The Trump “Walkback”

This just in:  Following Global outrage at Trump’s performance with Putin on Monday, the president decided to rewrite history, putting himself in a better light.

Let’s recap.

I will be paraphrasing here…

The Before Picture

Trump:  I think our intelligence is wrong because Putin very strongly told me so.  I also think that Putin has a great idea.

Putin:  America will give us their intelligence, so we can tell how they wrongly reached the conclusion that we interfered in U.S. Elections.

Democrats:  This is treason

The World: This is treason

The Republicans:  NATO is good, M’kay.

The After Picture

Trump:  I think that I misspoke the other day.  I meant to say that “peach is the best of all cobblers, although, there may be other cobblers as well.  There is just no way to tell for certain.”

Democrats:  Who would believe this bullshit.

The World:  Who would believe this bullshit.

The Republicans:  Whew.  We’re glad he cleared that up so let’s get back to doing something else.

Trump followers: We too love peach cobbler.  Trump is the best.

So there you have it.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Putting the pieces together…

This just in:  Our Constitution’s system of “checks and balances” is not working.  The three branches of government are not keeping each other in check.  Now I think I know why.

I think we all know by now that Trump works for Russia.  I can go through the list but it comes down to two facts: (1) Trump is actively working to break apart NATO and (2) Trump sided with Putin over America on global television.

So this issue is settled.

Now, this would normally be dealt with by Congress.  They would say, “Hey!  Trump is a traitor.  Let’s get rid of him right away.”

But that’s not going to happen.  It won’t happen because the Republicans that control Congress are also working for Russia.

Here is why I say that…

First of all, they behave as if Trump favoring Russia is no big deal.

Secondly, they are actively trying to stop an investigation into Russian interference in our elections.  All I can say about that is that if this investigation is a Witch Hunt, they sure are finding a lot of witches.

Thirdly, and this is complicated, it has been shown that Russia funnelled money to the NRA.  It has also been shown that the NRA used that money to pay off Trump and a variety of Republicans.  The NRA is currently under investigation over this issue.  A couple of days ago, a female Russian operative was arrested for working with the NRA and trying to use that organization to influence Republicans in ways favorable to Russia.

In short, Russia owns the president and has significant power over the Republican Party.

In my view, the NRA is also the perfect place to find gullible Americans.  Who else would believe gun violence is not related to guns or that gun control only means bad guys have guns.  These people are soft, willing minds, that gobble up Russian created memes about Hillary running a pedophile ring out of a pizza shop. These people love hating NFL players for being unpatriotic…because a Russian meme told them to.

These same people will watch Trump sellout America and find a way to make that right in their minds.

Trump’s Putin Summit was both a disaster and a blessing.

It was a disaster because it showed that he works for Putin.  It was a blessing for the same reason.

There should be not more talk of “witch hunts” and “no collusion”.  If someone stands by Trump now, they might as well wear a sign saying, “I too have sold out the United States of America.”

Up, up and away…

Jim

Trump – Putin Puppet Abroad

This just in:  As Trump continues his “wrecking ball” tour of Europe, I thought I would point out a few, very telling issues.

Point #1:  Trump has gone out of his way to disparage two people.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May, are the leaders of Germany and U.K. respectively.  Both of these countries are/were staunch allies of the United States and…both are women.  So, in trashing these women, he showed more of his misogynistic behavior while driving a deadly wedge into the heart of our NATO allies.  For no apparent reason.

Point #2: Trump called immigration in the E.U. “a very negative thing.”  There are a few issues with this.  First of all, Trump has no idea what he is talking about.  He can’t name 5 member of either the E.U. or NATO.  Secondly, this is a patently racist comment.  He didn’t say, “illegal immigration.”  He referred to immigration in general.  He says it is hurting European culture.  I think he is really projecting his beliefs about immigration in the United States onto Europe.  He thinks the immigration of Non-Whites, and Non-Christians, are hurting our culture here at home. If you agree with him on this, then you are a racist as well.

Point #3: While Trump never hesitates to disparage anyone, anywhere, he has singled out Putin as being exempt from all of that.  This begs the question, “Why?”   Combine this with the following: (1) Russia banks lent Trump billions when no bank in the United States would touch him, (2) Trump has a history of selling properties to Russians and hugely inflated profits; a red flag for anyone investigating money laundering and (3) Nearly everyone in Trump’s campaign was on Russia’s Christmas card mailing list.

Point #4:  When the Mueller investigation indicated several Russians last week, Trump blamed Obama rather than Putin.  To me, this is fantastically telling.  Just his morning, Trump said Russia didn’t interfere in our elections because Putin told him they didn’t.  You might recall that Trump thinks everyone that says anything he does not like is a liar.  The press is a liar.  All the women accusers are liars.  This list goes on and on.  But Putin…that is a guy Trump trusts.

Point #5:  During an interview, held two days before his meeting with Putin, Trump was asked, “Who are America’s Foes?”  His response:  “The E.U.”  Not Putin, not China, not North Korea but….The European Union.

There are several other things but none of them are new.  Things like lying and bullying and doing everything he can to alienate our allies.  Strange how this is now so common that it’s no longer front page material.

Time to save the world.

Up, up  and away…

Jim

Trump – An American Bully Abroad

This just in:  The “Trump Goes to Europe” movie is going as predicted.

Let’s start with two well established facts: (1) Trump lies about everything and (2) Trump is a bully.

Trump’s first stop in Europe was to meet with NATO.  These are our allies.   We trade together.  We fight together.  We protect each other.  This was the strongest, most effective contributor to world peace….in the history of the world.

Trump spent two days trashing it.  He publicly chastised world leaders using made up statistics.  He went after Germany’s Merkel.  My guess is he did this for two reasons.  First of all, she is a woman in a position of power.  Secondly, she is vastly more intelligent than Trump and he sees this as a threat.

Trump came out of NATO basically saying “I set them straight and they will now pay more money into NATO.”  France’s Macron came out of the same meeting and said, “We didn’t agree to do any of those things Trump said.”

Now, who do you think is being honest?  Remember, Trump came out of his meeting with Kim-Jong-Flattop and declared the nuclear threat was over.  He then claimed that American remains from the Korean war had been sent from North Korea.  He also declared that as a show of good will, the United States would stop having military exercises with South Korea.  Of these 3 things, only one was true.  We did stop the exercises which means we gave that away and got nothing in return.

Next, Trump moves on to the UK.  He immediately went on a radio show and declared May, the British PM, was a disaster.  He also praised her opponent.  Later, when confronted with this, he denied it.  He denied it in the face of direct evidence that he was lying.

So, thus far, Trump has trashed NATO, trashed the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and trashed British PM, May.  Sprinkled in all of this has been numerous praises of Putin.

Next, he plays golf and then visits Putin to get further orders.

Never forget, as America’s standing in the world declines, the Republican Party has stood by and allowed this to happen.

Vote in November.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Economics of a Bully

This just in:  Trump’s tariffs have started a global trade war in which there are no winners.  Not unless you call the smug satisfaction Trump gets when he is bulling someone a “victory.”

Here is what tariffs do.  They are a tax on an imported good.  For example, if China once sold a cell phone in the United States for $400, then a 25% tariff would increase the cost of that phone to $500.  We put a tariff on China and Americans pay more for goods they buy from China.

To be clear…the tariff on imported goods is a tax on Americans.

If this is true, why would anyone implement tariffs?

Setting Trump aside for the moment, there are times that tariffs are practical.  For example, let’s suppose China has a huge technological and cost advantage when it comes to producing solar panels.  Let’s also assume that the United States would like to encourage the development and production of solar panels domestically.  Since China has such a huge advantage and can sell panels much cheaper than we can make them, any company in the United States that produces panels will not be able to compete.  Their panels will not be as advanced nor as cheap as those from China.

Enter the tariffs…

By putting tariffs on Chinese solar panels, their panels will now cost Americans more to buy.  In fact, the Chinese panels are now so expensive that we will buy American panels instead.  This allows a domestic industry to survive and grow.   Eventually, we will be on par with China and the tariffs, no longer needed, will go away.

So, the tariff increased the cost of solar panels but in exchange, we got a foothold in a huge global market for our domestic panels.

Let’s bring Trump back into the picture.

As president, he is allowed to unilaterally implement tariffs up to 25% if it is in the interest of national security.   For example, to protect an American industry that contributes to defense.

What Trump has done is to impose arbitrary tariffs on China, the E.U. and Canada without any clear rationale.  No one, including those in this cabinet, know what it is that he is actually trying to do.  No one can tell us what the “national security” issue is.

And what’s worse, those countries he is imposing tariffs on don’t know what he wants.  They don’t know what he is trying to negotiate for.  He says things like “China is treating us unfair” without clarification.  He puts tariffs on Canadian milk as if this will prevent a national security breach.  He puts a tariff on German cars and leaves the E.U. to scratch their collective heads in confusion.

Trump does all of this for two reasons.  The first being because he can.  The Republican Congress has indicated to Trump that they will not challenge any issue he wants to take on.

The main reason for tariffs is that Trump is a bully.  He puts tariffs on counties for the same reason the biggest kid in 3rd grade beats up on the other, smaller kids.  He is mean and insecure.  Being a bully is the best way he has come up to deal with this.

So, the world is entering a trade war because Trump basically needs a nap.

And as the result, Americans will pay more for many for the products they buy every day.

Vote in November and get the Republicans out of our house.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Putin’s Spanking Room

This just in:  Trump is headed to Europe to meet with NATO, the UK and Putin.  I’d like to share a few thoughts and predictions about this.

But first, let’s look at Trump’s achievements while in office thus far.  Perhaps this will tell us how high or low to set the bar for this week’s expectations.

First of all, we must remember that he is an expert Deal Maker.  If you are not sure, just ask him.

Deals he has backed out of…

  1. The Trans Pacific Partnership whose purpose was to increase markets overseas for U.S products.
  2. NAFT whose purpose was to increase markets in Canada and Mexico for U.S. products.
  3. U.N. Human Rights Council whose purpose is to monitor and address Human Rights around the world.
  4. The Iran Nuclear deal whose purpose was to eliminate Iran’s ability to create a nuclear threat to the world.
  5. ON the verge of exiting the G-7 economic summit because they hurt his feelings.

Deals he has made…

  1. Under his congress, he passed a tax law that adds trillions to our national debt in exchange for…nothing other than millions of tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country.
  2. He claimed to have made a deal with North Korea and even announced that his 2-hour meeting with Kim -never missed a meal- Jong Un resulted in a complete end to the nuclear threat.  Notable is that North Korea seems to disagree with this completely.

Major accomplishments…

  1. For no apparent reason, pushed for the separation of immigrant parents and their children as they sought to flee violence in their own countries.
  2. Refused to support a “Breast Feeding is Good” resolution at a World Health Assembly; stunning the rest of the world.  His rationale….”Baby food makers are people too.”  Never, ever underestimate the power of the Baby Food Lobby.
  3. Everything else he has done has been through Executive Order, including the tariffs that are set to cripple to Global economy.  He has also dismanted of nearly every regulation put in place to protect our environment.

Now….About his overseas trip that starts today…

He meets with NATO in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He has managed to alienate nearly every member in this organization. NATO is the single most successful peace organization in the history of the world.  Trump, on his very own, has created an atmosphere where they fear even meeting with him.  They know he is Putin’s boy and fear that any plans they make will be relayed to Putin when he and Trump meet a few days later.  My prediction:  Trump will continue to alienate NATO.  He will boast about how well everything went and then ignore it when other members claim he is a turd.

We have to remember that Trump lives in a world that exists only in his mind.  There is no “Better and Cheaper healthcare.”  There is no “Denuclearization of North Korea.”  There is no “Better Trade deal that is more fair.”  He’s claimed all of these and yet, all are demonstrably false.

After NATO, Trump goes to the UK where he is universally hated.  He will mostly avoid London where protesters will be filling the street.  There will be a giant balloon of Baby Trump flying over the city.  We have to remember, the U.K. is our biggest and closest ally…and they hate the president of the United States.  My prediction is that he will do whatever it takes to piss of the UK even more.  He can’t help himself.  Making others angry or fearful makes him feel strong.

This brings us to Putin…

Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki a week from today.  Reportedly, Putin has set up a Spanking Room where he will administer whippings to a fat cheeto dressed in black leather.

Eventually, he and Trump will reach an agreement where Trump tells him everything he knows about NATO and Putin tells Trump how to behave on a wide range of issues going forward.

So, there you have it.

Trump’s experience tells me that my Expectations Bar needs to be set very low.  In fact, I think I’ll just lay it on the ground.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Dogs, Dinner and Democracy…

This just in:  Another year brings another 4th of July to my desktop calendar.  I wonder how many people will hang a flag in front of their house and think, “There.  I’m a patriot.  Mission accomplished.”

I tend to think there is more to being patriotic than that.  Just like I think there is more to being a good person than going to church and then proclaiming myself a Christian.

But first…I have to tell you about something my dog did that I found extremely impressive.

My “small” dog is a Labrador.  Now, if you have ever had one of these, you know that they will not only eat anything that fits it their mouths, but they will do so with what I can only describe as Extreme Gusto.

So Echo, my dog, needs to take a pill.  Pills and pinecones are the only thing on her “Do Not Eat” list.  So, to get her to eat this pill, I put it in a handful of kibble and let her gobble this out of my hand.  As expected, she attacked this feast and gobbled everything down…then as she walked away…she stopped just long enough to spit out the pill.

I was impressed.

Now a bit about dinner.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary.  We went to a fairly swanky restaurant.  We’d never been there before.  They had a small menu with about 7 or 8 items on it.  Of course…I went with the Pork Belly.

My wife wanted the Duck. The following conversation ensued…

Wife:  I’ll take the Duck

Waiter:  We don’t have Duck

Wife: But it’s on the menu.

Waiter:  I know but we don’t have any Duck.

Me:  When will you have Duck?  I’d like to know so we can get it next time.

Waiter:  We have Duck.

Me:  I don’t understand.

Waiter:  It’s on the menu.

Me: Okay…so my wife will take the Duck.

Waiter: We don’t have any Duck.

This is a true conversation.

My wife, Erika, ended up with some sort of eggplant thing.

And finally, my take on patriotism…

Keep in mind…this is just my opinion…

If you posted your flag and felt that you’d fulfilled your patriotic duty…then great.  However, if you did that and then went in and watched Fox News and cheered for Trump and the Republican Party…then I’m going to have to call “bullshit” on your claim to patriotism.

If you support Trump and the Republican Party, you are either a racist/evangelica (hate non-whites and/or non-Christians or your are intellectually lazy.  (You may have noticed that I have taken off my gloves.)

If you cheer when Trump says, “The Democrats want MS-13 to come into our country,”  then are easily manipulated.

Here is a link to a study that shows Democracies around the world are on the decline.  The United States took the deepest dive over the last 2 years…the Trump years.

If the only thing you are doing to stop this decline is hanging a flag…then you are part of the problem.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

The insanity of Trump’s economics

This just in:  It has been said that economics is a “soft science” because the outcomes of certain actions are not always predictable.  In fact, there is an entire field of economics known as Behavioral Economics, that tries to find out why this is so.  This diversity of outcomes from a repeated experiment is why we find several economic opinions that all differ with regards to nearly any given topic.

But there are some things we can count on, either by observation or irrefutable logic.  On these types of issues, the economic world is in nearly unison with their recommendations.

One such issue is Trump’s fantasy world of economics.  Nationally and abroad, the absurdity of Trump’s actions are astounding anyone that is paying attention.

Let’s look at a broad view of what I mean.

I will lay this out in steps, trying to put order to something that is nearly random.

  1. Trump wants to deport millions of illegal aliens.  These are people that have raised families here.  They pay taxes.  They commit crimes at a much lower rate than others.  And, this is important, they are filling many of the jobs that most of us would not take due to the low pay.  Trump’s policy of deporting these people is, in large part, justified by “They are taking away jobs that belong to U.S. citizens.”  Somehow, Trump is saying that for every field hand we deport, a high paying job is Silicon Valley opens up.
  2. Trump, and the Republican Congress passed a tax bill that takes from the nation as a whole, and gives to the vastly rich.  There are two ideas behind this: (1) Rich people will hire us to mow their lawn if they have more money.  This is known as Trickle-Down economics and is the most widely disproven economic theory there is.  And (2) Corporations will use their tax breaks to raise wages.  This makes the assumption that corporations are benevolent.  Instead, companies exist to make a profit.  If they already have employees that come to work for $x per hour, why would they pay more?  In fact, they didn’t. Instead, they are in the process of buying back company stock which has the effect of enriching shareholders, not workers.
  3. Trump cut subsidies for Green Energy, one of the fastest growing industries in the world today.  Many of the jobs in this industry are good paying.  Instead, Trump is investing in coal and other fossil fuels; an industry that is rapidly shrinking.
  4. Trump dropped out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and is now threatening to drop out of the World Trade Organization.  There is no clear reason for doing this but the outcomes are certain.  These are the exact steps one would take if they wanted to reduce the amount of goods we sell overseas.  Confusingly, Trump complains about the Trade Deficit all the time.  He thinks its a bad thing (it’s not) and then he does the exact opposite of what it would take to increase exports.
  5. Trump is putting tariffs on everyone that pisses him off.  As president, he can levy a tariff as high as 25% if it is deemed necessary for national security.  So,  suddenly, Canadian cheese imports are a threat.  The result of this is two-fold.  First, is causes our trading partners to levy counter-tariffs against us.  These counter-tariffs raise the price of our goods overseas.  Harley Davidson is a good example of this.  Tariffs placed on their product means they will sell fewer of these  overseas…unless….they move the factories and jobs overseas…which is exactly what Harley Davidson is doing.  Secondly, we now pay more for good that are imported.  If we put a tax on imported steel, then everything that uses imported steel will cost us more.  Already we are seeing spikes in goods like automobiles.

In summary, Trump touts jobs and then does everything he can to eliminate them.  He claims he is putting more money into the hands of the middle class and yet, they small amount we all get from the tax cut is quickly eaten up by the higher prices we are paying for anything imported.

And here is the kicker.  Europe, China and the rest of the world want to make this stop.  they actually want to know what it will take to make Trump stop this Globally Destructive behavior.

The thing is, even Trump doesn’t know what he wants.  The conversation goes like this…

Trump:  Here are some tariffs on the rest of the world.

The World: What can we do to make you change your mind?

Trump: I have no idea.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

The Good, the Bad and the Orange

This just in:  A quick shout-out to all my peeps that missed me on Facebook while I was away.  I missed them too.

Now for the good….

In Thailand, 12 youth soccer kids and their coach were exploring in a cave when it started to rain.  The rain flooded the cave which is apparently several miles long.  For 9 days, people searched for the group hoping that they found some sort of “bubble” to hold out in until rescue came.  Today, they a were found.  All of them are alive.

As for the Bad…

I went to see the Beach Boys at the Marin County Fair.  I should not have done that.  Yes, I can now say that I saw the Beach Boys sing California Girl.  The music, while familiar, was sung by voices that should have retired a long time ago.  I feel bad saying that but hey, if you want to stay in the game…then stay in the game.  Don’t fade away into the sunset on stage in front of a few thousand fans.

I must admit, part of my frustration with the Beach Boys had nothing to do with the music.  Someone in front of me had a plate-sized cinnamon bun topped with ice cream.  It had to be about 10,000 calories.  I thought about reaching over and grabbing a handful…then blaming my wife, but there were too many witnesses….all of whom were also eyeing this delicacy.  So, I stood there drooling as the Beach Boys struggled to remember the words or even the day of the week.

Now for the Orange…

The two biggest “How is Trump Failing Today?” stories are: (1) His lawyer, Michael Cohen is apparently flipping and will now spill the cheetos on Trump and (2) Trump is now thinking of getting out of the World Trade Organization because the rest of the world agrees with every educated person in the United States that “Trump’s Tariffs are going to ruin the global economy.”

There is a ton of news on Trump.  None of its good.  Here is a link to Reddit.  If you follow this link, it will take you to hundreds of stories from hundreds of sources, all of which say something like “Trump is the worst at everything.”

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

A Return to Facebook

This just in:  I left Facebook on May 1st and took the next 2 months off.  I seemed to have survived just fine.

My plan was to come back and start all over.  I would “friend” very few people; mostly those of a like mind.  Instead, Facebook hooked me up with everyone that I left behind.  This is a bit of a problem since one of the reasons I left was that I got tired of reading one Russian produced meme after another.  A surprising number of people I grew up with will believe just about anything.  In many cases…it’s the Dunning-Kruger effect on steroids.

I intend to be blocked and to block in abundance.

I’m still not into conspiracy theories.

I still think “Thoughts and Prayers” have zero impact on gun control.

I still believe that science is a real thing.

And I’m certain that Donald Trump is a corrupt con man.

So, not much has changed in the last 2 months.

So…what’s on my mind today?  I know that may not be important to you but it’s why I blog in the first place…to put it down on paper so my head won’t explode.

On Netflix, the SciFi show “The Expanse” has to be one of the best things out there.  I read where the SciFi channel had to drop it because, even though it was popular, the production costs were just too high.  In steps Jeff Bezos (Amazon owner).  He is a big fan of the series and is now footing the bill for season 4.

Pork Bellies are good with anything.

Radiatore pasta is the best pasta to eat when covered with chili and cheese.

On the Trump is an idiot page….(yes, I still do this)

Two weeks ago he met with Kim-Jong-Haircut of North Korea and announced that he’d solved the nuclear crisis.  Last week he said North Korea has already sent home the remains of 200 MIA from the Korean War.  Now, it looks like North Korea is actually accelerating its nuclear program AND….no, it turns out North Korea has not returned any remains.

Trump has managed to take the immigration issue and make it worse.  I won’t go into all the details because it has be blanketed by the news already.

Trump’s genius economic mind, the one that caused him to declare bankruptcy over and over again until Russian banks bailed him out, came up with the idea of tariffs.  For no apparent reason, he has started a trade war that will raise costs and cost jobs…around the fucking world!

For no reason at all…

Trump’s economic advisor went on television and bragged about how well the new tax plan is working.  It’s causing record economic growth and shrinking the deficit.  When the entire world pointed out that this was false, he changed his story to “Well, we think it will happen in the future.”

Meanwhile…common wisdom says that when a new president takes over, the economy still belongs to the previous president for one year.  The reason for this is that economies don’t change overnight.  So, the stock market continued to grow and unemployment continued to drop during Trump’s first year.  This should rightfully be put on Obama’s record. However, after 1 year, starting in 2018, the stock market has had its worst year since 2010.  Economists around the world are starting to talk about the recession that will come.  They blame 2 things for this: (1) The Republican Tax cuts for the rich and (2) Trump’s trade war.

Watch this bit on Trump by Jon Stewart.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim