Tag Archives: barack obama

What just happened?

Last week, life was just so simple. Donald Trump was a narcissistic sociopath and I disagreed with everything he did. This week, he is still a narcissistic sociopath but I agree with something he did, what the hell happened?

English: Brasilia - The president of the Syria...

English: Brasilia – The president of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar Al-Assad during a visit to Congress Português do Brasil: Brasília – O presidente da República Árabe Síria, Bashar Al-Assad, em visita ao Congresso Nacional (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Syrian President Bashar al Assad decided to up the game in the civil war in his country by dropping Sarin gas on Tuesday. People say, “That doesn’t make sense, he is winning. Why would he do this?” Well, there are some ideas as to why Assad would gas his own people. None of them are good reasons but there are some ideas.

This is from a piece in the New York Times

“Militarily, there is no need,” said Bente Scheller, the Middle East director of the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation. “But it spreads the message: You are at our mercy. Don’t ask for international law. You see, it doesn’t protect even a child.”

This is not the first time Assad has gassed his people. More from the NY Times piece:

The fall of Idlib led to another turning point: Russia’s full-on entry into the conflict, adding its firepower to the Syrian government’s. Russia said it entered to fight the Islamic State, but directed most of its strikes at places farther west, like Idlib, where rival insurgents more urgently threatened government forces.

Chlorine attacks continued — investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations concluded the government had carried out at least three in 2014 and 2015 — with little international reaction.

Now, I am in the strange position of supporting Trump and military action. Liberal friends of mine say, “Yeah, this is like Iraq.” There are a number of reasons that this is not like Iraq. In the first place, we bombed an airfield. If it worked, it knocked out a way for Assad to bomb more people. In the second place, the Iraq invasion was misguided for a number of reasons and that country wasn’t six years into a violent civil war that had caused one of the largest refugee crises of our time. There are five million refugees because of this.

To equate this conflict with other things going on is silly. To say what we did was a “war crime” is crazy. I do not support Trump but I support what he did in Syria last night. I suspect hell is freezing over.

What do you think? Are we insane?

The United States has elected some interesting people. Over the years, we have had pro wrestlers become governors. Actors have been president. For a long time, we even had a leprechaun in the House of Representatives. (Yes, Dennis Kucinich, I am looking at you. Right at you.) Being insane is not going to disqualify anyone from elected office here.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, we have elected a reality star. Some people say Donald Trump is also a successful businessman but his business model seems to be shit to me. He goes into a place, gets a bunch of government money, takes out some loans, hires local companies, they do the work, he never pays the, he files for bankruptcy, he moves to a new place to repeat all of that. While I never went to Trump University, I don’t think that is a good model to follow. It’s an insane model to follow.

Now the Tweeter in chief does not seem to understand that he has moved to a new world. He can no longer control every aspect of the story that is told about his life. Now people listen to what he says and expect him to say things that are, if nothing else rooted in reality. The problem is that for Trump, reality has always been whatever he wanted it to be. When the media asks his representatives about his claims, he calls them “rude.”

No, Mr. President, it is not “rude,” that is what they are paid to do. And coming from the most caustic person in politics, you have no business calling anyone rude. Ever.

What I am left wondering, amid the claims by Sean Spicer that when Trump said he was bugged, Trump was using air quotes or from Kellyanne Conway that Americans’ microwave ovens are turning in us, how does the world view us? I would love to know.

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Trumpcare in Two Images

Say what you will about Donald Trump and his new health plan, there are a few things that are just so true that if you are going to argue with them, you seriously should consider putting down that crack pipe. What are these two truths?

  1. The “American Health Care Act” has about as much of a chance of passing as the “Make Squirrel Montana Queen of the Country Act,” which does not exist.
  2. The only people who will really be helped by this legislation don’t really need any help.

Let’s start with 2. The Kaiser Family Foundation has a great tool. It shows how the tax credits put forth by the GOP will impact people based on their income. If you are 40 years old and you make $20,000 each year, this is what kind of help you will get:

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 12.28.21 PM

If you are 40 years old and you make $100,000, this is what you can expect:

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Seriously. Wow. The bottom line is that the more you make, the better off you will be under Trumpcare.

Next, you can probably skip worrying too much about this bill because everyone hates this bill. Democrats hate the fact that it will be sure to drive costs up, rather than down, that it relies on tax credits, which do nothing to help people living near or at or under the poverty line and it offers less in the way of services provided. The conservatives hate it because they think it is “Obamacare lite.” Because it is a bill that cannot be dealt with in the Senate via the reconciliation process, it will need more than 60 votes and that just is not going to happen.

Donald Trump may be a lot of things and he may be a good deal maker (I doubt it but let’s just pretend he made money by being good at that and not on the backs of working people all over American) but he sucks at dealing with Congress.

 

Make. It. Stop.

I generally like the idea of having a spirited conversation with someone who disagrees with me. I don’t believe either side has a monopoly on being right or wrong. First of all, I think life is boring when we only talk to people who agree with us, we never learn anything. Second of all, if we cannot defend our position to someone with the opposite view, how can we really know how good of a position it is? And lastly, we need to talk to each other if we are going to work together.

The problem today is that we all come to conversations with our own ideas about what the “truth” is. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You have a right to your own opinion but not your own facts.” Well, today, you are entitled to both.

Here are some of the “facts” people have told me this year:

  • Huma Abedin is in the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Angela Merkel endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  • Saudi Arabia funded 20% of Hillary’s campaign.
  • Hillary leaked Chris Stevens’ schedule and that’s what led to his death.
  • There is proof that the DNC has committed election fraud.
  • The Clinton’s skilled Anontin Scalia
  • President Obama is buying up all the emergency supplies and having FEMA move them to secret places so he could halt the election and stay in the White House.
  • China hacks us. Russia hacks us. We hack them.
  • Millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary.
  • And we’ve all heard of the Pizza Gate

Of course, I asked where they got these “facts.” They sent me a sundry of random blogs, websites and message boards. I tried to counter them with facts I had. None of it mattered. They asked where I got my facts and when I told them, they said, “If you are going to listen to the MSM…” At the end of the day, they told me that they thought their sources were right and mine were wrong. The argument that “they have their news and I have mine” creates a false equivalency. While, in a way, it is true, it isn’t really.

Here are the places I get my news: MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, Politico, the Washington Post, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, the Daily Beast, NPR, BBC and others. If I read something that sounds “out there” I check more news sites. I don’t “blindly follow” anything or anyone.

Some journalists, like Chuck Todd, have called this era we are in “the post truth era.” How can we work together if we have different realities?

When it comes to the recent hacking stuff, I care because I don’t think we should let Russia get away with playing with our election. It would bother just as much if he had done this to the other side. I don’t want Russia hacking us in any way.

Donald Trump supporters don’t care. They say, “It wouldn’t have changed anything so, no harm, no foul. Let’s move on. Trump’s election was legitimate.” Move along, nothing to see here.

I honestly don’t know where we can go from here if we are going have our own facts but I do know this is a sad state of affairs. Welcome to the end of truth era.

Why I Support Hillary Clinton

I am a Democrat, a liberal one at that. I am also a political and news junkie. While many people have fallen in love with Bernie Sanders this year, I was admiring him from when he was in the House. People will say socialism can never work here because of this reason or that. I don’t know enough about economics to know but people in Netherlands where they have one of the happiest populations on earth seem ok with it. Continue reading