Making America Great Again, Step by Wobbly Step:

December 19, 2016

Step 26: Donald Trump nominated his long time bankruptcy lawyer, David Friedman, to be the new US ambassador to Israel. An ardent supporter of  Israel’s colonization of the West Bank through Jewish “settlements”—the Israeli form of apartheid, illegal under international law—Friedman’s positions are to the right of Benjamin Netanyahu. He advocates rapid and aggressive proliferation of Israelis into occupied territories, an expansive greater Israel claiming both sides of the Jordan River, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and provocatively moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. No artifice or subtlety, Friedman embodies an unapologetic policy of war on Palestinians.

Step 27: Donald Trump tweeted “information” from the “Crime Statistics Bureau,” an invented internet-only entity, that white murder victims in the US are mostly killed by Black people. It’s not true, not even close, but the “Big Lie” strategy rests on exaggeration and repetition, not truth.

Step 28: Donald Trump appointed Gary Cohn, Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, to be his “top economic advisor” and director of the National Economic Council. According to the president-elect, Cohn “is going to put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people.” This bit of swamp draining is a far cry from just months ago when candidate Trump lashed Goldman Sachs to Hillary Clinton, and  railed against both as part of “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” Today Donald Trump’s chief strategist, the white-supremacist Steve Bannon, is a former Goldman banker, as is his nominee for Treasury, Steve Mnuchin.

Step 29: Donald Trump offered up a reality-show bonanza, staging an “art of the deal” special in which our hero would save thousands of jobs in Indiana that Carrier, a subsidiary of United Technologies, planned to send to Mexico. The bought media showed up breathing heavily, and dutifully covered the president and vice-president elect heralding their brilliance, backing down Carrier and saving jobs. When the big media eye looked the other way and and the lights were turned down, Carrier got millions in tax breaks and tax-payer subsidies, United Technologies got inflated sweetheart deals with the federal government, and 800 jobs out of 2,000 stuck around Indiana for the moment. United Steel Workers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones, who was never in the negotiations between Donald Trump and Carrier, said that Trump “got up there and, for whatever reason, lied his ass off.” That honest comment earned Jones a bulls-eye painted on his back from the compulsively tweeting and vindictive president-elect: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues;” and a short time later, “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”

Step 30: Donald Trump continues to make the demonstrably false claim that he won the popular vote by “millions” because, within his hermetically sealed and self-created Comet Ping Pong parallel universe, “millions of people voted illegally.” Reality check: Donald Trump lost the popular vote by close to 3,000,000 votes, and officials across the country have certified that of the 137.7 million votes cast, credible instances of fraud have been “next to none.”

More to come!

How to Teach Morality

December 14, 2016


December 12, 2016

Living and Learning

December 12, 2016

Making America Great Again, Step by Terrifying Step:

December 10, 2016


Step 21: Donald Trump nominated Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, a leading climate change “steelhead” denier, Big Oil lackey, and organizer of a secret confederacy of Republican AG’s and energy company executives to attack the Environmental Protection Agency and resist clean air and water standards, to head—you guessed it!—the EPA. He will assist in “tearing up” the Paris climate agreement (signed by 195 countries, including the US, the world’s top polluter) which is the farthest reaching international climate agreement ever ratified, and simultaneously inadequate to the task of avoiding climate catastrophe. Take ten giant steps backward.

Step 22: Linda McMahon, the billionaire former wresting-entertainment impresario who donated $6 million to his presidential campaign, was nominated by Donald Trump to head the Small Business Administration. Extra credit for anyone who can name all the other billionaires in the Trump junta.

Step 23: Ben Carson, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, demurred initially, pointing out that he’d never managed or directed any large organization or agency (BUT, he ran for president!) and had no experience in government or policy making. Carson will soon run a $48 billion agency that oversees public housing and ensures that low-income families have access to safe and affordable housing. He believes, however, that people can only escape poverty through hard work, and that any government assistance softens and weakens people. He argues that government regulations and assistance are forms of totalitarian socialist rule, and he opposes federal housing policy as a type of social engineering. On the positive side, he does live in a house!

Step 24: Donald Trump has picked Andrew Puzder to be Secretary of Labor. Puzder is a critic of worker protections including paid sick leave, and he opposes expanding eligibility for overtime pay or raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. He was charged with domestic violence by his ex-wife, and advertisements that Mr. Puzder’s companies run “frequently feature women wearing next to nothing while gesturing suggestively.” When asked about the ads, Mr. Puzder replied “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”

Step 25: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who bagged $516,025 from fossil fuel companies since 1999 and voted consistently in Congress to open up public lands—refuges, ancient forests, parks, and wilderness areas—to drilling, logging, and mining, was tapped by Donald Trump to be the next Interior Secretary. God help the planet!

Holy Shit!!

December 8, 2016

Holy Shit!!! It’s a plague.
Now: 6 Down, 5 letters:

The Sounds of Film

December 8, 2016