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Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 1 comment

The New Trumptington

 

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Gators and Mosquitoes swimming in the New Trumpington:  The president-elect isn’t “draining the swamp” — it’s about to get bigger and far more dangerous

 

Donald Trump was elected on Tuesday based on a quite powerful but simple pledge that resonated with millions of Americas:  “I’ll drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Sounds good.  Even many of those who voted for someone other than Trump, or didn’t bother to vote at all, would likely agree with this fashionable conviction that our federal government all too often doesn’t represent our interests.

What does is mean to “drain the swamp?”  One assumes that an incoming Trump Administration could spell the end of powerful special interests, swindling lobbyists, the corrupting influence of big money in politics, and the troublesome practices of jaded jackals and legal leeches who have collectively and quite willingly transformed the shrine a people’s democracy into — not a place of patriotism and pride — but a justifiable target of our mass anger and ire.

Yet, only days after getting elected, early signs indicate the D.C. swamp isn’t about to get any smaller.  To the contrary, the murky political waters of infested Washington are about to become much larger and far more dangerous.

Consider if you will the reaction of financial markets, which are perhaps the truest (impartial) barometer on the real presumptive winners and losers in Washington the New Trumpington.  Wednesday and Thursday, two days following the election, the biggest stock gains were posted by the following:

— Private prison companies

— Defense contractors

— Pharmaceutical companies

— For-profit colleges

— Financial speculators / Wall Street investment houses

 

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Translated, this means the same scumbags who currently profit off the incarceration of millions (of mostly non-violent drug offenders), the military and intelligence industry (which has fearmongered us into a permanent state of global war), the fat cat financial barons (who produced the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression just a few years ago), the big drug companies (who gouge Americans on the price of medications charging double and triple the prices in other countries), and the scam-ridden diploma mills (like scandal-plagued and now defunct Trump University) appear to be the biggest winners from Tuesday night’s stunning electoral fallout.

So, what does this all mean for the rest of us?

The New Trumpington looks to be a frightening place.  Even if we give Donald Trump an extraordinary degree of benefit of the doubt and if we were to assume that he earnestly means what he says about cleaning up the mess, his transition team and many of the names now being floated for top cabinet positions is a clique of buttressed beltway insiders with glaring conflicts of interest, ties to troubling institutions that have failed us, and burned-out former politicians who are desperately looking for one final government gig before they tumble into the grave (Rudy Guiliani, please pick up the white courtesy phone).

The Trump inner circle includes someone named Ken Blackwell, who is reportedly going to head the president-elect’s transition team on all matters of domestic policy.  For those unfamiliar with Blackwell, he’s a senior fellow at the notoriously right-wing religious organization known as the Family Research Council — which is infamous for opposing gay rights and protections, promoting Bible-based creationism being taught in public schools, opposing all forms of gambling, and working tenaciously to oppose women’s reproductive rights (not just in the U.S., but even in overpopulated nations plagued with starvation).  Read more HERE.

Myton Ebell is being pegged as the primary counsel to the incoming president on environmental matters.  Trouble is, he’s an avowed denier of global climate change.  Read more about Ebell, his past statements, and what his role could mean for the rights of animals, the stewardship of out environment, and the future of the planet in this article from Scientific American.

Wait, there’s more terrible news for the environment.  Republican hired gun Mike McKenna has been hand-picked for a key role on Trump’s transition team, and what’s likely to be a cushy future political appointment.  According to public disclosures, in 2016 McKenna’s clients as a D.C. lobbyist included the Koch Companies (yeah, those Koch Brothers), Southern Company Services, Dow Chemical, and Competitive Power Ventures Inc.

But that’s not even the worst of it, yet.  It’s been reported that Sarah Palin, the half-term, half-wit former governor of “Drill Baby Drill” infamy, is being trial-ballooned as the next Secretary of the Interior.  Gulp!  This isn’t some sick Saturday Night Live skit, folks.  There exists the very real possibility that the nation’s most coveted natural treasures will soon be put into the hands of someone who’s completely clueless on matters of the environment who’s willing and eager to plunder the nation’s public lands off to the highest bidder.

So far, I’ve just scratched the surface on the environmental impacts of what a Trump presidency will mean.  You can be absolutely certain that a similar level of scrambling behind the scenes is taking place in secret circles dead set on digging their fangs into health care, finance and investment, the criminal justice system, national defense, and other vital institutions both public and private which impact our lives on a daily basis.

The swamp creatures are here.  They’ve not only arrived.  They’ve been here inside the Beltway, all along.  Swamp Thing is real.  Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, and Newt Gingrich are lurking, waiting for their phone calls.  Indeed, there’s a very good chance that one or more of these scandal-plagued cretins gets picked for a top spot in the Trump Cabinet.

Has the water gotten any lower in the swamp, yet?

Nope.

Welcome to the new Trumpington, which sounds a whole helluva’ lot like the old Washington of eight years ago.

 

Read more:  Trump campaigned against lobbyists.  Now, they’re on his transition team.

 

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Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Picture 1 | 2 comments

Photographs and Memories: The Same Location 29 Years Later

 

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Photo taken a few days ago in March 2014 while on Constitution Avenue, in Washington, DC

 

Visiting the same place 29 years later — did it change, or did I?

 

We never know if or when we’ll return to the places we’ve been before.

Not only do places change, but people change, too — even though the changes aren’t readily apparent from day to day.  The gradual lapse of time not only gives one a greater sense of perspective about things, but allows us to re-examine the deeds we’ve done in the past.  Wisdom often comes with a mandatory preamble, “Looking back now….”

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Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Blog | 7 comments

What History Teaches Us About Edward Snowden

 

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We must ask ourselves, which is the right side of history?  ….That’s something worth remembering as this controversial case continues to be debated and his fate awaits the judgement of others.

 

I’ve been following the Edward Snowden controversy with considerable interest the past several months.  Until very recently however, I hadn’t come to any conclusions as to what this all means, nor even formed much of an opinion on the matter — particularly on how Snowden should be judged.

He’s a complex figure and this is a complicated matter, to be sure.

This confession might surprise readers, because I normally have an opinion about everything, especially when it comes to politics, national security, and foreign policy — all of which are strongly tied to the Snowden case.  I’d like to deem this neutrality as evidence of an open mind.  That’s to say, I don’t rush to every Pavlovian whistle when the Left commands us to march in unison.

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Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Blog, Las Vegas, Politics | 6 comments

Is Harry Reid the Worst Senate Majority Leader in History?

 

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Over the past year, I’ve written many times that U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) might be the worst Majority Leader in recent memory.

I respectfully wish to amend my previous statement.

Sen. Harry Reid is the worst Senate Majority Leader in American history. 

Period.  Exclamation point.  End of discussion.

It’s not even close.

He’s the Secretariat of ineptitude.  A disgrace to the office.  And this opinion isn’t exactly coming from a Republican, if you know what I mean.

No one in history comes anywhere close to the monumental incompetence exemplified for so long by the senior senator from Nevada.  Put it this way:  When you get punked repeatedly by Mitch McConnell — Reid’s blundering counterpart from Kentucky, certainly no bastion of intellect — something’s wrong.  It might be time to depart the chamber.

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 6 comments

Next Time You Hear a Veteran Talk About the War….

 

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Next Time You Hear a Veteran Talk About the War….

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Listen.

That’s right.  Just listen.

Take a moment.  Pull up a seat.  And honor that man or woman with your attention.  It’s the least you can do.

They deserve it.

Next time that crazy uncle in your family brings up a conflict from many years ago that left scars, listen.  Next time your co-worker mentions that he served in Iraq or Afghanistan, listen.  Next time some guy at the bar talks about Vietnam or Desert Storm, listen.  And if you’re extraordinarily fortunate to meet one of the very few remaining World War II or Korean War veterans — keep completely silent.

Just listen.

You might not see the scars.  But as sure as you can hear their voices, trembling as they sometimes might to make it through the remembrance without breaking down, those scars are there.  Sometimes, they never heal.  The pain never goes away.

And for some reason, whatever reason, he thinks you are the one worthy of hearing his tale.

Consider yourself lucky.

Consider yourself blessed.

Just listen.

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