Opposition to the very idea of Obamacare… the Affordable Health Care Act… by the Republicans was always a simple, two-pronged idea.
1. We hate Barack Obama. He should not be president. We have ideological reasons, some of us have racist reasons, many of us are willing to believe he is an illegal, foreign agent who shouldn’t even be allowed to be president. We will oppose everything he stands for, especially the idea that health care is a right that the federal government can help to make accessible to as many Americans as possible through this law, which will bankrupt the country in short order.
2. Republican politicians, from the most moderate to the tea-party-est whackjob “Freedom” Caucusites alway agreed on their hate for Obama, but would never admit their opposition to the ACA wasn’t that they were worried it would miserably fail… it was their fear it would SUCCEED. Republicans opposed the Social Security Act in 1935, The Medicare Act in 1965, and the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Three strikes and they knew they’d be out.
Fear of poverty and sickness, not just in old age but for one’s lifetime, has been addressed, not perfectly, by those three laws. One of the 3 is not like the others, in that there were no continuous, sustained efforts to repeal and actually undermine SS and Medicare after they passed. Yes, Reagan RAILED and campaigned against Medicare before its passage, but 10 and 14 years later when he ran for president he didn’t promise to repeal it on Day One. Or ever. In fact, Social Security, and Medicare (and Medicaid) have been altered and improved upon since their beginnings. Now Trump and his Band of Losers face the music, and so far all we’ve heard is that they lie about the current overall state of Obamacare and promise to do everything to continue to sabotage the current law, punishing millions of Americans in the process.
So, Republicans… do you love and care about real Americans, or does your never-ending hate for Barack Obama and your fear the law is succeeding in spite of your efforts to screw it up override your now-discredited ideological quest to repeal and replace with something 100 times worse? Tell us more about your “patient-centered” ideas, please.
It’s bad enough, if you’re Donald J. Trump, that you may be headed to a devastating loss. The intoxication of the crowds and the applause and the rote chanting–“lock her up,”“Mexico,” and the one he thinks was written just for him, “USA, USA, USA,” will suddenly end, as it would for any presidential loser. People who actually bought into his impossible nightmare will go back to their lives, and Trump will spend the rest of his days blaming and justifying and spinning and trying to reclaim the life he had before becoming a candidate. Most of us would be happy if that’s all he did, conceding gracelessly but leaving the United States relatively intact, having bloodied a major political party, media, basic human decency, and causing a split in the country as wide as Vietnam. No, Donald, Hillary’s email thing wasn’t “worse than Watergate.” You, Donald Trump, singularly may turn out to have been worse than Watergate.
Trump is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famousguy lyingly claiming he was running as a sacrifice for his country, which he lyingly claimed needed him as the “only I can fix it” guy. One of his most famous lies is the one about wanting to release his taxes but he just can’t because they’re under audit. That’s a classic Trump whopper because it does what he does best: pile misdirection and disinformation on top of a hidden agenda, reaching a conclusion that is then defended by his Excuse Squad, then burying the subject at the back of the line when other outrages displace it. It’s always been about protecting whatever phony image he has projected all these years, now horrendously backfiring. Keeping his taxes under wraps has always been about making sure the world doesn’t know down to the penny what a tax-evading, stingy with charity, not as rich a guy as he’s portrayed himself, preserving that image for after the election. But a presidential campaign really does strip the bark off you, paraphrasing the late Lee Atwater referring to his destruction of Michael Dukakis in service to George HW Bush in 1988. The exposure of the fraud that is Donald Trump has forever tarnished his sacred brand, to the point where new hotels won’t even have his name on them anymore. Any previous perception of high-quality, best-in-breed Trump-anything has been down-scaled by the chattering class’s disgust with Trump and his classless, third-rate, hateful persona overtaking the false image.
Were there ever emptier words from a candidate than the ones that made it clear that his candidacy was never about him, but about “you,” or some variation thereof? Yea, right. From the Dean of the Trump University School of Narcissism….
When the FBI called off the dogs 10 days after releasing the Hounding of Hillary, the entire world breathed a sigh of relief. Financial markets roared their approval that the Greatest Businessman Ever wasn’t going to repeal and replace with nothing, build a wall, End the Fed, and charge everyone 35% more for a Ford subcompact or an air conditioner built in Mexico.
As much as the conventional wisdom leaned on the cliche that Americans, in general, say we’re going in the wrong direction, it’s just a lazy explanation for hate, racism, and (what used to be) conservative complaining that no one takes personal responsibility for anything and it’s The Others’ Fault. Clue…. we ALWAYS think we’re going in the wrong direction…. more on that from Leonard Pitts here: A black man was elected president and white people lost their minds. Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” stolen from Reagan, was always about simply turning back the clock to a mythical thrilling yesteryear that never really was that can never be replicated. Low-skill factory jobs are never coming back, no matter how many promises demagogues like Trump roll out. The steel mills aren’t reopening in Pittsburgh, cheap textiles will never come from South Carolina like they did 50 years ago, and Apple is not about to build iPhones here. The calculations have been made. If you’re too lazy to click…. the answer is $2,000.
Finally, my back of the envelope calculation says this: that things just aren’t really quite bad enough economically for most Americans that they want to take the ultimate chance by rolling the dice with the Unstable One. Gas is really, really cheap these days. It’s amazing how that’s such a big issue around an election when it’s high… and how it disappears when it’s so low on a historical basis like it is now. And the old misery index: Unemployment plus inflation… fuggetabout it.
For way too long, as we now realize, many of us thought that this was really just one big dare, one big joke that got out of hand and took on a life of its own, and that Trump never really wanted to be president as much as he just didn’t want to lose trying to be president. Donald J. Trump always declares himself to be the winner and even if he’s not, he just lies and says he won. Not this time. The national exhaustion at the year-and-a-half of this man’s brain chemistry experiment gone bad is about to end. While we know this isn’t the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning of some legitimate issues Trump clumsily raised, maybe we can start with something small… like adding a ninth justice to the Supreme Court. That would be special.
In the wake of the Orlando Massacre, the only sure bet you can make is that more guns will be sold, fattening the coffers of gun manufacturers. Meaningful gun-control legislation? Fuggetaboutit. Not while the NRA is still breathing and a sizable enough slice of America thinks the Federal Government will round up all 300 million-plus guns in America and melt them down, turning them into a giant Statue of Anti-Liberty (Barack Obama) which will reside next to the lady herself in New York Harbor. Less than seven months left in office for Obama’s jack-booted thugs to grab the guns, making it easier for his successor, Donald Trump, to round up the disarmed, then-compliant 11 million-plus illegals for their homeward boundiness (new word!). You might actually think there’s a conspiracy here…. that it’s all one, big, evil plan to… who knows? I never detect an endgame reason why this kind of stuff will happen and who ultimately benefits. I simply hear it somewhere, like Trump hears things. It’s just in the case of guns, no one person has ever done more to stimulate sales by his very existence than President Obama. He’s always been the Scary Black Guy Who’ll Erase The Second Amendment With His Pen. I’d give anything to hear what the executives of the gun manufacturers, thriving like never before, really say about their love for chaos, political unrest, mass shootings, and American Paranoia. Gunmaker Smith & Wesson isn’t ready to admit that the Orlando shooting is huge for sales
Why anyone would want to be president is beyond me. It’s way more dangerous than being a cop or a coal miner or a soldier.
Being in Congress is statistically less dangerous than being president, although Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in Tucson in 2011. Before that, in reverse order were Larry McDonald of Georgia, who died in 1983 on the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 which was shot down over the Sea of Japan— California’s Leo Ryan in 1978, who was on an official visit to Guyana to investigate the activities of the Peoples Temple group led by Jim Jones. Ryan was shot multiple times while boarding an airplane leaving Jonestown— then back to June of 1968 and the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after giving a speech following his California primary win; he died about 25 hours later.
It took RFK’s murder to give Lyndon Johnson the clout to get the relatively mild Gun Control Act of 1968 passed. It didn’t do much, but it was something, and did restrict the kind of mail-order sales that Lee Harvey Oswald and Ted Cruz’s father used to obtain the rifle used kill John F. Kennedy five years earlier. All these years later and I’m not sure that anything passed dealing with mail order hasn’t been totally made irrelevant by internet sales of guns, no matter what restrictions apply. A good history of that 1968 moment of legislation is right here … how it laid the groundwork for the repeat-cycle of shooting/vigil/back and forth on guns/mental illness/Second Amendment/ NRA/blame the shooter only/merry-go-round we can’t escape.
More recently, it’s always noted as a main talking point by gun fans that almost without exception, mass shootings in theaters, schools, churches and other public gathering places are “gun-free zones.” It then follows that had people been armed like the shooter, the shooter would have been stopped sooner, fewer people would get killed in the shootout, and just the knowledge that others were likely similarly armed would have probably discouraged the shooter/terrorist in the first place. It’s the Good Guys With Guns Make Us Safer Theory, which law enforcement thinks is stupid, but that doesn’t stop the mythology. Orlando massacre lays to rest NRA’s ‘good man with gun’ defense
Accepting the possibility of a grain of truth in the proposition…putting aside counter-arguments that even trained-officers are barely able to hit the target in mass mayhem, even if they positively identify the target…. we must face the real problem:
If they’re selling way more guns than ever before…. and I mean way more guns as we saw earlier… and the percentage of households with guns keeps dropping at the same time…. that can only mean that the excess supply is mostly going to the same or decreasing percentage of the overall population. The gun rich are getting richer. If that chart above were a stock, the 40-year trend would be unmistakable: sell. Get out. That’s an unbreakable, unmistakable downtrend that even with increased sales overall, there is a four-decade decline in what percentage of people actually own guns. So, in any mass shooting situation, you’re statistically less likely to be lucky enough to be near a good guy with a gun. It does you no good that the one-third of people who own guns have 12 of them at home and you don’t have even one. It’s not fair. It’s time for government redistribution of guns. Not confiscation. Just redistribution for everyone’s safety. It’s a crisis! Eight percent of those gun owners (or two percent of American adults) can claim an arsenal of 10 or more firearms, while 25 percent own five or more guns.
An argument against forced taxation is just that: It’s taxation with the force of government behind it. Most of us accept that as one of the prices we pay for living in the United States, and it truly is the redistribution of wealth. The argument always gets down to who and what should be the recipients of the redistribution. The army, the parks, the retired, the building of highways and airports… the list is endless. I don’t see for a second the problem with sharing the gun wealth, either. The Second Amendment doesn’t read “The right of some of the people to not keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Let’s get busy here. Infringement for the good of the people!
The Redistribution of Guns Act of 2017. I know…. not gonna happen. I don’t even think the actual assassination of one of the two remaining candidates or their family members would change minds. The Economist wrote this after Charleston in 2015:
Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard them (mass killings) the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing. This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution….
To which the all-guns-no-controls-all-the-time crowd will gleefully point out: “yea, British Brexit Boys, your own tight gun control country just saw one of its Parliament members shot to death. Don’t lecture us!”
There is ComiCon, DragonCon, GeekGirlCon…. all kinds of conventions for like-minded people, but we’ve never seen anything like Trump’s Political ConCon, for the self-deceptive people who think the guy’s in it for them.
Predicting the next dissociative behavioral move by Donald Trump has been a fool’s game all along and is now taken off the boards. No more wagering, kids. The accompanying inability or unwillingness to challenge this man and expose the truth of him by most of the media (with few exceptions) makes them unindicted co-conspirators in his ascension to the nomination. If he complains the delegate system is “rigged,” it must be true. If he accuses Cruz and Kasich of “collusion” to dare to try to stop him, it must be true. No matter what nickname he attaches to anyone, repeat it for him and force the bullying victim to deny. Play his game. Let’s have a fair and balanced discussion of everything Donald Trump vomits out of his mouth.
Trump’s run-from-the-gut, fantasy-pseudo-policy, blitzkrieg and belittle-the-opponent primary strategy has worked well for him. His party popularity ceiling of 35-49% tops was breached in New York State when he got 60%, proving once and for all that New Yorkers… certainly the Republican primary ones… are as insular and provincially stupid as the hayseeds they believe live elsewhere. At least the Democratic voters didn’t automatically pick the guy with the heavy Brooklyn accent just because he had a heavy Brooklyn accent. Nice discretionary skills there.
Suddenly though, last week Trump decided to hire some fixer from the Republican Book of Blue Bloods– somebody named Paul Manafort, veteran of the Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns. That meant the end of his former campaign chief, Casey “Big Lebowski,” the amateur guy who almost went to Riker’s Island for grabbing the female reporter’s arm. He was humanely beheaded by a hooded supermodel and dumped into the East River, near the area where most dead mobsters reside. Manafort, who may be a bigger liar than Trump himself, wanted the big boys in the party suits to realize that it was time to submit to the unstoppable, unbearable likeness of Trump. He winked and told them not to worry.
“He gets it,” Mr. Manafort told RNC members. “The part that he’s been playing is now evolving into the part that you’ve been expecting. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change.”
It’s hard to decide how to take Manafort’s take on his boss. What does Trump “get” here? That he needed to be a 100% Mussolini-style fraud to the primary voters to secure the nomination, only to reveal what a wonderful, reasonable, studious, well-informed, principled, non-bigoted, non-racist, non-misogynistic, uniter of all peoples who never threatens nuclear war, no longer saying he’d dismantle the entire post-war framework of relationships we have with our friends?
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.
Lying right to Chris Wallace’s face, Manafort went on “Fox News Sunday” to say he was not referring to the candidate’s core beliefs, just his 9-month Don Rickles/Andrew Dice Clay act. So Trump believes all this crap? Which is it?
“We were talking about evolving the campaign, not the candidate,” Mr. Manafort said. He sought to convince a skeptical Wallace that he was referring to how Mr. Trump talks to cheering followers at campaign events versus “when he’s giving speeches on policy, settings that are not rally-oriented.”
The syllogistic slop is, therefore, this: Trump is not his campaign and the campaign is not Trump, believe me.
His new campaign guy is now out there trying to convince the 70% of Americans who have said they would never, under any circumstances, vote for Trump… trying to convince them that they should join Trump’s solid Republican core of followers (the one’s who’d be ok with him murdering someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight). That core will have been officially betrayed by Trump; everything they liked him for… politically incorrect, tells the truth, the nationalistic/nativist rhetoric, birtherism against Obama and Cruz, it’s whites getting screwed, China and Mexico eating our lunch, hey, hey, ho, ho-all the Muslims have to go, more guns, more military….. Mr. Manafort, do you mean it was all performance art…. a stunt, shtick, acting, a scripted reality show from Trump, Inc?
This will become the ultimate test for the Trumpanistas, the support-at-all-costs crowd. Nothing can or would shake their allegiance to him, they say. But betrayal of the very reasons you liked him even before you met him…. and now a public admission he’d been lying to you about everything… has got to count for something, doesn’t it? Or maybe it doesn’t.
You have to play it from the other angle, too. Since Manafort is a campaign pro, a professional fixer/liar/spinner, you can assume he’s lying about Trump “getting it.” The very idea that Trump has the capacity or predilection to change his approach to campaigning all the way to November is absurd and is a desperation lie based on his towering negatives with the general electorate right now. That Trump has forever, it seems, explicitly claimed his ability to be or not to be “presidential,” as if that behavior is like turning on a faucet, should have been enough, long ago, to sufficiently reveal the fake that he is. Ronald Reagan was an actor who became a politician. Trump is an actor who is remaining true to his craft and knows nothing except what he sees on the shows.
Trump has hoodwinked and swindled his way pretty damn far in this process. But he’s admitting he’s been a phony all along, or he’s really the bombastic, thoughtless jerk that he’s shown himself to be. He is like the philandering, drinking, gambling, abusive husband, who at the moment of reckoning with his crying wife, says, “but I can change… honest honey…. I WILL change…. I promise… that really wasn’t me.” Your mom and your best friend and Ann Landers would tell you to throw the bum out (counseling is not an option!). But the afternoon talkshows were around for decades before the first “reality shows” hit the air. One of their staple theme shows was often “Why Do Women Like the Bad Boys?”
If it were to come to pass that Trump’s astounding unpopularity outside the core of his most-supportive, unshakable followers not only would guarantee a Goldwater-sized defeat and a flipping of the US Senate, maybe the House, and changes in statehouses and governors’ mansions across America…. what a wonderful world it would be. Let’s drill down and see what’s going on in the Blue Chip States of Creativity, those wonderful laboratories of democracy.
Indiana!: Remember the brouhaha a year ago over Memorie’s Pizza, the Indiana pizza joint whose owner said he’d refuse to cater a gay wedding? Not that he’d ever been asked to, and not that he was refusing to actually serve gay people in his restaurant… but that was enough to start a moronic social-media firestorm that ended up with a million dollars being raised for the guy via GoFundMe, and more recently another $40,000 when the owners finally decided to throw in the towel. We should all go out of business so lucky.
But that pales in comparison to the latest move by the Hoosier legislators and the governor on one of your Big Three Wishes For Republican Purification of America… in the arena of gay rights, voting rights, or abortion rights.
NARAL reacted: “This is one of the most extreme anti-abortion measures in the country and only further penalizes Indiana women and their doctors for accessing constitutionally protected abortion care. Preventing a woman from choosing abortion based on a medical diagnosis substitutes a politician’s ideology for a woman’s judgement. Politicians like Governor Mike Pence who insert themselves into a woman’s private medical decisions aren’t just practicing bad medicine, they’re betraying the seven in ten Americans who support safe and legal access to abortion.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD spoke up: “Now Indiana’s Legislature has passed a bill that forces women to give birth if a doctor has detected a fetal abnormality. Which, yes, would mean that a pregnant woman who contracts Zika would lose her right to abortion, while a woman with a healthy pregnancy would retain her right to say no to giving birth.”
THE INDIANA RIGHT-TO-LIFERS:“By signing the dignity for the unborn bill, Gov. Pence has again signified his commitment to protecting life. We are pleased that our state values life no matter an individual’s potential disability, gender or race. We also believe that the other measures in the bill are positive steps forward for providing dignity and compassion.”
Assumedly this (?) is what Ronald Reagan meant in 1986 when he zinged out his now-famous quip: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help force you to have that baby.” Oops, I cheated and that would have been 14 words.
2. Texas!: This is the state that has given us Ted Cruz. That’s enough. I should stop right there, but I won’t! Along with Donald Trump, he forms the Axis of Republican Inanity. I have no idea whether conventional wisdom will hold and the Republican Party will cease to exist following a Hillary blowout of LBJ-1964 proportions. But the Republican anti-Trump movement is certainly real, his attack last week on Cruz’s wife possibly the only way humanly possible that Ted Cruz has ever engendered any degree of sympathy in the campaign, even from former opponents like Lindsey Graham and other folks who find him the poison to Trump’s firing squad as not much of a choice.
3. Arizona!: Long-time leader and favorite to make the finals, Arizona just keeps coming up with new ways to top itself. As part of the state’s long-running stage version of “Old White Men Who Are Obsessed With Abortion And The Women Who Love Them,” they were at it again this past week. They never stop trying to prevent pregnant women who need or want an abortion for personal, private reasons from getting one, forcing them to cross borders, possibly to California if they can afford it. Read the latest from the Cactus League of Extraordinarily Silly Gentlemenhere. Other gems that have just passed include:
Affordable Care Act: A bill that bars the state from using any resources or staff to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. Most importantly, said sponsor Rep. Justin Olson, R-Mesa, if the bill is signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, it would prevent Arizona from establishing its own health-care exchange.
Apparently, after all these years, some Arizonans inside the health care establishment weren’t fully onboard with hatin’ on Obamacare enough.
Plastic-bag ban: 1.The bill would block cities, towns and counties from passing ordinances that ban or regulate the use of plastic bags, Styrofoam and other containers. 2. The bill also would prohibit local governments from requiring businesses to report how much energy they use, halting efforts by Tempe, Flagstaff and Phoenix officials, who are considering new environmental ordinances.
I guess even the question “paper or plastic” is too pro-choicey for Arizona politicians. And part two there is just one more state legislative Big Foot move by Republicans, the ones who have reinterpreted “states’ rights” to mean a state government always gets to tell the cities and counties who’s in charge.
4. North Carolina! is my home, and now clearly the favorite to go all the way. It’s quite an impressive, tone-deaf, obstinate, bigoted, small-minded, wrong-side-of-history, pander to prejudice that they’ve just pulled off in Raleigh. The gift of geriatric gerrymandering keeps on giving to the residents of the Tar Heel state, who looked the other way in 2010, got steamrolled in the Tea Party backlash election, and have paid for it ever since, with ever-increasing arrogance by near one-party control of lawmaking. This time, it was special legislation to make sure Caitlin Jenner still must use the little boy’s room. Scrambling to quickly waste $42,000 of taxpayer money on a special session, the New York Times notes that Orwellian-labeled House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act was triggered by:
the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte last month that would permit transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, rather than their gender at birth. But the law passed by the legislature on Wednesday night, which prohibits municipalities from passing their own ordinances allowing such bathroom use, also prevents cities from protecting gays and bisexual people against discrimination generally.
Greensboro News & Record columnist Susan Ladd notes that in a demonstration of cynicism and what they think will be some kind of business-friendly move, the law also “limits the ability of cities like Greensboro to provide a living wage. While the city can control the wages of its own employees under this bill, it cannot mandate a higher minimum wage for private businesses or companies contracting with the city.” More here.
Yes, “business-friendly” for the Republican state legislators apparently means a financial irrelevancy like Hobby Lobby or another Christian-based business. And Billy Graham already lives in North Carolina.Too late for that. Only about 150 Chick-fil-A’s in NC…. always room for more of those! They have no idea what a modern workforce looks like.The cigar-chomping Republican goobers in bolo ties from the small towns that dominate a state legislature have really blown it this time. There’s probably more open debate right now in the Iranian Parliament than in the North Carolina statehouse, where the Democrats in the state senate walked out and didn’t vote on this travesty, claiming they were not allowed to participate at all during the process. The Charlotte Observer makes it irrefutably clear:
From American Airlines to Lowe’s, and from Apple to Google, big companies are pushing back against North Carolina’s new law invalidating Charlotte’s protections for LGBT individuals.
Sports organizations also said they’re weighing the new legislation, signed Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory, as they schedule events in the state.
The NBA, which is set to host its All-Star Game in Charlotte next year, said it is “deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect.” The league said it doesn’t yet know what impact the law will have on its “ability to successfully host” the event.
The NCAA, which has men’s basketball tournament games planned in North Carolina in 2017 and 2018, said it is monitoring the situation. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and said Friday it is also monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, dissatisfaction around America gets refocused on the fast-motion train wreck that is the Republican Party. From Gallup:
PRINCETON, N.J. — Thirty percent of Americans say the presidential election process is working as it should, down from 37% in January. The decline is driven mainly by Republicans’ increasingly cynical views as the campaign season has progressed. The percentage of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who say the election process is working has fallen from 46% to 30% since January. Democrats’ and Democratic leaners’ views haven’t changed.
What’s not to like? Make your final four pick and have fun!!! Meanwhile, I will not point out that I am sad that Donald Trump lives and Garry Shandling is dead. And I didn’t.
Problems for the GOP frontrunner during one of his (in)famous rallies. This one happened Wednesday in Pensacola
(Betcha that mic was made in…CHINA!)
Let’s go back 36 years when Ronald Wilson Reagan was battling George Herbert Walker Bush for the Republican nomination
So, yes, ahead, of Thursday’s GOP debate in South Carolina, I am accusing Donald Trump of orchestrating some microphone drama to make himself look more Reagan-esque. A lot of people don’t remember the Reagan thing, so his campaign will feed the comparison to various media types who are friendly to Trump (or use social media, which Mr. Trump is famously adept at using)
Maybe Trump’s private plane will have some problems flying into Charleston and he can threaten to fire the air traffic controllers. Maybe he can develop an affinity for jellybeans. Maybe Melania can start consulting astrologers
But, getting tough with the sound guy doesn’t make you Reagan
While this is in no way intended to downplay the paramount importance of fighting terrorism of all stripes, we tend to worry about the problem we’ve just experienced way out of proportion to the real threats we face. I submit Americans are worse than ever about not having even the remotest ability to put any event or topic in perspective as we allow ourselves to be led around by opportunistic politicians. Do I even have to name names…. one in particular who dominates, at minimum, 75% of the coverage of the Republican primary campaign? Here in Political Attention Deficit Disorder America, those of us not voting in the Republican primaries watch as Formula Trump repeats itself to higher and higher ratings. He offends, lies, or says something outrageous. Some of Bigot Trump’s best friends are Mexicans, Muslims, The Blacks, The Jews. He says they all love him. Upon an easy fact-check, he denies he said what he said or doubles down on the statement or attacks the very premise of doubting his disinformation and the media source of the actual truth; his lead grows. Politico reports that in nearly every presidential election since 1888, voters in little blue-collar Vigo county in Indiana have selected the winning candidate, missing only twice: Once, in 1908, when they opted for Williams Jennings Bryan instead of William Howard Taft, and again in 1952, when they chose Adlai Stevenson rather than Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 2016, that may mean nothing. Or it may not mean nothing. I’ll get back to you on that. Details:Trump County, USA: America’s most reliable bellwether county has fallen for the wild man from New York.
Do we really have more than one mass shooting per day in the United States? Or have there only been four real ones this year? Neither answer is very soothing, but Mark Follman of Mother Jones fairly asks whether what happened in San Bernardino and Colorado Springs should be in the same category as street crime in your home town or what you hear about murder in Chicago. Details: HOW MANY MASS SHOOTINGS ARE THERE, REALLY?
Comedy Central is around 25 years old. In the very early nineties, they had a show called, “Short Attention Span Theater.” One of the earliest hosts was Jon Stewart. They showed short clips of movies and stand-up comedians. If you didn’t like what was on, you knew something else you might enjoy was just ahead. They couldn’t call it, Attention Deficit Disorder Theatre….. too politically incorrect. Maybe today you’d have to call it that, just to survive. At least to get an audience in Iowa and New Hampshire, the only viewers that matter. But the disease leads one to the conclusion that that viewers voters may very well decide more and more contests based on whatever breaking news item has been most prominent in the 5 days leading up to the election. Early voting muffles that, to a certain extent. But not all that much. Some folks think Reagan engineered a delay in getting the hostages out of Iran in 1980 until right after the election, to deny Carter any oxygen on the issue. The original October Surprise, never proven 100%. For now, though, that theory is in the process of being blown out of the water, as Trump looks now like he could go on live tv the night before Christmas and pleasure himself straight into the camera. He’d deny he did it, attack you for being politically correct for pointing it out, and gain another 4 points in the polls.
You surely know that statistically you’re less likely to die in a terrorist attack in the United States than you are likely to die falling in your bathroom, drowning in a puddle of mud, or getting eaten to death by a dangerous dog. None of those things provide solace, but they should allow us to refocus, at least in our own lives, on the things that should classically worry us and over which we have some control. Here’s a generic list:
1. Work 2. Financial worries 3. Being late 4. A relative or friend’s bad health 5. Bad health 6. Relationships 7. Missing a plane/train/bus 8. Not waking up for alarm 9. Appearance 10. Family safety 11. Eating too much 12. Dental problems 13. Being liked 14. Pet’s health 15. Missing experiences 16. Growing old alone 17. Children staying healthy 18. Remember everything you need to do 19. Parents aging 20. Being a victim of crime 21. The Economy 22. Pension plan 23. What to wear at work 24. Being single 25. Partner having an affair 26. Drinking too much 27. Getting a mortgage 28. Children getting a good education 29. Hair loss