As I see it the Democratic Party has no viable candidates. Their infighting has given the Trump campaign enough ammunition that they hardly have to dig for anything to trash whoever becomes the party's presidential candidate. The candidates that seem to be the strongest are too far left to appeal to mainstream America. What they need is someone who is more moderate and who can be honest with the American people and say that while we would love to continue the rate of spending on social programs we can no longer afford it. Our debt is at 106.7% of GDP and there is no way to continue this rate of spending. At some point that bill is going to come due and have to be paid. We can either suck it up and deal with some austerity measures now that will hurt a little or we can ignore the problem until we end up with 1000% inflation and a situation like Germany in the 1930's or what some South American countries are facing today. Personally, I prefer a little pain now as to runaway inflation and economic collapse later.
Ironically, my best friend in school is named Tom Sawyer and we graduated from Samuel Clemens High School. So the song Tom Sawyer has another meaning for those of us in that group. So many significant events in my life are associated with Rush songs that when I hear one of those songs again today I'm instantly transported back in time to one of the best times in my life. Subdivisions really spoke to us as we were not in the popular crowd in school and we were definitely outcast; nerds, geeks, and Dungeons & Dragons players.
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Neil Peart. Rush was such an important part of our growing up and coming of age in a way that only music can be. The music and lyrics of so many songs summed up what we had gone through or were experiencing. That continued on well into our adult lives. So it was difficult the imagine that one of the icons of my youth had passed away, and it brought the finite reality of life back into my consciousness again. Death isn't something most people want to contemplate, but when your hero's and idols start passing on you realize that your time isn't really all that far off. So many things I would like to do again; do differently. Others that I would like to avoid doing at all.
I'll end with this; thank you for the music and for the memories. Rush enriched my life and made it better and I know they have touched many other lives the same way and so they have made their mark in this world and the ripples will touch many more lives for years to come.
...I've Got Your Fake News Right Here, Don.
Donny, and later his stooge, Ted Cruz, have repeated the following false and misleading statements about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Now, I have no way of knowing if there is really any wrong doing here, but both Donny, Rudy, and Ted have offered only the following as any kind of indication; first, Hunter Biden has no background in oil of natural gas and is unqualified to be on a board for a natural gas company and second, Hunter Biden was paid $83K/month for his services (originally this was just $53K) which is ten times more than anyone on the board of Exxon Mobile is paid.
First, I pulled Exxon Mobil's 10k from the SEC. N.W. Duffin made $190,166.67 a month in cash compensation last year. Now, I don't know where Ted went to school, but 190,000 is not to the left of 83,000 on my number line and it's certainly not ten times less than 83,000. That's just math, let's not let basic algebra get in the way. So how about this statement:
And Hunter Biden — look, I’m from Houston. I know lots of people who serve on the board of natural gas companies. You know what they tend to have? They tend to have a background in geology and geophysics. They tend to know something about — about actually drilling for natural gas.
Hmm. Lets see...according to Exxon's corporate site here is the Board of Directors:
- Susan K Avery - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (natural gas, geology, geophysics?)
- Angela F. Braly - Brookfield Asset Management, Lowe's, and Proctor & Gamble (no natural gas here, Ted)
- Ursula M. Burns - Veon, Nestle, and Xerox
- Kenneth C. Frazier - Merck & Co
- Steven A. Kandarian - AECOM and MetLife
- Douglas R. Oberhelman - Catepillar, Eli Lilly and Company
- Samuel J. Palmsiano - American Express
- Steven S Reinemund - Walmart, Mariot, GS Acquisition Holdings Corp
- William C. Weldon - CVS Caremark, JPMorgan Chase
- Darren W. Woods - Exon Mobile
Out of ten members of the Board only one has actual ties to the oil and natural gas industry. Ted's batting 0 for 2. If I could put the contents of senator Cruz's brains in a paper bag, we could put it at Trump's doorstep, light it on fire, ring the bell and run away.
Make the US SR Great Again
President Trump likes to throw around words like fraud, spy, treason, hoax, deep state, and witch hunt. I often wonder, given his limited vocabulary on Twitter, if he really understands any of the words he is using. For example, he repeatedly calls for those in the media to read the transcript of the July 25th call with the president of the Ukraine. Problem, he has never released the transcript from the July 25th call. A transcript is a typed copy of a dictated or recorded material. The document released is a Telecon Memo that explicitly states that it is NOT a transcript.
I mentioned treason in the title, Trump likes to call those around him who don't follow his every wish traitors. In the 1960's a Russian KGB officer, Anatoliy Golitsyn, defected to the west. He went on to write a book called " New Lies for Old ". In it he outlined a series of goals that the KGB had in order to discredit and defeat the United States. Many of his predictions have come to fruition including the collapse of the Soviet Union, westernization of former Soviet republics, reunification of Germany, and democratization of Russia (or at least the appearance). There are a few things that the Russians and the KGB have been unsuccessful in accomplishing, until they were able to get Trump elected including:
- Driving a wedge between the United States and NATO
- Sowing distrust between the United States and its allies
- Discrediting US foreign policy in the middle east
- Weakening US interest on the Korean peninsula
- Weakening US positions in the Pacific
- Sowing internal discontent along racial and political lines
- Weakening the US economy in order to create opportunities to move towards socialism/communism
What the KGB had been unable to accomplish in over fifty years, Trump accomplished for them in just three. So if there is anyone in this administration who is a fraud or a traitor it is most likely the person who has been working in interest of foreign powers. As proof, take Trumps willingness to accept President Putin's denial of interference in the 2016 election over that of US intelligence agencies and his repeated request of both Russia, China, and Ukraine to conduct (or at least announce) investigations into his political rivals. It's astounding to me that the older, more hawkish republicans in Congress can't see this.
Anyone who disagrees with or contradicts the president is immediately targeted via Twitter and Trump's army of metaphorical brown shirts goes to work intimidating and threatening them and their families. Is it any wonder that anyone who has any knowledge of wrong doing on his behalf hesitates to come forward?
Another interesting angle OANN has taken is questioning the loyalty of Lt Col Vindman and Ms. Hill since they aren't born in the United States. Why is this interesting? Because they haven't attacked the first lady. Melania is born in Slovenia, a soviet satellite state. So using OANN's logic, it's possible that she is a KGB honey pot who has been manipulating a dotard old man with sex into doing her KGB handler's bidding. Not that any of that is at all true or backed up by any supporting facts or evidence, but since when has that ever stopped OANN? Or Fox, for that matter.
The irony of the president's many admirers and defenders on Twitter saying he's the best ever, and that Obama and Democrats are traitors, is evidently lost on them. No president in recent history has done more to further the goals of Russia, China, and North Korea as well as abandoning the middle east to Iran and Russia and the Pacific to China and Russia. We are no longer respected, much less feared. Just look to Turkey if you need proof that Trump's threats are taken as hollow. Turkey will go through with the purchase of the S-400 missile system, according to Turkish and Russian media. So we'll see if anyone in Congress has any balls left to go through with halting their purchase of the F-35, as they had threatened to do. North Korea got a windfall of publicity - Kim standing up to an American president by not keeping a single promise while Trump gave him unprecedented publicity and called him a great leader. What did the great negotiator gain for America? ...crickets…
How can someone who is supposed to be such a great businessman know so little? In regard to his call with the president of the Ukraine, Trump would later claim that he didn't even know who the call was with or the name of the man on the other end of the line until someone handed him a card with the man's name on it. Seriously? Is that how little he prepared for his business dealings? On Oct 8, Trump would tweet about Ambassador Sondland and call him, "...a really good man and a great American." Over a month later, on Nov 20, he would claim, "I don't know him very well." Rudy Giuliani evidently has sensed a change in the wind and sent a not so subtle warning to the president after replying to questions from the press if he was concerned about potentially being thrown under the bus that he had no worries about it but he had " insurance. " Trump in the " transcript " directed the Ukraine to talk with Giuliani. Now Trump claims he didn't know what Mr. Giuliani was doing in Ukraine. Why should we reelect a man who has, evidently, no idea what is going on around him?
For those who think Trump has done the US military a favor, you're just ignorant of how the military and the world works. The Navy didn't just make Gallagher a scape goat or try him on a whim. A military court martial is just like a civilian trial. He had a jury of his peers, fellow Navy officers and enlisted, who felt his actions brought discredit on the service and the country. I have no doubt that CPO Gallagher is a brave and dedicated serviceman, but he made an error in judgement and his actions have consequences. One of the key foundations of military order and discipline are our core values, the UCMJ, and the LOAC. It's what makes us both a feared and respected fighting force. By subverting that process you place lives at risk. Our allies, who have long allowed the US to try our own for crimes committed in host nations, may no longer show us that courtesy if they lose faith that justice will be served within the US military judicial system. Trump may have gained three votes, but at what costs? Then there is the issue of transferring much needed MILCON funds from the DoD to use for a useless border wall. Our military infrastructure is in desperate need of modernization. By taking these funds from the DoD the Trump administration is further weakening our military capability while at the same time fooling the American people into thinking he's really strengthening it. It's all smoke and mirrors folks.
No one, certainly no president, is an expert in all things. This is why a president surrounds themselves with smart people. He should perhaps take the time to listen and take their advice, especially when it concerns things he knows little or nothing about. No one is perfect, they're going to make mistakes, but a good leader owns them, learns from them, and moves on. You, Mr. President, turn on them and throw them to the wolves. You demand loyalty but show none yourself. You demand respect from the other branches of government but give them none. You've put your own interest, and those of a select few of your cronies, ahead of the nation's. You may point to a stock market making gains right now, but you're focused on the short term and there is a crisis looming that has the potential to wipe out everything and push us into a second great depression, or worse. You claimed you would drain the swamp but instead have sought to rule it all.
Lastly, he is a pathological liar and narcissist. He's incapable of admitting he has made a mistake and blames others. He is incapable of telling the truth. Everything is about him. For example, during your recent trip to Apple in Austin, Texas Trump claimed that he opened a new Apple manufacturing plant. Three lies in one tweet (he is actually very good at that). First, he didn't open it - it has been
open since 2013. Second, it's not an Apple manufacturing plant it is owned by Flextronics and third, it doesn't manufacture anything. They assemble MacPros there. The parts are made elsewhere, in places like China where his tariff tiff is soon going to blow up. Due to the holiday season American firms are eating the costs of the tariffs, but they can't sustain that forever and soon those increased costs will be passed along to the consumer. Let us see how the markets react to that.