Ends and Odds

Yesterday I wrote that I hadn’t been following the Andrew McCabe prosecution all that closely, and it wasn’t clear to me what had happened. Rachel Maddow had an excellent segment on it last night that clarified it quite a bit for me. However, that segment isn’t included in the latest videos on her webpage. This is frustrating, because I didn’t take notes. The transcript should be available some time next week. In the meantime, Vox has a pretty good rundown on all the Justice Department developments that happened yesterday.

Russia Russia Russia

This is fishy:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a security conference in Munich on Friday that the State Department did not publicly disclose before nor after the fact.

Politico reported that the two diplomats met in Lavrov’s meeting room at the hotel in which the conference took place.

Maria Zakharova, Lavrov’s spokesperson, posted about the meeting on Facebook and included a photo of Pompeo in the hotel hallway with Lavrov and others. …

…The State Department did not list the meeting in its official schedule of Pompeo’s travels from February 13-22 and did not provide a readout for it.


Trump’s Wall

Trump has gone from claiming that Mexico would pay for his wall to claiming that “redemption money” from illegal immigrants is paying for his wall. This is flat-out nonsense, of course.

Democrats Should Read This and Take It Seriously.

Eduardo Porter, How the G.O.P. Became the Party of the Left Behind. This very much reflects what I have observed here in the Midwest, over many years.

Is This Constitutional?

Peter Wade, Rollling Stone, Trump Is Sending Elite Border Patrol Units to Make Arrests in Sanctuary Cities






10 thoughts on “Ends and Odds

  1. The GOP and rural Americans weren't left behind.  They drove us out! They drive out anyone who is the slightest bit different than themselves.  They drive out the smart ones and the creative ones and the kind and generous ones.  They are left with a bunch of ignorant assholes like themselves but nobody left them behind!

  2. I've seen it too, Maha. For a time Indiana was the media darling of manufacturing decline and desperate lives. Trump's loud brag about a deal with Carrier Air Conditioner in 2018 was, of course, phony. The jobs went to Mexico shortly after.

    Nationally, banks are currently doing the same black magic they did with sub prime mortgages with sub prime car loans. Trump, like Dubya Bush, has run up a huge deficit.

    The other side of the same coin is Bernie Sanders. "Moderates" who think it's possible to triangulate between the traditional American lifestyle and the current kleptocracy are delusional.


    • Bush and Trump's deficits were run up to benefit the upper crust only. Deficit spending to invest in modernizing infrastructure and improve most American's lives would be justified. I didn't mean to equate Trump and Sanders, only to point out there's discontent everywhere.

  3. A lot of fallacy, zombie ideas, and the associated strain on our society has caused the GOP to become the party of the left behind.  Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn use the term deaths of despair to describe what is happening in their new book Tightrope.  The facts are apparent, life expectancy is declining with drug and alcohol deaths along with more overt suicidal behavior.  What a closer look finds are human casualties finding a weird "solution" in the politics of populism, failing to find their character flaws which are killing them and making their life a journey of misery.  

    They buy into the Zombie idea of any problem they (or anyone else) have is due to a personal failing, mistake, character flow or the like.  This false idea achieved status some years ago as great wisdom with GOP assistance.  "Those people" (read as people with problems) just need to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps".  Now that is a real zombie idea, as it does not take a P.H.D. in physics to know you cannot elevate yourself by using your boot straps.  This is, however, the now typical retort of those who used to have empathy and lend help and support.  Still the zombie idea lives and may even be getting stronger.

    It is much better to scapegoat and blame the Welfare Queen for our despair.  I think this all started with Ronald Regan and has progressed apace since that time.  People with problems, we now find, now look exactly like the ones we rode the school bus with (just a bit older). That is because they ARE the people we rode the school bus with. 

    We seem to have thinkers on a better track, with admission that the USA is having systemic problems that are severe,  The method used by Kristof and WuDunn show promise in understanding what we are up against.  Porter's data supports that those in desperation see populist ideas as hope, though certainly a false one.  I am beginning to think rabid acceptance, propagation, and adherence to false beliefs are the crux of our problems.  Would not measles be a historical problem if it were not for the anti-vaxer  Zombie ideation?  Why do we have so much problem as a country discounting phony ideas?  As they always say in the good old USA, when your dinosaur dies, rule one is to dismount. 

  4. Between Bush and Trump, tax cuts and wars added $23 trillion in debt since 2001.  Sanders proposing to run a deficit to actually help people is the difference.  Either take that money back from the 1% that benefitted (that's how we're gonna pay for it) to pay for programs that help everybody else for a change, or justify on the merits why deficits are never okay for social programs but always good when they're transferring wealth to the 1%.

    If we have to accept deficits to pay for the five yachts, ten homes and cars for the wealthy, then you can't tell me we can't run one so the working people who keep this damned country running don't have to worry about bankruptcy or foreclosure when they get sick.

  5. Why is Mike POMPOUSpeo's meeting  with Russians no surprise to me?

    Putin and Russia are largely the reason why tRUMP won in 2016.

    And it's Russian propaganda that the RepubliKKKLANS bought hook, line, and sinker, that the country that interfered in in 2016 was Ukraine.  Actually, what's worse, is that the RepubliKKKLANS KNEW that the Ukraine story was bullshit, but were afraid of their own MAGAt voters, and acquitted tRUMP. 

    POMPOUSpeo is the messenger, bringing fresh instructions from Putin to his puppet, tRUMP.

    ALL of this is, imo, treasonous and traitorous. 

    Imagine the violent reaction if this was Obama or Bill Clinton we were talking about?

    But, the MAGAts LOOOOOOOOOVE them some tRUMP.  And if tRUMP is a treasonous traitor, well, they think, "At least he's OUR treasonous traitor, and not one of THEIR's!"

  6. The "Left Behind" theory is kinda ironic, because most of the things which the Democrats get blamed for are long-term Republican policies (union busting via globalization) or failures engineered by the GOP (slow recovery from the 2008 crash).  So to me, it boils down the GOP being much better at marketing/propaganda.  The Democrats still have no answer for the Fox "News" problem.

  7. “Redemption” payments don’t exist; Trump apparently meant to cite remittances. That refers to money that immigrants in the U.S. send to their countries of origin, often to family members. Trump has at various times talked about taxing or blocking such money but that has not been done.

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