Musings from George


Wow. Just Wow
February 17, 2017, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

TRUMP: Well the leaks are real. You’re the one that wrote about them and reported them, I mean the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake. So one thing that I felt it was very important to do — and I hope we can correct it. Because there’s nobody I have more respect for — well, maybe a little bit but the reporters, good reporters.

Wow. My head exploded tonight as I listened to the video of Trump’s press conference, and read the transcript. Trump, the champion of Russian leaks, feels that real facts that are leaked are not news. The man elected by Wikileaks defends their leaks, while whining about the real facts leaked by … wait for it … people who work for him.

Trump received questions before the debate when he was gifted by Comey and Wikileaks with Podesta’s emails. Yes, that is an equivalence. Flynn was hoisted by his own petard ONLY because he lied to Pence — Trump was perfectly happy to have Flynn commit treason, and to act outside of the government. The only reason Flynn was fired was because Trump saw him as a liability.

Trump, you cannot have it both ways. RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS, and recognize that Flynn’s transgression is worse than anything that Hillary did. Slap yourself — you are WORSE than Hillary, worse than Pedesta. You are a train wreck tragedy of a preening buffoon. Resign before they can impeach you.



WTF? Trump has no connection with reality
February 17, 2017, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Politics, Uncategorized

TRUMP: “I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they are not the Republican people our that representatives are representing.”

Is this supposed to be the president of the United States, representing all Americans, or is this the man trying to satisfy the minority of the voters that chose him over Hillary? As he rants about his electoral win (fact: smaller than either of Obama’s), he just keeps proving his disconnect from reality.

He repeals (through executive order) lots of hard work by others who have come before. He creates Chaos, and then decries the chaos. He has done NOTHING positive or proactively for the United States. He apologizes for Russian transgression, dances around Flynn’s crimes, and grandstands about leaks. He begs Russia to leak Hillary’s email, but he cries “treason” when his own actions are revealed in public.

It’s not fake news. It’s a fake President. If our elected leader cannot accept provable facts, why do we endure this clown? Why does he think his golden showers, or his angry phone calls with Mexico and Australia, are going to remain confidential.

Here’s a clue: DON’T LIE if you will be embarrassed by the truth when it is revealed.You are a duplicitous, two-faced liar and history will record (and we will enjoy) your disastrously short stint as a minority-elected leader. You are a loser. You are FIRED.



Betsy DeVos
February 3, 2017, 1:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Betsy would likely be the least qualified candidate in history if she is approved to Trump’s cabinet. She has no experience with public schools (she did not attend, no one in her family attended public schools). Betsy DeVos has spent much of her inherited fortune declaiming (yes, look it up) the state of public education — yet her vaunted solution, charter schools in Michigan, have been WORSE than the public schools.

Call Lamar Alexander, but his voice mailbox is full (imagine that!) 202-224-4944

Then go online and tell him what a charlatan (yes, look it up) Betsy DeVos is:

https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

One more sane Senator can give us a better Education Secretary. It is worth the struggle.

George

 



My head exploded again
February 3, 2017, 12:41 am
Filed under: Nonprofit, Politics, Volunteering

As I listen to the “press secretary” tell us that Trump is simply implementing Obama’s decisions and policies, I have to object.

Somehow Trump’s entire platform is about *cancelling* Obama’s actions and orders, yet he uses the odd attribution that he is banning immigration from countries identified by Obama as sponsoring terrorism. So … why does Trump care what Obama said or did in this matter, if he completely disregards what Obama thought about health care or about Merrick Garland? Totally Orwellian.

We listen to Trump’s staff dismissing the “weak” efforts made by Obama to enforce border control, yet they announce restrictions that do not affect the real perpetrators of violence. NEVER has an immigrant from those seven countries committed an act of aggression in the US; somehow the immigrants who did (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan) are still flowing in. HYPOCRISY never smelled as bad as it does with @DopeyDonald

Trump lives in an alternate reality, supported by his alternate facts. We need to recognize that our President is a predator, a narcissist, and a bankrupt fraud. THEN we can react to his rants, Tweets, and self-dealing. The obvious answer is lawsuits and prosecution. Where do we sign up to make that happen?

George



Irony
February 2, 2017, 1:18 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Politics

My ears hurt each time I hear the Trump minions cite Obama’s decision to label some countries as sponsors of terrorism as the reason to oppress them.

We all knew Nazi Germany was bad, but we didn’t cite that as the reason we should not accept refugees from the countries that Nazi Germany invaded. That stain on our national history persists, and Trump is doubling down on it (and borrowing the clarion call that resonated then — let the poor b**tards burn, we are looking out for our own!)

Trump has been manipulated again by Bannon, who despises Jews and Muslims. As long as our President lets Bannon man the bully pulpit, we will get policies that many Americans abhor. We lost the electoral college, but … “have you no decency, sir?”

My call: we need three rational Republican Senators to defeat DeVos — are there three rational Republicans left in the nasty stew of Bannon and the Tea Party? We’ll know soon.

George



1984 – Pence / anyone in 2017!
January 28, 2017, 10:17 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Nonprofit, Politics

From the NYT today (yes, I do):

For Ms. Goodwin, Mr. Trump’s week of reality distortions brought to mind Lincoln’s address to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 27, 1838, where he made an appeal to Enlightenment values as the best antidote to what he called the “mobocratic spirit.” “Reason — cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason — must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense,” he said.

“He was worrying about authoritarian behavior,” Ms. Goodwin said.

Many of us who precede the web thought that equal access to information would drive more intelligent conversations. We fell for the appealing illusion that everyone wanted to be better educated, and that an educated citizenry would be an enlightened citizenry. We felt sorry for those poor ignorant citizens repressed by rulers and fed a state-sponsored version of the truth. Citizens of the USSR didn’t know they were poor, aging alcoholics; North Koreans didn’t know they were starving. We though that the truth would make them free.

The joke’s on us. Trump has enlisted support (even begged for it on the air) from the Russian government to expose other’s truths, while refusing to reveal his own. His promise to release his tax returns if he got the nomination turned out to be as worthless as shares in his casino empire. His gag orders in settled law suits outnumber his properties, and his conflicts of interest radiate to many countries (notably, he has no business interests in the countries from which he banned immigrants; notable as well is that none of those countries were involved in 9/11, and the countries that *were* are not on the list).

So, what to do? Bloomberg suggests that residents of five states could make a huge difference by letting their Senators know that they need the health care delivered by ACA

Five Senators are willing to break with Trump on ACA. We need to contact all of them, and donate to all of them.

Bob Corker of Tennessee, 
Rob Portman of Ohio, 
Susan Collins of Maine, 
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and 
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska 
Trump’s executive order denying funds for any organization that provides health care is equally disturbing. The best way to counter this is to donate to those very organizations. Here are a few that will be affected, give if you can “in memory of” Trump:
National Public Radio (and find your local affiliate and give there)
Doctors Without Borders (because they are where the bombs are falling)
While the rallies last weekend were reassuring, we woke up to #DopeyDonald and his flurry of ill-planned executive actions.
Last, we *must* support those who deserve justice for Trump’s past sexual misdeeds. The precedent was set by the Senate when they prosecuted Clinton. My outreach to Gloria Allred failed — if someone can convince her office to run a GoFundMe account to enable every woman who was (and will be) mistreated by Trump to seek justice, many of us would like to do our part. We don’t need Peter Thiel if we get enough well-intentioned people to act — Gawker was less offensive than Trump is and will be.

Former ‘Apprentice‘ contestant Summer Zervos filed a defamation suit in NYC Tuesday, claiming Trump defamed her when he publicly called her a liar, claimed the assault never happened and referred to her allegation as “totally made up nonsense.”

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, she also calls him out as a “sexual predator.”

The suit goes on to claim Trump used his platform as a presidential candidate to denigrate and verbally attack Zervos and other accusers.

She’s asking for a retraction and/or an apology, plus damages.

Zervos and her attorney, Gloria Allred, announced the lawsuit with a news conference … where she reiterated her claim Trump sexually assaulted her during a 2007 business meeting.



Postcards from the Ledge
January 21, 2017, 10:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

While I choose not to go protest Trump’s ascension in public (did any good come from blocking Uber’s HQ or preventing commuters from going to work?), I am a flawed human who cannot find anything to be hopeful about in Trump’s words. His press conference was a train wreck, where he demonstrated that he cannot speak in complete sentences. His statements after meeting with knowledgable, respectable sources (including Obama and the generals soon to be in his cabinet) reveal how little #DopeyDonald has actually thought about real issues facing the US today. Ignorant about what Obamacare actually is, unaware of our nuclear assets, blind to the complexities of the relationship between Taiwan and China (yes, it takes more than 140 characters to capture that complexity).

So, we are each tasked with the difficult decision as to whether we want to actively oppose our new president or if we trust in democracy and sit silently. As an old white guy, it is easy to take the approach of “not my problem”. Yet how can we not hear these words from Martin Niemöller echoing from 1937, when he was arrested for protesting the ascension of the Nazis (they too enjoyed 32% support in the polls of their citizens):

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

So, #DonaldPorkPie, you have divided and insulted the vast majority of our nation. Rather than the broad brush used by your opponent (“deplorables” doesn’t deserve its own hashtag), you have singled out Muslims, Hispanics, war heroes, Hollywood stars. You doubled down by insulting the parents of a slain soldier, several sitting Senators and a handful of sitting Congressmen, a disabled reporter, and citizens brazen enough to challenge you for the highest public office.

#DodgerDonald has broken with tradition in so many ways, and many enjoyed the lack of common courtesy and the rejection of political correctness so much that they are willing to overlook the many troubling things he has said. #GropyDonald on tape, celebrating sexual assault AT WORK … Bush got fired, and Trump should have been fired too (he was at work that day).

#LyingDonald hides behind an audit to say he can’t release his tax returns, while everyone knows that is patently false — the IRS is not restricting him from doing so. #CheatingDonald deducted a billion dollars from his tax bill that … wait for it … were not his dollars. He borrowed and spent a billion dollars of other people’s money, then cheated to declare that a loss on his taxes. #FraudulentTrump should be locked up, just as Al Capone was, for tax evasion.

Ignorance is not a virtue. Tweeting hateful and divisive things is not a skill. Breaking glass when you have never glazed a window in your life is just destructive — Trump’s new campaign promises are all about what he is NOT going to do (he will not enforce Obama’s policies, he will revoke rules to protect the environment, he will pull out of trade deals). These are the actions of an obstructionist and Luddite. What does he actually want to build? A wall. And he can’t even make that happen.

The powerful forces that prevented Obama from closing Guantanamo are now arrayed to thwart #PowerlessDonald. Congress won’t pay for a wall, and Mexicans laugh every time it comes up (build a thirty foot wall, and they will build a thirty-one foot ladder). What does #OrangeToughy plan to do about Guantanamo, Syria, ISIS, and the loss of jobs to automation? He has given no indication.

#DandyDonald now owns the broken glass of health care, and chooses instead to celebrate 2,700 manufacturing jobs that are staying or being created (Macy’s will lay off 10,000 workers before those manufacturing jobs are staffed — Obama created more than 2700 jobs every day of his administration). Ford, Carrier, and GM did not reverse course because of an election, they gave in to coercion and $700M in tax incentives and payments. We can’t afford to buy jobs for $200K each that pay $40K … but #DummyDonald is not an economist or mathematician, and he doesn’t even play one on TV.

People say that #DandyDonald is deeply tied in with #PowermadPutin. People say that his empire is riddled with Mob ties. People say that Melania is the real Manchurian candidate, deployed years ago with a plot straight out of Orwell’s 1984 (her secret was safe, since Trump doesn’t read books … only right-wing and alt-white blogs).

My virtual poster, which I am not holding aloft in Washington DC or San Jose today: “Trump is what happens in a democracy when people stay home.” And for now, he is our President. I last felt this sense of alienation when #43 was re-elected in 2004, understanding that so many in America don’t have the same dreams and hopes that I do.