Correcting My Previous Post

Dear Regular Blog Followers:

I have rewritten my May 18 post.   While I have made small changes in other posts after the fact, this is the first time in six years that I have made noteworthy changes.

Of course, I blame it all on Trump.

I was upset and a little inebriated when writing the previous version, and disliked the final product enough to take another shot at it.  Here’s a link to the site, if you’d care to give it another look.








The Trump Tax Plan Pander Party Revisited

I was so repulsed Wednesday by the dance of the Republican sycophants around the Trumpster as if he were a great man rather than a bubble boy ballooning big,  that I missed something.  While I watched a panel on MSNBC (maybe CNN) yesterday, someone brought up the possibility that the kiss-ass carnival was not to try to fool all of us, but to fool Trump, himself, to make him  think they believe he is as wonderful as he wants us all to.  They fed his hunger for adoration, in hopes to keep him in a good enough mood that he won’t tarnish the legislative victory tweeting out some childish tantrum.

The Republican leaders figure if all the praise is heaped on Trump, he’ll be on a high for days, just basking in the manufactured after glow.   At least if they heap all the praise on him, he won’t get jealous of them.  That theory fits with a number of comments and reports I have read over the course of his rise as to who he is.

Back in 2016 the humorously acute political observer Jon Steward called Trump a man-baby:  “He has the physical countenance of a man and a baby’s temperament and hands…”  A temperament that reacts to minor slights as if they were life threatening and then strikes back much harder.  The kind of temperament that requires managing like a child, so it doesn’t get all out of sorts and breaks something.

Much more recently Republican Senator Corker called the White House an “adult day care center”, and he clearly had one adult in mind who needed the child care.

Last week the Washington Post reported that Trump’s daily security briefings are arranged so as the Russian meddling issue and anything else that might upset him do not become the center of attention.  Much effort seems aimed at keeping the boss from going off on an angry tangent.  In other words, he is carefully handled when possible (details here).

Trump’s obsession with not receiving enough credit for his upset presidential victory, along with anything that prompts doubts about its legitimacy – like the Russian probe – confirms the sense he needs constant affirmation.  Not that this is a new insight, but the extent to which the Republicans in Washington acted upon it Wednesday remains startling, at least to me.

At some point yesterday Mitch McConnell was asked if he was bothered by Trump being given literally all the credit for the passage of the bill, as if McConnell and others didn’t deserve more praise themselves.   McConnell responded:  “You don’t expect me to answer that do you?”

No need to answer Mitch.  I get the picture, now.

(and it’s a scary one)

P. S. – The praise for Trump by Republican cabinet members and congress people was so over the top that CNN rated the top 11 grovelers.   If you think Pence was rated #1, well, you’re close, but the competition was real tough.  Here is the:  CNN report 

Searching for General Mattis on Jared Kushner Day

Today Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify at a closed door session of the Senate intelligence committee and the cable stations are giving it the attention of the second coming.   If it were an open session I can see some interest, but being closed……we will depend upon leaks and arguments over the legitimacy of the leaks and that will become the story rather than anything Jared says.  That will probably mirror what he wrote in a carefully prepared I’m-not-guilty statement.

End of story.   In a real world, but not the one we have devolved into.

Watching CNN this morning I saw a scene-in-waiting, a camera placed to catch Jared when he stepped foot out of his limousine at the Capitol.  Whoop-de-do!  It struck me as a great example of our TV press often focusing on nothingness.  This mixed in with panels speculating on what Jared might say, should say or shouldn’t say.   Really, where is the substance here?  It’s harder to find than Waldo.

This reminds me of my favorite definition of celebrity:  “Someone who is famous for being famous.”  I’d add a corollary:   The longer one remains famous the famouser one gets.   This is a news story simply because it has something to do with the “famous” Trump/Russia connection.  Jared is one of the players, reason enough for the media to hype the importance of this unimportant event.

Waiting for Jared reminded me of the play Waiting for Godot, except Godot never arrived.  I assume Jared will, but I don’t need to see it.   In fact I don’t want to see it.  Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to see something newsworthy instead.  I don’t accuse the media of “fake news”, but I do of “make news.”  They take a kernel, or acorn of news, and pump it up with endless attention and speculation to become an oak.

And people sit in front of TV’s waiting for Jared to arrive…..

The Trump camp calls the media obsession with the Trump/Russia issue “hysterical”.  I wouldn’t go that far but it is not quite sane journalism, either.  It is a hot story whether or not it should be.  Of course, as usual, the Trumpeteers forget just how much they owe that same media for lavishing attention on the Donald’s early bid for presidency making him a hot story.   The media cashed in on good ratings and it seemed harmless at the time.  If the TV media in particular would have pressed Trump on the birther issue, their job, instead of playing patty cake with him, we might not be in the mess we are.

We may have been spared a president who, give the man some credit, has become the Tyrannosaurus Rex of celebrity-dom.

P. S. – I mentioned Mattis in the title because whatever he is doing seems likely more important than any news I see on TV.  When it comes to foreign policy he is our Command-in-Chief, as I see it.  Trump is the Twit-in-Chief.  I couldn’t find any recent news, so I’ll keep looking and get back to you.

I needed to get my disgust for aspects of our press off my chest anyway.

HEALTH CARE: The Republicans are so Shakespearian

To be “hoist with one’s own petard,” is Shakespeare’s way of saying “To be undone by one’s own schemes.”  It fits the Republican attempts to come up with a replacement for Obamacare.   It makes me so happy.  Probably not in the long run, but for the moment.

It is a wonderful illustration of how different it is to actually try to create something as opposed to trashing something else.   All I’ve heard for seven years is how bad Obamacare is and how they would repeal and replace it.   Well, mostly repeal, they didn’t get around to figuring out what to replace it with.  It was easy to seem like they knew how do to it, until they actually got the chance, much to their surprise I’d say.

But that was their big promise, so they stuck themselves in the butt with it.

Obamacare needs a lot of fixing, but both House and Senate Republican plans don’t fix much of anything except give back more money to the rich and, more important for the moment, they don’t satisfy enough party Congressmen to get anything passed.

That’s because the Republican party has come to stand for little more than grabbing power and holding on tight.  Of course, there are exceptions.  Ohio governor John Kasich being one, but so few as not to matter in the whole picture.   I think the Republican party lost its identity during the G. W. Bush years and all they could salvage was to become the Un-Obama party.  Anyone willing to trash Obama was welcome.  Donald Trump come on down (Do you recall how the other Republican contenders vilified him in the primaries?  They seem unable to.)

Agreeing on doing something concrete is a whole different story as I learned in my 20s when joining an amazing group of high school students who had started their own school, dissatisfied with the public schools.  I was one of the designated teachers, but the school was truly free in that I couldn’t demand anything of students.  I could only try to persuade them.   It was frustrating but taught me much about humans working together.

The relevance here is that the kids and teachers at this school could all agree on the many things wrong with public schools, but when it came to agreeing on what we would do and how we would operate each day, we could not agree on much.

And that is the Republican managed Congress right now.   To call it “controlled” is an overstatement.  The party, once known for its discipline as compared with the Democrat’s comparable anarchy, can’t even control itself.

Maybe the Republican inability to pass a replacement plan will lead to the two parties actually making some improvements in Obamacare.   It would actually make both parties look better.  Stranger things have happened.

Like Donald Trump became president.

The Donald Can’t be Beat: He must Self-Destruct

As long time readers likely know I don’t love the Dems, but am a Dem by default because I, for the most part, despise the Republican Party,  increasingly so since they made a pact with the devil in his earthly form of Donald Jerk Trump.   What gets me about the Dems, though, is how they keep talking about needing to improve their message after losing to Trump…………

Trump won because his message was a fantasy that expressed the frustration and anger among many at what they see as the loss of the America they’ve known….. Like pounding a pillow in a Gestalt Therapy session, Trump is a vehicle to express their resentments.   Also, he promised the moon and everyone started imagining an abundance of cheese sandwiches coming their way.

It is not that the Republicans had a real message that beat the Dems.   The problem is many Americans believe in the possibility of simple solutions that will fix our complex problems…..or at least improve their lives.   And our boy king, as I like to think of him, has a treasure trove of simple solutions.

Or along the lines of the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,”  for our political stalemate to really change the basic Trump fan (which you do know is short for fanatic, right?) has to come to see he is naked as a jay bird.

What concerns me is it’s unclear how many of those fans have absorbed so much of the cool aid as to leave them permanently blind.

We’ll have to wait and see.