Tag Archives: #lovetrumpshate;

As the D Turns

Our current administration is reminiscent of a soap-opera, complete with an ever-changing colorful cast of characters and over-the-top melodrama. The lead actor in this ultimate reality show thrives on the attention and chaos.

However, The D has had a rough couple of weeks.  Despite years of rhetoric blasting the Affordable Care Act, his Republican henchmen have been unable to agree on an alternative.   A bill that is cruel enough to satisfy the hard-core tea-partiers can’t get past the few Republican moderates that still have remnants of a spine.  One of their many kooky schemes was to deliberately pass a horrible bill, with a pre-agreement that the House would shoot it down.  They were going to kick a shit-can of a bill down the road with the hope that Paul Ryan’s House would rise above the stench.

The D’s bizarre policy-by-tweet approach is proving to be unsuccessful with top military brass, who were not consulted prior to The D’s s random tweet banning transgender troops.  The Brass have made it clear that tweets are not a substitute for actual policy, and have (bravely  and wisely) opted to take no action until and unless an actual command or policy emerges. On the bright side– It appears that the whole debacle has raised our awareness of the existence and bravery of our transgender troops.

It would be tough to screw up a speech to a bunch of wholesome Boy Scouts.  Yet, the D managed to blow it–bigly. It was a bizarre, curse-laced political and self-aggrandizing rant.  No merit badge for The D.

We should thank The D for one of the most entertaining episodes of his administration thus far–The Mooch!    Scaramucci’s pugnacious, confrontational  style stood out as over-the-top;  even among the colorful cast at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  Stephen Colbert had a field day with many Mooch quotes, including this “I don’t stab people in the back, I am more of a front-stabber”.

Sadly, for Colbert and his comic colleagues, The Mooch only lasted 10 days before getting ousted.  But stay tuned, who knows what the next episode of “as The D Turns” will bring?

 

Spiraling

Well, well.  We may finally be getting an answer to the question I posed just a few days ago: Is there any act that is too outrageous, unlawful, unconstitutional, self-serving, embarrassing or cruel  for Trump to be held accountable by the Republican’ts?

Given recent events, we are seeing the faintest glimmer of hope that a few Republican’s are being reintroduced to their spines:  the edges of the dark cloak of loyalty are starting to fray.   Mere obstruction of justice (firing of Comey) wasn’t compelling enough:  But–the casual sharing of highly classified information, for purposes of self-aggrandizement, to his Russian buddies just may just have crossed a line that even the Republicans won’t (or can’t) defend.

This post is short – by the time I press publish, there will no doubt be new plot twists and revelations to consider.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

 

Small Things Matter

Today, I am particularly nostalgic for the Obama’s grace and class.  Barack and Michelle always treated each other with respect and love.  In contrast, The D rarely misses an opportunity to display his  boorishness and lack of common decency.

The D consistently ignores Melania and leaves her to her own devices when going from Point A to Point B, as recently depicted in their exit from AirForce One, which is in sharp contrast to the more congenial descents of other first couples.

Monday, the D flung some poor kid’s hat into the crowd after signing it at the hastily organized White House Easter egg roll–He essentially stole some kids hat to fling into the crowd.  He also failed to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem, until Melanie gave him a poke.

The D recently took to Twitter to defend former Fox-News pundit, Bill O’Reilly –days before O’Reilly was fired due to a egregious pattern of sexual harassment towards female colleagues.  O’Reilly and The D personify the despicable old-boy mindset that any women is fair game to be ogled and groped; or insulted if they are deemed too unattractive to ‘deserve’ their revolting advances.

To me, his outright refusal to shake hands with Angela Merkel remains as a low point in a very deep well of boorish behavior.  Although–perhaps being ignored when offering a handshake is preferred over enduring the bizarre hurky-jerky, wood -sawing motion of the D’s handshake.

In addition to his astonishing misogeny, the list of character flaws is long. The D is absurdly vain and self-centered; frequently going off-script to congratulate himself and/or nonsensically describe how awesome he is;  with  forehead-smacking results.

During an appearance with the Italian prime Minister, the D referred to the great opera tenor, Pavarotti, as his great friend:  despite the fact that Pavarotti has been dead for 10 years:  Perhaps they used to party with Fredrick Douglass, another great (and deceased) friend of The D’s.

The D is too thin-skinned to attend the up-coming White House Correspondence Dinner.  (On a side note:  Women were not allowed to attend the dinner until 1962, when a persistent (and probably nasty) woman by the name of Helen Thomas raised a ruckus about it.)

Individually, some of these events are merely fodder for a national eye-roll.  As a whole, a picture emerges of a leader who lacks basic emotional intelligence and is unable to feel empathy or respect for others.

I have a personal litmus test I use when gauging how responsible or trustworthy someone is.  My conclusion for The D is:  No, I would not trust him to feed my cat.

 

 

Ding Dong, The Bill is Dead!

(Sung to the tune of Ding, Dong! The witch is dead–from the Wizard of Oz)

Ding, Dong! The Bill is dead. Which old bill? The Trump Care Bill!
Ding, dong! The wicked bill is dead.

Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Bill is dead. It’s gone where the Crap bills go,
Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Bill is dead!

As a legally registered voter, in the country that we all love
I welcome this failure most regally.
But we’ve got to verify it legally, to see
To see?
If the GOP; Is morally, ethic’lly,
Spiritually, politically,
Positively, absolutely
Undeniably and dangerously Inept.

As a pundit, I must opine, I thoroughly examined them;
And the GOP’s not just inept, they are really most sincerely inept.

Then this is a day of celebration for all who Care.
Yes, let the joyous news be spread ; The wicked bad BILL for now is dead!

 

Cracks in the Orange Veneer

It has been a rough week for The D.  Despite having slept or tweeted through basic civics lessons and intelligence briefings he is learning the hard way that there really are three branches of government, and that his words and actions have consequences.

How disconcerting for The D to have his latest travel ban struck down, using his own words to interpret intent.   The D has been remarkably successful in avoiding any consequences associated with his outrageous statements and/or tweets.  However, this week, a ‘so-called’ judge from Hawaii referenced The D’s  own words to determine the intent of the travel ban as a way to prevent Muslims from entering the country.  (Yet another excellent reason to move to Hawaii.)

How troubling for The D to be criticized for his lack of evidence to support his tweets accusing Obama of wiretapping. The D does not feel it is necessary to validate any information he infers or gleans from cable news shows before tweeting misinformation to the world.  Prudence is not in The D’s vocabulary. He is the master of setting a ‘perception’ based on his own wishful thinking–perceptions which take hold in the minds of his faithful.  He never lets so-called ‘facts’ get in the way of his beliefs.  However, these tweets are being challenged on numerous fronts.

How upsetting for The D to have his name associated with the Alternative health care proposal put forth by Paul Ryan (a.k.a the Fourth Stooge).  This plan has been widely panned as Dead on Arrival and is opposed by hospitals, the AMA, Republicans and Democrats, AARP, and anyone who has in-depth knowledge of health care–including my  friend Jean.  (Who KNEW it could be so complicated??)

The Congressional Budget office (using a technique foreign to the current administration called ‘math’) determined that 14 million people would lose coverage in 2018 and 24 million people would lose coverage by 2020.

Certainly The D himself hasn’t demonstrated  enthusiasm for the plan; although on the campaign trail he promised a plan that would ‘cover everybody and be a fraction of the cost’.  Where is this magic pixie dust Donald?  I really want some!

How distressing for The D to be critized for his proposed budget and his outlandishly lavish spending at tax payer expense.  It is dismaying, but no real surprise that the proposed budget slashes popular programs such as Meals on Wheels, NPR, and the EPA.  Apparently, we cannot afford  meals for shut-ins, but we are shelling out millions for endless golf weekends at Mar-A-Lago (tax money that ends up going to The D himself, cause he owns the place), and $183 Million for Melania and Barron to continue to live in NYC.

Finally, The D closed the week by demonstrating a remarkable lack of class and grace by refusing to shake Angela Merkle’s hand.  What an ass.   It’s really embarrassing to be an American lately.

The good news is that some checks and balances are finally, belatedly, coming into focus.  Concerned Americans continue to speak up in vast numbers, Hard questions are being asked by the media, and investigations continue. Let’s hope the march towards some degree of sanity and accountability is just beginning–with more challenging weeks in the near  future for The D.

 

Insomnia and Blind Faith

It is the wee hours of the night.  My monkey-mind is keeping me awake, and I foolishly went to my FaceBook feed in an attempt to bore myself to sleep.  Bad move. I got sucked into a couple vicious political exchanges; which led to more pondering.

The D continues to have his faithful supporters.  They accuse his detractors of being overly critical.  One poster recently queried – what has he done that is so wrong?  Many replies articulately and calmly laid out an extensive inventory of  mis-steps, ridiculous tweets,  unconstitutional executive orders, lies, and more.  I will spare you the full run-down.

The defense provided by his supporters, including his appointed representatives as well as those on FB, are consistently a variation of this theme:  “Whatever… but the important thing is that The D is WAY better than    Obama — that guy was horrible! “. 

Somehow, this argument is used to justify anything and everything.  However, it is no argument at all–it is a transparent gas-lighting technique to avoid accountability by shifting the focus to another target or topic.  Any High School debator, worth their salt (or evidence cards) could see through that tactic.  And I speak from much nerdy debate experience.

The D is a master of this technique-never accepting any blame or acknowledging his mistakes by aggressively attacking and shifting blame to others. Obama is one of his favorite targets, along with most of the media, Nordstroms, immigrants, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Americans tend to be an emotional bunch–we make decisions and align our loyalties based on emotion. And, once we have made up our minds on something, no amount of factual information or ‘real news’ will sway us from our views.  Social media tailors our feeds to show us what we want to see–what we already agree with; while also giving us a false sense that we are keeping up with the ‘news’ .

We seem to turning into a post-fact society, where information is readily available, but facts are hard to discern. This is what keeps me up at night (as well as Stephen Colbert wicked monologues).   A charismatic candidate with a sound bite that resonates and lots of media exposure, can be elected without benefit of experience, credentials or actionable policies.  It does not bode well for our future.

And that is why an inexperienced, immature, vengeful and impulsive man has the nuclear codes.

It’s a wonder I sleep at all.

 

 

 

Thank you, Mitch McConnell

Who would have thought that Mitch McConnell would be the one to provide a great summary of women’s progress and a new feminist rallying cry:

She was warned, she was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted

For those of you that may have been in a coma for the last couple of days:  This was McConnell’s ‘mansplanation’ for invoking an obscure and bizarre rule to ban Senator Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter from Coretta Scott King during the nomination hearing for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: a decades-old letter which urged against naming him as a Federal judge due to his track record of blocking civil rights and voting rights.  Although Senator Warren was banned–multiple male colleagues were inexplicably allowed to read the same letter.

I admire so many women for their ability to rise and persist in the face of adversity.  In my own lifetime I have seen sexism become  less institutionalized; yet it is still pervasive.  In many ways I think it is even more difficult to raise a strong, confident woman in these days of hyper-sexualization and a social media that is both brutal and 24/7.

There are times in everyone’s lives where they face a decision as to whether to take a stand or submit to the prevailing winds.  In my own life, I most regret the times I have not persisted in doing what I felt to be right.   I recognize that not every issue is worth the fight – sometimes the ‘juice isn’t worth the squeeze’.   Yet, at some point, we need to say enough is enough. I will not let your sexist or racist statement go unchallenged; I will not allow my daughter to be treated that way; I will not allow my co-worker (or myself) to be treated disrespectfully; and I will NOT stand by quietly while our ‘so called president’ ravages our country.

I have long held that the definition of courage is standing up for what is right — even if the odds are against you.  It is that brand of courage that won women the vote, desegregated our schools, gave us a 5 day work week, did away with Jim Crow and more.  People have suffered, people have died.  Nevertheless, we persist.

Sleepless and Troubled

The first week was a doozy.

The executive order against immigrants entering the USA has caused chaos and confusion in airports across the country.  People entering the country legally were left stranded; many having to return to the country of origin.   For some of my colleagues trips ‘back home’ are being cancelled;  hard working professionals are making contingency plans in case they need to flee the country quickly.

And … we appear to be building the damn wall.  Although the purpose is not entirely clear:  I believe it is a response to the ebbing away of well-paying manufacturing jobs across America.  But that logic is flawed: automation, the global economy and gutting of unions are the root causes for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US  (Even Trump’s companies are doing manufacturing overseas). However, we seem to be in a post-fact era; where it is easier to vilify a scapegoat than to address complex root causes.

We’re in an altered state of reality; where executive orders are issued based on alternative facts.  Lies are loudly and passionately presented as facts; as if volume and spittle can substitute for truth.

The comparisons to the Nazis become more relevant each day–it is  no longer far fetched speculation:  the administration is feeding a frenzy of unrest, hate, entitlement and victimization;  while placing the blame for a variety of woes on a particular religious group; which ultimately sets the stage for sanctions, hate crimes, and worse.

Press conferences are bizarre rants against the media and of self-promotion. Mainstream media is demonized and threatened when daring to challenge ‘alternative facts’. The media is being bullied into accepting everything said by the administration as the absolute truth–the true hallmark of a facist leader.

Trump does not even bother to provide a facade of separation of his personal interests from his presidential duties. Increasing his personal wealth and the wealth of his cronies is clearly a major priority for this administration, and he  does not see a problem with that.  My god, how much money does the man NEED before he can even consider being generous to others outside his inner circle?

Unfortunately, the core of the problem is one of temperament and character … it will not get better.  It is likely to get much worse before sufficient checks and balances kick in–due to Republican control of congress and (seemingly) significant swaths of the judicial branch.   Eventually, the media and the courts will be this administration’s most effective foes; we can only hope that a devastating war does not break out before then.

What can we DO now?   Donate to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood;  call and write senators and representatives;  march, protest, speak out.  And… reflect and retrospect.  Reflect on how we got here.  Reflect on the sense dis-enfranchisment that many American’s feel.  How can we find a common ground so that we are less divided?  How can we have a civil outcome if we cannot have a civil discourse?

And finally – how can we maintain any sense of inner peace with the crazy that is going on?  One of my wise FB friends suggests that each of us meditate for 10-20 minutes every day – with intentions of peace and love and letting go of hate.  I’m going to try it.  It will certainly be a better use of my time than another 10 minutes scrolling through my FB feed.

A New Reality

Anyone over the age of 25 will always remember where they were on 9/11 in 2001.  That was the day our sense of safety and blissful ignorance of global terrorism was shattered.

It was a normal Tuesday work day.   At the time, I was a lead for a large state-run project — with a large contingent of IT consultants, with origins from all over the globe, including  New York, China, Pakistan and India.  As I came out of my early morning meeting, we found the entire staff huddled around a small black and white television that someone had brought in.   I found a seat, and got ‘up to speed’ with what was happening– just before the first tower fell.

I will never forget the sensation of sitting in that room with colleagues from all around the world, reacting with horror as we watched the second tower fall.  We were facing an uncertain and frightening new reality.

Fast forward to Election night, 2016, when I felt the same mixture of horror and disbelief.  Only this time, it was not an outside evil inflicting violent radicalism and hate upon innocent citizens; this time the radicalism and message of hate has come from within.  As with 9/11, we are again facing an uncertain, yet frightening, new reality.

The dynamics behind a Trump presidency and the alt-right movement represents a national cancer that has been underestimated and untreated for too long.   We became complacent in our confidence that a racist, misogynist, mocker of the disabled and assaulter of women; could not possibly be elected to our country’s highest office.

We were fools.

We still have a moral imperative to stop Trump.  Having failed to keep him out of office; we are compelled to tirelessly resist his policies of fear and hate.  We are compelled, more than ever, to demonstrate kindness, support and love–especially in the face of mockery, injustice and fear.

Particularly in this season of post-election and pre-inaugeral limbo:  it is a great time to ponder on how we personally can get more involved and seek ways to be kind, supportive and helpful to others.

As the saying goes:  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.  (BTW – that is what George W. was trying to say here).

 

 

 

Walking the Dog: post election

My dog, Cleo, and I take a walk every morning –the length of which is subject to several variables such as weather and the sense of urgency I feel to hurry up and get to work.

Today, we had an extra long walk, as I took the opportunity to reflect on how to ‘BE’… how to conduct myself in the wake of last week’s election while attempting to maintain a degree of inner peace and equilibrium.

It is not a trivial question.  My world view has been rocked.  I spent last week in various stages of shock, grief and depression.  It is not because we have elected an amateur and thief to our highest office;  it is not because my candidate lost; and it is not because a Republican won. While those statements are all true — they are not the cause of my inner turmoil and occasional despair.

I despair because this man consistently demonstrated that he is a racist and a sexist;  yet we elected him anyway.   This man openly disdains and denigrates women, people of any color, Muslims, Mexicans,  immigrants, the disabled, the LGBT community, and more.  His promise to ‘Make America Great Again’  is a thinly veiled slogan for white supremacy.

This is not congruent with my beliefs or my sense of who we are as a nation.  He-who-shall-not-be-named,  his cronies, and their protect-the rich policies must be opposed vigorously and relentlessly by normal, decent people — like me. Like You.  We are reminded that “The only way for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing.”

The rabble-rouser in me has been awakened, and she is feeling kinda fierce:  I am determined to seek opportunities to speak and act out against the fear, hate and division that threatens our better selves.  I am determined to reflect kindness and unity and to seek opportunities to advocate for others who are in a threatened demographic.

As the dog and I rounded the home stretch on our walk:  I feel a bit better; but then I start to consider how to best engage or relate to those who support the president-elect.  This includes family members, co-workers and friends–many of whom are intelligent and educated.   My brother uses the words of a great teacher to explain them:  “Forgive them because they know not what they do”.

One thing I know for sure: Cleo and I will be taking many long walks this winter.