Archive for the ‘stinking piece of filth’ Category

Another normal day in the United States of Trump

January 20, 2018

A “government shutdown” is when the government can’t pay employees for working, so instead pays them for not working.

That’s the reality. Workers are sent home because there’s no Congressional authorization to pay their salaries. But because nobody wants to screw them out of much-needed income, once the “shutdown” ends they get their missing pay anyway. Paying for work not done costs taxpayers billions; the loss to the economy is billions more.

The shutdown is happening because Trump is holding DACA “dreamers” hostage to funding his wall (the one he promised Mexico would pay for). DACA concerns people brought to America as children, outside the legal immigration system, who have made their lives here. A strong majority of Americans wants them allowed to stay. The criminal cruelty of revoking their permission to stay is obvious (and it would damage our economy too). When in September Trump cancelled DACA he shed crocodile tears for these “dreamers” and said he wanted Congress to fix it. He was lying — as I said at the time.

The shutdown is happening because this celebrated author of The Art of the Deal* actually stinks at deal-making. Because his position changes by the minute, he doesn’t negotiate in good faith, doesn’t fulfill commitments, and nobody can trust anything he says. It’s his disordered mind. He was offered deals that would solve the DACA issue and avoid a shutdown. He refused.

Of course he blames Democrats — even though Republicans control all branches of the government. It’s just his normal modus operandi of lying, scapegoating, and name-calling. He plays the military card — as in “weak on borders, weak on crime, weak on the military” — nonsense he spews at any political opponent, knowing he can say absolutely anything and his supporters lap it up.

In other words, we’re having just another normal day in the United States of Trump.

* Ghost-written, actually, of course. When will he publish the sequel, The Art of the Lie?

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I applaud President Trump!!

January 4, 2018

President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order yesterday for which I stand up and cheer!

His order disbanded the “Voter Fraud Commission” he’d set up at the start of his administration.

The commission had two purposes. First, to massage Trump’s meshugas over having lost, by nearly 3 million, the popular vote — with the preposterous lie that those 3 million were fraudulent votes. Of course the commission failed. Voter fraud in fact is virtually nonexistent.*

The commission’s second purpose was the sinister one of creating a pretext for more stringent voter ID requirements. The Republican party, having given up on winning over poor and minority voters, instead strives to keep them from voting. Some GOP-ruled states have instituted ID requirements especially crafted to stymie those voters in particular. Shame on them!

But Trump’s commission combined two salient characteristics of his administration: meanness and incompetence. Mean though it was, it couldn’t get its act together sufficiently to gin up the phony evidence of voter fraud it was meant to concoct. Or maybe that was just too heavy a lift even for these prodigious liars.

Anyway, they’ve given up, and I applaud that.

When I mentioned it to my wife at breakfast, she asked, “Does this mean Trump has grown from a three-year-old to a five-year-old?” Alas, no. Even while announcing this, he still tweeted, “System is rigged.”

* Voter rolls do include many names of people who’ve died or moved away. But those names don’t get voted. Trump focused particularly on New Hampshire, where hordes supposedly invaded the state to vote. Turns out those were all people lawfully entitled to vote in New Hampshire.

The Mueller Investigation Scandal

December 31, 2017

The Kremlin has warned the U.S. against meddling in Russia’s presidential election. (Or its rigging; chief Putin opponent and recent acid attack victim Navalny is barred from the ballot.) While the U.S. president denies Russia meddled in America’s own election!

Despite, please remember, an official U.S. intelligence finding, a year ago, that it happened. And it was no mere “attempt.” Since then we’ve learned its audacious breadth* — surely enough to swing just a few thousand votes in three key states and thus the outcome. America’s top foreign enemy threw our election to its preferred candidate. That’s huge. Our hair should be on fire.

But Republicans’ hair is on fire about . . . the investigation.

I previously predicted a smear campaign trying to discredit Robert Mueller and his probe, because Republicans expect it to uncover some very bad stuff about Trump and his fellow creeps. Mueller is a highly respected former FBI director, and happens to be a Republican, appointed by a Republican. Yet the GOP (and their shameless shills at Fox Fake News) are now in full shoot-the-messenger mode, waging pre-emptive war against not only Mueller but also the FBI, Department of Justice, and intelligence services, flinging charges of corrupt partisanship. And muddying the waters with irrelevant old red herrings about Hillary. This is all blatant rubbish. It’s the GOP itself (and Fox) being corruptly partisan.

Their Exhibit A is one Peter Strzok, briefly on Mueller’s team, who wrote some anti-Trump personal e-mails. When that became known, Mueller promptly fired him. A Big Nothing. (Government investigators are actually allowed to have political opinions; even to contribute to campaigns. Mueller’s critics themselves certainly do.) But that doesn’t stop them from exploiting this stuff to beat on Mueller.

Focus on what’s happening. A foreign enemy subverted our presidential election, and the investigation thereof is being subverted by Republicans with phony smears aimed at tearing down our own institutions of government and law. Compounding the damage to our increasingly fragile democracy. That’s the scandal here, and it too is huge.

Any fair-minded, objective observer could see this reality. Like so much of the Trump dumpster fire. I myself was a longtime GOP stalwart until I saw the reality, of the party’s dive to the dark side. I’m reminded of the disgusting old line, “if you’re being raped, lie back and enjoy it.” That’s how Republicans have responded to Trump’s grabbing them by the pussy. Now they’re “all in” with him.

Trashing everything they ever stood for. Make America great again? Those red hats should be stuffed down their throats.

Happy New Year.

*One example: fake ads misdirecting blacks to vote on the internet.

America’s state capture

December 24, 2017

               “The world sees how bad the United States is.”

                                           — Donald J. Trump, 2017

The tax bill is heralded as Trump’s big legislative win. In fact — having built his fortune as a grifter — it’s his biggest scam. At over a trillion dollars, probably the biggest heist in history.

Republican lawmakers duly performed a leader-worship extravaganza sickening for a democracy. One commentator called it ring-kissing; but what was kissed this Emperor’s clothes don’t cover. These sycophants do it because Trump laps it up. Foreign governments too have figured out how flattery turns him to jelly.

“State capture” means looting the state for private benefit. The term was coined in South Africa, where President Jacob Zuma and his business cronies, the Gupta brothers, hardly even bother to hide their corruption.

Zuma

Zuma was the example I cited when, after our 2016 election, I wrote that giving bad men power never makes them better. That such men have a golden opportunity to prove doubters wrong, and become heroes. But they never do. Creeps only become creepier.

The latest is Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa. Following one of the baddest baddies ever, he too had a golden opportunity.

Mnangagwa

So awful was Mugabe that it wouldn’t have taken much for Mnangagwa to look like Gandhi by comparison. And he promised a new leaf. But already it has the same putrid stench as the old leaf.

In South Africa, Zuma’s presidency has nearly ruined the achievement of the country’s transition to democracy. But there’s hope. The ruling ANC party met recently to choose Zuma’s successor, and he failed to swing the vote to his ex-wife (or to derail it). The winner — by a whisker — is Cyril Ramaphosa — just possibly a good man.

Trump is not. He too could have proven naysayers wrong; instead he’s proven we underestimated his badness. Yet a third of Americans still love him. Compare Brazilian President Temer’s approval rating of just three percent. Three! And he’s much less bad. But the difference is that Brazilians see clearly, not blinded by the disease afflicting America: partisanship trumping everything.

And so we get this tax bill — probably the foulest legislation in U.S. history, combining cravenness of intent with hugeness of impact. Looting the Treasury to the tune of over a trillion, mainly to benefit fatcats like Trump himself. His saying it will actually cost him money — “believe me, believe me” — is a stupendous lie. Among the bill’s biggest beneficiaries are what are called “pass-through” business entities. Of which Trump owns approximately 500.

And in the debates, Trump said the “carried interest” loophole, which also benefits him, should surely be scrapped. Was it? Of course not.

The entire bill is one big lie. No, two. First the lie that it’s a gift to “the American people” when it’s overwhelmingly for corporations and the richest, ultimately paid for by the rest. And the lie that it will pay for itself, and benefit the less affluent, by stimulating the economy.

Mnuchin’s teeth

No serious economist agrees. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin lied through his teeth (literally; his normal speech mode) about his own department’s analysis of the bill’s impact.

As both economic and social policy this is insane. Republicans railed against Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill as a budget buster, at a time when the economy was desperate. Today’s economy is, in contrast, humming nicely, with unemployment less than half, yet Republicans slate an even bigger unneeded stimulus. One that in fact will eventually harm the economy by increasing the megatonnage of our national debt bomb.

I mentioned social policy. Ever hear the word “inequality?” Trump was elected, in large part, because of middle- and working-class economic anxiety. Yet it’s the rich this tax bill coddles.

And it sets the stage for worse to come. Targeted next is “entitlement reform.” Indeed, the long looming fiscal hemorrhage of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., is worsened by the tax giveaway, making reform even more imperative. What’s needed is curbing welfare for the rich. But will Republicans do that? If their tax heist is any clue, they’ll instead use that very legislation — which slashes the money available for social programs — as a pretext for a “reform” cutting those programs for the neediest while preserving hand-outs for the people who . . . donate to their campaigns.

Merry Christmas! Make America great again!

Decency wins in Alabama

December 13, 2017

How great it feels that the America I love and believe in still lives. Even in Alabama. Even if only by a 50-49 vote.

Doug Jones & Roy Moore; from The Economist

It was a vote for decency and dignity. It’s actually sad that we’ve come to such a pass where that’s the bottom line. Sad that anybody, let alone 49%, voted the other way. At least decency and dignity did manage to scrape through. And we didn’t have to suffer creeps like Roy Moore, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump crowing over a triumph.

Moore (taking a leaf from Trump) stonewalled his history of sexual predation. But the evidence — testimony by multiple credible witnesses — would convict him in any court. It got him banned from a local mall! So to the sin of venery he adds the sin of lying. His whole life, steeped in God-talk, is one big lie. Belief in God may be excusable; believing Roy Moore is not. Most Alabamans didn’t, even many who held their noses and voted for him.

And please no “what-about-ism.” What someone else did doesn’t sanitize sex criminals like Moore — and Trump (or voting for them). At least Al Franken (whose offenses were minor in comparison) had the decency to man up and resign. While Trump and Moore compound injury to their victims by slandering them as liars.

And please don’t call him “Judge Moore.” He has the brass to so style himself despite having been twice kicked off the bench for defying the law. (I was not, and some still call me “judge,” but I don’t myself.)

Moore also said 9/11 was God punishing America’s sinfulness; homosexuality should be illegal; no Muslim should be allowed to serve in Congress; the First Amendment doesn’t protect a “false” religion like Islam; all amendments after the tenth created a lot of problems; and America was great when we had slavery!

This is who Alabama Republicans wanted to send to pollute the United States Senate.

In contrast, Democrat Doug Jones courageously prosecuted the KKK bombers of a Birmingham black church. Electing him may have signified some atonement for Alabama’s past sins, turning the page on what Roy Moore represents. Doug Jones last night quoted Martin Luther King that the moral arc of the Universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

I wrote recently that we’re experiencing a social revolution with sexual abuse viewed much more severely than in the past. But actually this applies only to a part of America. Another part is in fact doubling down on the old paradigm. The part that supports a pedophile Senate candidate and pussygrabber president. The part that shrugs off all their lies. And nevertheless preens as godly moralists.

They justify their political behavior by invoking, among others, abortion as a moral issue. It’s actually a very difficult one (unlike lying and sexual abuse). And many fetishize “right-to-life” for fetuses but not gun victims; their moralism rings hollow. But more importantly, embracing the likes of Moore and Trump goes whole hog on ends justifying means, crossing a moral Rubicon into perdition.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul?”

Thank goodness I quit the Republican party months ago — once a principled and honorable party, now the party of pious frauds, lies, ignorance, xenophobia, Russia-dupes, more lies, criminals, creeps, cruelty, bigotry, vulgarity, and depravity. I am still working at scrubbing off the stench.

New depths of depravity

December 3, 2017

“Believe me,” he says, “believe me.”

A constant verbal tic. As if his subconscious knows he won’t be believed. You might think a man widely called a liar might try to avoid lies. But au contraire. He shoves his thumb in our eye.

“Believe me,” he said, regarding the tax bill, “This is going to cost me a fortune. This is not good for me. Believe me.” He said the “wealthy and well connected” aren’t benefiting and are actually mad at him because the bill is ending a lot of their loopholes. “I don’t care,” he said.

All huge lies. Does he think people are fools? Well, his supporters, yes.

Or does he delude himself that having concealed his tax returns he can now deny the nevertheless obvious fact that this legislation will benefit him personally, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars? What mental disorder is this?

But the big lie is claiming to help the middle class. In reality (yes, reality still does exist) middle class people will get crumbs at best, many will actually pay higher taxes, while the wealthiest, and corporations, make out like bandits. Moreover, while the latter give-aways are permanent, the benefits for the less wealthy expire in five years, so most of them will be paying more. This will happen, conveniently, in the next administration. Do they imagine the next president will get the blame?

It’s also a brazen political hit, targeted against wealthier states like New York, California and Massachusetts, which happen to have higher state and local taxes — and happened to vote against Trump.

And the idea that the tax cuts will trickle down to the less wealthy because businesses will hire more and pay more is another big lie. American businesses are already sitting atop piles of excess cash. And meantime, whatever stimulatory effect these tax cuts might have will be cancelled out by their blowing up deficits and national debt, which will ultimately wreck our economy.*

Then Trump re-tweeted stupid phony videos disseminated by an extreme right-wing British hate group to smear Muslims. Talk about fake news! A disgusting witless act by the President of the United States. Almost the entire British nation (including even Nigel Farage!) came together in shock to condemn it. (In response Trump tweeted an insult at Britain’s prime minister.)

The irony is that if he’d wanted to show Muslim atrocities, instead of this fake garbage he could have used pictures of children tortured by the Syrian regime; or James Foley’s head sawed off; or the Jordanian pilot burned alive; or, for that matter, 9/11; and the New Jersey Muslims celebrating it. (Oops, that was another Trump lie.)

Even more disturbing is that, despite everything, Trump’s approval rating still holds in the high thirties. In any other country, or in our own past, a leader behaving so egregiously would have forfeited all support. But today’s America is afflicted by extreme partisan tribalism.

Fools will say I should just shut up already, give it up, suck it up (and what about Hillary). Sorry, this is not normal politics. My beloved country is being defiled, and it breaks my heart.

* Only one Republican senator, Bob Corker, had the sense and integrity to vote no — literally the last man standing.