Saturday, March 9, 2019

It's Confusing: Do We Have a Strong Economy Or Not?


                                       Good Day World!

In the age of Trump it's nearly impossible to confirm if the American economy is really doing as well as he claims.

The reason being our liar in chief has a habit of muddling reality and his fantasies, and cracking down on any government reports that show our economy is slowing down -or not growing as fast as Trump maintains.

What are we supposed to think after hearing stories like the two following examples?

1) US Hiring Slows Sharply in February 

"The sluggish hiring and job cuts in February were widespread across industries. Construction cut 31,000 jobs, the most in more than five years. Manufacturing added just 4,000, the fewest in a year and a half." 

2) In Blow To Trump Trade Deficit Hits Record High

"America’s trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world rose to its highest level in history last year as the United States imported a record number of products, including from China, widening the deficit to $891.3 billion and delivering a setback to President Trump’s goal of narrowing that gap."

Other factors like Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut have benefited the one percenters in America and corporations, leaving the average taxpayer with a ballooning national debt to contend with.

Despite these reasons, there are economists who still argue America is doing better than just okay. They point out increased wages and low unemployment are keeping the economy healthy.

Then we have Trump's tariffs. They have cost Americans $19 Billion in 2018. 

"In addition to the economic toll of the trade war the tariffs caused, they find that the full cost of the tariffs was passed on to US consumers, meaning the tariff hike was effectively a tax hike on all Americans. On top of that, in response to facing less international competition, American businesses have increased their prices."

It has to be difficult for the average American to understand why we have these competing versions of prosperity in our country today.

A big reason for that is most of our news sources have become infected with partisan views, making it that much harder to know what the state of the union really is. 

Related: As Budget Deficit Balloons, Few In Washington Seem To care 

Related: Two Economists With Opposing Views Weigh In On Trump's Economic Plan

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, March 8, 2019

Filial Cannablism and Republicans in Congress

Good Day World!

This morning, while enjoying my java fix, I got to thinking about how the animal world is a lot like Congress; 

Unpredictable, and dangerous.

Take the practice of eating one's offspring. 

Many types of animals, including bank voles, house finches, wolf spiders, and many fish species, have been observed by zoologists chowing down on their babies.

I know. How revolting is that?

I'd say as revolting as Congressional Republicans who threaten and eat their own if they don't stay in lockstep with our liar in chief.

The most recent example is North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis. He's been an ardent Trumpie and has stayed in line with the rest of the puppets roaming Capitol Hill since Trump slithered into office.

But he's going to pay a price for announcing he's voting against Trump's Emergency Declaration because he's aware it's unconstitutional.

If Rand Paul wasn't one of the two people in Congress that Trump really likes (Lindsey Graham is the other one) his promise of voting against his attempted power grab would have made him fresh meat to be devoured by his rabid supporters. 

Interestingly enough, we haven't heard Trump give the word that would put Paul on the Trumpkin menu.

Zoology studies have offered up a couple of reasons why they think animals eat their young.

Theory One: Cannibalism was found to increase the parent's reproductive rate by apparently increasing mate attractiveness.

Theory Two: filial cannibalism could be a way to root out offspring that take too long to mature and therefore require a little too much parental care.

I think theory number two applies to Congressional Republicans who don't want to waste time with members who require repeated indoctrinations.

Comparing the Trump regime to animals questionable practices helps explain a lot of things happening in Washington DC today.

It's a jungle out there, and we have an orangutan dragging his little knuckles on the floor of the Oval Office.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Dictators Have State-Controlled Media Like Trump's Fox News


                                           Good Day World!

Seems like I'm getting a lot of epiphanies these days early in the morning while indulging in coffee and cannabis. 

Today, while reading a New York Times expose on Trump having his own propaganda organization - also known as Fox News - it occurred to me this relationship has been evident since Trump decided to run for president.

No one has actually come out in the open about this incestuous relationship until recently. 

For over three years Fox News enabled and supported Trump's lies for political and business reasons while insisting they had fair and balanced reporting.

What happened was reality overcame the thin smokescreen between Trump and Fox management.

For starters, we found out that Fox spiked the Stormy Daniel story days before the 2016 election to protect candidate Trump.

Why? Rupert Murdock wanted Trump, not Hillary Clinton, to win, according to a Wall Street Journal article in 2018. It's around that time Fox News became the unofficial propaganda media outlet for Trump.

As historians are fully aware, one of the signs of a true dictatorship is by controlling a media propaganda organization to distribute lies.

Americans have watched as Fox News hosts and management have infiltered our government like lice. Currently heading up the White House Press Staff is Bill Shine, an ex-Fox executive.

When the day comes and historians try to piece together all the pathways of corruption that got Trump elected, Fox News and The National Enquirer will hold special places in that nefarious plot along with conspiring with the Russians to rig the election results.

Related: Democratic National Committee Rejects Fox News for Debates: Citing New York Times Article 

Related: Fox News: So What If Trump Conspired With Russia To Win The Presidency?

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

American Ground Hog Day Won't End Until 2020 Election Is Over

Good Day World!

While relaxing with a hot cup of coffee this hump day morning, I had an epiphany.

In the days, weeks, and months ahead we're faced with a political groundhog day until the 2020 presidential election is over.

Democrats will be exposing Trump's corruption, obstruction of justice, campaign violations (Stormy McDaniels), emoluments, abuse of power, and a host of other investigations daily.

The Trump Machine, in and out of Congress, will be busy denying reality, trying to divert discussions, outright lying, and attacking our intelligence agencies and trying to discredit liberals and what the majority of Americans believe; that Trump's a con man and a crook.

We can expect each day to bring revelations and investigations. 

We can expect the dialogue on both sides of the political spectrum to get nastier and more threatening. 

We can expect the president of the United States will continue to try to go around Congress, and the will of the people until he's either impeached, or loses the next election.

Just as Phil found out in Ground Hog Day, we're going to discover the whole universe was frozen in thousands of days of a loop for the express purpose of providing us a lesson for stupidly electing Trump in the first place.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Taking Out The Trash: Media Dumps

Good Day World!

Sifting through other people's trash has come to define what the media considers big news.

Breaking news

News alert.

This just in.

More details to come. 

And so on. Media news outlets from Fox to CNN dump their politically motivated stories into the mainstream media.

Question: is there even such a thing as "mainstream" anymore?

When media outlets concentrate on "gotcha news" they are catering to segments of society that enjoy going for trips through dumps in search of salacious trash.

But what about the rest of us?

Americans who are interested in getting real news as opposed to op-ed news are left to surf the channels seeking news outlets without obvious bias. 

That often means looking at news outlets outside of the USA like BBC TV, or Reuters, where the news isn't so heavily filtered. I would also recommend reading The Guardian, an excellent daily newspaper in England.

Unfortunately, a large segment of American society is divided between two tribes; Democrats and Republicans. They need the affirmation that even quasi news outlets like Fox and CNN provide to fulfill and confirm their world view.

Is it any wonder an asshole like Trump could come up with the fake news bullshit and tout it daily to his base? Not in today's world where facts are all too often countered with partisan lies.

Don't expect media dumps to go away. The news cycle of the 21st century will continue to bring out the trash for ratings in our polarized society.

Related: Trump Ranks FOX News Reporters Based Upon Their Loyalty To Him

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, March 4, 2019

Political Correctness: Whose Right, Whose Wrong?


                                           Good Day World!

I'm really enjoying the break in the weather here in Medford. The sun is out! No rain. No snow. It's all good.

Speaking of what's good, and what's bad, I'm going to test the waters today with you dear reader. Let me know if I'm hot, or cold, for examining political correctness.

Four years ago I wrote this post - prior to the Me Too Movement:

How Off-The-Cuff Remarks Ruin Careers

I took the position that one controversial statement shouldn't ruin the career of a Nobel Prize winner with a positive life story.

In view of the evolving narrative about empowering women would you say that my post was:
a) enabling a bad man?
b) giving Republicans a talking point?
c)  or, an early warning sign for what lie ahead in political discourse?

From time-to-time I like to look back at an op-ed I wrote and see how it stands years later. Was I on the wrong or right side of his history?

You tell me.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, March 3, 2019

On Freak Shows and Song and Dance Diplomacy

Good Day World!

Politics in the Trump era has entered the entertainment market, morphing it into reality shows worthy of P.T. Barnum
Let's take a look today at the annual Conservative pilgrimage to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where freak shows are the norm.

This year's freak show performers didn't disappoint. Here's three quick examples:

* Trump the featured speaker, ranted about all the investigations against him, declaring they were "bullshit." (A very presidential word in this new era.) 
* A right-wing activist, Laura Loomer, lost her press credentials after harassing a CNN reporter who she felt contributed to her being banned from Twitter. 
* A right-wing blogger, Michelle Malkin called out the ghost of John McCain during a speech. She blamed him, and others for just about every perceived woe in America.

Related: Former Reagan Official Slams CPAC Speaker for raging against "the host of John McCain 
Related: CPAC Used TO BE About Conservative Ideas - Now it's Just a Circus

On Song and Dance Diplomacy

After Trump returned from his latest summit failure in Hanoi, Vietnam (that's three summits and counting), with North Korean dictator Kim, the world got another good laugh at his Art of the No-Deal.  

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed what most of the rest of the world already knows when he said, "President Trump should've now realized that the pageantries, photo-ops, and flip-flops don't make for serious diplomacy."

Every dictator on the planet realizes that all they have to do is a"Sword Dance" (See Trump's greeting by Saudi Arabia), and lavish Trump with praise and they can play him like a violin.

In a sickening side note; Trump treats America's traditional allies like adversaries, spending his first two years destroying America's values and international treaties.

No matter what kind of song or dance Trump embraces, he has his fan base to enable him. However, the rest of the world is on to his act.

Time for me to walk on down the road...