Tuesday, August 1, 2017

When will be the tipping point?

As this dumpster fire continues to grow I can't help but wonder where the tipping point will be?

Yes, there will be forever die hard Trump sycophants who will support him no matter what he does.  Those people can be put to the side for the moment.  Though a good question is actually how many of those people are truly out there.

There are I think many more people who voted for change and the "not hillary" option without fully comprehending what they were buying.

It's also been my experience speaking with people who were Trump supporters that they thought his buffoonery was simply a campaigning tactic and have now come to realize that actually it was no charade. He really is a boorish, rash, ill informed narcissist that actually does not have their best interests at heart.

I even think there was a contingent of "Yeah, he's an asshole, but he's our asshole".

Except as people have discovered, he's not. His executive orders, the chaos in the white house and the floundering with regards to healthcare have demonstrated better than any poorly formed talking points that he's actually here to cut the taxes for he rich and line his pockets.

As I see it, the GOP has a serious fucking problem. Their president is deeply unpopular.

Social media is ensuring that people aren't forgetting that these guys tried to assasinate their healthcare without having a suitable plan in place.

There's talk of the Democrats working with a group of Republicans to craft a way forward to fix some of the ACA's structural issues.

Just sit back and ask yourself if you think Trumps ego would be capable of dealing with the Democrats and Republicans crafting a bill that saved Obamacare?  I suspect it's a poison pill his ego couldn't swallow.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Ever Growing Calamity

Listening to the testimony of Comey, I can't see this but adding to the ever growing calamity that is the Trump presidency.

If for a moment, we believe that what he's saying is true, we've got the following string of events.

  1. Flynn interacts with the Russians in an unsanctioned way outside of the purview of the State department.
  2. Against the recommendations of the Obama, and then A.G Yates, Trump hires Flynn.
  3. Flynn then ends up getting fired when it's discovered he's had far more interactions with the Russian than he disclosed and his being actively investigated by the FBI.
  4. Trump then fires the FBI Director and holds up a memo saying it was for a bunch of other stuff.
  5. Trump then goes on T.V. and confirms he did it because of the FBI investigation into Flynn.
  6. Then Comey leaks his memos stating that Trump what? Encouraged, Implied that the FBI leave Flynn alone. Also that Trump asked for his Loyalty.
Pause for a moment and repeat this phrase in your head "NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL"

We have the FBI director looking in the camera and saying "The Russians influenced our election and here's the evidence" and we have our current president saying "All that stuff is fake and they didn't"

What the actual fuck.

I can't help but shake my head at this situation and ask the obvious question.  Imagine for a moment that Clinton was president, do you think we'd be here right now?

As much as I'd like to engage in an act of Schadenfreude, unfortunately the assholes who were so intent in punching holes in the boat are on the same boat as me.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

What's Next?

Last week after Assad continued to be a walking pile of garbage and gassed a whole bunch more of his people, we fired 59 cruise missiles at an air base.

Many of my friends who are Trump supporters have touted this as Trump getting tough on Assad.

The question I pose to them is this.  What now?

Simply firing a $100M worth of cruise missiles isn't going to fix the problem.  Nor does it appear those missiles significantly degraded his capacity to continue to wage war.

It would appear that we have a number of choices to make now.

1. We full out destroy Assad's air force.  This would keep him from gassing/bombing his own people... but it would also prevent him from going after ISIS.  So would we be helping ISIS by doing this?

2. We seriously escalate the air campaign against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria and then do step #1.  However, since their aren't nice neat camps just flying the black flag, their are going to be civilian casualties, etc.

3. We attempt to cut the head off the snake and take Assad out of the picture.  This gets complicated because we only have to look at the mad max conditions of large swaths of Libya to see what that might turn into.

At the end of the day, we need to achieve the goal of outing Assad without Syria turning into either an Iranian theocracy, An Islamic caliphate or a post apocalypse wasteland.

The problem is, we have a number of warring factions on the ground that are actively trying for the first two and have achieved the third for chunks of Syria.

This is a messy proxy war between Iran / Iraq / Saudia Arabia / Turkey / etc.  I'm sure they're more groups involved, I just don't know who.

How much of our blood and treasure are we willing to expend?  Up until he gassed a bunch of children, it was zero.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bringing Down The Giant

I've come to think that the answer to taking down Trump might not be some huge scandal.  What needs to happen is that he needs to lose legitimacy with his supporters.

I realized this when the other day the CNN hosts started responding to tweets Trump was making about the show in real time.

It got me thinking. We know he's a narcissist who watches social media and television obsessively. Knowing the traits of a narcissist we know he can't help but press his face against the social media mirror.

What we do is give him no respite. We are legion. We simply hound him as if the very hammers of hell were on his heels and never relent. If he's not already convinced he's besieged, then let's besiege him. Play into his paranoia.  Let his destructive personality traits do the hard work of imploding his presidency.

There will come some point that even his most ardent supporters will be faced with the ugly fact that he's gone bat shit bug nut crazy.


Let Them Eat Shit.

As I write this, the vote to repeal the ACA has stalled as moderate Republicans in the house realizing the replacement is going to be a disaster for their constituents and their careers.

I want to start this blog by pointing out that I *really* don't want them to repeal the ACA. I will be a disaster for many American's especially the working poor.

Now that I've got that bit of civility out of the way, I'm going to unleash the daemon that hides over behind my shoulder.

In my darkest moments, I really do want them to repeal the ACA.

A large number of people voted for Trump because he campaigned on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something "better".

I think we should let them have the "better" version of Obamacare.

There's a bit of nihilistic glee thinking about all those Trump supporters opening that envelope from either their Insurance company or Medicaid informing them that their coverage has been dropped or reduced or that the subsidy's been removed and they'll now owe more per month.

Let them buy policies that essentially cover nothing and just wait for the pin to be pulled on that grenade.

That moment when they suddenly realize in one crushing moment that a narcissistic billionaire doesn't have their best interests in mind. I want them to have to pick up that shit sandwich and starting chewing.

Moreover, I want them to go to social media and start freaking out.  It'll be interesting to see what it looks like when suddenly 10's of thousands of people start screaming about losing their coverage and we're subjected to a cavalcade of sob stories about how mama would be here today if they hadn't cut her coverage.

We all know that if there's one thing Trump does is, it's that he watches social media and TV obsessively.
Who will he blame?

In any case someone's going to be eating shit over this.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Trump, who do you owe money to?

While I think Trump is a narcissist, a conman and is uniquely unfit to be our president, I honestly want him to find his way and not
be utterly terrible.  I say that because ultimately, he'll ride off into the sunset and we'll be left holding the bag.

In the many conversations I've had about Trump I finally decided to crystallize my thoughts.

The main question that many of my friends ask is, "What's the thing that Trump could do that would make you happy?"

What I would like Trump to do is fully disclose his fiduciary obligations both foreign and domestic.

We know for a fact that he has a $600 million dollar mortgage with the Chinese central bank.
While he's claimed he doesn't have any holdings in Russia, his son in law has contradicted this statement.
Without this information every action he takes gets to be an exercise in asking "Is he doing that because it's good for America or is his doing that because it's good for Trump?"

Next I'd like to see him fully personally divest and have his personal financies put into a blind trust like every president has done for the last 30 years.

Finally, I'd like to see him fully transfer control of Trump Enterprises to a private management company not connected with the Trump family.

I'm not confident this would solve the fiduciary problems, but it would bring them out into the light.

As for his 54 billion increase in spending for the military, it's absurd.
Firstly, we don't need more nuclear weapons, that's just craziness.

The bigger issue than even the 54 billion is the long term costs that go along with that.
So you spend 54 billion now to build ships, etc. You still need to pay to maintain that equipment.
When you grow the military from a personal point of view, all those people end up eventually with huge entitlements.
I noticed there wasn't much said about the VA... consider that with our existing military personal size the VA is a complete disaster... Let's compound that with more people.

When it comes to the conversation about nuclear weapons, at this point we've either scrapped or mothballed all the facilities needed to take spent uranium and extract the plutonium out of it.

What's the environmental and monetary costs to get those programs up and running again?
Next, it's one thing to have a bomb... you need some way to deliver that bomb.  At last check our Ohio class subs are aging. While there's been talk of building Virginia class boomers... has that happened?  Are there even plans on a drawing table? What about the ICBM's that'll be in those subs?  Mind you he's not talking about retiring the existing systems, he's talking about expanding.  So we're going to have to continue to spend billions maintaining and updating what we've already got on top of new systems.

As for his Trillion dollar infrastructure bill... how's he going to pay for this?  He's also talking about tax cuts.
The math simply doesn't add up. While I agree our infrastructure needs some serious updating, nobody seems willing to actually pay for it.  We're perfectly willing to subsidize he shit out of gas and oil though.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Repelling the Johnson amendment... A disaster for the Religious right...

I was going to write a long post about how keeping the Johnson amendment in place is both good for religious people and for non religious people like me, but I suddenly had a serious case of not-giving-a-fuck.

Now that Trump has vowed to utterly destroy the Johnson amendment, he's got the votes to do it, it's going to happen.

Let's think deeply about this for a moment.  Churches (who are 503c's) but who don't have to adhere to any of the rigid reporting rules of other 503c's are now going to be able to sponsor candidates, etc.

Mind you there were already doing this, but now they can just be utterly blatant about it.  They in essence have become ultra-dark superpacs.  Frankly, if you're a church with a political agenda, you will be able to take donations for anybody and use them for anything and not a record needs to be taken.

Well, here's the problem with that... That door now swings both ways.

I think we Atheists should band together and form our own "church".  We're forced to use the term "church" because it's written into the tax code,  and I think we should name it "The church of the new awakening".

At last check, we "none's" are the largest religious group in this country by far, and growing!

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Tim Cook.  All Atheists with billions if not trillions of dollars (int BG's case) at their disposal.  Moreover, all people who have expressed great disdain in the direction of this country.

But beyond that, think of millions upon millions of Atheists / Nones / "Spiritualists" and people of faith who are looking at the current situation in government with horror and disdain.  Who are more than willing to put their money where their mouths in an attempt to keep the lunatics who've grabbed the wheel from driving us all off a cliff.

Simply put our combined money and brains would be unstoppable.  We could create a dark superpac so insanely large the the religious right would have a fit.  They'd yell from the rafters, but we'd be the first to point out this was of their own doing.  We'd give them two choices.  Reinstate and actually enforce the Johnson amendment (or an even stricter version therein) or live with the consequences.

If they choose to live with the consequences, we'll then take that money and brains and go election by election demolishing the anti-science, religious ideologues infesting congress.

If they reinstate the Johnson amendment, we'll then take that money and brains and go election by election demolishing the anti-science, religious ideologues infesting congress.  More so, we'll take those churches who politic from the pulpit to task and demand they be taxed.

Repealing the Johnson amendment is a Pandora's box for the religious right.