

However, this isn't what William Lederer and Eugene Burdick were writing about in the mid 1950s.  They were appalled by the poor attitudes of American embassies in Asian countries, whose ambassadors seemed to have no idea what was going on around them.   The 1955 novel was based on their own experiences, as summed up in the fictional Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan.  The Ugly American in this case isn't an uncouth traveler, but rather a homely, hard-working man who sees an opportunity to do good in a country that has only seen the worst side of the United States.

Homer Atkins is a millionaire engineer, who tries to initiate …


Many saw Trump taking out Jeb Bush in the early days of the primaries as beginner's luck.  One by one the others went down in this Hungry for Power Games, including rising star Marco Rubio,  GOP bad boy Ted Cruz, and even a last ditch appeal to reason in Governor John Kasich.  They all proved no match for the Donald.  In the end, he took out 16 Republican rivals!

Maybe this is the reason Republican leaders aren't willing to go after him on Capitol Hill.  Even John McCain, who suffered an inordinate amount of abuse from Trump on the campaign trail despite not running himself, seemed lost in his questions to James Comey.  He conflated two separate investigations seemingly for no other reason than to drag Hillary Clinton once again into this mess.   Even Mackie's Republican colleagues appeared confused and eventually Chairman Burr brought his abstruse line of questioning to an end with a gavel.

There are two separate theories as to why the Republicans are so reticent to go a…