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Thoughts on Events the Week of October 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 4, 2017

Indictment: Sir Winston Churchill, writing about his experiences as a young British military officer, said that “Nothing focuses the mind like being shot at without result.”

John Corn of Mother Jones Magazine riffed on that theme, saying “Nothing cuts through distractions like an indictment.” Indictments are real, official and serious as a heart attack.

It was announced at the end of the week that sealed indictments have been filed in court and should be opened and served next week. I welcome this. It will be interesting to see who gets Mueller’s first indictment, and the repercussions.

A budget outline: Sloshing on through the molasses of President Trump’s legal issues and distractions, the Republicans presented a budget outline. A budget is necessary in order to push through “tax reform” with 51 Republicans votes via reconciliation, which is the only prayer in Hell they have to do it.

To say that Republicans are eager to pass a “tax reform” bill is a gross understatement. They say they must pass “tax reform,” because they promised their voters they would. In this, “tax reform” resembles Repeal and Replace Obamacare. That is, Republicans promised they would do it, but it is such a bad idea that they are meeting heavy resistance to getting it done.

The budget outline would decrease total spending by around $1.4 trillion dollars, and it will increase the national debt by at least that much and probably many times more.  For a Party that promises to be fiscally conservative, this prospect doesn’t sit well with many Republican legislators.

This budget includes deep, deep cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, programs extremely popular with, well, just about everyone. In addition, it eliminates very popular middle class tax breaks as well.

Let’s stop here for a moment and recognize that the Republican’s “tax reform” bill isn’t reform at all. It isn’t even a tax bill. It is a tax cut bill. Its sole purpose is to give very rich people a whole lot of money.

Why, you might ask, would Republicans accept a truly cruel and irresponsible budget for the purpose of getting through a fraudulent and irresponsible tax cut? Spoiler alert: It has absolutely nothing to do with their promising one to their base. They are flat out lying about that. Nor do Republican legislators believe that giving rich people more money will drive economic expansion. That’s a debunked canard.

The reason Republicans want this huge giveaway to the rich is because rich people are the donors from whom they get the money to get re-elected. These donors have invested a ton of money on these Republicans and they want a good return on their investment. This is how Republicans pay them back with our money. I will have more thoughts on taxes after we see an actual bill.

Football: The Oklahoma Sooners beat Texas Tech 49 to 27, covering the spread of 20 ½ points, but it didn’t feel like that kind of an easy win. Early on, it felt more like a competitive tennis match, with each side holding serve. Tech scored first, then OU, then Tech, then OU and so on. The first six possessions resulted in six straight back and forth touchdowns, painful, frustrating evidence of OU’s defensive deficiencies. At the end of the first quarter, Tech was up 20-14. (Tech missed its first PAT and went chasing that point all night.)

OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops’ initial plan was to rush only three down linemen, but it wasn’t working, so he switched back to mainly a four down lineman set. Gravity returned and OU outscored the Red Raiders 35-7 over the second and third quarters. OU could have scored another touchdown in the scoreless fourth quarter, but Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley was raised right, and he had the team take a knee instead.

Running back Abdul Adams was back on the field after missing three games to injury. He looks to be the best of a good stable to me, but Rodney Anderson was the featured back against Tech and he performed very well.

I’m very disappointed how our defense is playing, and I dread the thought of shootouts with Big XII opponents such as TCU and the Oklahoma Aggies, both of whom have more powerful passing offenses than Tech. Fortunately, we have a better one, and a ground game to go with it. But such games are always risky.

The Dallas Cowboys also won this weekend, beating the Redskins (don’t change your name, Washington) by two touchdowns in a miserable, heavy rain, 33 to 19. Two takeaways from this game are worth a comment.

First, Dallas showed a pass rush, which has been sorely lacking for years. If it continues, it will help the suspect defensive backfield a lot.

Second, when you are playing in miserable conditions, it is an advantage to have a reliable back you can feed the ball and get first downs without turnovers. The Cowboys have such a back and they used him correctly Sunday. Zeke Elliot carried the ball 33 times and 150 yards, which is a 4.5 yard average for those not doing the math. You can eat up a lot of clock picking up 4.5 yards per down.

Dallas Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman was calling the game and said Elliot’s work reminded him of Emmitt Smith’s in such games. I was thinking exactly the same thing, remembering Aikman feeding Smith the ball and occasionally throwing a lethal pass when the defense cheated up to try to stop Smith. Those were the days.

Status of the States: Alabama gets the cup this week, partly on spec. I’ve given Alabama the cup previously just because it gave us Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, perhaps the least fit of Ponzi Don’s cabinet appointments, which is really saying something. It wouldn’t be fair to give it to Alabama for the same reason again. However, I’m giving it to Alabama this time because Sessions was caught up in some lies about his contacts with Russia (which had been obvious to anyone paying attention, but are now corroborated by sworn testimony). My guess is Session’s behavior will make Alabama even more deserving of the cup again soon.

Sudden thought: I’ve been to Russia. Does that qualify me to be in Trump’s cabinet?

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