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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Roll Tide

It ain't over yet, but it looks like Doug Jones will be Alabama's next senator, and Roy Moore can go crawl back under his rock and maybe take some of his hater followers with him. They probably won't all be able to fit, but hopefully there are more rocks down in Alabama so they can all keep each other company, stewing in their supremacist hatred and self-righteousness.

And then there's the Donald, who blew it again. No amount of alternative facts and spin will remove the stink from this one. He blew it, BIG-ly, and now he gets to reap what he sowed - the beginning of the end. Throw in Mueller & team's continued steady progress on peeling back each layer off the stinking onion that is the Trump administration's corruption and collusion with the Rooskies, and I can only imagine that there's been an uptick in deliveries of Depends to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Finally, we have the GOP, which was agin Moore afore they was fer him. They might think that they are now stink-free of this pedophile, but they better think again. Remember, Moore did the same thing Trump did, albeit with minors, but as we've learned from Al Franken's forced resignation, there's not much public appetite for splitting hairs when it comes to sexual harassment and assault. 

Politically, the Trump and Moore only offered the unvarnished version of what the GOP has been pushing for the past 45 years, and frankly I'm not sure how much varnish they bothered to apply in that godforsaken tax cut bill they're so dad gum proud of. Nothing says, "Screw you, 'takers,'" like a massive redistribution of income from those who have the least to those who have the most. 

Hopefully, enough Americans realize what's going on and shrug off their cynical apathy to send a message next November. Roll over GOP, Donald & Co. and, "let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." In other words, "Roll Tide!"

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Me Me Me Me Me Me Meeeeee

For many of you who have been keeping up with this blog's rants 'n' raves, you will know my position on the many recent revelations of acts of sexual and gender-based violence committed by powerful men: there needs to be a public accounting of them and these need to be held accountable. Full stop. With that in mind, today's blog is not about having a few yuks. I genuinely want to have a serious discussion here.

I remain deeply disappointed by the Democratic Party's decision to force out Al Franken. What he did was mostly, in my view, juvenile behavior, which still merits closer investigation and, based on the results of that investigation, consequences commensurate with harm caused by his acts. I see what he did as being categorically different from the acts purportedly committed by many of the other men whose actions have come to light: preying on teenage girls (and boys, as the case might be), grabbing them and then bragging about it, forcing them to witness and/or perform in sexual acts, etc.

My point is this: if we don't differentiate between the various categories of sexual and gender-based violence then we are falling into a trap that only benefits the powerful perpetrators. We will have framed the public discussion in such a way that any accuser must be pure as the driven snow if she or he is to be considered at all credible. Because if those without or with less power have committed so much as a single act, no matter how insignificant or not, that might be interpreted as less than 100% ethical, moral, legal, etc. then the powerful will be able to point out these imperfections and delegitimize both the message and the messenger.

And that situation only benefits those who have committed much more serious, damaging acts of sexual and gender-based violence, because they will be able to silence the voices that could and should be heard. It also cuts off any sort of meaningful public discussion. Put differently, anytime you hear someone insisting on "zero tolerance" for an act, they are intentionally setting the bar so high for remedying the public problem (sexual and gender-based violence in this case) so that they can cripple any serious effort to address it. Public policy in response to social issues cannot be restricted only to black and white solutions. These social issues - and their drivers - are much too complex.

Bottom line: don't the survivors of sexual and gender-based violence deserve better than having our politicians focused solely on scoring political points and grandstanding? Me thinks so.

Here's the toon:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Dope

It saddens me to see so many folks support the squeeze that Donald Trump has foisted on the Palestinians. Official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's eternal capital is a Pyrrhic victory at best. The Americans are no longer considered an honest broker in the Middle East peace process, and the Israelis enrage the Palestinian people needlessly, further deepening the latter's cynicism that they have a good faith partner in the former in the peace process.

We all long for peace in this part of the world, and it must be a just peace, one that is built one equity and respect for the dignity and rights of all people. Using the same tactics one would use to stiff a contractor in building a casino may not be the most appropriate for trying to mitigate and ultimately resolve a decades-long violent conflict. But what do I know? I'm just another fool who's wasted his time actually reading books and trying to ask questions.

Of course, the Donald just loves to stir things up - all for the adoration he gets from of his base whenever he sticks his little stubby finger in the eye of moral rectitude, decency and, in this particular case, decades of diplomatic efforts. Oh well; it's just another chunk of concrete out of the fast-eroding foundation of American credibility and leadership. I think I'm starting to get sick of winning.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hide & Subpoena

Well, it's official. The Trump campaign and transition team were colluding with the Ruskies. Michael, or should I say "Mikhail," Flynn lied to the FBI about his various interactions with the Russians during the presidential campaign and immediately following the election - while Barack Obama was still the President of the United States. Whoops.

Enter Robert S. Mueller, Esq. After a long period of slow, deliberate investigation, things have begun to hot up, with initially small and then increasingly bigger pins falling left and right. Pretty soon will be looking at a potential fall of the Day-Glo orange kingpin himself. Wouldn't that be grand? Meanwhile, the Republicans are working feverishly and as fast as they can to ram through as many reprehensible, regressive pieces of legislation for Trump to sign before the U.S. public wakes up and votes them out of one or both houses of Congress.

I'm guessing that we are going to see any of the following:

  1. Another Saturday Night Massacre, and/or 
  2. An acceleration of the slow onset disaster of our democratic norms, and/or
  3. A mockery of our oversight mechanisms.
I vote for all of the above, so duck and cover and hope for the best but expect the worst.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Art of the Con

Yesterday we got to read about how the number of Republican senators holding out on the Trump reverse Robin Hood tax cut bill began to drop precipitously. Evidently, they all either were convinced that the Donald was going to address their needs or they were too afraid to hold out any longer. I would offer a third possibility: they really never gave a rat's patootie about whatever it was that had inspired them initially to oppose the tax bill.

John McCain: back when he gave his famous thumbs down on Trumpcare, he claimed that he was deeply concerned about the welfare of the institution of the Senate and the lack of open debate in a participatory, deliberative and bipartisan process around the bill's passage. Now? Not so much.

Susan Collins: she claimed to be concerned about the forecast 13 million who will likely lose health care coverage as a result of the tax bill destroying the individual mandate. Now? She believes, actually believes, that this issue will be addressed later by Trump in some still to be determined process at some still to be identified time.

Bob Corker: a self-proclaimed budget hawk who would not support the tax cut bill if it so much as added one penny to the deficit. Now, thanks to some fuzzy, still-to-be-specified trigger mechanism, he believes that Trump and the GOP will agree to raise taxes should the voodoo economic forecasts of rapid economic growth not generate sufficient tax revenue.

Ron Johnson: the gentleman from cheesehead state has insisted that the the tax bill do better by small businesses. He received the same vague promises of being made right and then folded like a card table and got in line with the rest of the GOP.

The point is that none of these folks ever really seriously considered opposing this tax bill, which is the Republican Holy of Holies, a massive regressive redistribution of income and wealth to the most privileged, entitled and well-off. The American electorate finally gifted them with the harmonic convergence to advance their real agenda of unbridled greed and corruption - total control of two of the three branches of government with the third quickly falling in line with a slew of hard-right nominations to the federal bench.

It's all a con, and we'll all be left holding a losing hand.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Bad Santa Goes to Washington

Looks like the Donald has officially pitched in his lot with Roy Moore. What shall we call them? Here are my top choices:

  1. Tweedle Scum and Tweedle Scummier
  2. Predator vs. Pedo-phalien
  3. Grabber and Groper
  4. ...You get the idea
I guess it's only logical. Trump needs that Senate seat to remain Republican, and in this age of win at any cost, democratic norms be damned, why should we be surprised. It's a bit hard for me to take the Senate Republicans' efforts to come up with ways that they won't actually have to seat Moore, should he win, and make no mistake, he most probably will win. Some Alabamians are even considered moving out of the state, which will make it an even more concentrated version of its present self: racist, homophobic, and pedo-friendly.

So, great. The Democrats either get to win a seat that they hadn't expected to win or they get to hang Roy Moore all over the Republicans. I cannot say that either option really offers me much hope. But then I'm not really what actually does. After all, given the gerrymandered Congressional districts, it's highly unlikely the Democrats will take back either house of Congress, and even if they did they've been proving themselves thoroughly incapable of articulate a clear alternative message to Trumpism. So I'll just keep my ink cartridges ready for more opportunities to generate some laughs, smirks and giggles. Hope you keep coming back for more.And now, the toon:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Comes Early for the Donald - Part I

I think it's not just Santa. We all know who's been naughty and who's nice. And we all know one spoiled rotten grabby little boy who ain't going to be nominated TIME Magazine person of the year. Instead, he's going to get to get what he deserves: a stocking full of coal. That's the same big coal he's promised to bring back, despite basic economics telling anyone with half a brain that coal is dead. But Trump and his supporters never let a little reality get in the way of pursuing their glorious path to go right off the cliff in making America great again all the while claiming that their "winning."

I don't know about you, but I sure as heck haven't seen too much winning lately that Trump & co. can claim as their own. But why should that surprise any of us. For Trump, it's really always been about losing. He squandered the lion's share of his inheritance from his father instead of actually making something of himself. He had to declare bankruptcy multiple times because he was a failure as a businessman; everything he touched turned to lead. All the while, he was fleecing anyone who was stupid enough doing business with him. In fact, maybe that's his real bottom line. He knows he's a loser - always has been, always will be - but as long as he can make all of the other schlubs lose just a little bit more than him, then he can salvage some small speck of self-worth.


Here's the toon.