Your Crystal Ball

 crystal ball

We Americans have lost our ability to think critically, to assess, to weigh things. At least 1/3 of us have. Over these past 3 years about 70 million of us have lost the ability to discern truth from lies. Even silly lies, when said by Trump, can now fool millions of Americans. Trump said that George Soros paid for “the caravan”, which is silly to anyone with more brains than a scarecrow. But then a crazed Trump voter ran out and tried to kill Soros with a bomb. Some people are not smart enough to reason. We are still debating daily whether Trump is a blatant filthy liar or if he merely said something that was not technically true. Why are we still debating this?

It shouldn’t take a crystal ball to see what’s going on in America. It is pretty simple. And well documented. When Clinton was president, Newt Gingrich convinced Republicans to get nasty, to use war-like terms to dehumanize Democrats, to set civility aside and become brutal. And they did. Bit by bit, over the past 3 decades. FOX News was created to ‘balance’ things out for conservatives. Trent Lott breaking the longstanding “Water’s Edge Rule” was part of that movement. Impeaching Clinton for having an affair was part of that, even while Gingrich was, uh, having an affair. Manipulating the Florida vote count process was part of that movement. Karl Rove using gay rights as a wedge issue to get W. reelected was part of it. McConnell’s vow to make Obama a one-term president, then to ignore our Constitution and deny Obama a Supreme Court nomination process was a big part of this movement. Republicans have become the party that white supremacists support in 2018. Republicans are supporting a president that is authoritarian in desire, who divides us intentionally, who ignores the rule of law, and who is leading a band of liars and thieves like we’ve never seen in any administration. That’s what’s going on. And 1/3 of Americans don’t understand it because they’re undereducated, and because they are being gaslighted daily. By Trump and by FOX. Pretty simple.

Because so many of us are currently challenged in our ability to reason, here’s a look into a Crystal Ball for some much needed clarity. Here are the very simple (and obvious to most of us) answers to many of the political questions people are wondering about:

  • Will Trump fire Mueller? Not exactly, but he’ll interfere with the investigation by firing Rosenstein after the election, just as Republicans were caught on tape acknowledging to donors.
  • Will Mueller find any smoking guns that bring down Trump? No, because whatever Mueller finally concludes, no matter how damning it is, will be ignored by Trump and Republicans. Nothing to see here folks, just like we said all along, no collusion, it was all a hoax. So in the end, nothing will come of the Mueller investigation because Republicans will ignore it and Dems will do nothing but scream. 
  • Will Trump testify before Mueller? No, he will ignore any subpoenas, just like he ignored making his tax returns public. And Republicans will stand by him, as they have for 2 years.
  • Will he fire Sessions? Yes, after the election, just as he’s hinted.
  • Will he tone down his rhetoric after the mail bombs and massacre in Pittsburgh? No, he won’t. He doesn’t care.
  • Will he really get tough with the Saudi’s for killing the Washington Post journalist? He’ll do some small gesture like expelling the Saudi ambassador, but no, he’ll take no serious steps against them because they threw him a nice party.
  • If Dems take the House, will they Impeach Trump? No, Dems don’t have the stomach. They’re too nice. And Dems are divided about whether to be tough or nice. Only half of them had the nerve to walk out of the sham Kavanaugh hearing. Just endless hearings that everyone will tire of. Even C-span will stop watching. But no impeachment.
  • Will Dems at least overturn every single Obama-era Executive Order and regulation that Trump has reversed? No, they won’t even have the nerve to do that. They’ll instead reach out to be conciliatory to the MAGA crowd. That’s what we liberals do.
  • Will more innocent people die as a result of Trump’s rhetoric? Sadly, yes.
  • Even with the benefit of a crystal ball, will a single Trump voter ever be convinced of the truth? Nope. Not a 1. 
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Pruitt Turns Chicken

Pruitt Chick-Fil-A
Photo – FOX Real News

Retired EPA chief Scott Pruitt has announced that he and his wife will become the proud owners/CEO’s/night managers of Chick-fil-A #420, in Oklahoma City, as of July 15th, 2018. “Democrats have been complaining for the last year that at the EPA I was the fox guarding the hen house. Well then, I might as well go on in and cook ’em up all up.”, Pruitt said. “I am proud to be a free-range Republican.”

Mr. Pruitt said that his restaurant will benefit from the same level of urgency he used as the head of America’s Environmental Protection Agency. He has pledged to overturn two health department rules for every new one he makes up. Employees will no longer be forced to wash their hands after using the bathroom if it interferes with their religious liberties. Health inspectors will not be allowed into #420, according to Pruitt. “We know the government is corrupt, and I will not have them poking around in my kitchen.”, Pruitt said. Hairnets for cooks will be replaced with Make America Great Again hats. Any customers wearing I’m With Her shirts or any other un-American slogans will be refused service. Flag shirts are acceptable if the customers are standing while wearing them.

When told that the number 420 represents the secret code for marijuana, Pruitt said unequivocally, “Don’t be fooled by our franchise number. We are a wholesome God-fearing family restaurant and we won’t tolerate that. We will do drug testing for all employees.” Pruitt said that Oklahoma’s Governor will definitely overturn Oklahoma’s new voter-approved medical marijuana law. “The Governor heard the voters,” he said, “and will respond accordingly, by overturning it. Plain and simple.”

In keeping with the Chick-fil-A founder’s religious beliefs, Pruitt says he will refuse to serve gay people, or anybody that he or his employees think might have homosexual tendencies. “Effeminate men or butch-looking women will simply be asked to leave and come back when they’ve found Jesus and can be more normal.”, Pruitt said. In accordance with the new Supreme Court ruling, Pruitt will go one step further in denying gays wedding cakes. When told that Chick-fil-A doesn’t make wedding cakes, a defiant Pruitt said “You got that right, Mister! Not anymore we don’t!”

Pruitt will not follow the lead of Starbucks in allowing everyone to use their restrooms. “Unlike Starbucks, our restrooms are private”, he said. When asked what he meant by “private”, Pruitt replied, “They have doors. And they are for families only.” When asked if African American families will be permitted to use his restrooms, Pruitt said that he has “… no issue whatsoever with the blacks using my restrooms… if they buy a chicken sandwich first, and if they clean up after themselves.”

Mr. Pruitt’s will be the only Chick-fil-A store in the nation with a sound-proof phone booth installed in the back office for top secret to-go orders. Security will be tight and on guard against any protestors. Mr. Pruitt is currently accepting applications from local armed militia groups who will volunteer to serve as security guards at #420. His will be the only Chick-fil-A with a heliport, so that in the event of protests from animal rights activists or vegetarians, Pruitt can be airlifted to safety.

Pruitt’s restaurant will be the only one in the Untied States with a direct line to the White House so that he can talk about chicken needs with the President at any time. Pruitt said that Trump administration officials will be especially welcome to dine here without fear of being heckled by liberals. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders deserves her chicken just like working folks do.”, said Pruitt. “In fact, I’m countin’ on Sarah to help me make a profit.”, he joked. “Nobody can put chicken away like Sarah.”

Treason-Trump=Reason

Treason.jpeg

Treason. It’s a dusty old word, left over from the days of muskets and powdered wigs. But when our Commander-in-Covfefe pulled it out this week saying that Dems are treasonous for not applauding him during the State of the Union address, he once again demonstrated how little he understands the power of his office. He and his voters clearly don’t understand why casually throwing this word and concept around is no laughing matter. There’s been much talk over the past year about the tearing down of our societal norms, but very few Trump voters have taken heed. Shocking, right? Uneducated voters still can’t seem to grasp why it’s a problem to chant “Lock her up” about your political opponent. Red state folks don’t get why they can’t make everyone applaud the way they want them to. They cannot connect the dots with Kim Jong Un having people executed for not… (wait for it) applauding with enough enthusiasm. Republicans are blind to the fact that Captain Cheetoh is mimicking much of Un’s authoritarian behavior by saying this. Conservatives just can’t see it. They don’t understand that when football players don’t salute the flag the way they want people to, that this is their constitutional right of free speech and that they are entitled to it, even if Trump disagrees. They are blind.

 

Trump is right (whoa, did I say that?) that we did reach a new low in this year’s State of the Union address. We surpassed the “You Lie!” moment of shame when Republican congressman Joe Wilson interrupted President Obama’s speech. This year, the shameful part was… that it was being delivered by a pathological liar with absolutely no moral compass. The new low that Trump voters are blind to is having this orange fool represent us to the rest of the world. The rest of the world knows what an idiotic disaster this clown is. It’s only in the US that 1/3 of our people are too stupid to understand that his lies void any truths that may have inadvertently been imbedded in the SotU speech. His lies mean that none of it matters. It is shameful to pretend that he represents us like a real president. He isn’t. And he doesn’t. Which is why so many Americans skipped it altogether this year. Myself included. I went bowling with Ruth Bader Ginsburg instead, which is why I missed this great treasonous act on the part of my Dems. But oh how I would really love to see Chuck and Nancy stand up so firmly against this Republican debacle that they are accused of treason by someone who actually knows what the word means.

 

Modern day Republicans don’t understand much about the concept of treason. They are covering for Trump and his family’s close associations with many Russians and, in fact, trying to hinder the investigation conducted by the fairest man in Washington. If there has been any treasonous behavior, it has been by The Moron himself and his family. Making money off foreign governments is against the law. Yet he lines his pockets every single day while uneducated and unemployed coal miners continue to cheer him in the dark. They don’t get how fragile democracy is, and frankly, they just don’t care. At some point in the future, rational Americans will regain control of our senses and our government, and Republicans will find that they have been on the wrong side of history by protecting this destructive little man-baby as he dismantles our norms. The rest of the world already knows this. But to know something is to understand the nuances of it. And that’s why uneducated Trump voters will never know how irresponsible it is to call Democrats treasonous for not applauding to his perverted liking. They just can’t.

Sausage Factory

trump
SF Chronicle 

Watching the sausage get made is ugly. Or at least that’s conventional wisdom. But I’m glad I dared to watch the grinders turn Tuesday by braving what sent my wife screaming from the room; the live cable news coverage of a meeting with the president and members of congress about DACA. My wife isn’t the only one who suffers from Trumpette’s Syndrome, a Tourette’s Syndrome-like reaction of uncontrollable swearing and name-calling triggered by seeing the president on TV. Millions are suffering from it. But there was a reward for hanging with this particular Jan 9th Breaking News coverage of what should have been only a minute-long photo-op, but turned into nearly an hour of unscripted round robin with congressional members from both houses and parties. Sure it was all posturing but it was a rare example of the good, the bad, and the ugly of the American government.

The Good. The era of decorum may not be completely dead. One could argue that the sycophancy of everyone at this table in both parties was sickening. And hearing Trump talk about how politics needs to be less toxic is enough to make you throw up in your mouth a little. This is indeed the most hostile toxic time in our lives and it is precisely because of the divisiveness of Covfefe-in-chief. When Sen. Feinstein proposed a clean bill for DACA and Trump clearly didn’t understand what she meant, Kevin McCarthy jumped in to save him and link “the wall” funding to any DACA fix. It was genteel politics at its best and reflected a sweeter time. Yes, it was a clear political parry to Feinstein’s thrust. Nothing unusual about political fencing in politics. But it was done nicely, which for this hateful time, actually means something. Even the hypocrisy of our politicians smiling at each other while the cameras are on and then working to destroy each others’ lives off camera, even just that act of pretending to be nice is helpful these days. That’s how low we’ve sank. The parliamentary niceties, the “honorable gentleman from’s…” and “yielding to the gentlewomen from’s…” have never been more necessary. Even if they don’t mean it. At least we’re pretending to be civil, and that was good.

The Bad. The bad is that politics as usual was on full display at this table. One congressman’s personal agenda depended upon undoing another’s. Such is politics. This volley of statements from electeds was a clear demonstration of how things normally get bogged down. And it makes sense. Try to get anything accomplished with a dozen opinions around the table. But it doesn’t bode well when there’s no substance. Today both sides were pretending to have the DACA kids’ best interest at heart, even while the GOP is holding them hostage for “border wall” funding. How can we ever get anything done when one side is lying about their intentions? Feinstein’s suggestion to isolate DACA was spot on, if your goal is to save those kids. But if your goal is to score political points to help in the mid-terms, then you tie DACA support to the $19 Billion border wall like McCarthy did. The days of genuine honest communication in Congress is indeed dead. That is bad.

The Ugly. Seeing him facilitate even an awkward photo-op situation so clearly demonstrates what a stable genius our president is not. It’s not even that he’s the only one at the table who didn’t understand Feinstein’s point. It’s that he won’t admit that he doesn’t get it, and then when everyone else says No, you don’t get it, he tries to act like he gets it to soothe his overinflated ego. This is why he can’t improve, why he can’t learn, why our intelligence officers have to pare down his daily briefings, why everyone in the White House says he’s a child, why he is utterly unfit to serve in his office. That is ugly, because the House GOP sycophants have no intention of putting country first. Ever. They all know it, McConnell, and Ryan, and Graham, and the rest, but none of them will dare say it and those who do stand up to him seem to about face and kiss the ring of the king as soon as the base gets roiled. They all know he is a narcissistic man child and is a real threat to our safety. And yet, the charade goes on. It was on full display at this event. That lie is the ugly face of our government today.

 

 

 

Broken Resolution

hogans-heroes.jpg-2639
Hogan’s Heroes cast (when it was fiction)

Okay, so I had intended to stop calling Trump voters stupid in this new year. It is true that this was my only New Year’s resolution this year. And it’s also true that I have already broken my solitary resolution and it’s only January 2nd. But here’s the thing. When nearly half of our population is so blatantly stupid that they don’t even know that we’re in a serious crisis, don’t you have to keep calling it out? Isn’t it whistling past the graveyard to act like it’s fine if nearly half of your countrymen are idiots. With guns. And the right to vote. And they drive too.

If we could label them, so we’d all agree who the idiots are, that’d be better. Then we could stop calling them stupid, because we’d have a system for labeling them. We could all use those toy dart guns with the rubber suction cups on the darts, and whenever you see a car covered with those darts, you know that’s a Republican and to stay away from that car. Not that Republicans are necessarily bad drivers. They drive better than they think, which is weird because they seem to lose that ability to think when they go into a voting booth. Maybe they’re not stupid, maybe there’s some syndrome that affects nearly half of all American voters that makes them lose their brain function when they go into a voting booth. Maybe we just need new voting booths in the South and our national problem would be cured.

Those red MAGA hats and confederate flag t-shirts also help us know who the stupid people are. Have you seen any respected scholars or world leaders wearing one? No, you have not. Only morons wear those. So just know if the person in front of you at the grocery story is wearing one, just smile when they point to the National Enquirer at the check out stand and say “Now that’s REAL NEWS!”. You would have known that they’re stupid at that point anyway, but the MAGA hat somehow prepared you and inoculated you from the stupidity so that you would have found it amusing rather than disturbing. That’s why it is helpful to know who the stupid people are. Not because it changes them at all. They’re too stupid to be able to change. But it’ll help the rest of us cope with the stupid ones. If we are bemused by them, then we will not be angered by them in this new year. And that’s much better for everyone.

So exercise your 2nd amendment rights in this new year and arm yourselves with Stupid Rubber Darts. Identify the stupid ones at every turn. If we stop taking the idiots seriously, we’ll feel better. Sure our democracy will still be unraveled. But we’ll feel better about it, because at least we’re not living a lie that way. So call it like it is in 2018. Call stupid stupid. Prepare to be amused rather than abused. It’s a Hogan’s Heroes world, where the stupid ones are in charge and the smart ones are in jail. But we know that our captors are idiots. Colonel Klink may be in the White House but we have secret tunnels. Like Hogan’s Heroes, we’re laughing at the Nazi’s, even while they imprison us. Until we are liberated, it’s the only choice we have.

Morally Bankrupt

monopoly bankrupt

To understand why Republicans would increase our deficit by 1.5 trillion dollars for corporate tax cuts when corporations are flush and balance sheets are strong, you have to acknowledge right off the top that nearly half of American voters are absolute idiots. I have spent most of 2017 trying to understand how nearly half of our population could have been so hoodwinked by such a Moron! I have watched and listened to dozens and dozens of interviews with Trump-voters on TV. Not one of them seems to understand anything about our system of government. They are shockingly uninformed and misinformed. I don’t say that because they disagree with my politics, btw, but because their facts are wrong. The angry white Trump-voters are, as Trump himself acknowledged, the uneducated. And it shows. Every time they talk on TV.

I’ve also had personal conversations with a few dozen Trump-voters in the last year. And they were just as unsatisfying as the ones I saw on TV. Most of them said they didn’t like Trump but that he was the better alternative to Hillary. When I asked, as I did in every single Trump-voter conversation, what it was that they feared Hillary would have done? They don’t have a real answer. She’s a crook, they say, or Benghazi, or emails. When you ask them for specifics it’s clear they have no idea. They have no idea what she did wrong with regard to Benghazi but they’ll say she got people killed. And when you explain it to them factually, they shrug and say that she’s a crook. But they can’t tell you why. When you ask how they feel about him and his actions, they go back to how they had to save us from Hillary. (Tell me those Russian fake news stories didn’t have an impact.)

To understand how Republicans in Congress can pass such an immoral tax bill, you have to talk to business people. I have only had one satisfying conversation this year with a Trump-voter, who happens to be a friend and businesswoman. And it was only satisfying because she understood why my hair is on fire about Trump and his flying monkeys. She is a well-educated, successful corporate executive and longtime friend who understands my artist tendency to be very upset about the lying, the injustice, the hypocrisy, the divisiveness, and did I mention the lying? Yes, if you care about these things, she said, then yes, you’ll be upset about Trump. But then she explained how because her interest is business and only business, de-regulating everything is her priority. She told me how de-regulation will be great for business all over the world. When I pointed out how de-regulation would allow companies to pollute our rivers she told me that she’d spent 18 hours a day for the past 30 years in the corporate executive suite of major companies, and to her business is the game. It’s business first. Period. In the corporate executive suite, it’s not about justice or fairness or the lead levels in our drinking water. It’s about making money. Period. Business first. That’s how Ryan can justify increasing the deficit by giving more money to the rich and corporations while cutting Medicare for the poor and gutting the affordable care act. Business first, say the Republicans.

While this conversation with my friend was not completely satisfying, it is the only one I’ve had with a Trump-voter who actually understood my P.O.V. She wasn’t telling me I was wrong about him, just that she understood how much more competitive business But at least she wasn’t telling me that I was crazy and that Capt. Covfefe is really so smart about everything. That’s because there is no smart reason to support this man or his policies, unless you really do think slavery days were the good old days. Not even if you wanted to shake up Washington, or save the world from Hillary, or thought he’d become more presidential, or liked his straight talk… none of those are intelligent rational reasons to support his immoral clan. Based on what we already knew at the time, he was clearly not fit for the office. There were hundreds of daily examples of his lack of readiness. Anyone who missed, during the campaign, that he’s a mean-spirited pathological moron really is… uneducated. That’s his base. Uneducated. Unable to put two and two together. Unable to see how if he’s mocking disabled people or name calling Senators, how that indicates that he’ll be a divider rather than a uniter. They either didn’t see it, or just didn’t care. Most Trump-voters don’t seem to care about justice either. Or the environment. Or bringing people together. Or the truth. Or facts.

So there are two types of trump-voters, the uneducated who don’t understand, and the educated who just don’t care. Either way, it’s a dissatisfying conversation. But it explains why the Republicans are passing a tax bill this week that will hurt this country in ways the uneducated base has yet to understand. The ivy-league Republicans in Congress know all too well that their base will never understand.