Xenophobia Revealed

Twitter – TheAtlantic

It is the poor who suffer. The majority of the poor are black and brown, yes. But it is the poor as a group who suffer and it is the poor, the majority of Americans, who must seize control of this country from the wealthy who seek to divide us into digestible chunks.

Poverty is a big part of it, but race is the beating heart of American injustice. Serwer makes this abundantly clear. Racism justifies and perpetuates class inequality, not the other way around.

Twitter

You are also playing into their hands. They want you to talk about race, don’t you understand what justification means? They point to the results of poverty as their proof that their racism is correct. Fix the root cause, poverty, and the rest of the problems will work themselves out. With no proof for the xenophobes to point to, there will be no hiding their xenophobia from scrutiny.

Twitter

The Economy Abides

I keep hearing the phrase we shut the economy down being voiced by politicians and economists everywhere. What remarkable powers government actors think they possess. We told people to stay home, ergo there is no economy. How wrong they are.

Who cooks for you, Mr. Smith? Who does your washing, house cleaning, sewing, etcetera? The politicians and economists will answer something like we don’t measure that part of the economy. That is the error in their precept. All that work is essential, but they don’t measure that.

Adam Smith would have derided this work as women’s work, as have most men since his time. What they call women’s work is the most essential work anyone can do, and it is the exact same work that you cannot just stop doing. Calling something women’s work, and therefore not measuring that work, is the perfect example of confirmation bias. If it was important, the men would be doing it. However, women do most of the working in this world. They have to do most of the work because they are more than half of the population.

Maybe we should at least make the attempt to measure the work that currently goes unmeasured. We should at least make the attempt to measure how much of the economy is left when only essential services are running. Then we might get a baseline measurement as to how much work goes unrewarded in the parts of the economy they do measure.

Abuse of Power

What should outrage us is not what appears or is suspected to be Burr’s insider trading, but that any representative of the US government, and in this case a particularly high-ranking one, is permitted to own stock. It is as if there is no relationship between government decisions and market developments. The fact that this is possible, that a powerful senator like Burr can be deep inside of the government and yet play the market, exposes the exceptionally high levels of corruption permitted in our political system.

thestranger.com

The Power of Oil

“I’m like a corporate political prisoner,” Donziger told me as we sat in his living room recently. The attorney, who is 6-foot-3, graying, and often used to be mistaken for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio when he was able to walk the city streets, was surprisingly stoic and resigned about his predicament during my two visits to the apartment he shares with his wife and 13-year-old son. But on this particular Wednesday, as the winter sunlight in his living room was dimming and the charger for his spare ankle bracelet battery flashed on a nearby shelf, his optimism about his epic battle against one of the biggest oil companies in the world seemed to be flagging. “They are trying to totally destroy me.”

The Intercept

…when you read stories like this one, It is easy to see why Glenn Greenwald thinks the US is behind all the bad things that happen in the world. I wonder if Chevron will ever be made to pay for the damage they’ve done?

The Cost of Being Homeless

Morning Edition – To Combat Homelessness, Spokane Is Starting To Put Relationships Before Punishments – February 19, 2020

It is an incredible expense on the community to have these warrants ultimately served. I think people have to start, frankly, caring about folks, their problems, and try to help them with it.

Spokane Municipal Court Judge Matthew Antush

$134 a day is the price of jailing a person for being cited for being homeless. For being caught camping or sleeping on the street. $134 a day. Here’s a radical thought. How about we assign that as a baseline cost for living in the city of Spokane, and simply give every person who is found homeless in the city that much of a stipend so that they can get back on their feet. Once they find housing and a job that lasts longer than a year, the stipend ends. If they don’t find housing and a job within some set time limit, then the stipend rolls over into mental health care programs that will help that homeless person find housing and work.

…or we can keep blaming the victims for the problems that system as it is currently structured forces on them. Given the heartlessness of the average American these days, I’m betting that the latter will continue to be the excuse we use.

Caudito Trump.

A Caudillo is more murderous. I’m thankful that the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) isn’t a Caudillo. He’s a tiny little wannabe Caudillo. He’s a Caudito. My apologies to Spanish speakers for murdering their language.

I only bring this up because Robert Reich says that,

A dictator is on trial in his home country. Over half the jury is in his pocket, the foreman is openly coordinating with him to make sure he goes free, and despite public outcry the foreman is refusing to conduct a fair trial.

Facebook – Robert Reich

He says dictator and makes references to Banana Republics or Third World countries in this video.

Is America Becoming a Third World Country?

A dictator is on trial in his home country. Over half the jury is in his pocket, the foreman is openly coordinating with him to make sure he goes free, and despite public outcry the foreman is refusing to conduct a fair trial. What country does that sound like to you? Our video explains how in some regards, America has more in common with the developing world than industrialized nations.

Posted by Robert Reich on Friday, January 24, 2020
Facebook – Robert Reich

The word for strongman leader, colloquially, in the language that is spoken South of the United States border, is caudillo. I have this on the good authority of Maria Hinojosa and this episode of Latino USA. If Trump was a dictator in the fashion of third world countries, countries that used to be South of our border here in the States, then he would be a Caudillo. Since he is a little short of the mark, I will from this point onward refer to him as a Caudito. The Caudito, Mr. Orange Hate-Monkey if I want to address him formally.

I thought Trump was a dictator in waiting when he first asked to be given the job of president. I still think he is a dictator in waiting, I just don’t think his mental makeup is vicious enough for him to be able to be a Stalin or a Mao. This is a good thing.

Player.FMStitcherThe Economist Asks – What makes a dictator? – Jan 17th 2020

[We] enter an age of Democracy in that you must appeal to the people. You can either do so by going to the ballot box and be elected; or, if you are a dictator, you can pretend somehow that the people really, truly love you, even though they never voted for you. But this is surely the paradox of dictatorship in the twentieth century, that even dictators ultimately wish to portray themselves as democratic figures.

Frank Dikötter

That author specifically rules out Donald Trump as a dictator because the structures of the United States government have so far kept him in check. I think the professor overestimates the fondness that Stormtrumpers feel for the United States government. I think they’d happily live under a dictatorship that governed according to the rules they felt were important enough to kill over. Things like abortion, which isn’t murder, but I digress.

The former president of Mexico, Vincite Fox, thought Donald Trump was a dictator back in 2016,

Weekend Edition – A Former Mexican President Looks At Trump And Sees A ‘Dictator’ – April 10, 2016

Just like the rest of us did. However. If Donald Trump, the OHM, really had the metal it takes to be a Stalin or a Mao, he’d have cut a bloody swath across the country already with the power that the presidency controls. Luckily for us, so far, he is too incompetent to do the job he was sent to do by his Stormtrumpers. It isn’t too late for one of them to step up and be the Stalin or the Mao, and it won’t be too late for that to happen for quite some time. Not until he is safely removed from office and cannot be brought back to power by some group or other in violation of the law of the United States.

…for now he remains Caudito Trump. But for how much longer?

Robert Reich goes on to suggest that Mitch McConnell is going to orchestrate the acquittal of his Trump card. However, Mitch McConnell isn’t in charge of the Senate during an impeachment trial. Mitch McConnell is nothing more than another senator for as long as this trial lasts. What needs to happen is for someone to point out to the actual leader of the Senate during trial, Chief Justice John Roberts, that Mitch McConnell is claiming more authority than is his due. Even the Chief Justice refers to Mitch McConnell as Leader McConnell, so the chances that pointing out his error will change his behavior is slim. But Mitch McConnell isn’t leader anything during an impeachment trial. He is senator McConnell, and the word disgraced should preface even that since he should have been removed from office already for his unwillingness to do his job properly.

…Again, someone should point these facts out to the presiding officer of the court. You can write (or call) him here.

The rest of the video is informative, as far as it goes. The yield curve inverted. That was a bad thing. Tariffs are bad for trade and the OHM loves tariffs. This is also a bad thing. The economy is weakening. Also bad. If we allow Trump to continue in office, he will drive the economy into the ditch all the while blaming everyone around him for the problems that he doesn’t know how to fix because he is a caudito. A caudillo would have executed a dozen people already and blamed them. Be thankful Trump isn’t one of those.


Anyone who doubts that Trump doesn’t want to be a dictator need only look at what he said to Representative Schiff via Twitter. Trump threatens his prosecutors. That is what that Tweet was, and no lying press secretary can change the text in the OHM’s tweets. It was a threat, and it wasn’t even the first one issued against someone who didn’t act like one of his toadies does. Jokes are funny. That was not a joke. Remove the Cadito.

Dear Republicans. What Does Trump’s Cock Taste Like?

This should be the question that every pundit asks every Republican who won an office in the election on November 6, 2018, since every one of them swore fealty to King Trump in order to win their elections. The question should be asked every time they hold a presser. It should be asked every time they are seen in public. It should be asked in front of their wives. Their children. Their families. Everyone needs to have the blatant corruption at the heart of every Republican victory last night spelled out in the most graphic, disgusting terms possible. Trump can get away with the shit he says every day? Ask that fucking question every fucking day until they crack.

“what does Trump’s cock taste like, Mr. Senator? Mr. Representative? Mr. Secretary?”

Maybe, just maybe, they’ll fucking wake up then. But I doubt it.

In the meantime. The weasel will try to squirm out of harm’s way. The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) has already signaled that he’ll play ball with the Democrats. Nothing doing. Not unless he turns states evidence on all his Russian contacts, fires all his children, divests from all his businesses. And when I say divest I mean sell every one of his properties to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to pay off the design and construction professionals he’s screwed over the last forty years. He has to agree to replace his entire cabinet with people who will not attempt to undermine their departments. Essentially he has to agree to congressional oversight of everything in the presidential administration, and he loses control of the military. He has to rubber-stamp everything the congress sends to him and he has to tell all his supporters how much they’ll love it.

Oh, and he also will have to insist on IRS prosecutions for the entire DeVos family.

If. If he does all of that, he can stay president for two more years. No running for re-election either. Take your pension, sit down and shut up after January 20th, 2021. If he doesn’t go for all of that, the anal probes start moving in on January 20th, 2019. Or he could just quit now and take his chances. It’s all up to him now. Let’s see which way the weasel runs.


I spoke too soon post-election. Ann Coulter and the Joey Goebbels of AM radio, Rush Limbaugh, scared the OHM into demanding congress do his bidding instead of trying to do something that made sense, like bow to the will of the majority of US citizens. He said (paraphrasing)

Build my wall with your money since Mexico won’t pay for it!

Unsurprisingly the answer from Nancy Pelosi and her majority of the House has been no. Also unsurprisingly, the art school turtle,

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART – FACES OF DEBT – 9/14/2010

Mitch McConnell, refuses to do anything unless the OHM tells him to. So the OHM shut the government down. He, the president, the man charged with keeping the government running, turned the government off. Probably the most impeachable act we’ve seen a president do, ever. Another history-breaking action from this, the most corrupt, the most fraudulent, the most ridiculous president in the history of this country.

The standoff cannot last, and the OHM will not be getting money for his wall from the Democratically lead house. They know what kind of thief he is already. If the shutdown doesn’t end in less than a month, I predict impeachment hearings will begin to be discussed seriously. The only thing standing in the way of the government reopening is the idiot sitting in the White House not doing the job he was elected to do.


The government stayed shut down from December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019. 35 days. For more than a month, there was no United States government. Let that sink in. There was no capacity to do anything that required the federal government to operate for almost the entire month of January, 2019. The president turned the government back on at that point. The house passed some meaningless legislation so that the OHM could save face, and he grudgingly allowed the United States to continue to exist, until he changes his mind again.

…and the outrage rolled on through the year of 2019. Trump’s new flunky, AG William Barr, ensured that the Mueller investigation ended. AG Barr then lied about what was in the report, and refused to re-characterize his assessment of the report even after Bobby-Three-Sticks testified before the House. Mueller said in very precise terms (paraphrasing)

If you want him punished, you (the House) have to do it.

Weirdly, people keep telling me Mueller didn’t find anything. That isn’t what I heard in his testimony. What I heard him say was he found a lot of stuff. He just couldn’t prove any of it as a prosecutor tasked with building a case against Donald J. Trump, because that guy is the president and a president has to be impeached. That is the prosecutorial remedy for bad presidents.

Finally. On december 19, 2019 Donald John Trump was impeached by the House of representatives. It was then that speaker Pelosi proved she was the canny operator that everyone says she is. She held the impeachment articles until after the Christmas holiday (Die Hard Christmas) so that the Senate would have had time to think about the job before them, and possibly get an agreement to call the witnesses that are needed to prove the case they’ve built against the President. That process is going on now, so I have moved this article forward in time to the day the House Managers began presenting the prosecution’s case in the Senate. That date (for the later clarity of this article, so I don’t have to re edit this fucker again. Editor) is January 22, 2020.


Side note. On January 14, 2020, the new P.M. of the United Kingdom (soon to be just the Kingdom of England and Wales once again. After Brexit that is. AB? Editor.) the infamous Bojo is also on his knees sucking Donald Trump’s cock. I wonder if he has an opinion about the flavor? The BBC reports that Bojo wants to Replace Iran nuclear plan with ‘Trump deal’. That’s rich. Like there will be a Trump deal with Iran short of full-out war. Yeah, that will happen.


I’m watching the case being put before the Senate as I write this (January 22, 2019, 6:30 pm) I decided to move this article forward to the date of the impeachment trial in the Senate while watching the endless arguments yesterday (01/21/2020) over the rules that the Senate would follow during the trial. I have now updated the article with links to some of the OHM articles I’ve written since the 2018 elections. Time to get busy watching this rare political event unfold.

C-SPANU.S. Senate: Impeachment Trial (Day 3) – Jan 22, 2020
Facebook – PBS News

…but make no mistake. If the Senate acquits the OHM without calling witnesses, every Republican Senator who votes to acquit will have taken their turn at sucking the President’s cock. Every. One. Of. Them.

More importantly, every one of them will be investigated by the next president who takes control of the office, and that investigation could very well be conducted by foreign governments interested in seeking favor with the president of the United States. They should probably think pretty hard about acquitting the OHM. You never know who the next person who holds an office might be. Just ask Barack Obama if he’s happy about his current predicament. Ask him if he thinks the future turned out the way he wanted.

BTW, it has been 3 years, 2 days, 13 hours and 22 minutes since Donald Trump should have been removed from office. It will have been a bit longer by the time you read this.


Editor’s note. I edited and moved this article forward for the first day of impeachment prosecution arguments (day three according to C-SPAN) because I wrote this article after the Democratic midterm victories thinking that we would see a change in the OHM’s behavior after the drubbing he suffered in that election. Once again, I was wrong. Against all the evidence of history, the Republicans and their president have continued on their merry way pretending that they haven’t got anything to worry about. The government shutdown derailed my train of thought, and I forgot about this article until I went back over the year’s articles trying to decide what I would use to anchor this first day of testimony that so many of us have been waiting for, for over a year. Finally, that day has come.

Bad Food

All my life I’ve been preached at by people concerned with my well-being. People full of ideas about how I could eat better for less if I just spend more time shopping, cooking, eating.

If I had a nickel…

Better food is more expensive food here in the US, and time that isn’t promised to someone else is something that the poor have very little of, and I am one of their vast numbers. It feels like this has always been reality. For all of my life, it has been.

Fast food is the cheapest food. That is why fast food businesses are successful. They provide food that is ready when you need it, and they provide it at a price that isn’t too high for the hungry person to afford. I could go to Taco Bell and eat lunch for less than four bucks back in the day, back when I sold my time to other people in exchange for continued existence. Two bean burritos and a taco, with a cup of unsweetened iced tea if I wanted to splurge.

Making the food myself I’d have to shop for the raw materials. A stack of tortillas was a dollar, the beans were a dollar, the cheese was a couple of dollars; and if I spiced the food properly we’re talking more than the prepared food would have been, and I’d still have to prepare it. Hours I didn’t have spent preparing the beans and then turning them into refried beans. Plus I’d have more food than I could eat by myself, so I would have to freeze it for later.

All of that preparation would have had to be done in a kitchen that was more than ten miles away, which is where home was, then frozen in a freezer that was similarly located at a distance. Or I could spend four bucks and eat the food prepared by Taco Bell. I could spend more to get a hamburger at Fran’s or Dan’s, but then I’d be eating the dreaded red meat, and that would have been even worse for my health.

This is why Americans are fat. We are fat because french fries are a buck and are available on every road in the US if you just pull off and hit the drive through. A sack of potatoes is $4 and you still have to have the fryer and the oil to make the Pommes Frites yourself. A hamburger can still be gotten from Whataburger for $4. Eight buns and a pound of hamburger will cost you more than that, without even getting into what you top the hamburger with. You just can’t beat the prices at fast food restaurants. I’ve tried, many times. It can’t be done. Not here.

Don’t get me started talking about green groceries. I love salads, but the only place I can get them cheap is Dairy Queen. If I buy the vegetables at the grocery store I’ll spend twice as much for more food, food that will go bad before I can eat all of it. Again, I’ve tried this many times. You have to buy more food at the store, you have to prepare the food yourself, you have to eat it or preserve it to eat later, or it spoils. Versus just driving through the DQ and getting a grilled chicken salad hold the cheese and bacon and spending $6. This is the problem.

Time pressure combined with cost constraints means you have to eat poorly, or not eat at all. I lived for months at a time on frozen leftovers when I was a working stiff. Leftovers brought frozen from home and thawed in the nuker in the office at lunchtime. I know how to cut corners. But sitting alone in your cubicle eating leftover thanksgiving turkey and rice gets old after a few months, and you start to want to get out and eat with your co-workers. They, if they are smart, don’t have children. Children are too expensive to have unless you are wealthy. They have more money than you, and they probably still eat poorly because that is what it is like to have to go out and find food in the food deserts that most downtown business areas are. You eat fast food, even if you have money. You just pay more for it at more respectable places than Taco Bell, but it is still assembly-line food made quickly for the massive downtown lunch crowds.

Now that I’m disabled, not beholden to someone else for my survival beyond counting on the continued existence of the US government (fingers crossed) I have the time to cook for myself, while still not having above poverty finances to afford better food. Being cooped up at home means I eat better now than I ever have previously in my life, and that is because I simply don’t bring food into the house that isn’t what I should be eating, and I dole out what I bring in over long periods that hopefully end before the food spoils. Using the chest freezer we specifically bought to preserve extra portions in, as often as possible to extend the shelf-life of prepared foods. That is what the luxury of not owing my time to someone else provides. Food that is slightly better than food bought at a counter prepared by someone else.


Here’s an example of what I mean by food being more expensive to fix for yourself than it is to buy at a fast food restaurant. This is one of the more reasonable markets near my home. The dreaded Walmart (Editor’s note. Yes, this paragraph has been extensively modified. This change makes the point better) Many places in the US are food deserts, no food available other than fast food. I’ll take a Walmart if that is all there is to shop at; and in many, many places, that is all that there is. That isn’t all there is in my neighborhood, but I won’t sully the other markets names with mentioning them in an article titled bad food. Walmart has no reputation to lose, so they will get picked on here.

This illustration will drive the point home.

Walmart

Thirteen dollars and change, just for the produce. Chicken breasts aren’t available on the website, other than canned. Canned wouldn’t be good enough. Not for purists. I’d have to get fresh chicken breasts in person, buying at least six of them, and freeze them for later. Five dollars a pound. A block of goat’s cheese will run about seven dollars. A bottle of balsamic vinaigrette is about four dollars. If your objection to my buying bottled vinaigrette is to tell me I should be making my own dressing, and you feel the need to tell me about it, I will stalk you in response. Tread carefully. All told I would spend upwards of thirty bucks just to make two salads. Then you have to go back out for more greens, which will spoil in three days.

…Then remember that I can get a salad, pretty much like that one, at DQ for $6. I have the goat cheese and dressing, so I’m golden. Fast food is cheaper. Fast food is easier. Fast food is why Americans are fat.

Based on comments to an article in a private Facebook group.

Presidential Tax Returns Revisited.

Back in 2016 I lamented that we didn’t have Trump’s taxes.

…and I predicted at that time that we would never see his tax returns if we waited for him to release them. I was right. I was right on many counts. This is not proof that I can read minds or predict the future. It is, however, a vindication of my assertion three years ago that I knew who Donald Trump was. That he was dirty and that he was never going to reveal that dirt willingly.

This week we learned that his businesses keep at least two sets of books. One set of books that they show to the government, and one set of books that they show to the banks. There is probably a third set of books out there somewhere that contains real numbers, but that set of books they don’t show to anybody. This isn’t rocket science, this is how you do business as a con artist.

TRUMP, INC. – Never-Before-Seen Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies – Oct. 16, 2019

A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are “versions of fraud,” said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. “This kind of stuff is not OK.”

New York City’s property tax forms state that the person signing them “affirms the truth of the statements made” and that “false filings are subject to all applicable civil and criminal penalties.”

The punishments for lying to tax officials, or to lenders, can be significant, ranging from fines to criminal fraud charges. Two former Trump associates, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, are serving prison time for offenses that include falsifying tax and bank records, some of them related to real estate.

TRUMP, INC.

His tax returns will soon be a matter of public record, as they should be, given that his arguments for keeping them private are being laughed out of courtrooms across the country.

NYT – Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A.

Not to mention the lawful request made by the House of Representatives that has been illegally stymied by the White House.

NYT – House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Trump Tax Returns

These issues will both be represented in points in the articles of impeachment that will be recommended against Donald J. Trump. Who else he takes down with him has yet to be determined.