“Donald Trump rose to power with the determined assistance of a movement that denies science, bashes government and prioritized loyalty over professional expertise. In the current crisis, we are all reaping what that movement has sown.”
Tag Archives: U.S. politics
“They’ve redefined family for the first time in a federal – in a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships. The problem with that is it’s really hard to define a committed relationship, and it’s really hard to define anything related to that.”
– Rep. Andy Biggs, on a radio program produced by the conservative Christian group Family Research Council.
Biggs was one of 40 lawmakers who voted against the coronavirus stimulus bill, said he did so in part because the legislation included paid sick leave benefits for domestic partnerships.
A few nights ago, amidst extensive coverage of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, a national news network abruptly mentioned that Tom Brady recently signed a contract to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I guess it was supposed to be a bright spot in yet another tension-filled day in the U.S. and the world. And who wouldn’t want to take a break from this madness? But it startled me, as it came even before news about a massive storm system that had swept in from the Pacific and was approaching the middle of the country; bringing heavy rain and strong winds – some possibly tornadic – upon tens of millions of people. I’m well aware Americans love their football and that sports usually brings people together – excluding stupidly angry parents at kids’ softball games.
In the midst of this pandemic, I could care less about Tom Brady or any other professional athlete – especially the overpaid, over-celebrated types. Like Tom Brady. The COVID-19 death toll is rising rapidly in the U.S.; gradually becoming more real and more frightening. Just as a mudslide creeps down a rain-slogged hill, picking up rocks and vegetation, the virus has been gathering unsuspecting victims – slow, but unstoppable. Here in my native northeast Texas, the Dallas / Fort Worth metropolitan area’s nearly 8 million residents have found themselves in an unexpected lockdown capsule. Not much scares Texans, native or transplant. But COVID-19 is more terrifying than the thought of the federal government snatching up our firearms, or bars and restaurants running out of beer and tequila.
With my elderly mother’s fragile health in even more jeopardy and my gym forced to shut down, I wonder if I’m fatally mistaking my usual spring allergy symptoms for that wicked Wuhan menace. And, as matters intensify, there are some aspects of American society I don’t care about right now. I don’t care …
If another wedding or funeral in either Afghanistan or Iraq is interrupted by an ISIS bomb. U.S. troops have been embedded in Afghanistan for nearly two decades, and we still haven’t been able to tame the bearded and burqa-covered savages who occupy the nation’s rocky environs. I’ve long championed the complete removal of American troops from Afghanistan; whether or not the energy titans who have insisted they remain like it or not.
If Israel and its venomous neighbors let yet another peace pact collapse. There never has been peace in the Middle East and – at the current rate – there never will be. For one thing the U.S. has been kissing Israel’s kosher ass for as long as I can remember. We’ve bequeathed literally billions of American dollars in aid to Israel, and they’ve reciprocated with little more than self-righteous angst.
To hear more about the British royal family. As I’ve noted previously, the American media harbors a fascination with the Windsors that the majority of American citizens do not. To put it in more common vernacular, we mostly don’t a shit what the British royals do. That Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, won’t adhere to some ancient, traditional Buckingham duties is about as important to the American populace as a grasshopper binging on a blade of Augustine grass.
About the plight of illegal immigrants lined up along the Mexican border. Yes, I know many of them are desperate for a new life; free of poverty and crime. But, right now, we can’t help them. I’m genuinely more concerned about the health of my mother (who was born in México in 1932) and myself than some illiterate wetback who’s either too stupid or too lazy to follow established rules and laws to enter the U.S. legally. If they can afford to pay several thousand American dollars to a coyote, or smuggler, to help them cross the Rio Grande, they can use that money to acquire the proper documentation.
About the anxiety of the transgendered. Personally, I’m almost sick of hearing gender-confused folks clamor for equal treatment, then publicly lament that no one understands their “struggles”. No, I don’t comprehend that you have trouble figuring out whether you should have indoor or outdoor genital plumbing and I don’t want to take the time and energy to do so. For years the TG community demanded to be included within the overall queer community; now they want to piggyback on the rest of us and still have their own revolving closet.
About Confederate monuments. Throughout the southeastern U.S., generations of redneck assholes have been fighting the American Civil War and – goddammit – they STILL haven’t won! They keep hollering that the conflict that took some 800,000 lives was about states’ rights, when in fact, it was about the right of said states to keep millions of Negroes enslaved like wild animals. The conservative morons who approve school text books have tried to dance around the issue by making such asinine claims that African slaves were “immigrant workers” or that slavery was actually “work for food and shelter.” If anything, these are the people I’d love to see infected with COVID-19 and die. When education and information fail to enlighten people, I view death as the only viable alternative.
About the Kardashian clan. As with the British royal family, I’m about as concerned with the Kardashian gang as I am with a bug’s ass. In fact, like with professional athletes, I don’t give a shit for the antics of overpaid, over-hyped celebrities; people who live in gilded mansions and consider limited bandwidth a problem.
Whether or not Oprah Winfrey can eat bread. For more than thirty years I’ve heard the former talk show host bemoan her struggles with weight and body imagery. Here’s some body imagery for you: I have an uncircumcised penis and hair covering my butt and my chest. Does anyone genuinely care? No! And I don’t give a flying fuck if Oprah can eat an entire loaf of unleavened bread in one sitting without feeling guilty. Her wagon loads of chicken fat (emblematic of her butt cheeks) failed to impress me; instead, just making me laugh. I recall, during her 2009 visit to the Dallas area, Oprah waddled onto a stage at the Texas State Fair clad in jeans and a cowboy hat (trying to look so…you know, Texan). My mother glared at the TV screen and uttered, “God, I didn’t realize how fat she is until now…seeing her in those jeans. You know, fat gals have no business wearing jeans.” Thus remember, despite her self-aggrandizing proclamations, Oprah doesn’t really care if you like bread, or if you can distinguish real mashed potatoes from processed cauliflower. She just cares if you buy her magazines. Which might not be a bad idea right now. Toilet paper has been in short supply lately.
Now, dear readers, please tell us what you care about most (or least) in these critical times. I fully believe in the power of the pen and the keyboard, and as bloggers and writers, we are obliged to keep the unbridled truth – and the hand sanitizer – in motion.
“Well, you know, I think it’s always interesting when the President falls off of his tricycle in the Oval Office and has time to tweet at me rather than focus on the fact that the coronavirus might become a global pandemic. The stock market is on a roller coaster, there are lots of vulnerable Americans who don’t have affordable health care, housing, or education, and he’s spending his time focused on me.”
– Tim O’Brien, senior advisor to Michael Bloomberg, CNN’s “AC 360”.
O’Brien, who is executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion and who has publicly criticized Trump, was responding to the president’s March 4 tweet: “Mini Mike Bloomberg will now fire Tim O’Brien and all the fools and truly dumb people who got him into this mess. This has been the worst, and most embarrassing experience of his life, and now on to Sleepy Joe.”
Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill conceded they didn’t get along personally. O’Neill would go so far as to say Reagan was one of the laziest presidents he’d ever known. It was ironic that two old Irish-Americans would have such disparate viewpoints, as they each reached the apex of their careers. Yet, despite their differences in how government should function and what policies were best for the nation, they did try to work together. Those differences fell into the background in March of 1981, when Reagan almost fell victim to a would-be assassin’s bullet. O’Neill visited Reagan in the hospital and the two even read biblical passages together.
Flash forward nearly four decades and try to imagine such comingling in Washington now. On Tuesday, Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address. As required, he provided copies of his speech to Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Despite intense animosity between Trump and Pelosi, the latter extended her hand to the president – which he deliberately ignored. After Trump concluded speaking, Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech, explaining later that Trump had “shredded the truth,” so she saw fit to shred the speech. Then, on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted to acquit Trump of both articles of impeachment the House had brought up at the end of last year. Over these past couple of days, Trump has gloated over his acquittal; proudly displaying various newspapers announcing the trial verdict and – in a live press conference – condemned the entire fiasco; ultimately calling it “bullshit”. Yes, he really did utter that word on live television. Then again, it’s Donald Trump. Nothing he says or does should surprise anyone by now.
I have NEVER seen anything like this in my lifetime. In my own 40-plus years of studying American politics, these past four have been surreal and almost otherworldly. Donald Trump is the stress test of all stress tests. And I thought George W. Bush was disoriented! Trump is one block away from full-fledged derangement! Bush’s actions in office embarrassed me more than once. But Trump has stained the U.S. presidency with a new level of disgrace and shame.
It’s disillusioned me to the point where I’ve begun deleting all incoming emails of a political nature – even from Democratic and Green Party candidates. I disliked Bush, but I absolutely loathe Trump. I don’t like to say I hate someone I don’t know personally. However, Trump has come as close to it for me as have only a few others – animal abusers, neo-Nazis, Caitlyn Jenner. Just to name a few.
And none of that gives me pleasure. It’s easy to hate and demonize. It’s harder to dismiss bad behavior, especially from our political leaders. I’ve been watching this circus and cringe at the thought of foreign opinions. The United States is the self-claimed beacon of democracy and national dignity. We’re supposed to be far above these kinds of third-world antics. Now we’ve dropped into the abyss of antagonism and mockery. People in Somalia must be laughing.
After Bush ascended to the presidency in 2001, some outspoken liberals announced they would actually flee the country. Even with the current political diorama, I’m not ready to update my passport. Well…not yet. I just don’t know when this somnambulistic nightmare will end. But the dénouement can’t arrive soon enough.
Thanks goodness all bad things – like blind dates and ptomaine poisoning – must come to an end!
“You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.”
McSally later tweeted a cell phone video of the terse exchange, apparently recorded by one of her aides, and is now trying to raise money over the incident.