Trump Times Entry 231 –

Shiny Object Politics – Syria

June 28, 2017

With a seventeen percent approval rating and Republican senators abandoning ship like proverbial rats, the latest version of alt Health Care reform seems doomed – at least for now. Senate majority leader and Kermit impersonator, Mitchell McConnell, has decided to postpone the planned vote, abandoning the “Conceive in Darkness – Deliver While They’re Not Looking” strategy he hoped would bring home the Senate’s first big legislative win.

Oh well, they’ll try again after the Independence Day break. Rest assured, Republicans are committed to killing Obamacare regardless of collateral damage, but for now they need something to fill the media vacuum. The last thing they want is the media focusing on Trumpcare while they take another vacation. The bill was intended to be a dark-op and voters don’t need to know.

Lucky for Mitch, the Donald saw it coming and has already taken steps to bring the attention back to where it belongs – back to the Donald.

In a surprise (if there be surprises anymore) move yesterday, the Donald issued a public warning to Syria, accusing Bashar al-Assad of planning another chemical weapons attack. Trump threatened a “heavy price” if an attack were carried out.

Yeah, that’ll work – saber rattling followed by some tasteful bombing of a decided bad guy over the 4th of July holiday. It’s gonna be a media bonanza, the press will eat it up and public discussion of Trumpcare will cease. And as a plus, it gives the appearance of Trump – Russian discord. Nice, Trump may be new to Washington politics, but he seems to be catching on.

After two-hundred-thirty-two days of on the job training, the Donald has finally accepted that blowing shit up is the traditional way to distract the public. While calling attention to himself on twitter, accusing former presidents of crimes and Hillary bashing have served him well so far, the pros use special effects – not just words.

(The republic finds it odd that our government willingly spends nearly $100 million each time we bomb Syria, but is reluctant to fund women’s, children’s or veteran’s healthcare. It’s almost like the regime prefers hurting over healing.)

In Peace and Justice,

Trump Times Entry 230 – Of Course Trumpcare Sucks

Of Course Trumpcare Sucks

June 27, 2017

Oh please, stop with the intentionally confusing analysis. Trumpcare returns $800 billion to the richest tax payers, that cash comes from somewhere. If we reduce what’s spent on any program by that much, obviously, less will be delivered.

It’s really silly to expect our conservative friends to design a social welfare program when they are philosophically opposed to social welfare programs. This whole thing’s a charade. If they could politically get away with it, they would reduce the Obamacare $1.76 trillion price tag by $1.76 trillion.

Contemporary conservatives long to make America great again by taking us back to some fictional time when health insurance was provided by (some) employers and the rest of us either paid cash for health expenses or did without – like real Americans.

Of course, now fewer employers provide insurance because it cost so much, but that’s private sector and not the government’s problem – just ask them. Any conservative worthy of her copy of The Fountainhead will tell us that the free market is the only way to solve market problems like high cost. If something cost too much, people won’t buy it – hence, driving overpriced products off the market.

We can see this principle working today, as more people stop buying insurance the cost just keeps going down. (Yeah, right!)

The Republicans have been trying to repeal Obamacare for a lot longer than the two-hundred-thirty-one days since the election and they will keep trying because that’s what they believe in. The republic should know better than to count on them to replace Obamacare or any other social welfare program – such programs run counter to their philosophy, except, of course, when they need them.

In Justice,

Trump Times Entry 229 – Got Them Twitter Storm Blues

Got Them Twitter Storm Blues

June 26, 2017

Screw this prose thing – for today. On this two-hundred-thirtieth day of post-election sorrow let try writing a song. Given our national mood, perhaps a twelve-bar blue is in order.

Woke up this mourning
The Donald on my mind

Clicked on up my news feed
Just kill some time

There’s storm clouds over twitter
Clogged up data pump

The cloud is raining bullshit
Thanks to Donald Trump

Well, we can’t find no meanin’ in the damned words he do choose
Cause we all been infected with the Donald Trump Twitter storm blues

He says there weren’t no Russians
It’s a load of liberal crap

They’re just a bunch of losers
And his landlines they did tap

It’s all a made-up story
The fake new gotta halt

Besides when it happened
It was all Obama’s fault

Well, we can’t find no meanin’ in the damned words he do choose
Cause we all been infected with the Donald Trump Twitter storm blues

The republic expects more blues tunes than ballads for the foreseeable future.

Just Sayin,

Watch for more verses and the gala recording release (on the Wet Dog label) in the future.

Trump Times Entry 228 – Mean by Default

Mean by Default

June 25, 2017

Was it last week when the Donald called the House healthcare bill mean? I think it was. I recall thinking it weird at the time. Back in May, he threw a party to celebrate that bill’s passage and now calls it mean? Odd, but we’ve all become somewhat oblivious to the odd, here in Trump times.

So, today, Trump took issue with Barack Obama referring to the new Senate healthcare bill’s “fundamental meanness” – not because it wasn’t true, but because “mean” was Trump’s term. He used it first, so it’s his.

Trump complained, “He used my term: ‘mean,’ That was my term, because I want to see — and I speak from the heart — that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart,” when asked about the bill during a Fox (go figure) interview this morning.

Typical of any Trump statement: it assumes credit, offers nothing specific and has one or more embedded cliches. Also typically, we are left with no clue as to how the Donald feels about the original topic. We’re forced to guess, with what we know. We know: Trump called the house bill mean, Obama called the Senate bill mean, the bills are mostly the same, and Trump really wants credit for the term mean.

Is that enough to discern if the Donald thinks the Senate bill is mean? A bill he’s been selling hard. A bill that’s potentially the big first legislative win for Team Trump. Selling a bill he thinks is mean seems, once again, odd.

But, maybe not…

If we step out of the normal and stop assuming that we all feel mean is bad, then the mystery resolves. If Trump and his buddies are okay with mean, then celebrating a mean bill isn’t strange at all. If the Donald thinks mean is a good thing (when applied to the right people) then selling a mean bill, focusing on it’s virtues, is the right thing  to do.

Maybe, we should be taking Trump more literally, stop looking for symbolism or nuance. Hell, he claimed the election was rigged and we ignored his claim, but it was true – just not the way he implied. Now, he’s told us the Republican healthcare bill is mean, but he’s still gonna sell it. It may be vile, but he’s okay with that.  We should believe him.

Two-hundred-twenty-nine days since the election, and things appear meaner – it’s becoming the default. Hence, from the heart, the republic doesn’t understand Team Trump’s complaints about symbolic, but bloody, Trump heads, Shakespearean Trump lookalike stabbings and assassination comedy. Did they really expect to hoard all the mean as if it were money? Dumb asses!

In Justice,

Trump Times Entry 227 – Lying for Truth

Lying for Truth

June 24, 2017

This week the Donald copped to falsely implying he had recordings of his conversations with James Comey. Sorry folks, no tapes! In a Fox interview, he explained that he was just trying to keep Comey honest in this testimony before the upcoming investigative committee. Yup, Trump was just making shit up to make sure Comey didn’t make shit up.

Rather than recognizing the irony in the Donald’s words, the Fox interviewer responded to the admitted deception with, “It was a smart way to make sure he (Comey) stayed honest.”

Even the Donald seemed a little surprised by the reporter’s sycophantic response – this was feeling more like a cabinet meeting than an interview – but followed up with this odd collection of words, “Well, uh, it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. He was, he did admit that what I said was right. And if you look further back, before he heard about that, I think maybe he wasn’t admitting that, so you’ll have to do a little investigative reporting to determine that, but I don’t think it will be that hard.”

Yeah, I’m not sure what that statement means either. But, knowing the Donald, it’s safe to assume it means the Donald was right, again – and now it was up to the reporter to prove it.  (I think.)

Reading Trump can be painful, and not just because he lacks elegant Amy Tan like prose or, even, McGuffey Reader worthy structure. Rather, the discomfort comes from expending so much effort untangling his words only to reveal some ugly or provocative message. Too much work for so little (or no) reward – the Donald is both fatiguing and disappointing.

After reading Trump’s words for two-hundred-twenty-eight post-election days, the republic seems to be approaching exhaustion from continuously parsing nonsense. We need a break, but cannot in good conscience ignore a guy who brags that his lying serves the truth.

In Peace and Justice,

Trump Times Entry 226 – Liars and Taxes and Bile – Oh My

Liars and Taxes and Bile – Oh My

June 23, 2017

So, we have it, the Senate Republican plan to replace Obamacare is here and, as expected, it’s about the same as the House plan. There are a few cosmetic differences such as the new bill doesn’t allow insurers to dump people with pre-existing conditions like the House version did. But, it does cap how much the insurers will be compelled to pay towards those conditions. In short, they must carry pre-existing conditions, but not for very long.

Other than that, and deeper Medicaid expansion cuts and fewer tax credits, the new bill is the old bill. Both cut services and increase cost to the consumer, while reducing taxes on the well-off.

Same old, same old.

After all the drama with drafting the bill in secret, after all the Trump healthcare bravado, after the previous bill getting a whopping 17% approval, we have been presented with the same bill – just “crafted” by different guys.

I suppose that’s the plan, just keep proposing the same thing, over and over again. They expect that, eventually, we will lose interest or, maybe, die. Either way, the bill will ultimately get passed. A battle of attrition, and why not? The mass disappointment tactic’s been working with voter suppression for years.

After boring us with Trump lies and alt-right bile for two-hundred-twenty-seven days since the election, the republic is not surprised that the only issue of interest to the Republicans is lowering taxes on their patrons. They are, admittedly, disinterested in having the government involved in healthcare or any other business enterprise. It’s not their nature.

Expecting Republicans to willingly involve government in healthcare is like engaging with a disinterested, distracted, resentfully dutiful partner. Yeah, something occurs, but nothing meaningful – or even fun. They’re just not into it and should extend us the courtesy of simply saying no. That way we would have a clear choice between expecting nothing or moving on.

In Peace and Justice,

Yeah, that last paragraph was full of sexual innuendo. Obviously, the Republican’s “bore us till we drift off” tactic is working and I’m running out of ways to keep the healthcare topic interesting, so have started to use less intellectual devices. I expect both trends to continue, but promise to pull up short of porn – which is more than I expect from the alt-right.

Trump Times Entry 225 – Playground Argument

Playground Arguments

June 22, 2017

Today, the two-hundred-twenty-sixth since the election was secured by the Trump-Putin alliance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will finally release the Republican health care plan. We all wait with bated breath for today’s disclosure, because the Senate bill has been written in secret. The thirteen white men “crafting” the legislation over the last few months have done so without input from women, Democrats or, even, other Republicans. It’s like they’ve been writing a Apple product release, without a cool new product that is.

When challenged about the secrecy, Mitch replied with, “The Democrats wrote Obamacare in secret, without oversight – so there!”

While Mitch’s statement is flatly untrue, the ADA was the result of 18 months of hearings and debate and contained over 100 Republican amendments, that’s really not the point.

The point is: someone doing something shitty first is not a good reason for a second, third, or tenth shitty response. The reasoning, “I hit Nancy, because she hit first” is a grade school argument that most parents have heard and disallowed from their toddlers,but for some reason, find perfectly reasonable from grown men.

Perhaps if we were to play a thought experiment and imagine a Democratic controlled congress creating a thirteen women committee, that secretly rewrites, I don’t know, the tax code. Since the Republicans did the secret thing with health care earlier, why not? After all, they hit first!

I suspect our conservative friends would have a problem with that committee’s secrecy (not to mention the gender inequality – such snowflakes).

The republic has too many problem and issues to be entertaining bullshit reasoning like “he did it first”. We need to learn to say, “We don’t care who started it! Go to your room and think about what you’ve done” every time politicians, from either side, offer us such childish reasons for their unacceptable behavior.

If we don’t, they’ll never learn.

In Peace and Justice,

Yes, we skipped blogging yesterday, the two-hundred-twenty-fifth day of post-election bliss. Instead of Trump immersion we spent the summer solstice in the woods enjoying the sun. It was great, you should all try it; take an unscheduled day off – do nothing productive, shirk responsibility for a day. It’s okay, if anyone complains, blame us for setting a poor example and doing it first.