Trump brings shame upon the United States; Democrats stand to make a comeback, but the GOP can survive…

March 9, 2017

I’m no political pundit but maybe a pundit wannabe, and just like the pundits I am confused. Before the presidential election it looked as though the Republican Party was in its death throes and in an act of desperation or political suicide it chose Donald Trump as its nominee.

It looked as though the Democrats were essentially giving Barack Obama a third term via Hillary Clinton, and not since FDR had a political party held onto the White House for four terms.

And then the shocker. Trump won. And now it was the Democrats who seemed to be in their death throes.

But now with all this Trump scandal (Russiagate,Trump making wild and unsupported accusations against his predecessor, conflicts of interest, immigration uproar) and the consternation within the Republican Party over how to replace Obamacare (which instead of replacing probably just needed fine tuning), it looks as though the Grand Old Party is fracturing. One Republican pundit in the New York Times said the party’s problem is that it does not know what it stands for.

I guess the same could be said for the Democrats who seemingly abandoned working people.

At the same time, the Republican Party way back in the time of Nixon latched onto disaffected working people who were not happy with Vietnam war protests, affirmative action, riots, and societal change in general.

(Added to the cast of characters in the GOP are the Tea Party/militia crowd and various strains of narrow-minded people.)

But the older elements and the newer elements in the GOP don’t always mix well.

And then you add what that one pundit who said the GOP does not know what it stands for writing about what he called Trump’s “nationalist workers’ party” approach and that really mixes things up, because it does not match the normal right-left mix of politics in the U.S.

As far as I know that is some kind of Hitler concept of right-wing socialism (in the U.S. socialism is thought of as left wing), industrial state thing that basically amounts to nationalism led by a dictator and everyone working as slaves to the industrial/corporate state.

Hitler was evil. He was a mad man. But he did have some kind of demented political plan.

Trump is just a dangerous egocentric ignoramus with his own brand of evil. I know people will say he has to have some smarts because he is so rich. Well he is good at being a con man but national and world affairs are entirely out of his element.

It’s time that honest and responsible thinking people within the Republican Party hierarchy pay him a visit and ask for his resignation.

I don’t think either party is dying. Thanks to the disappointment with Trump, the Democratic Party could well make a comeback in the off-year elections.

The Republican Party did not die after the embarrassment of having Nixon being the first president ever to resign from office (and under threat of impeachment at the hands of his own party).

However, the United States has suffered and is suffering much shame over having such a disgraceful person as president. It is presenting an ugly picture to the world.

And with a catastrophic crisis ever on the horizon, Trump’s lack of leadership capabilities and knowledge is nothing short of frightening. North Korea could finally perfect its nuclear missile system, who knows what Russia will do? There is Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, and then there are the terrorists, as well as possibly something else we never heard of. Bad stuff happens. And we have an unstable person at the top who rants on Twitter in the night. This is no longer funny, if indeed it ever was.

(And along with Trump, we have a whole crew of characters who seem bent on dismantling our government for unknown reasons.)

It would not hurt for every one of us, regardless of political persuasion, to call or message or write our congress people and senators and demand some action to rid ourselves of the danger of Trump.

He was not elected in a national mandate, only by a fluke in our arcane Electoral College system.

I was never wild about Obama.

And I sure miss him now.

Even simple-minded George W. Bush was at least a gentleman and had some sense of American politics and ideals.

p.s.

The Republican pundit in the New York Times, to whom I referred, is conservative columnist Ross Douthat.

 

 

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Republican health care plan seems a bit cold hearted…

March 8, 2017

Really what this health care law thing is all about is a difference in philosophy between conservatism and progressivism.

You really don’t have to know much more than that to understand what the fuss is all about.

Conservatives in general think it is up to people to take on responsibility and pay for health care coverage themselves. They do allow that people have to have some kind of access to health care plans and that there needs to be something to choose from out there.

Progressives tend to think that health care is so important that no one should be left without it and they realize that not everyone can afford it on the open market and not everyone is fortunate to work somewhere where it comes with the job.

Conservatives think that people have to make hard economic choices and sometimes might have to forego other things they might want in order to buy health care coverage. Of course some of those so-called conservatives are in government and we pay for their health care. Others are people lucky enough to have good health care coverage though their work.

Then there is the military where health care coverage has been part of that life for a long time. I heard one caller on a talk show claim that he was a retired colonel and that he had good coverage though Uncle Sam and that he “deserves it”.

I think that pretty well sums up the feeling of a lot of people, even out of the military, people who have good insurance through work. They feel they deserve it.

I myself have benefited from health care coverage through work and nowadays benefit from Medicare and a supplement that I pay for.

Even though I think people ought to have some skin in the game, so to speak, so that the resources of health care, always expensive, are not over taxed, causing problems for all of us — I mean when you have to pay part of the cost, you tend to make more careful decisions — I also feel that it is best for society in a practical way for all to be covered. In addition it is the only moral thing to do, that is to see that all are covered.

And if a people decided they could get more efficient and less costly health care by banding together in a cooperative effort, why not?

Conservatives think the free market provides the most efficiency and the highest quality. I don’t know that such is true in the field of health care. Certainly it does provide incentives to providers. But it tends to leave a lot of people out in the cold.

What I am seeing so far in the Republican plan to replace Obamacare is the willingness to leave some people out in the cold.

And that seems cold hearted to me.

p.s.

Although single-payer insurance by the government would always be a tremendous burden on the taxpayer, does anyone think that health care on the private market will ever do anything but jump up in cost by leaps and bounds each year? I don’t know what the solution is. I do think, though, that health care is something that does not fit neatly into the normal economic laws of free market capitalism, or then again maybe it does, and that is the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Did Obama bug Trump or is Trump just buggy? Either way, the Donald needs to go…

March 5, 2017

This is no way to run a country folks. Getting on Twitter in the middle of the night and claiming that the former president planted electronic eavesdropping devices, or bugs as they are called, in Trump Tower prior to the presidential election is a serious charge. President Donald Trump provides no evidence. And even if it were true, making such an announcement through the internet device known as Twitter certainly is not the proper way to do it.

With his speech last week that seemed more mellow and almost responsible and maybe somewhat reassuring in tone it is a major disappointment that he has gone back to his wacky self.

From what I have read so far it seems that Trump could have come to the conclusion that his campaign must have been bugged because of reports of his people talking to the Russians. What? he has a guilty conscience? And to add to that it has been reported that Trump was furious about the Attorney General Jeff Sessions scandal in which Sessions lied during his senate confirmation hearing about having contact with the Russian ambassador (albeit it could have been entirely perfunctory and innocent) and then because of his actions was forced by pressure from even within the Republican Party, as well as from the Democrats and public opinion in general, to recuse himself from any possible investigation into what some people are calling “Russiangate”. So perhaps due to his embarrassment and fury over the Sessions affair, Trump decided to get back on the offensive against his avowed enemy, the press. Like maybe former President Obama and the press are a cabal against him.

Trump is a little nutty. He needs to leave office or be removed.

Sure if there were any truth to his allegations of bugging by Obama it would be a scandal indeed. But like I think Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, was trying to say (not sure I understood) it would be a scandal either way. It would be a scandal if Obama somehow got permission from the government’s secret FISA court to bug Trump’s campaign and it would be a scandal if there was a bona-fide reason to do so.

The real scandal is that Trump is president.

He needs to go. I had some hope, even though I cannot personally stand the guy, but I have concluded that he is a dangerous wacko. I think much of the Republican establishment realizes this but does not know what to do.

p.s.

While the federal government’s time is taken up by the crazy actions of Trump and the Russiagate scandal, the crazy man in North Korea is directing a nuclear missile program and is threatening us and the world. North Korea has Kim Jong-Un and we have Kim Jong Trump!

p.s. p.s.

Now it is possible, I suppose, that the CIA and/or other intelligence agencies (we have far too many) was spying on Trump over the Russian connection without the knowledge of Obama — rightly or wrongly.

 


As clueless as he seems, Trump may be more effective than Clinton could have been, but it’s scary…

March 2, 2017

So if you read a fact check article (and as I have noted or commented before: who checks the fact checkers?) it kind of spoils President Trump’s grand boasts of his first couple of months as president because it seems he exaggerated or misused statistics and in some cases just fibbed during his speech to congress and the nation earlier this week.

But in this case I’ll give him a pass  because really what would you expect? I mean at least stretching the truth or misusing statistics is the stock and trade of politicians.

Is unemployment as high as he said? Is the crime rate really going through the roof? Are large numbers of illegal aliens really running amok and murdering and raping? Has he really begun to take measures to “drain the swamp” in Washington? The answer to these and other like questions is probably “no” but perception is everything.

And if you ask me, unemployment is way too high, crime continues to rage, and as far as criminal illegal aliens, I don’t know the numbers, but I know of one case fairly close to home where two policemen were killed and left widows and families at the hands of someone who had been twice deported. We all have heard of that poor woman being shot and killed by an illegal alien in San Francisco by a man who had at least once been deported. One might believe that if immigration laws were enforced this would not happen. I doubt Trump has done anything that will really drain the swamp in Washington and in fact he is adding to it no doubt. The fact checkers claim that measures by Trump to restrict lobbying by former officials are weak and in some cases weaker than that of the Obama administration.

Nonetheless, Trump presented a rosy vision along the same lines as Ronald Reagan. Reagan was no genius but he had a talent in presentation. Trump I guess does too, even if I don’t see it. He has shall we say a different style than Reagan.

In his new call for cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in congress in some strange way he may have more power to get Republicans to bend a little than Hillary Clinton could have. Being elected president as a Republican with a solid majority in congress carries a lot of weight. Clinton boasted she could work both sides of the aisle and that she had as a senator. But to the extent that was true, for her to do so she had to bend I imagine more than her adversaries did (she did support that misguided Iraq War), sometimes betraying her own party (in the name of compromise). Trump is not tied to orthodox Republicanism. To the extent he has any ideology at all it is more in the populist vein.

Trump can call for big and costly infrastructure programs and for replacing Obamacare while preserving that law’s safeguards, namely on pre-existing conditions and on protecting the disadvantaged through Medicaid. Also, sometimes Trump signals that he is more liberal on some social issues than most Republicans. But the Republican party is tied to his power and his ability to move the base.

And on enforcing immigration laws, it has been an eye-opener for me to read and realize that it has been for all intents and purposes an official policy all these many years to not actively enforce some immigration laws and regulations. I think that has done a disservice to both immigrants and U.S.citizens. On the one hand, knowing that they might have a good chance of slipping through, immigrants come into the country and begin a new life only years later perhaps getting caught up in a net and having their families disrupted and separated. And, meanwhile, we as citizens have been duped, thinking that our borders were being actively protected by enforcement of our immigration laws. And while statistics may indeed show that our own citizens are statistically much more likely to commit crimes than illegals, most of whom came here simply to seek work and make a better life for their families, it is no comfort to know that people come here illegally and are even deported numerous times and still come back to commit crimes.

Finally, Trump is a strange and scary person to have as president. It seems rather odd that he beat out such a large number of what was put up to be the Republican’s best to be that party’s nominee. The glitch in our Electoral College system that allowed him to win the presidency with a minority of the votes is a little easier to understand, and now that we understand it, maybe we need to change it.

We seem stuck with Trump.

He might do something good yet, but I think more by accident than anything else.

The man seems clueless. Caught making an obviously untrue claim about his election margin, he lamely said that it was something he was told. And then, running into snags in his promise to immediately rescind and replace Obamacare he came up with the astounding (to him maybe) conclusion that health care coverage for all Americans was a complex subject.

It may be a long four years, or eight years? OMG!

p.s.

Even in this age of the internet and social media with seemingly no secrets Trump as candidate and now president uses the old political trick of saying one thing for the benefit of one audience and then the opposite to another, and he seems to do it well. You see, the way that works is that you make each audience feel that you are actually on their side but are just lying to the others to trick those others.

 


Trump signals willingness to compromise (I think)…

March 1, 2017

Some think that maybe President Trump turned the corner last night and became president (CNN commentator Van Jones said so). So as it progresses today and in the coming days we will see if he has really set a new tone or will revert to his normal bombast and crude and ignorant ways.

I don’t have time to analyze his whole speech to congress and the nation he made Tuesday night. I did hear each and every word. It was a politician’s speech. He promised the moon and to magically cut taxes and raise spending at the same time. You see the economy will be so much better under his leadership that the government will pull in more revenue while cutting tax rates. Does that ever happen?

I do think he’s right about the military build-up. I have always thought that we have no choice but to be the biggest kid on the block.

And I really like it when he said that we should avoid fighting wars but when we have to we must fight to win. I think fighting to win is a whole lot better attitude than just not doing stupid stuff, as Barack Obama put it. But I cringe a little when Trump goes out of his way to dis Obama. Obama is history. Let it go.

And I still don’t care for Trump the man. But he has urged Republicans and Democrats to work together, thus signaling his willingness for compromise.

I plan to write more on this in the coming days.

Just thought I’d let you the reader know.