Saturday, April 29, 2017

WineDrunk SideWalk: Shipwrecked in TrumpLand week FOURTEEN weekly wrap-up

After One Hundred Days

Happy one hundred days folks! Somehow the unthinkable happened, somehow we’re still surviving even as democracy as we know it is limping, somehow reality is still inverted, somehow even with the lowest approval rating of any president after one hundred days the motherfucker’s supporters still haven’t come down with a case of buyer’s remorse, and somehow the motherfucker is still ballyhooing about an election we’d all rather forget. Oh, the motherfucker is still tweeting away and now commenting about how he never expected the goddamn job to be so hard.
            After one hundred days it’s hard to measure a president and that should be no surprise as the “democratic process” is slow to change. The motherfucker came into office and immediately shut the door on half of the country which makes that process even slower. He’s governed by executive order mostly, twenty-nine so far, ten more than that villain obama, still less than truman or even FDR who walloped out ninety nine during the worst of the depression. Like FDR, who was branded a traitor to his class for his executive orders, most of the motherfucker’s orders are being met with resistance, or are already being subverted by a justice system that to some extent still believes this is a democracy and that liberal forward thinking may not be the worst thing.
            After one hundred days we’ve seen three attempts at muslim bans although none of the countries included in those bans has ever produced a terrorist attack on american soil. All three muslim bans have been stuck down. The aca has been attacked once and survived, the second attack is coming but the government shutdown has waylaid that vote until after a budget has been produced. The motherfucker has also tried to shout down sanctuary cities for not working with/ sharing information with immigration officials. He’s threatened to withhold federal funding for these cities but even in that threat he has been shut down this week. If we could all stop at this moment and give William Orrick a round of applause, I’d say he greatly deserves it.
            After one hundred days were still talking about a wall which will never be built. The wall was a big issue this week, considering it was a campaign promise. That fucking wall that mexico won’t pay for, the wall the democrats won’t support, the wall there is no reason to build, the wall that would be an environmental disaster. There are currently about eleven million illegals in this country, that’s the lowest in almost fifteen years. The truth about it is there are only a small number of illegals coming from mexico, most are coming from central and south america so ratcheting up anti mexican rhetoric is  absurd. Also take into account that the crime rates among immigrant populations are around ten percent, and incarcerated rates for immigrant populations come in at about half of what our “native” population. Yes there is crime along the border, but the more I read the more I find that crime, at least on the u.s side of the border, is down mostly because of the police state that surrounds it. 
            After one hundred days the motherfucker considers the news an inconvenient truth. To be straight folks, when you read news think about what the organization passing that news has to gain by the story it’s presenting. In this country the fifth estate was a noble place. We shan’t be so naïve to state that that reporting didn’t at times play fast and loose with facts. Over the last twenty years news has become infotainment. The surge of reality tv has infused the news room and tightened budgets have insured that real hard hitting investigative journalism is for the most part a thing of the past.  The problem is is that we need good hard hitting investigative journalism. Politics, race, economy, the environment, employment or unemployment, the war on drugs, mass incarceration are all incredibly difficult, incredibly complex issues. They don’t take to sound bites, they don’t even take to minute long stories. If we really want to understand issues we need a fifth estate not motivated by profit, we also need a working class with enough time and enough at stake in a political system to want to be informed. Until that happens we can only ask where have you gone Woodward and Bernstein? Until that happens I would say the first question anyone should ask, especially when listening to loudmouth pundits and conservative ball carriers is how much money do they make to talk? After that answer has been established, then compare it to your own income and wonder: do these asshats have your best interests in mind or are they proverbial snake oil salesmen?
            After one hundred days we still don’t know all there is about russiagate. This week the shite house refused request for documents relating to the disgraced michael flynn. As such flynn was warned about taking payments back in 2014, and lied about payments from a russian television station. I do love that spicer blamed obama for the clearances that his administration gave to flynn. There’s so much more floating with this investigation, such as the motherfucker refusing to release tax records because he took sizeable payments from the russian mafia after his latest bankruptcy. It seems to me every time this investigation gets a little too close to getting traction and more complete coverage something else happens to distract us. That something has been the muslim ban, the a bombing in syria, then afghanist and now much saber rattling in north korea.
            After one hundred days we are still at war. We are at war in afghanistan and iraq. We continue military actions in syria and across the middle east. The motherfucker hasn’t yet started a new war but things are heating up. We may be at war in syria in no time although we have backed off after our most recent (illegal) bombing raid last month. Then we dropped the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan (how fucked up is it that this administration cuts women’s funding but then names a killing device a mother? fucking priorities right?). Now we're threatening war with north korea. North korea has the bomb and they claim we are being aggressive so they have the right to use it. We claim that north korea is being aggressive and we have sent aircraft carriers as well as threatened to use our own nuclear arsenal. Now let’s stop here for just a moment. The united states has been involved in one war or another for over ninety percent of its history. I was born in 1976, the year after vietnam ended, and since then, prior to the war on terror, we have fought afghanistan, nicaragua, granada, the persian gulf, panama, the philippines, iraq, haiti, bosnia, and somalia. While we were fighting those wars there was a war on drugs, a cold war, and dozens of other skirmishes, strikes etc all over the world. I’m gonna go out a limb here and say that the u.s is the aggressor. We haven’t fought a world war in seventy years, yet omehow the u.s is always fighting, always policing, always antagonizing. It’s always the other nations fault,  more than likely because they are impeding united states business interests.
            After one hundred days I have never heard a president invoke the nuclear option as if it was going for a sunday drive. The last time the united states was on the brink of a full scale nuclear war was the cuban missile crisis. I know that over the course of the cold war things ratcheted and vacillated and there were a number of near misses. I know that the only time the united states, or any country, has used nuclear weapons in an assault were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those bombs were dropped after japan had sued for peace. Those bombs were a message from truman to stalin. Those bombs showed u.s military might and started the cold war. Those bombs killed, on a conservative estimate, two-hundred and fifty thousand people. Those bombs killed, on a conservative estimate, two-hundred and fifty thousand people. I said that twice for a reason. Think for just one second. What would happen if two-hundred and fifty thousand people were there and then they weren’t? This is not a fucking video game. This is real fucking life. The real fucking lives of humans, and I don’t give a flying fuck what color those human are. Is there a good, unassailable reason why we should drop a bomb that could conservatively kill two-hundred and fifty thousand people? Can you think of a good, unassailable reason to kill two-hundred and fifty thousand people?
            After one hundred days the motherfucker is still at war with the environment. We are reaching a tipping point for humanity yet capitalism seems to believe we can play chicken with the earth and not expect disastrous results. Throughout the course of this administration we have seen the relaxing of epa standards. This week the motherfucker signed yet another executive order that will review the latest twenty one national monuments. Most of these national monuments are in places that are difficult for humans to visit, yet the motherfucker claims that these are a criminal federal land grab. The most recent national monument is Bears Ears in Utah, which was controversial when obama signed for its protection. The reason why it was controversial is because the site contains oil and is of interest for other mining as well. It is also a treasure trove for geologist, dinosaur hunters as well as containing a number of american indian tribal artifacts. On friday the motherfucker also relaxed off shore drilling and I’m sure some of those national monuments may be sitting on land ripe for fossil fuel extraction. The problem here is that the age of oil is over, or ending quickly. The need for renewable energy is obvious. Solar is growing in leaps and bounds and other forms of efficient energy are being explored mostly in other countries but to some extent here. Why is it that we are denying the reality and not progressing into fuel alternatives? The answer once again is money, but  there is no fixing a place once it’s destroyed. There is no bringing back species after extinction. We are headed to a mass extinction and that mass extinction will include our own species if we do not stand up and protect it.
            After one hundred days the republicants are still unable to govern. The motherfucker rules by executive order and even with majority, legislation is stalling and dying in committee. This week the government was ready to shut down without a budget, which was finally averted Friday when a one week funding compromise was reached. I’ll leave this topic here since I’ll be writing next week’s recap and I’m sure more shenanigans are coming soon.
            After one hundred days the rich are still getting richer. The motherfucker finally trotted out his tax plan this week which, as promised, would give the largest tax cut since the reagan era. The motherfuckers tax plan would reduce the corporate tax rate to fifteen percent, it would eliminate and inheritance tax, it would cut the tax tiers from seven to three and would allow companies  to report their taxes as people so as to qualify for the fifteen percent tax rate. Of course, most of the tax cuts go to the wealthy which includes the motherfucker. He claims this tax cut will promote investment which is another version of trickle-down economics and if you remember the eighties you know how that went. Eliminating the inheritance tax is flat out ridiculous. Most of the people affected by the inheritance tax are the rich, and when you do away with that tax that means money stays at the top. When reagan reduced that tax in the eighties that when this era, this new gilded age started. The fabulously wealthy got to horde more money and the gap between rich and poor widened to the chasm it is now. One more problem: our corporate tax rate is high in comparison with first world countries (we could argue we are a third world country with a first world military which is what keeps American influence relevant but that’s another essay) but there are huge tax loops for corporations right now. We could also argue for government largesse is part of the reason that those tax rates are too high. The problem is is that largesse isn’t because of social programs which really amount to a drop in the federal bucket, the largesse isn’t because of infrastructure, the largesse isn’t because of government spending on healthcare, the largesse is because of what this country spends of defense and the military.
            After one hundred days the scandals are endless. The motherfucker is a fake fucking populist, he is huey long, and his people are eating up the drain the swamp bullshit. Maybe they shouldn’t care that the koch brothers used money to aid in the confirmation of scott pruitt, or that American apparel seeded the confirmation of pudzer. Maybe none of us should care that the government is for sale. Or maybe it’s time for that to change.
            After one hundred days it really is one big ridiculous farcical reality show. Over the course of this week, the daughter motherfucker was booed in Germany for claiming her father cared about women’s issues. Meanwhile arkansas keeps enforcing the death penalty with aplomb. Meanwhile, le pen is one step closer to the French presidency and she’s wants to outlaw jews. Meanwhile, in a fit of sanity new orleans takes down confederate monuments and because an opposite reaction is necessary, white supremacist shouted from the rooftops. Meanwhile, something similar is brewing is south carolina.  Meanwhile, were only a hundred days into this administration and for all of us life gets harder, makes less sense. Meanwhile, we hope for an actual populist and any bit of sanity in a world that maybe would be better off without humanity.

Happy Birthday Ally!

Jason Baldinger

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