Thursday, June 20, 2019

Concentration Camps

No, they are not "detention centers".  They are concentration camps.

Definition: a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area.

We are putting these people in these camps as punishment, to deter others from coming over the border.  We are separating them from each other, from their children.  We are feeding them poorly and putting them into inhumane conditions.  Some of them are dying.

Some are comparing the Trump regime to the Nazi regime, and of course many roll their eyes at this and say it's Godwin's Law, that everyone always plays that card when the argument gets nasty.  Not this time.

When Hitler started out he was not Hitler as we think of him now. He was a politician exploiting a political situation to gain power. Many thought he was silly, or stupid.  Over time, piece by piece, it turned into what it ultimately became.

We are on that path, make no mistake. The congress basically refusing to act, Trump's supporters digging in their heels (and starting to wear the same shirts and hats), the identified "other" in our midst (undocumented workers instead of jews) that's causing all our woes, and the beginnings of an international crisis to galvanize the most violent of his cadre.

Add the concentration camps to all of that. We're not in the "beginning" of this, we're well into it, and if we don't take action history tells us what to expect.

Take it seriously.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Checks and Balances are Gone

Mitch McConnell, current majority leader of the US Senate, has stated publicly that we will not bring any bills to the senate floor unless they have the support of the president.  This was a fairly stunning abdication of his responsibility as the leader of a major part of our government that is meant, among other things, to serve as a check and balance to the executive branch.  He has basically said he now does whatever the president wants.

The recent midterms put the democrats in charge of the House of Representatives.  Nancy Pelosi is Mitch McConnell's counterpart in that legislative body.  She has stated that she will not support a bill of impeachment unless she has bipartisan support, which would of course include the GOP-controlled Senate.

The Senate will not act unless the president agrees.  The House will not act unless the Senate agrees.  This essentially elevates the president to the level of a dictator.  A dictator who is stuffing the judiciary with judges sympathetic to him and his agenda.

How is it possible that our system has so completely collapsed?

Is it citizen's united, and the flood of money into politics?
It is the rise of balkanized journalism in the form of cable news?
Is it corrupt social media, and/or foreign governments manipulating us?
Is it the re-emergence of virulent racism as a reaction to the first black president?

Has this country run its course?  Are we seeing the final days of Rome?

Bernie Frustrates Me

...not because I think he is wrong, but because he seems to miss the obvious opportunities to communicate.

Case in point: it turns out his book did very well and now he's a "millionaire", seemingly causing him a problem since he is the guy who constantly rails against "millionaires and billionaires".

Isn't it completely obvious what his message should be?

"Yes, I have made a lot of money recently, and you know what? Now that I am a millionaire I still think millionaires should pay their fair share of taxes. If I didn't, you could rightly call me a hypocrite, but I do. And if I ever became a billionaire I'd still feel the same way. Making money is not the problem. Avoiding your social responsibilities is."

This has been the problem with him all along.  He calls himself a "democratic socialist" then does not adequately explain what that is.  He does not point out that the military, first responders,  interstate highway system, sewage processing, etc... are all socialist programs, and that the country has always been a mix of socialism and capitalism.  And because he does not do this, the right calls him a "communist" and writes him off.

Bernie, you are right.  You just need to learn how to communicate.  You have John Kerry disease, and you need a really good communications director to cure it.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Mueller Report

What a disaster.

The pundits on the left are furiously trying to couch this in terms of "we have not seen the report yet" and "the SDNY has not weighed in" and so forth.

None of this matters. 

It does not matter what the report says, it matters what Trump and his supporters will claim it says, and they will beat the "no collusion" drum constantly.  It will drown out every other piece of information.

It does not matter what the SDNY does, because that won't happen for at least two years, and by then Trump will have been re-elected (in which case he will be safe from prosecution) or not, in which case it won't really matter.

No, what matters is what the Democrats do in their primary process, and whether or not the Green party decides to mount another Quixotic campaign that splits the vote and, just like with Bush/Gore, hands the republicans another win.  If the democrats cannibalize themselves (again) and/or a third party peels off enough votes, then all the GOP has to do is bring out the base.

And the Mueller report gives them everything they need to do that.

A disaster.  Prepare for the second Trump administration.

Monday, January 14, 2019

TSA This Morning

Today I had to fly for work.  It is the 23rd day of the partial government shutdown, and I arrived at the airport not knowing what to expect.

I got here really, really early because I was afraid there would be lines due to lack of manpower.  This was not the case.  Not because the TSA people are being paid; they are not.  But they are here, in full force, and I experienced no delays or other issues because of that.

I thanked every one of them.  I told them they had my support, and one of them smiled and then said "I only wish the president supported us."

If only.