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January 02, 2017

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I have only one thing to say: "Stupid is as stupid does."

The working stiffs who voted for Trump admitted they didn't see things becoming better for them under Trump. They simply voted for something "different" without understanding (or caring to attempt to understand) what their vote for Trump portended. Change for change's sake without bothering to know the details.

As I said before, "Stupid is as stupid does."

And if they get a fifth columnist traitor, it's all the same in their small universe because these far-right reactionary pseudo-patriots prefer Russian totalitarianism to sharing power with the Democrats and liberals.

Ronald Reagan IS rolling over in his grave.

Trump will be impeachable on day 1 due to his numerous financial conflicts of interest and the Emoluments Clause. Ryan and company will refrain from instituting impeachment proceedings as long as Trump signs legislation implementing the Ryan Better Way proposal and all other right wing randian domestic programs to repeal the New Deal and Great Society safety nets. These repeals will be impossible to reverse for the foreseeable future as Republicans own the House of Representatives until at least 2030.

A lot of US military boots on the ground in Syria in 2017.

NO boots on the ground, and the R party has already most likely agreed to keep a bunch of trump promises in exchange for some of their agenda.

The biggest danger for the R party is the Obamascare repeal and all of the medicare and social security rollbacks.

The base that put Trump in heard explicit promises not to roll it back, and yet the first thing a bunch of House dipshits are pushing is stuff that will hurt old folks.

That is the stupid part of the R party- cutting medicare and social security along with a Medical Insurance debacle will almost ensure a horrific midterm election and the possibility of losing the house.

Now, tight control of the agenda within the scope of the major Trump promises is the key to keeping any semblance of control for Paul Ryan, and McConnell is going to be a big problem for Ryan and Trump.

Pence is also the key, because so much that Trump promised is against his normal preferences.

How to reconcile the Trumpian promises with the normal Republican idiocy will be very interesting, if not nearly impossible.

If he does deliver a significant amount, the Dem party may have a long exile.

But it won't be the R fantasy of Pence, it will be Trump's projections.

Immediately after the campaign we heard about #fakenews and how it was responsible for the election results. A month later I read a Tweet from Time Magazine (who I consider a reputable outfit) that read: "Millenials don't know what fabric softener is for" with a link to their story. The brief story, which is really about fabric softener sales being down, then attributes the headline to a quote by Shailesh Jejurikar, P&G’s Head of Global Fabric Care -- which is printed AFTER another quote by an industry exec saying that millennials don't like additives and are eco-conscious. To me, this followed the exact same format as their Trump coverage where they capitalize on false statements as headlines to lure readers (read: sell ads) and clarify/correct the headlining statement in the bottom of the article. Now, things may have changed since I took my first (and only) Intro to Journalism Course 20 years ago, but I though the most important stuff went in the first few paragraphs because that's as far as most readers will go. Seems like the place to point out that the headline is an opinion/lie -- or simply not list an opinion/lie as a headline.

I don't like to bash the news industry (not because they don't deserve plenty but I feel like one of those outsiders beating up on teachers when I've never been in the field) but I think their inconsistency as professionals is, to put it lightly, confusing. I think they put more effort into newsvertisements (remember the full page ads that look like articles but, you know, aren't?) or 'sponsored-content' than simply performing investigative journalism.

It's not the biggest problem we have but I think it's worth noting, considering how their slant to the truth and coverage will effect the future as much as it did this past election, that change is needed in the Fourth Estate as well.

*Note: This is no specific aim at Rogue, specifically, because I think he's focused on major/important truths and, generally, because he is a columnist rather than a reporter (at least in the capacity of this site).

I supported Clinton. That is what makes this kind of article so alarming to me. The "Trump is a Russian agent" theory is the liberal equivalent of the Birther conspiracy theories of the last eight years. Coming from people I used to respect.

"But the attack on the American election is something else again. It verges on an act of war" - That is hyperbole. At worst they released a bunch of lame emails. The Clinton team lost the election. They knew like everyone else that the electoral college votes determine the winner. They now seem to be trying to start a war with Russia.

Yes Trump may be a disaster. But hiding behind kookey conspiracy theories is not going to help anyone.

Here are a couple of less hysterical articles:

http://www.ianwelsh.net/everything-cost-clinton-the-election/


http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/michigan-hillary-clinton-trump-232547

Trump isn't smart enough to be a Russian agent.

Russian stooge? Sure. Useful idiot? You bet! When a man has that many debts to that many foreign entities he is easily compromised.

Many of these people with post mortem theories about "how Clinton lost" (despite having almost 3 million more votes) overlook all of the uncounted votes in Detroit (see Greg Palast's work) and the success of Republican voter suppression in every swing state. So, add the Supreme Court's destruction of the Voting Right's Act to Comey and the Russian hackers as part of any analysis of how "bad" Clinton's campaign strategy was.

The good news is that all of the Red States will suffer just as much if not more than the Blue ones when the Party of Oligarchs starts dismantling Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, OSHA, the EPA, and any other progressive legislation they can get their hands on.

Remember, in general Red States take much more from the Federal government than they pay in. And there won't be nearly as much coming from the Feds as there has been in the past.

I have been waiting for the inauguration to pass judgement on Trump.I expect it will be very bad,but mostly I am disappointed in the voting public.While I sympathize with the feeling of frustration the Tea Party and their kind must feel,turning over the levers of power to Trump is absolutely stupid.We shall see,but I am glad I'm too old to serve in the army and wealthy enough not to rely on SS.

My big problem with Trump is his dogged sticking to his positions with regard to Putin (i.e.: "the Russians had nothing to do with hacking the e-mails). Trump's admiration of "strong leaders" suggests he rather likes the methods of totalitarianism. It is also Trump's less-than-complete support for "freedom" that greatly unsettles me.

I really believe Trump sees himself as being at least semi-authoritarian--a strongman, if you will.

The difference between authoritarianism and totalitarianism is VERY small, indeed.

I know this is an odd thing to take away from your otherwise spot-on rant, but why do you consider U.S. Grant to be a terrible president? That seems ahistorical at best, especially for folks who aren't white. There seems to be a pesky narrative that he was a bad president or was somehow incompetent, but a more honest reading of history seems to say otherwise.

Rogue Columnist,

The lack of expressed outrage by Republicans over Trump's embrace of Putin is beyond hypocritical--especially when these SAME Republicans have no problem proclaiming themselves as the "ultimate patriots."

But the lack of Democratic and liberal condemnation of this betrayal is almost as unsettling.

This last makes me more worried than the Republicans self-serving silence.

To "wipe out" ISIS as Trump puts it, air campaigns will likely be insufficient to do so. Given Trump's hawkish advisors and his erratic nature, US ground forces in Syria are a strong possibility in 2017.

The extreme gerrymandering of the House of Representatives back stopped with a right wing Trump Supreme Court makes Republican control of the House a lock even if Ryan's Better Way agenda of gutting Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid is implemented against the wishes of the majority of the electorate. The Freedom Caucus which was willing to crash the US credit rating to stop "runaway " deficits has no qualms in adding trillions to the federal deficit to further right wing ideology.

On Republicans rolling back Obamacare: There is a complete LACK of details regarding THEIR alleged healthcare plan.

This just SCREAMS that Republicans have NO plan other than going back to the "everyone for themselves" that came before. This is allowing insurance and healthcare unlimited profits with little oversight--and the less healthy among us simply dying. Yes, I DO believe the Republicans' lack of concern for life is THAT cynical.

You see, there is a real and pervasive, Wild West, everyone for themselves streak within the Republican party that HATES the idea of helping the needy or less fortunate. The ONLY possible caveat to the aforementioned is these needy and less fortunate passing a political "litmus" test--which means agreeing with the Republican religion of "less government," and "working" for every little scrap you get. Profits and production reign supreme, with little thought given to quality of life, including universal healthcare, for the masses.

With a money man at the top, as any New Yorker would say, "It's ALL about the MONEY, baaabaay."

Will king Donald turn Baron into Gold?

Bradley, before you stroke out, read Ben Carson's alternative plan. Betcha it will be the foundation for what's coming.

That plan the won't work has been pushed by psychos since the 80's.

Stephen, this article is most assuredly NOT "hysterical," nor does it say "Trump is a Russian agent. It says, "Trump is a serial liar, sociopath, narcissist, reality television star. He doesn't read books. He's a hothead." Which he is. It also says that Republicans with an anti-social prigrams, anti-protecting the Earth, and pro-enriching the rich and powerful are now in power and in a strong position to get their way. That also is true. Everything else follows. Cause and effect is neither hysterical nor a liberal conspiracy.

This is what a health care expert thinks about Ben Carson's health care plan:

"For a person who has serious health problems or for a person who has a low income, a $2,000 health care savings account is worthless, or near worthless" said Timothy Jost, professor of law at Washington and Lee University who specializes in health care regulation and law. "It would not either allow them to buy health insurance or allow them to afford health care or anything other than very routine primary care and some medications."

"I wouldn't mind the government giving me $2,000 for a health savings account because I have great health insurance from my employer," Jost added. "I'm sure if you are a doctor at Johns Hopkins, this is a great idea. You have $2,000 in your pocket. But if you are from the wrong side of Baltimore, it is not going to help very much. It is not going to help you get insurance and not cover more than basic primary care."

I guess for a Republican, though, it's that quality of being a boon for the rich and worthless for the rest of us that makes it good.

Ms. Dudas,

Why don't you give me YOUR reference point for your glowing assessment of Carson's "alternative plan," instead of just cryptically referring to it.

At this, http://time.com/4143205/ben-carson-health-care-plan/, I found this...
On its surface, Carson’s plan repeats many of the conservative criticisms of Obama and his signature domestic achievement. But other than promising to dismantle Obamacare, Carson’s proposal lacks specificity. It’s unclear how, exactly, he would improve the delivery of health care, how his plan would keep costs down, or how those who cannot afford quality insurance would pay for medical treatment.
“By expanding HEAs and high-deductible insurance coverage, my plan returns money and decision-making where it belongs — into the hands of American patients and their doctors,” the conclusion of the plan reads.

As I said before, it seems like just a return to the "old system."

The voucher is not Carson's idea but a hoary GOP "plan" from years ago. One ER visit would consume most or all of the $2,000.

Well, the truth is that the optimal 'fix' to U.S. healthcare starts with a single-payer option. Since we know lobbyists will never let that happen (and the system will never reduce the lobbyists' influence -- see my earlier rants about the House Apportionment Act), any arguments about why the Democrats or GOP's plans are flawed is just an exercise in futility. Health Care will, regardless, continue to trend on the path of everything else -- the rich will get theirs and the poor will be taken care of to a point we accept as "well enough" and the middle class will get squeezed out.

Same as it ever was.

YEP

Bradley - it's all in his book. Read it.

For those of you who don't have the time or inclination to read anything that Dr. Ben Carson writes, or, more probably, has written for him, here's a precis of his "plan":

"Under his plan, Carson says people would be free to return to private plans they used before the Affordable Care Act, even if those plans did not meet the “minimal essential coverage” requirements put in place by the federal government. Pre-Obamacare plans often were less expensive, but did not meet basic expectations of insurance.

Also under Carson’s plan, the age that seniors would become eligible for Medicare would jump from 65 to 70. Seniors in the program would receive fixed contributions to their own choice of private health plan, rather than a government one.

Medicaid, meanwhile, would be shifted to the states, although Carson would block state officials from using federal money to administer the program. Instead, Medicaid dollars would have to be used to pay for coverage or go to people’s private health savings accounts. The plan does not stipulate how states would pay to administrate the program.

Four pages of Carson’s ten-page plan are full color photos of himself, including two from when he worked as a neurosurgeon. In one of the images, he looks intently at brain scans, and in the other, he is wearing full scrubs performing a surgery."

To summarize: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Running up debt is part of the neo-liberal plan. Not happy with the little folk being yoked with home, car, college (and soon to be secondary and primary education), and consumption debt they will lasso us with the national debt and then rich will flee to nations looking for a stronger flow of trickle down.

You want to waste your time on Ben Carson's insane comments, be my guest. According to the web His medical license was revoked by all 50 states. Hope no one here let him operate on thier brain.
Maybe the Donald will put him in charge of brain behavioral surgery in vacant Walmart FEMA lock downs. Obama is go to quit using those sites on 012016 when the Putin puppet king clown takes over.

Ms. Dudas,

Let's see if the Republicans propose it: I'll read it if they actually propose anything. I'm highly skeptical they have anything to offer that isn't some version of "you're on your own" because so much of their ethos is individualist--and not about community other than their own.

The current GOP leaders are intent on establishing white supremacy and Baron states and putting a chain collar around the neck of the poor and people of color. You can tell by the stupid grin on the pudgy lilly white senator from Kentucky that he is as happy as a Yorkshire hog in a mud bath as he sticks it to non White folks. I predict the blood bath is about to begin.

everything will work out

U have a definition of "work out"?

I am watching Leah Rimini's series on Scientology and thinking the Scientologists are quite a bit like the Trump followers. No matter what factual evidence is presented to them they stick with their own alternative reality (thank you Terry). CNN is fake news, Trump did not mock the disabled, Obama was born in Kenya, Russia had nothing to do with the election. They remind me of the old joke of the wife finding her husband in bed with the other woman, and when caught, denies it and asks her "who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" I'm waiting for the whole scientologist mindset-if you find fault with the church, you're a criminal. And we have years of this to get through...

Jon, you are so imaginative and colorful in your opinions or projections. Posts like this are so well-rendered and compelling-sounding that I enjoy reading them regardless of whether I agree or disagree.

I have to think you might have a great dystopian novel or two in your pen if you ever wanted to write one.

Also, I found your City of Phoenix book to be a breezy but rich read. You packed a lot of valuable history into the brief format, and I continue to hope for a more expansive Phoenix history book to be commissioned for you someday.

Quote from Concern Troll:
"That is the stupid part of the R party- cutting medicare and social security along with a Medical Insurance debacle will almost ensure a horrific midterm election and the possibility of losing the house."

I agree, I feel like this runs the risk of eroding public support in a hurry. You have total control, total power ... and you're going to immediately pursue your least popular agenda items? I guess you'll never have more complete control, but you have to realize how much damage it will cost you in midterms and in public opinion if you actually cut the most popular entitlements.

I think healthcare in America is such a morass than any attempt to improve it, or worsen it, immediately becomes a disaster. There is so much money on both sides and so many special interests and so many people getting various subsidies and handouts that it's nigh-impossible to navigate.

I will be surprised if they successfully repeal OR replace it. I think they'll chip away at parts of it but ultimately leave the body of it to fail (or persist) on its own merits/flaws. We shall see.

The current political situation reminds me of trench warfare...the lines move back and forth a little bit but it's ultimately an intractable quagmire in which the celebrated advances here and there of a few miles are of little consequence and require great human sacrifice.

Personally speaking, no matter how awful or great things may seem, I believe God is in control and there is always a greater purpose to the highs and lows of the human existence. This is a challenging time but I believe He will bring us through it.

A more secular encouragement might be that, hey, the American left survived eight years of W., about whom they were pretty distraught in 2000, and made it through to have eight years of a President of their choosing. It seems American politics is always a back and forth.

In the meantime, I'm trying to stay focused on doing what I can do to be a positive witness and, I hope, make some sort of positive impact on the people around me.

Thanks to all for your insights and opinions, it's always nice to have the chance to hear new opinions and think about things.

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