Friday, February 3, 2017

Wall Street Jackals Are Back And This Time They Want It All

The most diabolically shrewd maneuvers—in crime, politics and American history (which are pretty much the same things)—involve deception and diversion. Usurpers like Trump and his fascist gang, once in power, create crises and chaos so that the masses will be distracted while their pockets are picked. It’s always about the money, in the end. Two weeks of loud and very public incompetence by President Bannon has us looking away while Wall Street jackals move in for the kill.

Yes, Muslims have been banned; the moderate AG was fired; the DeVos vote is tied; meanwhile, financial regulations (you know the ones in place to prevent another economic crash like 2008) are being slashed by the same predators who stabbed us in the back then. The media, like ADD children, can’t focus on what’s important, just what makes the most noise. They missed the fact that Goldman Sachs is now in charge again.

The few who did catch it, cranky old white codgers like Tom Brokaw, are too muddled to understand or still living in 1955. This might be frightening news to the Trump voter—huddled in their isolated Pennsylvania farms or their polluting West Virginia factories—if they ever heard it, because the robber-bankers are coming after their life savings. Soon advisors, brokers and investors will no longer have to adhere to sensible rules; Social Security will be privatized; Medicare gone. The very racists who put Bannon in the White House will have their lives destroyed. Oblivious to this, Brokaw thinks we should confirm Trump’s rapacious and unqualified nominees as quickly as possible, because it’s what the old white people of Michigan, Ohio and Kansas would want.

In an article which appeared in Esquire magazine online today, Charles Pierce agrees:
“I just heard Tom Brokaw, the man who invented World War II, drone on sonorously about how the Democratic minority in the Congress is making a mistake by slowing down the confirmation process because that's the Republican playbook and that they'd be better advised to go out and seek the wisdom of middle America (Say white people, Tom. Go for the gold.) as regards the issues of the day. This is good advice, provided there's one angry shut-in anywhere in western Pennsylvania or rural Michigan who hasn't yet been interviewed by a major newspaper or television correspondent.

“But, if they do take Brokaw's advice, they might point out to these forgotten people that there are some people who remember them very well and have not forgotten what marks they are. In fact, on Friday morning, The Los Angeles Times had something for them to chew on while they can still afford breakfast.

“And, in The Wall Street Journal, Gary Cohn, the administration's senior economic adviser, was more than happy to explain his plan to lift the terrible burden of being honest off the nation's financial sector. Cohn, as it happens, is one of the phalanx of former Goldman Sachs employees with whom the president* plans to drain the swamp. He seems quite comfortable living there, but what do I know.

“But it's not about his old company, and his old pals, and the fairly thorough job they did blowing up the world economy eight years ago which, of course, is a century in Banker Time. They have labored under the burden of being marginally honest for far too long.

“This is about consumer choice about the same way a carny midway gives you the choice of being swindled in a shooting gallery, in a fortune-telling booth, or at a stand where you throw plastic hoops onto plastic ducks—where, of course, the hoops do not fit over the plastic ducks because that's the whole point, suckers.

“For the past two years, we heard endless thumbsucking from the Brokaws of the world that Donald Trump was a different kind of Republican, that he was running a "populist" campaign, that he would "upend Republican orthodoxy." Because he couched it in barely veiled racism and xenophobia, enough of the suckers bought it to tip the election in his favor. Now, however, the rubber is meeting the road.

“Those nice white "forgotten people" will now be free to have their pensions swindled out from underneath them by sharpies whose bonuses depend on how much money they can steal. They will find themselves paying usurious interest rates on their credit cards because of a clause written in Swedish, in .00009 point type, on the back of their monthly statement. And then, when it all comes crashing down again, they'll have to look for somebody to blame, and it won't be them, and it won't be the charlatan they elevated to the White House. And someone else will run for president, and give them the proper scapegoat, and Tom Brokaw will ask all the wrong questions of all the wrong people again.

“It's morning in America.”

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why Do Republicans Hate Obamacare? Because They Hate Obama

Robin Marty of Cosmopolitan has finally cleared up, in a cogent way, one of the enduring mysteries of the Obama presidency: why Republicans are so opposed to Obamacare. We Democrats sensed that it had a lot to do with racism and politics; still, it was hard to comprehend how Republicans across the country, without ONE single exception, could heartlessly and ruthlessly deprive seven million Americans of health care insurance. Here is what Marty wrote:

“The GOP’s refusal to vote in favor of Obamacare’s passage and their aggressive opposition to every element of the bill - even those they had agreed with in the past - served to help them sweep into power in both Congress and a number of state legislatures when the 2010 midterms came around. And by taking over a number of state legislatures and governors’ mansions, Republicans could then block portions of the ACA from going into effect, further hampering the reforms. Red-state legislatures often refused to expand Medicaid so more people could receive subsidized insurance plans, leaving their residents with far more expensive out-of-pocket costs than blue-state counterparts. They also often opted out of opening their own state exchanges, forcing the uninsured to enroll through the federal exchange instead, which limited their coverage options and put a greater burden on the federal site. By first refusing to support Obamacare and then purposefully trying to make it fail, Republicans believed any consumer dissatisfaction would rest completely on the shoulders of the Democrats, since they were the only ones to vote in favor of the law.

“So do Republicans really despise the Affordable Care Act? Despite the fact that they have voted in some way, shape, or form to repeal some or all of the ACA more than 60 times in the six years since it was signed into law, the answer may surprisingly be no. Or at least, not as much of it as they claim. But they do hate the 'Obamacare' that was passed solely with Democratic votes and signed by a Democratic president, and they will do anything to tear that down completely. And when they later replace it with a new plan that has a surprising number of policies similar to the law they just undid, well, then we will know the thing they hated most about Obamacare was always Obama.”

Republicans, as we all know, are profound and oblivious hypocrites who think only of themselves and not the welfare of others; yet they claim to be Christians. Guess they missed this Bible verse from Psalms 41:1-3: "Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble, the Lord delivers him...the Lord sustains him on his sick bed; in his illness, you restore him to full health."

...and this one from Proverbs 19:17: "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed."

...and this one from Galatians 6:2: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ."

...and this one from...oh, what's the point? Republicans are heartless, conscienceless bastards who pay no heed to the book they purport to love more than any other.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Liberals Don't Get It; Trumpites Are A Different Animal

There's a scene in the TV series "The Sopranos" when Dr. Melfi, Tony's psychiatrist, is told by her husband that "there is no cure for a sociopath...they are animals." It suddenly dawns on Dr. Melfi that all of her years spent working to help Tony have been for naught. Psychoanalyzing an animal is pointless. Talk therapy does not help. Meds don't help. Trying to understand them is pointless. Ascribing normal human standards to their behaviors is an exercise in futility. In the end, one must realize that they can't be persuaded, shamed, or cajoled to do the right thing. They have no conscience or morality. They are concerned only with themselves, and they live to prey on others.

This is what liberals do not understand about Trumpites. We try to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that their anger is somehow justified. We look for justification for their irrational hatred of Hillary and Democrats. We hope that Trump's language and behavior are just a means to a better end. We delve into sociological causations for the disaffection of the white working class. We make excuses for college-educated females who voted for Trump. We desperately search for a glimmer of sensibility in half of all voters supporting a compulsive liar, sexual predator, tax cheat and business fraud.

Liberals, please listen. There is no humanity in a Trumpite. Stop attributing human qualities to non-humans. They are animals, devoid of compassion, empathy and concern for the greater good. They live, breathe and think only for themselves. The rest of us are merely marks in their con games. Like their leader, they use humans as a way to get what they want for themselves. And they couldn't care less if others are happy, safe or prosperous as long as they are. Take Obamacare, for example.

You know why they want to rip it apart? It's not because they have some deeply and thoughtfully considered socioeconomic objections, or that they see a better way of implementing universal care. No. It is simply because they do not want others, especially those beneath them, to be cared for. The well-being of others makes them furious, especially if their tax dollars contribute in some small way to that abomination. Even if Trumpites have their own wealth and comfort, they do not want others to share in the same abundance. For what is the point of being prosperous if others have it too? Remember, animals fend for themselves. Sociopaths are merely snakes on the prowl, not beneficent do-gooders.

Gun obsession is another example of the sociopath's self-centeredness. In his view, the world is a jungle, and a weapon gives him the advantage. The animal seeks to intimidate and cow others, and he assumes that all others are animals too...ones from which he needs to be protected. It never enters a Trumpite's head that liberals want everyone to be protected, that the greater good is served by keeping guns out of irresponsible hands, that liberals want humanity to exist on a higher plane of shared decency and respect. For the animal there is no such plane. There is only the jungle. There is only me.

Liberals, wake up. Trumpites are animals. Conscienceless, amoral, hateful, brutal, and completely devoid of remorse. (If Democrats had won the election despite losing the popular vote by millions, they would have felt guilty. But not these animals.) Stop treating them like they are human. Call them out for what they are. Shame them for their shamelessness. Be relentless in pointing out their inhumanity. And don't forget, you cannot appease an animal. You cannot compromise with it; you cannot work with it. It will bite your head off as soon as you turn your back on it.

Thankfully, in America animals are still outnumbered by human beings. Appeal to human beings' decency and sense of righteousness. And stop trying to figure out Trumpites. Sociopaths are incurable.





Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wait Until Trump Voters See How Trumpism Will Affect Them

Like petulant children, tired of being scolded for their bad behavior and words, Trump voters gave humane, decent adults everywhere a great big middle finger in this election. Now, like the giddy misanthropes they are, they gleefully watch as liberals like me tear their hair out. This is what they wanted all along--vengeance for being fact-shamed by Democrats; for having to squelch their racist inclinations; for stifling their urge to ridicule the disabled and the mentally impaired; for having to tell their racist jokes in private; for having to reduce women to sexual objects. They entered the ballot booth as assassins of civility, not protectors of democracy. Trumpers couldn't care less about democracy. Democracy impels them to accord respect to the other--the other gender, the other race, the other religion, the other sexual orientation. They see no benefit for themselves in the greater good, and finally they have found their hero...someone who embodies what they stand for: self-serving, short-term ego gratification, without a shred of social conscience or open-mindedness.

But the day is coming, sooner not later, when the Trumpers will regret the havoc they have unleashed, because they have to live and work in Trump's America too. They have to send their kids to school in Trump's America. They have to serve in Trump's military. They have to pay taxes to support CEOs like Trump. And when they've finally gotten their fill of Trumpism and they begin to criticize President Donald, they'll have to live in fear of Trump's reprisals. If there is one thing we know Donald loves to do it's get even with his enemies.

The Trump victory gives permission for schoolyard bullies to resume their reign of terror, and most Trumpers send their kids to public schools. The Trump victory validates the boss who uses his power to intimidate and sexually harass employees, and most Trumpers are in jobs where they are vulnerable to their superiors' power. The Trump victory emboldens the local gun nuts to open carry at school picnics; even conservatives like picnics. The Trump victory is likely to bend the tax code even more radically in favor of the super-rich, and history tells us corporations and the rich are not going to share any part of this obscene windfall with Trumpers. The Trump victory legitimizes illiteracy and stupidity; Trumpers should prepare for the American education system to sink to a new low under Donald. The Trump victory comes with a pledge of foreign aggression and military adventurism; it will be the Trumpers who fight and die in these wars. The Trump victory, by his own words, opens up the nuclear option; neither Trumpers nor anyone else will survive a nuclear war.

To Trumpers who read this blog: I know, I know...you're thinking, "He's just another liberal elite scolding us." That's right, I am. You should have listened to me, to all of the liberals, when we tried to warn you. A couple years from now, you'll realize you were wrong, and have deep regrets for the mess you've made. But you'll never admit it, because, like your leader, you don't have the decency or humility to ever admit you were wrong. Like the bratty kids you are, you never learn. Your childish behavior follows you into adulthood, and four years from now we, the adults, will have to bail you out again.

But for now, don't come running to me. He's not my president; he's yours. And you'll have to pay the consequences for what you've done.

Friday, September 9, 2016

NASA Study Warns That Republican Policies Will Destroy America

Will America go the way of the Roman Empire? NASA says yes. Our consumption glut and our obscene imbalance of wealth will eventually destroy our civilization. For decades now, scientists and Democrats have been warning Republicans that right-wing policies are dangerous, but the Koch brothers (and all others who take advantage of the Citizens United loophole to buy conservative politicians) and their corrupt congressmen aren't listening. Under Republican congressional rule, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Resources are dwindling because of climate change and other factors, yet the super-rich are unaffected by these changes since they have more access to the vanishing resources. 500 years from now, some historian will write "The Rise and Fall Of The American Empire" as a final epitaph. The full report on the study comes from The National Journal and is reprinted here:

Few think Western civilization is on the brink of collapse — but it's also doubtful the Romans and Mesopotamians saw their own demise coming either.

If we're to avoid their fate, we'll need policies to reduce economic inequality and preserve natural resources, according to a NASA-funded study that looked at the collapses of previous societies.

"Two important features seem to appear across societies that have collapsed," reads the study. "The stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity and the economic stratification of society into Elites and Masses."
In unequal societies, researchers said, "collapse is difficult to avoid.... Elites grow and consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society."

As limited resources plague the working class, the wealthy, insulated from the problem, "continue consuming unequally" and exacerbate the issue, the study said.
Meanwhile, resources continue to be used up, even by the technologies designed to preserve them. For instance, "an increase in vehicle fuel efficiency technology tends to enable increased per capita vehicle miles driven, heavier cars, and higher average speeds, which then negate the gains from the increased fuel-efficiency," the study said.
The researchers used what they termed a Human And Nature DYnamical (HANDY) formula to reach their conclusions. The formula uses factors such as birth rates, resources, and income classes to create a mathematical equation to project outcomes.

The study was sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and headed by the National Science Foundation's Safa Motesharrei.

For those who think modern society is immune from the problems that brought down ancient civilizations, a "brief overview of collapses demonstrates not only the ubiquity of the phenomenon, but also the extent to which advanced, complex and powerful societies are susceptible to collapse," the study said.

So how do we save ourselves? "Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a steady state at the maximum carrying capacity, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed equitably," reads the report.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thom Hartmann Names Names of Senate Republican Gun-Lobby Whores

While Congressional Democrats conduct a righteous gun control “sit-in,” and 92% of the American people long for common sense gun reform, you may wonder who exactly are the people blocking an assault weapons ban and voting to arm terrorists? Well, wonder no more. Thanks to a crusading liberal author and talk-show host, we now have the names of the Republican man-servants of the NRA.

Thom Hartmann, in an article he wrote for Op-ed News, exposes the diabolical corruption:

“It shouldn't come as a surprise that the NRA contributed a total of more than $36 million to 50 Republican senators over the course of their careers, according to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. And there are 10 Republican senators, representing 10 percent of the votes in the Senate, who have gotten an average of $3 million apiece over the course of their careers. These include veteran lawmakers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has brought in at least $1.3 million over his 30-year career; Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who have each received $1.4 million over their careers; and Pat Roberts from Kansas who has gotten nearly $1.6 million over the last 20 years. Sen. John McCain tops the list, though, by raking in nearly $8 million from the NRA over his 30-year career in the Senate.

“Then there are the junior lawmakers, like Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who has only been serving in the Senate since last year and has already received $1.9 million in money from the NRA and its buddies. And in just the first two years of serving in office, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy has brought in $2.9 million for his votes against gun regulation, while Iowa's Joni Ernst brought in $3.1 million, Cory Gardner from Colorado has brought in $3.9 million and Thom Tillis has gotten $4.4 million.

“Considering the fact that the NRA has spent over $16 million on five freshmen senators alone, and considering the fact that half of the members of the Senate have gotten donations of some size from the gun lobby, it really shouldn't come as any surprise that our lawmakers won't pass popular gun control legislation.

“If we ever do want to see common-sense gun control legislation passed, we need to get money out of politics, we need to overturn Citizens United and we need to get the corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists out of our political system. Because as former President Jimmy Carter has pointed out, we're no longer living in a democracy where US politicians listen to the will of the American people.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Republican "Gun Whores" in Senate Vote To Arm Terrorists With Assault Weapons

In a show of outrageous cowardice and insensitivity, Republican Senators voted down common sense gun control measures yesterday. This despite the fact that America is just one week removed from yet another senseless mass slaughter of innocents in Orlando. The terrorist shooter would not have been able to purchase his automatic weapon if the assault weapons ban proposed by Democrats had been the law of the land.

This is what The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence had to say on its website: "It is obvious that Congressional Republicans are beholden to the gun lobby; their greed and selfish interests supersede any sympathy or concern for the pain and suffering of others.
This evening, the United States Senate defied the will of a large majority of Americans by failing to pass common-sense gun reforms in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

"The chamber voted on four pieces of gun-related legislation tonight, two of which would have strengthened gun laws and saved lives. The first, an amendment introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would have allowed the U.S. Attorney General to prohibit those suspected of terrorist activity from purchasing firearms, while allowing for due process. The second, by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)—who led an emotional 15-hour filibuster on Thursday calling for the votes—would have required universal background checks on all gun sales, while exempting gifts between immediate family members. Unfortunately, the Feinstein and Murphy amendments were defeated by votes of 53 to 47 and 56 to 44, respectively.

"According to national polls, both reforms are widely supported by the American people. A CNN/ORC poll released earlier today found that 92% of American voters support “a background check on anyone attempting to purchase a gun,” with only 8% opposing. The same poll found that 85% of American voters supported “preventing people on the U.S. Government’s Terrorist Watchlist or no-fly list from owning guns,” with only 14% in opposition.

"Two substitute amendments introduced by Republicans were also voted down tonight, one by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and the other by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Both would have weakened federal gun laws, as opposed to strengthening them.

“We will not be deterred by this Congress’s continued fealty to the National Rifle Association,” said Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia State Director Lori Haas. “The ‘Terror Gap’ and universal background check reforms are incredibly popular reforms and there is a growing national movement coalescing around them. We will push these bills, and others, during the remaining days of this Congress and demand new votes until the House and Senate do their jobs.”