Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Seeing Red This Week Until it All Became so Clear

Last Thursday the monster announced that he intended to impose a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum.  The devastating implications of this Faustian deal with the devil are inescapable.  A bright eight-year old child should be able to understand two issues which are central to this crime against the economies of the world and in particular detrimental to the people of the U.S.A.
Free trade and its attendant globalism are the two cornerstones of the unparalleled growth and prosperity of the U.S., China, Canada, Mexico, the EU, the Pacific Rim, South America and other economies for the last twenty-five years.

A tariff on international suppliers of the two most important metals in construction and manufacturing can only hurt everyone.

It’s that simple.  You do not need to be an expert on economics, business or industry.  Steel is the most important durable metal.  Everything from suspension bridges, freeways, skyscrapers, office buildings, automobiles, office furniture, agricultural equipment, bicycles, wheelchairs, hospital and medical equipment, street signs, fencing, armor, concrete reinforcement and plumbing is made with steel.  An attack on the global steel trade is an attack on humanity.
Aluminum has always been a valuable, lightweight metal that is every bit as useful as steel.  Steel is better for cars in that it absorbs a crash more reliably.  But automobile companies such as Ford Motor Company have pioneered integrating steel and aluminum on the same chassis to provide a safer, lighter version of tradition automobiles that gives better fuel economy without sacrificing safety.  I know.  I own a 2014 Ford Expedition.

Aluminum bicycles are incredibly popular for their light weight.  But real bike people know that a lightweight steel frame is the best because of the way it flexes and bends.  My point is that an assault on the steel and aluminum industries is about the single most counter-productive that any president could even be imagined to propose.  Alcoa has also been doing so well in the last few years that they split their company into two publicly traded companies. Mrs. Junior had a hunch to buy Alcoa about five years ago. I told her to go for it. Aluminum was being used in automobiles, bicycles and manufacturing more than ever before.  We made money. Explain to me why we have to protect U.S. aluminum interests from harmful importers?

I have been seeing red over this abusive threat for five days now. It finally occurred to me today. I had heard that Trump's associate, Carl Icahn, had divested his interest in the Manitowoc Company just days before the fatal announcement on Thursday. Carl Icahn, a billionaire financier and longtime pal of Donald Trump’s, sold more than $30 million of stock in a steel-dependent company days before new tariffs on steel imports were announced.

I finally put two and two together. Trump and his fellow conspirator/cohorts are simply using his muscle as POTUS to set up various killings in the stock market. Think about it.  This is from the company website of the Manitowoc Company:

Founded in 1902, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 20 countries. Manitowoc is recognized as one of the premier innovators and providers of crawler cranes, tower cranes, and mobile cranes for the heavy construction industry, which are complemented by a slate of industry-leading aftermarket product support services. In 2016, Manitowoc’s net sales totaled $1.6 billion, with over half generated outside the United States.

Why would anyone dump stock in a company that was doing this well? Sell high, right?  These are the type of global leading companies that will be hurt by Trump’s insane proposition should he actually go through with it.  The economic ripples are unpredictable.  Who can say who or which industries will be hit the hardest.

Silver lining.  Fawning sycophants that they are, the nincompoops at NPR actually located a U.S. company that is thrilled by the news.  The last manufacturer of steel beer kegs in the U.S.  Good news, everyone.

Trump is fucking up to something. His ignorant minions no longer even question his motives for his insane public and trading policies. He truly is a charismatic dictator with a lemming following that would gladly jump to their deaths if that was what was required.­­
Industries, companies, employees and people will be directly hurt by this misguided tariff, here at home and across the world. It's one thing to fuck up the tax base with a tax plan that features a seven year payday loan for ignorant Trump supporters. Anyone old enough to retire will probably be dead before the shit hits the fan.  It's quite another problem to sabotage a global manufacturing economy.

So, White House economic adviser, Gary Cohn, intends to resign.  Mr. Cohn had actually drafted his letter of resignation after the monster’s comments on Charlottesville.  But he stuck around long enough to promote the tax cuts.  That’s right. He headed up the team that drafted this attack on the government and the economy of the United States of America.

The White House told the New York Times there was no singular cause behind Cohn’s departure, but the decision comes after a high-profile skirmish between Cohn, his fellow free-trade advocates, and proponents of the heavy steel and aluminum tariffs President Donald Trump announced Thursday.

Here is the article about Cohn’s failed battle with his conscience last summer.

Let’s hear some pushback from the reasonable and intelligent conservatives.  How could Trump possibly get away with this?  Well, the answer probably lies somewhere in his stock portfolio. Remember this guy is the ethical nightmare president who refused to divest himself of any of his holdings no matter what the potential conflict of interests may or may not have been or will be.
Didn’t he hand over Trump enterprises to his children so the he could send business their way as POTUS?  SS paying for a floor at Trump Tower.  Foreign dignitaries staying at Trump hotels?  Why do I even bother to go on.

This tariff thing really woke me up to what is happening now.

What really just about made me jump up to my feet this morning was the public statement from White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro on Trump's decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.

Navarro came up with the two stupidest, most simple-minded and erroneous examples possible of potential reverberations of the proposed tariffs.

"Aluminum beer cans contain about three cents worth of aluminum.  So a 10% tariff on aluminum would raise the cost of a beer by about three tenths of a cent."

"If a car contains around 400 pounds of aluminum, that would raise the price of a $35,000 automobile by about $40."

Captain Obvious reminds us, "What about the 25% tariff on steel?"  I only say this to point up the ignorance and naïveté of Navarro's analysis.

My blood just about boiled out of my eyeballs. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

The Manchurian Candidate

Just in case you imagined for half a moment that Trump wasn't really under Vladimir Putin's powerful sway, or perhaps that Trump is not really quite as incurious, uninformed and just plain stupid as he sounds when he attempts to do presidential...

This happens.  Well, after all, why would Putin lie to his buddy, Donnie-baby?  "He said that I'm a genius!"  "I pressed him three times about meddling in the election.  He denied it vehemently every time.  You already know my position."

Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking & many other negative things will be guarded. [sic]

Just wow.  Much stranger than fiction.

Damn straight!  2016 is going to be the last time ever that Crooked Hillary and Obama collude with the California Registrar of Voters to allow three million undocumented brown people to corrupt what should have been a fair and honest count of the votes.  Go Putin!  BFF!  #MAGA!

It's probably not his fault.  He may actually have been hypnotized when he thought he was just having a good time with the pretty blond hookers in Moscow.  Post-hypnotic suggestion.  Brainwashing.  Apparently it is still practiced.  And apparently, it still works.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Middle Fingers Up!

God Bless Rosie O'Donnell.

She is a friend, indeed.

That's the thing.  When you see Trump on the TV or you hear someone mention his name, remember Rosie's call to action.  "Middle Fingers Up!"

The only video that matters right now is the one that should have prevented his election.

Middle Fingers Up!

Friday, February 17, 2017

What the Hell Just Happened?

The unthinkable happened. Because the American electorate revelled in their unthinking. We saw it unfold in microcosm right here in the venerated blogosphere. Asked who they would vote for, uncaring millennials said something like, "Oh, I dunno. I'll probably vote for Jill Stein." Bernie Bots openly flouted their hatred of Hillary Clinton whilst claiming true liberal cred out of the other side of their mouths. When asked if their boy lost the primary, would they cast their votes for HRC? "We won't!" they proudly proclaimed.
What just happened? Who are the good guys? Who can we trust? We thought Jill Stein was a crunchy progressive?

Turns out she actually campaigned on the concept of principled collaboration with Russia, spouting the pseudo-liberal line of bullshit, "The United States is now embarking on a $1 trillion program to update its nuclear weaponry while we are slashing programs to fight hunger, address homelessness, and provide economic security for our people,"

And the full-on crock-of-shit, "Solutions to problems such as jihadi terrorism will require Russia and the United States to work together, shedding outdated cold war attitudes that prevented collaboration on problems facing both nations."

And even the reprehensible, "The Obama Administration's obsession with toppling the government in Damascus is fundamentally inconsistent with winning the fight against ISIS," Stein asserted. "US pursuit of regime change in Libya, Iraq, and Syria created the chaos that promotes power grabs by extremist militias. Many of the weapons we are sending into Syria to arm anti-government militias are winding up in the hands of ISIS. This isn't a clever foreign policy - it's disastrous militarism."

On another topic, I'm sure you were as dumbfounded as I was when Rand Paul said it was time to get busy repealing Obamacare instead of investigating. They trying to pull young minds into the abyss.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Full Text of the Attachment to the Letter to the Senate by Corretta Scott King as cited by Elizabeth Warren

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to express my strong opposition to the nomination of Jefferson Sessions for a federal district judgeship for the Southern District of Alabama. My longstanding commitment which I shared with my husband, Martin, to protect and enhance the rights of black Americans, rights which include equal access to the democratic process, compels me to testify today.
Civil rights leaders, including my husband and Albert Turner, have fought long and hard to achieve free and unfettered access to the ballot box. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen. Mr. Sessions' conduct as a US Attorney, from his politically-motivated voting fraud prosecutions to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicated that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge.

The Voting Rights Act was, and still is, vitally important to the future of democracy in the United States. I was privileged to join Martin and many others during the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights in 1965. Martin was particularly impressed by the determination to get the franchise of blacks in Selma and neighboring Perry County. As he wrote, "Certainly no community in the history of the Negro struggle has responded with the enthusiasm of Selma and her neighboring town of Marion. Where Birmingham depended largely upon students and unemployed adults to participate in non-violent protest of the denial of the franchise, Selma has involved fully 10 per cent of the Negro population in active demonstrations, and at least half of the Negro population of Marion was arrested on one day." Martin was referring of course to a group that included the defendants recently prosecuted for assisting elderly and illiterate blacks to exercise that franchise. In fact, Martin anticipated from the depth of their commitment twenty years ago, that a united political organization would remain in Perry County long after the other marchers had left. This organization, the Perry County Civic League, started my Mr. Turner, Mr. Hogue, and others, as Martin predicted, continued "to direct the drive for votes and other rights." In the years since the Voting Rights Act was passed, black Americans in Marion, Selma and elsewhere have made important strides in their struggle to participate actively in the electoral process. The number of blacks registered to vote in key Southern states has doubled since 1965. This would not have been possible without the Voting Rights Act.
However, blacks still fall far short of having equal participation in the electoral process. Particularly in the South, efforts continue to be made to deny blacks access to the polls, even where blacks constitute the majority of the voters. It has been a long, up-hill struggle to keep alive the vital legislation that protects the most fundamental right to vote. A person who has exhibited so much hostility to the enforcement of those laws, and thus, to the exercise of those rights by black people should not be elevated to the federal bench.

The irony of Mr. Sessions' nomination is that, if confirmed, he will be given life tenure for doing with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished twenty years ago with clubs and cattle prods. Twenty years ago, when we marched from Selma to Montgomery, the fear of voting was real, as the broken bones and bloody heads in Selma and Marion bore witness. As my husband wrote at the them, "it was not just a sick imagination that conjured up the vision of a public official, sworn to uphold the law, who forced an inhuman march upon hundreds of Negro children. Who ordered the Rev. James Bevel to be chained to his sickbed, who clubbed a Negro woman registrant, and who callously inflicted repeated brutalities and indignities upon nonviolent Negroes peacefully petitioning for their constitutional right to vote."
Free exercise of voting rights is so fundamental to American democracy that we cannot tolerate any form of infringement of those rights. Of all the groups who have been disenfranchised in our nation's history, none has struggled longer or suffered more in the attempt to win the vote than black citizens. No group has had access to the ballot box denied so persistently and intently. Over the past century, a broad array of schemes have been used in attempts to bloc the black vote. The range of techniques developed with the purpose of repressing black voting rights run the gamut from the straightforward application of brutality against black citizens who tried to vote, to such legalized frauds as grandfather clause exclusions and rigged literacy tests.
The actions taken by Mr. Sessions in regard to the 1984 voting fraud prosecutions represent just one more technique used to intimidate black voters and thus deny them this most precious franchise. The investigations into the absentee voting process were conducted only in the black belt counties where blacks had finally achieved political power in local government. Whites had been using the absentee process to their advantage for years, without incident. Then, when blacks, realizing its strength, began to use it with success, criminal investigations were begun.
In these investigations, Mr. Sessions, a US Attorney, exhibited an eagerness to bring to trial and convict three leaders of the Perry County Civic League including Albert Turner, despite evidence clearly demonstrating their innocence of any wrongdoing. Furthermore, in initiating the case, Mr. Sessions ignored allegations of similar behavior by whites, choosing instead to chill the exercise of the franchise by blacks in his misguided investigation. In fact, Mr. Sessions sought to punish older black civil rights activists, advisers and colleagues of my husband, who had been key figures in the civil rights movement in the 1960's. These were persons who, realizing the potential of the absentee vote among blacks, had learned to use the process within the bounds of legality and had taught others to do the same. The only sin they committed was being too successful in gaining votes.

The scope and character of the investigations conducted by Mr. Sessions also warrant grave concern. Witnesses were selectively chosen in accordance with the favorability of their testimony to the government's case. Also, the prosecution illegally withheld from the defense critical statements made by witnesses. Witnesses who did testify were pressured and intimidated into submitting the "correct" testimony. Many elderly blacks were visited multiple times by the FBI who then hauled them over 180 miles by bus to a grand jury in Mobile when they could more easily have testified at a grand jury just twenty miles away in Selma. These voters, and others, have announced they are now never going to vote again.
I urge you to consider carefully Mr. Sessions' conduct in these matters. Such a review, I believe, raises serious questions about his commitment to the protection of the voting rights of all American citizens and consequently his fair and unbiased judgment regarding this fundamental right. When the circumstances and facts surrounding the indictments of Al Turner, his wife, Evelyn, and Spencer Hogue are analyzed, it becomes clear that the motivation was political, and the result frightening -- the wide-scale chill of the exercise of the ballot for blacks, who suffered so much to receive that right in the first place. Therefore, it is my strongly-held view that the appointment of Jefferson Sessions to the federal bench would irreparably damage the work of my husband, Al Turner and countless others who risked their lives and freedom over the past twenty years to ensure equal participation in our democratic system.
The exercise of the franchise is an essential means by which our citizens ensure that those who are governing will be responsible. My husband called it the number one civil right. The denial of access to the ballot box ultimately results in the denial of other fundamental rights. For, it is only when the poor and disadvantaged are empowered that they are able to participate actively in the solutions to their own problems.
We still have a long way to go before we can say that minorities no longer need be concerned about discrimination at the polls. Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans are grossly underrepresented at every level of government in America. If we are going to make our timeless dream of justice through democracy a reality, we must take every step possible to ensure that the spirit and intent of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 15th Amendment to the Constitution is honored. The federal courts hold a unique position in our constitutional system, ensuring that minorities and other citizens without political power have a forum in which to vindicate their rights. Because of this unique role, it is essential that the people selected to be federal judges respect the basic tenets of our legal system: respect for individual rights and a commitment to equal justice for all.
The integrity of the courts, and thus, the rights they protect, can only be maintained if citizens feel confident that those selected as federal judges will be able to judge with fairness others holding differing views.
I do not believe Jefferson Sessions possesses the requisite judgment, competence and sensitivity to the rights guaranteed by the federal civil rights laws to qualify for appointment to the federal district court. Based on his record, I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect not only on the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made everywhere toward fulfilling my husband's dream that he envisioned over twenty years ago. I therefore urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to deny his confirmation.
I thank you for allowing me to share my views.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Putin Has Good Reason to Hate Hillary Clinton

My mentor and blogging inspiration, Southern Beale, has authored a post about historic problems between HRC and the Vlad.  I could simply link to her article, because, without any doubt, she is a far better journalist, than I could ever even hope to be.  And I should probably be attributing to her the genius that is her own.

But instead, I hope to gain some recognition for my established skills as a blog commenter.

Herewith, what I said to my friend, Southern Beale:

You don’t have the resources to garner the Pulitzer Prize for Investigatory Journalism, but you would have my vote for Explanatory Journalism.  Sadly it will take something more than informed journalists and their somewhat more than liberal readers to save our nation today. We are in extreme danger.
Some of us just believe that we will all be okay.  Well… That sounds nice. But it’s not going to happen without republican politicians playing good cop, nice cop.  I don’t have the nerve to ask you what you predict for the future. But I will join with you in fighting the monster Trump, his greedy and evil cohorts and minions, and most of all, the relentlessly stupid and feckless U.S. electorate that thinks that they can just piss off the next democratic candidate, HRC, as if none of this really mattered whatsoever.
How stupid does one have to be to believe all of the lies about HRC? Don’t answer that.
Stupidity is our greatest enemy. In this way, every third world country in the world today outperforms us in every way possible and in every way imaginable. We are blessed to be the recipients and heirs of the greatest efforts to achieve a universal commonwealth as well as the greatest experiment in self-governance ever seen on earth, coupled with the greatest ever system of regulated capitalism that has rocketed us to the heights of world dominance. Yet we are stupid enough to succumb to the exact problems that were exploited by every fascist dictator the world has ever known, rather than work together in a spirit of cooperation.
God help us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Time for a Little Bit of Reminiscing (Happy, Funny Times)

Let's face it friends.  There isn't a whole lot to laugh about right now.  I don't think that there is anyone at all that cares whether or not Alec Baldwin will be available to portray the Fascista on SNL.  It's not all about the bottom line for established comedy TV shows.  Maybe that is the last thing that matters.  But I remain unconvinced.

So, in an effort to reclaim past funny ha-has, written when there really was something to laugh about, I offer to my readers two classic posts, or more accurately a post on the Dog Report and the gist of one comment offered on the venerable Swash Zone.

Two song parodies.  Maybe I could have put together a couple of song videos on YouTube.  Piano, guitar and vocals?  But instead, I call upon your imaginations.  Herewith, "Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Liberals," and "The Ballad of Butt Chimney."

Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Liberals

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
Don't let 'em vote commie and drive ‘lectric cars
Make 'em cut taxes for plumbers and such;
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
They'll never cut taxes, no matter the facts is
Even when times are tough.

Lib’ruls ain't easy to love and they're hard to understand
And they're always talkin’ ‘bout givin’ poor folks a hand;
Greenpeace bumper stickers and “Save the Whales” T-shirts
Each day they fight for the cause;
And if you can’t rig the Diebolds and close the polls early
They’ll probably let black people vote.

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
Don't let 'em tax windfall profits for oil
Alternative energy totally sucks;
Mama don't let your babies grow up to be lib’ruls
They'll never drill offshore and dig up the ANWR
Even for the oil we love.

Lib’ruls like socialized medicine and clean air and water
Health care for seniors and children and illegal aliens;
And we that know better fight funding for college
The free market always works best!
They ain't just wrong, they's different from decent Murkins like us.

The Ballad of Butt Chimney
Everybody remembers Donovan's Mellow Yellow, right?

I'm a Massachusetts liberal;
Liberal republican I!
I'm a hard-core conservative;
got to live free or die!

They call me Butt Chimney!
(Smoke comes out my ass)

If I'm elected you'll get a good job;
If he is re-elected you won't!
Economies have to recover;
But if you elect Obama they don't!

They call me Butt Chimney!
(Smoke comes out my ass)
They call me Butt Chimney!
I will never apologize for America!
They call me Butt Chimney!
If elected I will repeal Obamacare!
They call me Butt Chimney!
Romneycare is a good thing!
They call me Butt Chimney!
I saw my father march with Martin Luther King!
They call me Butt Chimney!
I've been a hunter pretty much all my life;
They call me Butt Chimney!
I'm happy to learn that after I speak you're going to hear from Ann Coulter!
They call me Butt Chimney!
I like being able to fire people who provide services to me!
They call me Butt Chimney!
I'll tell you what, ten-thousand bucks? $10,000 bet?
They call me Butt Chimney!
I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed!
They call me Butt Chimney!
I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there;
They call me Butt Chimney!
PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air!
They call me Butt Chimney!
There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip;
They call me Butt Chimney!
So this morning I had a little bowl of Corn Flakes;
They call me Butt Chimney!
I put a little honey on 'em. Think I got a little sugar buzz going!
They call me Butt Chimney!
You know, I LOVE cars!
They call me Butt Chimney!
There was a time, forty or fifty years ago..
They call me Butt Chimney!
(Smoke comes out my ass!)