Trump transition

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 skepticism.

Ronald Reagan said it well – and whatever you think of Ronnie’s politics, he did say things well – “trust but verify”.

The only problem is ‘verify’. It is not a skill that most people have. Which is why so many seem to believe everything except the truth.

Take our President-elect. He is a world-class liar, a cheat, thief and a disaster for workers everywhere. I think that most of his supporters know he is a liar – and don’t care. That’s fairly standard for politicians. But where his voters’ critical thinking has failed them is in their belief that – despite all the evidence – he cares about them. That his policies are designed for their benefit.

Whether Trump is a sexual heel, or not, has no impact on the average punter’s paycheck, but his appointment of plutocrats to Treasury, Commerce, and Labor presage policies that will benefit the capitalist and management class to the detriment of the worker.

It may be that there is a better solution to the cost and availability of healthcare than Obamacare –  but the Republicans have yet to produce it. To insist on the repeal of the ACA without a replacement is punitive to millions and to the financial benefit only of the few Americans who have the least need for more money.

Trump is celebrated as a bull in a china shop. He’ll smash it all up and out of the shards will arise something better. No? Well, at least it couldn’t be worse – right?

Let’s just say it is the WWE approach to governing. It’s fake. It’s spectacular. A few people increase their fortunes. And you’re the one paying for it. It is an apt metaphor for the GOP’s economic mission.

So it is irony – or appropriate – that Linda McMahon of WWE fame will be the next head of the Small Business Administration.

But even the ‘bull in a china shop’ analogy is dumb. Trump is no revolutionary. Strip away the MAGA caps, incendiary racism, casual xenophobia and paranoid anti-terrorism rants and what are you left with? The usual grubby cash giveaway to the already money-sodden – ritually excused as ‘job creation’.

But at least he’ll put a stop to the swarms of illegals pouring over the border – right? How? A wall? What good will that do? The parts already built are riddled with tunnels. Can you imagine the drug cartels – and the people-smuggling coyotes – looking at Trump’s folly, shrugging their shoulders and saying “well that’s the end of that – isn’t it”.

And what of the claim that Mexico will pay for the wall? The proposition is absurd. Imagine sending your neighbor a bill for your fence. Trump has made glancing references to Mexico-bound money transfers and trade deficits. But that’s private money. The Mexican government has no cash.

The scandal du jour is the Russian hacking affair. On one side we have the US intelligence agencies agreeing as one that Putin and his security folks interfered in the US election. On the other, we have Trump – apparently listening to his ample gut – denying that Russia did anything. His only ‘proof’ is that the Russians say they did nothing. It is the reasoning of a toddler.

Politics is like religion. And both are like a cult. When the big guy says what you want to hear, you don’t spend a lot of time questioning what you heard.


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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