Trump Times Entry 129 – The Decoy Budget

The Decoy Budget

March 17, 2017

All righty then, just when we thought Trump and his merry band of tricksters couldn’t sink any lower, they prove us wrong. On the tail end of a week riddled with Russian intrigue, healthcare slight-of-hand and bearing false witness the production team that brought us not one, but two, unconstitutional population control orders has dreamed up a budget. And it’s everything we expected and more.

Before I proceed, I feel it important to note: the president does not get to set the budget. Congress handles the money. Period. The Donald gets to make a budget request, but Congress does not have to honor his requests and they don’t need his permission to spend our money. Congress holds the purse strings. (I wonder if anyone has been brave enough to tell Trump about this, additional, constitutional inconvenience.)

Hence, Trump’s budget is really more of a wish list – kind of a glimpse into the vision Trump has for our fair land. And, after one-hundred-twenty-nine days of post-election mystery we appreciate the Donald finally sharing.

Trump’s fantasy budget increases military spending by $54 billion, burns up $2.6 billion more on a wall down-payment and tosses in an additional $314 million for more immigration enforcement. So, that’s like $57 billion in new spending – give or take.

To offset some of the the cost of all that firepower the budget eliminates programs like Community Services Block Grants, Habitat for Humanity, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts – to name a few. The budget also slashes funding to EPA, NASA, oceanic and atmospheric research and nurse training programs.

Of particular interest is the $6 billion cut from the National Institute of Health budget. I guess after Trump-care gets enacted we won’t need health related research anymore, another Trump win-win. (I am, indeed, tired of all the winning.)

So, war toys are in this budget season, but social welfare programs and scientific research are out. Got it. I wonder what he plans to do with all that military hardware. Hmm…

The republic doesn’t understand the Donald’s desire to play soldier. Back when he was invited to serve with the rest of us, he just hid behind deferments.

In Peace and Justice,

Trump Times Entry 55 – Both Matter

Both Matter

January 2, 2017mefront2

Should have seen it coming, fifty-five day into this whole Trump thing and subscription monetized revolution is becoming available. So far, I’ve only seen a couple ads. Mostly in bright orange, they offer publications with catchy names like Revolutionary Monthly for a very reasonable fee, like twenty bucks a month. So far, I have not clicked through to get more details, for fear of contracting some old-school virus. But wonder, is this a new-school thing?

Will the digital revolutionary experience become the way we realize our insurgent and subversive hopes and dreams? Probably, but not a paid subscription basis. Most likely, the new pay-for-play services are simply angst-engines, dreamed up by marketing pros, eager to exploit the new Trump-fearing market. You know, just making a living.

They’re kind of like that guy, who during 2016, made his living writing alt-right fake news stories. The one who claimed to be a liberal and voted for Hillary. The ass hat who, when the interviewer asked how he reconciled his work with his politics, stared blankly into the camera and looked surprised. A conflict had not occurred to him, because making money trumps all. (pun intended)

The republic stands amid those who desire power at any cost and those willing to sell it for a paycheck. Both a threat.

In peace with justice

Trump Times Entry 45 – In a Nuclear Family Way

In a Nuclear Family Way
(A Rant Friday Rant)

December 23, 2016trump-snakeoil

It’s been forty-five days since America lost a bet with circumstance and relinquished the reins of power to the Donald. Soon he’ll ascend to the throne – his power no longer limited to words. But for now, words will do. For instance, in a successful attempt to get everyone to look at him, Trump’s latest words suggested taking us back to a place in my childhood better left to history.

When the Donald tweeted, “Let It Be An Arms Race” he resurrected childhood anxiety I thought safely buried away half a century ago. Just goes to show how wrong you can be. That fear of wholesale mass destruction because a bunch of old guys couldn’t agree on how to divide up all the money was still there, waiting on the boogie man – the Donald.

During the first arms race, we grew up knowing if things got out of control there would be no tomorrow – fucking literally. All the civil defense plans were bullshit; the fallout shelters were just expensive tombs. We believed more in “Alas, Babylon” then in the propaganda. Knowing we could all die and that the people in charge were lying shaped my generation – left a callous on our psyche.

So, the Donald’s taking us to the Fifties, back when America was great. Back before those pesky civil rights issues, back when women knew their place, back when the post-war boom guarantied every white guy a good paying job. Back when the macho men were racing to see who could end it all – first.

Great, the republic stands on its history, but doesn’t always learn from it.

The Fifties begged the Sixties. The macho mentality led to riots in the streets (real riots, not the mild protests that Trump calls riots). Our cities were burning. Perhaps the most profound image I carry from that time is tanks standing over a civilian population – military tanks stationed in my childhood park. I suspect that image was formative.

The Donald has begun to inflict the same abuse upon the next generation that so damaged the Boomers – he does so intentionally. The man deserves to be locked up in a rehab facility with Kanye West and Dick Cheney.

Fuck the Arms Race, ban the bomb. I wrote that very sentence on a placard over forty-eight years ago – apparently, as sign of age, I’ve begun to repeat myself. But then, as a sign if insanity, so has our government.

That’s all I got today. Take care of yourselves and each other,

Trump Times Entry 44 – Repression Suppression

Repression Suppression

December 22, 2016Me-About

We, the majority, having repressed our anger for forty-four days since that illegitimate election because the “rules of common decency” require that we not act like poor losers, need to stop it. Repressed anger, anger turned inward, leads to depression – Trump times are depressing enough without self-inflected wounds.

So, like Obama said to Putin, “Cut it out.” (Yeah, I still can’t believe he tried to dissuade Putin in such trivial manner. Obama should consider shutting up about the election; everything he says now makes him look like a weak asshole. I rather not remember him like that. But I digress…)

The republic stands because the colonists ignored British “rules of common decency” and used guerilla tactics. Common decency was not a subject of interest, getting the fucking British out of the country was. Perhaps there’s a lesson here.

I’m not suggesting there are no moral lines – there are. Violence is usually ill-considered and ineffective. Self-defense notwithstanding. (How’s that for obfuscation?)

On the other hand, some of the “rules of common decency” are only meant to make us feel better by securing the high-road. But frankly, the “when they go low, we go high” thing just isn’t working out. Hell, if creating and selling fiction as reality is allowed, why not join the fun? I’m pretty sure we have better storytellers. I think the American public could get into a narrative about the evil Trump-Nazi empire and small bands of libtard rebels holding them at bay.

We need to tell the more compelling story – creative limits be damned.

So, don’t suppress, rather express your anger – it’s healthy. Make up a horrible story about the neo-cons, facts optional – accusations required. A quick look at what the Nazis have online tells us writing talent is not required – so anyone can play. Be it on reality news, as citizen reporters or as social media trolls we are underrepresented. So, let’s get out there and tell a good story. Just don’t feel limited by truth – Republicans don’t.

Just remember, the voters we need to reach aren’t interested in nuanced tails of self and community enrichment. (Shit, I doubt they could even follow that last sentence.) They want good guys, bad guys and bloody feasts. I suggest we feed them republicans.

That’s all I got today. Take care of yourselves and each other,

Trump Times Entry 33 – Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

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Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

December 11, 2016mefront2

For thirty-three days we’ve endured –Trump bully tweets, Trump Russian collusion, Trump handing off to Wall Street, Trump inspired white nationalists, Trump trolls yelling at us for not liking them. Trump, Trump, everywhere Trump. Like a consequence to a bad national one night stand, he has spread across our culture like a case of pre-penicillin syphilis. No longer limited to the private sectors, he now presents publicly orange and unsightly – yelling, “Look at me!”

Bent, but standing, like an infirmed patient, the republic does just that – looks at the Donald. We just can’t help it; medical drama is fascinating.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Republican microbes have been eating away everything they don’t believe in. And they don’t believe in much. Medicare, slash it; Social Security, cut it; Veteran benefits, fuck it – but, thanks for your service.

Remember all those pre-election Republicans who, for reasons of principle, just couldn’t support the Donald? Well, it turns out they can support him now. Yup, our Republican friends, currently out of the spotlight, are seizing the moment. While we stare at the Donald, they work to cut all those messy social programs and agencies. After all, they’re just living up to their conservative small government, less regulation, free market principles. Making America great again for all of us – right?

Wrong! Their principles lack any nuance beyond “Me first!” They didn’t support Trump before because they didn’t think he would win. Period! There were no other layers – no other reasoned thought. Now that, surprisingly, the they find themselves in power they’ll support whoever got them there.

Hell, they’re going to get to cut spending on social stuff, spend more on bombs and jails and, with the Donald leading the way, spend more on themselves. With conflict of interest a historical artifact and corruption institutionalized they’ll be free at last. Free at last.

While Trump promises moral and ethical damage to our national soul, the material damage will be affected by the soulless sycophants the follow power wherever it leads – like our the 115th congress majority.

That’s all I got today. Take care of yourselves and each other,

Trump Times Entry 19 – Count On

Count On

November 27, 2016mefront2

Nineteen days since less than half the American voters imposed their will upon the rest – revealing some pretty ugly shit about the land of the free. The two major parties remain comically fragmented – which make the republicans more dangerous and the democrats less effective. A majority left of center country, the USA, prepares for domination by the extreme right. Still, the republic stands.

Much to the chagrin of the Donald, the Green Party, bless their hopeful hearts, just forced a recount in my native Wisconsin. The Clinton campaign, ever ready to lead from behind, got on board with the recount right after the Greens won the issue. Sure would be nice if the Democratic Party grew a backbone, but I don’t think they remember how.

The Donald, of course, it livid. He’s tweeting like a three-hundred-pound canary. It’s reported that frequency counts on the Trump tweet keywords sad, Trump and scam are shooting up. (Ever notice how often he refers to himself in third person? Must think he’s a rapper.)

Let’s extend thanks to Dr. Jill Stein for taking the politically aggressive road. We need more of this. The Dems don’t appear capable of fighting for themselves no less for us. Perhaps another look at the Green Party in order.

While I don’t expect a recount to change the election results, I do recognize the value of resisting in every possible way. If the recount diminishes the Trump win at all, it’s worth it. And you never know what might be revealed once we start turning over rocks. Perhaps they’ll find that the Waukesha County elections have been fixed for years – we just don’t know. (Yes, we do.)

Just saying.

That’s all I got today. Take care of yourselves and each other,

PS: From Lance Burson
The Orange One screamed at @nbc for using this pic of him. He hates it. Don’t spread it around the internet anymore.trump_1

Trump Times Entry 6 – Stop It, wink-wink

Stop It, wink-wink

November 14, 2016inthought2

Okay, we’re six days into the post-election timeline.  Right on cue, there’s an uptick in racist and bigoted attacks across the nation.  Yup, this come-together thing may get a little tricky.

Our President-elect responded with, “I am so saddened to hear that and I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the camera: ‘Stop it.’”

He then proceeded to blame the media for exaggerating the racist incidents, and suggested that the incidents could have happened regardless of any Donald Trump affect.  (Ever notice how difficult it is to render a Trump quote into an actual complete thought?)

Yup, a little tricky.

That’s all I got today.  Take care of yourselves and each other,




Trump Times Entry 2 – Feelings Shared with Media Polls

inthought2Feelings Shared with Media Polls

November 10, 2016

“Polls?  Nah…  they’re for strippers and cross country skiers.” – Sarah Palin 2016

In the wake of this current crisis, I harbor some unexpected feelings.

Sure, I got the usual anger, denial, dazed thing going.  But beyond the anger, beneath the denial, glowing in the haze is something else.  Something less comfortable.

Ever get that “something’s wrong” feeling?

Like when you head out for a walk and call your dog – that feeling just before you realize she passed away last month.  Or when it’s 25th of the month and in the back of your mind it’s unclear how to get next month’s rent.  Or when you reach for the phone, then remember the call you’ve been making every day, for the last six years, won’t be needed any more.  That feeling…

When my memory drifts back to election night, whenever I hear the phrase “Trump Cabinet” or “Trump’s first hundred days” that’s what I feel.  Loss with some alienation on the side.

(beginning of rant)

On the other hand, my feelings regarding our mainstream polls and media are simple.  To suggest that they made mistakes, but who could see it coming?  To assert that they have learned and are ready to move on, is frankly insulting.

The polls and media weren’t just wrong; they were spectacularly wrong.

The polls predicted a greater than ninety percent likelihood of exactly what did NOT happen.  The media, apparently, never detected, so never reported the actual election winning narrative.  They didn’t see the story, even when characters in the story were screaming at them.

Plainly, the current crop of mainstream media and polling staff are not competent enough to do the work required in our democracy.  All the polls: 538, Huffington Poll, Gallup, Rasmussen… lack credibility.  All the mainstream media: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, MSNBC … lack the imagination, curiosity and courage to act as our eyes and hears.

Our mainstream media and polls were gamed and easily manipulated by Donald Trump.  They were outsmarted by team Breitbart.  They should all step aside and let someone else give it a try.  Clearly, they’re not good enough to play in the big leagues.

(end of rant)

That’s all I got today.  Take care of yourselves and each other.


The Trump Times Entry 1



Entry 1: Running on Faith

November 9, 2016


It was a bright day in November, and the clocks were striking thirteen.  The winner, his expectations met, began to assume power.

Yeah I know, that first paragraph reads like a dystopian story.  But it’s a fact.  The symbolism is, of course, borrowed, but applies.  Soon we, once again, peacefully transfer power, regardless of consequences, because that’s what we do.  We have survived unpopular leaders before.  The republic will stand.

But somehow, it feels different this time.   A little off, you know?  Dirty.

I’m uncertain what went wrong.  We followed the usual steps.  We listened to a bunch of candidates complain about one another for over a year.  We then selected two and watched them attack each other for a couple months.  Finally, we held the traditional popularity contest and entertainer won.  (Go figure.)

So, now we hand over our military, economic and political power to a seventy-year-old white man with no governance experience.  We do so willingly.

While technically church and state are separated, let’s face it.   This is a faith-based government.




osv 11/9/2016