An Allegory…

The Dangling Man
A man, Amerigo by name, is standing on the edge of a cliff, enjoying the view.  Without warning, the ground under his feet gives way.  As the man falls, he manages to grab a now-exposed root and finds himself dangling high above an abyss.  He tries to pull himself up but, for various reasons, he can’t get a foothold.  He begins to call out for help.

A Republican shows up and eventually understands the situation.
“Use your bootstraps,” the Republican shouts to The Dangling Man…
Then, he leaves.

A Democrat happens on the scene.  He hears the cries for help and investigates, finding The Dangling Man clinging desperately to the root.
“Hang on,” the Democrat says.  “I’ve got a rope.”
The Dangling Man feels a rush of relief, hopeful the Democrat will save him.  “Hurry, please!” replies The Dangling Man.  “I don’t know how much longer I can hold on…”
Using incremental, baby steps, the Democrat goes to his car, carefully selects a rope, and ties it off safely.  Then he begins to unwind the rope, one coil at a time.
“Please…hurry!” The Dangling Man calls.  “My fingers are numb and I’m slipping…”
“I’m moving as quickly as prudence dictates,” replies the Democrat.  “If I don’t do this carefully, incrementally, unforeseen problems might arise.  What if my rope gets a kink in it or something?”
The Dangling Man realizes he won’t be able to survive at this rate.  The Democrat is simply moving too slowly.  The Dangling Man once again calls out for help.

A Progressive shows up.  It takes only a split-second for the Progressive to summarize the situation.  He runs to the edge of the cliff and, securing himself against a tree, reaches his hand down to The Dangling Man.
“Take my hand,” the Progressive says.  “I’ll get you out of this mess…”
“Thank God you’re here,” The Dangling Man says.  “That guy said he would help but he’s taking so long…I was sure I was going to die…”

The Democrat sees the Progressive reaching down toward the man and knows exactly what he has to do.  In a blur of motion, the Democrat drops the rope and runs to where the Progressive is – and pushes him off the cliff and into the abyss.
“What are you doing?” The Dangling Man demands.  “He was trying to help me!”
“Oh, sure,” the Democrat says, “he said he wanted to help but he didn’t even have a plan.”
“He HAD a plan,” the Dangling Man shouts.  “He was just going to pull me up!”
“That wasn’t a plan, that was just a reaction,” replied the Democrat.  “He could never have pulled it off.”
“He could have with your help!  Why did you push him off the cliff?”
“I’ve already told you,” the Democrat scolds.  “If we don’t do this incrementally, in baby steps, something might go wrong.”
“I can’t wait any longer!” The Dangling Man declares.  “I need help right now!”
“Purist!” the Democrat scoffs, walking back to his rope.  “I told you I was bringing help…”

When, finally, he got his rope to the edge, no one was there.  The Dangling Man was gone.

To this day, the Democrat doesn’t understand what happened…

Killing and Dying…

Generally speaking, I hold that in order for a transaction to be honestly Capitalist, both parties must have a legitimate ability to say no.  CLEARLY, this is not the case with health care.  So, I support universal health care.  Specifically, Bernie’s proposal for Medicare for all.  Why re-invent the wheel, right?

Okay, so this right-wing activist “judge,” Reed O’Connor, rules in his “court” that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.  (As it happens, he’s a shill for right-wing causes and heavily involved with the Federalist Society…)  In my opinion, that’s bad.  But I was never a fan of the ACA.  I know it was originally proffered by the far-right Heritage Foundation as an alternative to universal health care back when Bill asked Hillary to pretend to look into it in the 1990’s.  (Not surprisingly, she failed…)

The ACA became known, popularly, as ‘Obamacare.’  Most people benefit from it.  Conservatives hate Obamacare, though they LOVE the Affordable Care Act.  (Why, yes.  You CAN use that as a gauge regarding their level of understanding of…things…)  This activist judge’s ruling will, of course, cause pain to huge swaths of our country.  As with all things conservative, the vast majority of people will suffer.  Many will die.

But I suspect that by striking down the ACA, this Texican “judge” has inadvertently opened the door to Medicare for all.  Sooner or later, the United States is going to have to join the rest of civilized humanity and provide universal health care as a right, not another obligation to pay…

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The National Shame has named Mick Mulvaney to be his next Chief of Staff.  Apparently, Mulvaney is expected to continue in his current role as Director of the Office of Management and Budget as well.

That’s a good insight into how hard these people are working, isn’t it?  Mulvaney can do TWO jobs, each of which normally consume inordinate amounts of time?  My guess is Mulvaney will be COSINO (Chief of Staff In Name Only).  Look for Kushner to do the job until his court dates start piling up and, after his conviction, perhaps Ivanka will take over – you know, until HER conviction…

“Drain the swamp,” indeed.  It sure seems to me that Trump is trying his best to out-do Reagan when it comes to number of administration members who end up in prison.  True, he’s on a pretty solid run at this point but Reagan had eight years to send his 138 people to prison.  I don’t think Trump is going to have the time needed to make it a true competition…

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Donald J. Trump is now killing children at the border.  Well, he’s not doing it personally.  He’s a coward.  He would NEVER do it personally.  But his racist policies are getting the job done for him.

US and international law allows for people to seek asylum.  The Orange Foolius declaring them “illegals” and refusing their requests is, itself, a crime.  Now someone – a child named Jakelin Caal – has died as a direct result.  Can we add involuntary manslaughter to his list of crimes?

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I think the NFL is going to end up paying Colin Kaepernick a HUGE amount of money when they finally have to settle his lawsuit and it’s just arrogant stupidity that’s causing it.  ALL THEY HAD TO DO was sign him to some team – any team.  But when Alex Smith and then his backup went down in Washington, the professional football team there signed two career “also-ran” Quarterbacks.  There can be no question the NFL is colluding against Kaepernick in retaliation for Kaep’s stance on police brutality…

I’ll tell you this: the NFL employs a LOT of people of color.  One would think they would at least put on a show of support for a protest opposing the wanton murders of people of color…

Better and Worse…

I’m kind of over the whole Kevin Hart kerfuffle.  Yeah, I know.  He posted some stupid jokes years ago that were anti-LGBTQ.  So, how many times does he have to apologize before the apology is accepted?  Maya Angelou said that when you know better, you do better.  His comments back then represented a certain ignorance but he seems to have learned.  Now he knows better and he’s doing better.  Human growth.  We don’t all start out in the perfect position on every issue every time…

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According to the Guardian, Tucker Carlson of all people may be turning on Trump.  Carlson has been quoted as saying he doesn’t think Trump is capable of getting legislation through Congress because he doesn’t know how and cites what he calls failures of the current “President.”

If Trump is losing Fox “News”, he’s in a world of hurt…

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I see that the driver of the car in Charlottesville has been convicted of murder.  It’s the right call.  This case has become my “go-to” when I describe the difference in the news media between what people see inside the conservative bubble and what people see outside of the conservative bubble.  We all saw the same video but inside the conservative bubble, they saw an edited version.  It left out the part about the guy sitting still; alone in his car with no one around him.  All the cons saw was a guy running from the “crazy” libs who were shouting and throwing things at him and hitting his car so, obviously, he was scared and running for safety.  They had seen it with their own eyes!  We argued about it for quite some time…

But what they had seen was a falsehood packaged just for them.  Now that the courts have considered the entire video his guilt was clear.  I will continue to use the case to highlight the fact that left and right are NOT receiving the same information.  The enemy of the people is not left or right.  The enemy is the corporate media going to so much trouble to sow discontent.  Reagan started the process of the destruction of our independent media but Clinton finished it so it’s not a partisan problem.  It’s an American problem…

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It’s starting to look a bit like the swamp is going to be drained despite Trump’s best efforts to fill it with swamp monsters.  The tide of evidence is rising against him and I think HE’S going to be…well…swamped.  No, he won’t be going to jail.  America doesn’t jail her ex-presidents regardless of their crimes.  (Just ask international war criminal Bush 43.)  But it’s looking more and more like the House is going to have to draw up Articles of Impeachment.  So how long can the corrupt Republican Senate refuse to act on them and hope to retain their own phony-baloney jobs? I’m anticipating an announcement that he needs to spend more time running his businesses and step down.

With Nancy Pelosi set to take over as Speaker of the House, if the investigation snares Pence and HE has to step down, we could end up with a Democratic President before 2020.  Yeah, it’s a pipe-dream but, for some reason, I find it comforting…

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These days, when a President leaves office, he gets to become FABULOUSLY wealthy.  Trump might break THAT precedent as well.  He might be the first President of the modern era who actually loses money for having been the President.  There are several legal battles he’s going to need to fight.  Tax agencies are coming after back taxes he owes (according to the NY Times).  Worse, the false image he’s worked so hard to cultivate through the years has been shattered.  Everybody outside of the conservative bubble understands the guy is nothing more than a flimflam man and I think his patrons will leave him behind once he becomes useless to them…

Passing and Impeachment…

I guess one can’t write about politics without mentioning the passing of George H. W. Bush, aka Bush 41 so…

One down, one to go…

The truth is, I suspect Bush 41 was the last President of the United States from the old order.  Reagan began the coup but 41 failed to follow through.  Reagan initiated the government-strangling tax cuts for the wealthy.  41 used the policy to get elected but when he saw the damage that was already starting, he raised taxes again.  BAM!  One term President.

But Clinton returned to the plan, finalizing the destruction of independent media, and each “President” since has moved forward with the Oligarch-supporting arrangement.  (Republicans do it nakedly, aggressively.  Democrats have to pretend to “lose the fight” but the result is always the same: comfort the comfortable, afflict the afflicted…)

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SO…Paul Manafort is playing both sides of the fence, is he?  It will be interesting to see if the so-called “President” (or, in this case, Trump) will try to give him a pardon.  If he does, it will certainly set up a Constitutional crisis.  See, Article II, Section 2, subsection 1 of the Constitution of the United States grants the President the power of pardons “…except in Cases of Impeachment.”

I suppose those trying to defend this train-wreck of a human being will argue that since Trump hasn’t been impeached he still has full authority to grant pardons to anyone.  Sure, that would be stupid but that doesn’t mean his apologists won’t argue the point, like, forever.  The reason it’s a stupid argument is that it takes time to build a case for impeachment.  If the President (or in this case, Trump) can just pardon people for participating in impeachable crimes as they occur, it would become literally impossible to impeach any President (or even Trump).  Cons would only acknowledge this, though, if the President in question had a ‘D’ after his name…

BUT…if Manafort is being prosecuted for crimes like money laundering and other white collar crimes that have nothing to do with the President (or in this case, Trump), then Trump should, by rights, have the authority to pardon Manafort.

Also, what if it’s an impeachable offense but nobody it planning an impeachment?  I suppose the newly Democratic House can draft Articles of Impeachment even knowing the Senate won’t ever follow through.  That could stop Trump from pardoning his cronies willy-nilly.

Does the United States have a President or a dictator?  The whole world waits with bated breath…

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I’ve noticed a fairly new trend: Democratic party members are starting to inhabit faith-based politics in a way previously seen only in conservative circles.  The Dems have been selling a story about what happened in the 2016 “election” and insisting that everybody agree with the tale.  Progressives, who prefer facts and therefore reject the party line, are written off as “purists.”  If you want to be a mainstream Democrat today, you’ve GOT to subscribe to the ‘Russia-did-it’ story.

I’ve even seen loyalist Democrats in social media gleefully declaring “Fuck the WWC!”  (‘WWC’ is ‘White Working Class.’  In context, they actually mean non-college educated white working class because of their beliefs about who voted for Hillary and who didn’t.  It’s part of the faith message and helps them protect themselves from the reality that many (most?) of those with degrees qualify as ‘white working class’ as well.)  The message they seem to be trying to convince themselves of is that college-educated, party-loyal Dems no longer need the support of independent Progressives.

I’ll tell you this: I suspect they’re trying to press the message because they’re planning on running Hillary again.  I guess time will tell how well that works out for them…