Friday, March 9, 2018

Trying To Catch Up

My next newspaper column:

Allocated only around 700 words once a week, I’m always playing catch-up. So here’s a time- and space-limited selection of mentionables from an endlessly accruing heap of Trumpworld items that should concern all Americans. Confirmatory links provided on request.

1.  In the White House, Jared Kushner negotiated around $500 million in personal loans from American banks. Shortly after Qatar denied a similar request, Kushner enabled a Saudi Arabia/UAE blockade against that anti-ISIS partner. 
2.  An indispensable article by Jane Mayer, providing revelatory, non-Foxolimjonesified background on Chris Steele and his “dossier,” and what the FBI did and didn’t do, almost parenthetically includes a claim that Russia vetoed Mitt Romney as Secretary of State, preferring someone more likely to end Obama’s sanctions. (Okay, hereIf Trump isn’t fully in Putin’s pocket, he’s half-asset. 
3. Of $120 million budgeted to fight Russian election interference, our State Department has spent none. Of the assigned analysts, none speaks Russian. 
4. Whatever one thinks about tariffs, it’s consumers who pay for a trade war. Reports say Trump’s half-baked plan followed a fit of (stable genius) rage.
5. Shortly before Trump’s announcement, his pal, billionaire Carl Icahn, unloaded $30 million of stock in steel-dependent companies. 
6. Trump took, and, from the Foxified, received credit for the economy since inauguration day. Now, having added $1.5 trillion to this year’s deficit and more trillions to future debt, he’s earned it. His simple-minded tariff misconceptions will cost jobs in addition to money. Even cowardly Paul Ryan was appalled by Trump’s impulsive plans. Chief economic adviser Gary “Tax-cuts-for-the-rich” Cohn resigned over them. Trump’s support of Nazis didn’t do it for him. This did.
7.  Devin Nunes, who pushed a pile of prevarication in his “memo,” evidently leaked classified information to Fox “news.” Then he called Stephen Colbert a danger to America.
8. First-Amendment-loving, small-government-pushing, free-market Republicans in Georgia would use public law to punish Delta Airlines, a private corporation, for charging NRA members what they charge everyone else.
9. Reversing Obama rules on coal ash, Trump has greenlighted pollution of America’s drinking water.
10. Ben Carson, after approving massive cuts in HUD’s budget and saying public housing shouldn’t be “too cozy,” got caught buying a $31K table for his office, and giving no-bid contracts to family members. Ryan Zinke’s and Scott Pruitt’s personal use of tax money makes Carson look cheap, though. So does Pruitt’s graft. Nearly the whole cabinet’s, in fact. Only the best people.
11. Contrary to Zinke’s lies, emails show shrinking Bear’s Ears Monument was about oil and coal.
12. Speaking of falsehoods, after promising the opposite, Trump cut Medicare and Medicaid significantly. Social Security looks to be next. And elephants. People actually believed his lies. Mysteriously, many still do. 
13. Trump joked Fox “news” is the “fourth branch of government.” Later, praised China’s Xi for becoming leader for life. Said he might try it. It was a joke, too. They were, right? Jokes?
14. There are laws against appointing relatives to positions of power by federal government officials. Same with using one’s position for self-enrichment. Now we know why. What we don’t know is why Congress no longer cares.
15. People still apoplectic over Hillary Clinton’s carelessness with emails are silent about Trump’s with security clearances for his White House enablers. (Irony: I needed top-secret clearance for some of what I did in Vietnam. It was delayed because I’d studied Russian and traveled the USSR in college.) 
16. Putin displays an animation of Russia’s “unstoppable” new missiles hitting Florida. Trump’s response: silence. Maybe he expects a Mar-a-Lago tax write-off. He did attack Alec Baldwin right after, though, so there’s that. 
17. Benefitting his admired dictators, Trump is undoing Ronald Reagan’s “Infrastructure of Democracy” around the world.
18. NRA made a deeply disgusting ad against critics.
19. Red states don’t like liberals voting.
20. Drip, drop, tick, tock.

For these things, concern ought to be universal. Mistaking cri de coeur for partisanship, people email me criticizing my tone, claiming they’re “reasonable” NRA members, or “thoughtful” conservatives, so I should be nicer. Time for those good folks to act on their professed moderation. Relieved as I am to learn of their unhappiness with Trump and/or NRA leadership, when I ask if they’ve sent complaints their way, too, none have. Maybe they’re planning to show their displeasure by their votes.

A guy can dream.

(Not in the column, but to be emailed to anyone who requests them, here's the list of links promised above, which I'm too tired to have hot-linked for the blog. Impressive work on my part, though, eh?) 


  1. Your index finger must be ready for some muscle relaxers, looking at all the bookmarks you have been tapping to engage in a wiser, more colorful conversation with your column viewers. Not a little impressive to say the least. Respect and admiration kudos to you, Sid, for all your research and forthright communication through this column mouthpiece. Thank you, Fonzie

  2. Tillerson is gone.

    Also son in law Jared has some serious financial crimes. Code for money laundering.

    "Uday and Qusay" are going down too. Although I wonder what Eric Drumpf really knows. Uday is fucked I think.

    When it all goes *boom* it will be big.

  3. And here goes another one!!! Make America Great Again, fire Trump!

    The president's personal assistant, John McEntee, was abruptly fired and escorted out of the White House over some kind of security clearance issue, reports the Wall Street Journal. White House officials won't provide details, but CNN reports that McEntee is under investigation by Homeland Security for "serious financial crimes" unrelated to the president. Almost immediately after losing his White House job, however, the 27-year-old McEntee was hired by the Trump campaign as an adviser.

  4. I may be guessing, but is it your index or your middle finger that is doing all this good work? Just sayin.... No answer is appreciated.

  5. And here goes another pro, hmmm... Birds of a feather, fly together... just sayin...

    President Donald Trump is considering ousting embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands, the AP reports.

  6. And here is another wise man in a role of govt. responsibility. Adios, ICE, this man knows BS when he hears it and wants nothing to do with it. Hope he has his govt. retirement locked in, Lord knows, the buttheads in DC will make his departure painful, sanctuary city and all. I cannot figure out how 38% or less of Americans are so stupid to think this White Horse dunce is worthy of anything more than a bucket of shit dumped on his head and given the adios!? Just sayin.....

    James Schwab became the San Francisco rep for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He quit the position last week, saying he "didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts."

  7. Yeah, we Schwabs are on the same team. As to the rest, I think the fact that McEntee was frog-marched out, accused of "serious financial crimes," and was immediately hired by team Trump, tells us everything about who they are and what they care about.

  8. Keep that middle finger waving, Sid! Remembered that column you wrote to exhort the Democrats to step up, vote and be counted. Would like to see that run again when elections get near and adding this huge list of references makes your view incontrovertible.

    This paragraph was in yesterday's Everett Herald. I was laffing so loudly, my wife was wondering what was up.

    'The president, making his first trip to California as president, appeared engaged as he was briefed on eight border wall designs. He said he preferred a fully concrete wall because it was the hardest to climb, but he noted that it needed to be see-through.'

    Can't wait to see a see-through concrete wall, uh..., the intelligence of this dunce goes poof again.


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