Friday, May 19, 2017

Fear Ailes Trump

Trump and Ailes, a pair of sexual predators
It's mid-May and Donald Trump is still president in spite of his "bigly" efforts to get himself ousted.

If a Democrat acted as crazily as Trump has, he or she would have been jailed by now or dragged off to the funny farm in a strait-jacket.

Yet, thanks to Roger Ailes, the former Fox News fascist who croaked Thursday, Trump is still president.

Ailes' legacy is that Trump and other Republicans will always have staunch defenders at Fox News.

Ailes started Fox News in the mid-1990s for those intolerant, aging, white Americans who could no longer face the reality that the country was changing to something less white and more tolerant.

Fox News was created as the official channel of the Republican Party that felt all other media were biased against them.

Nevermind that most of this other media are owned by conservative corporations whose only goal is to make money. Many of the CEOs of these entities are Republicans themselves.

Fox News pitched their dubious narrative to older, white Americans that minorities, feminists, gays, Hollywood elites, non-Christians (who are all Democrats, by the way) were destroying their view of America.

Fox News peddles this political pornography and they have an audience addicted to it.

Trump tapped into that addiction to claim the electoral college victory in November.

Trump and Ailes had another thing in common: sexual predators. Ailes lost his job because of it, while Trump was elected in spite of it.

Ailes did such a masterful job in dividing this country that Trump supporters are completely blind to his outrageous behavior and actions of the past few weeks.

While listening to NPR shows that have Americans call in their opinions, it is absolutely astounding that so many of these people still defend Trump.

As Trump said during the presidential campaign, he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and he wouldn't lose any voters.

Fox News made it easy for many Americans to not believe the mainstream media. Yet, it's called mainstream because it represents a consensus of reality. But, as Stephen Colbert once noted, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Fox News and Trump supporters don't buy the reality of his chaotic presidency because they consider it pushed by liberals.

Trump has lowered the bar of competency and decency so low that his supporters are willing to accept any behavior from him.

Well, that's not going to end well.

Ailes pathetic life ended in disgrace.

Trump faces the same fate.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Epic GOP fail: TrumpDon'tCare

Health care? Who needs it?
After winning the House, the Senate and the presidency, and, after whining for seven years about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Republicans showed today how they would fix health care once and for all.

They did nothing.

Not even a floor vote.

No repeal. No replacement. No nothing.

Don "The Con" Trump, said last year that “from day one I’ve been talking about we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare from day one, we’re going to do it.”

Sixty-four days after "day one," he couldn't even get close to making a deal with fellow Republicans.

Call it "The Fart of the Deal."

What a stinker.

House Speaker Paul Ryan shoulders much of the blame, but Oregon's 2nd District congressman, Greg Walden, did his part to show how ineffective he can be.

The Republican House caucus is so diverse that it contains the tea-bagging faction and those slightly less extreme.

Such comity.

One side said the plan went too far and the other said it didn't go far enough.

In other words, the GOP bill didn't enrich the wealthy enough and it didn't screw over everyone else enough either.

Apparently, only 17 percent of Americans thought the GOP's R&R effort was worthwhile before Republicans decided not to vote on it.

What is truly shocking is that even with a huge tax cut for the rich included in the bill, Republicans still couldn't stomach it. They entered a Twilight Zone of their own creation.

Over the past half-dozen years, House Republicans spent their majority in Congress by voting more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare. They knew full well that their votes wouldn't matter because President Obama would never sign their bills.

Now that their votes matter, they said, "uh, nevermind, we were just kidding."

That is called Republican governance.

GOPers don't believe in the federal government and they run for office to prove it.

Meanwhile, they collect their paychecks and enjoy their deluxe health care coverage.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Don't throw money down OSU-Cascades' pits


OSU-Cascades aims to make its campus inaccessible to most students
Now that OSU-Cascades owns the former pumice pit next to its micro 10-acre campus and is on the verge of taking over a former demolition landfill, it now wants taxpayers to cough up $70 million to fill these holes in the ground.

That request doesn't include any buildings, professors or parking places.

The ex-pumice mine needs massive infill to make the land stable for building. The ex-landfill needs $50 million just for reclamation.

Oh, and the state budget deficit is approximately $1.6 billion for the current biennium, due mostly to health care and about 20 percent to the public employees retirement system.

Unlike the federal government, Oregon has to balance its budget every two years.

And, of course, raising taxes is impossible. There is no greater evil on the planet, according to Republicans.

So, most programs, agencies and services face varying degrees of cutbacks.

In this environment, of a booming state economy and the inability to raise taxes, the brain trust at OSU-C expects $70 million in non-existent state dollars to fill in holes in the ground.

Actually, they need to fill the holes in their heads first before begging others for money.

As noted before, OSU-C decided to build their campus without a master plan in the most expensive area of Bend, where there is no affordable housing for even OSU-C professors, let alone students.

The school was given land at Juniper Ridge where $70 million could go a long way towards fixing the traffic problems that a university would create on Bend's north end.

No, OSU-C wanted a 10-acre university where even students who are lucky enough to live on campus, can't park their cars on campus. The nearest the school wants students to park is about 3/4 miles away in an industrial area.

OSU-C better set aside a huge sum of money to build student housing on the edge of town and bus the students to school.

In essence, OSU-C doesn't really want students since they built the campus in the most inaccessible area of Bend and Central Oregon. Like most entities today, from Netflix to Amazon, they just want the student's, or their parent's, credit card number.

Stay home, just pay us, the university brain trust says. We want to live, work and play on the west side, and we want you to pay for it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Trumpcare: Only losers get sick

Trumpcare for all
With the numbers showing that 24 million Americans will lose health coverage under the new Republican health plan called Trumpcare, many rational Americans may think this isn't so great.

To Rep. Paul Ryan, though, they would be wrong. 

Ryan, one of the architects of Trumpcare, said "I'm pretty encouraged by it (the CBO report). It actually exceeded my expectations."

Yes, 24 million is a low number to Ryan. He expected more to lose health insurance.

That's the point. 

Instead of having to pay for comprehensive coverage, Americans won't have to pay any for health insurance at all. They'll be free to go bankrupt from unpaid hospital bills.

According to Ryan and other Republicans, the freedom to not have what he and other lawmakers have is the beauty of this country. 

Central Oregon's Republican representative in Congress, Greg Walden, is one of the authors of Trumpcare.

He said, "Unlike Obamacare, we will not mandate Americans buy insurance plans they don't want and can't afford."

Walden is quite aware that many in his sprawling rural district will bear the brunt of cuts to health care coverage under Trumpcare. He's also fully aware that they'll still vote for him even if they're on their death beds from having no health care.

An added benefit to freeing people from health care coverage is the estimated savings of $337 billion over the next 10 years. With that dough, we can pay for about a third of the wall on the Mexico border. That's assuming Mexico won't pay for the entire wall, which if it does, means the tax cut for the 1 percent in this country can be even greater.

Of course, if there is too much blowback over Trumpcare, Republicans may just do what they've threatened over the past seven years and just repeal Obamacare with no replacement.

That's what the diehard Obama-haters have always wanted anyway. 

The only legislation that Republicans care about passing is cutting taxes to their donor class. 

With Republicans controlling the entire federal government, they should be able to cut taxes early and often.

Afterall, deficits don't matter when Republicans are in charge.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump takes hypocrisy to new lows

Making golf great again?
Donald Trump made his mark by trashing President Obama six ways to Sunday.

Yes, President did golf on occasion. His first outing came four months after first setting foot in the White House.

Well, Trump has hit the links six times in his first month.

Trump and other Republican mouthpieces whined and whined about how much President Obama was wasting taxpayer dollars by traveling to Hawaii and elsewhere.

Well, Trump has spent more tax dollars in a month than President Obama did in a year.

Trump's three trips to his winter White House in Florida have cost $10 million so far. President Obama spent an estimated $90 million in eight years. 

Trump will break that bank by October, long before his first year in office is over.

Also, keeping Melania holed up in New York is costing taxpayers up to a $1 million per day.

Or, consider how taxpayers are footing the bill for Trump's kids' business trips around the globe.

And, finally, candidate Trump railed against President Obama's use of executive orders. Check out this video.

Of course, none of this troubles Trump's supporters who are even more hypocritical than he is.

National debt? Who cares, they now say.

What's next?

Has anyone seen Trump's birth certificate?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Is Trump a traitor?

Apparently, that is what some in the U.S. intelligent community believe.

That is unprecedented for a sitting president, but not all that surprising.

Donald Trump came into office trashing the intelligence community because they concluded that the Russians and Vladimir Putin interfered with the election on Trump's behalf.

Not a smart move.

Trump was further upset that a leaked dossier revealed the Russians have compromising information about Trump and he is vulnerable to blackmail.

So far, some of the material in the dossier has been corroborated.

It's likely the rest of the salacious details will be supported by evidence as well.

The U.S. spies are so concerned about Trump's ties to Russia before and after the election that they're withholding information from the White House for fear it will fall into the wrong hands.

Check out these pieces from a New York Observer reporter, a former NSA analyst, who's been all over this story for a few months now. Ironically, the Observer's owner is Jared Kushner, Trump's cabana boy and son-in-law.

The reporter, John Schindler, tweets like Trump.

Here are a couple of tweets:

"IC (intelligence community) thinks Trump is a traitor. I'll leave to actual lawyers to assess that, but it's quite a day in any democracy when the spies think such."

and,

"Now we go nuclear. IC war going to new levels. Just got an EM fm senior IC friend, it began: "He will die in jail."

We can only hope.

His gold-plated headstone should read: Here lies Twump, the tweeter twaitor.





Friday, January 27, 2017

A disastrous first week for Trump

Trump's response to his detractors and supporters
At least for rational people in America and abroad.

For the Trumpettes, though, it was magical.

That's because they live in the world of "alternative facts" of Fox News and Breitbart where reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Trump issued his executive orders on ending Obamacare, building the wall with Mexico, banning refugees except Christians, expanding the military, imposing the abortion "gag rule," ending the U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership or free trade, reviving Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and freezing federal hiring.

None were surprising and most were just the usual posturing, signifying little.

For the last eight years, Republicans called President Obama a "dictator."

Well, now that they have a real dictator, Republicans won't put up a fight. They won't even whimper. They'll grovel at his feet and wait patiently for Trump to put a collar around their necks and drag their asses around Washington.

And, they will love it.

For the past eight years, GOP lawmakers have railed against the increase in the national deficit, but will eagerly double it or triple it under Trump.

Ever since Obamacare passed, Republicans have tried to repeal it. Now that they can, they have no idea what to replace it with. All talk, no action.

Trump's first act was to make housing less affordable for millions of Americans. It was his way of giving new home buyers the middle finger.

The anti-abortion march today in Washington had Trump's full support even though Trump has likely paid for more abortions of pregnancies the he is personally responsible for than anti-abortionists could possibly imagine.

And, on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the Soviets liberated Auschwitz in Poland, Trump issued his edict about banning refugees, particularly Muslims, from America. This will help ensure current and future holocausts.

At the end of Trump's first week, the level of incompetence was true to form.

Trump was more concerned with the size of the crowd at his inauguration than anything else.

And, he realized how illegitimate of a president he is because he pushed the bogus voter fraud conspiracy again. He lost the election by nearly three million votes.

Also this week, Trump managed to offend not just Mexico, but the CIA as well.

Trump sought to divide, rather than unite during the easiest week of his presidency.

Whatever happens to this country during Trump's reign, we will deserve it for putting such an asshole in the Oval Office.

In fact, Trump is not the POTUS, a wire service slugline that is now part of the vernacular.

No, he is the POSOTUS: Piece of Shit of the United States.

Sad.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump's new reality show: 'American Carnage'

Like the vast majority of Americans, I did not watch or listen to Donald Trump's inauguration.

But, I did read about it and perused some of his speech.

Evidently, I didn't miss much.

George Will, the ultra-conservative columnist, wrote that it was "the most dreadful inaugural address in history."

Apparently, the turnout was far lower than what the Donald wanted and a drop in the bucket compared to the Women's March the next day.

That led to Trump's attack on the media for reporting what happened.

Even Doonesbury saw this coming weeks ago. The comic strip in Sunday's paper shows the Donald complaining about the media's low numbers for his inauguration.

The Donald is such an easy mark.

So are his acolytes who ate up his inaugural address.

It's easy to see why Trump's phrase "America First" would thrill many of his supporters.

To most of them, the phrase means: Me first and to hell with you, even if that "you" is fellow Americans.

To others, like white supremacist David Duke, the phrase rekindles the days when it was associated with anti-Semitism before America's entry into World War II.

But, the headline phrase that screamed on most sites, including the Wall Street Journal's, was "American carnage."

Did Trump mean he was going to take on the easy access to high-powered firearms in this country?

Uh, no.

Did the phrase reference the thousands of Americans who lost their lives in the unjustified war in Iraq?

No, again.

I guess he was referring to violence in the inner cities, which Trump said would stop on his inauguration day.

Well, it hasn't stopped yet. It's not likely to end anytime soon.

So, "American Carnage" is really the name of Trump's presidency.

Instead of saying "You're Fired" on Celebrity Apprentice, he can now say with glee on American Carnage, "You're Dead."

His first enemies in this carnage, of course, are the press and the spy agencies.

This piece from the New Yorker shows that Trump's visit to the CIA headquarters wasn't well received. And CBS notes that the relationship with the CIA was made worse after the visit.

And then there's "alternative facts," which we should see plenty of during Trump's "presidency." Much of the media will report facts and Trump's minions will dispute them.

Even a Russian journalist compares Trump's pressers to Putin's. In fact, Trump is now known as Putin's Puppet or Putin's Pussy.

Talk about carnage. The truth is the first casualty under a fascist like Trump. And fascist is one of the kindest things to say about him.

It was comforting to read today that Earl Blumenauer, a congressman from Portland, referred to Trump as "Liar in Chief."

Well said, and factual, too.

Fox News, though, has always represented the alternate reality to what was actually happening and now they get to present "alternative facts" along with the truth.

You decide.

Well, I have decided. I won't be captivated by Trump's "American Carnage."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bend shows solidarity against Trump

Drake Park was packed with protesters
On a snowy, cold Saturday morning, about 5,000 men, women and children of all ages gathered at Drake Park to protest the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

It was move of solidarity for the Women's March in Washington today where the crowd of more than a million marchers dwarfed the crowd at the inauguration on Friday.

The size of the Bend protest was remarkable and likely unprecedented in Bend's history.

Many wore pink pussy hats and hundreds carried signs with sayings that captured the moment:

"We shall Overcomb"

"Respect our Existence or Expect our Resistance"

"Now You've Pissed off Grandma"

"Don't Make America Sick Again"

"Finally a Solution to Global Warming, Nuclear Winter"

"OMG GOP WTF?"

"Super Callous Fascist Racist Extra Braggadocious"

"If my uterus shot bullets, it wouldn't be regulated"

At one point, some in the crowd starting singing We Shall Overcome, but the words were We Shall Overcomb ... someday.

It was wonderful.

Clearly, organizers were overwhelmed by the size of the crowd because it extended from the gathering spot at the grandstand all the way to the march's end in downtown Bend. We spilled out into the roadway and blocked traffic.

You couldn't hear any instructions from organizers, but it didn't matter.

I think everyone was impressed that there were so many like-minded people in a region that voted for Trump.

There were people from all over Central Oregon tromping through the two-foot snowpack in Drake Park and sliding on the icy sidewalks.

Bend was one of nearly 700 cities worldwide that participated today. Nearly 5 million around the globe rallied against Trump.

Now, the challenge is how to channel that energy into something meaningful.

Certainly, boycotting corporations that contributed to Trump is one way.  Check out #grabyourwallet.org website for a list or corporations to boycott. And, boycott anything with Trump's name on it.

Find out which companies in Central Oregon supported Trump and boycott them, too.

Also, stay involved and participate. Make your voices heard.

And vote.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trump an illegitimate president

The Twilight Zone was never this scary
And, Donald J. Trump deserves zero respect.

First, he lost the election by nearly 3 million votes.

Second, he publicly asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's account and the Russians complied.

In fact, it appears that Trump's collusion with Russians is quite deep.

When Trump stiffed American banks over his failed ventures, he turned to Russia for money.

We now know that the Russians have compromising video and audio of Trump and can blackmail him in to doing what the Russians, or Vladimir Putin, want. It appears to be working since Trump says he'll probably end sanctions against Russia while weakening the NATO alliance.

Third, he has no moral compass. He has been married three times and openly cheated, and still cheats, on all of his wives. He's an admitted sexual predator and likely raped a 13 year old girl. Plus, the dossier reveals the sordid, depraved world that Trump travels in.

Fourth, his political career is based on the racist birther claim that President Obama wasn't born in America and therefore was an illegitimate president.

Fifth, his tweets could start World War III.

Sixth, if he can't handle Alec Baldwin or Meryl Streep, he has no business being president.

Seventh, Trump frequently spreads fake news.

Eighth, he doesn't pay federal taxes. If the president doesn't pay taxes, why should anyone else?

Ninth, with his deplorable rhetoric about Mexicans, Muslims, China and now our allies, he's obliterating what's left of "American exceptionalism."

Tenth, his cabinet picks are tasked with destroying the departments they're in charge of.

Eleventh, his numerous conflicts of interest over his business "empire" make him impeachable on day one. As Stephen Colbert says, removing Trump's name off of his buildings and putting his sons' name up there doesn't really solve the problems.

Twelfth, what's with the fake hair?

On the positive side, Trump makes it easier than ever to not listen to or watch the news. He is so repulsive in sight and sound that my time is no longer wasted on the radio or TV news.

Also, since he's picking a fight with the CIA, FBI and NSA, he'll get his comeuppance sooner than we realize.

The real downside to a Trump presidency is that anything goes. He has no sense of decency. If he can say and do anything with impunity, there isn't much hope for this country. Sad.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Obama: Best president in my lifetime

Washington Post

President Obama gave hope to those who rarely had it
It's not even close, really.

And, I go back to the Eisenhower era.

For a nation founded on the principal of slavery, the fact that President Obama, a true African-American, twice won substantial margins of victory is an achievement no other president can claim.

And, that's just the beginning of his accomplishments.

He calmly guided the country through the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

He did so well that the unemployment rate is near historic lows and more jobs were created under President Obama than any other president.  Oregon's jobless rate is the lowest since modern records began more than 40 years ago. Bend is at full employment.

The stock market is at record highs.

President Obama expanded access to health care to more than 20 million Americans.

He led the world to finalize negotiations of the International Climate Agreement to combat climate change.

Solar and wind energy production boomed under President Obama. Auto fuel standards were raised and cars get better mileage than ever.

Gas prices have stayed low and stable for a few years now.

President Obama kept America safe in a world made increasingly unsafe by the policies of the previous administration. He made the killing of Osama bin Laden a priority.

His administration was scandal free.

Oh, and he also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

There are other accomplishments, which you can read about here and here.

The only comparable president in the past 100 years is FDR, who guided the country out of the Great Depression and to victory in World War II.

President Obama's achievements wouldn't seem so great if weren't preceded by one of the worst presidents in American history or if he weren't succeeded by the most unpopular president in U.S. history. 

But, they are substantial, nonetheless.

On the day we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., it is fitting to note President Obama led this country with grace, class and intelligence. We won't see another president of his caliber for years. He is a role model for generations, not only in this country, but  also throughout the world.

Well done, sir.