Thoughts Events the Week of July 29

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on August 6, 2019

Dirty Dancing: There are two pieces of odious government business going on, in which both parties are complicit. The first, and the worst, of course, is gerrymandering. It is the worst because it deprives citizens of their right to vote, arguably the most sacred right in our governmental system. President Trump tells his base daily that it is OK to screw citizens out of their rights because they are not the right color.

The second malfeasance is budget setting, and what Congress is doing here is almost as bad. Congress voted and the president approved an obscene budget, if for no other reason than it spends a trillion dollars more than we will take in. Even worse, it pisses away more than $700 Billion in military spending, of which barely a fraction is needed, and which money is needed desperately elsewhere. So, the issue is not only how much we are spending, but also on what we spend it.

I’ve been accused of being the most liberal man in Arizona, and that may very well be true. I am proud of being a serious liberal, but I am not a “knee-jerk liberal,” by which I mean a liberal who has never taken an economics course. Neither party seems to care about deficits anymore, but this astronomical debt is a serious drag on our economy. We should be retiring some of that debt, not adding to it.

Americans have infinite wants from government; we just don’t want to pay for them. I can understand why workers whose wages have been stagnant for a couple of decades would not want to pay more taxes. The rich, on the other hand, have no excuse not to pay a hell of a lot more taxes, and should. Congress is protecting their wealth and shame on them all.

Howling at the Moon: Everyone seems all steamed up about going back to the Moon. Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. I can think of few more wasteful uses of taxpayer dollars at present, given our needs back here on Earth.

The only reason for going to the Moon, or perhaps another planet in our Solar System is to extract minerals. Mining companies want this, for obvious reasons. They just want us to pay for it. Maybe later, but not now, and certainly not for this current lot of polluting criminals.

We are never going to move beyond our solar system at the most optimistic, because we cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Solve that little impediment and we can talk. In the meantime (read forever), let’s focus on the preserving the planet we have.

Moscow Mitch: I love it. The Senate Majority Leader, Moscow Mitch McConnell, has been tagged with a clever, applicable and well-deserved nick name and he is unhappy about it. Tough noogies. Moscow Mitch is fine with the far less clever, gratuitous pejorative nick names President Trump uses to smear his adversaries, but when the shoe is on the other foot, Moscow Mitch squeaks. That’s what he gets for abetting Russia’s efforts to subvert our elections by holding up legislation to address this assault on us. Grin and bear it, Moscow Mitch, you thin skinned prick.

The Fed: Trump did some serious damage to another important institution this week. He seemed to have cajoled the Fed into lowering their prime interest rate a quarter of a percent. This was unnecessary and unwise. The Fed bowed to political pressure from Trump, and its reputation for independence and integrity will never be the same. Everything Trump touches is diminished. He is a withering blight.

The Democratic Debates: Pundits are using the clichéd “circular firing squad” complaint against Democrats for sniping at each other during the early debates. This is ridiculous. Now is just the right time for Democratic candidates to be sniping at one another, by which I mean early, before most people are paying even scant attention. Besides, it is necessary to define and winnow the field.

I’ll tell you what is really stupid, though, and I saw it happen during the latest debate: criticizing President Obama’s record. Obama was a good president. And he has now been out of office for several years. Trump is still calling Hillary names as if he is running against her, but Democrats are foolish to follow suit. Trump is the president, and he is the immediate problem here, not Obama. 

More important, Obama is enormously popular among black voters, of whom 95% voted Democratic in the last election. This is as solid support from a voting block as will ever be seen. Black voters are crucial to win the next presidential election, and they love Obama. How could anyone be stupid enough to risk alienating those voters?

Many black voters failed to turn out for Hillary in 2016. They came back in 2018 when they saw what Trump was doing to Obama’s legacy. Insult the only black American president and blacks may just sit out 2020, which would be disastrous.

Sudden Thought: Can we trade Islam some of our domestic terrorists for some of theirs? Theirs appear to be a lot less dangerous than our murderous racists.

Conservatism and age: Conventional wisdom has it that people become more conservative as they grow older. I’m pretty sure I have been the same liberal since I learned to think back in college.

Sad to say that Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, may not have escaped this fate. Her two most recent Sunday columns have been wincingly reactionary. Her column about the Democratic debates I might have expected to read in the Wichita Eagle Beacon, not the Times.

Status of the States: South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham is the gift that keeps on giving the worst state cup to his own. Every word that comes out of his mouth these days is in full-throated endorsement of Trump’s bigoted, xenophobic and misogynistic rhetoric, no matter how extreme.

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