Musings from George

Air Force One — the Art of No Deal
February 27, 2018, 9:13 am
Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized

A year ago #DealerDonny claimed that he reduced the price of Air Force One by a billion dollars. The military responded that they have absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Fact-checkers pointed out that many of the claims #DopeyDonald made were non-sensical … Boeing is the primary contractor, but the actual jets (yes there are two) are only 20% of the price of the government-run, government-specified program.

Latest news is that under Trump’s watch the cost of the program has continued to balloon. Meanwhile, Trump needs two refrigerators to keep his Diet Coke cold and he managed to talk the price down to $24 million. I mean, it is *two* refrigerators after all.

And it is #DealerDonny. He had those federal subcontractors right where he wanted them, and he named his price. What a year it has been!


My Head Exploded Again
February 27, 2018, 8:44 am
Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized

#DodgerDonny would have run into the school to save … someone else’s children? Does anyone else think that this is quite unlikely? The man who consistently surrounds himself with tall muscular people, who is loathe to shake dirty hands, who hides behind his guards when the crowd is NOT wildly enthusiastic, and who tells his goons to clear out the protesters would ever put himself in danger? It is bizarre that a man who should have been at the peak of his health during the Vietnam War found five excuses not to go be a hero, somehow now as a dotard thinks he is Rambo and he would charge a killer with an assault rifle using his bare hands. LUDICROUS! Here are two real-world heroes, who both say only an idiot (unarmed, or armed with a pistol) would approach a killer with an AR-15. Note, they both served in the military. Note, one is grievously wounded *because* he is a hero and dismantled dangerous bombs.

Brian Mast

Anastasia (don’t know his name, but a vet who can write!)

The AR-15 is only slightly modified from a real military weapon of mass destruction and murder. It is so well-designed that children can fire hundreds of rounds quickly, rounds designed to destroy human flesh (note — you don’t want this when hunting). It has little recoil, so a weak coward like Nikolas Cruz can change clips and fire hundreds of rounds without breaking a sweat (note again — this is NOT good for hunting). The AR-15 can fire much further than a pistol, and can fire much more lethal ammunition, so only an idiot would charge into the fire.

I guess we know that our delusional #BoneSpurs is an idiot. Not only did he choose not to serve in the military, he disparages true military heroes who HAVE run into fire (see one Senator John McCain, one of the few heroes admired on both sides of the aisle). #DodgerDonny doesn’t read, and the two American hero veterans above will never appear on Fox News, so he is only going to hear the empty echo chamber of applause from governors afraid to ask: “WHEN, in the history of time, have YOU Donny EVER done something brave and courageous?” Maybe cheating on a pregnant Slovenian felt like walking on the wild side to you? We remember that you said that STDs were your personal Vietnam — I guess you were often coming under fire then?

Your false bravado when reflecting on what you would have done in this circumstance, when you have spent your entire life avoiding any dangerous circumstance, is offensive to anyone who has ever demonstrated courage. #DodgerDonny is the Terrible Lion, afraid of his own shadow but able to growl fiercely when there is no danger. Donald Trump is no match for Nikolas Cruz.

What’s for dinner? Sessions
January 23, 2018, 9:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I miss hearing from the #TrumpMinions now that they are all afraid of indictment. We used to get regular helpings of #NothingBurger meals from the Trump infants, and apparently they were warned that their obsessive denials were being recorded for later use. That June letter claiming that the Russian lawyer really only wanted to discuss adoption sorta fell flat, and apparently #DodgerDonny’s role in crafting that particular lie has attracted attention.

So, #GrilledSessions was on the menu last week. You have to wonder how Liddle Jeff goes to sleep every night, after watching a Democrat take his Senate seat. You have to wonder how Jeffie toddles off to work every day for a man who clearly loathes him, and whom he clearly fears. I can see how Cohn or Mnuchin suck it up every day, as they believe they are making the world safer by holding their nose and pushing for what they believe in (whether I agree with them or not), but I really don’t understand how Sessions can push forward every day in the toxic waste dump that he has enabled Trump to create. When so many executive orders are held up in court, and illegal Presidential directives fly every day (you can’t really claim “client-attorney privilege” simply because you binge-watched Judge Judy), it must be hard to try to push forward. When once a week your boss makes some hysterical claim via Twitter (often libelous, attacking last year’s candidates or our last real President), you have to wonder when Jeffie is going to realize that every day he sells his soul for Trump he is that much smaller inside.

#MinorityTrump, or #FakePresident, managed to achieve a government shutdown in less than a year. The only legislation passed in that year borrowed $1.5 TRILLION from US citizens, or about $5,000 per person, and the GOP is celebrating that the average family is going to get a $200 tax savings this year. I know the math is inexact, but if the average family of four is willing to take a $20K loan out to get $200 / year in savings, public education has failed us. The deficit grows, we will owe more in interest (and we will owe it at a higher interest rate), and even that $200 per year goes away in less than ten years. The deficit does not go away.

Hopefully #DodgerDonny will go away before his term is up.

One last observation … if #DodgerDonny was not healthy enough to represent in Vietnam, is it even remotely possible that he is (his words) the “fittest person ever to be President”? It leaves one to ask, was he lying then or is he lying now?

PayPal has lost its way
January 23, 2018, 9:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It appears that the last live person at PayPal forgot to hang up the phone when they left. Try to call their customer support line (their “recommended” option), and you’ll find a 36-minute wait. I did leave my number, asking for a callback that I missed.

The great news (if you are PayPal) is that whatever artificial intelligence they have applied to their robo-calls approved my (nonexistent) request for PayPal credit. In a terrific turn of events, they even invented a new email address for me.  I was obviously thrilled to get a letter in the mail, dated the day of my call to the support line, notifying me of my new account.

I called the number on the letter, despite my suspicions and our family’s recent experience with fake credit applications (thanks Experian!) Apparently PayPal Credit is a profitable business line, as they can afford to have chipper support personnel answer the phone. She was dismayed to hear that I did not want my new credit account, asked if I had contacted the police about identity theft (COMMITTED BY PAYPAL!), and was unwilling to accept my explanation that someone at PayPal clearly got a commission by opening a credit account for me. Whoever did so entered a bogus email address (yes, they were creative: GEORGEJAQUETTE@GMAIL.COM), which would presumably be unique in their universe. But this chipper agent was not interested in understanding the real root cause, and I am sure that a similar warning signal was rung thousands of times at Wells Fargo before it all blew up in their faces.

So … I will note that I am really sorry to see how PayPal has rotted in place. While other payment services grow and evolve, PayPal is rooted in 1994. When I needed to change ownership for a non-profit account four years ago, I was SHOCKED to learn that they insist that you fax all of your personal information to some closet in Connecticut, and that they lose it repeatedly while denying your request. Of course they get to keep money in an account no one can access (until they have to give it to the state), and they have no incentive to help anyone gain access to that account. But asking customers to FAX their most personal information into the void that *is* a fax number is just insane, without any guarantee of privacy or security.

So, if there are any live people left at PayPal hear my warning: PayPal’s customer support folks are opening fake credit accounts, and you should revisit your compensation system to figure out why.

On the Anniversary of a Bad Decision
November 7, 2017, 8:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Great article in the NYT by Michelle Goldberg captures my emotions this month. A year ago I was surprised by, and distressed by, #DopeyDonald’s election. As we note the passing of a year and the unprecedented chaos that is the man’s administration, it is critically important that we not go silently into the night accepting his travesties as the new normal. Michelle summarizes it well — a narcissistic megalomaniac who declares that he is the new king (who needs the State Department? bring me crooked Hillary’s head!) shouts schoolyard taunts at nuclear-armed foes.

Ignorant, incurious, oblivious to social norm and established law. #DraftDodgerDonny is as excited to be the leader of the most powerful military as we was to drive a fire truck and to pretend to be a long-haul trucker. A man who detests getting his hands dirty toys with the hopes and dreams of coal miners; a man-child who has abused immigrant laborers his entire life upends the hopes and dreams of people brought to this country illegally years ago as children.

#DisgracefulDonny is a travesty, and we cannot just sit idly by and watch the EPA being dismantled (allowing toxic waste to be dumped into streams by coal mining operations is a crime against humanity; approving known toxins for use in agriculture is unthinkable). We cannot watch attempts to dismantle health care for 20 million people, nor can we accept a new tax package that awards 20% of the benefit to 0.1% of the people (yes, the estate tax will *really* benefit about 5,000 people including a number of Trumps).

So, what can we do? We can continue to protest, out loud and in our own hearts. We can get involved with the organizations that are fighting back. is working to organize voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts in those districts where a Democrat might be able to win back a seat held by Republicans — enter your zip code and figure out where you can help. has a game plan that mirrors the Tea Party, calling for many local actions targeting elected officials — if they actually have to hear about your anger and pain, they just might change the way they vote. You can donate time or money to help a local politician, and the most important thing you can do is to ensure that every person who has been aggrieved by #TakerTrump votes in the mid-term election. If every woman who has ever been assaulted votes, if every woman who lost insurance coverage for her contraception votes, if every black- and brown-skinned man who has ever been stopped by a Joe Arpaio-like sheriff votes, we will see a better result. If they all stay home, Trump has won.

My question for all — if you had $1,000 and you could spend forty hours helping some political cause, what would it be? Help me figure out how to spend my time and my money to achieve the greatest results in the coming year to ensure that we return to some sense of normalcy in Washington DC.

No respect for the rule of law, ignorant of history
September 14, 2017, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized

Make it stop, please! Trump’s recent act to undermine the Constitution has to offend any conservative, and anyone who mentions the second amendment when explaining their political beliefs should be quite concerned by #DumbDonald and his recent pardon of Joe Arpaio. No respect for the law becomes a dictatorship in the end.

What was Arpaio convicted of that necessitated this pardon? He and his team systematically violated the Constitutional rights of Hispanic citizens in his county. He instructed his officers to round up brown-skinned people on flimsy charges, and they put them in outdoor tents in the desert to punish them without a trial. Arpaio’s actions resemble the round-up of Japanese citizens during World War II, an awful stain on our history and one that Congress recognized as a travesty by Reagan (the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 granted reparations and apologies to those citizens). #RacistDonald is an insult to what the Republican party once stood for — egalitarian opportunity for all to succeed, regardless of their background or ethnicity (founded to oppose the expansion of slavery to new states).

One of our nation’s great strengths is our willingness to debate an issue openly and honestly, and to tolerate differences of opinion that may reflect huge chasms. Reading “A Hillbilly Elegy” AND “Strangers in Their Own Land” was my penance for misreading popular sentiment in the last election so badly, and it was both useful and instructive. A recent opinion piece in the NYT titled I Voted For Trump.  And I Sorely Regret It by Julius Krein was also instructive, because he rather eloquently explains his decision to support Trump based on his merits during the campaign, a voice I chose not to listen to nor hear during the election.

With each assault on decency, democracy, and reason, Trump erodes the nation’s social fabric. #NaziTrump’s defense of the mob chanting “Jews will not replace us” as they gave the Nazi salute marching in front of a synagogue should give every American pause. It is comforting that the total population of neo-Nazis is estimated at 2,200 people, but it is greatly disturbing that our President cannot condemn them categorically. These people celebrate the legacy of a regime that led the world into the most destructive war in history, and these people should be denounced by every American. Without conditions, without excuses. Trump fails that simple test of decency and cultural awareness, and displays his own ignorance of history and nuance.

Last point, #DumbDonald calls the removal of Confederate statues an assault on history and on great Americans. He equates statues of Lee and Davis with those of Washington and Jefferson, because each held slaves. But #IncuriousDonald misses the distinction which is quite clear: Lee and Davis were traitors to their country, who waged war against the US in pursuit of liberty from the Constitution. Just as there are no statues of King George in Boston, nor of Hitler in Berlin, there is no space in the US for a statue of Jefferson Davis.

Robert E. Lee is a hugely respectable, honorable, skilled warrior who did many great things in his life. His legacy lives on at Arlington, his family estate that was confiscated and became our national burying ground. His history includes the honor of being offered the command of the Army of the Potomac when civil war broke out, which he declined because his first loyalty was to the state of Virginia. He was trapped in a Solomonic choice, and he did choose — he chose secession and became a traitor to the United States of America. He deserves to be studied, indeed revered — but no citizen of the United States should have to honor a statue to a traitor, certainly not those whose ancestors were subjugated by the very cause that Lee defended. When #LyingDonald equates traitors with our Founding Fathers, he displays the historical ignorance and inability to recognize subtlety that defines an ignorant person — and an incurious ignorant person is a repudiation of those who built America.

Trump’s recent decision to repeal DACA further reveals his inability to recognize nuance and subtlety, and his inconsistent approach to the law. If he believes Obama’s action was unconstitutional, how can Trump’s threat to do something by executive action in six months hold any credibility? If his attorney general has voiced his opinion that the president cannot do such things, how would Trump protect the Dreamers? He can’t, and won’t — he has just kicked the can down the road, and into Congress’s lap. Because it is a complicated issue, Trump just created another artificial deadline that benefits no one, with no solution to propose.

Behold, the child-king. By fiat, by Tweet, by bluster and by threat, he rules. He cannot author nor shepherd legislation, he can only tear up and rip up things built by others. Neither purposeful nor constructive, simply petty and destructive. We can only hope that Mueller makes it stop.

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.