AuthoR
Alan Wallach

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About Trump – Written With Gravitas

In talking about Donald Trump I normally just string together a series of four letter words but I thought I would write something much longer with a bit more gravitas. The reason is twofold. First, I want to express my feelings about him and second, I know if it’s longer than 140 characters and has polysyllabic words, he won’t, (or can’t) read it which protects me from his need for retribution.
Trump doesn’t have the moral, ethical and legal standing to be president of the USA. That he was elected is an American tragedy and intensely offensive to someone like me who loves and served this country. I have had my disagreements, some small, some big, with all our presidents since I was old enough to be aware but not one of them ever made me ashamed to be an American. Trump does. In addition to his disgusting personality traits, he is already in violation of the constitution, a tax evader, dead beat, sociopath and last but not least, mentally disturbed and as I can assume from his current and past behavior, mentally deficient. He needs constant adulation so he is more concerned about his poll numbers, adoring crowds, and TVratings than anything else. When the contrary is reported, he attacks the messengers and lies about it, or in Orwellian newspeak expresses “alternate facts.” He surrounds himself with cronies who kiss or have kissed his ass, a basic requirement for a narcissist. I blame republicans who hide behind patriotism but for whom power and their jobs are more important than country. I refuse to believe they are supporting him because of his political views. The great irony is that if Trump succeeds in giving us what he promised, many of the people who supported him are the ones who will be the most hurt. For example, word is that if ACA is repealed, many rural hospitals in the heart of Trump country will have to close. Those who claim that liberals have forgotten them and supported Trump, I also blame on republicans, who blocked progress by democrats and especially our black president and then succeed in convincing their adoring voters that it’s the democrats at fault. I won’t deny that we democrats have much to do to combat the belief by some of our citizens that they have been forgotten but I don’t thing that will be too difficult. Republicans will do it for us. I have yet to see one thing on the republican agenda that does anything for the ordinary citizen.

The McCain Un-hearings

The much anticipated McCain hearing on Russian influence was a huge dud as a start to a new Senate. It accomplished absolutely nothing. It did show how smart the heads of their respective agencies are. But questions that should have been asked, weren’t. Did the Trump campaign know anything about the Russian hacking? How come the Russians could hack John Podesta’s emails but no one is capable of hacking Steve Bannon’s or Kellyanne Conway’s (or Paul Manafort’s) emails or, for that matter Trump’s taxes? It’s not worth bothering about Dimwit Donald’s emails because he can’t think of more than 140 characters at a time. But McCain showed himself again to be a “flash in the pan”, just like he did in 2008 when the economy crashed – splash with no substance. Obviously McConnell won that battle. I just wonder if the report to be furnished to President Obama will answer or at least address those questions.

American Incubus

I wake up every morning into an American nightmare. I still have not turned on TV news programs since the election and I definitely have more time in my day as a result. I read the NY Times in the morning and if it’s not there, I don’t give a shit. I’ve had enough talking heads to last a lifetime. I only hope that the democrats in congress show some balls. They do not have to accept easily this lunatic’s behavior without a fight If they do it right, we can change things in 2018. There’s nothing we can do about the bucket of deplorables. They will still be there but that’s not enough to keep republicans in the majority. It was the uninformed that did the democrats in. The xenophobes, racists and fanatic religious nuts are solidly thick-headed. Short of secession,(which is a real thought) there’s little we can change there. But the uninformed, we have to inform so that they don’t vote against their own self-interest. I’m sure we’ll have a lot to point out in two years. We can’t just fade away into the dust letting this great country be run by the lowest of the low, the insane and the dumb. Having finished writing this, I still can’t believe that insane egomaniac was elected.

Listen to What? Ignorance?

I am tired of hearing that we aren’t listening to the white people in the middle of our country and that we really need change. Yes we do need change. We democrats have been trying. But when working class voters overwhelmingly vote for republicans, against their own self interest and then continue to vote for the party that has screwed them and wants to continue screwing them they, and unfortunately we, get what we deserve. Washington is not broken. Republicans, yes republicans not Washington, have broken the government by saying no to everything President Obama tried to do. He brought us out of the economic morass despite republican obstruction. Then these same republicans ask for votes, and succeed in getting them, because the government is broken. Unfortunately, Trump does not have the intelligence, character, temperament and principles to bring about the change we need. If there were hope for optimism, just look at the people he is surrounding himself with. I doubt that he will ever be anyone’s president, let alone mine.

The Non-Partisan Argument

I know, rationally, that I shouldn’t be partisan, that I should tolerate other ideas and be open minded. But, heaven help me, that’s impossible with republicans. There are only two kinds of republicans: white, power hungry, blatantly selfish, short-sighted assholes and ignorant dopes. How does one compromise with that.Tolerate? No way, no f—– way. We are clearly two countries, and it appears that they are irreconcilable, and it will get much worse before it gets better.

Dear Donald

Dear Donald
How can you say the media is rigging the election? They are doing exactly what they did from the beginning (at least MSNBC News did). Only at the beginning, your nasty insults, chauvinism, xenophobia, misogyny etc. went over big with your bucket of deplorables (Hillary said half. I think a lot more than that) and gave you billions of free exposure and eventually the nomination against the republican clown car. People (everybody) told you over and over that it wouldn’t work in the general election. But you, you dope, knew better. You aren’t as smart as you say you are. You are a pig-headed smart ass. The media is doing nothing different now and didn’t change. But, unfortunately for you and lucky for the country, neither did you. And as you were warned, it went over like a lead balloon. You didn’t complain when the media said the same things at the beginning of your campaign. Why is it now rigging? Stop whining and go home.

More Rant on the Election Travesty

Having just listened to Morning Joe and the MSNBC talking heads ever so gentle admission that they were biased in the early days of the campaign, I was disgusted. They appeared to be deriding themselves, just a bit, in order to avoid the mantle of rigging the election given to them by Donald Trump,
We don’t need 24/7 news. There isn’t 24/7 news of interest to enough people watching. We need journalism and for the most part, we didn’t get it. We got cable news catering to whatever gave them ratings which was 24/7 Trump. The excuses given by assorted MSNBC talking heads were lame at best. Worse, they they ignored history or just plain were ignorant of it. One analogy drawn was the shift from Hubert Humphrey to George Wallace in 1968. A heavy reason for this was the disgust with Humphrey’s behavior, refusing to oppose Johnson’s Vietnam war stand. True, there were some in the south that had other leanings but Wallace was only serious because of the war. No one even cared to mention it. In fact, as one who lived through it, Humphrey finally accidentally came to his senses after he made an inadvertent comment, a convenient mistake, and many of the pols of the time were sure that given another couple of weeks, Humphrey, coming on strong would probably have won the election.
Ignoring Bernie Sanders was bad enough but TV’s job was not to give Trump hours and hours of free public exposure. I don’t think it was an accident. I clearly remember when a guest on MSNBC asked about Bernie Sanders huge rallies, he was told by Steve Kornacki “we’ll get to that another time.” When Trump came out with his Mexican declaration, the journalists should have run him out of town right at the beginning, which they could have done. The republican debates might have been about issues instead of Megan Kelly’s menstrual cycle, Jeb Bush’s energy, Ted Cruz’s father, poll numbers or Trump’s penis size. Then maybe the latent racism wouldn’t have been given legitimacy by Trump rallies.
Even now, treating Trump as a normal candidate by trying to be even-handed in these disgusting final days, is a disgrace. He is only a serious candidate because the TV news media created him. Who he is and his own mouth and the non-stop coverage which made him are now defeating him. Now is not the time to get a conscience. TV journalists should oppose Trump in the strongest terms, without apology. He is not a normal candidate, he is obviously mentally disturbed and they all know it.

The 2016 Election Travesty

It appears that after all the negative influence the media, particularly the TV news (MSNBC, CNN, FOX etc.), has had on this election, the end result may be where it should have been from the beginning. At least I hope so. For a year and a half, we have been, and are still listening to the ravings of a seriously disturbed candidate. The only thing lacking in Donald Trump’s resume is a term in a mental institution. One can only wonder why not.
The evolution of candidate Trump can be considered a perfect storm. The failure of the republican party to be a serious opposition party gave rise to what it is now, i.e. a predominately white, racist mob rallying around a demagogue who is using them, running against a serious, well prepared candidate, whose career had been misrepresented with calculated venom.
The republican party could have prevented the 17 candidate clown car from persisting, and stopped the lunatic Trump from jumping into the forefront. The TV media, ever since becoming a profit center instead of the public service entity it is licensed for, jumped onto the Trump lunacy to increase ratings, hung onto his every outrageous pronouncement and nurtured them to the conclusion, his nomination. To have treated him as a normal candidate, instead of an incredibly deficient personality was, in my mind, an indelible stain on the media. Having put their revenue ahead of their country, for me, they will never again be trusted.
Mr. Trump has a reputation as a tightwad and it’s been speculated by some who know him, that he has greatly exaggerated his wealth. Many have postulated and I have always felt, that without the free public media coverage, he would have ended his candidacy long ago and the American electorate might have had a rational choice. Consider that his every idiotic rant was on the 24/7 news channels all day long, repeated ad infinitum. No one from either party got any significant coverage. He literally sucked all the oxygen from the entire news spectrum.
We are fortunate that his news dominance is finally functioning to his disadvantage. It didn’t have to be that way. The media that greedily created Trump is, in spite of itself, destroying him. I still lose sleep over the possibility, however remote it might now be, that we could still be damned by a Trump presidency.

Cure for Drug Gouging.

It seems to me that the solution to the drug cost problem is to eliminate patent protection for drugs. This is so that there will be competition in the drug industry. The argument that we need incentives is bullshit. Let the drug companies that don’t like being prevented from screwing the public, go out of business. There will be others to take their place. In fact, an additional possibility is to treat the development and production of drugs like any other federal defense contract. The NIH should contract with the drug company to produce a solution (cure or treatment) for a particular ailment on a CPFF (Cost Plus Fixed Fee) basis which is how the government contracts for other things. This means the NIH sends out for bids for a particular solution and based on competitive CPFF estimates, which also considers the approach to the problem, awards a contract. If the drug companies won’t participate, no problem. There are a host of universities that will bid. For those of you that don’t know what CPFF is: If the cost exceeds estimate, the cost is reimbursed at the rate established in the bid. If the cost is less, the fee is still the same. This is an incentive to get finished below estimate. The fee is fixed as a percentage of the original bid. The costs themselves are audited. There can be no price gouging this way. Our greatest progress occurred without profit at medical and/or research facilities.

McLUHAN’S MESSAGE

This las year culminating in the nomination of Donald Trump has convinced me that the concept of the 24/7 news channel, which at one time seemed promising, is an unmitigated disaster. There is not enough significant news to fill the airways and pressed for profits (ratings) or they don’t survive, they opt for the most outrageous pieces of news. Then they select the ones that will produce ratings, regardless of their significance, and repeat them over and over and over supplemented by the views, with a few exceptions, of the most vapid talking heads. If it was benign, I could ignore it. But it produced a Donald Trump which removes it from the benign and puts it smack in the malignant category. And I’m watching it metastasize before my eyes. McLuhan was prescient.