Political Pandemic Blues.


I have had my fill. The pandemic has warped all our intellects. I’m weary, I mean like working at home. Between projects today, I got chores done. It would occasionally be good to go for a bike ride with somebody else. I miss concerts, hugs and overpriced beer with good friends. My granddaughter is 10 months old and I’m pretty sure thinks that there is a definite limit of people in her world, somewhere around 20 of us. There is a very fine line between solitude and isolation. With the numbers significantly worse than last spring when this started, I remain resolute. I thought I had a grasp on it all, but the days are getting weirder. Strange Days indeed as the Erie County Comptroller is taken to caring about what the County Executive is doing for a half hour on Sunday morning? I would have thought that would have been the weirdest thing I would I have heard in January, but instead it’s not even close. That’s a little bizarro, shouldn’t the comptroller be comptrolling something. I guess we deserve it. In the last election, the choice was an experienced financial professional and him. His nose seems to extend into the business of those of who don’t blanket agree with him. It’s been revealed the poor devil shows up for work in his office as much as 5 days a month. Must be exhausting.

In an ongoing attempt to fix anything by slapping a fee on it, the City of Buffalo installed cameras near five schools to monitor motorists’ speeds during school hours. We need a new mayor. Initially they were supposed to run all day, then during school arrival and dismissal hours. Apparently functioning at all is a tall order. The mayor insists this isn’t a cash grab. Respectfully, I disagree. We need a new leader at the top. I picked my candidate. I think it is an effort to shore up the books on the backs of city residents that may have been overextended. The books are definitely overextended thorough reserve use. The citizens definitely. We need to live within our means, so should our municipality. The most efficient thing to do at this point would seem to admit failure and perhaps throw in the towel, that along with quit trying to fix everything with a new fee.

Charge SENS. CRUZ, JOHNSON AND HAWLEY UNDER 18 US CODE 2385. We have laws against trying to overthrow the government by advocating things like the extra-constitutional “Emergency Audit” @TedCruz proposed. When it is close, you get your recount. When it isn’t close, you don’t. There are no mass accusations of fraud, there are no disputed states. There is a lopsided pile of lawsuits that died because of lack of evidence. Sedition from supposed public servants. 59 lawsuits filed with just one victory. These self-absorbed “Patriots” need to rethink this. This isn’t about serving the people or making sure 70 million people are heard (they were, Senator Hawley, they were). It is all about stealing the election and lighting a corner of the constitution ablaze to stay in power which wasn’t earned. As this movement has nothing, literally nothing, it would wonderous if they knew how much they should be paying attention to Georgia instead of nonsensical gestures like this one. The events of January 6th are at their feet. Now if we could just figure out why they keep getting elected when they deliver so little for the people they supposedly represent. People drank some Kool-Aid hard. I don’t know what it is about the hate-yam’s yammering other than it has been a project prior to his winning in 2016. These jamokes had me agreeing with Mitt Romney, that is weird. Makes me crazy that after the GOP riot/flawed coup, the Mittster was the voice of reason. Tell us the truth? Crazy talk. Crazier still when you consider how many would prefer not to hear it. I liked Angry Mitt.

Same thing with Hawley. If you voted to overturn the results of a certified election with zero evidence, stop whining about unity. You’re traitors.

I felt the need to include the above because somehow being removed from Twitter is being construed with freedom of speech. Anybody who signs up on a service (like this one) is subject of the rules of that service. If the President really wanted to talk, there is a whole press room within walking distance of his office that could have lapped up the day’s lies, fabrications and insults with great ease.

Something else that has been bothering me. When Mr. Trump was elected, those extremely on the left started up with “He’s not my president.” Bad news for you folks, he was. He was the president, got to run the show. The same thing goes with the new administration. Regardless of how you feel about him, he is running the show.

I still can’t help but wonder what people saw in him. I understand your party is your party, but what exactly was there. The very words from then Press Secretary Sean Spicer was a daring to pick a fight with the White House Press Corp about the size of the Trump inaugural crowds.

I’m sure President Biden will do something or somethings to displease me, but he does seem to get that the Presidency is a public service job, not for a personal profiteering notion. In addition to jumping on Mr. Biden for sporting a Rolodex watch and owning a Peloton, the New York Times did stop to discover that much of the funding for organizing of the January 6th riots came from the Trump campaign.

As perhaps my favorite voices and writers (Bruce Springsteen) noted on his radio show this week noted:

“Now, I’m curious: What kind of narcissist are you that thinks you have the right to trash our People’s House, stop the wheels of our democracy, while we are in the process of performing one of our most sacred duties, the peaceful transfer of power, in the most powerful nation on Earth, and to act based on a cheap, easily disproven lie of a stolen election, a lie that has been reviewed, disproven, debunked and rejected by every court in the land, including our own Trump-filled Supreme Court. I mean, who do you think you are to desecrate the halls of our democracy purely on the word of a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself. He is a dime store seditionist and a low-rent traitor to the Constitution, and to the United States of America.

“I ask my good American brothers and sisters to value yourselves and your allegiances more deeply. Donald J. Trump does not deserve your good soul and your honest and heartfelt commitment. Your country, your real country, awaits and needs you. So I say this with pain and love in my heart: Don’t waste your compassion on those who do not deserve it. You are better and worth much more than that. In this world, God’s world, no infallible truth resides in just one man. There is only one truth, God’s truth, and it is a truth of deep inquiry, humility in the face of facts, and it is grounded in the faith and love and respect you carry for your neighbors and your country. Let us all pray to God we have the strength to see clearly with our mind, heart and eyes, and that we may hold our faith high, humbly, and in service of our country and the truth.”

Well said, Boss. An extremist couple, of course, armed with recording cell phone accosted Mitt Romney in an airport wanting to know how he was going to vote in Electoral College certification (something they likely didn’t know about four years previous) and got abusive when the Senator didn’t give them the answer they wanted. 1999 Lindsey Graham said that if we support Trump we deserve our end. It’s too bad he didn’t give 2021 Lindsey the news. Cruz, Graham, Rubio, Hawley sold their souls for somebody who didn’t give a crap about theirs. They are all so hellbent to stay in power, not to represent, but to stay in power, witness how none of them have said boo about the covid situation getting worse. Hopefully the new senate will be forced into working together. There are no guarantees, no assured successes, but it feels a little more like, i don’t know, the folks at the top aren’t there to fill their larters.

Boss gets the last word

Advertisement

We are lost


I have been thinking a lot about the 2020 Presidential election lately, especially since the 2024 campaign will be starting later this month. We are under a metamorphosis that isn’t good. The election of the President is a pretty amazing thing. It is one of the few things that every voter does get a say. So many folks have been concerned lately that they have been taken to posting “if I can drag myself/If you can be food/etc, you can come and vote in person.” Why does the method matter so much? Isn’t it the greater good that I show up in some fashion at all. With the pandemic, I opted (as a new grandfather, emergency contact for both my parents) to go the absentee route, since covid concerns were taken into account at least by the Board of Elections.

The job of President is a big deal. I think if we all knew all the details of all the decisions they have to make while in office might cause voters to rethink a lot. I like to think there is a need for gravitas, a willingness to see the big picture, to stand up, to glad and to take the heat that goes with the office, to deal with proven facts, to represent the best of all of us, even if we didn’t select him or her at election time.

Not everybody can do it. You got to be engaged and made for these times. Our criteria for what works has decidedly taken a turn for the weird. Are they going to represent me well seems to be a secondary issue to whether or not they were fun to get a beer with?

One of my favorite fictional characters once spoke of government as a “place where everyone can come together, and nobody gets left behind.” The writer of the words that came out of his mouth had penchant for Capra-esque cheer leading speechifying, but who came blame him and those words were written during the second Bush adminstration. We’ve sunken and it’s getting harder to get up.

Seeds of hatred have people public typing their applause when people with differing views get run over or cheering/degrading protests on public road and waterways. A president can be a uniter, bringing people together. The current one chose not to be that guy on day 1, choosing bluster over pretty much everything else including specifics on well, anything and is floating the idea of declaring himself the winner when he feels like during Election Night. If he was truly representing everybody, he would shut it until the votes are counted. The election hasn’t been certified the night of in some time. The guy who seeks his office has a tall list to overcome.

The President has been musing that he hasn’t gotten many mail-in ballots. This is after spending two months or more discrediting mail-in ballots, now he has shifting to villifying election workers who seem to just fine by plenty of republicans.

It’s not the best commentary on our country that snycophants like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell or Marco Rubio can spinelessly slink back into the jobs. I mean if there was going to be some cheating, don’t you think one of those suckers would have been targeted.

I think of all the reprobates and crooks and schnooks that will go with the President in defeat. The relief of educators losing the incompetent Betsy Devos is palpable.

Neither party possesses the answers and it seems like we have to vilify that which we aren’t embracing. I mean blind faith in anything is a seriously bad notion. I like that Joe Biden preached process and calm, that it isn’t about him and about us. I’m thrilled with Senator Harris already taking out multiple glass ceilings. The former Vice-President wasn’t my first choice either, but at the very least he seems to know that it is about all of us. That is a pretty good place to start.

Bruce Springsteen shared the following poem by Elayne Griffin Baker on his radio show.

There’s no art in this White House.

There’s no literature, no poetry, no music.

There are no pets in this White House, no loyal man’s best friend, no Socks the family cat, no kids’ science fairs.

No time when the president takes off his blue suit red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt and khaki pants uniform and hides from the American people to play golf.

There are no images of the First Family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation.

No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport.

No Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.

Where’d that country go?

Where did all the fun, the joy and the expression of love and happiness go?

We used to be the country that did the Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for charity.

We used to have a President that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it, and a First Lady who planted a garden instead of ripping one out.

We are rudderless and joyless.

We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.

We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness, our cheering on of others.

The shared experience of humanity that makes it all worth it.

The challenges and the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.

The unique can-do spirit that America has always been known for.

We are lost.

We have lost so much in so short a time.

-Elaine Griffin Baker

Send the lawyers home, Donnie, you are out of your element

The Division Bell


An old acquaintance of mine wrote on that screed of the uninformed, Facebook, that “the Obamas divided us.” That really struck me that as per usual for such statements, no evidence was offered as to how this was done.

Donald Trump didn’t divide us. Despite his attempts to actually do so, Mitch McConnell didn’t do so either. The media hasn’t divided us. Social media isn’t guilty. The Pandemic (which, I don’t know who needs to hear this, ISN’T OVER) isn’t even guilty.

It seems to me that the division has always been bubbling underneath and the trick has always been to be able to overcome that, instead of blaming anything and taking responsibility. When George Floyd was murdered, a lot of well-meaning people hopped online with quotes from Martin Luther King. That’s a nice thought I’ll grant you, but as a few folks I know pointed out, he wasn’t the only black man to turn a phrase. I keep thinking of James Baldwin and his writings of the idea of America, the promise of America, praising those things while contrasting them with the reality of America, that the social contract isn’t the same for all its citizens.

Mr. Baldwin was absolutely correct. People of color are and have been marginalized. It isn’t anything new.

I think while on the leadership side, things took a turn during the battles between President Clinton and Newt Gingrich, along with the rise of Fox News. Through court cases deciding the 2000 election, the tea partiers, Mitch McConnell’s well documented edict to block anything President Obama sent to the senate to President Trump’s screaming law and order in every medium all the while flouting the laws he is not above and is supposed to abide by, but doesn’t.

Now, as the Boss once said, “Blind Faith in anything, in your leaders, in anything, will get you killed.” But it seems we are at a point that power (without it even being absolute) corrupts absolutely. People like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins warned that the President probably should not be engaged in certain activities. Yet despite being in positions to put stops on those things, they refused to do.

While the President didn’t create the divide between parties, between science and luddites, between races, between media and audiences, he manages to exploit them to his benefit as our collective attention span doesn’t drill down for details.

We used to be thinkers, well-informed instead of seekers of our preferred narrative. But the President cut through regulation to slash spending – there are people who yell “great” as that does sound good, until some of the regulations kept our water clean, protected land, fed children and maintained offices for the study of infectious disease and pandemics. That last one might come in handy during the course of this year.

Instead everybody is blaming. He’s taking a victory lap over blocking flights from China, ignoring that Italy was fighting the same thing and Italy is a lot closer to New York all the while lambasting the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. and a litany of experts in the field because they aren’t telling him what they want to hear. He is more interested in golf than fighting Covid. Remember all the GOP senators in a dither (incorrectly) about Benghazi. Apparently when the numbers get to high we no longer keep score when you get past 180, 000.

But that is another blog post that I already wrote.

Division…a facebook poster I know a little bit objected to NFL players putting messages about needed social change and victims of police violence on their helmets, complaining that we were no longer “one”. If it was worth it (and that’s a big if) to wade into a Facebook argument, I’d point out that the likelihood is that we’ve never been “one,” that we’ve talked about it, but we have never delivered on that promise. Those for whom “:one” has been talked of, but really weren’t included. That “oneness” is the goal, but it hasn’t been the case. To make that transition, to bring about that “oneness” requires an acknowledgement that we haven’t been truly there, that the circle needed everybody and throughout our history, it has been closed off to too many.

The promise sounds great, but the execution has been flawed and enough people aren’t silently accepting that anymore as well they shouldn’t. The thing has never really worked, but to get there isn’t insurmountable. For everybody who screams All Lives Matter, they should stop and realize that the whole point is that that is a nice goal, but it hasn’t been proven true and that not all lives are treated like that. That’s what this is all about. We’re not dividing, just never been completely united.

In reading some posts and feeds this weekend, I again saw a poster blaming social media instead of advocating taking responsibility for what he posts. Another decried that when Herman Cain passed, Cain was accorded the reverence afforded to Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I have no idea about what drew that gentleman to that conclusion, but Facebook didn’t make him stupid, he apparently already was that dumb. Justice Ginsberg was a committed advocate for making the world a better place, to serving the people even ones who didn’t agree with her. Cain smiled as he dove into a petri dish of Covid 19 to later catch Covid 19.

This thing of ours remains a great blueprint, but it isn’t working for all. People are  left behind, marginalized, shunned, attacked, killed and we shouldn’t be okay with any of that as it has been going on long before there was any social media to cry “where’s the media” on. People are still searching for that preferred narrative and social media didn’t cause that, just capitalizes on that.

I think the my way or highway schism on the political spectrum has its roots in Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton and has been spiraling out of control ever since and everybody has the keyboard to spout from and when confronted by actual issues, it is easier to hide keyboard-eque (he said from behind a keyboard, but hey I admit it). The buddha of my youth and midage once opined about how blind faith can get you killed.

Same source offered up this truism, Nobody wins unless everybody wins. And that means everybody.

He’s right in both instances. I still remain convinced that if we place the energy in spouting off with making the tent bigger and all-inclusive, realizing that we are all people who need each other, nothing is impossible.

 

 

BAD


While Biden, Buttegeig and Sanders verbally slap each other around on policy in New Hampshire, Elizabeth Warren remains the adult in the room, focusing on replacing the orange elephant in the room. It gave me pause as to our latest round of presidential nonsense.

And if you are of the type who is upset that the speaker ripped up her copy of the State of the Union, think back to when various speakers wouldn’t even stand up to greet President Obama and members of the gallery had no compunction about yelling “You lie!” So, people like Matt Gaetz should shut up with their hallow outrage about the current speaker’s behavior. She ripped up her copy (we think, the Vice President isn’t done taping it back together). I mean it’s not like she started a fraud university or ripped off her own children’s charity.

So it turns out that a racist, bully, slightly to the right of Attila the Hun blowhard can spend decades browbeating, harassing, obfuscating for anything that isn’t conservative, xenophobic white male and he can get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Probably drops the value for previous award winners who generally got them for not being unlanced boils on the buttocks of humanity.

It’s bad enough that we are numb enough that everybody kept a straight face as Susan Collins says she thinks he learned his lesson from impeachment. I mean nobody guffawed or sniggered “Bullshit? (well, except maybe the President, and he even admitted that was not the case.) Senator, just go cash the check from his reelection campaign and enjoy the safety from any real opposition.

I’m not surprised that acquittal was the result of the hearings in the Senate as the game was rigged from the get go with no witnesses, no evidence, and an allegiance to party over people. The oaths they signed was largely a moot point with many too cowardly to vote anything along what they heard out of fear of retribution or lack of financial contribution. I mean Lindsey Graham was a house manager in Clinton’s impeachment that was over an extramarital fling. As far as flip flops go, that’s downright impressive.

Kudos to Mitt Romney for following his own lead. I don’t know how much he was actually risking but I appreciate him going his own way, an actual republican as opposed to whatever the current GOP pretends to be now. Don Jr decided to deride Romney for having a conscience with some “manly” name calling on Twitter, keeping it classy. I’m a little upset that I actually know who Jr. is when there clearly is no reason to as it is up there with actual media reports of the “master showman” at work. Journalism shouldn’t be about stagecraft when such critical substance is getting swept under the rug.

It’s interesting that the President had to deride Romney’s faith at a Prayer Breakfast, which he promptly turned into a pep rally (since he just can’t give a speech). I’m a firm believer in whatever works for you, whatever gets you through the day, just keep it to yourself. Mitt actually did that, only alluding to his faith as part of his decision making process and the pettiness of the President and his crime family decided to pick on that first.

I guess my central issue what kind of aphrodisiac is power? That you are willing to subsume your beliefs to stay close to it? That you are willing to contradict yourself to keep it? That you turn your back on the people who voted for you to spite those who didn’t, that you are fine with one branch of government stripped of all checks and balances, the american people (remember us, the folks you are supposed to represent) lose, none of us are represented from dirty water to nexus cards for New Yorkers to our social security being taken, the school lunch programs to actual fair legitimate elections and the list is pretty lengthy. What is it?

The people who have it don’t know better. And they don’t care. It’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

It’s bad.

You’ve just won the Iowa Caucus!


“I’m going to Disneyworld…” but more realistically somewhere in New Hampshire

Now that Iowa has shown us that there really isn’t an app for everything, it did make me wonder about this whole process. A live look at their app.

https _cdn.cnn.com_cnnnext_dam_assets_180822105148-commodore64Too many “delegates” appeared on TV sounding and looking they had survived a really intense Fantasy Football Draft. Given the over emphasis Iowa has, you would think the Democratic National Committee would have had them better organized than a high tech version of a Marx Brothers movie. “Hey Diddle Diddle, let’s vote up the middle.”

While the Electoral College is the subject of numerous aimless discussions on social media and a lot of appointed government officials are making jerks of themselves on Twitter, an idea popped into my addled little brain.

Do all the damn primaries, caucuses and what not on one day, a national primary day, do it in May or June. Let the six months of campaigning that we have just witnessed fold into the actual year. We are all so fatigued already and the actual voting is just getting started. People may have forgotten already that the President does have a challenger in his own party.

I know what you are thinking. But, we’d all have to do our own home work. Let that town in New Hampshire start us off at midnight eastern if you need a quaint story,

I watched a little of the coverage and it was an incoherent mess with not a whole lot to say, but it didn’t stop people from trying to speak. With so much focus on Iowa and by the time I publish this, New Hampshire, I can’t help but wonder if the emphasis, the money, the media can help but skew voters, not unlike making projections on East Coast voting returns at five after 9 when West Coast voters are still trying to get out of work.

“With 3% percent reporting it looks like Harvey Lipschitz will win!”

“Didja hear that, hon, Lipschitz won Delaware…no point in us heading out.” “Nope, make yourself a drink.”

Ooh, that Lipschitz.

The whole slew of debates didn’t further causes on the Democratic side. We achieved nothing by having monthly debates over the past six months other than cover such ground breaking subjects like:

“Is she/he likeable enough to get elected?” – Who cares? I’m not going to invite the winner for a beer. I want them to have the savvy to protect social security, make the water cleaner, to serve the republic and all that.

“What’s your skin care regimen?” – A question that probably doesn’t dog Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden.

I mean any polling has steered money without any real lifting of the debate, just eliminating some promising candidates who couldn’t crack the bluster.

Maybe this is all hooey, but when information is critical and gossip not much, we seem to be drowning in the latter and getting more ignorant of the former.

But perhaps, there should be a step back.

lever_voting_machine

This may have done the trick. No chads, no ethernet, no central data processing. On Election Nights when I was in college, I was a “stringer” and went around and made a little cash by going from district to district and watched as folks took the sheet off the back of these and counted them up.

If ever there is a thing to have facts over scuttlebutt, it’s our elections.

That should matter. Let’s get somebody who can handle the tallying. Maybe him…DzhyYE8d_400x400

These Eyes


Waiting rooms and unsavory chores are great ways to contemplate what all is transpiring in the elements that surround us all.

I was sitting in an exam room last week waiting for my dad to get taken care of and the in-room television was tuned to TLC. What was the Learning Channel was giving us an onslaught of Dr. Pimple Popper. It was aptly named but seemed like an odd freak show vignette for a hospital waiting room.

I don’t know when exactly we got so afraid of ideas to the point where people act on half truths or comforting gossip, instead of doing a little research.

I mean why go off half cocked when you can breath, maybe read a little and go in full.

A guy locally paraded in the march of privileged, pistol-packing cosplayers who were upset with Virginia’s attempts to bring a little sanity to the idea of gun control. Said local knucklehead was proudly showing off a variety of armaments that no sports man needs, but no government official is coming for. The law asked for background checks and limits as to how many new purchases you can make to add to your gun collection. How much stocking up does one need to be doing? I thought I missed the part where Virginia was coming for their guns. Turns out I didn’t, as Virginia is not, but let’s invest lots of time into fear mongering that seems to be all anybody will pay heed. Said local doofus should enlist, but I think a push up is asking a lot.

Did you notice the clean water act is getting rolled back? Check it out: https://www.newsweek.com/trump-admin-reckless-capricious-rollback-clean-water-rule-drinking-water-environmentalists-1483711

Did you notice that a nutritious school lunch program has been axed?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/01/17/usda-proposes-changing-school-menus-allow-more-fries-pizza-fewer-vegetables-fruits-reversing-michelle-obama-effort

Did you notice you the quote from the President about cutting social security after the election? https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-01-23/trump-social-security

That’s our money that we’ve been paying into all of our working lives. It’s only ever been in danger from Congress and the President as they yell entitlement long enough, you can’t talk about it without some yahoo on Twitter pointing out that “it is an entitlement program,” like the semantics matter. It’s not gift money, it is money I’ve earned, thank you very much.

The president noted that the GOP wants to “do a number” on social security. This is the GOP who talks about “the American people” a lot. They don’t seem to have much regard for the actual people who live here.

Ted Cruz ( a guy who supports the President more than he supports his own wife and dad) thinks it was absolutely right to investigate the Bidens. The GOP has had a majority since 2014 in the Senate. Why now, Eddie, er, Ted?

Given that, you’d think the endeavors of the Democratic candidates would be pretty linear, very straightforward, but instead they continue to fight among themselves and it is accomplishing little.

I didn’t expect the impeachment to change anything. It is just disheartening to the see the volume of people who ignored their oaths and obligations to ensure that was the case. At one point, it was reported that 24 Republican senators were out of the room. McConnell, Graham and others signs oaths swearing dutiful jurorhood, but that is pretty laughable given their respective lap dog status. Curious how Graham got to be out of the room when 20 year video of him actually saying “there doesn’t need to be a crime to impeach.” Interesting giving the same person could be swung so opposite of what was conviction. Darned power, there it goes, corrupting again. It does make me wonder what goes on in those states that such jamokes are never fading from site. Wish it was a fair fight, that each side called witnesses and actually played it out. If I’m in the administration and I’m guiltless, it is practically a victory lap.

When your world loses somebody like Terry Jones or Kobe Bryant, that is sad, for some epically so. The downside of social media is that gifted people are no longer with us. If you don’t mourn the same, that’s fine, but so many are in such a rush to point out flaws or past imperfections or other matters. I don’t know what that benefit is, other than moral superiority from behind a keyboard. Jones meant a lot to the comedy of my youth. In the case of Bryant, aside from everything else, dying and unable to prevent your child from meeting that same fate. I feel for him, his daughter, their family and all the poor souls on that helicopter and their families.

Apparently, it’s okay to be ignorant and take it out on NPR reporters. There appears to be large amount of okay when the Secretary of State decided to bluster and berate a well informed reporter from NPR on matters Ukraine. Commenters on some sites are just fine with that behavior, just not with having an NPR. Guess the second amendment is the only amendment with swagger.

I was reading this morning about the head start Wegmans Food Markets are getting on the New York State plastic bag ban. His attempt at a parting shot was to say “well, Tops just gained a loyal customer,” conveniently forgetting that Tops will be following the law as well, just closer to when the time comes. But the shit we are choosing to care about just astounds me, the shit getting a pass? That’s a stunner too.

The zippy one liners needs facts too, folks.

These eyes are definitely not smiling.

“Money, it’s a crime”


So, the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t think the ballooning deficit isn’t a republican problem and to make up revenue lost by the unasked for tax cuts for the 1% of the 1%, he wants to cut social security and medicare among others, since those are “entitlements.”

yfY0KyP

He’s a schmuck.

Both parties have screwed that up. The errors along the way have all hands on them. I say that avoid recapping who did what when. I’d like to get past “Whataboutism” and deal with the present issue, solving the catastrophe in front of me as it were.

Not only is it incredibly corrupt of the Majority Leader to want to do cut benefits to accommodate that ill-conceived tax plan, it’s such a bad lie that gutting earned benefits won’t solve the deficit issue as they are two different sets of money. I will give him credit for saying that with a straight face, but there is nothing honorable about it. But he is guilty of theft with this. I don’t care about the errors that proceeded that or examples of this guy did that or whatever as the important thing is now. This shouldn’t happen. If the fleecing of working people (yet again) isn’t enough to get you to vote, I don’t know what will. It’s a caustic example of the people in power giving absolutely not a rat’s ass of about the actual electorate, just the wealthy donors who put them there. It’s not the first time Social Security has come under attack by politicians who can’t control their own spending habits.

150611105148-social-security-retirement-780x439

It’s only an entitlement as too many of our representatives have felt “entitled” to borrow from social security to pay for politically motivated tax cuts and wars that we didn’t have the credit line to cover. It shows you how little the Majority Leader thinks of the people he claims to represent by making like Steve Miller and taking the money and running.

15977688_1390164267743290_7114318593115981812_n

To quote the buddha of my youth, that noted philosopher, George Carlin:

“It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the impression you’ve got freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice.

You have owners. They OWN you. They own EVERYTHING… They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for:
-The Senate
-The Congress
-The State Houses
-The City Halls
They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all of the big media companies so they control just about all the information you get to hear. They got you by the BA**S. They spend billions of dollars every year LOBBYING to get what they want.

Well we KNOW what they want. They want MORE for themselves and LESS for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population capable of critical thinking…

They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting f’ed by a system that threw ’em overboard 30 f’in years ago…

…You know what they want? Obedient workers. People who are JUST smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shi**ier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that dissappears the minute you go to collect it.

And now they’re coming for your Social Security money.

They want your f’in retirement money. They want it “back”. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it ALL from you sooner or later. ‘Cause they OWN this f’in place.

It’s a Big Club… and YOU ain’t in it!”

It feels like he is right. The current president and majority leader aren’t the first guys to abuse the system, but the abusesThey want MORE for themselves and LESS for everybody else. are coming at such a clip, the result has been an ongoing induction of ADHD from all the headlines. And we aren’t paying close enough attention to how we are getting hosed.

Tom Toles in the Washington Post captured it perfectly:

It would be good if the Leader and his followers would adhere to the gospel of the Rolling Stones and realize that they can’t always get what they want.

Nobody should. The sooner that is a universal conclusion, we all stand a better chance of getting what need. And that, that would be pretty great.

Democratic candidates got an issue for the election. They can and should run on this and nothing else.

Clampdown


Whataboutism is a plague that is infesting us.

Instead of addressing given problem at the moment, the first instinct is to not address that, but scream “what about…” This blind, unquestioning faith in one point of view is a pretty dangerous thing. While I look around for my grocery ID, I can’t help but wonder how we got to this point, where it’s about seeing the people who don’t share your views suffer, where nobody is improving anything just how hard to defeat the other guys’ views, that since they don’t line up with mine, they must be bad.  We are fully in an era of power politics, where gossip seems to spread unabated and to quote the former Mayor of New York “Truth isn’t truth.” To think, he’s somebody’s lawyer.

Nobody is ever absolutely right or ever absolutely wrong. Of that, I’m certain.  No party should get everything they seek. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in watching all of our government officials totally bollix a series of issues from the ongoing immigration kerflfuffle to taxes to the courts and beyon. The we’re right, they have to be wrong since you know they don’t agree with me mentality seems to be the tone of the day, of the facebook feed, of everyplace. The parties are less about doing good and more about seeing the other burn. The reality is that they need each other.

I mean, every President has to do things we don’t want to know about, blood on his hands, and doesn’t do every thing a given voter would like. But at the very least, you hope they are seeing the whole board and not just for the mcnuggets.

People write of a divided America or making America….you know….

I think we have always had that division. It’s just louder than it ever has been. I thinking politically it can be traced back to Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.  The Brett Kavanaugh hearings illustrated power politics to me. Of course, given this president, the nominee presented was going to be a conservative jurist. When they are qualified, advise and consent says you give them their day as in the case of Neil Gorsuch and you confirm them. You might not like it, but that is the job. You don’t do like what the Senate Majority leader did to Merrick Garland and block em because of who nominated them. You don’t audition for Attorney General like Lindsay Graham did, threatening the opposing party’s future nominees. You don’t do these things if you are truly a representative of the people, the folks who voted for you. But McConnell and Graham (and Grassley and the supposed undecideds) aren’t caring about that. What we saw was power politics, party ahead of everything else including things that should concern those who represent the people.

Mr. Che is on to something. That said, I believe her. Senator McConnell screamed for effect that “this is the United States of America, for goodness sakes.” He dared to whine on Kavanaugh’s behalf, conveniently forgetting about blocking Merrick Garland For my money, both parties screwed up. The President doesn’t seemed to concerned as long as he can demonize both Democrats and the media. I guess because he is president, we are supposed to lap up everything being said. It’s power politics, this is what we want and we are going to force it on the masses because we decide.

During all this hysteria, the house voted another tax decrease for the one percent crowd. In the meantime, everybody was looking for people to blame. McConnell, Hatch, Graham showed contempt for citizens who wanted to be a part of the process and have their voices heard, that pesky 1st amendment freedom of speech thingy.

If there is money to be as a paid protestor, sign me up. Dolt that I am, sometimes, I’ve protested because it was thing to to. If there is cash to be had, send me that Craig’s link.

So for them a refresher. This is a peaceful protest where citizens are exercising their free speech.

And this would be your mob.

Like George Carlin said, it’s a big club, but they don’t want us in it. Even though the newest justice didn’t vote on it, voting rights already took a hit. Rand Paul thinks somebody can die because of the current political climate. He forgets folks have.

Just to be sure, one more reminder:

These things blow over? No, Mitch, they don’t. Neither party has much to be proud, but bloviating and threatening the other side isn’t a good look. The media didn’t do its best work during the Kavanaugh hearings, but neither did anybody with Senator in their title. Everybody just wanted to get their way. Not a good look. From the sycophantic nonsense from Ted Cruz, the histrionic audition of Lindsay Graham, to the pointless walk outs by democrats, it was sham, but they were all equal participants. Senators were not under attack like Mitch McConnell whines. They were having to hear from the people they supposedly represent.

And kudos for John Dickerson on CBS for calling out the majority leader on his version of Supreme Court history.

I don’t think we have the heart’s desire, but Mr. Mencken appears to be spot on in the last part. The plain folks are getting rogered even if they don’t care to see it. Another tax cut passed the house while the Senate was misrepresenting us. Everybody’s playing the victim. I think that is calculated. It is a sort of “look at what they are doing” to avoid prying eyes on what you are up to when you say that.

I watch the arguments that mostly take place on Facebook and other channels mostly from the sidelines. No one wants to see the bigger picture, and everybody is falling for the demonization of anything that represents disagreement with their chosen point of view. It’s funny to me that people complain that a given musician or tv show is too political, when those entities have always been so. We should be cool with a little dissent, with a little disagreement. Differing opinions yield a better end product and the voices of our better angels don’t have to be shout. Those who are not really don’t any interests at heart other than their own.

Not the best quality to have in a public servant.

Yeah, vote

Things We Choose to Care About…


Been a lot of news to digest lately, almost to the point of “Breaking News” exhaustion, so my apologies for seemingly being behind the curve.

Alton Brown found a really good wing joint in East Aurora. I think that is okay and certainly not worth getting in a dander about. While an attempted take down of him on one of the local stations was funny, I can’t help but wonder: Why do we care? Misery is tangible and real, we don’t need contrived things to bitch about. I wish our griping carried some gravitas.

I care more that Marco Rubio realizes all the sudden that the recent tax bill isn’t benefiting the masses, admitting that the most companies are stuffing the funds back into their pockets instead of any worker relief. If only somebody would have told him about that part. Oh, wait…

The sole pet peeve I have about the White House Correspondents Dinner is that supposedly high level national reporters want an apology to the White House Press Secretary for insults and body shaming. The body shaming didn’t happen, the insults did, but it’s a roast and most troubling is why these reporters are so protective of a press secretary who treats the press to fabrications and contempt. Michelle Wolf did what she was hired to do and was pretty funny. I guess the reporters griping on twitter are worried about losing their access to the daily dumpster fire. Perhaps a remembering of purpose over parties would be a good reminder. There is a lot of news out there after all.

Former Health and Human Service Sec. Price admitted that repealing the individual mandate will raise health coverage costs. It’s clearer than ever the GOP’s closed-door dealings had nothing to do with protecting families and everything to do with carving out giveaways to special interests and donors.

Anybody else troubled that a 71 year old man uses “haters” and “losers” so much? I mean, I know what my daughters are talking about when they say something is “Lit” but I’m smart enough to know how stupid that would sound coming out of my 54 year old mouth.

I watched an interesting two hours of TV that I recommend. I’ve always enjoyed Anthony Bourdain’s programs. Who wouldn’t want to have that gig? His show on West Virginia was really well done. It was an honest assessment of people trying to do their best, with folks of varying color living and working together despite lies from the Trump Campaign in 2016, flat out contempt from the Clinton campaign in the same year. It’s worth checking out to broaden your own perspective as the intolerance everywhere is just disheartened. It’s a very unlikely place to see some hope.

W.Kamau Bell’s show on the Mexican border issue that followed was riveting too. I firmly believe the President couldn’t have a worse view of the border. His wall is something we cannot afford, it won’t work and about the only thing it will inspire will be new confidence in the ladder and boating industries. But guess what, the last six presidents (both sides) had issues too. Wish the current one would explain what his issue is instead of nonsense rally platitudes.

Oliver North thinks the National Rifle Association is a victim now. Um, no. Your congressmen are still bought. The President is back to being afraid of your dollars. It doesn’t sound like much of anything has changed.

Another mass shooting, another round of politicos pretending to care for the duration of the news cycle, another round of sniping at each other pointlessly on social media. Here’s a simple thing. Instead of calling for of all things, “Door Control.” Do this: Register every gun. Conduct a background check on every gun purchase. Hold gun manufacturers liable if their gun is used in a crime. Hold parents criminally liable if their child steals their gun and uses it in a crime. Digitize the ATF’s gun records. Realize horrible will happen given the amount of nothing we’ve done thus far. Realize criminals are going to do criminal things, else we need to call them something else, but I don’t think Gun free zone signs matter to them at all. I don’t want your gun, Mr. and Mrs. Responsible Gun Owner, I’d just like to see it be a little more of an achievement to get one.

We have seriously become Short Attention Span Theater when it comes to any issue and the crime families in Washington know this.  I get a kick out of people blaming a given media for the decline in debate. As the waffling Trump supporter in West Virginia mentioned to Anthony Bourdain correctly noted, “we need to talk with each other not at each other.”

Everybody is podcasting, but nobody is podlistening.

 

Drive – mental mcnuggets from a lengthy commute


When you have a lengthy commute to work as I do, it gives one plenty of time to sort out a myriad of issues that might creep into the cerebral cortex and not leave…

I notice Amazon isn’t taking the bait from the President. I think he is attacking the company because the owner also owns the Washington Post.  The Post covers news. The President is frequently is in same. He doesn’t appear to like that. Maybe he shouldn’t have run. Pretty sure that when a public figure runs down a public traded company that it is a form of securities fraud.

Different towns in Western New York have decidedly different approaches to snow removal. When you cross through a variety of townships, the care and patterns do shift a bit. I guess that is a good thing, keeps me alert during the drive.

Everytime one of our weatherforecasters has said a storm is “nothing we can’t handle,” I see multiple evidence the next morning that we apparently cannot. From spinouts to rollovers, this winter has seen them all.

Is there a right way to protest? That seems to take over debates than the actual matter being debated. A tv show host busts a student advocate about getting rejected from colleges instead being at all concerned that he got shot at. He’s too wrapped up in her and is losing site of his original cause, noble as it was. I say was because it sure looks like nothing is really going to change, except for Stoneman Douglas will take a few elements of high school that are already prominent in many urban schools already.

What should change? Hey, glad you asked. Make all gun transactions the same. Make background checks universal. Let ATF databanks be electronic so they digitally track potential trouble spots so it can be a little more difficult for a whackdoo to be an armed whackdoo. That’s a pretty decent objective, no? The fact that we might never completely eradicate doesn’t mean we need to necessarily not try anything. Responsible gun owners lives don’t change at all. And, oh yeah, let the appropriate agencies full enforce what is already there on the books. That would be good. See, simple, let’s move on.

Good of the guy in graphics to be on top of what we truly need to know.

Last guy to perpetuate such a relentless and pointless press attack was Nixon. That worked out well.

We have become so touchy about issues, especially ones involve political figures or ideology that we don’t necessarily agree with. When Roger Waters and U2 played shows in the region, people groused on Facebook about those acts “turning political.” It makes me wonder what they’ve been listening to as both artists have always had a concern in the political arena.

The restart of “Roseanne” has people talking about politics and of all people, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar has it right. Check out his article on what is really playing out: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kareem-abdul-jabbar-dont-be-fooled-roseanne-is-tvs-anti-trump-show-1099170?utm_source=twitter

If you are taking your cues from a sitcom character, that might be an issue. That’s never been good, be it Roseanne or Archie Bunker. Can they spark debate and thought? Sure, and we can certainly use more of that.

I wonder if more folks are going to the final home Buffalo Sabres’ game for the Dominik Hasek bobblehead than the actual game. They are and always will be my team, but my team is broken.

The Cuban flag dates back into the 1800’s and is not symbolic of Castro and Communism. It needed to be said.

I really liked the NBC production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It had a few flaws but as a whole was pretty great. I enjoyed Alice Cooper as King Herod, but a friend of mine posited how cool it would have been to see what David Bowie could have done with that assignment. That would have been something to see.

This was pretty good, however.

So a local congressman is afraid to meet with students out of fear they might not agree with him? What a world. That’s how you win over voters, by showing up. That’s how a grownup behaves, or do those kids not matter until they are donors?

Social Security and Medicare? We’ve been paying into them all our working lives. Left to their own devices, the programs are self-maintaining. Don’t be fooled when they are talked of as entitlements. It’s a misleading word. These are programs that literally have been funded by taxpayers, our money that is getting mismanaged and is under assault by those who don’t represent us.

I wish the Sabres weren’t so terrible.

Time for a walk.