Thursday, February 9, 2017

Runaway Republicans Refusing to Face Constituents

This could well be a portent of things to come.  A few Republican members of Congress seem to be encountering some difficulty facing the residents of the districts that they supposedly represent.

California's Tom McClintock, a supporter of Mister Trump's travel ban largely affecting Muslims, skittered away from a townhall meeting rather than engage his constituents.  Concerned citizens can be kinda scary, I guess.

Here's Mike Coffman, from Colorado's 6th District, fleeing a meeting in Aurora last month. The uncertainty of access to healthcare seemed to be foremost on everyone's minds. It was videoed in all its awkward glory, complete with crime scene tape:  Public Servant In Flight.  Community-minded folks can be frightening!

Finally, just last week, one of my Metro Chicago homedudes, a Republican congressguy named Peter Roskam, abruptly cancelled a meeting with constituents once he found out that a reporter would be present. <gasp>  Mr. Roskam, who represents parts of suburban Kane, DuPage, and northwest Cook Counties, was seen cutting a lordly figure while fleeing a group of folks who wanted to discuss the Affordable Care Act.  Hurriedly exiting the scene, he scattered a trail of chicken feathers in his wake!

Think 2018, ladies and gents!  The Democrats need to flip 24 seats in order to recapture a House majority.  Presuming that they can get their act together,  the districts represented by the three runaways described above --- California's Fourth, Colorado's Sixth, and Illinois' Sixth should be among those ripe for the plucking.  It's a matter of preserving the memories.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Speaker Ryan Is Gonna Trash Medicare. Is He Serious?

Medicare, perhaps the nation's most revered social program, may actually be on the chopping block next year.  In the wake of the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ayn Rand) vowed to wave his magic mallet, releasing just enough pixie dust to make Medicare go poof!

President-elect Donald Trump, seems to be on board with this, although he hasn't yet made any official statements.  Maybe he's still searching for the Kool-Aid that Mr. Speaker had drunken, lamenting aloud,  "How come I didn't get any?"  

It should be noted that during the campaign, The Donald insisted that he wouldn't disturb Medicare, Social Security, or many of the other social programs vital to our survival and well-being as a nation.  Yet he has chosen Congressman Tom Price, one of Speaker Ryan's staunchest allies, as Secretary of Health and Human Services --- a Fellow Preacher of the Gospel of Selfishness as a Public Virtue.

So much for His Royal Orangeness's campaign promises!  As someone who relentlessly insisted that he was an "outsider," he's gone to great lengths to diamond-stud his cabinet with uber-wealthy, corporate insiders.  Consider Betsy DeVos, Trump's choice for Education Secretary, a relentless crusader hell-bent on dismantling public education and disempowering teachers.  She and her husband gave the Trump campaign $9,000,000!  Pay to Play at its ultimate reekiness!

Congressman Ryan and his allies have made a point of declaring that all who are 55 and older will retain their full Social Security benefits, in the event that they're actually empowered to fulfill their wildest wet-dream.   But hey, those older folks have kids and grand-kids, who'd be among those thrown under the bus.   I'd like to believe that many of them would be more than a tad concerned about their progeny.

Perhaps a few congressional Republicans might be sane enough to realize that many of those they represent would be seriously affected by the denial of these benefits.  In any event,  I'm thoroughly convinced that The Donald's gilded veneer is going to wear thin very quickly.  Many of the folks who cast their ballots for him out of desperation and frustration will realize just how severely they got "Trumped."

The burning question is:  Where will they go?  Those of us with humane values have a lotta work to do.  It's gonna be a long slog!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Not Too Early to Start Looking Ahead; Here's to a Progressive Future

Once we've licked our wounds, we should start planning for the 2018 midterms and beyond.  If Trump succeeds in moving forward with parts of his agenda, many of his supporters may well become disillusioned.

Remember, a great number of those who cast their ballots for this president-elect are not vicious haters.  Quite a few supported Bernie Sanders, switching their allegiances to Trump after Clinton's primary victory.  They'll soon realize that The Donald is not their friend, especially once his administration cuts taxes for the wealthy and guts vital social programs.

2018 could provide the perfect opportunity to set the table for progressive programs.  I'm convinced that Elizabeth Warren among other progressive luminaries has a significant political future.  Onward!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voter Suppression in Wisconsin May Trump Us All

If Wisconsin falls to Trump, that state's draconian voter suppression measures may actually provide enough margin to affect the outcome.  As of 10:30 election night, Clinton still has a chance to recover.  Nothing is certain.

Wisconsin's early April primary should have been considered the canary in the coal mine:  1.1 million declared Republicans vs. 1 million Democrats.  300,000 voters deemed ineligible by the ID laws should also be factored in.  Some among those 300k were ultimately able to obtain their IDs, but not without a concerted effort.

A few months back, GOP Congresscreature Glenn Grothman crowed about voter ID laws allowing his party to win the state.  He may be right.

The whole world is watching, folks!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Curse of the Billy Goat Has Been Broken --- and They Couldn't Have Been a Nicer, More Deserving Bunch of Guys.

It's been a 108-year drought since the Cubs' last World Series triumph.  71 years have elapsed since the Cubs last competed in the Series, falling to the Detroit Tigers.  According to a great bearded legend, their 1945 loss had been widely attributed to a bar owner named William Sianis who attended the fourth game with his pet billy goat in tow.  

As it turns out, goats have a tendency to be stinky; not their fault, that's just what goats do.  As one might well expect, the nasal sensitivities of fans within eyeshot --- and nose-shot --- of Man and Goat were severely compromised.  Hence, Wrigley Field officials prevailed upon them to leave the facility.   As he was being evicted, the enraged Mr. Sianis declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more!"  At that moment, the Curse of the Billy Goat was born.

Well, the Curse is no more!   The Cubs downed the Cleveland Indians in what may have been one of the most suspenseful and skillfully executed series ever.  The beauty of this team goes well beyond its star-studded roster featuring names such as Arrietta, Bryant, Russell, Fowler, Rizzo, Lester, Baez, Zobrist, Ross, and Hendricks --- and I know I left some out.  There isn't one prima donna among them;  and Major League Baseball is full of them!

These guys have a sense of community, which they demonstrated throughout the regular season and into the playoffs.  It has served them well.  They're all nice guys.  Forget Leo Durocher, a terrific player, coach, and manager, but also a notorious jerk.  He was the guy who coined the moth-eaten old adage,  "Nice guys finish last."   Not anymore!

Oh, one more thing!  The Cubs should be commended for not wearing an historically hurtful logo on their caps and jerseys.  I highly doubt that Smokey The Bear is the least bit offended.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Epidemic of Concussions in the Wake of Trump's Forehead-Slappers

It's just a theory.  

As far as I know, there hasn't been an uptick in the incidence of concussions following the third and final presidential debate.  Still, it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to be true.

Some of us, when we hear outrageous statements, have a tendency to react by whacking our foreheads.  The Donald, (a.k.a.: His Orangeness), unleashed an entire caravan of whoopers during the course of that debate.

Some glaring examples:
1)  Referring to folks whom he believes shouldn't be crossing the border as "bad, bad people," and "bad hombres."  <whapp!>
2)  In response to Hillary Clinton's suggestion that Trump would be Vladimir Putin's puppet, blurting out, "You're the puppet!  You're the puppet."  That reminds me of the classic kindergartner's taunt,  "I know you are, but what am I?" <slapp!>
3)  Reacting to Clinton's criticism of Trump's wailing over rigged elections, The Donald shrieks, "You're such a nasty woman!"  <bonk!>
4)  When moderator Chris Wallace asks His Royal Orangeness whether or not he'll honor the election results, he declares,  "I'll tell you at the time."  "I'll keep you in suspense!"   <wheeee-whew!!!>   <conk!>

And the hand collides with the forehead over and over again, ad infinitum!   Those among us who are prone to such reactions need to find an alternative that's, maybe, less concussive, less risky to our long-term health.

I got it!  Let's just give our foreheads a gentle, repetitive pat with three, maybe four fingers instead.  

There!  That's better!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Give Him A Break! He Was Only 59!

A mercilessly incriminating video of His Royal Orangeness at his misogynistic best has been unveiled for public consumption.  (Links to the video are locked, but it can easily be viewed on Youtube).  The ugly-sounding dialog was with a guy named Billy Bush.  It was captured on a bus transporting them to an NBC-TV show set, and preserved for posterity. 

In 2013, I attended my high school reunion: Class of '63!  Virtually every one of the towel-snapping, wolf-whistling jocks and bullies among my classmates had grown up.  However, The Donald appears to be in a class of his own: a class of folks with seriously arrested development!

Is it at all realistic to expect a guy, just six years shy of seniorhood in 2005, to have significantly changed his behavior eleven years later?  In rare instances, maybe.  But Mr. Trump doesn't seem to be one of those uncommon exceptions. 

Presidential timber?  I dunno.

Just a few months back, he referred to a female journalist as a bimbo as well as "having blood coming out of her whatever."  Still snapping towels at the tender age of 70!

Oh well!  Boys will be boys!