Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Here Come the Deficit Scolds

None of this means anything, of course:

The U.S. budget deļ¬cit may quadruple this year to almost $4 trillion. Projections from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) say that by 2023 U.S. debt held by the public will surpass records set in the post-World War II years.
And these projections only include spending enacted so far—in a three-month-old crisis that has seen emergency Congressional appropriations top $2.3 trillion. Additional spending is almost certain as the coronavirus pandemic destroys millions of jobs and thousands of businesses while slashing tax revenues for local and state governments.
I could write a hundred of these posts. If the entire economy collapses, then what difference does it make if we're running deficits? All this is intended to do is keep Democrats from coming into office and spending money to improve the lives of working people.
It's the same scam they ran against both President Clinton and President Obama. As soon as a Democrat gets elected, the GOP sends a handful of serious-minded policy wonk jackasses out before the cameras to give us lectures about how we have to live within our means and act responsibly for future generations. This thinking seriously dogged every effort that President Obama made to restore our economy. The media had orgasms every time Paul Ryan would talk about how we had to cut entitlements. This is catnip for people terrified that the poor will finally be taken care of.
These same hypocrites always vote for massive increases in spending and for ruinous tax cuts when a Republican is in office.
Ain't buying it, ain't falling for it, get out of here with that bullshit.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Wages of Sin

Trump literally has to pay a woman to be his son's girlfriend:
President Donald Trump’s campaign is secretly paying one Trump son’s wife and another one’s girlfriend $180,000 a year each through the campaign manager’s private company, according to top Republicans with knowledge of the payments.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of eldest son Donald Trump Jr., and Lara Trump, wife of middle son Eric Trump, are each receiving $15,000 a month, according to two GOP sources who are informal White House advisers and who spoke on condition of anonymity.

They were unsure when the payments began but say they are being made by campaign manager Bradley Parscale through his company rather than directly by either the campaign or the party in order to avoid public reporting requirements.

“I can pay them however I want to pay them,” Parscale told HuffPost on Friday, but then declined to comment any further.
The man with all of the receipts is Parscale and he's sitting on top of a billion dollar effort to get Trump re-elected and farm out Trump family business to whoever can stand being seen with Don Junior. Those two things don't have to be separate efforts. I mean, there are ethical considerations, toothless campaign finance laws, and probably a handful of serious criminal implications here, but, really, it comes down to one simple fact.

Trump has to pay a woman to pretend that she is perfectly okay being photographed and dry humped in public by his worthless offspring. And then he has to pay another woman to be married to the other one.

Great work if you can get it, especially during the current economic downturn. There really is a price for everything and no shortage of people who aren't afraid to sell out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Incompetent Any Way You Slice It

This is the header of an Email that I just received from the Small Business Administration. I checked--it's not a phishing scam, nor is it something that also promises me several million dollars in funds from a dead prince who used to live in Nigeria.

I am not a small business owner. I've never registered as one, nor have I ever even tried to be a small business owner. This Email going to me is proof that the government has no idea what it's doing right now. It is sending out information to people who don't need it, promising money they are not entitled to, at a time when people who actually do need help aren't receiving anything other than silence and dropped connections.

If you are a small business owner, I hope you received this Email. I doubt that we even have a government right now that can process your request for a forgivable loan. I hope they get their act together and help you.

When this landed in my In-Box, I just couldn't believe it. This is the gang that couldn't shoot straight, and they have no fucking clue how to help anyone right now. What a shame.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Permanence of Humanity

The great Molly Jong Fast wonders if we're headed back to the past:
But why, why have we all gotten so old-fashioned.? Is it out of necessary? Or is it something deeper? I live in New York City, where about 700 people died in the last twenty-four hours, and 700 the day before. There’s a heaviness here, as ambulances roll down empty avenues. What if connecting to the old ways is a way to find comfort, to connect with humanity of previous centuries?
We have no modern playbook for living through a plague but we do have a Victorian playbook for it. They didn’t have a pandemic in the 1965 but they did in the 1665 (the great plague of London). 2017 didn’t have a pandemic but 1817 was ravaged by Cholera. What if connecting with our historic past selves is a way to connect with the collective unconscious? What if we are trying to find the permanence of humanity? Maybe we won’t live forever, but humanity will continue. Maybe baking and sewing and making our own hand sanitizer are ways to connect with our past and, in some ways, even our future?

I would take it further and say that we are not only connecting to a simpler way of living but that we are realizing that so much of modern life is a construct of easily-dismissed bullshit that requires us to examine every aspect of how we're living.

Do you care about your neighbors. Hell, do you even know your neighbors?

It's beyond simple things. It's a re-examination of everything that used to seem important. Do you need a new phone? Do you need that new car? Or do you need to set aside a couple of weeks every year and take your family to a place where they can connect with nature. Or just stay home and have a staycation. What even matters anymore? Is it status, things, your annual salary or is it more than that?

I see so many heartbreaking--goddamned heart rendering and shattering--stories of people who have lost their family members and have been introduced to a new reality. I have to believe that we're going to see a changed and transformed country and that it will be a sign of real progress. I hope to hell we don't come out of this without having learned our lesson and without having learned about what really matters to us as a people and a nation.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Go After the Health Care Profiteers

Harry Truman was a distinguished and accomplished public servant, and he made a name for himself going after war profiteers. Who will be the public servant who will expose the health care profiteers?

I am not going to give into cynicism here. We desperately need to take care of people, and then we need to go after each and every individual who jacked up prices and created these shortages. I don't know if that has to be Senator Elizabeth Warren or Rep. Adam Schiff, but that would be a hell of a thing. They could join forces on a joint effort to not only figure out what Trump and his goon squad did wrong but how to fix things and ensure it doesn't happen again.