Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FBI - Biblical Treachery at High Levels

Memorializing the Twisted Legacy of J. Edgar Hoover
The FBI and the DOJ have insinuated
 themselves into the politics of US democracy before.
Just not like they did this time.

The Americans have seen the electoral mischief which marks the operation of the "new order." We have had one President essentially elected by a suspiciously obedient Supreme Court. Given this, although historically depressing,  it is not particularly shocking to watch another "President" as he is materially "assisted" by the machinations of the previously fairly respectable and trustworthy, FBI.

1952-72: UNITED STATES. For two decades,FBI Director
 J. "Edna" Hoover and his lover, miraculously promoted
 FBI Assistant DirectorClyde Tolson, spend extended summer
  vacations at the Del Charro,  La Jolla, California
Of course, the FBI hasn't always enjoyed the somewhat acceptable reputation attributed to it these days. Most of this previously famous, meat handed reputation was accumulated under the quivering hand of J. Edgar Hoover. As FBI Director Hoover suffered under a tragic, homosexual, self-hating mania, with a violent bent for eliminating all possible political "complications" which might have interfered with his raw ambition for power, not to mention those who were merely "irritants" to his numerous "other" psychological sensitivities.

After J. Edgar Hoover's death in 1972 Congress began a decades long effort [Congress actually did such things back then.] to restore the FBI to some semblance of its intended, legal role.

After nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), J. Edgar Hoover dies, leaving the powerful government agency without the administrator who had been largely responsible for its existence and shape.

By the time Hoover entered service under his eighth president in 1969, the media, the public, and Congress had grown suspicious that the FBI might be abusing its authority. For the first time in his bureaucratic career, Hoover endured widespread criticism, and Congress responded by passing laws requiring Senate confirmation of future FBI directors and limiting their tenure to 10 years. On May 2, 1972, with the Watergate affair about to explode onto the national stage, J. Edgar Hoover died of heart disease at the age of 77. The Watergate affair subsequently revealed that the FBI had illegally protected President Richard Nixon from investigation, and the agency was thoroughly investigated by Congress. Revelations of the FBI’s abuses of power and unconstitutional surveillance motivated Congress and the media to become more vigilant in future monitoring of the FBI.
[Excerpted. Read the entire article about Hoover's demise  here -]

FBI - Rehabilitated, Then Corrupted -- Again
Stuff "happens" when it becomes necessary to make crimes legal.
Not trusting yourself or anybody else doesn't help.

By the time Bush W. had begun his disastrous Administration the agency had recovered much its reputation as a "straight shooting," professional department filled with competent government servants. Unhappily, "The W," undoubtedly influenced by the horrible Administration officials surrounding him [George W. Bush was, it turns out, dangerously naive and credulous.], appointed a "highly soiled" group of strangely untrustworthy collaborators into positions of power, including not just obedient advisers but also a collection of remarkably conflicted types into the Department of Justice and to the position of US Attorney General.

This much is ancient history. "The W." needed some actively sympathetic "cover" for the things he intended to do as President. The final consequences of this emerged "front and center" as the FBI lurched into partisan politics eleven days before the 2016 Presidential election. The results were catastrophic -- even worse than the most pessimistic estimates made at the time. 

This marked a turning point in the gradual demise of democracy in the United States. Although it may be too late to effect any beneficial change in the outcome, it remains a valuable goal to understand the mechanism which allowed this unusual treachery to deal the "death blow" to such an established process. There are a good number of "moving parts" to the scheme, so let's get busy.

How the FBI Became Permanently Crippled
What un-elected President would want 
hordes of uncontrollable G-Men prowling around at full strength
 while he was torturing people, racking up the national debt, 
illegally spying on everyone in the country, lying to the public 
and destroying the economy while starting his own oil wars for fun and profit?
Now, thanks in part to the corrupt FBI, we have another un-elected President.

Okay, right. George W. was, in fact, not the brightest candle on the oligarchs' altar, and he was able to be effortlessly manipulated by all the creature-like fascists he had packed into the White House, but was he this incompetent? Really?

Yeah. The damage done to the FBI during his watch had to have been organized by those several "pay rates" above the war mongering Connecticut Texan in the boots and the cowboy hat.

The corruption injected into the bowels of the FBI at the time was like a dental cavity which took several years to become a gut wrenching, brain numbing, painful nightmare, but, in time, it accomplished precisely this outcome. Worse, the task of wrecking the FBI was not his only anti-democratic project, either, but MeanMesa will reserve a discussion of those for other posts.

Here's how it unfolded.

Years ago, a constantly chortling, liquid tongued con man and televangelist, Pat Robertson, had amassed enough "love offerings" to finance his very own "university." Reverend Robertson had some significant other great business ideas, too. These included looting more than a few "drips and drops" from his annual "love offering" accounts for all sorts of other, self serving purposes beyond simply "carrying the good news" -- for example, purposes such as using his tax deductible "church cargo planes" for highly profitable transportation to and from his blood diamond mines in Africa.

Just a Wee Bit About Dominionists
 and Coerced Righteousness
Even when they complain, just remember that it is all for their own good.
What follows is a quick visit to America's "nest"
 of judicially enforced, political evangelism.

Reverend Pat is what we call a Christian "Domionist." A thorough understanding of this term, "Dominionist," will be essential to explain the rest of this story.

It's all about "convenience."

A "Dominionist" is, in most cases, mindlessly pursuing one of the "governing doctrines" of a self-proclaimed "hand of God" mandate to rid the world of sin and sinners. Of course, all the definitions of such states as "sin" and "sinners" can be conveniently derived from what are often called "interpretations" of various sections of the Christian Bible.

It turns out that not only are these "interpretations" conveniently available to the "Dominionists," but the content and application of these "interpretations" as they pertain to "correcting" the sinful lives of others also proves to be "quite conveniently fluid." A further convenience -- again, as "conveniently interpreted" by "conveniently conflicted" preachers from various passages of selected scriptures -- is the complete acquittal of any measures taken by those "chosen by God, himself" to eliminate these "sins" and "sinners."

Good Christian, American Republicans
 love this stuff.
The "acquittal" idea assures these "soldiers following the divine orders" that no matter how detestable their "inspired social and spiritual purification" efforts might become, and no matter what suffering or injustices may be the unavoidable, added consequences of such efforts, absolutely everything will be completely forgiven when these long suffering types stand at the "Pearly Gate" of judgment. It is in the cases when one or more of these "spiritual warriors against sin" exercises an option for one of these specific, divine "acquittals," that the familiar, inevitable, "miserable" outcomes here in this "sinful world" become instantly evident. 

While all of this may seem to be little more than pointless ranting and railing, it is actually chillingly relevant. This "Dominionist world view" is precisely what is relentlessly injected into the minds of the young students at Pat's "university." To put it bluntly, during the time of their "education" there, these, otherwise more or less normal, boys and girls are "reconstituted" into fire breathing "Dominionists."

At first none of this particularly mattered, but then, at a certain point, Pat suddenly had the idea that if his "university" took the business decision of starting a "law school," it would result in the creation of literally hordes of "Dominionist lawyers." Of course even the best "graduates" of this "law school" were terrible lawyers. Their priorities had been permanently twisted away from those usual priorities held a normal lawyer into the grotesque priorities of doing absolutely anything possible to "rid the world of sin."

In no time there were literally hundreds or thousands of these unemployable "sin fighting" lawyers standing around after graduating from Pat's special law school.

Where could they possibly find a job?

We are now ready to return to the tale of how the FBI became so corrupted.

George W.'s Strange Attorneys General
 and Lots of New "Civil Servants" for the DOJ and FBI
Law enforcement becomes much easier when it's Biblical

Once the "packed" Supreme Court handed Bush W. the Presidency, his Texas "Bible Study" crowd suddenly found themselves enjoying all the power necessary to continue their Dominionist ambitions. [The routinely tipsy George W. claimed that the time he spent in the Bible study had "saved" him from his cocaine and whiskey habits. There is plenty of evidence indicating otherwise. The Doubtful Faith of George W./SLATE

Bush W's first Attorney General was John Ashcroft. Ashcroft had plenty of Dominionist indoctrination during his childhood in an Assembly of God household. Ashcroft's father had been President of Central Bible College. Bush's torture regime began under Attorney General Ashcroft.

It turns out that Dominionists have very few problems with torturing people to a grisly death.

Bush replaced Ashcroft [Who resigned after the first Bush term.] with his General Counsel, Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales had been a Supreme Court Justice for Texas during the period when that state had the highest number of criminal death penalty executions. Continuing in his "righteousness seeking" bloodbath habits, Gonzales was the legal genius who approved the memo authorizing torture, backing up his decision with a formal opinion that the provisions of the Geneva Convention were no longer applicable and obsolete. [Alberto Gonzales/AmericanProgress]

However, having been placed in a position of power to undertake such a scheme, Dominionists such as Ashcroft and Gonzales, now ensconced in the Bush W. Administration, began to recruit these otherwise unemployable Regency Law School graduates as civil servants by the dozens, largely into the Department of Justice.

Of course, very few of these new employees were even remotely competent. That was far from the primary consideration for the merits of the "packing job." Importantly, these "new hires" were civil servants. This means that they were permanent. Had they been "appointments," they would have been subject to a "house cleaning" under a new Administration.

Instead, the plan was to so thoroughly saturate these Federal offices with like-minded, Dominionist types as to permanently twist the DOJ's previous priorities concerning the enforcement of law as specified under Constitutional requirements. Although it would take a considerable passage of time before these new DOJ employees would consolidate their influence and move up in the ranks at the DOJ, the "seed had been planted."

Elections - By the Modern "FBI" Method
Quit screaming, and get used to it.

It is no secret that the Republican "dirt digging factory," with the assistance of various, complicit "co-conspirators" such as FOX News and others, undertook a decades long, industrial effort to permanently fix into the public consciousness the idea that Hillary Clinton had done at least "something" illegal with her private email server. For those few American voters interested enough to explore the facts of these allegations, it was clear enough that no secrets had been lost to the country's enemies and, thanks to the arm twisted FBI Director, James Comey, that no "prosecutable" offense had ever been committed.

It turns out that the "remaining" American voters -- that is, other than the few who bothered to understand this -- had essentially no idea about even what a "private email server" might be and absolutely no inclination to ever find out anything about the right wing "hissy fit" manufactured for their consumption by the GOP's think tanks.

Well, as the campaigns rolled along toward the November election, a reactionary right winger somewhere in the bowels of the GOP's industrial election machine noticed that the public opinion rage about Hillary's emails had calmed to the equivalent of barely smoking embers. Worse, at least for the GOP, the political entropy resulting from the developing of this gradual "lack of interest" had tipped the polls strongly into Hillary's favor.

Something simply had to be done.

We are all painfully familiar with exactly what that "something" was to be. Eleven days prior to the election, FBI Director Comey sent a letter to various Republican Congressmen to inform them that additional evidence "might possibly" have been "discovered" in Weiner's confiscated computer.

Two days prior to Comey's letter to the Congressmen, political "has been" and Trump apologist, Rudy Guiliani, after a corpse-like chortle during an interview with a FOX host, announced that "We have a trick up our sleeves." [Guliani and Trump Campaign "Smelling a Rat"/DailyKOS]

Now, exactly how did Guliani know this far ahead of time that Comey intended to sabotage the Clinton campaign with his letter? Although there are plenty of reasons why the FBI Director's "participation/intervention" was far from the sole reason for the Trump election, it was almost certainly a complicit, material factor which contributed to the disastrous outcome.

Comey's letter was very, very far "over the line" for FBI official behavior. Guliani's chortling acknowledgment of the plan on FOX is damning evidence that not only did Comey premeditate his illegal intervention, some FBI employees who were privy to his intentions "leaked" the information to Guliani.

Well now. Precisely which FBI employees might have made this "leak?"

Guliani, a previous New York city Mayor, had also been a DOJ prosecutor in New York. He was quite well connected to the New York office of the FBI.

Of course, there still remains the question of why "Constitution loving" FBI employees in the New York office would have stooped low enough to engage in such anti-democracy actions.

Not a problem. These are Domionists. Constitutional law means very little to them. They feel entirely empowered to do anything and take any action to further distort "Earthly events" in preparation for the joyful delight of the "Second Coming." 
Additional Reading
We should probably be familiar with what finally happened to US democracy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Trump as Sulla - Just A Little Roman History

Why Sulla?
What Can Be Gained By Comparing Trump to Sulla?
Although far from a "perfect match," there remains plenty to be gained.
Often enough the questions and mysteries of today 
can be illuminated by examining lessons from the past.

When we search out historical similarities, we must not insist that every parallel be embraced. Often, the "larger" story contains just enough redeeming, vital consistency with the object of our inquiry to validate its use for such a purpose.

Aside from far too many, glittering, titillating media sneezes, Donald Trump is an unknown. Thanks to an utterly useless, policy free campaign with Mrs. Clinton, Americans are "left in the dark" with respect to the man's "fundamentals" of both deeply held philosophical beliefs and the more material intentions for his Presidency. There are not even many reassuring details to be derived from the demographic nature of his incredibly opaque voter base.  

Evidence of this can be found in the wildly inaccurate polling conducted by this media at every phase of his ascension. The moribund, out of date, inaccurate processes and conclusions of the Fourth Estate's "investigative attempts" allegedly aimed at discerning the future outcome of an election is ample evidence that more or less "normal" presumptions were woefully insufficient to penetrate the political reality of the election.

Worse, there are no "reflective historical touch points" which might lend some useful insight to us in better understanding the situation. This has really never "happened" here before.

A High Desert Blog Presents Ancient Roman History
MeanMesa cordially invites visitors to indulge the experiment.

For this reason we find it necessary to "widen our view" in hopes of detecting these historical similarities which, upon a review, might help clarify our speculation as to "what is coming next." Happily, the chronicles of the governments of ancient Rome can help.

Even the sheer idea of this is wonderfully "blog-like." 

"Do you mean that you intend to post lengthy excerpts from pre-Imperial Roman history in order to draw conclusions about the President-elect?"

Not a problem. The greatly appreciated visitors to this blog are readers. Although President-elect Trump has already announced his somewhat narcissistic vendetta to "get even" with the cruel press which has dared criticize him, MeanMesa is hardly concerned that some of his censoring vitriol will visit here. 

The Trump voters don't read. 

In fact the Trump cabinet doesn't seem to read much, either

As a result it is safe to expect that Short Current Essays will remain comfortably below the "Trump radar" while this maniac unleashes his Presidential powers for vengeance on the "bigger fish." 

Trump as Sulla
Acknowledging the dis-similarities

Sulla was a respected military leader. Clearly a brave Roman, he very effectively served to face the Republic's military challenges in many of the "trouble spots" which arose in the Roman hegemony. The Romans of this period were quite proud of themselves for having maintained their "republic," although this form of government was ruled largely by the Roman Senate. After elevating himself to "dictator," Sulla was the first, notable exception to this status quo.

While many of us continue to rely on depictions of ancient Rome in terms of the sets of modern cinemas about ancient Rome, it is important to understand that these were real people -- in many ways still suspiciously similar to our modern contemporary peers.

Sulla, according to numerous contemporary accounts, was determined to strengthen the rule of the Roman Constitution and re-affirming what were, at the time, widely considered to be Roman cultural values. Something of an opportunist, Sulla assisted other disgruntled -- and ambitious -- Romans of his day in fomenting two violent civil wars which were, in the bigger picture, the ground work for the later imperial dreams of Julius Caesar. 

At this point we have no way of knowing whether or not this last part will turn out to be a dis-similarity or an "expectation."

Trump as Sulla - Two Articles
The similarities
Here's the history you were warned about earlier.
See if you can detect the "similarities" which are concerning MeanMesa.
Just allow your own thoughts to seek out the relevance.

First Article - WIKI:

Dictatorship and constitutional reforms

[MeanMesa recommends that visitors keep a dictionary handy.  Excerpted. Links remain enabled, but footnote notations have been deleted for ease in reading. Visit the original article here Sulla/WIKI]

At the end of 82 BC or the beginning of 81 BC, the Senate appointed Sulla dictator legibus faciendis et reipublicae constituendae causa ("dictator for the making of laws and for the settling of the constitution"). The "Assembly of the People" subsequently ratified the decision, with no limit set on his time in office. Sulla had total control of the city and republic of Rome, except for Hispania (which Marius's general Quintus Sertorius had established as an independent state). This unusual appointment (used hitherto only in times of extreme danger to the city, such as during the Second Punic War, and then only for 6-month periods) represented an exception to Rome's policy of not giving total power to a single individual. Sulla can be seen as setting the precedent for Julius Caesar's dictatorship, and for the eventual end of the Republic under Augustus.
In total control of the city and its affairs, Sulla instituted a series of proscriptions (a program of executing those whom he perceived as enemies of the state). Plutarch states in his "Life" of Sulla (XXXI): "Sulla now began to make blood flow, and he filled the city with deaths without number or limit", further alleging that many of the murdered victims had nothing to do with Sulla, though Sulla killed them to "please his adherents".
"Sulla immediately proscribed eighty persons without communicating with any magistrate. As this caused a general murmur, he let one day pass, and then proscribed two hundred and twenty more, and again on the third day as many. In an harangue to the people, he said, with reference to these measures, that he had proscribed all he could think of, and as to those who now escaped his memory, he would proscribe them at some future time." -Plutarch, Life of Sulla (XXXI)
The proscriptions are widely perceived as a response to similar killings which Marius and Cinna had implemented while they controlled the Republic during Sulla's absence. Proscribing or outlawing every one of those whom he perceived to have acted against the best interests of the Republic while he was in the East, Sulla ordered some 1,500 nobles (i.e., senators and equites) executed, although it is estimated that as many as 9,000 people were killed. The purge went on for several months. Helping or sheltering a proscribed person was punishable by death, while killing a proscribed person was rewarded with two talents. Family members of the proscribed were not excluded from punishment, and slaves were not excluded from rewards. As a result, "husbands were butchered in the arms of their wives, sons in the arms of their mothers". The majority of the proscribed had not been enemies of Sulla, but instead were killed for their property, which was confiscated and auctioned off. The proceeds from auctioned property more than made up for the cost of rewarding those who killed the proscribed, making Sulla even wealthier. Possibly to protect himself from future political retribution, Sulla had the sons and grandsons of the proscribed banned from running for political office, a restriction not removed for over 30 years.
The young Caesar, as Cinna's son-in-law, became one of Sulla's targets and fled the city. He was saved through the efforts of his relatives, many of whom were Sulla's supporters, but Sulla noted in his memoirs that he regretted sparing Caesar's life, because of the young man's notorious ambition. The historian Suetonius records that when agreeing to spare Caesar, Sulla warned those who were pleading his case that he would become a danger to them in the future, saying: "In this Caesar there are many Mariuses."
Sulla, who opposed the Gracchian popularis reforms, was an optimate; though his coming to the side of the traditional Senate originally could be described as more reactionary when dealing with the Tribunate and legislative bodies, while more visionary when reforming the court system, governorships and membership of the Senate. As such, he sought to strengthen the aristocracy, and thus the Senate. Sulla retained his earlier reforms, which required senatorial approval before any bill could be submitted to the Plebeian Council (the principal popular assembly), and which had also restored the older, more aristocratic "Servian" organization to the Centuriate Assembly (assembly of soldiers). Sulla, himself a patrician and thus ineligible for election to the office of Plebeian Tribune, thoroughly disliked the office. As Sulla viewed the office, the Tribunate was especially dangerous and his intention was to not only deprive the Tribunate of power, but also of prestige. (Sulla himself had been officially deprived of his eastern command through the underhand activities of a tribune. Over the previous three hundred years, the tribunes had directly challenged the patrician class and attempted to deprive it of power in favor of the plebeian class.) Through Sulla's reforms to the Plebeian Council, tribunes lost the power to initiate legislation. Sulla then prohibited ex-tribunes from ever holding any other office, so ambitious individuals would no longer seek election to the Tribunate, since such an election would end their political career. Finally, Sulla revoked the power of the tribunes to veto acts of the Senate, although he left intact the tribunes' power to protect individual Roman citizens.
Sulla then increased the number of magistrates elected in any given year, and required that all newly elected quaestors gain automatic membership in the Senate. These two reforms were enacted primarily to allow Sulla to increase the size of the  from 300 to 600 senators. This also removed the need for the censor to draw up a list of senators, since there were always more than enough former magistrates to fill the senate. To further solidify the prestige and authority of the Senate, Sulla transferred the control of the courts from the equites, who had held control since the Gracchi reforms, to the senators. This, along with the increase in the number of courts, further added to the power that was already held by the senators. Sulla also codified, and thus established definitively, the cursus honorum, which required an individual to reach a certain age and level of experience before running for any particular office. Sulla also wanted to reduce the risk that a future general might attempt to seize power, as he himself had done. To this end he reaffirmed the requirement that any individual wait for ten years before being reelected to any office. Sulla then established a system where all consuls and praetors served in Rome during their year in office, and then commanded a provincial army as a governor for the year after they left office.
Finally, in a demonstration of his absolute power, Sulla expanded the "Pomerium", the sacred boundary of Rome, untouched since the time of the kings. Sulla's reforms both looked to the past (often re-passing former laws) and regulated for the future, particularly in his redefinition of maiestas (treason) laws and in his reform of the Senate.
Near the end of 81 BC, Sulla, true to his traditionalist sentiments, resigned his dictatorship, disbanded his legions and re-established normal consular government. He stood for office (with Metellus Pius) and won election as consul for the following year, 80 BC. He dismissed his lictors and walked unguarded in the Forum, offering to give account of his actions to any citizen.
(In a manner that the historian Suetonius thought arrogant, Julius Caesar would later mock Sulla for resigning the Dictatorship.)

Second Article - Ancient History Encyclopedia:
[Excerpted. Links remain enabled.  Visit the original article  here Ancient EU]

 Sulla [Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix][image]
Sulla used his unlimited power to unilaterally reform the Republic into his ideal form of government. He curtailed the power of the tribunes of the people who were sacrosanct elected officials with immense veto powers and the ability to circumvent the Senate by introducing legislation directly to the People’s Assembly. Sulla restricted their power by requiring all legislation to first be approved by the Senate, greatly increasing its influence. He established the requisite ages for officeholders and the order in which the offices could be held along the cursus honorum (the Roman political ladder), and he packed the Senate with his supporters. He set the maximum prices for many goods, services, and also limited interest rates. He even sold tax immunity to certain cities, and he unpopularly abolished the grain dole. For all of his efforts, many of his reforms were quickly repealed, some by his allies, Pompey and Crassus.

If this was the extent of his dictatorship, then perhaps he would be remembered differently, but Sulla instituted the proscriptions, which cemented his transformation into a bloody tyrant. Each day, he posted a list of condemned Romans in the forum whose property was to be confiscated and whose murder would be rewarded with a bounty from the state. Once the deed was done, Sulla personally inspected the severed heads of the slain, which served as decorations for his home and the forum. Thousands were added to the proscription lists with or without just cause. A young Julius Caesar was proscribed for no other reason than he refused to divorce his wife, Cinna’s daughter. Sulla’s deputy, Crassus, placed men on the proscription lists simply because he coveted their estates, and various names were posthumously added to justify their unauthorized murders. The purge lasted for months and led to the deaths of an uncertain number from Rome’s upper classes, estimated at perhaps 1,000-9,000 killed. However, under Sulla’s rule, the deceased were also at risk. He ordered the corpse of his nemesis Marius to be removed from its crypt, dragged throughout the city, and torn to pieces.

In 81 BCE, when Sulla was convinced that he had created a stable government and eradicated all potential threats, he technically resigned from the dictatorship. However, he remained in power by serving as consul for 80 BCE, but after his term, he settled into partial retirement. As he set aside ultimate authority, a man ostensibly bombarded him with insults, but the once violent dictator passively received the abuse and exclaimed, “This yob will ensure that no-one else will ever relinquish supreme power.”

One day during 78 BCE, while screaming for a corrupt official’s strangulation, he began to hemorrhage orally and died the following morning, likely caused by chronic alcohol abuse. His remains were interred into his tomb with an epitaph purportedly written by Sulla himself that roughly read: “No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full.”

Sulla steadfastly defended Rome, its interests, and the republican status quo for much of his career, and if that was the breadth of his life’s work, then he would undoubtedly be hailed as a heroic guardian of the Republic. However, his exploits went far beyond this. He allegedly wanted to repair the fragile republican government, but he implemented reforms through brutal force. He violently, unnecessarily, and unconstitutionally seized control of the government and presided over a reign of indiscriminate terror, a lesson for future power-hungry generals, including Julius Caesar. In truth, many of the escalating domestic conflicts of this period could have easily been avoided, but Rome was simply not large enough for the competing petty egos of both Marius and Sulla.

Sleep well on this chilly winter night.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Psychology of Trump's Cabinet

The Growing Horror
The future darkness is covering the land.
There is no known vaccine.

The next "Trump Tower?"
Abandoned insane asylum,
Buffalo State Hospital, NY
There has been plenty written already about the grotesque collection of strange dead enders with whom the President elect has surrounded himself. Half of this accounting has been little more than hysterical laments about how incredibly awful these dark souls are, and the other half has been filled with continuing dismay and terror concerning what consequences we will ultimately pay for having such creatures in power.

So, if these unsettling developments are to merit a presentation as a post on this blog, we must find observations which might actually add something of value to the dismal narrative. Another depressing repetition of the comments made previously offers not much at all. 

We are well aware of the painful facts. Let's have a shot at truly exploring this phenomenon at a somewhat more primitive level. There's plenty of material.

What is the psychology of this madness? Can anything material be deduced from the mayhem unfolding? Are there clues for a new "understanding" hidden somewhere which can help us by providing a more accurate narrative describing what has just "happened?"

Although this presumption might seem somewhat tenuous, let's proceed anyway. MeanMesa believes this is possible, so let's try to "light it up" a little.

Explaining Trump's Hideous Cabinet Choices
All the choices seem so strangely unusual.

Donald Trump, unlike more rational fellows who have taken this powerful office, apparently has no trusted friends into whose hands Presidential responsibilities might be delegated. At this juncture in the traditional path toward a January Inauguration the press is speculating about which of a President's "favorites" might be selected for Cabinet positions.

In this more normal scenario individuals such as those who had previously cooperated with the President-elect to pass bills through the Congress might be at the top of the list. In this case the President-elect has never passed any bills through the countries legislature, so there are none of these Congressional types presented as actual choices. Further, these "cooperatives" may not have even been in the Congress -- there are plenty of other places such individuals may have occupied, from which assistance might have been rendered -- academics, industrialists, state governments, and so on.

Nonetheless, in the cases of such Presidentially "trusted associates" a "footprint" is on record. The Presidential nomination of such people for powerful positions on a new President's cabinet is routine. They are obviously perceived as "problem solvers," and, as such, are expected to strengthen a Presidential Administration's capacity to deal with unforeseen challenges as well as the tedious task of implementing a President's ideas to accomplish policy goals.

Such nominations have always run the risk of sparking serious political resistance among those who responsible to judge and approve them, but they have never elicited a Senatorial question such as "Why is this nominee before us?

In Trump's case, however, the selections and nominations are awkwardly impersonal. He has never "worked" with any of his choices, primarily because he has never confronted such tasks.

A New Understanding of the Seriousness of "Narcissism"
We've heard the term bandied about a great deal,
 but do we understand that abnormalities in the President's personal psychology
 can present very material problems for the country?

In a more traditional process the President would, at least, be an acquaintance of his nominees. A record of past experiences with such a relationship would go a long way to "answering" the Senatorial question posed previously. This is not to say that Presidents haven't occasionally nominated individuals with whom they fundamentally disagree. They have, but there has always been a somewhat personal "side story" which served to explain such choices. There has been a reason -- political support from a certain, important constituency, proven abilities in persuading problematic legislators to gain necessary votes or even having been a successful lobbyist in previous Administrations.

The important point here is that these "reasons" have had some basis of a personal nature. This need not be "creepy." MeanMesa is referring to even something as insubstantial as "working together on the phone" to accomplish some political ambition. In such cases the President-elect might explain such as choice as "Although we have never actually met, during the crisis, we were able to work together to meet our goal."

All of this may sound a bit flippant, but we can ask ourselves some rather pointed questions about this.

Do we think that the President-elect and racist geriatric monstrosity, Senator Jeff Sessions, had phone conversations during some time that they were both working on some past project? What project? Perhaps it was some effort to create additional sabotage to the Voting Rights Act, Session's obsession for the last few decades. Do we think that Donald Trump ever spoke to the Senator before the issue of his nomination arose? we suspect that Donald Trump, after his Breitbart Chief of Staff, Steven Banon recommended Sessions for the job, asked "Who is this Senator Sessions you've recommended to become my new Attorney General? Why do we want this guy?"

Do we assume that Trump's selection of a disgraced Muslim hating General for his executive intelligence team is evidence of a similar sentiment held by the President-elect? we find this narrative inconsistent with the facts? The new President claims to hold substantial hotel property in Ankara, the Turkish capital. Further, remembering that Turkey is an Islamic NATO partner suspected by many to be profiting from the receipt of crude oil confiscated by ISIS, we now discover that -- after being ignominiously rejected by the Congress from his position as Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] -- General Flynn started a consulting [lobbying] firm primarily dedicated to the interests of the Turkish state.

General Flynn played pivotal roles in military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. While his skills served him well in those environments, when he was tapped to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency, his shortcomings as a manager and strategic thinker soon became glaring. His grasp on the truth was so flimsy at times that colleagues began mockingly referring to “Flynn facts.”                           [New York Times November 19]

What "value" -- other than his "connections" with the Turkish government -- prompted the President-elect to choose this guy? Did Trump ever even so much as meet this hot head before nominating him? MeanMesa suspects that this choice was another of Trump's ruthlessly pragmatic moves to satiate his Muslim hating, biblical lunatic base.

The important point is chilling, indeed.

The role of the National Security Advisor, General Flynn's new job, extends far beyond the flimsy necessity of placating one's admittedly uninformed voter base. However, in President-elect Trump's eyes, sacrificing any potential benefit which might accompany the appointment of an actually competent National Security Advisor is painlessly "trumped" by the possibility of satisfying his rather fickle political base.

Brain dead Muslim haters represent an important part of Trump's base. Trump has directed the main strength of the intelligence apparatus to feeding this. He has yet to discover that "successfully hating Muslims," no matter how wide spread the practice might become, is an unlikely agenda priority for eliciting any sort of enduring popular support -- especially when the economy is faltering and most of the rest of his Presidency inevitably enters the perpetual "toothache" stage. It will.

General Flynn's re-elevation was made on the suggestion of Trump's "assistant Chief of Staff," Banon. The choice offers essentially no benefit to US national security.

Trump's New "Guide Book" - How To Be An Autocrat
Eliminating the last remnants of a troublesome democracy can be hard work.
The last thing one should consider is having anyone questioning the process nearby.

Donald Trump, tragically lacking any trusted, personal friends or confidants, views the new denizens of this lurching transition not as actual people, but instead, as useful, ideological "markers." There is no close connection between the President-elect and any of them. This should not surprise any blog visitor who is familiar with the clinical features of extreme narcissism. Narcissists have no close friends because -- thanks to their savagely paranoid world view -- they are unable to trust anyone.

The alternative, that is, perceiving such individuals as nothing more than convenient manifestations of their respective ideological positions, allows the "narcissist in charge" to ruthlessly demand behavior which reflects the ideological purity which made them attractive in the first place. Trump has already summarily dismissed potential associates for a troubling variety of insignificant reasons.

In his mind, the tenuous possibility of an individual filling one of these positions relies entirely on the potential for "ideological usefulness." He clearly reserves the authority to instantly "fire" anyone who might dare question his status, yes, just as in his television show. Further, this autocratic inclination to "instantly fire" anyone at any time and for any reason is a momentary thing to be found only during the "settling in" period of the Administration -- it continues for the duration.

The result is that when one of the Cabinet positions finds itself facing a difficult circumstance, the primary attention must still be directed first at self-preservation. Trump is extremely impulsive. The experience of holding one of these cabinet positions will be constant terror, reminiscent of the most unsettled times during the Stalinist period in the old Soviet Union.

Scratching Presidential Popularity
 From Perpetual Chaos and Phobias
For the very weak and unstable no other possibility is visible.

The unquestioned "hall mark" of Donald Trump's "ascension" has been his relentless promise to destroy the status quo.

He has concluded that the politically successful course is based on permanently fracturing the status quo -- anything in the status quo. There is no perception that some things might be worth saving. This is not Trump's personal philosophy showing through, either. He considers this to be the fundamental basis of his rather shaky political support.

Naturally, having a pocket handy and full of those deserving blame is an additional component.

Understandably, Trump considers raw xenophobia to be high among his most successful political assets. The final appetite of his inferiority complex saturated base is a desperate obsession to feel superior to someone -- anyone. The most readily available "someone" happens to be the nearest Mexican, although Sessions will be sure that blacks will fill in when the first blamed minority isn't at hand.

In the awkward event that the mayhem on the domestic front were to relax into something somewhat "normal," the President-elect holds the prospect of inciting another wave of raw Islamophobia in his illiterate supporters as a "stand in" choice. General Flinn should prove quite useful for this necessary "political maintenance" task.

Although Trump may not actually be that much of a racist, he understands that his voter base is. Like other out of touch oligarchs, Trump sees raw racism primarily as a political tool. It will be a constant, dependable source of the chaos his Presidency will require. Happily, for Donald Trump the mentality of his base is quite adolescent. In their "video game" reality they are continuously assuaged by the imaginary relief they derive from shooting some impersonal, animated "opponent."

So long as President Trump can continue to provide an on-going source of such "opponents," the "assuagement" will continue, and Trump's political support -- poll numbers -- will continue. It's a new game, and all the rules are new, too.

Additional Reading
Trump's Strange Cabinet Choices

A final note from a posting on FaceBook:

"Duck Dynasty is going off the air? It'll be fine, I'm sure they're all getting White House positions."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Social Engineering - GOP Style

Is Killing Off the Old and Infirm
the Newest Scheme for GOP "Social Engineering?"
Unhappily, there will be little chance for a quick death.
Illiterate, Christ loving Trumpkins totally on board.

Cowardly Republican House Speaker, Paul Ryan, once again is preparing to obliterate Medicare, the health care element of Social Security, allowing the new Republican overlords to divert the costs into glorious tax cuts for the oligarchs who own the Party.

However, isn't "cowardly" just a little over the top? 

Not really. Aside from the fact that the Social Security recipients presently receiving benefits from the highly successful program paid for them, and Speaker Ryan's scheme literally means absconding with the cash thanks to the almost unlimited power he now enjoys. the little Speaker has not been emboldened sufficiently to dare cutting benefits to voters. Cutting benefits to the next generation will be painless enough, but cutting benefits to the present recipients turns out to be just a tad to scary.

You may recall that Romney tried this -- with the same "next generation" caveat. Before Mittens the last hideous Republican President, George W. Bush, also impaled himself in the classical, Medieval style of "hoisting his carcass on his own petard."

Well, in each of these historic miscalculations there were more than enough in the opposing Party to scuttle the dream. This time around, there aren't.

There is also nothing even vaguely resembling a functioning Supreme Court. 

All those troubling, inconvenient, Constitutional "checks and balances" are a thing of the past, now. No one can stop them. 

Unhappily for the GOP, there may be more than a few "pissed off" survivors, still breathing and still waiting to case ballots in the 2018 mid-terms.

If you think Paul Ryan isn't serious about ending Medicare, think again

By Joan Carter
November 15,2016

[All links remain enabled. Visit the original 

A "Better Way" design for health care that frees up cash for
the Billionaire Owner$ of the Republican Party

Last Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan went on Fox, the very best place for Republicans to shop their lies, and told some whoppers about Medicare. Those whoppers are what he's using to justify the one big thing he thinks he's going to get out of president-popular vote loser-elect Donald Trump: the end of Medicare. Here's what he said in that interview:

What people don't realize is that Medicare is going broke, that Medicare is going to have price controls. Because of ObamaCare, Medicaid is in fiscal straits. So you have to deal with those issues if you're going to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Medicare has got some serious problems because of ObamaCare. Those things are part of our plan to replace ObamaCare.

First, it already has price controls. Second, it is not going broke. Third, it's not going broke in large part because of Obamacare. In fact, the Medicare controls in Obamacare have actually extended Medicare's solvency by 12 years. Even the fact-checkers say so. So the whole premise Ryan is shopping to explain why he wants to blow Medicare up is a big, fat lie. Which you probably already knew because Paul Ryan.

When Ryan says "those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare," he's talking about his "Better [sic] Way" plan. Which includes repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a body created under Obamacare that is tasked with recommending cuts in payments to providers who participate in Medicare, if necessary. Note the IPAB can't make those cuts, but recommends them to Congress. If Medicare is going broke, which it isn't. Because of the law IPAB is part of. His plan would also expand Medicare Advantage, the privatized part of Medicare. The big part of that plan, however, is his long-standing proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Ironically, sort of, is that his plan would give subsidies to seniors to buy private plans. Just like Obamacare—which he wants to repeal—does. What it really means is an end to the program seniors have been relying upon since 1965 for their health care. (He also will block grant Medicaid, allowing the states to take the chunk of Medicaid money they receive and do what they will with it. This is important for seniors because Medicaid is the program that provides funding for long-term, nursing home care for low-income seniors.)

Now, Ryan likes to stress that this change will only apply to future retirees. He's lying. These changes would undercut current financing for Medicare, and would throw current beneficiaries into chaos. But it would end one of the most popular and successful government programs ever created, and that's what Ryan is all about. It remains to be seen if that's what Trump is all about, and whether he's going to let Ryan call the shots.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

GOP "Healthcare:" Screw You. We've Got Billionaires to Feed.

Dumping Reagan - The New GOP

1983? That was then. This is NOW.

1983: Ironclad commitment to Social Security

It's not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money's worth--that's not an "entitlement," that's honoring a deal. We as a society must also make an ironclad commitment to providing a safety net for those who can't make one for themselves.

On April 20, 1983, Reagan signed a bill to preserve Social Security. At that bill signing, the president said words every Republican should heed:

"This bill demonstrates for all time our nation's ironclad commitment to Social Security. It assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half a century ago. It assures those who are still working that they, too, have a pact with the future. From this day forward, they have one pledge that they will get their fair share of benefits when they retire."

POLITIFACT: George W. Bush and the Social Security Trust
2020 -- Reserve the date. It will be "payback" time, and our names are on the note.

Now, there have been plenty of claims made by various progressive voices that Bush W. "extracted" money from the Social Security Trust to pay for his schemes without raising taxes. This is so serious that it deserves a long, cold look based on the facts. The following POLITIFACT article is full of facts, and at the end POLITIFACT ruled that the precise claim that: "Bush "borrowed" #1.37 Trillion to pay for his tax cuts for the rich and the war in Iraq and never paid it back." was, in fact, "MOSTLY FALSE."

However, the "MOSTLY FALSE" verdict was issued exclusively for this claim. Everyone will relieved indeed to know that the actual amount was only a measly $700 Billion.

Did George W. Bush 'borrow' from Social Security to fund the war in Iraq and tax cuts?

By Linda Qiu on Monday, August 3rd, 2015
[All links in the POLITIFACT article remain enabled. 
Visit the original article here POLITIFACT]

Evoke George W. Bush, his income tax cuts and the war in Iraq, and you’re sure to arouse some liberal ire. Suggest that Bush financed those projects by plundering Social Security’s retirement coffers, and you’ve got yourself a popular meme.

"Next time a Republican tells you that ‘Social Security is broke,’ remind them that Pres. Bush ‘borrowed’ $1.37 trillion of Social Security surplus revenue to pay for his tax cuts for the rich and his war in Iraq and never paid it back," reads one version of the meme, which appeared on the Facebook pages of Occupy Democrats and Americans Against the Republican Party.

A number of readers asked us to check out the claim, so we decided to take a look. The meme seems to extrapolate a point made in a 2009 newsletter post by Allen W. Smith, a professor of economics emeritus from Eastern Illinois University.

"Bush spent every dime of Social Security surplus revenue that came in during his presidency. He used it to fund his big tax cuts for the rich, and much of it was spent on wars," Smith wrote.

The meme’s claim and Smith’s argument circle back to how Social Security funds are managed. Experts say words like "borrow" and "raid" don’t really capture how the system works.

Bonds, ‘borrowing,’ and Bush

For about 50 years, Social Security was a "pay-as-you-go" system, meaning annual payroll taxes pretty much covered that year’s benefits checks. Then in 1982, President Ronald Reagan enacted a payroll tax hike to prepare for the impending surge of retiring baby boomers, and a surplus began to build.

By law, the U.S. Treasury is required to take the surplus and, in exchange, issue interest-accruing bonds to the Social Security trust funds. The Treasury, meanwhile, uses the cash to fund government expenses, though it has to repay the bonds whenever the Social Security commissioner wants to redeem them.

In this broad sense, Bush technically did "borrow" Social Security surplus to pay for the income tax cuts and the Iraq war. But even if we use this loose definition of the word, we still run into a few issues.

First, the amount of surplus Bush "borrowed" is actually around $708 billion, a little more than half of the $1.37 trillion claimed in the meme. While around $1.52 trillion in bonds was added to the trust funds from 2000 to 2008, the Treasury only has access to the cash revenue collected every year, not the interest accrued on the entire surplus.

Second, Bush didn’t exclusively spend on the war, which has an estimated cost of $1.7 trillion. Other big costs include the financial bailout in 2008.

"Since all money is green, the cash that the Treasury received from the Social Security surplus was not earmarked for any specific government program," said Andrew Eschtruth, a former Social Security research analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and current spokesperson for the Center on Retirement Research at Boston College.

The larger question is whether the existence of the surplus influenced Congress’ spending decisions, but Eschew pointed out that no one can prove what was on the lawmakers’ minds.

"The idea that lawmakers consciously thought, ‘We can only go into Iraq because of the surplus’ is a stretch," he said.

Third, if we characterize the entire trust fund system as the government borrowing from Social Security, Bush is by no means the only debtor.

"That’s how the Social Security trust fund has worked ever since the program started, so there’s no point in focusing on Bush," said Andrew Biggs, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "You could focus on pretty much any president."

That being said, some nonetheless contend that Bush’s case is unique. Smith, a self-described progressive, told us in an interview that the tax cuts wouldn’t have been possible without the surpluses funded by payroll taxes.

Maintaining payroll taxes (everyone pays the same rate) while cutting income taxes (rates are much higher for the rich) effectively streams the money from lower- and middle-income earners into the pockets of millionaires, according to Michael Hiltzik, a financial reporter with the Los Angeles Times.

"Bush was able to do whatever he wanted without raising income taxes," he said.

Replenishing the coffers

As for the claim that Bush "never paid back" what he reaped, experts told us that doesn’t really make sense.

The meme’s language implies that Bush bailed on a loan, but no one was really pressing him for repayment. During his presidency, the Social Security trust fund was still running surpluses (which stopped in 2010), enough to cover the benefits checks, and had no need to cash in their bonds (which won’t happen until 2020).

The larger question posed by critics of the trust fund system is if and how the government will provide cash for all the bonds, now totalling $2.8 trillion. These bonds are a special class of securities unique to the Social Security fund that can’t be sold. Because they’re not-marketable, some contend that they’re "worthless IOUs."

"These special-issue things, they’re all in a filing cabinet in West Virginia. That’s the entire trust fund," Smith said in an interview. "There’s no trust, and there are no funds."

Experts told us there's no question that the Treasury will repay the Social Security surplus (including what was accumulated during the Bush years) when the trust fund starts redeeming the bonds in 2020. Otherwise, says Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, "you’d have to march 40 years worth of Treasury, Labor, Health and Human Services secretaries, Social Security commissioners, and public trustees -- Republicans and Democrats -- into prison."

To Paul Craig Roberts, the assistant Treasury secretary under Reagan, the bonds are harbingers of more tax hikes and more public borrowing to come.

Biggs said the bonds are like money that we owe ourselves. "The bonds are worthless to the taxpayer as a way of actually paying for Social Security, since those bonds must be paid off by the taxpayer," he said.

Hiltzik, though, dismisses these concerns as alarmism. He pointed out that taxpayers who would foot most of the bill for surplus repayment are those who pay higher income tax rates and who reaped the benefits of the Bush tax cuts. As for borrowing to cover the bonds, doesn’t the meme suggest that’s what the government's been doing the whole time?

"You’re not actually increasing the public debt. If you have to redeem $100 million bonds and you do it by borrowing $100 million, the net change is 0," Hiltzik said.

Our ruling

A Facebook posts says, "Bush ‘borrowed’ $1.37 trillion of Social Security surplus revenue to pay for his tax cuts for the rich and his war in Iraq and never paid it back."

By law, the Social Security surplus is converted into bonds, and the cash is used by the Treasury to pay for government expenses. If we agree that this is "borrowing," every president since 1935 has done it, to fund all sorts of things. Even if Bush "borrowed" from the surplus, the amount is more like $708 billion, and the borrowing wasn’t earmarked for a special purposes.

As for not "paying back," the bonds won’t need to be repaid until 2020.

Overall, the claim is misleading and confuses many points. So we rate it Mostly False.

Now, MeanMesa visitors can think about the POLITIFACT article -- especially the part about having to "cash out" Bush's "special Treasury notes" in 2020. The "war money" has been spent. The humongous "tax cut" money is still being spent.

When Treasury faces the task of paying back the bonds, we need to remember where the Treasury will get the money to do that. That will be us. Further, there will be a new President in 2020.

Maybe this will be high on his or her "to do" list. Maybe not.

Why Paul Ryan claims that it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY
to starve Grandma.
[ALTERNET and Daily KOS]
Still, before entering into the "feature article" for this post, please refresh your memory about this stuff [chart at left].

The "horrendous Obama Administration debt" now facing the new Republican overlords actually had very little to do with anything that occurred during Obama's term. For embarrassingly greedy nobodies such as Paul Ryan to now, suddenly, claim that the only possible solution is to cut "entitlements" is, essentially, treason.

Of course, none of this will represent any sort of problem -- perhaps something "ethical" or even "moral" -- for the "fact free" lunatics now in command of the country. Also, by the way, there is currently NO Supreme Court in case anyone has forgotten [4 Fascist Supremes, and 4 Regular Supremes. The GOP hardliners in the Senate blocked Obama from completing his usual Constitutional duty to appoint a new Justice after Scalia died.].

The Republican Healthcare Plan:
 Gut Medicare and Blame Obama

By Charles P. Pierce, November 11, 2016
[Links from article remain enabled. Visit the original here ESQUIRE]

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Paul Ryan.
If you weren't so sick, you could just starve to death, Grand Ma.

My Walk To Work, November 11, 2016: Part Two. 

Every few days, when I walk to the Blog Cave, I stop at a local McDonald's for one of their Triglyceride Festival breakfasts. Every time I've done this, there has been a table full of elderly gents sitting at the same table by the side door. (Yeah, elderly. They're older than me.) All of them wear baseball caps. One of them always wears a cap that marks him as a "Vietnam Veteran." Sometime last summer, I noticed that a couple of them had taken to wearing those familiar red baseball caps that told the world that the elderly gents were ready to Make American Great Again. Presumably, most of these guys, if not all of them, benefit from Medicare.

Gentlemen? May I introduce you to Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin? Jonathan Chait in New York would like to explain to you all how you are about to get bamboozled into a worse life than you have right now.

"Your solution has always been to put things together, including entitlement reform," says Baier, using Republican code for privatizing Medicare. Ryan replies, "If you're going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well. … Medicare has got some serious issues because of Obamacare. So those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare."
Yep. That's what's going to happen to your healthcare, gentlemen. And he's going to blame the black guy for it, and my money's all on you guys buying that wholesale. It is, of course, a blatant lie, because Paul Ryan is the…say it with us now…Biggest. Fake. Ever.

The Medicare trust fund has been extended 11 years as a result of the passage of Obamacare, whose cost reforms have helped bring health care inflation to historic lows. It is also untrue that repealing Obamacare requires changing traditional Medicare. But Ryan clearly believes he needs to make this claim in order to sell his plan, or probably even to convince fellow Republicans to support it.

One of the few positions on which the President-elect was marginally consistent during the campaign was that he would not touch entitlements. However, his economic plan was so stuffed with vague nonsense that I am fairly sure this is what's going to happen: Ryan will come up with some bullshit "stimulus" program that is larded with tax-cuts and other goodies, and he will offer it to the White House in exchange for his life's dream of shredding what's left of the social safety net. He will put together a big pot of offal, slap a label reading "Medicare" on it, and then peddle it to the suckers. 

The guys at McDonald's will find themselves choosing between cat food and insulin and it will be Barack Obama's fault. Lovely.

A Closing Note from MeanMesa

Just like folks in most of the rest of the world, MeanMesa found the election results terrifying. During the days following this abysmally bad development, potential blog posts were screaming through this old brain with such fury that the possibility of actually posting anything repeatedly vanished into the slow, cold angst of the moment.

However, after listening to the Short Current Essays Command Center podcast of Randi Rhodes for a few sessions, the fire flickered faintly and then burst into a new flame with almost all of its previous, robust rigor.

Although there is still a lingering sensation of sheer hopelessness flitting about in this subconscious back ground, MeanMesa has reached a new state of revived determination to do all that is possible to make things...well, better. Trump and his fascists have their sight set on vulnerable Americans like this old blogger, but until they manage to complete their fevered mission, Short Current Essays should have plenty to say about it.

Watch this blog.