This just in:  I’ve said it before and I will say it again now, “I am not a Liberal.  I am not a Democrat.  I am a Progressive.”

I think there is a difference.

When I hear the term “liberal” I think of people that want to give stuff away for free because it makes them feel good.  “Ma!  Look at the good deed I did today!”  This is certainly not the case…but it’s where my head goes to when I hear the term.

When I hear “democrat” I think of “First Do No Harm.”  In other words, their platform seems to be that they are not Trump and thus, are not in the business of orchestrating the downfall of the once great United States.

Progressive, to me is “Forward Looking.”  That’s it.  I don’t want to pretend I’m great because….Davy Crockett.  I want to be great because I do great things.  I don’t want to hug a coal pile because my ancestors did.  I want to embrace the next best thing in energy.

This perspective does not make me either “right” or “wrong”.  It is just my own personal thing.

However, if I have to join a club, then you’ll call me a Liberal.  Here is why…

I think we should take care of the less fortunate.  I think we should do this because there is an Einstein being raised in poverty who will turn to drugs because life is not offering him hope.  I think children need to eat and we shouldn’t make them suffer because their parents can’t afford it.  A Republican will say, “They shouldn’t have had the kid if they couldn’t afford it.”

I think we should educate everyone to their highest desire potential.  If you want a high paying job to be filled by a tax-paying American…make that person qualified.  Don’t put people to work at $7.50 an hour and act as if you just increased your tax base.

If you want to grow the GDP, then you need to increase consumption.  Supply follows demand; not the other way around.  In other words, people don’t buy stuff simply because it exists.  However, companies do make stuff if they know that people want it. This is the essence of why the Republican economic policy of Trick-Down does not work.  They think that if you make something…people will buy it.  In other words, if you make a dishwasher that runs on coal…people will buy it simply because it exists.

For the most part (by a large margin) regulations make us safer and the planet greener for our kids.  Yes, there are a few places where regulations have overstepped, but for the most part, we all benefit from them.

Healthcare should be a “right”.  Put it into the Constitution.  We should use Universal Healthcare because every other modern country is doing it and they all have lower costs and better outcomes.   Describing a healthcare plan as “patient centered” sounds good but what it really means is that if you have infinite money, you can buy whatever healthcare plan you want.  If you are on a budget…then start working harder.

I like Universal Healthcare.  I like Universal Education.  I like taking care of the less fortunate.  I like these things because when we do them…all of us benefit.

All

Of

Us

Benefit

Time to save the world…

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I wrote a post about Schrodinger’s Trump the other day.  Now I feel I need to add to this.

Yesterday, ex-FBI Director Comey testified in front of Congress.  During his sworn testimony, he called president Trump a liar more than once.  The White House response was “The President does not lie.”  Now, maybe Comey was lying and Trump never lies.  However, I have seen absolutely no evidence to back up this position.  In fact, Politifact.com calls Trump the biggest and most prolific liar they have every checked on.

Aside from denying that Trump lies, the White House also went to work today with more distractions.

I watched Trump talk about infrastructure rebuilding.  He promised new seaports, roads and airports.  He then stood their with his smug expression acting as if he had actually just built seaports, roads and airports.

If this was his first ever speech, I would have stood up and clapped.  However, I have learned.  Trump promises all sorts of stuff and then sits back and Basks in the Glow of Nothing.

He promised Healthcare For All at a price that would be much better.  Instead, he backs a plan that would throw tens of millions off of healthcare while doing nothing to contain costs.  When confronted with this he says something like “It will be so great” and then basks predictably as if he had not just lied directly in the face of evidence to the contrary.

In another venue, (Facebook), I noticed there seemed to be a lot of Climate Denying going on.  I checked only one source which turned out to be a conservative talk show guy I’d never heard of.  I went to his Wikipedia Page and it gave him the following qualifications: (1) Was a Republican candidate for some office, (2) Wanted to be a test pilot, (3) Narrowly missed an appointment to the Air Force Academy and (4) Dropped out of college due to a low grade point average.

He is basking in the glow of nothing.  Let’s take these one at a time: (1) Being a candidate but not winning is the same as not being a candidate and not winning.  (2) Wanting to be a test pilot is not the same as being a test pilot or even having any of the traits needed to be a test pilot.  (3) When applying to a military academy, you either get in or you don’t. They don’t say, “ooooo….you missed getting in by just this much.”  Claiming to have almost gotten in lessens the achievement of those that actually made the grade. (4) Too low a GPA is the same as saying he flunked out.  If you can’t handle the curriculum from a standard university, I guarantee you will not make it at the Air Force Academy.

This guy is like Trump.  He says things, great things, and then sits back and basks.

They do this for one reason…it works.  Some people have a hard time distinguishing the difference between Bravado and Achievement.

Thus far, president Trump has accomplished nothing.  There is no healthcare plan.  There is no tax plan.  There is no extreme vetting,  There is no protecting Medicare.  There is no wall.  There is no end to ISIS.  There is no infrastructure plan.

I would go on to talk about his infrastructure plan which is to privatize roads and bridges and airports.  However, this will never happen because Trump has no idea how to make things happen.  But…let me say this…Privatization of Prisons has been a colossal failure.  Imagine what would happen if a For-Profit company owned our roads, bridges and airports.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

This just in:  I’m noticing a lot of people online still arguing the Global Warming issue.  The Pope has said doing so is akin to believing Earth is flat.  I thought I would check in on this.

First of all, I don’t think the Earth is flat.  I say this in spite of the fact that I have never been in outer space to see the roundness of the planet with my own eyes.  I’m not a scientist which is precisely why I rely on scientists to provide me with facts that I cannot gather, process and understand on my own.

Congress (Republicans) like to say that they don’t know about Climate Change because they are not scientists.  If this is true…why to they tell me that God is against abortion if they are not God?  Why do they fund a military if they are not soldiers?  Why do they create a budget if they are not economists?

I could go on and on but the point is this: We rely on experts to help us understand things we are not expert at ourselves.

Everyone knows this.  The Republican Party knows it.  They must have a different reason for ignoring what scientists are saying. I suspect it has something to do with a quote from Upton Sinclair.

There are those that say the science is inconclusive.  There is no shortage of information online stating that very fact.  Rather than read everything on this subject, I instead look to what the rest of the world has deduced from the facts at hand.  I do this because the combined intelligence of 7 billion people is significant.  Yes, they could all be wrong, but I’d rather put my money on the masses rather than the negligibly small number that think otherwise.

Now…here is the real point I want to make:  I don’t care if climate change is real or not.  I don’t care if its man-made or not.

And yet…I think we should act as if it is.

Let’s consider 2 possibilities: (1) Climate Change is Fake and (2) Climate Change is real

(1A) If Climate change is fake and we do nothing to fight it.   No big deal.

(1B) If Climate change is fake but we try to fight it anyway, here is what we get: (1) globally there will be millions of clean energy jobs, (2) we will be polluting the planet less, (3) we will move to a renewable energy as opposed to staying with a finite source of energy (4) we no longer need to go to war over oil (5) the advancement of any field of science nearly always yields byproducts that benefit society in way we have yet to imagine.

(2A) If Climate Change is real and we do nothing, we are truly screwed.

(2B) If Climate change is real and we try to fight it, we get all of the same benefits as if it was fake and we tried to fight it; plus we save the planet.

Of these 4 options, only those that have us taking action will guarantee a positive outcome.  This is true regardless of whether Climate Change is real or not.

I personally think its real.  I also think Earth is not flat.

As for those of you that think Climate Change is Fake AND we should do nothing to combat it….I suppose you are welcome to hug the flat planet all you want if that suits you.  After all, science doesn’t need for you to believe in it in order for it to be true.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

This just in:  Like the rest of us, I’m subject to confirmation bias.  I read articles that support my position and avoid those that don’t.  I tend to think things like Hillary running a pedophial ring out of a pizza parlor are Fake News.  I’m well aware that people think that is real, mostly because they want to believe it.  In other words, we all have a confirmation bias.

To me “confirmation bias” is a puppet master; we being the puppets.  It tells us what to believe and what to shrug off.  It is the master; not us.

Today, I thought I would lay out a few things I have actually changed my mind about over the years.  These changes have come from data.  I see enough of something that I don’t want to believe until eventually, I start to think “maybe there is something here.”  This opens a new door.  Now I can investigate and take a new position on something if the data points a certain way.  It’s a form of shrugging off the chains of confirmation bias.

Minimum Wage:  I came fresh out of my MBA program about 20 years ago.  There was a ton of economics in this course.  One thing we looked at early on was the Supply-Demand relationship.   This basically says if labor is scarce, then wages would naturally go up to attract labor.  This make sense.  Low unemployment is said to make laborers the “price makers”.  They are scarce and can therefore sell their services to the highest bidder; thus raising wages.  However, this does not seem to be the case.  Companies are struggling to find workers but they are slow to raise wages.  Instead they choose to automate or move to another country.

I now favor a $15 (at least) minimum wage.  I think this is important if we are to avoid the Prisoner’s Dilemma.  If  competing companies both raise wages, they will see costs go up but they will not lose market share when they raise prices to compensate.  The reason for this is that both companies are raising prices.  Both companies will benefit as their employees now have more income and will become better consumers which benefits companies.  However, if only one company raises wages, the other company will benefit.  The company that kept its wages low will have a larger profit margin than the other company while both will benefit from the employees that are making more money and thus are better consumers.

Data shows that neither company will raise wages because they fear losing market share.  In fact, raising wages is the absolute last step they will take to retain employees.

In short, we need a high minimum wage so that all companies contribute and benefit equally.

Green Energy:  I used to see this as an unfair burden on American companies.  We have to do all sorts of expensive things to make our air cleaner thus giving an advantage to companies in other countries that don’t care about such things.  This made us less competitive and thus, cost a lot of jobs.

Three things have changed my mind on this.  First, the rest of the world is now joining together to fight global warming   Ironically, the United States is now seeking to take advantage of lower costs because they are now allowed to pollute under the current Republican Congress and Trump.  Secondly, there are potentially millions of new, well paying jobs in the Green Energy sector.  When coal gains 1,000 jobs, Solar Power gains 250,000 jobs.  If we really want to create more jobs, we will embrace Green Energy.  And finally, we cannot allow ourselves to sit on the sidelines and let the rest of the world take the lead in this sector.  The world runs on energy.  We need to be at the forefront of its development.

Voter Suppression:  I was originally in favor of voter I.D.’s.  Who wouldn’t want to stop voter fraud?  What was so hard about getting a photo I.D.?  Turns out that getting an I.D. is hard for some people.  Suppose it costs only $5 to get an I.D.  To a poor person, that could mean a choice between eating that day or getting an I.D. card.  An elderly person may have to hire a taxi to get them to the DMV; money they can’t afford.  Fewer polling hours means that someone may have to miss work to vote.  There is a cost associated with that.  Add to this that there are numerous video and audio recordings of the Republican Party touting the success of their voter suppression efforts.

To be clear – Voter I.D. laws are there for one purpose: to make it hard for people to vote that will not vote Republican.

I was a Republican:  Now I consider myself a Progressive.  I’m a registered Democrat but vote across party lines to get to the best candidate.  I once thought the Republican Party was the party of big business.  I thought they did things to make us economically strong.  Now I think the Republican Party is led by people that are there for the money and the power.  Their actions have little to do with what is best for their constituents and their country.  This is due, in large part, to the fact that they get they vast amount of their money from special interests.  These are interests that like burning coal and oi.  These are interests that want tax cuts for the risk and care little about healthcare for the masses.

I think the Democrats have little to offer other than they are not Republicans.  Granted, the is enough to get my vote.  I will vote for a Storm Trooper before I vote for Darth Vader.  However, the Dems are starting to embrace platforms that I like; things like universal healthcare and a $15 minimum wage.  I’m still waiting for them to embrace campaign finance reform and free college education.

Regulations:  I was anti-regulation for the same reason I was anti-Green Energy.  Regulations impose costs which slow economic growth.  I know of regulations that a just their to cater to a political position.  For example, California has labor laws drawn up in such a way that they keep non-union people from doing things they want while allowing unions to get away with it.  When I confronted my congressman with this, he agreed but said to change the law would be to lose the union vote.  So, not all regulations are good for all people.

Still, “Don’t dump your toxic waste in the town’s water supply” seems like a good regulation.  Most of them are like that.  Notice when people want to get rid of regulations; they never name one.  They just like the way it sounds.  It sounds like “getting rid of wasteful spending” when it really means, “We don’t care if your water is clean.”

Free Market:  This takes us back to the basic idea that the Market is always right.  Same old supply and demand stuff.  However, there are innumerable situations where the Free Market, lett to its own devices, will become perverse.  Healthcare is a perfect example.  If a hospital is in business, then its purpose is to maximize profits.  This doesn’t make it evil.  It makes it a business.  If we say, “You can’t charge that much” or “you must treat everyone that comes to the ER.” then we have interfered with the Free Market and rightfully so.  If I break my leg, I’m not going to go to EBay and find the best price – even though, that is exactly what the Free Market says I should do.  In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Economics was given to a man that studied how governments must step in from time to time and that the Free Market does not work in all realms.  I agree with this.

Honesty in Government:  I once believed that everything our elected officials said was true.  Sure, there could be a bad apple here or there but nearly all were to be trusted.  They were all working for the best in America.  Then came W. Bush.  This guy lied about the Iraqi war right to our faces.  This was stunning to me.

I started paying attention.  Who lied deliberately and who lied by accident?  What were the motives?  Obama said some things that were not true.  For example, “everyone can keep their same doctor” under Obamacare.  I’m not sure if he did this on purpose or misunderstood an outcome of his program.

Now we have Trump AND the Republican Party.  Trump gets credit for lying the most but I think that is because he’s more visible.  I see very little truth coming out of Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell or Hillary Clinton for that matter.  In my view, so long as there is money in politics, there will be those willing to do what they need to do to get that money; and then lie to the rest of us to justify their actions.  I point to healthcare and the Republican Party as an example.

The Supreme Court:  I once thought “Truth is Truth”.  It was universal and that is what the Supreme court would work towards.  Now I see it as a partisan extension of congress. I don’t think this is something new.  It’s just something I’ve come to realize over the last few years.

That’s probably enough out of me for now.  Time to save the world and to fight off public enemy #1 – Confirmation Bias.

Up, up and away…

J

 

 

 

This just in:  Trump came back from his World Tour having made friends in the Middle East and Enemies in Europe.

Put aside issues like selling arms to Saudi Arabia or acting like a drunken tourist or bashing NATO.  All of that stuff is certainly cringe-worthy and is typical Trump behavior.  For this post, I don’t want to talk about that.

I want to focus on the Paris Accord.

This is an agreement between several countries to try and reel in pollution in an attempt to stop or slow global warming.

The United States is one of the world’s biggest polluters but we have always stood by the idea that together, the countries of the world could make things better.

Then along came Trump.

First, let’s be clear about one thing: Trump has no principles.  He has no favorite issue or platform.  I say this because he flip flops daily on all types of issues; based apparently on what position will get him the most strokes at that moment.

There are two issues he apparently does feel strongly about.  The first is that Vladimir Putin is a great guy.  The second is that we need to be eliminating environmental regulations, not increasing them.

He likes Putin because Putin has something on him.

But what about this pollution thing?  Why does the Donald like us to burn lots of oil?

This certainly doesn’t come from some intellectual perspective.  Trump has no idea about how virtually anything works.  He only pretends he does.  For example, he is against the largest international trade agreement in history but has no understanding of basic international trade concepts such as “the strength of a country’s currency” or “the far reaching impact of tariffs.” (To date, he has not mentioned one single article int the Trade Agreement that he has an opinion about)

No, Trump does not understand environmental issues.  If you tried to teach some of the basic principles to him, his attention would wander off after a couple of minutes.

So, I ask myself: “Why would Trump care about an issue he knows nothing about?”

The answer comes when I realize that Trump is all about Trump.  What will he get for opting out of the Paris Accord?  How does that benefit him personally?

Well, we have only to look no further than those pulling his strings: Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Both of these countries have economies based almost exclusively on oil.  The more oil the world burns, the more vibrant their economies are.

The Paris Accord is the end of the line for Russia and Saudi Arabia.  If the world converted overnight to all green energy, both of these countries would become poor versions of Somalia.

This is the number one reason Russia wants Trump in the White House – To get the United States to opt out of the Paris accord.

This is the reason Saudi Arabia bought billions of dollars in weapons from the United States in such a way as to give credit to Trump. This is also why they donated $100 million to Trump’s daughter’s cause – To get the United States to opt out of the Paris accord.

These two countries are the Trump’s puppet masters:  Saudi Arabia because they know how to appeal to him and Russia, because they somehow are able to blackmail him.

There is another reason to get out of the Paris Accord.  The Koch brothers hate Trump, but they are one of the few sources of money for the Republican Party.  The Koch brothers are heavily invested in fossil fuels.  This means the Republican party is heavily invested in fossil fuels.

The end result of this is that when Trump says “I want out of the Paris Accord” the Republican Party will stand around him and praise his bold visionary leadership.

There you have it.  Vote in 2018.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I wanted to further document my quest for a pain free back but first…a short story about something that happened yesterday.

A kid, maybe 22 years old, is going house to house, looking for someone that knows how to jump a car.  He has cables and a dead battery but no idea what to do next.

A neighbor pointed this kid out to me and asked if I could help him.

I pulled my car over to his and it just so happened that our batteries were too far apart for his cables to reach.  The only way this would work would be for me to pull around to the other side.  However, there was a car there, so we needed to back his out of the parking spot a bit so I could pull up next to him on the other side.

I said, “Get in the car and I’ll give you a push”

He got in his car and I leaned into it.  The car didn’t budge.

“Put your car in neutral,” I said.

“Okay,” came the reply.  I pushed and still…the thing wouldn’t budge.

“Take off the brake,” I said.

“Okay,” and the car suddenly moved easily.  I stood up as the car slid backwards.  Imagine my surprise when there was the kid standing next to his car, watching it roll towards the  cars parked across the street.

“Get in your car can hit the brake!!” I yelled.

He hesitated for a moment, unsure of what was going on.  Fortunately, he was able to stop the car before it hit anything.

I don’t know about anyone else….but this was hilarious to me.

Onto the back pain…

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am enrolled in a Stanford University study on back pain.  I have been filling out a daily survey about the degree and duration of daily pain.  On May 31st, I start attending a weekly class to teach either meditation of behavior modification.  I will randomly be assigned to one of these.  Also next week, I spend an hour in an MRI as they apply pain somehow. They want to see what my brain does.

This week I went to a 4-hour pain testing session.  For 4 hours, they guy applied pain a number of different ways, always saying, “Tell me when it becomes unbearable.”  The most common pain application was a chunk of metal that had a big electrical cable running between it and a big mean looking electrical thing.  The metal would be strapped to my hand or my back and then they would ramp up the temperature until I was too much.  On another test, they would send 10 pulses of high temperature to my hand or back; each felt akin to being whipped (I imagine).  Suppose there was a hot frying pan and someone touched it to your back 10 times….That’s sets of 10.  There were several sets.

Anyway, that is in my rearview mirror.

So onward….

In the meantime, Advil, yoga, core strengthening, hanging upside down, tens units and pain cream all seem to be working well.  My back is better day by day.  However, you can never Un-Herniate a disk.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I died last night at around 8:30 pm, CST.  I know this because I remember it like it was yesterday.

I recall being born at around 4:30 am.  I was disoriented at the time and then, after a few moments, I realized I was in a hotel room in Saint Joseph, MO.  That was the start of a great life; one of many that I’ve had.

Breakfast was waiting for me in the lobby.  I could eat all I wanted!  They even had coffee that I could take along with me; complete with a lid and a little sleeve to make sure I didn’t burn my hand.

I spent a large part of that life at a manufacturing plant.  I met a lot of people; some for the first time and some that I remember from a previous life.  They were all glad to see me.  We’d talk about their lives and mine and how together, we could set the stage for even better future lives.

On the way back to my “hotel of birth” I stopped to get a pizza.  I probably didn’t need the calories or carbs but, hey, you only live a few thousand times.

Back in the womb-room, I watched television and thought about my day.  I’d called my wife and thought, “How lucky can one guy be.”  I called two of my kids, both had birthdays yesterday.  They are doing great!

Overall, it was a great life.

From the moment I was born, I knew it would end.  My goal, one that flittered in and out of my consciousness, was to make it a life that I could look back on and think, “That was well lived.”

Eventually, with a full tummy and warm blankets wrapped around me in a cool room, I died….content.

Past lives are great things.  I can learn from them and, while they seem to influence future lives, they only do so if I allow it.  I’m in charge of each life that I live which means that I can choose my perspectives, my memories and my goals.  I can do this every day but there is one catch.

I can only choose well if I’m aware that I have the ability to do so.

A life left to be lived by accident will look like…and accident.

I only have hours to live this life.  Tonight, I’ll die another death.  I’ll be at home with my family.

It will be perfect.

Just before I close my eyes for that last moment of life, I’ll reflect back on how I lived.  When that happens, I want there to be no regrets.

I know I’ll live again but that is for another day.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

This just in:  I was watching Robert Gates, ex-Secretary of Defence, on Face the Nation a couple of days ago.  He was brilliant and I found myself agreeing with him, even on those occasions where he agreed with Trump.  How could that be?  I feel like everything Trump does is wrong, and yet Gates found things to praise.

I want to talk about this a bit as a tool for helping myself to figure this out.

Let’s start with Gates….

He said, Trump brings a certain amount of disruption to foreign policy.  Take North Korea; The last 3 administrations basically all followed the same policy with regards to North Korea.  The result is what we have today – a rogue country with nuclear weapons.  Why not stir things up?  Why not try something different since what we have been doing has not worked?

So, he likes the “outside the box” approach.

He then goes on to caution about Trump’s spontaneity.  He’s concerned that Trump’s unique approach is not well thought out and could quickly lead to undesirable consequences.

So, he has concerns about Trump’s “outside the box” approach.

Gates took one issue and broke it down into two compartments; one he liked and one he didn’t.

I then look at my own predisposition to not like Trump.  I look at Trump’s foreign policy and throw a giant blanket over everything.  I subconsciously understand that there are things I like and things I don’t like.  I like the “stirring things up” but I don’t like Trump’s “spontaneity.”

Since my fear of the later is greater than my affection for the former, the latter is what I use to judge ALL of Trump’s policy.  I’m only using one blanket to cover everything and thus, only allow myself one opinion.

Someone else may be less concerned about Trump’s spontaneity and more happy about “stirring the pot” and thus, when they throw their single blanket over Trumps’ foreign policy, they like it.

I look at my conclusion and their conclusion and decide, “We are complete opposites.”

The truth is that we are probably very close.  Trump supporters don’t want nuclear war with North Korea any more than I do.  They just think the likelihood is lower than I do.

Who knows?  They may be right.

To me, this explains how I can talk issues with someone from the political right (I am left) and find that we agree on a lot of things.  However, If I just consider them Trump Supporters and I am a Bernie Supported, it appears that we are complete opposites.

I’m going to have to think on this some more.

The compartmentalization seems to explain a lot for me.  It could be a useful tool going forward.  By “useful” I mean something I can use to help reduce the divisiveness that seems to be eating us all up.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I have noticed a few behavioral traits of Trump that I’d like to put here for posterity.

  1. When something goes well and there is praise to be handed out, he is the first in line; this is true even if he had nothing to do with it.  For example, a company makes plans in 2015 to open a plant somewhere in the United States.  Trump reads a story which is the latest update on these long standing plans.  He then proudly announces that “I’m bringing back jobs.  Just look at this article!”
  2. When something goes wrong, Trump is the first to blame someone else.  Comey firing went south so he blames others.  He claims he was wiretapped and when that is shown to not be true, he blames some story he read or saw on television.
  3. Trump has a short attention span.  Watch him in an interview.  It’s not unusual for him to start to free-associate and forget the question all together.  His staff reports that his briefings have to be in short sound bites.
  4. When interviewing and then getting backed into a corner about a lie, Trump will do one of the following 3 things: (1) Redirect.  Ask him about voter fraud lies and he goes off on Hillary.  (2) He will claim that “lot’s of people have said that.  “That” being the current lie he is trying to justify and then (3)  He says “You know what I’m talking about” as he tries to get you to unwittingly participate in his lie, “The NSA is spying on everyone.  Lot’s of people are talking about it.  I know you’ve heard it yourself.”
  5. He creates bigger disasters to cover the latest one he has caused.  For example, when Comey first testified before Congress, Trump got skewered.  Trump’s response was to say, “Obama’s Rice unmasked some guys.  That’s the real story.  That’s what everyone is talking about.”  For the record, no one was talking about Rice doing something that was completely proper.
  6. Trump is a counter-puncher.  He readily admits this.  If someone crosses his, especially in public, Trump will go out of his way to write some sort of nasty tweet like saying Saturday Night LIve is losing it’s ratings.
  7. Trump likes to watch himself on television.
  8. Trump lies, a lot.  Politifact says that 68% of the statements from Trump that they have investigated have been rated as Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.
  9. Trump clings to old school thoughts like Mexicans are taking our jobs or Marijuana is a gateway drug.
  10. Trump admires tyrants like those running Russia, Turkey, North Korea and the Philippines.
  11. Trump appears to know virtually nothing about what is going on. He doesn’t understand international trade deals.  He doesn’t understand healthcare, he doesn’t understand diplomacy and he doesn’t understand the military.  What he does understand is how to act like he understands.  I have yet to see a Trump interview where I sat back and thought, “Now there is a guy that knows what he is talking about.”

Watch for these traits.  They are your cliff notes to understanding Trump.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

This just in:  I’ve decided to become a Republican…for the duration of this post.  I then interview myself.

Old Me: So, it looks like Trump was warned about Flynn by Obama and Yates long before Flynn was fired.  In fact, Flynn was only fired once the Washington Post revealed this fact.

Republican Me:  Yes, we should find out who leaked that information to the Washington Post.  Leaks, not Russia, are the biggest threat to democracy.

 

Old Me: We should invest in Green Energy since it means a cleaner planet and tens of thousands of high payinig jobs.

Republican Me: Coal is the future.  We should also drill for oil in our national parks and off the shores of California.  We also need to lift the anti-pollution regulations surrounding fossil fuels since they are the reason we coal jobs are going away.

 

Old Me: We should fix our borders and deport those that have come here illegally AND have proven that they are a danger to our society.  However, I don’t think we deport law abiding people that are here already and are paying taxes and contributing to the community.

Republican Me:  Mexicans are taking jobs from Americans.  If we deport all people currently picking lettuce, then we will have millions of new, high paying jobs.

 

Old Me: The Free Press is a cornerstone of our Country.

Republican Me:  If its not on Fox News, its not flattering to my party and thus, is fake news.  I applaud the Trump plan to ban all television stations but Fox News in government facilities.  No, I don’t see any relationship to this plan and the RT news outlet in Russia.

 

Old Me: Democracy means that everyone gets to vote; every vote counts.

Republican Me: If people don’t vote Republican then screw them.  Gerrymandering and voter suppression are legitimate tools.

 

Old Me:  There sure is a lot of smoke about Russia and Trump.  The National Security position was filled by a man later found to be associated with Russia and lied about it.  The Attorney General met with Russians and lied about it.  Senior Advisor Kushner met with the Russians and lied about it.  The Secretary of State was awarded a Friend of Russia by Putin.  Other advisors have also been found to have been associated with Russia and WikiLeaks and lied about it.  There is something there.

Republican Me: Fake news.

 

Old Me: Fix Healthcare.  Cover more people.  Lower costs.  Look to numerous successes in the rest of the world for models of what works.  Single Payer seems to be a success everywhere they use it.

Republican Me: So long as we pass something that is not ObamaCare, we really don’t care what that healthcare plan accomplishes.

 

Old Me: Trump lies too much.  In fact, one lie is too many; never mind the numerous lies each and every day.

Republican Me: Fake news.

 

Old Me:  Our international relations are important.  They make us secure.

Republican Me:  We have the biggest military so…Fuck the UK, Fuck Australia, Fuck Mexico, Fuck Canada, Fuck Germany, Fuck France, Fuck the EU and Fuck Nato.  Did I miss anyone?

 

Old Me: Our country was not founded on Christianity but rather on religious freedom

Republican Me:  God likes Christians. In fact, God want Christian churches to be able to contribute to my campaign funds.  Muslims are terrorists.

 

Old Me: Income inequality is the biggest threat to our economy.  In fact, Ben Bernanke was on television the other day and said exactly that several times; at the same time disparaged Trump’s tax plan.  I also agree with Bernanke that infrastructure spending will return more to the economy than the investment.

Republican Me: What we need is to lower the tax rate on the rich. That is how we will achieve economic growth never before seen.  Bigly!

 

Old Me:  If we cut $850 Billion from Medicaid, the poor and the elderly will have less coverage.

Republican Me:  By cutting $850 billion and then taking what is left and sending that to the states, the increase in efficiency will easily pay for the cut.  Move along….there is nothing to see here….

 

Wow!  That was really easy.

Time to shower the Republican off for me.  I have a world to save.

Up, up and away…

Jim