Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Yes, We All Worry About A President Pence

If the job is a gamble for Pence, he himself is something of a gamble for the country. During the tumultuous 2016 Presidential campaign, relatively little attention was paid to how Pence was chosen, or to his political record. 

And, with all the infighting in the new Administration, few have focussed on Pence’s power within the White House. Newt Gingrich told me recently that the three people with the most policy influence in the Administration are Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Pence. Gingrich went on, “Others have some influence, such as Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn. But look at the schedule. Pence has lunches with the President. He’s in the national-security briefings.” Moreover, and crucially, Pence is the only official in the White House who can’t be fired.


Pence, who declined requests for an interview, is also one of the few with whom Trump hasn’t overtly feuded. “The President considers him one of his best decisions,” Tony Fabrizio, a pollster for Trump, told me. Even so, they are almost comically mismatched. “You end up with an odd pair of throwbacks from fifties casting,” the former White House strategist Stephen Bannon joked, comparing them to Dean Martin, the bad boy of the Rat Pack, and “the dad on ‘Leave It to Beaver.’ ”

Trump and Pence are misaligned politically, too. Trump campaigned as an unorthodox outsider, but Pence is a doctrinaire ideologue. Kellyanne Conway, the White House counsellor, who became a pollster for Pence in 2009, describes him as “a full-spectrum conservative” on social, moral, economic, and defense issues. Pence leans so far to the right that he has occasionally echoed A.C.L.U. arguments against government overreach; he has, for instance, supported a federal shield law that would protect journalists from having to identify whistle-blowers. According to Bannon, Pence is “the outreach guy, the connective tissue” between the Trump Administration and the most conservative wing of the Republican establishment. “Trump’s got the populist nationalists,” Bannon said. “But Pence is the base. Without Pence, you don’t win.”

Pence has taken care to appear extraordinarily loyal to Trump, so much so that Joel K. Goldstein, a historian and an expert on Vice-Presidents who teaches law at St. Louis University, refers to him as the “Sycophant-in-Chief.” But Pence has the political experience, the connections, the discipline, and the ideological mooring that
Trump lacks.
He also has a close relationship with the conservative billionaire donors who have captured the Republican Party’s agenda in recent years.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump characterized the Republican Party’s big spenders as “highly sophisticated killers” whose donations allowed them to control politicians. When he declared his candidacy, he claimed that, because of his real-estate fortune, he did not need support from “rich donors,” and he denounced super pacs, their depositories of unlimited campaign contributions, as “corrupt.” Pence’s political career, though, has been sponsored at almost every turn by the donors whom Trump has assailed. Pence is the inside man of the conservative money machine.

Read the article in The New Yorker.

On Election Night, the dissonance between Trump’s populist supporters and Pence’s billionaire sponsors was quietly evident. When Trump gave his acceptance speech, in the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, he vowed to serve “the forgotten men and women of our country,” and promised to “rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, and hospitals.” Upstairs, in a room reserved for Party √©lites, several of the richest and most conservative donors, all of whom support drastic reductions in government spending, were celebrating. Doug Deason, a Texas businessman and a political donor, recalled to me, “It was amazing. In the V.I.P. reception area, there was an even more V.I.P. room, and I counted at least eight or nine billionaires.”

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Trumpers' Economic Policies Wrong For Us, Great For The Rich

This piece by Professor Krugman is eight months old yet it speaks, critically and very pertinently, to our present predicament. 


When unemployment is high you deficit spend. When it is low, like right now, you do not, so as not to compete with the private sector. Basic Economics 101 really.


But the government now, is doing the very thing--deficit spending--that's not called for . For the rich, however, it's just what the doctor ordered. What the Trump-Putin administration (as Krugman dubs it) is doing is meant to give more loot to the rich.  Simultaneously, and naturally  enough, there will be less income for the already cash-strapped people. That would be us, you and me!


". . . an economy far from full employment. That was the kind of economy President Obama inherited; but the Trump-Putin administration will, instead, come into power at a time when full employment has been more or less restored."



Read prof. Krugman's editorial from January right here.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bill Moyers: Renowned Psychiatrist Warns That Trump Is a Danger to Us All @alternet

Bill Moyers: Renowned Psychiatrist Warns That Trump Is a Danger to Us All @alternet: 'We have a duty to warn if someone may be dangerous to others.' There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than



The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts to assess President Trump’s mental health. They had come together last March at a conference at Yale University to wrestle with two questions.

Friday, September 15, 2017

"Marie" written by Townes (arr Ron Talley)11 16 15


A song about the homeless in our midst.  Townes Van Zandt was one great man.
This one here is one of my most popular.  I thank Townes for that.  Townes said in one of the performances of this song I heard, "This is a song about our homeless brothers and sisters."  So, so artfully composed, my friends, and for someone trying to write songs as I am, it's both an inspiration and a reminder how much BETTER he was at it than I'll probably ever be!!!

Ron​ Talley

"Marie" written by Townes (arr Ron Talley)11 16 15

A song about the homeless in our midst.  Townes Van Zandt was one great man.
This one here is one of my most popular.  I thank Townes for that.  Townes said in one of the performances of this song I heard, "This is a song about our homeless brothers and sisters."  So, so artfully composed, my friends, and for someone trying to write songs as I am, it's both an inspiration and a reminder how much BETTER he was at it than I'll probably ever be!!!

Ron​ Talley

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Forget Spin. Plain Dishonesty Is Trump Policy Says Prof. Krugman

Reposted from 

The latest big buzz is about Jeff Sessions, the attorney general. It turns out that he lied during his confirmation hearings, denying that he had met with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

In fact, he met twice with the Russian ambassador, who is widely reported to also be a key spymaster.
Not incidentally, if this news hadn’t come to light, forcing Sessions to recuse himself, he would have supervised the investigation into Russian election meddling, possibly in collusion with the Trump campaign.


But let’s not focus too much on Sessions. After all, he is joined in the Cabinet by Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, who lied to Congress about his use of a private email account; Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, who lied about a sweetheart deal to purchase stock in a biotechnology company at a discount; and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who falsely told Congress that his financial firm didn’t engage in “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents, seizing homes without proper consideration.

And they would have served with Michael Flynn as national security adviser but for the fact that Flynn was forced out after the press discovered th nat, like Sessions, he had lied about contacts with the Russian ambassador.
At this point it’s easier to list the Trump officials who haven’t been caught lying under oath than those who have. This is not an accident.

Critics of our political culture used to complain, with justification, about politicians’ addiction to spin — their inveterate habit of playing down awkward facts and presenting their actions in a much better light than they deserved.

But all indications are that the age of spin is over. It has been replaced by an era of raw, shameless dishonesty.
In part, of course, the pervasiveness of lies reflects the character of the man at the top: No president, or for that matter major US political figure of any kind, has ever lied as freely and frequently as Donald Trump. But this isn’t just a Trump story. His ability to get away with it, at least so far, requires the support of many enablers: Almost all of his party’s elected officials, a large bloc of voters and, all too often, much of the news media.

Read Professor K's piece in The Times for March 3, 2017.
krugman#sthash.aylCubpK.dpuf

Trump Going Over The Edge; A Matter Of Time Now



  He ain't my president; my president was Black.


Well, the shit is piled so high and deep now it matters not what he says, doesn't say, or tweets.  The President Of The United States is mentally ill.   So plain to see that! 

Krugman said it straight away, from the start.  The Right Wing press, naturally, tried to dismiss Prof. Krugman.  (Which of them has a Nobel Prize?)  




The world is laughing at the U.S. and truthfully I don't blame them one bit.  

From the article:

"Mr. Trump also made it clear that even now –- with the benefit of hindsight -– he does not accept the overwhelming criticism that he should have reserved his condemnation for the white supremacist and Nazi groups.

But referring to the reporters assembled, he insisted that he had watched the protests “much more closely than you people watched it.” He said that he believes there were “bad” people on both sides, and he criticized other [sic] for being unwilling to say that."

Read it here in its entirety.