Monday, July 24, 2017

just a little Trump rant

As my country is diminished tweet by tweet....

As it becomes fashionable to disavow responsibility for failures large and small....

As the inability to put forward a nation-building policy becomes ever more obvious....

As former coal miners sink still further into badly-wounded lives....

As the sick panic while they await health-care revisions that affect them positively....

As even the well-heeled must wonder when the gravy train is due ...

And as my nation has yet to see a single piece of standing-tall legislation become law....

It was somehow incongruous -- or was it congruent? -- to see the President Donald Trump on hand for the christening of the navy's latest aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford on July 22.  With its five-acre flight deck and a commissioning date originally planned for 2015, the $12.9-billion  behemoth enjoyed a star-studded send-off in Norfolk, Va., that was patriotic in the way that such events always are. At last (perhaps), the ship had outlived its cost overruns.

Oops! Delete that. The Government Accounting Office says ( it will take another $780 million over several years before the Ford is ready for deployment.

Let's take a rough conservative guess and call the final cost around $14 billion.

I realize that it is a time-honored political tactic, when a politician has nothing constructive to offer, to raise issues that will frighten the public. An aircraft carrier will protect us from dangers too awful to name or analyze. Boy, am I glad we've got a $14 billion aircraft carrier! Or think "terrorism" -- same stuff, different verbiage: If the public can be scared, perhaps they will miss the tweet-tweet-tweet of my country diminishing, of the failure to deliver on promises, or of the inability to take responsibility for what the president initiated.

The buck always stops there, to hear Donald Trump tell it.  He's willing to take credit. Just don't mention the buck-bedecked blame.

Only, of course, the buck stops here -- with me and my taxes and you and yours. I wonder how much healthcare you could buy with $14 billion; how much tax relief, even for those who don't need it; or how many infrastructure projects that might pay a man or woman more than burger-flipping wages.

Susan Ford Bales, the daughter of former Republican President Gerald R. Ford, after whom the aircraft carrier is named, was also on hand on Saturday. And it was she who sounded the music I like hearing as Donald Trump deconstructs and defames my tweet-worn country.

Asked what might be learned from her Republican father's presidency, she said, "The one thing we can learn is working together. Democratic, Republican, whatever — we work together, and we need to do what is best for the country.
“As long as you put your country in front of you and make that your basis, I think you have a chance of good success. But you've got to work together. And if not, we're not going to go anywhere."

Of course when we don't work together we do in fact go somewhere. It's just that that "somewhere" is impoverished in fact and in spirit.


  1. It's not encouraging. Bill Hicks used to end every show with the statement that if we reduced the defense budget to something akin to other countries, we could feed and care for everyone as well as explore space together. But there's money in war making, just ask general Smedley Butler.

  2. New lows yesterday.

    Trump gave one of his typical self-promotional political speeches to The Boy Scouts of America. Yep. The Boys Scouts.

    Many members of The Boy Scouts of America gave him enthusiastic support. They enthusiastically supported a man who daily tramples on all of the fundamental principles of Boy Scouts of America.

    For the basic principles of the BSA see I have pulled out much of what in the law and posted it here with some comments.

    Trustworthy. A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
    (Mr. Trump & the Truth. Hmmm….)

    Loyal. A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and _nation_.
    (Is Mr. Trump True to the Nation? Not unless you redefine the word “nation.”)

    Helpful. A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.

    Friendly. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.

    Courteous. A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.

    Kind. A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.

    A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, *he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them*.

    Cheerful. A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
    (Recall Mr. Trump’s Inauguration Address?)

    Thrifty. A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
    (At the rate he’s been spending money on vacations, Mr. Trump will spend more in one year than Mr. Obama spent in 8 years,)

    Brave. A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.
    (We can give Trump this if he didn’t deflect, finger point and lie as much as he does.)

    Clean.A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.
    (This untruth would be hilarious if you don’t think about the low lives we know Trump hangs with.)

    Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.