January 2017

Terrorists don’t kill Americans. Neither do sharks, bees or lightning. Before you get indignant, yes, some people die of these things – but from a statistical point of view, with rounding, the number is zero. And yet the Trump administration is willing to upend 70 years of American foreign policy to address events that hardly ever happen.

Take his indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and his moratorium on immigration from seven Muslim countries. No death by terrorism on American soil has been committed by a citizen of any of these countries. Had this measure been in place before the 9/11 attacks it would have had no impact. Zero. It would not have prevented a single American death.

Banning Saudis, Egyptians, Lebanese and UAE nationals might have made a difference. But none of those countries are on Trump’s ‘feck you’ list. Reasonable minds note that Trump does business in these countries – and wonder if any inference should be drawn from that.

The Trump administration weasels its way around that unpleasantness by saying they got the banned list from Obama. Oh, come on. Trump and his flying monkeys have peed on everything else Obama’s – this they keep? It’s laughable.

Then there’s the flip side of the coin. Trump will also pursue policies that do endanger lives. Repealing Obamacare without a replacement and driving desperate women to back-street abortions, for starters.

Abortion-banners argue that they are thinking about women’s wellbeing. Are they cynical or deluded? If you are serious about reducing abortions, reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. All else is smoke. A ban on abortions is only a ban on legal abortions. In 1968 – before Roe vs. Wade – there were an estimated 900,000 illegal abortions. Re-criminalize abortion, and expect more of the same.

Then there is the Republican aspersion-casting on climate change. The Pentagon – which has neither political nor commercial axes to grind – cites global warming as a clear and present danger to human life. But any mention of climate change has been scrubbed from the White House website.

Temperatures are rising. Ice caps are melting. Weather patterns altered. But many, who slept through biology class, are now self-professed authorities on climate. Or take their ‘science’ from a few gadfly scientists or studies produced by those with a financial stake in climate change denial.

Plutocrats also promote profits over people. Industrialization proved one thing – unregulated industrial expansion is disastrous for well-being. Poisoned air and polluted water kill. But Trump would hobble the EPA – health consequences be damned. Food would come to market riddled with pathogens and chemicals. And Big Pharma would develop drugs with unforeseen and devastating side-effects. Thalidomide anyone?

Anti-science is a pervasive symptom of the right-wing’s chronic anti-intellectualism. Conservatives politicize science because they politicize everything. Doing the right thing is not part of their calculation. They take actions solely with an eye to their political payoff.

And in this case, the political payoff is contributions from industrialists glad to be unconstrained by consideration for the well-being of the regular citizen.

Should conservatives honestly care about their fellow man, they would have a better plan. Sadly, history shows they rarely have any plan – let alone a better one. What is their alternative to Obamacare? Who knows, they haven’t said. For eight years their only policy on healthcare is that everyone else’s policy on healthcare is a disaster.

Let’s look at the Muslim ban. Its rationale is grounded in claims that the Obama’s refugee vetting system was a travesty. That there needed to be a better plan. We would erect barriers against nationalities and religions – probably unconstitutionally – until there were better procedures in place.

But what are these better procedures? No one knows. Under Obama, the vetting of Syrian refugees took 18 to 24 months. Nine federal agencies – including the State Department, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, The Department of Defense & the Department of Homeland Security – studied refugees’ histories, contacts, families, biometric data, etc. And DHS officers conducted in-person interviews with every applicant.

What else can #Trump offer? A sprinkling of truth dust? Of course, there is nothing. Just hot air, braggadocio, posturing, and bravado.

Trump is a man of action – but not a man of thought. Which means he is nothing more than a bull in a china store.

 

 

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Trump’s Win Is Driving Him Crazy – Literally It Seems.

January 26, 2017

Every presidential election has produced a President – 2016 was no different. Often the result is clear cut and there’s no dispute. Sometimes the result is murky and leads to debate. And sometimes, in an oddity of the American system, the victory goes to the one who received fewer popular votes. But one thing has been […]

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Really? – 1.25.17 Trump: His Folly, TV, Votes and Taxes.

January 25, 2017

Trump’s folly.  During his campaign, Trump promised a spectacular southern wall. Wide, high, and long. His acolytes were seduced by the vision. And orgasmic at the promise the Mexicans would pay for it. Trump threw out some ‘Alice-in-Wonderland’ suggestions on how he would turn that water into wine. But rational minds knew he was either […]

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Trump Offers Darkness.

January 22, 2017

We are in terra incognita. Our new President is a man untethered by truth or decency. Given the opportunity in his inaugural address to pay lip service to a united America, he instead gave a stem-winder geared at firing up his base. He disparaged the current Congress and threw his predecessors under the bus. He […]

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The Republicans’ Best Replacement for Obamacare is Obamacare.

January 16, 2017

Paul Ryan says that the replacement for Obamacare will be well thought out – much better than the current dog’s dinner. And as soon as they repeal the ACA they’re going to start working on it. Which raises the question: What have they been doing for the last seven years? However, there is good news […]

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The Self-Delusion of the Trump Voter

January 13, 2017

A sign in many Irish bars reads, “In God we trust, all others pay cash”. It is a straightforward sentiment. One that many a tavern and other small business owners do well to follow. But in the larger realm, outside of petty commerce, people have to expand their circle of trust. Not with blind faith, but with a healthy […]

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Jeff Sessions Plays Make-Believe.

January 10, 2017

Today, Jeff Sessions started his Senate confirmation for Attorney General. His pursuit of promotion is hindered by a long and dishonorable history of racism. In fact, he is in the unusual (unique?) position of taking a second crack at Senate confirmation, having failed the first time. So what’s a man, with a history of bigotry, […]

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Sugar: Another Corporate America Snow Job

January 9, 2017

Anyone who grew up, from the 1970s on, ‘knows’ that the biggest threat to cardiovascular and heart health – as well as the largest contributor to obesity – is fat. Specifically saturated fat. The problem is, they are wrong. The body needs fat. We may eat too much – but we must eat some. Sugar is different. […]

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Republicans Have the Impulse Control of Drunk Teens.

January 6, 2017

In the 1770s, chaffing under the yoke of English oppression, the American revolutionaries stated their grievances and rose against an oppressive power. They took up arms, broke their shackles, and fought. And while they fought, the intellectuals and politicians hammered out a roadmap to a new nation. They had a plan. That, my friends, is how […]

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