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Archive for November, 2016

They Did It!

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Nebraska’s volleyball team won the Big Ten championship last night, defeating Michigan in four sets. Hooray! An hour later, Minnesota did them the favor of beating Wisconsin in an exciting five-set match so Nebraska doesn’t have to share the title with the Badgers. Hooray again!

Now it’s on to the national championship. Can they repeat?

The teams and seeds in the national tournament will be announced on ESPN2 on Sunday evening. A new wrinkle this year:  the top four seeds get to play their first four games (if they get that far) at home. I hear that Nebraska’s Devaney Center is already sold out for all four events, should they all occur.

Even if you’re not a fan of volleyball, and even if you’ve never been to Nebraska and would pay money never to go there, you gotta admit that we all need some good news right about now. Right? Right.

So GBR!

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James Madison Rolls In His Grave

Politico reports that Trump’s approval numbers have risen since he became president-elect (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-popular-poll-231694).

Their survey also shows this:  “More than half of the respondents had never heard of, or had no opinion, about Trump’s chief of staff Priebus, chief strategist Bannon or Sessions, the Alabama senator who is Trump’s pick for attorney general.”

One wonders if those who “don’t know” who these people are would change their “favorable” or “mostly favorable” ratings if they did know. And how many of the respondents who “have no opinion” gave Trump a favorable rating nonetheless. How can anyone “have no opinion” about, for example, the former editor of Breitbart News, an avowed Leninist, racist, misogynist, and supporter Neo-Nazism?  Bannon is nothing if not controversial. How in HELL can anyone “have no opinion” about him?

Yeah I know. These same folks disdain my “elitism.” But at least I’m curious enough to find out what’s coming. People who voted for Trump and who are now giving him favorable ratings are in for an awful shock when they discover that granny’s health insurance and their social security accounts have been disappeared, that their jobs aren’t coming back, that there will be no improvements to infrastructure, no wall, and their kids are hip deep in a war in the middle east.

I wonder how they will rate Trump’s presidency then? That is, if news outlets are still around to ask them.

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Ordinarily, photos of our Constitution display this, its first page, which features “We, The People” in large handwriting. This is cool because the guys who wrote the document had just overthrown a monarch and wanted everyone to know that somebody else was in charge now.

But there is lots of interesting stuff buried in other pages of this document. Take Article I, section 9, for example. Section 9 is a list of no-nos for Congress and the President.  The sentence that interests me today is this:

“No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them {the United States}, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

Placed in its historical context this clause is reactionary. It says “Hey folks, we’re a democracy now so our leaders can just drop that royal prerogative crap ASAP!”

In modern times, OTOH, the clause has been interpreted by incoming presidents to mean “no personal financial entanglements of any kind with foreign entities.” Hence they put their wealth into blind trusts or divested it in some other way (even Nixon!)

The danger is, of course, that a foreign power can reward a president financially to thank him for making this or that executive decision. For example, the Saudi king might quite happily cut taxes on Trump’s hotel in Riyadh if Trump accelerates US participation in the conflict in Syria.

As this example suggests, the possibility that Trump will violate Section 9 is not simply a fantasy made up by some old liberal coot. The penalty for doing so is impeachment. Can we count on a Thug Congress to bring impeachment proceedings if this happens, as it surely will?

I’m not holding my breath. At this point it seems appropriate to cite George R. R. Martin’s entry on his “Not A Blog”posted on the day after the election: “Winter is Coming. I told you so.”

 

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A Brief Respite

Last week, with the help of a couple of doctors, I realized that stress and despair are not conducive to good health. So I determined to reduce the stress in my life. Since most if not all of this stress stems from the results of the recent election, the appropriate remedies were clear.

So yesterday, Saturday, instead of watching the news, I watched Gameday and a couple of football games (Nebraska won handily) and a volleyball match between Nebraska and Iowa (Nebraska swept in three sets). I also watched a couple of movies–a procedural with Morgan Freeman and Spielberg’s Lincoln (no doubt this last choice says something about my unconscious).

Kicking back seems to have worked because my blood pressure was a few points lower last night. Now I just have to figure out how to reconcile a paradox: how do I get as little exposure as possible to the Hairball and his Thug minions while staying informed enough to know when it is time to pack up and move to California?

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downtown50s

Now we know what “Make America Great Again” really means. It means a return to the heyday of white men–guys like Jesse Helms, George Wallace, and Ross Burnett.

Today the Hairball-in-Chief made two nominations and one appointment. His nominee for attorney general is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, senator from that bastion of racial tolerance, Alabama. Heretofore Sessions has been unable to secure any national position that required the consent of people not from Alabama, having been famously rejected as a federal judge when he was nominated for that position by–who else?–Ronald Reagan. He is a racist, pure and simple  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions).

And now he is in line to be the nation’s top cop. All that stands between him and us are Senate Democrats and maybe Rand Paul. Gulp.

At least this appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, as is the Hairball’s other nomination, Mike Pompeo, for CIA director. Pompeo represents the Kochs-er-southeast Kansas in the House of Representatives. His most recent contribution to that body is his dissenting report from the Thug Benghazi committee, in which he maintained that Hillary Clinton was surely guilty of something or other. After all, she breathes.

And this guy is up for a post that is supposedly nonpartisan.

The third appointment announced today is Gen. Mike Flynn, a guy who has admitted he would kill families of terrorists just to make sure he got it all. Whatever “it” is. This guy, who apparently can’t make a coherent argument across ten or more sentences, will now be whispering in the Hairball’s ear about National Security. Since this is an appointment rather than a nomination, it’s a done deal. As we learned with the appointment of white supremacist Steve Bannon, the Hairball is unmoved by negative reaction to the stupid stuff he does. So these guys will be in charge for as long as the Hairball manages (or cares) to remain in office.

I lived through the ‘fifties, and I’m here to tell you they were no picnic for women and girls. Much less for black folks of any gender. We are in deep shit, folks.

 

 

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I Can Still Haz Tuna?

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Sassy wants you to know she did not vote for Trump. And she is NOT happy with those who did.

 

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Some rich dick on the teevee just said that he’s looking forward to the return of health care to the “free market.”

I want to know: what’s “free” about the market? Capitalism favors the already favored. The market is free only for capitalist predators and con artists. Such folks can pay for their own damn health care. The rest of us can’t afford it. That’s why Democrats invented programs like social security and medicare, which, in another semantic slight-of-hand, Thugs have misnamed “entitlements.”

My dad remembered the first Great Depression, which was brought to us by the grandfathers of today’s rich fucks. He told stories about the ‘thirties, when there were no “entitlements.” People waited in long lines for soup and bread doled out by the Salvation Army. Thousands died in the streets from cold and hunger. My folks survived only because their parents lived on farms.

Are rich fucks so dense that they don’t know that people will die when they privatize medicaid and medicare?

No, they’re not. They just don’t give a shit.

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