An Open Letter to Joe Collins, Republican

Well, it happened again. l sat down with my first cup of coffee, opened my email, and there was a campaign slug from a Republican. This one is Joe Collins, and he’s running against Maxine Waters in California’s 43rd district in November. His salutation was “Friend”
My response to Joe is this open letter.

Joe,

Your campaign letter to me opened with “Friend,”

I’m not your friend, Joe. I never will be, and I do not want Maxine Waters gone. The Republican party has not been the friend of Americans since Eisenhower, the last great Republican. Today’s GOP is a sludge of greed and corruption. Don’t talk to me about tax breaks. Republican tax breaks go to the 1% and the wealthiest corporations. The $1200 given to each American in the recent stimulus bill was an insult, while the ultra-wealthy were favored, even to the point of allowing rich corporations to steal help intended for small businesses. Your Republican party today is a disgrace. It is the farthest thing from concerned about “average Americans.” It has become a sludge of corruption, racism, and the destruction of the middle class. Ike would be ashamed of what the Republican party has become, just as have the many prominent Republicans who have renounced the party of Trump and McConnell It is a party that has waged class warfare against the middle class begun by Nixon, supercharged by Reagan, and now reached the level of traitorous obscenity when working Americans have to have two incomes, two or three jobs, to survive, and then barely; a party that daily endeavors to twist and nullify the intent of the founding fathers for this to be an America where all men—and women, are equal; a country where  LGBTQ people, those who dare to not be evangelistic cultists, and the entirety of the American working class that is denied decent wages while being charged exorbitantly for both housing and health care—are considered as nothing more than servants to corporations.

 

Your party is not the party of Lincoln. It never was. It is the party that opposed Lincoln. Check your history to find out how the two parties morphed in the decades after the Civil war. Today’s GOP was the Democratic party of Lincoln’s time, only worse. No, don’t call me friend. The Republican party has become an abomination.

 

You will never have my support, only my disgust. I was long an Independent, with progressive leanings and a tether rooted in cautions conservatism. The GOP has changed that. Your foundations in a conservative philosophy that can only be described as Medieval, your fealty to wealth above the common American, your hatred of everything—and anyone—not rooted in evangelistic ignorance, your disdain for the rights of women, and anyone who isn’t “straight,” your inability, or refusal, to face the fact that civilization either grows, changes, moves forward, and evolves, or perishes in a pool of their own ignorance and obstinance, is astounding.

 

No, Joe, I’m not your friend, and you are not the party of Lincoln. You the opposite. You are not the party of Eisenhower. You do not deserve to invoke either of those names. The GOP today is the party of regression, destruction, corruption and hate. You are the party of a particularly onerous fascism. You are the party of Trump, and you are the party of Hannibal Lector. Your leadership is rooted more in 1930’s Germany than in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

 

Do not refer to me as “friend.” You don’t deserve either my friendship or my respect. We need a hundred more Maxine Waters in the House and the Senate, and a hundred fewer decayed Republicans.

 

And Trumpites Still Don’t Get it.

I’ll use this post to share a ‘breaking’ news story out of Washington.

The Trump administration’s ‘monstrous idea’: Direct payments in exchange for cuts to Social Security benefits

Of course, this is unconscionable. Ruinous. Corrupt to the tenth power. The Trump Administration—with the full complicity of the Republikkkan party— has sky-rocketed the national debt by giving trillions to big corporations, billionaires, and millionaires at the expense of ordinary working Americans. They are not only robbing the working class blind, they have been accelerating the process. Their whole philosophy is based on using working Americans as virtual slave labor. And now this?
 
What is truly incredible, is that he still has the support of the people he will damage most and perhaps destroy. They truly are so ignorant they do not understand that the Democratic party is the one fighting for their Social Security, Medicare, their very future.
 
And still, even while being vilified by these people, the Democratic party works tirelessly to help them, to maintain the very lifelines the people they support keep trying to destroy with equal furor.
 
Underneath those MAGA hats resides some of the most astounding levels of hate and stupidity you could ever hope to find. This has to be the most astounding example of biting the hand that is trying to help you I have ever witnessed. The Republikkkans and their chosen Fuhrer are trying to initiate a plan that might as well be poisonous snake in the mail boxes of all Americans receiving Social Security, and the intended victims are hoping they get theirs soon. 
It’s time to face the fact that the madman in the White House is only the tip of the iceberg of insanity.

Three Thoughts about Impeachment

This one will be short, but definitely not sweet.
 There are three things that are obvious to anyone with eyes, ears, and a brain.
1. Of course Trump is guilty. He’s as guilty as were Bonnie and Clyde. All of the evidence is clear on that. Donald Trump is the most monstrous criminal who ever stepped foot in the White House.
2. The Republican Senate knows he’s guilty as well as you and i do. They. Do. Not. Care.
Trump is their leader, their Hitler.
3.The GOP is interested in only one thing: completing and solidifying their coup and destroying democracy. The GOP as a body is the greatest traitor our Republic has ever seen.

Thank you Nancy Pelosi — NOT

Like it or not, the simple fact is that Donald Trump is proving Congress to be as impotent as a eunuch. You’ve probably already read, or heard, that now he has ordered Hope Hicks not to turn over documents to Congressional investigators, even though, as one legal expert said, he has no authority to do so since she no longer works for him.
     So far—and this is only a sampling—Trump has refused to show his tax returns, refused to conform to the emoluments clause, made every possible attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation, lied to Congress (and the people) time after time after time, refused to obey subpoenas and told everyone in the administration to do the same thing, kidnapped thousands of children, favored foreign dictators over the American people, etc.
     The Senate, of course, is controlled by the Republican party, which has sold any genuine morality it ever possessed in order to genuflect for Trump. But what about the House of Representatives, now under Democrat control?
     It turns out that Nancy Pelosi is the fly in Sam Houston’s buttermilk.  After standing up to Trump about funding for his wall, she has become indecisive and—something we would never see from her—frightful. She is afraid to impeach. Whereas Mitch McConnell runs the Senate like a son of Heinrich Himmler, Pelosi wrings her hands and tries to say meaningful things while not allowing the House to take any concrete action about Trump’s multitudinous dictatorial acts. Day by day she behaves less like the leader of the very body which is supposed to provide oversight on the Executive, and more, much more, like Margaret Mitchell’s Melodie Hamilton.
     I and many others have said before, here and everywhere we can raise our voices, that Donald Trump is leading the United States straight down the road to a full fledged fascistic dictatorship, ala Adolf Hitler. The Republican party is riding his coattails in hopes of achieving what is, in effect, a coup. Look at McConnell’s iron fisted patently immoral manipulation of the entire legislative process in the name of stacking every federal court possible, not just with Republicans, but with conservatives so far to the right, both politically and religiously, that they qualify as cultists.
     Seventy-five percent of America fidgets. We scream and wring our hands while Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House cower behind procedure and fear of making a misstep.  We the people are left bemoan the loss of liberties and basic rights, one by one, group by group: LGBTQ Americans because they “are different;” progressives and the ‘educated elite,’ because they are the dreaded “socialists,” Christians who don’t believe the same demented way as evangelicals; anyone who would threaten the greedy power mongers.
     But short of armed revolution, that seventy-five percent is helpless, dependent on the separation of powers which the forefathers built into the Constitution but didn’t build well enough. Seventy-five percent of America is steadily slipping under the jackboots of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the rabid minority made up of religious and social cultists and corporate controlled rapscallion Republicans no longer possessing any moral compass.
     The 25% is winning, and turning America into a fascist regime shaped by theocratic lunatics and greedy oligarchs, one of whom defiles the highest seat in government just as Hitler once did in Germany. The election of 2020 is too far away and too tenuous. If the collapse of our Republic isn’t already complete by then, it surely will be a certainty if Trump cheats his way into re-election.
     And why shouldn’t he? The system of checks and balances intended to prevent what we are seeing has so far proven completely ineffective. He lies, and defies anyone to do anything about it. He breaks the law, and dares anyone to stop him. He kidnaps children and says “So what.” And he gets away with it. Every. Time. Because half of the legislature is in on the takeover, and the other half is afraid.
     The Republic is falling, and it is as much the fault of the cowardly defenders as of the aggressors. If we are waiting for the Nancy Pelosi led Democratic House to save us, we might as well start shopping for white flags.

They fear Ocasio-Cortez; and they should

The ultra conservative gang is pulling is afraid, and they are pulling out all the stops. In this case, it’s Ben Stein. He was funny in some movies because his mode of speaking was about the same as his mode of thinking. Now he’s the latest wealth-is-for-the-wealthy striking out at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He’s out of his depth. He is attempting to compare her to Adolf Hitler because she promotes social programs, a socially responsible government, and a more equitable distribution of wealth in our country. She—gasp—actually believes things like: millionaires and billionaires ought to pay their fair share of taxes; people who work full time should earn a living wage; every American should have affordable health care; LGBTQ Americans are people too and should be treated equally.

Let’s be VERY CLEAR. What Ocasio-Cortez is talking about is a reasonable and responsible combination of government and social consciousness as a government and nation. The GOP has done all it could to enrich the richest and destroy the middle and lower economic classes. they like it that way. And now they have given us Donald Trump. We have already seen the fruits of Trump’s Hitler-like promises and psychosis—as discussed by MANY historians, sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists who have a much firmer grip on the subject than Mister Stein. Ocasio-Cortez is nothing like either Hitler or Trump. She is the direct opposite. Remember what Joseph Goebbels said, to always accuse the other side of that which you are guilty of yourself. He also applauded lying your way to power, and advised to make the lie a big one, and keep saying it, until you convinced people to believe it.  These happen to be two of the most prominent, and effective, tools in Trump’s crooked bucket. Now Ben Stein has bought in.

Ben Stein is attacking Ocasio-Cortez for one reason and one reason only. He supports the concept of very small government and is dedicated to the trickle-down economic theories the GOP has used since the Reagan era (that’s 40 years), to continually unbalance the economy and the social strata of America. Ben Stein is a believer of the concept that, as Al Capp put it so eloquently in “Li’l Abner,” what’s good for General Bullmoose is good for the USA.” He supports the belief that 1% of the people should have all of the money, all of the political power, and all of the control.

General Bullmoose is in the White House right now. We can see how that’s working out.

And about that “small government” thing. It was feasible and reasonable in 1790 (the year of the first official census), when the population of the country was under 4 million. In a nation of 300 million plus, a nation in which 99% of the people are more in danger from their own country’s massive corporations than any outside threat, the government must be large enough to stand up for that 99% against the 1%, as well as the threats posed by racism, white supremacists, and rampant, vicious religious cultism. Think far-right evangelicals. Social responsibility maintaining stability through equity in the economic system are vital necessities for a government that represents ALL of the people, as opposed to the wealthy few and the violent cultists.

That is the kind of government Ocasio-Cortez is talking about. Ben Stein should be ashamed to even attempt comparing her to Hitler. But then, he believes the 1% should rule. They’ve been consolidating their wealth and their power for four decades. Ocasio-Cortez is talking about restoring the political and economic balance all Americans deserve, and all of America needs. The far right white supremacists don’t like it. More importantly, the 1% doesn’t like it. To make things more awful for them, she is tough. She isn’t going to politely sit down and let the old guard on either side of the aisle tell her to be quiet. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is also smart, and determined to get a fair shake for all Americans. She is a Tigress. Put her and Mitch McConnell in a locked cage WWE event, and she would have the old traitor on the mat begging for mercy with his last breath in seconds. I doubt she’d even work up a sweat. Donald Trump’s bone spurs start acting up almost as bad at the mention of her name, as they do when he hears the word Pelosi.

That’s why the wealthiest among us hate Ocasio-Cortez. It’s why they fear her. And they should.

8 Points: Free Market Capitalism

Donald Trump has doubled down on his statement that American wages are too high. Here are 8 points about free market capitalism that I think you need to understand.
 
This view of Donald Trump’s actually represents the corporate view and Republican philosophy of economy. Some points, as briefly as I can phrase them.
The job of a teacher is to inform, explain, and clarify. That’s what I’m doing here. I have to believe that there are vast numbers of Americans who voted for Trump, who have for years voted for Republicans, who, if they understand how all of this really works, would cross the street,
instead of continuing to elect the very people who hold them down and
think no more of them than the cost of the office coffee maker.
 
1. Trickle down economics are INTENDED to benefit the wealthy, the
     largest investors because they “create jobs.” Any benefit to the
     average worker is purely incidental.
2. The amount that trickles down is left to the discretion of these
     wealthy, large investors.
3.  One of the most fundamental business philosophies since, well,
     since there has been business, is that LABOR is a COST, to be
     controlled and held to the lowest level possible in order to maximize
     profit. In fact, it’s generally regarded as one of the MOST controllable
     costs.
4.  As competition from other countries rose during the 1990’s and the
    21st century, these large, wealthy investors and the companies they
    control saw that their only way to compete with countries whose labor
    forces made much less than American workers, WITHOUT
     LOWERING THEIR PROFIT, was to pay American  workers less as
    well. If they could pay a dollar an hour, they’d happily do so.
5. Republican philosophy has ALWAYS been based on points 1-4. It has
    also ALWAYS been based on pay your own way without assistance,
    and the government should have no part in helping you. Theirs is a
    fully Darwinian philosophy. Only those who can keep up, on their own
    without assistance, DESERVE to continue. Those who can’t,
    regardless of whatever may prevent them from doing so—loss of their
    income due to technology or shifting markets, health emergencies,
    business downsizing, etc., are not the problem or responsibility of the
    society or the government. If they starve, they starve. If they die of
    illness because they can’t afford treatment, they die.
6. It all boils down to one thing and one thing only: Provide profits. It’s
    ALL about feeding the profits. It has ALWAYS BEEN about feeding
    the profits of the wealthiest. If you don’t believe me, you have not
    been paying attention.
7. Donald Trump’s belief that wages are too high is an expression of
    common corporate—and REPUBLICAN— belief that American
    workers at the employee level have no right to any wage other than
    what businesses wish to pay them.
8. It is the full expectation of the corporate, and Republican mind, that
    the employee class should be satisfied and happy with whatever they
    are given, and no matter how small the wage or how high the costs
    living, provide for their family and education and retirement.
 
It’s worth noting that this philosophy has always been the #1 feature of free market capitalism. It is also the #1 NEGATIVE feature . Why did the Republicans, starting with Reagan, start embark on a campaign to destroy unions? Because unions benefit the common worker, and in doing so, reduce profits. Minimum wages, livable wages, health care benefits (which are necessary because of the “pay as little as possible” rule of business), pensions…all of these things lower profit. In a free
market capitalist society, there is NO bigger sin.
 
 
Final note: This isn’t Marxist stuff. This isn’t dreaded Socialistic ravings. It is, simply and factually, a description of how free markets and capitalism work. This is also why it is the responsibility and necessity of a democratic, capitalistic, free market government like ours, to step in and ensure that the working class, which makes up the VAST majority of American citizens, and not victimized by the richest (the 2%) as they expand their own wealth. This isn’t Socialism. This is Socially
Responsible Government.

The Diseased Ignorance of Trump’s Base

The fact that Donald Trump’s core supporters—and maybe some mainstream ones as well—actually believe this, is a sickening and alarming statement about the level of intelligence and the prevalence of psychosis across a third of America. It may also be our swan song, the trumpet forlornly playing TAPS to our Republic.
 
Think about it. CNN, NBC, CBS, Reuters, Al Jezeera, the NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, MSNBC, the BBC, PBS, the British, Canadian, German, French, and virtually every other news source in the world, are ALL liars.  ONLY TRUMP is honest. ONLY TRUMP knows what he’s talking about.
 
EVERY PERSON who has sued Trump for illegal practices, EVERY WOMAN he has sexually assaulted, EVERY LIE of his that has been recorded on paper, tape and video, ALL FAKE NEWS. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Intelligence Agency, the National Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, British Intelligence, ALL LIARS.
 
97% of the world’s scientists, ALL DUMB, because ONLY TRUMP has an instinct for science and global warming. ONLY TRUMP knows what’s right for the environment. ONLY TRUMP knows what kind of air our grandchildren should breathe, what kind of water they must drink.
 
ONLY TRUMP has any brains, despite the overwhelming evidence to the exact contrary. ONLY TRUMP is telling the truth about Russian interference in our country’s election process. Everyone else is out to get him.
 
POOR TRUMP!   TRUMP THE CHOSEN ONE!   TRUMP THE EMPEROR!  TRUMP THE CHAMPION OF NATIONALISM!  TRUMP THE CHAMPION OF WHITE SUPREMACY!   TRUMP THE MESSIAH! TRUMP ALMIGHTY!  ALL KNEEL TO TRUMP…or his supporters will punch you, knock the hell out of you, shoot you dead, blow you up for daring not to kiss his robes.
 
THIS is the disease which infects a full third of America. THIS will destroy us. THIS ridiculous, unreasoning, unimaginable worship of a documented cheat, double dealer, serial liar and sexual assaulter, this man who wears his ignorance as comfortably and proudly as his bigotry and white supremacist nationalism, this man who knows one, and only one, loyalty. ONLY TRUMP! PRAISE BE TO TRUMP. ALL KNEEL TO TRUMP.
America has always had this undercurrent, this third that thrives on racism and bigotry, this third that denies the very core values written into the Constitution by our forefathers. This is the third that now runs rampant with the approval and encouragement of Donald Trump. This is the third that would as soon kick you in the teeth as listen to criticisms of white supremacy and racism. This is the third that is so fervent in its anger over perceived mistreatment, it is blind to where the enemies of middle America truly lie. This is the third for whom violence is first or second option, not the last resort.  This is the third for whom patriotism is wrapped in a Confederate flag and festooned with swastikas. This is the third for whom reason doesn’t mean to think and analyze, but is an excuse for punching your lights out.
 
This disease has already destroyed what was left of a once honorable Republican party. It has turned them into sniveling courtiers and court buffoons, eager to have their particular desires met at any cost no matter how egregious, frightened to their core of displeasing the Emperor. In unison they throw their hands in the air, deny every obvious truth, and proclaim in chorus ONLY TRUMP. They praise the Emperor’s fine new clothes.
 
America may well not survive the ONLY TRUMP insanity. The epitaph on the gravestone of American Democracy will be aptly phrased in two words. HAIL TRUMP.
 
Pardon me now, while I go pour a stiff drink. If ONLY TRUMP cannot be defeated, it may soon be one of the last free actions left to us.