Thursday, August 31, 2017: The Brains Behind Our Political Lackeys
"Over the decades, lobbying has evolved from a niche trade of fixers and gatekeepers to a sleek, vertically integrated, $3-billion-a-year industry. A good lobbyist doesn't go into a meeting asking for legislation; she or he already has the bill drafted, a coalition of businesses and trade groups poised to support it, a policy brief to hand out to reporters and to the officials positioned at dozens of decision points throughout the bureaucracy and relationships with advertising and polling firms to manage the public rollout. Everyone has a lobbyist or three, or 50 and the lobbyists know everyone. K Street is majestic and immovable, veined through Washington like fat through a prime steak."
From the New York Times Magazine, "How to Get Rich in Trump's Washington", by Nicholas Confessore
Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Scott Pruitt Administrator of the Environmental Pollution Agency
Anyone who has watch a movie about the future where the earth is a polluted relic and society is divided between the haves (the minority) and the have-nots (the majority) should stop thinking about it as fiction. Scott Pruitt, Trump's Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is using the end state of those doomsday movies as a goal to be achieved during his tenure.
He has single-handedly put the United States on the course of being the most polluted country on the planet. He claims that he is "making it a priority to ensure contaminated sites are cleaned up" while he rolls back regulations that will result in even greater contamination of our water and air. Oh, and in the category of putting your money where your mouth is, his proposed budget for the Superfund program would cut its funding by 25%. So much for making the cleanup of contaminated sites a priority.
To insure that he doesn't get any opposition to his pollution agenda, Pruitt is making his policy decisions behind closed doors with his sycophantic minions and without the advice and counsel of his career EPA officials who are the most knowledgeable resources at his disposal.
The argument, as always, is that deregulation will create jobs when in fact, all he is doing is dropping more money to the bottom line of the corporations who want to pollute our water and air to make greater profits and improving the bonuses of the polluting executives that line the Republican Party's pockets.
Everyone talks about how Trump and Pruitt are rolling back President Obama's legacy. They should be talking about how Pruitt's policies will make large swaths of this county uninhabitable.
Sunday, August 20, 2017: The Fallacy of the Trump Supporter
I am convinced that our basic nature prevents us accepting responsibility for our condition. For those supporting Trump, it seems beyond their capability to utter a mea culpa. For the most part, Trump supporters are the garden-variety racists, xenophobes, religious bigots, and misogynists those not in any hate or related hate group. They will deny it, but their actions speak volumes. And how about those Evangelicals? When are they going to accept the reality that they supporting consummate evil.
But bigotry is not the only factor motivating them to support Trump. According to a New York Times election postmortem, many still see Trump as "their best chance to dampen the most painful blows of globalization and trade, to fight special interests, and to be heard and protected." Their response to his actions is to "just give him time".
Does this mean that whites have it worse than the minorities that the Trump base of whites rails against? Not really, but according to numerous sociological studies, a person's objective economic condition is less important in fostering anger than how that person is faring compared to their own expectations. Whites have long had it better than other groups, but that advantage is slowly being whittled away. They are not meeting their own expectations.
The fallacy is that the economic slide that is causing them pain has been brought to us by who else, "The Whites". Yep, that's right folks, it's them fat cat white guys sitting in positions of power (like Trump and his West Wing) who have created this economic morass and who have also failed to address the impact of their policies and decisions on white middle class America. So if you see yourself as one of those "Make America White" again types, what you should be really doing to improve your lot is encouraging immigration, starting unions, voting for politicians who are really going to act in your best interest and get over the idea that some how "nationalism" is the answer. IT'S NOT
Saturday, August 19, 2017: The Strategy Is Chaos
I have not been posting over the last few weeks. It isn't that there aren't things in the news about our country's state of affairs or our president to write about. On the contrary, there is too much and most of it is depressing. But given the incidents of this past week, I feel the need jump back in with my observations and comments.
We are on the verge of ever more violent confrontations with the forces of evil (a.k.a the "Alt-Right"). The NRA has insured that at some point guns will be drawn, bullets will fly, and blood will be spilled.
So let's start with our racist in chief. Why does Trump offer support to the "Alt-Right"? Well it is simple. He wants chaos. If we are embroiled in a war with each other, we are not focusing on what is going on behind the curtain in D.C. While we watch CNN, MSNBC, or Fox, his cronies are working on destroying our democracy, our freedoms, our environment, and our economy.
Wake up folks. As Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." For our Christian brethren, as Jesus said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." If you are looking for a White House strategy, it's chaos created by pitting Americans against each other while they build their fascist state.
By supporting the "Alt-Right", Trump has put them on point to execute his strategy. What is sad is that they don't see how they are simply pawns in his plan. They are expendable, and when Trump and his minions are done, they will kick them to the side of the road.