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Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

The divisions are now as physical as they are emotional and intellectual: in the 2016 election, of America’s 3,113 counties, just 303 went to either candidate by 10 points or fewer; 1,196 saw landslides of 50 points or more.  We have self-sorted into private pockets of affirmation, and where we live shapes what we believe.  “These days, Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas,” argues Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center.  “Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood.  It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.”
During his campaign, Trump engaged and inspired millions of voters who had given up on government and were desperate for a new vision, a new voice.  Their needs are real and urgent, and have been largely ignored as the President reduced the office to a vanity plate.  He has shown how little loyalty he feels to friends and allies who honor some principle higher than his self-interest.  In the aftermath of Charlottesville, we saw the reverse: we saw his reluctance to turn away from people who admire him, claim him, even if they do so in the name of beliefs that Americans have died fighting to defeat.  There will be more marches, more clashes and, if the white supremacist leaders are right, more lives lost before this latest battle for the nation’s soul resolves.  But it is a historic shame and sorrow that so few Americans can come to that struggle with the faith that their President is on their side.
   –  Nancy Gibbs
From her editorial: “Will the Nation Succeed After Charlottesville Where Donald Trump Failed?
Time Magazine, dtd: Aug. 17, 2017
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On This Day In:
2017 Right
2016 At Least One Step
2015 Month To Month Rental
2014 Professional Beliefs
2013 Books Are…
2012 True Distinguishing Marks
2010 Sub-300
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The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
   ―  Ayn Rand
Today, the Republican controlled Congress and Presidency passed and signed [* see correction below] the largest tax cut for the American wealthy class in history.  While it is true that almost everyone who pays Federal Income Taxes will receive a reduction in taxes, the top 20% of all income earners will receive over 80% of the tax savings.  This includes “poor” little #LyingDonald who promised any tax cut would be primarily directed at the working / middle class in American (those making $75,000.00 or less), while “millionaires” would have to pay more in taxes.  This is, if fact, the EXACT opposite of what Congress has just passed.  It seems the “investment” of corporate America in buying the Republican party over the last 40 years has at last paid off.
My prediction:  We will see a booming stock market as the cash reserves being held by American companies overseas comes home to buy back stock and pay dividends with almost NO gain in income being paid to employees.  In other words, if you own large chunks of stock, you’ll see higher dividends (more money and less taxes).  If you own small lots of stock, expect to be screwed by the corporations buying the small lots up prior to paying out the dividends (in other words, you’ll be getting screwed).  If you are a worker, get ready to see more job uncertainty as jobs (and factories) will  continue to move overseas and be automated when left here in the states.  You will only see a salary increase if you can upgrade your education / skill level (personally pay for it) AND find another employer willing to hire you.  There will be a continuing abundance of workers and a continuing shortage of well paying jobs.  Oh, yeah, and almost none of the jobs / companies will have pensions, so you’ll be on your own for that.  But don’t worry, you can pay for your retirement savings with all that extra money you’ll be making.  And don’t count on Social Security or Medicare for your retirement because the tax deficit the Republicans are creating with the tax give-away will be used as the excuse to cut “entitlements” (Social Security and Medicare) next year.  After all, deficit created debt was the reason the Republicans routinely gave / used to try to ruin the Obama Administration’s economic recovery for the last eight years.  You remember the last eight years we’ve had such anemic economic growth.  That anemic growth was because debt (big government and over-regulation) prevented economic growth which should have happened.  So, now the Republicans have intentionally increased the deficit, which will inevitably increase the debt, which they will then use as their excuse to cut spending on social benefits.
Lord, save us from these treasonous Republicans and give us back honest conservatives who sought a limited government which paid for the things (wars, infrastructure and a social safety net) which the majority of Americans discussed openly, debated honestly, and ultimately arrived at consensus on.
[* CORRECTION:  I was incorrect in stating the President has already signed this tax bill.  In fact, as of today (Thursday 21 Dec. 2017), he has not, and it appears he may not sign the bill until next year (3 Jan 2018).  The reason for this is it appears the signing will trigger an automatic reduction in Medicare the year immediately after signing.  If it is signed in January 2018, the automatic trigger does not occur until 2019.  Obviously, the Republicans do not want to do this in an election year, so the signing will be delayed.  The bill has not yet been “enrolled” – that is, formally printed and presented to the President.  This is the point which actually starts the “pocket veto” clock.  If the law had been enrolled on passing, the President would have ten days to veto or sign the bill.  The ten days does not include Sundays, so it is actually a twelve day rule.  Of course, this assumes Congress breaks for Christmas.  If Congress is in session for the full twelve days after a bill is enrolled, there is no pocket veto and the bill becomes law after ten days if the President does not sign it.  This “trigger” is still being debated in Congress.  If it is decided it doesn’t happen until 2019, irrespective of signing, then Trump will sign the bill before Christmas or as soon as possible.  If it is decided it (the trigger) happens in 2018, the Republicans will push the signing date back until January to make sure the the reduction does not happen during an election year.
Also, it appears the tax benefits to the top 20% will be only 60% (-ish) through 2027.  After that, the personal reductions will go away and then 80% (-ish) benefit will be for corporations and the very wealthy.  The benefits to the corporations and the very wealthy are permanent, while the benefits to the middle and working class are limited (sunsetted).  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Something Authentic Happened
2015 Back On The Bricks
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2014 Changing Frequently
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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The most difficult jobs look easy until you try to do them.
     —  William Feather
[So much for “Repeal & Replace“.  Too easy…  Now, can someone please explain to me why a significant tax reduction for the wealthy and a minor reduction for the middle class is labeled “Tax Reform” by the Republicans and #DumbDonald.  Could it be because they believe the middle class is as dumb as the President has shown himself to be incompetent?  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Are You Like #AmnestyDon And Sarah Palin?
2015 Begin Today
2014 Look Again (At Life’s Illusions)
2013 None Knows
2012 Yet
2011 No End In Sight
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Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor

Half his tweets show utter weakness.  They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn.
By Peggy Noonan
(Former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan)
July 27, 2017 6:06 p.m. ET
This opinion piece originally appeared in:  The Wall Street Journal
The president’s primary problem as a leader is not that he is impetuous, brash or naive.  It’s not that he is inexperienced, crude, an outsider.  It is that he is weak and sniveling.  It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.
He’s not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he’s whiny, weepy and self-pitying.  He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic.  He’s a drama queen.  It was once said, sarcastically, of George H.W. Bush that he reminded everyone of her first husband.  Trump must remind people of their first wife.  Actually his wife, Melania, is tougher than he is with her stoicism and grace, her self-discipline and desire to show the world respect by presenting herself with dignity.
Half the president’s tweets show utter weakness.  They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn.  “It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president.”  The brutes.  Actually they’ve been laboring to be loyal to him since Inauguration Day.  “The Republicans never discuss how good their health care bill is.” True, but neither does Mr. Trump, who seems unsure of its content.  In just the past two weeks, of the press, he complained: “Every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!”  Journalists produce “highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting.”  They are “DISTORTING DEMOCRACY.”  They “fabricate the facts.”
It’s all whimpering accusation and finger-pointing: Nobody’s nice to me.  Why don’t they appreciate me?
His public brutalizing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t strong, cool and deadly; it’s limp, lame and blubbery.  “Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes,” he tweeted this week.  Talk about projection.
He told the Journal’s Michael C. Bender he is disappointed in Mr. Sessions and doesn’t feel any particular loyalty toward him.  “He was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ‘What do I have to lose?’  And he endorsed me.  So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement.”  Actually, Mr. Sessions supported him early and put his personal credibility on the line.  In Politico, John J. Pitney Jr. of Claremont McKenna College writes: “Loyalty is about strength.  It is about sticking with a person, a cause, an idea or a country even when it is costly, difficult or unpopular.”  A strong man does that.  A weak one would unleash his resentments and derive sadistic pleasure from their unleashing.
The way American men used to like seeing themselves, the template they most admired, was the strong silent type celebrated in classic mid-20th century films — Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Henry Fonda.  In time the style shifted, and we wound up with the nervous and chattery.  More than a decade ago the producer and writer David Chase had his Tony Soprano mourn the disappearance of the old style: “What they didn’t know is once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings they wouldn’t be able to shut him up!”  The new style was more like that of Woody Allen.  His characters couldn’t stop talking about their emotions, their resentments and needs.  They were self-justifying as they acted out their cowardice and anger.
But he was a comic.  It was funny.  He wasn’t putting it out as a new template for maleness.  Donald Trump now is like an unfunny Woody Allen.
Who needs a template for how to be a man?  A lot of boys and young men, who’ve grown up in a culture confused about what men are and do.  Who teaches them the real dignity and meaning of being a man?  Mostly good fathers and teachers.  Luckily Mr. Trump this week addressed the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, where he represented to them masculinity and the moral life.
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts, right?”  But he overcame his natural reticence.  We should change how we refer to Washington, he said: “We ought to change it from the word ‘swamp’ to perhaps ‘cesspool’ or perhaps to the word ‘sewer.’ ”  Washington is not nice to him and is full of bad people.  “As the Scout Law says, ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.”  He then told them the apparently tragic story of a man who was once successful.  “And in the end he failed, and he failed badly.”
Why should he inspire them, show personal height, weight and dignity, support our frail institutions?  He has needs and wants — he is angry! — which supersede pesky, long-term objectives.  Why put the amorphous hopes of the audience ahead of his own, more urgent needs?
His inability — not his refusal, but his inability — to embrace the public and rhetorical role of the presidency consistently and constructively is weak.
“It’s so easy to act presidential but that’s not gonna get it done,” Mr. Trump said the other night at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio.  That is the opposite of the truth.  The truth, six months in, is that he is not presidential and is not getting it done.  His mad, blubbery petulance isn’t working for him but against him.  If he were presidential he’d be getting it done — building momentum, gaining support.  He’d be over 50%, not under 40%.  He’d have health care, and more.
We close with the observation that it’s all nonstop drama and queen-for-a-day inside this hothouse of a White House.  Staffers speak in their common yet somehow colorful language of their wants, their complaints.  The new communications chief, Anthony Scaramucci, who in his debut came across as affable and in control of himself, went on CNN Thursday to show he’ll fit right in.  He’s surrounded by “nefarious, backstabbing” leakers.  “The fish stinks from the head down.  But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, and that’s me and the president.”  He’s strong and well connected: “I’ve got buddies of mine in the FBI”; “Sean Hannity is one of my closest friends.”  He is constantly with the president, at dinner, on the phone, in the sauna snapping towels.  I made that up.  “The president and I would like to tell everybody we have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are.”  Chief of Staff Reince Priebus better watch it.  There are people in the White House who “think it is their job to save America from this president, okay?”  So they leak.  But we know who they are.
He seemed to think this diarrheic diatribe was professional, the kind of thing the big boys do with their media bros.  But he came across as just another drama queen for this warring, riven, incontinent White House.  As Scaramucci spoke, the historian Joshua Zeitz observed wonderingly, on Twitter: “It’s Team of Rivals but for morons.”
It is.  And it stinks from the top.
Meanwhile the whole world is watching, a world that contains predators.  How could they not be seeing this weakness, confusion and chaos and thinking it’s a good time to cause some trouble?
[I found this on her site at: http://www.peggynoonan.com/trump-is-woody-allen-without-the-humor/
I apologize to any who are offended by my posting this editorial without prior permission.  Hopefully my full attribution to both Ms. Noonan and the WSJ mollifies you somewhat…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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2013 Things I’ve Learned
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2011 Rain, Rain, Rain
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I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.
      —   G. K. Chesterton
A fish rots from the head first.
   —  An Italian proverb
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The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
   ―  Plato
[Actually, I believe this is the “cost” of indifference, the “price” paid is freedom, security and — ultimately — blood.
And, although I am a life-long Democrat, I am not foolish enough to believe the members  of the party I disagree with (Republicans) are unanimously “evil”; misguided maybe, but not evil.  There have been (and will be) evil Democrats and Independents as well.     —  KMAB]
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2015 It Isn’t The End
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2014 Friends
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2011 There Is No God, But God
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The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
    —  Oscar Levant
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On This Day In:
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