Monday, March 6, 2017

Lies, Scoundrels, Car Ads and a Lot More

Sick of Lies?

The cancer in our government, emanating from the Executive Branch must be stopped.  Because the Republican Scoundrels (see below) who control Congress are afraid of losing the support of the gullible millions who get their news from FoxNews and less than credible sources on the internet, they will not do anything about it.  Therefore, it is up to the rest of America to do something about it.  Unfortunately, Americans who see the need to correct this problem often live in areas already represented by Democrats, so their voting locally won’t be of much help.  

There are Congressional Districts, however, where there is a chance for Democrats to make inroads into the Republican majority.   Such a District is Georgia's 6th C.D. where Jon Ossoff has a shot at replacing G.O.P. Congressman Tom Price who has resigned to take a Cabinet post as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Democrats who live in safely Democratic Districts should consider helping candidates like Ossoff.


That suburban Atlanta district can be switched from Republican to Democratic but only with the financial contributions and physical efforts (phone banks, etc.) of Democrats already blessed to be in already safe Democratic Districts.  And there are many other races like that in Georgia’s Sixth C.D. where Democrats, nation-wide, must turn their attention if they are sick of the Administration's default position of lying and want to do something about it.  Taking control of Congress in 2018 is an almost impossible task for Democrats but every Democrat elected is one step closer to ridding Washington of the liars.

(Note the Georgia race has over a dozen candidates from both parties.  It is likely that none will achieve a majority in the April 18 Special Election there.  Therefore, the top two will end up in a June run-off.  If Ossoff is one of them, he stands a good chance of winning with the help of Democrats from elsewhere. Let's make this happen.)

Three Issues: What Americans Want

There are three major issues with which the American public is concerned.  First, they want the opportunity to get a job which provides enough with which to support a family, and enable them to save a little toward retirement.  They also want to be able to have an affordable health insurance program for their family.  They really don’t care if these two issues are resolved by the private sector or whether government involvement is necessary.  Finally, they do not want the lives of our boys and girls in the military risked for purposes other than defending the United States of America.  It’s that simple.  In the eyes of the American voter, all other issues are peripheral and subordinate to these three.

History Will Record

History will view the 2016 election as one where enough of the working people of America, traditionally Democratic voters and union members, finally gave up on the Democrats and the unions which had failed to provide them with employment security, and provided enough votes to the Republicans in key states to enable them to gain the Presidency and strengthen their control of Congress.  True, many of them did this by confusing the Presidential election with a TV reality show.  But that is water under the bridge.  A footnote to the election is the questionable aid which Russian hacking and misinformation provided to the Republicans who, wildly infatuated with emails and Benghazi, seemed to be only barely aware of the source of this alien support from which they were benefiting.

Job Rationing

Whether G.O.P. trickle-down economics will provide enough jobs to replace those which the unions were unable to save is problematic.  Low wages overseas and great advances in technology are formidable foes to trickle-down theories.   The unions are not coming back and neither is technology going to stand still.  Its growth will reduce the number of jobs in the economy (except in the low-paying hospitality and health caregiver areas) and eventually make outsourcing unnecessary.  There will never again be enough good jobs for everyone.  I still hew to my oft-stated solution that jobs must be rationed by mandatory early retirement (55?) and a cap on the number of hours in the work week (30?), with the government through increased taxation in the higher brackets providing for the lost income of workers and retirement benefits.  I see no other solution.  

Republican Scoundrels

Note: The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary defines a scoundrel in its U.S. usage as “a person, esp. an elected official, who treats others badly and cannot be trusted.”  Merriam-Webster defines a scoundrel as “a disreputable person” and cites “rascal” as an example.

It gets worse and worse by the day for the Republican Scoundrels.  The National Security Director had to resign a few short days on the job.  Now the Attorney General is being accused of lying (in a courtly and lawyerly manner, of course) at his confirmation hearing.  The new Commerce Secretary is tied up with a bank in Cyprus in the business of money-laundering for the Russians.  Cabinet posts have been given to foes of the missions of the Departments they head, primarily intent on (in the words of Steve Bannon) “deconstructing” them. 

This stuff makes Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and the Emails seem penny-ante!  And the Republican Scoundrels seem ludicrous when they claim that the Democrats, as sore losers, are just playing politics.  After all, didn’t Mitch McConnell and his ilk spend eight years boasting that they would try to stop the Democratic President from accomplishing anything … and didn’t the man now in the White House lead a silly campaign, aimed at the gullible, questioning the President’s birthplace? These Scoundrels are in no position to complain.

Health Care

The public is clamoring for health care reform and all it appears the Republican Scoundrels can come up with are tax credits, health savings accounts and high risk insurance pools.  These approaches are sure to resonate with a dull thud among the American people.  Republicans forget that the Affordable Care Act is a Republican plan, put through by the Democrats, who recognized that their own plan, Single Payer Medicare for All, didn’t stand a chance in Congress.  Sooner or later, that is what we will have.

Bottom Line

Never forget that the only aim of Republican Scoundrel office-holders is to reduce taxes for the wealthy and eliminate government regulations for business.  Beyond that, they don’t give a damn about the country, no matter what they say. 

Trump is their front man, who read a nice speech to Congress which they wrote for him, contradicting much of what he has done, and who thinks trying to play the role of President is the same as being President.  There is a limit to gullibility in the population, and it is being approached. The Presidency is not a “reality" TV show.

Episodes such as the President’s uncontrolled tweets, based on his years in positions where such salesmanship and exaggeration were desirable qualities, just aren’t appropriate for a President and don’t belong in the Executive Branch.  Woefully unprepared for the job, the President gets advice from the wrong sources, like Steven Bannon, whose stated aim is to “deconstruct” our government.  And as best he can, the President has done his best to delegitimize the courts, the CIA, the FBI and the media.  Also, he had some nice comments about "the generals," during the campaign you may recall, saying that he knew much more than they did about defeating ISIS. I am sure Bannon approves. This is not good for Americans of any political persuasion.

This does not bode well for the country.  Monday’s Wall Street Journal’s editorial started with these words: “The political brawl over Russia, the Trump campaign and U.S. intelligence has reached the point where basic questions about U.S. institutions and trust in government are at stake. Democrats are trying to capitalize on anonymous leaks based on U.S. intelligence collection to destroy the Trump Presidency, and the President is responding with a fusillade of unproven accusations.”  Treating an unproven accusation as a fact is a polite way of lying, Mr. PresidentRecognized or not, we are in a Constitutional crisis.  Right now.

Meanwhile, the leaky wheels of the FBI grind on, investigating the Russian involvement in our election process, referred to above, whatever it might be.  Whether they will find anything conclusive, and if so, whether the public will ever know about it, is another matter entirely.  

And the President's request that any investigation also check out President Obama's denial that he had "tapped" Trump during the campaign is just a pathetic attempt by a pathetic man to becloud an issue which more and more looks like big trouble for the 45th President.
Jack Lippman

Nostalgia Corner:  

Years ago, when you wanted to sell something, an automobile for example, you put a classified advertisement in the newspaper.  There were hundreds of those ads published every day.  Usually there were fixed rates (ten words for $5 to run three days) and this brought a lot of money into the papers.  Sadly, newspapers are disappearing and the “quaintness” of these ads is being lost.

For example, a popular car style, made by many manufacturers, was the “Tudor.”  For years, I thought this was named after a former British line of royalty, but no, it was a one word abbreviation for “two door.”  “Fodor” wasn’t the name of an author of travel books, but an abbreviation of “four door.”   In those days, not all cars came with radios or heaters. So ads sometimes stated “R&H.”  Today, to get a car without a radio or heater, you might have to pay thousands of dollars more for a custom job.  All of this was part of an attempt to get as much information as possible into one ten word classified advertisement. 

A typical ten word ad might read: “1955 Buick Tudor Century R&H auto lo mileage $2000 MA5-5555” which meant that a 1955 two door Buick Century equipped with radio, heater, automatic transmission, with low mileage could be bought for $2000 by calling that number.”  That's a lot of info in ten words.

Eventually, even ten words weren’t enough when cars began to be equipped with “power” which might (or might not) refer to steering and/or brakes.  And then “air” came along.  Ten words weren’t enough any longer.  And that was the beginning of the demise of short classified ads in the newspapers.  Put that in your Bluetooth and smoke it as you watch your rain-sensitive wiper blades go into action as you drive by an overactive lawn sprinkler.


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