Monday, July 15, 2019

Go Back Where You Came From

Go Back Where You Came From!”  

That has been the cry of bigots and racists throughout American history.  It was shouted at Irish, at Jews, at Italians, at anyone who spoke with an accent or whose skin was darker or “swarthier” than those with “Nordic” complexion and hair color.  (Read the book, “The Guarded Gate” to understand how such bigotry became institutionalized in the United States.)  And now the President of the United States has spoken those words.

“Go Back Where You Came From!”  Those who shout those words today are not real Americans.  They may be citizens but they do not share the values of real Americans as envisioned by the nation's Founding Fathers.  They do not deserve to be called Americans.  And this includes the P.O.S. occupying the White House.  Oh, he is a tricky son of a bitch.  Once made aware that his racist remarks might hurt him in the long run, he backed off to mere criticism of his targets’ positions adding a few words to make his bigotry sound like little more than an acceptable pro-Israel position, which might please some of his supporters.  But his words cannot be taken back.  “Go Back Where You Came From!”  They sting any real Americans who recall the immigrant stock from which their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents came, and who were the recipients of such taunts.

These are the subjects of the President's racist attack..  Three of these Members of Congress "came from"
or were born in the United States and the other was brought here as a child with her immigrating parents.

Trump is a racist.  The words were his. “Go Back Where You Came From!”  Any Americans who agree with him (exempting descendents of Native Americans who were already here before the Mayflower or Columbus arrived) are not real Americans either.  Shame on any Republicans who fail to denounce the President and those who support him.  They may not be real Americans either.

All real Americans should think of the words with which Congressional Counsel Joseph Welch addressed Senator Joseph McCarthy (now both deceased) at the time of the famous anti-Communist Senate hearings in the 1950’s.  They appear below.  Decency?  Joseph McCarthy had none and neither does Donald Trump. (Oddly, both men were coached by the infamous Roy Cohn, later disbarred from practicing law.)

It is incumbent on the real Americans who read this to do their utmost to see that the President is either removed from office by impeachment or defeated at the polls in 2020 along with any candidates who support him.  That is the solution, and if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Jack Lippman

Friday, July 12, 2019

Wealth Redistribution, an Interesting Column and Going After Illegal Immigrants

Trump's War on Illegal Immigrants

The government is going after undocumented immigrants, here illegally.  This is not a new problem.  Previous administrations dealt with it by not bothering to go after those “illegals” whose only crime was being here illegally while still hunting down and deporting those who had committed other more serious crimes.  

Many “illegals” have been here for many years, have jobs and are well integrated into the country’s socio-economic fabric.  But many of their families consist of immigrants and their children who are perfectly “legal” and perhaps some who are not.  Distinguishing which are which in a household would be difficult.  We are talking about over 10,000,000 undocumented individuals (of which 75% are part of the country's workforce) and going after all of them appears to be an enormous task.

But even seeming to go after them, however, fits in well with the President’s animus toward immigrants which appeals to the racist and nationalist feelings of some of his base of support.  That is why he is doing it.  His failed effort to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census was part of this.  He wants to be re-elected!   

Latino Shopping Center
The net result of this is that immigrants, illegal and otherwise, particularly if they fit the ethnic profile Trump’s racist supporters have in their heads, are fearful.  Their thoughts extend to worrying if their family might be disturbed or even gone when they get back from work, school or shopping, or that they themselves might not make it back to their home.  This is particularly frightening for children in these households.

Should we answer the knock on the door?

I cannot help but compare the possible feelings of many in Latino neighborhoods in this country with that of Jews in Nazi Germany in the early days before they were violently exposed to the more dreadful aspects of persecution.  A knock at the door at night or someone asking a question equivalent to “Where are your papers?” is in their minds.   
It might be enough, though, the Trumpublicans think, to keep Latinos from registering to vote, participating in the Census, applying for a driver’s license or having fear of doing anything which might expose them to government involvement and possible scrutiny.

But that’s just fine with the President and his gang.  They are looking for an Election Day payoff.

Jack Lippman

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Democrats!  Liberals!  Progressives!  Ex-Republicans! ... Don't be smug or self-assured!  Your country's future is on the line.  Spend as much TV time watching FoxNews as you do watching MSNBC or CNN!  See first hand the poison which has infected the minds of those who support the P. O. S. in the White House ... and who actually put him there in 2016 and will try to do so again in 2020!   Then, personally, get off your butt and become politically active!  Now!

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Wealth Redistribution - Then and Now

We hear a lot about “wealth redistribution” these days.  It’s not as simple as it seems and not just a matter of progressives being in favor of it and conservatives opposed to it.

When operating properly, our capitalist, free-enterprise, economy provides for wealth redistribution!  Companies make money and distribute some of it to the shareholders who have taken the risk of establishing and owning the company.   Some of it is distributed to the company’s employees in the form of salaries, benefits and pensions, the assumption being that a full-time employee’s share of the money, thusly received, is enough to support their family in a decent manner.  This is the way it is supposed to work and has over the years, making the United States an economic and social powerhouse.

Over the past quarter of a century, however, there have been a few changes in this pattern of success.

(1.)       The risk-taking shareholders have been replaced in large part by disinterested investors including banks and funds who treat their shares of ownership (and ownership of a company’s debt as well) as tradable commodities usable to make a profit, not for the company’s benefit itself, but for their own benefit.  There is nothing wrong or evil about this.  It just is not the way things used to work.

(2.)       And following this pattern, income of the top executives of successful companies and of the companies which own their shares and debt, has risen to unconscionable levels, reducing the amount of a company’s money to distribute to for employees.  There is no justification for annual corporate salaries to be in the tens of millions of dollars and thousands of times the median salaries of a company’s employees.  Shocking as it might seem, paying someone an annual salary of merely two or three million dollars is not an obscene idea, although to many corporate executives, it would so seem.

(3.)       The availability of full time jobs, adequate to support a family in an decent manner, has shrunk due to less costly overseas labor, technology enabling jobs that once required many to do them now requiring only one or two employees and finally, the replacement of employees by “independent contractors” who act as employees but rarely share in a company’s money in terms of benefits and retirement plans.

If there is to be a redistribution of wealth in our country, the traditional way of accomplishing it as described in the second paragraph above will no longer work.  Wealth redistribution can no longer be accomplished by the mechanics which govern the private sector.  Money cannot be counted on to “trickle down” as economist Arthur Laffer believed a generation ago. 

We very well may end up with wealth redistribution being accomplished by increasing taxation of companies, and companies which trade in companies as well as the income of highly paid executives and those who profit excessively from investments.  The government would then “redistribute” this wealth by reducing or even eliminating taxes in the lower income brackets and greatly subsidize government plans such as Social Security, Medicare and any future health insurance programs as well as providing free education, including college tuition, for all.   Finally, income should be guaranteed at some level for retirees and those for whom the economy does not provide job opportunities due to technological advances and the outsourcing of jobs due to labor costs. 

The net result of all of this might be a redistribution of wealth with a net result similar to the old way as it is described in the second paragraph above.

Your thoughts are welcome.

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A George Will Column

Democrats who are trying to nail down the direction in which their party must go to defeat Donald Trump might find conservative (but anti-Trump) George Will's recent column in the Washington Post interesting.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE COLUMN    You'd be surprised as to whom he thinks should be the Democratic nominee!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Why Trump May Not Lose in 2020 ... Unless ...

Truth Must be Based on Facts


Charles Sykes 2017 book, “How the Right Lost its Mind” should be required reading for anyone interested in knowing how Donald Trump won in 2016 and very well may not lose in 2020 either.

Voters do not automatically become ignorant or gullible.  It’s not a matter of simply telling followers to drink the poisoned Kool Aid, as cult leader Jim Jones convinced his followers to do in 1978.  The thinking processes of human beings can be changed in other, far more subtle, ways.  And that’s exactly what Sykes, a long-time conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin, writes about.  

(Sykes can now be seen frequently on MSNBC and of course, Trumpublicans consider him a traitor.  His fading dream is returning the Party of Lincoln and Reagan to its true roots and taking it back from the charletans who have hijacked it.  Read the book!  Learn.)

Believing in nonsense becomes acceptable when it can be justified with outright lies and half-truths passed on repeatedly through questionable media sources.  That’s the way the Trumpublicans do it and it's often enough to convince some people of the supposed truth of “alternate” facts and move them to act accordingly.   One is entitled to firmly believe the sun rises in the west each day but that does not make it so, unless those who disagree with such nonsense fail to speak up.  If they don’t, the idea that the sun rises in the west then automatically achieves a degree of respectability. 

Another important book, discussed in recent postings, is Daniel Okrent’s 2019 “The Guarded Gate.”  In that volume, half a century of belief in American racial purity and the phony science of eugenics is exposed as a fa├žade for racist and nationalist movements, which besides providing Nazi Germany with a tool to justify death camps, severely affected immigration policy in the United States   The “gate” was guarded by politicians and very respectable citizens convinced by unproven facts and emotional appeals to their deepest racial and economic fears.

It is useless, of course, to try to convince diehard Trumpublicans (there are no such things as Republicans any longer) of the illogic of what they believe, that what they believe to be facts are no more than ill-founded nonsense.   Trying to reason with such people, who have lost the ability to reason, is as Thomas Paine said, like administering medicine to a dead person, a waste of time.

That’s why it is important that Democrats should concentrate their energies on live people (rather than Trumpublicans) and register as many voters as possible in crucial states, and that any divisions within the Party not be made available to the Trumpublicans to attack in their campaigning.

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Don't Forget the Mueller Report

If you have not yet read the Mueller Report, as I urged you all to do a week ago, I repeat that plea.  It is loaded with evidence explaining how the Russians interfered with our 2016 presidential election, how the Republican campaign "winked" at such assistance from Moscow, and how the President attempted to obstruct the Mueller investigation.  The Administration, the President and the Attorney-General may attempt to shove the Mueller Report into the background, discrediting it or dishonestly claiming it exonerates the President (it does not), but you owe it to yourself and the nation to read it yourself.  If you do not, you are a party to the Trumpublican deception!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Fordham? Wharton? Do You Believe it?

The President's Educational Credentials

I am increasingly wondering if the President ever set foot in a classroom at Fordham University or the Wharton School of Business.  His speaking and his actions suggest that his formal education ended with the military prep school he attended.  Certainly, institutions such as Fordham and Wharton should be taking great pride in having produced not only one of the great real estate developers of the age but a President of the United States as well, and invited him back to speak and receive an honorary doctorial degree.  That usually happens.  But to my knowledge, that never happened to Donald Trump.  Certainly, both institutions have thusly honored graduates and others for far less prestigious accomplishments.  But not the forty-fifth president.  I wonder why.

Trump Receiving one of his two Liberty University doctorates
Trump has received over the years honorary doctorates from Wagner, Lehigh and Liberty Universities.  One from Robert Gordon University in Scotland was taken back after his position regarding excluding Muslim immigrants became known.  But his alma maters have not seen fit to honor him.

This year the Wharton School in Philadelphia honored David Rubenstein, CEO of the Carlyle Group, Jonathan Gray, Blackstone Group CEO and Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO of Taskrabbbit.  Their San Francisco campus honored Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi.  But not Donald.   This year Fordham University honored Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics CEO.  But not Donald.  Is there something stopping them from honoring him?

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I will be vacationing for a while, but I suggest that followers of this blog check out some of the older postings accessible from the listing to your right.   See you next week!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Democratic Presidential Debate Digested

Democratic Hopefuls Speak Out - My Impressions

Having watched both evenings of the “debates” between twenty of those hopeful of being the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020, I jotted down my impressions of what I saw.
In addition to the four hopefuls that didn’t qualify to be included in either evening’s debate, I must add the following eight who, in my opinion, will come nowhere near being nominated for a presidential or vice-presidential place on the ballot.  They might, and I suspect that influenced their presence in the race, be planning on some future candidacy or possibly a cabinet post in 2021:

Bill DeBlasio                       Andrew Yang
John Delaney                      Kirsten Gillebrand
Tulsi Gabbard                     Maryanne Williamson     
Tim Ryan                             Eric Swalwell

The following five deserve consideration for the presidential nomination because in my opinion, they are all qualified to sit in the Oval Office.  These potential candidates, any of whom would make a fine president, are ranked in numerical order based on my subjective perception of two criteria:  (1) Their ability to deal with the Republican incumbent and (2) their ability, as president, to negotiate the intricacies of our Federal government from “day one in office.”
      Dealing with Trump                               Readiness for the Job
1.    Pete Buttigieg                                    1.  Elizabeth Warren
2.    Kamala Harris                                    2.  Joe Biden 
3.  Julian Castro                                     3.  Kamala Harris
4.  Elizabeth Warren                               4.  Julian Castro
5.  Joe Biden                                           5.  Pete Buttigieg

Along with these five presidential possibilities, the following deserve consideration for the vice-presidential nomination, always the choice of the presidential nominee, because each one could competently step into a President’s shoes.

Cory Booker                        Amy Kolbuchar
Michael Bennet                   Jay Inslee
John Hickenlooper

Although they have considerable talent and skills, I think the two remaining hopefuls, thus far unmentioned, will not figure in the Democratic Party’s final choice of candidates, although transferring their support might make them “power brokers.”

Bernie Sanders: (Too committed to immediately unattainable goals)
Beto O’Rourke:  (At this point, a fruit that has not yet ripened)

Summing up these impressions of the two nights of "debating," it would seem that Joe Biden did not lock in the impressive lead he now has in the polls, that Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren significantly strengthened their positions as viable challengers, that the unlikely candidacy of Pete Buttigieg did not dissolve into thin air and Bernie Sanders was left at the gate, where he was four years ago.  Tighten your seat belts.  It is going to be a rough few months.
Jack Lippman

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Out of  Sight, Out of Mind - No Way!

That's the way the Republicans would like the Mueller Report to be treated.  No Way!

It thoroughly documents the way the Trump campaign welcomed Russian aid in the 2016 election and the President's attempts to interfere with and obstruct the Special Counsel's work.  (Only the Department of Justice's belief that a sitting president cannot be indicted prevents that from happening).  Even today, approaching the 2020 elections, Russian interference and presidential obstruction continue to take place.  

When finally, the 45th President resigns, is impeached or loses at the polls in 2020, it will be followed by a reckoning of sorts which very well may put him and his toady Attorney General who lied to the American people about the Report behind bars for their actions.  If Robert Mueller's forthcoming testimony before Congress doesn't wake America up, the whole sordid story should be made into a movie!