This just in:  You may have heard me before when I said, “There are two types of Republicans; those that are gullible and those that are willing to take advantage of the gullible.”  I stand by this.

Let’s look at a few:

“It’s time to stop the government from micromanaging the internet.”  I just heard this one.  If you are gullible, you think, “Damn straight!  We need to clean that swamp.”  If you are rational, you do a bit a research and discover that 265 Republicans came up with this saying right after they took money from internet providers to allow those providers to decide what you can access on the internet and at what speed.  In truth, micromanaging meant, “You cannot censor the internet” which has nothing to do with micromanaging at all.

“ObamaCare is a government takeover of healthcare.”  The gullible think, “Damn straight!  The government needs to get out of my life.  In truth, when you ask these same people about the features of Obamacare and don’t tell them it’s Obamacare, they like all of them.

“We are giving Middle Class Americans a huge tax cut for Christmas.”  The gullible think, “Damn straight.  The government takes too much money from me as it is.”  In truth, we will be borrowing $1.76 trillion from the Chinese so that the vast majority of the tax cut will go to the top 1%.  This, at a time we think we can’t afford to keep paying Social Security and Medicare.  41 out of 42 economists disagree with the Republican Party’s assertion that the tax cuts will grow the economy.

This is just a sampling of the things the Gullible hear; a sample of the things put out by those that would take advantage of the Gullible.

There is no cure for this…except for you to take the time to vote.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I have discovered a secret document that tells the Republicans everything they need to know to get votes.

It’s a giant volume….filled with empty pages…until the very last one.  That’s where the secret is written.

It says, “Voters will believe anything you tell them.”

Sounds so simple and yet…it is deviously complex.

The Republican Party has used this for years.  However, since they are using it right now, let me give you some fairly recent examples.

Let’s look at the economy of the United States.  This thing is a huge, huge monster; accounting for about 25% of the world’s total economy.

Here’s the thing about something this big…It can’t change course on a dime.

For example, if you create a trillion dollar debt today, it may not be felt for a year or so; even more if you want to hide the impact and use crafty accounting measures.

The Republican Party knows this but they are counting on you not.

When Obama took over from George W. Bush….it was less than 2 weeks before the GOP started blaming him for an economy that belonged to them.  2 weeks!  And Republican voters ate it up.

Today, the GOP is passing a tax break that (1) we don’t need, (2) can’t afford and (3) is obviously designed to funnel money to their billionaire campaign donors.  This will add 1.76 trillion to the debt…for no reason other than “the rich need more”.

However, we will not feel the impact right away.  Probably in 2019 we will start to hear things like “The debt is exploding!” or “We must cut Social Security!”  The Democrats will probably be in charge by then (due to Trump daycare issues) and so they will take the blame.

In short:  The Republican Party is going to ruin our economy to give money to the wealth.  They will then blame the Democrats.

How can they do this?

Their playbook says it all…”Voters will believe anything you tell them.”

And that….is a big, big problem.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I have this reoccurring dream…while I’m awake.

It seems like every day, something so wrong or so odd is happening I have to ask myself, “Did I miss a meeting?”

Did I miss the meeting of the Man’s Club where they passed a motion that women were toys for us to play with?  Every day there is someone else forcing themselves on women or even children.  Louis CK!!?  Come on.  I like that guy…or at least I did.

Bill Cosby.  Kevin Spacy (not women but same idea).  The list grows longer every day.

Of course, there are those who abuse women and I am not the least bit surprised.  Roy Moore has always had the religious “high moral authority” I’ve come to associate with someone trying to hide himself in rhetoric.  President Trump, of course, comes to mind…based on his own recorded statement(s).

These are important people if for no other reason than they are in a position to influence us.

In the future, they will teach right and wrong in elementary school.  The teacher will point at a picture of Trump or Cosby and say, “No…this is bad”.

I should never have missed that meeting.  I could have been the minority voice that said, “Hey…maybe we should just treat people like we want to be treated instead of treating them like blow-up dolls.”

I noticed that a lot of women got elected on Tuesday.  Not only women but non-Christians and alternative sex schemes.

I loved it.

The fewer white old men we have in government…the better.

30 years ago, I worked for a consulting firm that hired only Junior Military Officers fresh out of the service.  They were smart, driven and all exactly alike.

Then one day, we hired a lesbian.  We hired her because she was easily the best candidate.  She was smarter than the rest of us.  She was more creative than the rest of us.  She joined our team and made us better.

This new personality in our mix was far more valuable to the overall makeup our our team than simply the addition of one more person.

This is what we need to do with our politics.  We need to stop looking for Founding Father Figures; but instead, look for visionaries that realize the world is not what it was 200 years ago.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I am completely okay with someone having a difference of opinion on things we cannot know.

For example:  You might say, “God thinks abortion is wrong.”  In response, I might say, “You only think you know this.  I prefer that a woman makes her own choices about her body.”

Both sides of this argument, in my mind, are sound.

Here is what grinds my gears:  When someone ignores facts to make their point.

For example: I might say, “Two plus two is four.” In response, someone else might say, “Maybe, but it could also be six.  There is just no way to know for sure.”

In this instance, I know I am talking to either  (1) someone with poor math skills or (2) a Republican.

I don’t know of any better way to put it.

In my view, the Republican Party is made up of two types of people: (1) Those that profit from you believing 2 + 2 = 6 and (2) Those willing to believe 2 + 2 = 6.

Take any issue lately.

Healthcare for example.  The Republican Party wants to openly take away insurance from tens of millions of Americans.  They say, “Everyone will have access to healthcare”.  This is true, in much the same way as “Everyone has access to a private jet.”  They say you will get to pick your own doctor.  I can pick my own doctor now.  They say it’s patient centered.  No one even knows what that means.  However, it looks good on a bumper sticker and implies that what you have now is somewhat less “patient centered.”

How about taxes.  Eliminating the “Death Tax” only benefits the very wealthy.  Trump’s family will save $600 million if this passes.  But wait, there is something for everyone.  Eliminate the Death Tax and in the future, you can put you tax filing on a postcard.

Now, these two are not related but the GOP feels everyone should benefit.

Also on taxes, nearly all of the tax cuts go to corporations and the extremely rich.  However, we will go from 5 tax brackets down to 3.  This will save you about 27 nano-seconds when calculating your taxes.  See…win-win.

I could go on and on.  Let’s do one on the Democrats.

At one point, I was a Bernie fan but willing to admit that Hillary had some good experience.  Then, in a debate with Bernie, Hillary said that Universal Healthcare would add trillions to the debt.  This was a broadly debunked talking point best left to the likes of Hannity.  However, Hillary said it and her followers blindly believed it.

Hillary lost me on that day.

I don’t care if we disagree.  If we are both using facts and we reach different conclusions…I’m mostly okay with that.  In fact, I love it when you change my mind with a sound argument.

However, acting like researching gun control is a violation of the 2nd amendment is like saying 2 + 2 = 6.

Acting like Trump is honest is like saying 2 + 2 = 6.  Yes, they all lie.  However, Trump will piss on your leg and tell you its raining.  And he does this nearly every time he opens his mouth.

Believing that tax cuts cause economic growth in spite of the fact that is never has before is like saying 2 + 2 = 6.

These are the things that grind my gears.

I’m thinking we need an age of enlightenment or and age of truth.  Something like the industrial revolution where we fundamentally change our approach to things.

Right now, it feels like we are slipping backward into the dark ages of magic, superstition and racism.  An age where ignorance is a meaningful as expertise.

Alas…

Up, up  and away…

Jim

This just in:  President Trump lives in a world where simply saying something makes it true.  “We are going to have great and affordable healthcare.” – done.  “We are going to have the greatest tax cuts ever and yet grow the economy so fast the debt will actually drop.” – done.  “I will handle North Korea.  No more words alone.” – done.  “We will solve the opioid crisis today.” – done.

He makes these claims then pulls back from the microphone and basks in the applause.  Next sentence: “This is the most productive administration in the history of the United States.”

Hmmmmm…..at least it is in his mind.

However, let’s just take a look at facts.  For the moment, let’s pretend that words are not the same as deeds.

Let’s vette the president…

He claims he graduated at the top of his class.  In fact he received no academic honors and did not show up in the top 15%.  One professor claimed Trump was the dumbest student he’d ever had.

He claims his military schooling prepared him for his leadership role.  Well…we know two things for sure: (1) He lies constantly and (2) He never takes the blame.  I went to a military academy.  Tell a lie and you are out on the street.  Cheat…or steal….out on the street.  As far as blame…we were taught accountability.  In fact…the first summer, we could only answer questions with (a) Yes, sir, (b) No, sir, (c) I don’t know, sir and (d) I’ll find out, sir.  The quickest way to get your head bitten off was to try and make an excuse.  Trump would not have lasted a week at Annapolis.

He claims he’s a great business man.  There are three main problems with this: (1) he inherited $200 million.  Had he just invested it in an index fund and done nothing else, he would have 3 times as much money as he has now.  (2) He has filed for bankruptcy 6 times. In fact, he is one of the only people ever to lose money owning a casino. (3) There is no shortage of people in Trump’s wake that claim he swindled them.  This goes from business deals to Trump academy.

He appears to think of women as objects.

He appears to think Muslims = terrorism.

He appears to think the first Amendment does not apply to him.

He appears to think that “his team” won the election and thus, “his team” is the only group that he need be concerned with.  I hear him say “Democrats” as if its a nasty word or the enemy of the state.

He appears to not understand the relationship between the three branches of government.

He has alienated nearly every country he has come in contact with.

He has failed to understand, much less renegotiate NAFTA, the TPP, NATO and the Paris Climate accord.

He has failed to negotiate any deal with congress bigger than naming a post office.

He has failed in leadership, in business, in diplomacy in intellect and in honesty.

I’m at a loss as to what trait he has that actually qualifies him to lead the greatest country in the history of the world.

And then there is Russia.

Trump sees himself as the “King of Vetting” and yet claims to know nothing about the people he has surrounded himself with.  He couldn’t be surrounded by more Russian influence if he we standing in the middle of Moscow Square.

He is a strict “Putin Praiser” to an extent that there can only be one way to explain it…

The President of the United States works for Russia.

Right now, he is on television blaming the terrorist attack on someone else.  A real leader would have taken the blame, set his jaw and said, “This happened on my watch.  I am responsible and I will work hard to do better.”

Here is Trump’s response: “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty,” T

In other words….”Not my fault.”

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  A retiring Republican, Corker, says that the White House is a Daycare center charged with taking care of our Baby-in-Chief.  I find this hard to argue against.

I just want to make a few points…

People are taking a knee at football games to protest police brutality against blacks.  They have said as much.  If you are confused about their motivations, ask them and they will tell you this is not about disrespecting the flag or lack of patriotism.  If YOU then say, “They are disrespecting the flag and are not patriotic” it is my opinion that you are a racist.  You heard a black man say “up” and you heard him say “down” because you wanted to create a reality that fits you.

I would love a tax cut…but first a few questions.  If you lower taxes, who gets the cut? (hint…the rich).  If you want to get rid of the Death Tax, who benefits?(hint…the rich).  Will the deficit go up? (hint…it will explode).  Will the American people get fewer services? (hint…if you mean less Social Security and Medicare then yes).  So, yes I want a tax cut but not the one being proposed by Trump.

On healthcare…Trump and the GOP want to take $800 billion out of healthcare and then pass what is left off to the states in “block grants” with the explanation that states can do a better job.  They should actually say, “We will take out a butt-load of funds and pass the crumbs that are left off to the states.”  They leave out that first part.  I would love better healthcare at a lower cost.  I am against poorer healthcare that is gutted to give $800 billion to the richest people in the country.

On North Korea.  I think Trump is trying to goad North Korea into a first strike so that he can go to war and claim self defense.  Trump is a draft dodger that wants to use nuclear weapons as therapy for his damaged psych and daddy issues.

On Iran.  Everyone agrees that Iran is in compliance with the agreement they made with the rest of the world.  Trump wants to pull out because Iran it feels presidential to his sick perspective of leadership.

On Las Vegas.  The White man being referred to as a Lone Wolf was in fact…a terrorist.  We don’t call him that because he’s not a Muslim.  The conspiracy theorists and pro-gun people…you are the real problem.  I watched an NRA guy on TV talk about how people want to defend themselves with guns.  In other words…if someone comes into your house and tries to take your stereo…you want to be able to shoot him dead on the spot.  Really?  There are people that feel like this?  I suppose there are.  They remind me of that kid on Christmas Story.  He has a fantasy about saving his family from bad guys with his Red Ryder BB Gun.  I think we have a lot of people with this fantasy.

On Russia.  I actually don’t care if Russia affected the last election.  I DO care that we are doing nothing about it and are going to allow Russia to impact the next election.

On the Truth.  Trump lies constantly.  Constantly.  I’m amazed that his followers will listen to him, knowing that he is lying.  They then filter out everything until they hear a lie that fits what they want to believe.  They then hold that up as evidence that Trump is making America great again.

I live north of San Francisco.  This morning, the air was virtually un-breathable due to local fires.  This quality of air is what Trump is doing to our air and water.  He has rolled back every environmental regulation he can find.

Trump is dangerous.

The people that vote for Trump are the illness that we, as a country, need to acknowledge.  We are racists.  We like war.  We like to hear things that support what we want to think is true.  Not all of us…but maybe 30%.  This is a big chunk of US.

We need to know they are there so we can confront them.  We can’t cure what we don’t acknowledge.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I’m seeing all kinds of stuff on Facebook about “Stupid people making this mass killing about politics.”  The implication seems to be that opportunistic vultures are using this tragedy as a prop to skewer the political party they oppose.

Sure, there is probably some of that.

However, this IS a political issue.  It shouldn’t be.  Gun Control should be a common sense issue that has no political opposition.  But it does.  Unlimited funds make one party pass laws that allow things like Las Vegas to happen.  Money causes one party to oppose even the idea of looking into the issue of gun violence.

The mass killing in Las Vegas is the direct result of the Republican Party being paid to support those laws (or lack of laws) that would prevent such an event.  There is no shortage of evidence that “Gun Control” is vastly more effective than “Thoughts and Prayers”.

Politics matter.  Failing to pay attention to politics has results.  Pretending the politics will not affect our everyday lives is ridiculous.

Let me give you a few examples:

Healthcare:  The Republican Party wants to kick 25 million people off of healthcare. Why?  Because the Koch brothers have told them to get it done or they will dramatically cut back on campaign contributions.  Democrats are leaning towards universal healthcare which is used with great success throughout the world.  This matters.  This is politics.

Tax Reform:  The Republican Party has put forth a proposal that will give tax cuts to the rich while exploding the national debt.  Why? Money.

Environment:  The Republican Party is anti-climate change, anti-Green Energy and pro-fossil fuels.  Why?  Money.

We can destroy our planet.  We can give money to the wealthy while the rest of the economy is subsumed by poverty.  We can let infinite guns roam the streets in the hands of whomever wants them.

Or we can do something different.

Thoughts and Prayers are the lazy person’s solution.

I think right now is precisely the exact, right time to talk about how politics has caused the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

There are nearly 60 dead people in Las Vegas because of our Republican Party.  There is no other way to say this.

We can and should mourn the loss of life.

We can also start to take action; to do something that will prevent this from happening again.

Or…we can send our thoughts and prayers; pat ourselves on our backs for a job well done…and then repeat this exact same thing over and over and over again.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  When I was in college, the one major you could take that would nearly guarantee a good GPA was Political Science.  The reason for this was that it was incredibly easy.  While smart guys were taking Electrical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering…the football team took Political Science.

We are being governed by Political Science majors.

This trust of “small brains” cobbled together a plan, in secret, that will affect one-sixth of our economy.  They did this in a matter of days.  They did this without consulting medical experts, economists and their constituents.  They didn’t even bother asking the Congressional Budget Office for their assessment before trying to pass this bill.

What we got is the following:

  • A bill that only 17% of Americans want.
  • A bill that will kick tens of millions off of healthcare.
  • A bill that will devastate Medicare and Medicaid
  • A bill that allows insurance companies to discriminate against pre-existing conditions.
  • A bill that does ZERO to control costs.
  • A bill that takes over $700 billion out of current healthcare expenditures and redistributes that money to the wealthy.

So, the Republican Party came up with a bad healthcare plan.  I can’t blame them since they don’t possess the intellectual means of doing a better job.

However, their rationale for this plan seems a bit…like a lie.

They have two basic justifications.

  1. The first justification is that they promised to repeal Obamacare and they must do this so that they can fulfill a campaign promise.  This rings a bit hollow.  They must know that their plan is a disaster compared to the existing Obamacare.  They can’t possibly think that their constituents are thinking “I want you to replace Obamacare even if the replacement costs more, provides less coverage and kicks millions off of healthcare.
  2. The second justification is that by sending money to states instead of a centralized national plan, healthcare will get better.  They act as if this is a law of physics when in fact, it’s just words.  It’s as if I said,”stand over there instead of right here and you will find that an extra $20 miraculously shows up in your wallet.”  They will take $700 billion out of the plan and distribute what is left to the states.  By the way, the distribution will heavily favor the Republican States that vote for this plan.  California will get tens of billions less because they are a “blue” state.

I suppose we should break up our military and let the states buy their own tanks.  We should let states negotiate with North Korea.  We should let states decide if minorities should vote.  In  fact, we should eliminate the federal government all together since divestment of responsibility is a great cost saver.  <- This is the Republican position.

Now, we know these two justifications are wrong.  So, what is the real reason?

Simple….It’s all about the money.

The Koch brothers plan on spending a billion dollars on elections.  However, they have told the Republican Party that this money will not be spent unless Obamacare is replaced with something that saves the Koch brothers tens of billions in taxes.

That’s the reason.

In other words, the Republican Party is willing to destroy 1/6th of the economy of their country in order to keep donor money coming in.

Vote in 2018.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

 

This just in:  We’ve all been hearing rumors about Life In The White House under president Trump.  He throws fits, behaves childishly and is basically self destructive.  While there is plenty of live evidence suggesting this may be true, we can’t really be sure unless we are a fly on the wall.

I do have a vision in my head of what it looks like in there.  Here is what it is…

General Kelly, Chief of Staff (aka “The Nanny”):  “Donnie, take that out of your mouth!  You don’t know where it’s been.

Trump: “Awwww….you never let me have any fun.”

later….

Nanny: “Donny!  Get down from there this instant.  Don’t make me come over there or so help me….”

Trump: “All the other Heads of State get to climb on stuff.  Why can’t I?”

Nanny: “If all of the other Heads of State jumped off a bridge, would you?”

still later:

Nanny: “Who has seen the Donnie!  I can’t find him anywhere.”

Aide: “I saw him go into a closet with a telephone.”

Nanny: “God Damn it!  I told you people to keep an eye on him.  He’s probably talking to that Bannon kid; the one that’s been such a bad influence on him lately.”

still later:

Nanny: “Donnie, what have I told you about pulling the wings off of flies?”

Trump: “I knowwwwww.  Don’t pull wings off of flies.”

Nanny: “And what did I say about deporting 800,000 people that have spent their entire lives living, learing, loving and working as if they were Americans?”

Trump: “Don’t kick them out of the country and send them to a place that they no nothing about.  I never get to have any fun!”

Donnie throws himself on the floor and has a tantrum.  When that’s run it’s course, he gets up and fires a couple of aides.

still later

Nanny: “Donnie!! What’s this I hear you’ve been fighting with Kim Jong Un?”

Trump: “He started it.  He’s just a big Panda Head anyway.”

Nanny: “I’m putting you on a time out.  That means no Fox News for 2 days.”

Trump: “God Damn it!’

As you can see, General Kelly has his work cut out for him.  I wish him well.  My guess is that he’s not a Trump fan but sees his “nanny work” as a way to save our country from Donnie.

He’s probably right.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

This just in:  I want to give everyone fair warning that you are being judged…by me.

I try not to…but it’s hard.

Since I can’t “not” judge, I feel that the best I can do is give you fair warning about how I interpret what you say.

Let’s start…

You say: “We are a nation of laws.  This is why DACA needs to end and we need to send 800,000 people back across the borders.”

What I hear: “I am a racist and am using the “nation of laws” idea to justify my not being a racist.”

 

You say: “All terrorists are Muslims.”

I hear: “I fear that my Christian beliefs may not be right but by squashing all opposition and painting them in a dark light, I strengthen my case that my belief in a certain quality of magic is the right and proper belief.”

 

I say: “Name just one thing Trump has done for America.”

You say: “Too many things to name.”

I hear: “I have no idea what to believe until I turn on Fox News (aka Trump TV) and listen to what they tell me to believe.”

 

You say: “LGBT rights are against the bible.”

I hear: “I am a little gay and I’m afraid that legitimizing it will make me all gay.”

 

You say: “Obama was an embarrassment.”

I hear: “Obama was a nigger.”

 

You say: “Voter ID laws protect our elections.”

I hear: “I don’t want minorities, the poor and the elderly to vote because they may not vote the way I want them to.”

 

You say: “Abortion is murder.”

I hear: “I can’t help but push my beliefs onto others.  This makes me feel righteous.”

 

You say: “Trump is not a racist.”

I hear: “If Trump is not a racist, then I am not a racist despite my actions and beliefs.”

 

You say: “We should take out North Korea.”

I hear: “I have zero understanding of the implications of war on the Korean peninsula but talking tough gives me a war-boner.”

 

You say: “Benghazi and Hillary emails.”

I hear: “Trump has given me nothing to brag about so I will resort to tearing down someone else so he doesn’t look so bad by comparison.  Bringing up Hillary shows just how far down the well of history I will reach to find something to use as a distraction from Trump’s latest scandal of the week.”

 

I think you get my point here.  That point being that you can hide from yourself but I think I see you quite plainly.

I may be wrong but I’m probably not.

Up, up and away…

Jim