In a recent conversation about blogging with an extremely competent English teacher, she observed that most personal blogs appear to be mere replacements for a diary. I try to focus on thoughts and responses, but I think she has a good point. Looking back, I see that I have insinuated some diary-like entries into my blogs. So, to distinguish these for my readers, and as a caution to myself not to overdo them, I will in the future try to identify these topics with the headline Diary Entry.
Jobs Report: Since I consider a job man’s noblest possession after love, the jobs report was good news. Some 235,000 jobs were added to our economy; unemployment remained around 4.7% to 4.8%, even with more people coming back into the workforce. Average wages rose also.
Some are carping that President Donald J. Trump shouldn’t get credit for these results, because the positive report is due to Obama administration policies and performance. This is technically true, of course, but intellectually inconsistent. It doesn’t work that way. The February report is on Ponzi Don’s watch; he gets the credit.
So, Ponzi Don had a good February, 2017 jobs report. Not the greatest February report ever, as he might try to assert. Not even quite as good as Obama’s February reports from 2015 or 2016, but still a good report.
When Obama’s string of positive monthly job reports was piling up, Ponzi Don asserted that the statistics were bogus, that the numbers were inflated and that the unemployment rate was grossly understated. From his asshole, he drew an estimate that the true unemployment rate was 20%, 30%, maybe even 40%.
At the press briefing announcing the good jobs report, Sean Spicer was asked if the new administration now agrees that jobs reports are accurate. With a smug, smirking smile that only mean-spirited, right wing hypocrites can conjure up, Spicer said that past results were all wrong before but now these results are accurate. What a smarmy jerk. Still, it was a good report and I’m glad.
Speaking of hypocrisy: A number of responsible Senators is waiting to see the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) scoring of the proposed Obamacare repeal and replace legislation, which is being steam rolled through the House without benefit of this important information.
The CBO is a non-partisan entity, created to provide expert estimates of the cost and effects of proposed legislation. Its reputation is solid, and its forecast of cost and effect of the Obamacare legislation, while off due to changes in the final bill, was closer than anyone else’s.
Fearing a very negative score on the House’s dog’s dinner of a bill, Republicans are not rethinking the bill, but trying to discredit the CBO in advance of its opinion, which is due out Monday.
This discrediting of institutions that the administration and its allies in Congress feel might inhibit reaching their goals is a bad and dangerous tactic. Institutions
reflect the thrust of history. They may be improved upon, but they should not be torn down willy-nilly. There is much value in them. (Think how much better Obamacare could be today if Republicans had worked together with Democrats to improve it over the last seven years, rather than squander those years with intransigent opposition without suggesting improvements.)
In this destructive discrediting practice, Ponzi Don’s administration is not unlike the Taliban and ISIL, which have been destroying all the historic artifacts of the territories they have taken, without regard to their historical significance or value. Ponzi Don and Taliban. It’s not only prescient, it rhymes.
Speaker of the House: I am sick to death of this Paul Ryan. He postures as a policy wonk, but he is no such thing. In fact, he is stupid, superficial and mean-spirited. He doesn’t even understand the basic concept of insurance, though he has strong opinions about it, which are punitive rather than helpful. It is a reflection on House Republicans that they suffer this fool.
Ryan thinks in terms of worthies and unworthies, rather than citizens. He’s like some character from a Dickens novel, and not one of the good guys either, but the greedy Scrooge types. He’s worse than the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus Republicans in the House. At least they are honest about their desire to shrink federal spending, however extreme. Ryan just wants to punish people for being poor.
Mother Russia: This whole business stinks on ice. There are so many villains in this piece, it’s like an Agatha Christie novel. And it is taking far too long for any of it, let alone all of it, to be sorted out. Ponzi Don’s lie about Obama is as obvious as sunshine. Vice President Michael Pence lied through his teeth when he said he didn’t know anything about Ryan’s contacts with Russia. What liars!
Trust is an issue here. Whom among this whole group is to be believed? Pence? Jefferson Beauregard Sessions? Michael Flynn? Paul Manafort? Roger Stone? Carter Page? Felix Sater? Every one of them (with the possible exception of Sater, who actually pled guilty to a crime) has lied like a rug. If Ponzi Don ever uttered a truth, his tongue would wither to dust and blow away.
One might have trusted the head of the FBI, but Comey’s reputation is destroyed by his own hand. He’s being coy and quiet now, but when it came to Hillary Clinton, he wouldn’t shut up. I, nor anyone else, will trust completely whatever he ultimately says now. I wouldn’t trust him with my burnt match sticks.
Diary Entry: Art Garfunkel came to town and put on a delightful performance. He interspersed classic Simon and Garfunkel songs with some of his own, readings of his own poetry (he borrowed a few phrases from Keats), and a couple of covers. He obviously enjoyed the evening and so did we.
His two accompanists – one on guitar and one on both a Kronos KORG and a standard piano – are fabulous musicians.
The only discordant note came not in a song, but when Garfunkel was introducing “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?” A tasteless woman in the audience called out, “It’s not your song.” Garfunkel’s reply was direct: “Yes, it is.”
Another diary entry: I saw my first lizard of the season March 2, sunning on a rock. Today, I saw the first humans of the season, sunning themselves on their porches. I also heard doves, flickers and hawks calling for mates, and hummingbirds displaying for the same purpose.
Status of the States: Texas, as usual, is a strong candidate for the cup this week for many reasons. But the disgrace must go to Arizona, my own personal state, for this reason. Arizona has a law that forbids shooting a gun straight up in the air. Duh! But some state senators are working to lessen the penalties of this bill, so if some enthusiastic Arizonan shoots in the air and the bullet comes down and hurts someone, it would be no big deal. Apparently, Arizona feels there should be nothing you can’t do, nor anywhere you can’t go with a fire arm.
I’ve never seen a gun fired straight into the air. I’ve seen videos of this happening, but they have always been taken in places like the pile of rocks that is Afghanistan, or the ungoverned regions of Pakistan. Are we like Afghanistan? I think these state senators would feel at home in Afghanistan and I wish they would go there.
Coming Attractions: My thoughts on the Obama presidency, and thoughts on our divided nation.