Who’s in charge???

I think there may be something important to be learned from this week’s report of Trump’s telephone call with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull. In typical fourth-grade level speech, Trump called a deal previously made with Australia to take 1,250 of the refugees detained on 2 Pacific islands “dumb” and “the worst deal ever.” And apparently went on to tell Turnbull that this was the worst phone call ever. Childish and rude, at the very least.nauru

But I am struck by the clear conflict between this whining and the fact that the recent Executive Order on immigration and refugees had a clause in it that specifically exempted the refugees in the Australia deal. It really looks to me like Trump didn’t know anything about that. It was quite clear that he had not paid much attention to the issue — he implied they were either illegal immigrants or prisoners in the sense of convicted criminals, and he never could come up with the actual number of refugees. So who the hell put that exception into the immigration ban? We know he’s not going outside his inner circle for input on this stuff. Maybe this is why — he’s not even writing these orders. Does he even know what he’s signing?

Who the hell’s in charge?

And just as disturbing but for different reasons — do we actually have a president who can’t even see human suffering and doesn’t care? All he cared about on this issue was what a “bad deal” it was for America. No benefit whatsoever in saving people’s lives. No recognition that desperate people ought to be helped just because they are human beings.

But of course, we already knew that about Trump.


You learn something new every day

trump, v.1

Pronunciation:  /trʌmp/    Forms:  see trump n.1; also ME Sc. trwmp.
Etymology: Middle English < Old French tromper (12th cent. in Godefroy), < trompe , trump n.1


 1.  b. To give forth a trumpet-like sound; spec. to break wind audibly (slang or vulgar).

c1425   Wyntoun Cron. vi. ii. 176   In publik placis ay fra þat day Scho was behynde þan trumpande ay; Sa wes scho schamyt in ilk steid.

1552   R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum   Trump or let a crackke, or fart, crepo.

1598   J. Florio Worlde of Wordes   Trombeggiare,..to snort, to trump or bray as an asse.

1719   T. D’Urfey Wit & Mirth I. 35   She who does Trump, Through defect in her rump.

1798   R. Cumberland tr. Aristophanes Clouds ii,   I too..under sufferance trump against your thunder:..my frights..Have pinch’d and cholick’d my poor bowels so.

† trump, v.2

Forms:  Also ME Sc. trwmp, 15 trumpe, 15–16 tromp(e.
Etymology: < French tromper (14th cent.), of uncertain origin; perhaps the same word as trump v.1: see Littré.(Show Less)


Obs.  trans. To deceive, cheat. In quot. 1631, perh. identified with trump v.3

1487  (▸a1380)    J. Barbour Bruce (St. John’s Cambr.) xix. 712   Than sall we all be at our will, And thai sall let thame trwmpit [1489 Adv. trumpyt] Ill.

1513   G. Douglas tr. Virgil Æneid i. vi. 82   That fals man,..With wanhope trumpit the lele luwair.

1584   J. Carmichael Let. in D. Laing Misc. Wodrow Soc. (1844) 415   To haif bein trompit with fair words.

1598   R. Dallington View of Fraunce sig. E iij,   They very wrongfully tromped the heires of Edward the third, of their enioying this Crowne of France.

1631   B. Jonson New Inne i. iii. 103   When she [sc. Fortune] is pleas’d to trick, or trompe mankinde.

From Oxford English Dictionary



Here are 4 endorsements of the Democratic presidential candidates from a variety of serious-ish sources (by which I mean they are less likely to stick memes on your Facebook newsfeed, not that they are necessarily unbiased). There are 2 for Clinton and 2 for Sanders, 1 each from January and 1 each from this week.

I read all of these, mainly because I am just so overwhelmed and sick of all the hysterical Facebook posts going around on both sides about the Democratic candidates. Most of it is hyper-emotional finger pointing and very short on facts — and even shorter on any kind of perspective. So I wanted to read some opinions based on something.

NYTimes endorsement Clinton

The Nation endorsement Sanders

NYDaily News endorsement Clinton

Sen. Jeff Merkley(D-OR) endorsement Sanders

So, if you care, here’s what I got out of them. We have two worthy candidates running. They are very different in the way they go about things and their priorities, but I’m good with either one of them as President. I think they will both try to do what’s right for actual American people, and not what’s right for the wealthiest possible few or what’s right for the most insane and self-serving minorities (yeah, I’m talking about you, Republicans). I am leaning toward Sanders because of my own priorities — he is the only person I think will ever get around to doing anything about Citizens United and the disgusting spectacle of money in politics and government. But if Clinton wins the nomination, I will be happy to vote for the first woman president and then I will keep urging her to do something about campaign finance reform.


Un Un-Qualified

Could we all step back a little from the “You’re unqualified!” “No, you’re unqualified!” accusations? No candidate up for nomination in any party is 100% qualified for the presidency by everyone’s standard. Look at the dipshit George W. who led this country for 8 years despite his lousy qualifications.

In contrast to the Republican candidates this year, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are among the best qualified candidates around. Neither one of them should be attacking one another’s qualifications to be president and I’d like to call on their supporters to quit it too. There are plenty of issues and policy positions to talk about. Attacking one another just isn’t productive for anyone except the ultimate opponent in the general election. If you get enough Democrats to say they will never vote for Clinton, I’m sure the Republican nominee will send you a cookie. And if you insult enough Clinton supporters, I’m sure they will stay home or even jump ship if Sanders ends up on the ticket.

The real issue in this election, in my opinion, is not which Democrat is most qualified to be President — there is no lack of information on what each stands for, and each of us can decide for ourselves. The real issue is that the only possible 2 frontrunners for the Republican nomination are two sides of the same nightmare. Trump is obviously unqualified for office by his record (NONE), and he is unfit to speak in front of children, let alone to represent the U.S.A. in front of the world. His “policy positions” are based on what causes the most incendiary reaction from poorly educated and unsophisticated crowds. On the other hand, Cruz has run-of-the-mill traditional qualifications for office, but his opinions on social issues are so off in the fringes that most people actually cringe when confronted with the possibly of a Cruz presidency. He is grossly unqualified to lead a big diverse country primarily due to his lunatic religious views. Anyone who values religious tolerance, diversity, intellectual curiosity and freedom cannot support him.


The Republican House, instead of acting on the American Jobs Act which could actually benefit our economy, has been wasting taxpayer money and their own time ONCE AGAIN trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yes, I know lots of knee-jerk conservatives despise this thing. But thoughtful Americans approve of it, more and more all the time when they learn what it will do and what repealing it will take away.

I see the figures on either side of the issue saying It’s going to save incredible amounts of money! It’s going to cost incredible amounts of money! I’d say they’re probably both wrong. Republicans would have us believe that there are no benefits to it, we can’t afford it, we must repeal it and replace it with..drum roll, please..tort reform. Do they think we are retarded?

In my opinion, the bottom line on Obamacare (come on, we are all calling it that — but those of you who think that’s a grave insult should know that the rest of us are smiling about it) is that it is certainly not the last word in health reform. We need MUCH MORE reform in order to fix our health care system.

But what we do NOT need is MUCH LESS REFORM!!!!

So, instead of wasting time and money Pretend Repealing the ACA, how about — heck, I would even be willing to give you partial credit for this, Oh Right Wing Congress — how about actually doing something that will HELP OUR ECONOMY?

From the Wall Street Journal:


Jeffrey Liebman: Republicans Are Blocking Obama’s Jobs Plan


There is a strong consensus about what the immediate challenges facing our economy are: first and foremost, a continued lack of demand as a lingering result of the recession. We also know the areas where this has caused the most damage, including deep state and local government layoffs and continued weakness in the construction sector. And we have a good idea of what tools work best to address these problems.

The president has put forward a plan that uses exactly these tools. Nine months ago, President Obama outlined his American Jobs Act and independent economists said it would create as many as 1.9 million jobs. While Congress has acted on some of his proposals—most notably, extending payroll tax cuts that provide $1,000 for an average family—it left more than a million jobs on the table.

One of the largest drags on our economy has been the layoffs of public employees… [As] American businesses have created nearly 4.3 million private-sector jobs,,, state and local government employment has fallen by 450,000 jobs… But Congress has failed to act to put hundreds of thousands of teachers and first-responders back to work.

There are still two million fewer construction workers employed than when the recession started in 2007. Yet Congress has failed to act on the president’s plan to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, bridges and airports.

Economists .. have shown that in a single year of teaching a great teacher raises the lifetime earnings of her students by $250,000 relative to an average teacher—so laying off some of our most promising teachers is tragic. Infrastructure boosts productivity and economic growth..

President Obama would ..cut taxes for small businesses that add jobs or increase wages, make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, and put veterans back to work. ..put forward a budget that would reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade and stabilize our debt-to-GDP ratio.

This approach stands in stark contrast to that of Gov. Mitt Romney. What would Gov. Romney do to create jobs now? In a word, nothing. In fact, the proposals he has put forward would slow the recovery, reversing the gains we have made since the recession ended.

Gov. Romney himself has acknowledged that excessive spending cuts can have a damaging impact on the economy.

But his own budget plan—as well as the House Republican budget he has said he is “very supportive of”—requires immediate cuts that would significantly reduce domestic spending. [It] would reduce economic output by about 1%. That would shrink employment next year by more than one million jobs.

The rest of Gov. Romney’s economic agenda..would almost certainly undermine confidence in the U.S. economy and reduce employment further.

President Obama’s ideas are not radical ones. 

Republicans in Congress are the only thing that is preventing these measures from putting more Americans back to work right now.


Vote Yes on 1


So basically, people who register ahead of election day are less “foolish”, better informed, care more and are “higher quality” voters? Beyond the blatant and dishonest insults — can college students actually be more foolish than their non-college peers? If that’s the case, why are we breaking our backs trying to push further educational opportunities? — I am reminded that we recently learned that our governor and several other politicians have used the same day registration law themselves to register on or shortly before election day: 


Sure, you may find them foolish and low quality, but is that really what they’re going for?

Vote Yes on 1, the people’s veto to reinstate same-day registration.