Friday, September 20, 2019

Whstleblowing, Locking and Loading plus a Paul Krugman Column


Watch Out Iran, He’s Locked and Loaded

Sadly, the pathetic man in the White House, unable to grasp the difference between reality and a reality show on TV, is at a point where he can do our country great harm.  Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and other “players” are for real, and playing for keeps.  It’s not a TV show, movie or video game where someone who gets shot, riddled with bullets, gets up afterwards and walks away, because that’s not for real, although it purports to be.  Without a TV script in his hand, he lacks the knowledge and skills to deal with problems. The intelligence needed to acquire them, if it is not too late, does not seem to be there either.  He holds the real resources of the nation in his hands but doesn’t know what to do with them. 

*Mike Pence, former Governor of Indiana, cannot be worse.

“Locked and Loaded,” that’s what he said the other day in commenting on the attack, either Iranian or Iranian-manipulated, on the Saudi oil industry.  To him they are just words, perhaps a great name for a video game. 

I recall these words from my days in the Army.  While I never was in combat, I well recall lying prone on more than one sandy rifle range, poised with my M-1, as the Sergeant in charge called out, “Lock and load, one round ball ammunition.”  The rifle’s bolt was then pulled back and the ammunition was loaded and locked into the weapon.  In combat, a clip of bullets, more than one round, would be loaded and locked into the rifle.  And then came the order to fire, and what were fired at the targets were for real, capable of killing people. It wasn’t part of a reality show, followed by a commercial.  I am sure Donald Trump never experienced that feeling. 

Our presidency is like a reality show, complete with the commercials, in this case for the President’s overpriced hotels and golf courses.  That is not reality.

*Mike Pence cannot be worse.

  









*Even though he is a homophobe  ... so long as he is one just for religious, not social, reasons.  At least that won’t blow the planet to smithereens

Jack Lippman
                                 
                                     *   *   *   *

The Whistleblower

And from what I see, hear and read in the media, it looks like the President apparently attempted to play political hardball with a foreign head of state, saying things more appropriate for a mafia capo or a crooked cigar smoking local ward politician, in order to get things done his way.  

Well, someone out of a little league bullpen shouldn’t be playing hardball in the major leagues.  That’s what we have in the White House.  So dumb (there’s no other word to describe him) was he that he got caught by someone in intelligence operations who risked their career and blew the whistle on him.  By the time you’re reading this, more of the truth about this story is probably available in the papers and on TV, unless of course, you watch Fox exclusively, where it already is being blamed on operatives of the “deep state.”  The blog cannot keep pace with this fast breaking story so it’s up to you to “stay tuned.”

Casinos usually make money unless they're run by dummies.
It amazes me that throughout his career in the business world, Donald Trump, with all of his questionable enterprises (failed casinos, a failed winery, a failed ‘university,’ a failed airline and numerous real estate ‘deals’ which only benefited himself and foreign investors … not the other buyers) never ended up in jail like his son-in-law’s dad did. This time, he may have gone a bit too far, thinking he could get away in government with the same stuff he pulled in the business world where top lawyers saved his butt repeatedly.  (Right now, it looks like Attorney General Barr and Company are trying very hard to do that same thing for him.) Were the late Jimmy Breslin still around, he would be busy writing a book right now to be titled, “The President Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”  

Yes, stay tuned.
JL 
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Why Americans Dislike Regulations

Paul Krugman
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman started off a recent column with these words:

Modern conservatives hate regulation, and the Trump administration has channeled that hatred into policy. It has scrapped or emasculated rules designed to limit everything from predatory lending to exploitative for-profit education, and has moved on multiple fronts to undo environmental protection.”  

Read his entire column to see how the Republicans have capitalized on Americans’ resistance to being “told what they can and cannot do” and turned it into a vote-getting tool. 

I suppose "independent" Americans would rather borrow money from payday advance lenders at exorbitant rates than let these lenders be more tightly regulated or be fleeced by unscrupulous financial advisors whose interest is directed at their own well-being rather than that of their clients.  Yeah, regulations are bad.  Like "socialism," ya know.   Next thing you know, they’ll be trying to take away Americans’ personal assault weapons which they’ve been conditioned to cherish since their first experience with the violence of a video game.  Read this great column by CLICKING HERE.

(A Question:  Since the beginning of this century, can you name any one thing that the Republican Party has done that was in the interest of the American people and not basically evil?  Think hard … and let me know what you come up with.  I’ll include a list on the next blog posting.)
 
JL 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Alexander Pope, the Courts and the Carnival in Washington plus Israeli Election Result



Hope Springs Eternal


We dwell under the misconception that the problems of life that we witness daily might be resolved within our lifetimes.  But that just doesn’t happen.  The same problems, perhaps in a different guise, persist generation after generation.

The framers of our Constitution thought they had it all fixed with their revolutionary document.  But that didn’t stop the Civil War from killing 400,000 Americans with American bullets little more than 70 years later.  Neither did the League of Nations after World War One nor today’s United Nations fulfill their promises.  I recall being enthusiastic over Congressman Aime Forand’s efforts for national health insurance back it the 1950’s and 60’s.  We did get Medicare for seniors, but we are still struggling with the rest of the problem.

Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope, the English poet, said that “Hope springs eternal in the human breast, man never is, but always to be, blessed.”   The solutions to our problems always seem to be right around the corner, but it’s a long, long, block to get to that corner, particularly when government involvement is part of the answer, and it seems we never seem to get there.  It almost feels like a novel by Franz Kafka.

Forget about the Presidency.  We can change it every four years.  Forget about the Congress.  We can change Representatives every two years and Senators, every six years.  But we cannot so easily change our Judicial system, which can overrule the other two branches of our government.  Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges are appointed for life.  Right now, it looks as if the corruption of our court system with lifetime conservative appointees will prevent the resolution of many of our problems not only during our lifetimes, but during that of our children and grandchildren as well.

FDR in 1933
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was unsuccessful in trying to increase the numbers of Supreme Court Justices to solve this problem.  Democratic murmurings about trying the same thing again once they are back in power probably will not work either, and even if it does, the lower Courts of Appeals’ conservative judges would still firmly sit in the way of reform.

Alexander Pope had it right!  Sorry about that, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Jack Lippman



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Meanwhile, Back at the Capitol

Two questions for the President and the recalcitrant witnesses who show up at the House Judiciary Committee’s 'pre-impeachment' hearings:

 (1)  What are you afraid of? 
 (2)  What are you hiding? 

Every Democrat Committeeperson should ask these two questions repeatedly during their interrogation of reluctant witnesses, at least before they start and when they finish their other questions.  It may not elicit answers, but it will impress viewers with the mendacity of these witnesses.   

Lewandowski at House hearing - Seems the size of their American
flag pins is directly proportional to the severity of the lies they tell
This afternoon, former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski came close to having handcuffs put on him for his disrespectful demeanor toward the House Judiciary Committee.  In view of what happened when he did manage to answer some questions, he only succeeded in digging deep holes for himself and the President. I suspect any future witnesses who show up will do so with duct tape over their mouths.  

What are they afraid of?  What are they hiding?  We already know.  Most of it is in the Mueller Report!  You remember that?  That thing the President's Attorney General managed to coat with vanilla icing with sprinkles on it. Should the President be impeached, Barr might face a similar fate.  That's what he would deserve since he refuses to serve his employer, the United States of America, and prefers to serve the President as his personal lawyer.

As you know, I feel this carnival should be terminated and real Impeachment proceedings started, as required by the Constitution.  Then, the duct tape will come off.   And the President and Barr will be able to do little about it.
JL
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Netanyahu Probably Out in Israel


Increasingly, it appears that the close Israeli election will leave Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud Party a whisker behind former General Benny Gantz’ Blue and White Party in the number of seats each will have in the Israeli Knesset.  This will leave it to Gantz to try to recruit enough support from other parties to form a Unity government in Israel.  Netanyahu was unable to do that in April, when Likud had won by a similar whisker. The Blue and White Party might have 32 seats, 29 short of what is needed to form a Unity government.

Gantz
Gantz, if the numbers hold up, will look to the left and center for these seats.  Netanyahu looked to the right and to the religious parties for his majorities over the past years. It is unlikely that Netanyahu will have a role in any government Gantz forms.  Bibi tied his candidacy to his close relationship with Donald Trump, so his not winning amounts to a blow to Trump, indicating to Americans Jews that support of Israel is not necessarily tied to their supporting him.  Both Netanyahu and Gantz share the same attitude toward their potential enemy, Iran.  (This addition to the blog posting, appended on Tuesday evening at 9:00 p.m. may be all wrong by tomorrow, but I don’t think so.)

JL
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Friday, September 13, 2019

If Trump Loses in 2020, the Democrats' Dilemma, a Krugman column and the Golden Fish




The Democrats’ Dilemma 


Do they nominate a candidate whom they believe has the best chance of attracting the votes necessary to defeat Donald Trump in the key States (you name them) whose electoral votes are up for grabs … or … do they nominate a candidate who aggressively represents the progressive agenda in which the majority of Democrats believe, and jeopardize their chances of winning in those states? 


The Democratic 'Hopefuls" who Debated in Houston
Right now, after Thursday evening’s Houston ‘debate,’ I would classify the leading Democratic candidates as falling into three camps in regard to the dilemma addressed above.

Those who most aggressively advocate a more progressive agenda:  Sanders, Warren, Booker, O’Rourke, Castro.

Those who advocate a progressive agenda, but who seem amenable to modifying their position: Harris, Buttegeig, Yang.

Those who advocate building on existing programs, while advancing a more progressive agenda with more caution than the others:  Biden, Kolbuchar.

Primary and caucus voters, and ultimately, convention delegates, will have to make this decision.  It is likely that the presidential nominee will choose a running mate from among those in one of the groupings shown above, other than their own.
Jack Lippman



Paul Krugman Worries About Democracy

Krugman

And here’s a New York Times column by Paul Krugman (we got it via the Irish Times since it's difficult to link directly with the Times) which starts with the words “Democracy used to collapse suddenly, with tanks rolling noisily toward the presidential palace.  In the 21st century, however, the process is usually subtler.” After explaining how “the slide to autocracy” happens, he concludes his column by saying that “If you aren’t worried about the future of American democracy, you aren’t paying attention.”   Pay some attention by CLICKING HERE and read the entire column … and pass it on to others, please!

JL




Thinking the Unthinkable

"I ain't movin' nowhere!"
Have you considered what might happen if Donald Trump loses the 2020 election and claims he was robbed, cheated and refuses to accept defeat?  He might contest the result in the courts and it is not inconceivable that the Supreme Court would agree with him.  The President knows that once out of office, he becomes much more vulnerable to civil and criminal charges from which his is immune while President.  Conceivably, he might end up as Michael Cohen’s cellmate.  This prospect might motivate him to dispute the election.  There’s a lot being written in this vein lately.  Here’s something from a podcast on “BreakthroughRadio” which touches upon it.  Check it out by CLICKING HERE.  Frightening, isn’t it?  Even to think of such a possibility! 

It’s something else to worry about.   More concretely, you should recognize the importance of voter registration.  See directly below!
JL


Online Voter Registration


Know any Floridians one who are NOT registered voters?   Refer them to a web site where they can complete the registration process online!    Every vote counts.  Visit  https://registertovoteflorida.gov/en/Registration/Index   YOU CAN GET THERE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINE.

And if you are not in Florida, do the same thing wherever you live.  It’s all on the Internet somewhere!  One registered voter is worth a hundred social media messages that merely "preach to the choir."
JL

 

Another Bothersome TV Commercial

There’s a GEICO commercial on TV lately which shows a vacationing family out on a lake in a boat sunning themselves and fishing.   To the father’s disbelief, the daughter hooks a ‘goldfish’ which turns out to be solid gold and regurgitates gold coins!  He screams out repeatedly, on seeing all of this gold, “We’re going to be rich, We’re going to be rich,” as if this were an otherwise absolutely unattainable goal for this family.

Let’s get something straight.  It looks to me like this well-dressed American family able to vacation on a lake, on which they go fishing from a not inexpensive boat, when compared to the rest of the families on the planet, is already quite wealthy! From their appearance, they are probably already richer than many American families.  Very loosely, this commercial (it promotes boat insurance) touches upon the question of wealth redistribution in the United States, pessimistically suggesting that addressing the problem requires catching a “golden fish,” an unlikely event.
JL

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Impeachment Support Needed in Senate, Bolton Gone (Thank Heaven)


Two More Reasons to Impeach the President:

1. When the President produced an inaccurate corruption of a weather chart originating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) so that it covered up a potentially misleading misstatement he had made about Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama, he violated a Federal law.  This should be added to the crimes for which he will be impeached.   That he threatened the NOAA’s scientific and political leadership with firing, via the Secretary of Commerce, if they did not back up the President’s position, is also a criminal action.  The man’s vanity has no limit.

2. While not quite a crime, the President also has disgraced our country by turning back Bahamians made homeless by the disaster in their island nation, who wish to seek shelter in the United State, only 90 miles away, but who do not have proper documentation, which many had lost in the storm’s widespread destruction. (In my opinion, any that get here should be granted temporary refugee status for at least a month.) 
Wreckage at Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas,
 reminiscent of Hiroshima
He feared allowing them in would risk admitting ‘very’ bad criminals and drug dealers who might be among them.  (Note that the President often uses the word ‘very’ when he makes up things. When he doubles it and says ‘very, very,’ you can be sure the upcoming lie will be a big one.)  Of course, the ambiguity with which he says things leaves administrators with the choice of doing their job or pleasing the President.  The NOAA people can attest to that.



President Trump doesn’t have the slightest idea of what being an American means.

(I received the following email today from Alex Sink, whom some of you may recall ran for governor of Florida about a fifteen years ago against Jeb Bush.  I pass it on to you. 
 
"Well, I finally broke down in tears today.

After a very stressful week of dealing with Hurricane Dorian and its impact on the Abaco Islands, yesterday’s reported remarks by President Donald Trump were crushing...Mr. President, Bahamians are NOT "bad people!"  

My family has owned a vacation home shared with three other families for 30 years in Marsh Harbour. Not a year passed that we didn’t visit this beautiful place multiple times and as a result we made many Bahamian friends and became personally involved with Friends of the Environment, a local nonprofit working to protect the beautiful waters and land of Abaco.  (They still have beautiful coral reefs and abundant conch and lobster grounds!)

The eye of the storm passed on Sunday and by Tuesday we had confirmation that our house had been totally obliterated. And while our vacation home was certainly full of wonderful memories for our family and friends, it was just a house. Of more concern was having no word from our house manager and her extended family who have become close friends and are hardworking, enterprising Bahamians who include small business owners, chefs and journalists. They were left homeless and hungry after the storm, and were finally able to be evacuated to Florida last Friday night through the generosity of private aircraft owners transporting these desperate people. This family is but one example of thousands of Abaconians who are wonderful hardworking, entrepreneurial and kind people who have lost everything.  

President Trump, many Americans (especially Floridians) have spent countless vacations on these beautiful islands. Please do not classify these people who have lost everything as unworthy of our love, our financial support and the welcoming spirit of millions of Americans. To shun them is to turn your back on the values of our country as stated on our Statue of Liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

How long will it take for the President’s supporters, including the vast majority of the Republican Party in Congress and among Republican voters, to realize that most charitably, he is a shallow asshole, for which they merely serve as toilet paper?  His presence in the White House continues to demean the office in the eyes of most Americans and of the world.  I am sure that privately, both Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin laugh at him.  Americans should be crying for him, for the failure of the democratic process which put him into office and for their nation.


Impeachment is a responsibility of the Congress, and not doing so is a shirking of that responsibility, as prescribed in the Constitution.  Article 2, Section 4 reads as follows:  ‘The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and Misdemeanors.’   That is part of Congress' oversight responsibility.

The House sets impeachment in motion and a supermajority (2/3) in the Senate, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is needed to convict. Holding off on impeachment plays into President's strategy of delay and legal stalling, playing "his game" rather than what the Constitution prescribes.  Are there 20 real Americans among the Republican majority in the Senate or are they all just the President’s toilet paper?
Jack Lippman

Bolton is Fired


Late-breaking announcement of the firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton illustrates the disarray of the Administration’s foreign policy decision-making process.  Bolton was the third to occupy that post. The President knows little about foreign policy (He appointed Bolton because he liked the way he sounded on Fox) and likes to do his own thing, ignoring facts and history.  That’s why he likes Putin and Kim and assorted despots surrounded by sycophants and chooses to politicize what should be left to diplomacy, as he has done in the Middle East.  In his mind, leaders do as they please. It took him a while to realize super-hawk Bolton’s trigger-happy dogmatism ran counter to his own equivocating and ambiguity, tools in his thus-far unsuccessful deal-making efforts.  He wants to run everything himself, by the seat of his pants, and daily his inability to function as President becomes more evident.

Bolton, whose judgement is dangerously terrible, at least spoke
up to the President.  Mike Pompeo didn't ... and survives.
It should be noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, first in his class at West Point, rose to the rank of Captain in the Army, unlike other Presidential appointees like Generals Mattis, Masterson and Kelly, all now gone, who were used to formulating strategies and giving orders.  That’s what Generals do, rather than simply carrying out orders, which is what Captains do.  Trump’s supporters in Congress and in fact, anyone who votes for him, should have their heads examined.  The President behaves more like a dictator every day.  (I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Pompeo wouldn’t object to mopping the bathrooms in the White House if the President told him to.  That’s what a good bootlicker does.)
JL

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Importance of the Senate, IMPEACH NOW, a Weather Report, Stocking Up on Ammo and Brexit


The Importance of the Senate - A Great Column


Blog followers know that I have frequently pointed out the importance of the United States Senate.  It approves Supreme Court nominees and other important appointments and It votes on legislation which the House of Representatives has already passed.  While the House is “the people’s house,” generally representative of all Americans, the Senate is where the States are specifically represented.   For that reason, it isn’t particularly democratic (small “d”).  That’s why tiny Rhode Island and empty Wyoming each have the same number of Senators, two, as do far more populous States like California, New York or Texas.

As you know, the Senate is controlled by the Republicans and their leader, Mitch McConnell, doesn’t give a damn about anything that doesn’t benefit the G.O.P., consistently putting party over country.  McConnell would never do anything that would diminish the electability of members of his Senate majority. That’s why sorely needed gun-violence legislation or legislation to protect our election process from proven interference by the Russians, both approved by the House, never reaches the floor of the Senate.  Doing so might create problems for Senators who depend on NRA funding and those who are afraid of running afoul of the President’s base of support.  In fact, Mitch’s admitted willingness to move legislation, but only if the President first okays it, proves his chicken-hearted abdication from his role as Senate leader.  This will not change until the Democrats take over control of the Senate. 

O'Rourke
In a recent Washington Post column, Dana Milbank addressed the need for people like Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Steve Bullock (Montana) and Stacey Abrams (Georgia) to forget about other aspirations and run for the Senate seats up for grabs in their States.  He says it far better than I could.  Read his column by CLICKING HERE.

Jack Lippman 

Why We Must Impeach the Law-Breaker-in-Chief NOW

No matter how many laws the President breaks, no matter how often journalists and even Congressional committees go to court to get documents from the President or try to subpoena witnesses to testify, the President will always come out on top.  Why?  The courts, if they haven’t already been contaminated by his appointees, will come up with decisions which the Trumpublicans will appeal … all the way to the Supreme Court, which they control … and where they will therefore prevail. Attorney-General Barr manages these delaying shenanigans, serving the President and not the country. 

Donald Trump, really and truly, can shoot someone down in the middle of Fifth Avenue, as he has jocularly claimed and beside that act not bothering his supporters in the least, he will legally get away with it if he even gets arrested for it.!  Watch how fast he would be “sprung.”  He can get away with murder!  He would walk away smiling without even spending a night in jail.  Just leave it to his lawyers and “his” courts.

The man thinks he is above the law.  In his little corner of the business world where he operated for years, he has always thought of the law as an enemy and employed lawyers to get around it.  He is no different in the Presidency. No American is above the law. 

So it’s time to impeach him.  Now.  Today.  There’s enough in the Mueller Report, his obstruction of justice, in his personally profiting from his office, his making money from foreign delegations which stay at his hotels, his violation of election laws by paying off his whores (for which his personal lawyer has gone to jail), and even more, to get a bill of impeachment passed in the House.  Now.  Today.

And impeachment proceedings would be free from the legal roadblocks the Trumpublicans are able to throw in the way of the normal operation of the court system.  Congress would be in charge, as it should be, and not his devious lawyers led by Attorney General Barr.  
Trump and Barr - the Impeachables

And don’t be so sure that the Senate would not convict him, as we all assume.  If the evidence is so damning in the House’s impeachment hearings so that even the cowering Republican Senators in the Senate will be reminded that they are Americans first and Republicans second, they might vote to send him packing.  It would only take 20 of them courageous enough to put country before party.

But if the Senate closes its eyes and does not convict him, the American people will indeed convict him and send him into oblivion in 2020.  Then, even Fox News might not touch him with a ten-foot pole.

But standing still accomplishes nothing.  It is time to impeach him.  Now. Today.  

Even worse, any delay, and that’s what going through the courts involve, only benefits the President.  It plays into his hands.  It’s his game.  Forget about it.  There is only one answer.  Impeachment.  Now. Today.  
 JL



Weather Report from the White House 

And speaking of the President, let me comment on his recent meteorological remarks.   Many Americans have gotten their information on Hurricane Dorian by accessing the government’s weather web site, www.noaa.gov.   Its coverage of Dorian was, and continues to be, updated every few hours.  There are a multitude of charts and maps available and varied options available within each of them. 

A commonly viewed map is the “Warning Cone Static Images” chart, with the potential storm track option shown.  This is the one to which the President referred and suggested by the addition of a scrawled-in extension of the storm’s potential “cone” that it might, if it kept going in the same direction, reach Alabama.  Earlier, for no conceivable reason, he had mentioned that State as one of those threatened by Dorian and obviously, he was attempting to justify his misstatement.  He probably flunked geography in elementary school.  Using that logic, and his phony chart, it also might reach Kansas, Oregon and Korea! 

Graphics Embellish the Liar-in-Chief
In making his point, the President used a map version several days old in his phony “extended” projected cone illustration. Later versions showed the projected cone turning northward and could not be similarly mis-edited, so he used one a few days older to be able to extend his scrawled cone to Alabama.

 Furthermore, every update on this site is accompanied by an extremely detailed “discussion” of what it means by a professional meteorologist.  Mention of Alabama was totally absent from such “discussions.”  It might take a few minutes to read such “discussions” but that would be a task far beyond the President’s limited mental capabilities, something his former Secretary of Defense and his former Secretary of State eventually became aware of.  This is just another example of the President not doing his homework which was probably the case at the colleges he reportedly attended as well.   (Does anyone in the Wharton School’s Class of ’68 remember his actually being there?)

Americans must understand that the President is never wrong, so long as he has the ability to lie and make up the truth.  Black can be white, hot can be cold.  Fortunately for him, many Americans are equally stupid.  (H.L. Mencken once had something to say about that.)  Note that I did not say “ignorant.”  That can be remedied.  Stupidity cannot.   That is a problem.
 JL


Don't Forget Gun Violence

And back to gun violence, it should be noted that Walmart has curtailed its sale of certain types of ammunition.  This has bothered some Americans.  It was reported in the Palm Beach Post (Sept. 5) that one, a local resident who incidentally owns a company providing training for concealed-weapon permit applicants, visited his local Walmart “to get ammo in case of looters” following Hurricane Dorian.  He claimed Walmart’s action punishes law-abiding citizens looking to protect themselves and their families.  He pointed out that “people, not the guns, are the problem.”

I both disagree and yet, somewhat agree with him.  I maintain (see prior blog postings) that guns, not people, are the problem.   But I also agree that people are part of  the problem, but not all people, primarily people like him.  

Think about this for a moment:  With all the concerns that an impending hurricane brings to people, what kind of nut-jobs put “getting ammo in case of looters” on their list of priorities?  We have plenty of them in this country.  And you and I and Mitch McConnell know the way they vote.  That is a problem.
JL 



Brexit in Trouble

A word about Brexit.  Because of some of the same pressures that resulted in the election of Donald J. Trump to the Presidency of this country (job loss due to cheaper labor costs elsewhere and advancing technology, globalization, appeal to nationalism and dislike if not fear of immigrants) many of those in the United Kingdom felt a need “to Make England (actually the UK) Great Again.  I haven’t seen many Brits wearing “M.E.G.A.” hats but that’s the general idea. 

These misguided folks yearned for the old days when Britannia ruled the waves and when every other nation in the world looked to them for leadership.  They yearn for as the Beatles put it, “Yesterday.”  The logical step, they believed was to get out of the European Union and go it alone, as they had for centuries.  This got on the ballot and just like the Americans voted to put Donald Trump in office, Great Britain voted to exit from the European Union (Brexit) no later than this October.


The Europeans are willing to let them go, but some of the Brits with brains want to exit in a sane manner, one that would not destroy their economy and maintain some kind of economic connection with Europe, if Europe will let them do so on some limited basis. 
Boris Johnson
Theresa May couldn’t solve the problem and the current PM, Boris Johnson, is willing to go ahead with a clean break if need be rather than continue to look for some kind of a deal with Europe.  
Americans must not ignore the fact that an economic disaster in the UK, which a clean "Brexit" will cause, will also affect our economy!

That’s what is going on across the pond.  My guess:  Come 2020, both Donald Trump and Brexit will be history.  It will, unfortunately, take at least a decade to heal the wounds these two adventures in nostalgia caused.
JL