Glad to see the Go Go’s documentary that is airing on Showtime got lots of attention. That band deserves a lot more credit for their achievements than they usually get. First all women group to have a number one album in the USA – and with songs THEY wrote and played. Also for me, a great achievement for my little IRS label that everyone laughed at until they had that Number one.
Month: October 2020
It was fun to do Bob’s podcast. Thanks to all those who wrote that they liked it.
Though I hate to admit it, My father would have liked Donald Trump. Not for his politics – as my father’s view was that even an idiot can get things right occasionally just like a broken clock is correct twice a day. But Trump’s ability to tell a lie like he actually believes it AND even better tell a lie he knows is false would have appealed. Trump would have fit in with my father’s mantra “don’t let the truth stand in the way of a good story”. He would have agreed whole hartedly with the “shit hole countires” statement because Yes many countries ARE indeed “shit hole countries”.
Basically, my father was always fascinated by people with “no moral compass” as the latitude that gave to do what was necessary is a distinct advantage. Remember, my father once complained that “the USA did not overthrow enough governments.” He was also of the view that one cant get angry when an animal, germ or whatever does what is in its nature to do. You cant get angry at a Tiger who attacks you and eats you. Its in it’s DNA and its not it’s fault any more than a Diphtheria germ that gets you sick. Don’t get angry – just figure a way to beat it or avoid it.
My father was was at first a big believer in FDR but over the years gravated to old school Republican ideals. Strong defense, low taxes, etc. I don’t think he would have understood the Trump Putin connection nor the North Korea stunt – both pretty naive and stupid. He would also have been sick to see the evangelical religious types take over of the Republican party. How could a party of what he would call “common sense” go for shit like that? And Qanon? well that would top it off. The Republican party of today and what ever “Trumpism” is would have him thinking the monkeys have taken over the zoo.
Watching TV so much as many are doing these days – not just Trump – I realize that what I saw yesterday several times is the real issue of the election. Forget the virus, foreign policy, health care, protests, China, jobs, and all the other talking points of either side. When Trump supporters say: ” if Trump wins then the election was fair. If he looses then it is was fraudulent.” That means the real issue is democracy itself. When it is said by men armed with assault weapons it is downright scary. That is why so many say Trump is “dangerous”. If for that reason only Trump has to go. 4 years from now will be too late. If the USA descends into “my way or the highway” then we are all fucked. Republican AND Democrat.
Funniest thing I heard last week was an avid Trump supporter who said he was making 4 times as much money under Trump than in the previous regime. When asked what his job was he said “debt collector.” Meanwhile I am thankful for two things Trump has helped expose. First he has put a clear wedge between the words “Evangelical” and “Christian”. The point being that the values of Jesus Christ and the Bible – turn the other cheek, the meek shall inherit the earth, are not in evidence in Trump world while slagging off everyone that does not agree, boastful pronouncements, mean spirited tweets are. To find “Christian” reasons to support Trump if run into a computer would spit out “does not compute”.
At the same time he has exposed the “pro Life” supporters are nothing more than “anti abortion” supporters. Pro life is a phony brand name as if you add up ALL the Trump policies from loosening environmental controls on contaminants that kill people – not to mention his handling of the corona virus, more people will die because of him than any prevention of abortions. I can understand people being against the idea of abortion but let’s call it that: anti abortion and NOT pro life.
Politicians in favor of Universal Health Care have stated that if your taxes go up to pay for the health care are less than the cost one is paying for insurance (and one no longer needs to pay those high insurance rates) then the net effect is a decrease in an individual’s annual expenses. In other words: one hand gives – the other hand takes away. The question politically is: is there a difference in cost to the individual?
Trump has done the same thing regarding taxes. He has lowered tax rates (though it is argued most of the benefits go to the rich) BUT at the same time he has levied tariffs on goods imported into the US. Those tariffs are paid by the US consumer so in effect are a new tax. Trump says over and over that those tariffs are paid by China or whoever but that is not what tariffs are. The exporter does not pay, the importer (ie US companies and consumers) pay. So tariffs are a tax in the US.
As far as the government is concerned it does not matter if one lowers income tax and the reduction in revenue is offset by income from tariffs. The net effect is the same. Meanwhile, no matter who gets elected there will be no option but to raise taxes AND keep the tariffs. The government needs to find a way to recoup the huge payments re the virus which has ballooned the debt to levels never before imagined. There is also one other cost issue that is rarely mentioned. Sure, eliminating and lowering regulation standards today will help make profits easier to make, and should result in more jobs today BUT might (and some say for sure) increase the costs of dealing with environmental impact in the future. Fires, Hurricanes, Tornados, sea level rise all will cost huge amounts to deal with. All are costs that are born by government so funding for the damage repair, prevention and the like has to come from somewhere. Clean air, water etc. are also issues that cost money to solve. So one hand decreasing todays costs will mean the other hand paying the costs in the future. The likelihood is that the future costs will dramatically outweigh the benefits of today.
For me, the biggest danger of the Donald Trump era is whatever benefit one can say we gain today; and there are some; seeds are planted that will lead to a world we don’t want to see tomorrow. Unfortunately Trump looks for “wins” today so he can look good TODAY. Tomorrow is not his problem. But it will be ours.
Some might say Donald Trump does NOT see the big picture – I Disagree. However, the problem is that the big picture he sees is ‘How does it fit into his personal interests’. That explains the relationship with Putin. When he is over being President he will revert to wanting to build a hotel or other major building in Moscow.
On the ‘Promises Made – Promises kept’ front I am waiting for these:
1. During the last election Trump complained that Obama played golf too much and that were he President he would not play golf because there was so much work to do. He has played more golf during his presidency than any President in history.
2. Obama Care was to be ‘repealed and replaced’. He went a long way towards the repeal part but no more mention of the ‘replace’ part other than the plan will come out in a few weeks. It’s almost 4 years and we are still waiting.
3. The Wall? Of course the “Mexico will pay for it” claim never happened and disappeared from his speeches. Meanwhile he said recently some 380 miles of it have been built and we find out that of those most of the milage was replacing old wall and very few miles are new wall. Also some of that new wall is already falling down with weak foundations.
4. He was going to release his taxes. Still has not happened and he is still trying to stop release. If he has nothing to hide why not release? and if he is correct that the $750 he paid in Federal Tax last year is fake news, easy to prove by releasing his taxes. What’s the problem? Just release your fuckin taxes and end the story.
5. Ended the Iran deal which he claimed was so bad but he has not managed to get any replacement and now Iran is closer than ever before to being able to build a nuclear weapon. No question a serious blunder of foreign policy.
6. Ending NAFTA and TPA turns out changes were mere tweaks and no huge change. So apparently they were not so bad after all.
7. American companies are going to flood back to the US from China. Only a few came back and job export still happening BECAUSE in a capitalist system labor is a cost that every company tries to reduce so they can make additional profits. It’s still cheaper to manufacture outside the US.
8. Getting rid of over regulation. What regulations were changed? It turns out the main changes allowed more pollution of land, water and air.
9. Lowered taxes. Did that but most went to the very rich. Disparity between the rich and poor increased during Trump presidency.
10. Was going to make America respected around the world. Well, that is a joke and the opposite happened.
11. Was going to “rebuild the Military”. Definitely increased spending and added stuff but just as the French did after World War I he increased the military imaging the world of the previous wars. It takes Billions of Dollars to build an aircraft carrier BUT it only takes a Million Dollars to sink it. The Chinese and Russians have plenty of carrier sinking munitions at vastly lower cost so should a war happen those new ships are gone.
12. Global Warming. He is looking pretty wrong on that one. And when history looks back he will not look good. it will be a huge black mark on his legacy.
13. Worst of all, American is more divided than ever AND we are not looked upon with the same favor by the rest of the peoples of the world.
I was just listening to Samuel Rodriguez on the Amanpour & Co. TV program and once again the word “socialism” was used by a person who has no idea what the word means. To Mr. Rodriguez he imagines “Socialism” is what happens in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua which may be socialism in name but are better described as dictatorships or communist and no mention of Norway, Germany, Holland, France, or the so many advanced countries that apply the same “socialist” principles that some to the left of the Democratic Party espouse. He claims that because he is “Latino” he knows the meaning of socialism – which he does not.
The problem is, for those of us who are educated to the meaning of words, and political philosophies people like Samuel Rodriguez may mean well and really believe what they are saying but in reality what we see is a sign on their forehead that reads “I am an uneducated fool and don’t know what I am talking about”. The fact that this guy is in the position to influence others makes his lack of knowledge disturbing and in fact down right dangerous.
People wonder with all the negative news about Donald Trump, books from people who know him – whatever – HOW could he still have unshakable followers? Let’s not forget in the final days of World War 2 in Germany, Hitler still had people fervently supporting him in spite of what they could see with their own eyes. Some believed that he had a secret weapon that would save them. Some refused to believe the Holocaust. The truth is people will believe what they want to believe and rationalize to an incredible degree to validate such belief. Fake News is a convenient retort to facts they would rather dismiss. Perhaps the most dramatic example of crazy thinking is the Qanon thing. If people can believe that crazy stuff – they will believe in anything. Then there was the Hale-Bopp Comet people who killed themselves to catch a ride on the Comet. How crazy is that? Yep, crazy is all around.