Reading is mandatory logic, not so much

If you thought that just because an individual is elected to Congress, they have a certain level of intelligence, you would be incredibly incorrect. It has become vividly clear that anyone who has enough money, an intriguing rap, the gift of gab or a reasonably lackluster competitor can get elected.

I’ve never looked at popularity polls to determine how well a given Congressperson was doing, but there does come a time when it becomes necessary to judge the work of an elected representative. Unfortunately, we have to wait way too long to do something about electing the wrong person. Thus, the name of this very blog. Yes, we can vote every two years on Representatives and every six years on Senators, but that’s not fast enough in today’s sped-up reality and news cycles. Six years is a wait much too long for undoing a bad Senator.

Recent polling is not good for Congress. Last month, a Gallup Organization survey found that only 28% of those researched approved of the job the House and Senate are doing, while 69% disapproved. And I might add that 3% had no opinion. Who are those people?

Gallup Research

2001 set the highest mark in the ongoing Gallup polls. That’s when Congress was voting to go to war in Afghanistan and invade Iraq due to trumped up lies about weapons of mass destruction. This underscores the reality that even when we like them, Congress is often doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

And that brings us to the politics of it all. No member of Congress wants the United States government to default. Any member who does should be arrested and charged with treason, but there’s a word that has lost its power and seriousness. When the former president was told that that some of his allies and administration officials had broken the law, he simply pardoned them. There are members of Congress who think investigating the insurrection of January 6th is bad for America. Truth is, Republicans fear becoming tarnished should the public come to fully understand their involvement in Donald Trump’s effort to “Stop the Steal.” Really?

Delusional Idiot

Congressional grifters use information gained from subcommittees and intelligence briefings to shape their investments and give themselves an advantage in preserving and increasing their wealth. Sure, they add rules and polices to help their tribe along the way, but they have never passed legislation that makes it hard or impossible for them to profit from their positions in Congress. If they were serious about making America better, they would pass potent regulations about financial disclosure, term-limits and the amount of political campaign contributions they can personally use. The true reason Donald Trump hasn’t declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election is to avoid disclosure of the cash in his campaign coffers. He’s a grifter.

When a member of a party, especially a leader or whip, tells his or her caucus how they are going to vote on a bill before it’s even debated, they are no better than the political bosses of the 1940s and 1950s who manipulated their members and thwarted any discussion on the merits of proposed legislation. Have we really grown from there?

Making law requires intense labor and demands tons of reading. When I was working with a local Little League group in Atlanta years ago, I volunteered to revise and publish the rules of the games. What a mistake! First of all, there were different rules for each level of play and all the rules had to be in-sync with the national rules from headquarters in Williamsport, PA. That project ended up as four packets of fifty pages each.

Well, imagine having to go through 1,500 pages over a weekend. That would be like reading three 500-page books. It’s most likely that the average Congressperson never reads an entire budget bill. They direct their staffs to find the things they ardently object too, or the things that are really good for them. The underlying words and meanings no longer have objective analysis until laws are passed. And this playing with the economic status of the country you claim to love just to shit on the other guy’s party, how many US citizens approve of that?

The demonizing of Joe Biden will happen no matter what he does or says. The media seems to like kickin’ old Joe to the ground right now. Sure, his numbers are down but anyone who says the economy is bad is ignoring three major realities.

Kissing the ring

First, under Donald Trump, Congress passed a major tax cut by restricting the ways corporations house their money. The corporate tax rate was changed from a tiered tax rate ranging from 15% to as high as 39%, depending on taxable income, to a flat 21%. At the same time, some related business deductions and credits were reduced or eliminated. Yes, stocks soared, and corporations bought back stock, but the disparity between the wealthy 1% and the rest of us grew. Yay, score another one for the rich people!

Second, Trump blew the federal response to Covid-19. It was his “Katrina,” only on a national level. His advisers can take some of the blame, but the more he told us it was nothing, more and more of us realized it was truly something, and that something was really, really bad. You can’t go to a restaurant that is closed, and a restaurant without enough employees provides an unpleasant experience. Just like Obama inherited the financial crisis, Biden was handed the challenge of righting a post-coronavirus tanked economy. Sadly, far-right saboteurs think fighting against the vaccine is good for their political gains even while their opinions are killing us.

Third, forced errors like the Afghanistan evacuation, the rising conflict at the southern border and our selling submarines to Australia are front and center. We need to remember that Trump pulled out of northern Syria and 130,000 Kurds, our allies in the fight against ISIS, were forced to flee their homes and hundreds of them were killed. Trump wanted to invite the Talban to negotiate a peace treaty, but he excluded the legit government of Afghanistan. Why were we so surprised when the Taliban took over?

While all the pontificators and pundits are overanalyzing the “Biden Doctrine,” it might make more sense to keep the government open and pay our bills. Why are we tolerating Republican actions to make America weak? It’s just a budget bill, and not any different than Trump shutting down the government because he thought it would hurt the Democrats. He even called it the “Schumer Shutdown.” Let’s see, how did that work out for him? Oh yeah, he’s not the president anymore.

Let’s focus on just one fact. Joe Biden’s approval rating is 43% while that of Congress is 28%. Who is the fairest in the land?


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The Catch 22 in Congress

There is a certain Catch 22 that our Congressional “leaders” now must navigate. For those without pop culture knowledge, a Catch 22 is a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape, because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions. If one votes for something unpopular, it will eventually come back to bite them on the butt.

If you see things only through the eyes of an owner, you’ll never comprehend the heart of the American worker. The working calculus of those who run large corporations is a pretty simple equation. You have either profit or loss. When you have profit, life is good. When you have loss, you are dangerously close to being thrown out. Workers depend on the sound judgement of owners and bosses to keep things running profitably.

Owners are like politicians, they promise their workers a better life, but never at the expense of their own better life. These are facts. Owners always believe that workers should care about the success of the company. Sure, there are righteous bosses out there who judge people on performance and bonus them for good work but other masters succumb to the wishes of the stockholders and investors with little regard for the common worker. Raises are often “cost-of-living” concessions rather than genuine rewards.

And now we have this “giant” tax cut that will supposedly create jobs and increase wages for the masses. At least, that is how it’s been sold to the middle class in America. The theory, once again, is that if the rich and the corporate overlords earn money, they will naturally redistribute the wealth to their underlings. That has been given lip service very many times in the history of the world, but the results never match the words. Rich, fat, white people usually keep the money for themselves.

What the tax bill did, more than anything else, was to attempt a bargain with the large multi-national U.S. corporations to bring back jobs and money to our shores. Why would they trust that the government wouldn’t tax those funds later? The most absurd line used in the tax bill is that the corporate tax cuts are permanent. Ha, when is anything in America permanent?

One of the largest multi-national groups that feeds on the middle class is big pharm. With this “glorious” tax cut came the termination of the mandate in Obamacare. This will probably eliminate millions of health insurance accounts, thus creating a decrease in profits for not only the insurance companies but also for prescription vendors such as Walgreens, CVS and RiteAid. These firms will need to find a way to make up the revenue. Solution? Raise the prices. Thanks Congress.

With the Republican bravado and presidential chest pounding today (12-20-2017), we hear that the Donald’s men in suits want to take a next step with China, Canada and Mexico by imposing as much as a 20% tax on all their products coming into the United States. That means lumber for building houses, goods at Walmart and drugs processed overseas will become more expensive. Those increases will be passed along to the American consumer in the form of higher prices. Thanks, great Orange Leader.

The fantasy that corporations will give employees an across the board wage increase stinks like swamp gas emanating from the cesspool of trickle-down economics. It’s not voodoo economics, it’s demonic treachery on the highest order. First the middle class was sucked in voting for Trump. Now they are being fooled again by the Republican Congress dragging them into the swamp with their money flying out of their pockets.

Even the 2% or less that some people will get back in 2019 cannot be scammed as some major Christmas present for the middle class. Why didn’t they give the middle class a 15% decrease in taxes like they did the corporations? They will tell you that would have increased the debt, but they have already walked away from their conservative mantra of not increasing the debt. This time to the tune of $1.46 Trillion. WTF?

We all know that the original sin of politicians is that they lie. Trump lied when he said this tax cut bill would not be good for him. In fact, the wealthy, like the Trumps, will benefit from this greatly. And, just like Putin, Trump will leave office much richer than when he was when elected. The difference is Putin will never leave. Trump might leave early.

This bill was passed by only Republican hands. I am sure they are proud that they finally got something done, even when many experts have said, this will eventually hurt America. Trump only cares about his people, not all the people. He gave all his rich friends, donors and dingbat CEOs a French kiss for Christmas. The American public got the status quo with clouds forming on the horizon. Get ready for paying more America. You just got screwed again.

After all, Republicans usually spend more than Democrats while cutting social programs. Slashing 40% of the railroad funding won’t make train rides safer, Mr. Trump. Sure, give the money to the rich. They deserve it. They worked so hard.

And to the 13 members of Congress who are in the real estate business, congratulations you low-life scumbags. You think you are doing “the peoples’ work,” when in fact you are simply selfish whores.

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The Truth Bender Trump

On the CNN show Reliable Sources yesterday (11-26-17), the host, Brian Stelter, discussed the gradations of truth we get from our 45th President. With the backdrop of dozens of sexual harassment accusers, along with the Republican conundrum of what happens with Roy Moore in Alabama, now would be a good time to have some moral leadership in the White House. Sadly, it’s not there.

Interestingly, the word “truth(s)” is used only once in the Declaration of Independence and not at all in the Bill of Rights. The founding fathers used the word “truths” in the Declaration in this context, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” They assumed that all the things they wrote were true. Their legal documents mocked the King of England with the words “all men being equal,” meaning no one person could or should rise to the level of royalty.

It is abundantly clear to anyone who reads the newspaper, or finds credible content on the internet, or perhaps spends time watching some of the better reported TV news, that Donald J. Trump lies. He bubbles up his most uncensored feelings on Twitter, while saving the teleprompter for those rare moments when he needs to be believed. In short, Trump weakest tactic is his deal making. Said more directly, he’s a lousy salesman.

The American public accepts a certain amount of hyperbole and exaggeration from a pitchman. We’ve been conned by the best over the years, but Trump is usually light on the proof of what he sells us. When explaining the travel ban, he dipped so low to call it a Muslim Ban, rather than simply presenting some hard facts about the burden that immigration places on our government.

When pitching for healthcare change, he didn’t present a single crystal-clear reason why this was good for people other than the Republican party members. In the end, his cheerleading wasn’t convincing and proved his lack of awareness of what was in the bill.

When presenting tax reform to the American public, he immediately told us how bad it would be for him. Not only was that an outright lie, but the net result of the new tax cuts would benefit corporations far more than citizens. Trump’s offspring would pocket billions after his death because of this proposed “tax reform.”

Trump is focused on the number of pages in a revised tax return, rather than how this change would help people and make a difference in their individual lives. Hard facts tend to get in the way in politics, while creating a solid foundation for the argument is paramount when selling public policy. Trump waved around a one-page House proposal for the tax return, while the bill itself contained more than 400 pages. Some reform.

From the man who fabricated his own Time magazine cover to hang in his golf clubs, comes this beauty of a tweet: “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” Time magazine executives took the time to explain to the President that isn’t how it works, but this doesn’t matter to Trump. He’s trying to explain to the dumb kids in his base why his grotesque face won’t be on Time’s cover this year.

From asking for a “thank you” from the arrested UCLA basketball players, to his boastful routines, one might remind the evangelicals to reread this passage from Proverbs 11:2-4 in the Holy Bible: “Proud and boastful people will be shamed, but wisdom stays with those who are modest and humble. Good people are guided by their honesty, but crooks who lie and cheat will ruin themselves. Money is worthless when you face God’s punishment, but living right will save you from death.”

Our great Orange Leader has convinced 30% of the population that everything he says is the truth. No one from that group cares about his lies, his sexual harassments or his ongoing deceptions.

As he bends the truth and attacks the press, Trump creates a martyr syndrome. He is the underdog. This man will not be brought down by his lies, but instead by the result of his actions. He sees the United States of America as a monetary utopia, where power, money and fame twirl together into a murky gray self-rewarding reality. He wants to remake our country into his ugly image.

When people finally realize that all his actions are for him, and him alone, there will be another revolution. That will happen when 70% of the American electorate finally take their country back. Only then will the middle class get a better deal. Meanwhile, we must wait and monitor this raving lunatic.


New Book about Terrorism

One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on his quest to find truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Now available on Amazon.