Monday, May 15, 2017

In The Original Klingon

I was sitting on my little mirpeset (kinda like a little balcony...there's no word for it in English)on Sunday, drinking a cup of coffee, working the NYT crossword, and thinking about what I was going to write this week. There was such a plethora of egregious behavior that it was hard to narrow it down to just one or two things. 

Earlier, I'd read The National Review's version on how the Clintons were to blame for Comey's rapid descent. I read the article because the headline intrigued me. I tried to follow the logic, but after a few graphs, I figured this guy must be high on something to have written this steaming mass of bull-oney. And then Bill Maher blamed Bill Clinton and the incident on the Loretta Lynch-plane stupidity. And that's stupidity on both Lynch and Clinton's part. But never mind that.

I got to thinking what would this be like if Hillary were president and behaving like this?

That just staggers imagination.

But back to Comey. As much as I hate to think about it, the toddler-in-chief may have done We, the People, a huge favor. He was not acting in the capacity of a lawyer, so unlike like Preet Baharara and Sally Yates, there is no attorney/client privilege invoked. This guy could be the best loose cannon on the face of the planet. Think about it. He can  talk and no one can stop him. He can decide to tell the truth and clean up at the same time. Someone telling the truth in Washington would certainly be novel. 

The Economist is a well respected, well-written British magazine that's been around since 1843. Yes folks, that's 174 years. They didn't get to be around that long because they were publishing alternative facts. Nope. The Economist is about as respected as you can get in magazine-land. So when they announced they were interviewing the toddler-in-chief, everyone was anxious to see how it was handled. And it was handled brilliantly. This is taken from the transcript of that interview:
The E: But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit? 
45: It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll…you understand the expression “prime the pump”? 
The E:Yes. 
45: We have to prime the pump. 
The E: It’s very Keynesian. 
45: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event? 
The E: Priming the pump? 
45: Yeah, have you heard it? 
The E: Yes. 
45: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

Sorry, 45, you did not invent that expression. The reporter from The Economist got it in one. It's modern usage in economics is attributed to John Maynard Keynes in the early 20th century. Can you say utter embarrassment, boys and girls?

Meanwhile, in the Too Weird To Possibly Be True category, the meeting with the Russians was tremendous. Not only were no American photogs allowed in the room, turns out the Russians were tweeting away and sending photographs to the Kremlin for their website. Really? Really. 

Back in the old days, the joke was that the Russians always said they invented everything. Didn't matter what it was; it was invented in Russia. In some respects, the coverage of the meeting reminded me of the Klingons having dinner with Captain Kirk and his officers in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.                                                                                    Chancellor Gorkon

If Hillary's meeting had gone viral like that, Cecil the Turtle and Eddie Munster would be clamoring for her immediate resignation.


So once again, I ask my conservative and GOP readers two questions:
  1.  How is this okay
  2. When is it not okay?

Leave a comment. Inquiring minds want to know.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Take a moment to think about the people that mean the most to you:
how do you want to leave the world for them?

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Blessing For Your Favorite GOP Congressperson

That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they're healthy, they've done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people — who've done things the right way — that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.                                                           Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala                                                                                                                     
A Blessing for Your Favorite GOP Congressperson
by the Wifely Person

May you have a brief, manageable bout with cancer.
May you achieve remission.

May you lose your employer provided health insurance.

May you go to sign up for health insurance.
May you be told your cancer is a preexisting condition.
May you find yourself in a high risk pool.
May your premiums cost more than you earn,
And cover less than your daily meds.

May your child be found to have a small, correctable heart-valve defect
May you be told this is a congenital, preexisting condition.
May the simple surgery co-payment cost more than
a year of groceries and a year of heating utilities.

May your wife become pregnant quickly and easily,
And may that fetus be found to have the same heart defect as your other child
and may your insurance tell you this is a preexisting condition that,
 while fixable in utero,
is not covered.

May your parents live long and productive lives
until age related dementia sets in
and you find that is a preexisting condition.
May they be forced to sell their home to move in with you
because they cannot afford either 
care at home or assisted living.
As they decline, may you be faced with 
their bills as well as your own.
Since you already lost your job, 
may you become the kind, loving, stay-at-home caregiver,
paid nothing, but shelling out everything.

May you be faced with foreclosure 
because you cannot pay 
your mortgage,
your property taxes,
your medical bills,
or your insurance premiums 
that cover nothing.
May you be able to move everyone into your car…
until the repo people come to take that, too.

May you wonder how all this came to pass because
good people like you
don’t have preexisting conditions.

May you appreciate how the one-time constituents you threw beneath the bus
reach out to put hot food on your disposable plate.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Keep calling, keep writing, keep sending postcards to 
your personal Congressional clowns.
If you like what they're doing, tell 'em.
If you think the morons, tell 'em that, too. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Decline.....

When I was a kid, I couldn't read enough about history. I loved the lives that were. I wanted to know why Archduke Ferdinand was shot and how the slaves in Egypt really lived. The woman who would become my 5th grade teacher, upon hearing about me brought me a book to read over the summer.  "I hear you've already read GODS, GRAVES, and SCHOLARS," I assured her I had. Several times. "Then you will like this." And she gave me the second book that would change my life, TUTANKHAMEN: Life and Death of a Pharaoh.  I still have the copy Miss Myrus "lent" me, and my dad found a copy of G,G,&S for me years ago, and I still have (and treasure) both.

I won't bore you with a recitation of my years of studying archeology and anthropology and that protracted and difficult decision to let my college diploma read Bachelor of Science, Theater, not Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology. My love of history has never changed.

My dad had a complete set of Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and we read it together. It's not exactly a light and fun read. But we talked a lot about leaders and what good leaders do. And what bad leaders do. Those conversations never left me, and as I got older and took to reading biographies over histories, Decline and Fall became the yardstick by which I measured other encounters on the page.
Trajan was ambitious of fame; and as long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.                                                                                                                                                                                 Volume 1
Whilst Gibbon drew comparisons between guys like Diocletian and more contemporaneous monarchs like Charles V,  one cannot help but see how different eras yield different, yet fundamentally similar, comparisons. 

The short version is that if you don't pay attention to history you get to repeat it. See World War I and World War II for recent examples. 

It bothers the stuffings right outta me when people play fast and loose with history. Good history is not opinion. Sure, there might be opinions about what's important or reasons for occurrence, but you cannot say the South won the Civil War. Along those same lines, you cannot say the crowd standing outside at 45's inauguration was the biggest crowd ever because it wasn't. To say otherwise is delusional. 

To be the leader of a nation and not to know its history is deplorable. To stand at a microphone to talk on topics you know nothing about is foolhardy. 
I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart,
He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, "There's no reason for this."
People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

To say something completely and utterly moronic like President Andrew Jackson was upset about the Civil War, and that he, a slave owning individual, could've negotiated a solution is not merely despicable, it's completely, totally, and unquestionably without foundation...especially since Jackson had been dead 16 years when the war happened. To dig oneself in deeper by saying this is his opinion, is skating along the edge of an abyss. 

Then, there's the CBS interview from Face The Nation. Watching it was unsettling enough. Reading it almost pushed me over the edge:

On Kim Jong-un:
 I really, you know, have no comment on him. People are saying, "Is he sane?" I have no idea. I can tell you this, and a lot of people don't like when I say it, but he was a young man of 26 or 27 when he took over from his father, when his father died. He's dealing with obviously very tough people, in particular the generals and others. And at a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I'm sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie. But we have a situation that we just cannot let -- we cannot let what's been going on for a long period of years continue. And frankly, this should've been done and taken care of by the Obama administration. Should've been taken care of by the Bush administration. Should've been taken care of by Clinton.

On Congress:
Just a system. It's just a very, very bureaucratic system. I think the rules in Congress and in particular the rules in the Senate are unbelievably archaic and slow moving. And in many cases, unfair. In many cases, you're forced to make deals that are not the deal you'd make. You'd make a much different kind of a deal.
You're forced into situations that you hate to be forced into. I also learned, and this is very sad, because we have a country that we have to take care of. The Democrats have been totally obstructionist. Chuck Schumer has turned out to be a bad leader. He's a bad leader for the country. And the Democrats are extremely obstructionist.
All they do is obstruct. All they do is delay. Even our Supreme Court justice, as you know, who I think is going to be outstanding, Justice Gorsuch. I think that it was disgraceful the way they handled that. But, you know, I still have people, I'm waiting for them to be approved. Our chief trade negotiator. We can't get these people through. 

Let's not even talk about health care and pre-existing conditions. My head would just simply explode. 

And now, he invites Rodreigo Duterte of the Philippines for an official visit to the White House. A guy who compares himself to Hitler, who is working to suspend civil rights, who orders wholesale murder of his people. And they're gonna throw him a dinner.

Are you seeing a pattern?

Power is the name of the game. Civil rights, human rights, those things don't matter. The only ones getting any cred in the White House are totalitarian-authoritarian-dictator-wannabes. These are the role models, people. Look and learn. 

The new affront is the desire to restructure how Congress operates. Now, we all know Congress is a slow moving behemoth, but it's a constitutional one and one that, when allowed to function, does an okay job of protecting We, the People from ourselves. That's what checks-and-balances are all about. 

They are in jeopardy.  

But here's the thing. 45 did not realize how hard this job really is. We, the People seem to be more okay with that than one might think. According to Gallup, 41% of voters approve of 45's job performance on May 1st, 2017.

The transparency we were hoping to get in this government not only isn't there, the veil has been drawn on things we have been used to tax returns. 

I know it's not possible for everyone to be activist, but everyone must do something to keep from being run over by this juggernaut of lies and misdirection. Pick up the phone. Call your representatives, state, local, or federal. Send postcards. They work. One postcard added to a pile does make the pile bigger. Find your voice. 

I keep hearing the phrase coup d'etat. The right keeps saying that's what the left wants. But that's stupid. The left doesn't want a coup....but the right does. And it will be subtle. A rule change here, a filibuster there. It will be subtle.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Nice People don't protest. They don't picket. They do nothing. And they stand by when the government is disbanded. 

Don't be nice.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you missed Colbert going after 45 for being a jerk on CBS, 

It was brill.