Category Archives: Politics & Economics

A Few Words About BBQ and Other Things

Ohio never had much of a barbecue heritage and growing up there I had no knowledge of what real barbecue was. I also had no knowledge of the great variety and the forever argument over who has the best. Barbecue to us buckeyes was what you got at a drive-in restaurant and it usually came out of a can, sauce and all.

My first experience with real Carolina ‘cue was at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, NC. We spent a week at Atlantic Beach and when we’d talk to people on the beach they’d ask us if we had stopped at Wilber’s for the barbecue. At the end of the week, on the way back to Ohio, we stopped and had a large family style meal of pulled pork, vinegar slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, sweet tea, and banana pudding. For years we went to Atlantic Beach every year and never passed Wilber’s without stopping for a plate. It was my first and to this day, remains my favorite. Matter of fact, there’s a bottle of Wilber’s Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce in our fridge at this moment.

Continue reading A Few Words About BBQ and Other Things

Deja Vu, He Has a Secret Plan

Turned on the news this morning and the lead story was about Trump announcing he has a secret plan for providing the American people with the perfect health care plan. There are at least two barbs to this fishhook. First, it’s secret. While we all get excited about secrets we should all know that secrets only hide and never make clear. Secondly, the other part of Trump’s caveat was that his secret plan wouldn’t be ready until after the 2020 elections.

Still having a bit of memory remaining my mind immediately flashed back to 1968 when Richard Nixon promised the American people that he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam and that he wouldn’t be able to reveal it until after the presidential elections.

The reality of Nixon’s secret is that he openly told interviewer David Frost that he never had a plan. Plus, once elected Nixon expanded the war into two neighboring nations and got another 22,000 American troops killed.

I was pleased when a few minuted later I turned on Morning Joe and Joe was having this same deja vu moment about Nixon and what his secret plan got us.

Continue reading Deja Vu, He Has a Secret Plan

Enemies of the People

Several times during his stay in the White House Donald Trump has used the phrase, “enemy of the people.”  He has aimed it at his own security agencies, against all Democrats, who he now insists hate Jews, and against the media of record, which he insists is fake.

Recently Trump again raged against the New York Times, calling it the enemy of the people for an article that comes even closer to proving he has used his executive office powers to further obstruct those investigations probing deeper into his own misbehaviors.

Continue reading Enemies of the People

Trump’s Health Care Plan is to Pay Your Taxes & Die

I could easily begin this piece with a list of all the things Trump promised his supporters in 2016 but has failed to deliver on. If I did at the top of the list would have to be that thing about Mexico building a wall and paying for it.

But the wall pales in contrast to the promises he made to provide Americans with a world-class health care system. Early on he promised:

“To repeal Obamacare ‘immediately’ and replace it with ‘something terrific.”

Well, from taking office in 2017 until the Democrats regained the House in 2018, strongly on the issue of health care, Trump and his totally GOP government have miserably failed to do so. It took Obama and the support of every Democrat a full two years to create the less than perfect ACA and despite dozens of GOP bills and court cases, it has been weakened but not erased. And in spite of its weaknesses, millions of Americans do have some level of health care they didn’t have before the ACA.

Continue reading Trump’s Health Care Plan is to Pay Your Taxes & Die

Barr is the First Pitch of the First Inning of a Game that Could Set a Record for Overtime

Trump appoints and the GOP controlled Senate approves an Attorney General with an easy to see and fully documented bias against the appointment of a special counsel. That handpicked and biased AG was hand a report that took over two years to compile and in less than two full days issues a summary that draws game-changing conclusions. He concludes there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and his people and the Russians. All along, however, it has been argued conclusively that there is no such crime as collusion.

Continue reading Barr is the First Pitch of the First Inning of a Game that Could Set a Record for Overtime

I Don’t Need a Mueller Report, I Have a TV

When news of the Mueller report being released came out on Friday there was great speculation about what it will tell. Many people are disappointed that it wasn’t accompanied by further indictments. Bill Maher made the remark that he wasn’t concerned about what the report doesn’t reveal, he has a TV set. Well, so do I.

By paying close attention to over two years of investigative broadcast and written journalism we all know, whether we’re willing to accept it, what Meuller found out. We all know that his investigation into Trump and his people produced thirty-seven indictments and every single one of them in some way involves a Russian. We know Trump’s closest friends and associates have either been in jail, are in jail, or will be going to jail. We know that others are awaiting sentencing, a couple are still providing information for ongoing investigations and another has taken the fifth to avoid admitting to complicity, We also know that a major contributor is being protected in the embassy of a South American nation.

I also know that every part of Trump world remains under investigation by state and federal agencies, His charity has been forced to close due to fraudulent practices, he inherited over $400 million from his father that is likey rift with tax problems that will attract the attention of the IRS and state tax agencies. I know that several Democratically controlled US House committees are digging deep into his most private life. I know that his daughter and son in law are subjets of improperly receiving intelligence clearances and communicating government business via unimproved methods.

I know that his continued involvement in his businesses is being attacked as violations of the emolument clause of the US Constitution and that Trump has been sued by at least two states for such infractions. And, I know that he remains listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a campaign violation case.

Furthermore, I know that Trump has little to no respect for the rule of law. That he has no regard for separation of powers and believes the rest of government exists to serve his purposes. I know that every time he utters a lie or distortion of truth fact checkers at the Washington Post make note of it and thus far he has lied to the American people approaching 10,000 times since taking office on January 20, 2017.

As of this afternoon, Sunday, March 24, 2019, I know that Attorney General Barr’s report to Congress appears to exonerate Trump from working with the Russians to manipulate the 2016 election but that the question of whether he worked to obstruct the Meuller investigation remains an open question.

From my TV, and my Google Machine, I know all of this and much more. Unfortunately, I know that all of this is far from over and that Trump and his loyalists will engage America in a never-ending civil war of rants and tweets trying to win their claim that it has all been a fake news witch hunt sponsored by some nefarious group called the deep state.

Most unfortunate is that I know those who have wet their whistle from the cup of Trump Kool-Aid will never accept the evidence uncovered by that army of dedicated legitimate investigative journalists who seek the truth, regardless of who their spotlights sign on.

Our Economic Realities & Trump is not the Wizard

I was recently in the mountains of Northern Georgia and around several bends in the road and tucked down in some holler there’d be a sort of enclave of broken down house trailers where people were eking out some kind of a life for themselves. There’s nothing unique about this, you can see the same thing in any state and any city, people barely getting along.

What caught my eye in Georgia however, were the occasional displays of rabbit support for Donald Trump. There would be weather-worn commercial MAGA flags and Trump signs along with crudely painted Trump signs made from whatever flat surface could be found.

As always I was stunned at the support given to a man who has no knowledge of or affinity towards these hidden Americans. Trump doesn’t know they exist and even if he does, he doesn’t care. He has made no effort to address the needs of poor Americans, in fact, just the contrary. His most recent budget proposal calls for drastic cuts into Medicaid and SNAP, both federal programs that often spell life or death for the poor.

Continue reading Our Economic Realities & Trump is not the Wizard

Tanks, Cars, SUVs, Robots, and Steam Drills

I’m sure those who work at the Lima, OH tank factory were happy to see their jobs saved. But economically speaking, everyone needs to remember that jobs building military hardware are in no way as economically valuable in the long-haul as nongovernmental jobs.
Those lost private industry jobs making consumer products at Lordstown, Ohio were far more important than those jobs saved at Lima. Every car made at GM plants affects the economy in every corner of the nation. The same is simply not true about rebuilding a decades-old war machine. And for Trump to put any part of the blame on the closing of Lordstown on union workers is simply assinine.

Continue reading Tanks, Cars, SUVs, Robots, and Steam Drills

Autographed Bibles & Paper Towels

So, when the lives of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans were damn near destroyed the Donald stopped by and decided that what these desperate people needed was an insensitive old white billionaire having fun tossing out free rolls of paper towels to people who were actually aid workers and not the victims of the hurricane.

So, when a series of 170 mph EF-4 tornadoes smashed through Lee County, Alabama killing 23 people Mr. Compassion ascends from above in full Christ-like operational mode, He decides that what’s needed is his signing copies of the Holy Bible for distribution. I’m surprised there isn’t video footage of his signing Bibles and then tossing them to the crowd with a Jerry West like fall back jump shot.

Many people on the street are, however, saying that Trump signed them using the moniker, J.C. Trump. Now, I don’t know anything about but lots of people are saying it. Yes, many people are talking about it and saying it. There could be something to it, they’re talking.

So syneth the word of the Lord by, J.C. Trump.

Eisenhower Told Us But We Didn’t Listen

Back in the 1950s president Eisenhower warned the nation about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex; the ever more powerful relationship between those who make the weapons of war and those who buy and use them. Unfortunately, little attention has been given to Ike’s warning and the MIC is more powerful than ever.

I recently heard an economist state that the cost of Medicare for All could be covered if we ever got serious about reigning in our military budget. America currently spends more on its military that of the world’s nations combined.

Continue reading Eisenhower Told Us But We Didn’t Listen

Racism, Will We Ever Learn & Change?

The governor of Virginia is under fire for appearing on his medical school yearbook page either in blackface or in the uniform of a KKK member. The date was 1984, twenty years after the signing of civil rights acts and even more years since the murder of Emmett Till, the Montgomery bus boycott, or the beating of Selma marchers. Plenty of years to have learned that blackface and KKK costumes were not appropriate party wear. Plenty of time to learn that many things are offensive and that society, in general, should become aware and adjust their behaviors.

Continue reading Racism, Will We Ever Learn & Change?

Our Next President?

While I’m not much for speculation when it comes to guessing who will win elections, I still enjoy listening to some people’s opinions and insight. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is one such person. Here’s a brief video in which he diagrams what factors are most needed to right the turned over apple cart that is America under Trump.

Today Trump Turned To Page 45 of His Dictator’s Playbook

PBS is running a series called The Dictator’s Playbook that singles out a particular dictator from history and investigates that person’s rise to power. The current episode deals with Idi Amin, the notorious and murderous dictator of Uganda during the 1970s.
Here in America, concerned citizens have been watching for signs of the same thing happening. For over two years now we’ve watched Donald Trump usurp Constitutional and traditional norms of separation of powers and rule of law as he has rapidly tried to consolidate power into this own undersized hands.

Continue reading Today Trump Turned To Page 45 of His Dictator’s Playbook

Parkland, A Year Ago Today – Happy Valentine’s Day

Utah students march against gun violence. February 13, 2019.

The mass shooting at Florida’s Parkland High School took place just a year ago today. In the following year, much has taken place but even more, has not taken place.

A huge anti-gun violence movement, led by students, has evolved and prompted several major successes at the state level. At the federal level its been pretty much status quo with the gun lobby still owning the majority of the GOP and some Democratic votes.

Continue reading Parkland, A Year Ago Today – Happy Valentine’s Day

Even when the government is open we don’t do calamity well.

Most people remember the FEMA fiasco that followed Hurricane Katrina. Who could forget Bush’s words to FEMA director Michael Brown as thousands suffered in the Superdome or Convention Center, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” Heck, I even had a t-shirt made with that quote on it.

One can go back and read the literature and learn that the critics don’t think much was learned from Katrina. One can also learn that a lesson that was learned was to make sure the mistakes are not repeated if the victims are white and live in red states.

Continue reading Even when the government is open we don’t do calamity well.