Category Archives: opinion

In Trumpistan, Obama is a Russian Spy

The mind boggles. The brain explodes.  We get yet one more Trump blatant lie exposed … by himself!

Trump has said many times that the Russian election tampering is a hoax pushed by Democrats to explain why Hillary lost. Notice — this is not just a denial that the Trump campaign did anything wrong. It is a denial that tampering happened.

Now Trump says this

The CIA gave (Obama) information on Russia a long time before they even — before the election,. To me — in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it.

“Information on Russia” means information on Russian election tampering. In other words, Trump has moved from “it is all a hoax” to “there was tampering”. He is also admitting that the tampering was serious enough that Obama should have “done something about it”.

BTW, Obama did do things about it. Using hindight, they didn’t work. And they may not have worked because of Trump campaign collusion. We are still trying to figure that one out. – among other things.

We might think further about this. While Obama may be criticized for not going public with what he knew, think for a moment why he didn’t Remember? At that time, Trump was going around saying that the election was rigged for Hillary Clinton. Coming out with this type of information would have given Trump more ammo to claim he was being treated unfairly.  One more thing. Trump’s most recent comment makes sense only if he did not know anything about the Russian election tampering before the electoin. If he did, one might reasonably ask why he didn’t do anything about it? And why did he call it a hoax for so long?  The house of mirrors collapses unless Trump was living under a rock or in a cave.

So what is next for Tump? Perhaps a claim that Obamqa is a Russian spy? Or perhaps Obama’s father knew Lee Harvey Oswald?`Or wasn’t that Obama dancing on the rooftop as the buildings came down on 9/11?

The sky is the limit for this dude when it comes to mendacity!

Once Again, Trump will Try to Fire Mueller

I posted on this the other day and it appears that Trump is moving in this direction.

Why? After firing Comey, Trump knows that firing Mueller will spark a huge explosion in the media and in Washington. So he will not do it just for fun. But he may have to do it if he believes Mueller will find stuff that will bring him down. At that point he has nothing to lose. and he has a chance to get away with it if Congressional Republicans show no spine.

In my book, by making noises that he may fire Mueller — which Trump just did (see link above) — Trump is already tacitly admitting that there are serious skeletons in his closet.  Why? There is no other reason to launch this trial balloon. But that is just my intuition speaking.

BTW, if the Dems had won any of the special elections, it would be more certain that Republicans would rebel if Trump fires Mueller. Now? A certain number are still likely to freak out. But Mitch McConnell and Pual Ryan may try to keep the troops in line.  And Trump may be counting on that. For sure, he is chatting with McConnell and Ryan about it.

Let’s say Trump does fire Mueller in order to fund a whopper tax cut for rich folks and signs into law a Trumpcare bill that cuts Medicaid and reduces health care coverage. We then head into the 2018 Congressional elections with some very big issues out there for voters.

Stay tuned!

Climate Change Has to be a Hoax, Right?

This is not a post to argue that climate change is a hoax or is not a hoax. It is isntead, a post to point out a basic logic behind these very different points of view.

Persons who are concerned about climate change generally say that it is prudent to do something about it — even if we are not 100% about the mechanisms that are causing it. The risks are just too great.

Persons who are opposed seem not to hear that argument. Instead, they are persuaded that the data about climate change has been manipulated. They stand firm that nothing is wrong.

Think about it for a second. If climate change is real and ppotentially threatending, we need to take it serioulsy. That is logical. And we cannot address the problem in a serious way by acting only on a local level. There has to be some sort of global coordination. What? Global coordination?

Hold on a minute!

You might recall that a half century ago, the groups that argued that medical evidence linking cigarettes smoking to health problems … were the cigaratte manufacturers.  They fought tooth and nail to discredit the evidence. And they were able to slow down the process of getting people to stop smoking.

You might also recall that around 40 years ago, when a British researcher by the name of John Yudkin, started finding correlations betnwee higher intake of sugar and helath problems, his career was destroyed … by the food processing industry.

Start to see a pattern here?

So what groups would stand to lose if we have global coordination on reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere? And what do you think they are saying about climate change?

Interesting.

There is a more basic point here. The Reagan revolution brought to the mainstream the idea thta the private sector solves all problems. Government is th eproblem. but you can see that the privte sector does not slve problems when it is not in its interest to do so.

Like it or not, there are times when we need other ways to get at the truth and deal with it.

A Day in Trumpistan

Trump a year ago

“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over [Ted Cruz],” Trump said in South Carolina during the 2016 primary election. “Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”

“I know the people on Wall Street … I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder,” Trump also said at a 2016 campaign rally in Iowa. “Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us.”

Trump yesterday in Iowa

“So somebody said, ‘Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy,” Trump said to a group of his supporters at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. “I said, ‘Because that’s the kind of thinking we want … because they’re representing the country. They don’t want the money.”

“And I love all people — rich or poor — but in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person,” Trump continued. “Does that make sense? If you insist, I’ll do it — but I like it better this way.”

Errr … so. Does that make sense? You be the judge.

Almost Ossoff, But Not Quite

Jon Ossoff almost won the speical election for the congressional seat in the 6th distrct of Georgia. That is news because demshave not had a prayer to win that seat in a long, long time. But he still came up short. Any lessons learned?

I think there is at least one. As expected there was a bigger than usual anti-Trump element to the vote. That is what made it close. But Ossoff is too much the nice boring guy. He is not someone who could mobilize enough people to come out to vote. Hillary had the same problem.

I get the strategy. Republicans are advocating nutty policies, so democratic candidates want look like the opposite – reasonable. But reasonable doesn’t get out the vote. Dems have to fire people up and that means showing a bit of passoin and even anger about the nonsense that is going on in Washington. “Give us out contryback!”

So far, progressives have been the only fire breathing wing of the Democratic Party. But there is no reason why more consiervative demscan’t show a bit more passion. If they don’t, we will not see much change.

Brett Logiurato argues that this loss should be a wake up call for dems. They need a new message Time to get beyond Hillary and Barrack and find issues that have traction with voters.

Saying Goodbye to Otto Warmbier

Before I say anything else, allow me to state the obvious. Otto Warmbier did not deserve to die as the result of his incorceration in North Korea. That is obvious.

So how did it happen? From the record so far, it appears that Warmbier removed something from his hotel room to return it to the US as a souvenir. That is strictly forbidden in North Korea, and Warmbier was arrested at the airport where the artifact was discovered.

After that, Warmbier was incarcerated for 17 months. We have no idea what happened during that time. But we can make a conjecture based on what we know now. The young man, who had been healthy before his trip,  died very shortly thereafter being let go. In other words, he was brutalized and died from the trauma.

I am reminded of a stroy written by Somerset Maugham years ago called “Christmas Holiday”.  It is a good read. In this story, Maugham brings out a clash of mindsets — one from a comfortable and trusting setting and the other from a not so comfortable and not trusting one. Guess what happens? I call it a reality sandwich.

Young Otto had the false impression that he would be treated differently because he was American. Sadly, he did not understand that his being American would make his detention all the more dangerous.  He did not understand that reality is more complex and dangerous outside of the protection of home.

An End to Gerrymandering?

Gerrymandering is an old American tradition.  It started back in 1812 in Massachusettes when legislators sent Governor Gerry a bill that re-drew legisltaive districts to favor one party. A commentator thought the new legislative map looked like a salamander Gerry signed the bill, and it became known as the “Gerrymander”.

Since then, political parties have done this whenever they have had the chance. And the 2010 gerrymandering after the Repulbican electoral victories was perhaps the most blatant ever.

The result — when a district is drawn up to guarantee that it is composed of a marjoirty of one party, politicians no longer need to worry about getting re-elected. And they don’t. As a result, they tend to cater to parochial party interests.  They can be “primaried” out (as Tea Party candidates have done to some Republicans) but generally not voted out.  This is one of the reasons Repubicans are stuck further right than some of them may want to be —- they are afraid of  getting primaried out by nutty activists.

The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a case where gerrymandering was struck down. Wow! That could be a very, very bid deal.