Gaudy and Crass

gaudy and crass
The Washington Post reports: It’s ‘very gold’: The presidential coin undergoes a Trumpian makeover

The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, “E pluribus unum” — a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one” — is gone.

 

Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

 

The changes don’t stop there. In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is thicker than those made for past presidents. And forget the traditional subdued silver and copper: Trump’s coin, a White House aide marveled, is “very gold.”

[…]

Some ethics experts questioned the unprecedented decision to include a campaign slogan on the coins, which are often distributed to members of the military.

 

“For the commander in chief to give a political token with a campaign slogan on it to military officers would violate the important principle of separating the military from politics, as well as diminishing the tradition of the coin,” said Trevor Potter, a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

 

Continue reading

 

 


 

The elegant mark of the past
in honoring soldiers with class
is wrecked in the clutches
of trump — all he touches
turns instantly gaudy and crass.

Mary Boren, 12/27/17

 

Political Apathy

pollution

greed rewards the ruling class that starves us to the bone
and cities rise from concrete lies, as earth protectors moan.

when tyrants use prosperity to kill our sacred songs,
a nation’s best are buried ‘neath a mountain built of wrongs.

huddled there below the rubble, dust has sealed our cave.
rescue dogs scent stagnant breeze for champions to save.

before you is your slice of life, a sweetness you forgot,
while dying on your idle tongue exotic textures rot.

surrender is an easy path seen from your cozy crypt,
yet railing up against the fates insures that scales are tipped.

rise from the place we supplicate before the sands run out.
stand soundly on our sturdy legs, our backs unbent and stout.

be roots that lay in earth’s embrace sown from our sacred grains
and water them with coursing streams that are our Mother’s veins.

 

© 2017 Paula Yoder

Public Domain Photo

 

Pendulum

pendulum

The New York Times opines on The Year in Resistance:

I didn’t fully grasp the scale of the civic revival until I went to Georgia in April to write about the special election to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who had become Trump’s secretary of health and human services. (Like many Trump officials, he has since resigned in disgrace.) Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, lost that race, but the energy of the district’s previously apolitical suburban women was astonishing.

 

Galvanized by disgust for Trump, they had thrown themselves into local politics, using organizing skills learned in the PTA. I was with some of them the night Ossoff lost, but instead of despairing, they were already planning their next campaigns. In December, they helped the Democrat Jen Jordan win a State Senate seat, breaking the chamber’s Republican supermajority.

 

Indeed, Democrats have triumphed all over the country, as Trump’s approval rating keeps sinking. The progressive Working Families Party endorsed 1,036 candidates in 2017; almost two-thirds of them won. Due in large part to grass-roots organizing, Democrats won a landslide in Virginia and took Jeff Sessions’s old Senate seat in Alabama.

 

While Trump has given his followers the liberal tears they crave, that victory contains the seeds of its own reversal. Trump has done more to spur progressive political organizing than Bernie Sanders, George Soros and Saul Alinsky combined. The president once warned that if he fell, he’d take the entire Republican Party down with him. Thanks to the Resistance, he might still have the chance.

 

Read Michelle Goldberg’s Column

 


 

I want to take the time to say
Despite the bleakness of the day
That this is not the bitter end,
That time has seconds to append
And seconds build to days and years
While all this madness disappears.
For life is like a pendulum
There’s something lost and something won
And then it swings the other way
Despite the bleakness of the day.

 

© 2017 Glenn Meisenheimer

 

Are We Lazing in Liberty?

Newsweek reports:

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published Monday a commentary titled “Trump Should Cool His Jets and Face Up to Reality.” Citing foreign media reports, including Newsweek’s coverage of a poll that found nearly two-thirds of U.S. citizens were against going to war with North Korea, the state-run outlet called on Trump and his administration to rescind their threat to forcefully disarm supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear and ballistic arsenal, which has continued to grow despite increased U.S.-led diplomatic, economic and military pressures.

 

“The public opinion opposed to the preemptive attack is getting stronger in the U.S. It can be viewed as a sort of advice that the U.S. administration should drop the adventurous and risky way of thinking and boldly make a U-turn in its policy toward the DPRK,” the commentary read, referring to North Korea by an acronym for its official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

 

“The right to preemptive attack is not exclusive to the U.S. The U.S. should cool-headedly face up to the reality that the iron-willed DPRK’s preemptive nuclear attack against provocateurs is just not hot air,” it added.

 

Read the article.

 

 


I’ve a nagging feeling fumbling
with all that’s wise and all that’s right
I sense the tense of war drums rumbling –
and fear what thunders out-of-sight

Isn’t bragging unappealing
when facing facts and future’s fate?
It’s our freedom that’s revealing
procrastination must not wait!

© 2017 Joy A. Burki-Watson

 

GOP Tax Scam



USA Today reports: How corporations and the rich are fueling inequality

Political and economic power are now inseparable. We must dismantle not just this abysmal plan but also the structural conditions that wrought it.

 

The tax plan that Republican congressional leaders hope to pass this week and send to President Trump will soon be regarded as the zenith in a story nearly 40 years in the making, where corporations and a handful of America’s wealthiest families — some of whom now hold positions in the government directly — leverage their outsized economic power into political power. It is what happens when corporate and political power become inseparable. It is a call to arms to dismantle not just the plan itself, but the structural conditions that wrought it.

 

The compromise House-Senate plan, like the separate bills each chamber passed earlier, so lacks a clear policy or economic justification that it can only be explained as pure pander to Republican donor interests. Though have some tried to marshal policy arguments in favor, each fails on its merits.

 

Economists and CEOs on both the left and right have been clear that the massive corporate tax cuts will not create jobs. The Tax Policy Center, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and every other credible analysis has indicated only a small share of the corporate windfall will reach workers. Even CEOs themselves admitted they would not use the money to invest. And the most damning evidence that the GOP’s purpose is to appease donor interests came from senators themselves, who admitted their financial contributions would dry up if they didn’t pass a tax package.

 

Continue reading …

 

Like the multinational corporations that demanded it, the Republican tax bill is extractive, taking money from middle-class Americans in order to finance tax cuts for the rich. In much the same way that corporate executives leverage their power to outsource jobs, borrow money, close plants, and squeeze supply chains in order to provide pay-outs to the company’s wealthy shareholders, Republicans have leveraged their power to raise taxes on workers, cut Medicare, borrow money from future generations, and outsource jobs in order to provide pay-outs to the corporate interests that are, in effect, congressional Republicans’ wealthy shareholders. When Senate Democrats offered an amendment to require corporations benefiting from the tax cut to raise wages at the same rate they reward shareholders and CEOs, every single Republican senator opposed it.

 

 


 

Those Republican cons in the know
have their tax scam all ready to go.
Watch the rich get a lift
and the poor get short shrift
by kleptocracy’s brutal elbow.

When kleptocracy’s brutal elbow
delivers its mightiest blow,
democracy loses
and nurses its bruises
in a trumpian reality show.

Susan Eckenrode, 12/18/17

 

Uber Obnoxious

Snopes fact checks: Did Mad Magazine Publish a Trump Cartoon in 1992?

The magazine lampooned the business leader for his bankruptcies.

 

This is a real comic that was published by Mad Magazine in 1992.

 

Some were skeptical that Mad had really lampooned President Trump in the 1990s, but it’s not really all that surprising. Although Trump has only been president for a five months as of this writing, he has been a public figure for much of his life. In fact, shortly after Trump became president, Mad released a book of previously published comics “chronicling his rise from obnoxious businessman to really obnoxious reality show host to uber obnoxious “Commander-in-Tweet.”

 


 

When the “uber obnoxious commander-in-tweet”
is surrounded by sycophants kissing his feet,
when their greed and self interest are governing guides,
we have all got to stand for a turning of tides.

Susan Eckenrode, 12/18/17

 

Kissed the Girls

Daily Mail reports: President faces new claims over conduct as three women accuse him of harassment

Samantha Holvey, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks had previously made allegations against Trump and appeared on Megyn Kelly ‘Today’ to demand justice as the White House resumed its claim that the issue had been litigated in last year’s election.

 

[…]

 

After declining comment on the matter initially, the White House sprung a statement on Kelly in the middle of her program.

 

‘These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year’s campaign,’ the statement said, ‘and the American people voiced their judgement by delivering a decisive victory.’

 

It went on to say that the ‘timing and absurdity’ of the accusers’ claims, along with their ‘publicly tour’ they’ve started ‘only further confirms the political motives behind them.’

 

‘It’s laughable,’ Crooks replied a moment later.

 

Crooks has contemporaneous emails that she sent her sister at the time of the alleged assault, in January of 2006, when Trump was already married to his third wife Melania. She said Monday that she’d be ‘more than happy’ for security footage to come out that proves the accuracy of her story.

 

She added, ‘He owns the building. I doubt that’s going to happen.’

 

Leeds says she began telling her story publicly once it became clear that Trump was serious about running for president.

 

As to whether the Democrat thought her allegation would be enough to keep him out of office, she said, ‘I don’t think I thought I had that kind of power. But I really wanted people to know who he is and what he is.

 

‘And I think his core supporters do know. I mean, I think they recognize. But he’s their dog, so they’re gonna stick with their dog,’ she said.

 

 


Donnie, Donnie, pudding and pie
Kissed the girls and made them cry
when he got caught: now here’s the thing!
His fans would forgive his every fling.

 

Hope Brown, 12/18/17

 

Pat a Cake

pat a cake

Washington Examiner reports: Doug Jones wants to reach a deal on DACA without funding Trump’s border wall

Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones wants to work with congressional leaders to come up with a fix for illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children, but it can’t involve funding for a border wall.

 

Jones said on “Fox News Sunday” he’s ready to help come up with a compromise on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. That program is set to expire in March and Democrats are threatening to hold up funding for the government in order to get a deal on the program without funding President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border.

 

“I have said before that I opposed the building of a wall. I think that’s an expense that the taxpayers just don’t have to incur,” he said. “I do think you can increase our border security without having to go to the incredible expense of building that wall, at least the figures that I’ve seen. I do support the DACA program and would love to see that extended. I hope there can be some bipartisan effort to reach to do that.”

 

Jones said one of the reasons he wanted to run for office is he didn’t see anyone in Washington willing to make a deal and reach across the aisle.

 


Pat a cake, pat a cake, Donald’s man
build him a wall as fast as you can.
Pat it and prick it and put him inside
He’ll start the war – and then want to hide.

Hope Brown 12/17

 

GOP Mantra 2009

elephant dump

Just say no to Obama so
We want to see Obama go
He wants to give to the poor and needy
We want to help the rich and greedy

Just say no to every bill,
The poor will feel a bitter pill.
Cut the tax rate of the rich to zero
We’ll become their tea party hero

Just say yes to what we write
Make the left seem not so bright
Make sure it hurts those most in need
They are the victims of our dirty deeds

Just say no to Obama so
we can see this President go
No more help for the unemployed
Make Corporations overjoyed.

We pledge to the Corporate heads,
We will cut taxes and their overhead
We’ll be sure to destroy the masses
The poor and needy can kiss our asses.

 

© 2017 M. Suzanne Wyatt

Image Source

 

Drain the Swamp

drain the swamp
The Atlantic reports: “The president has made a mockery of a promise at the core of his campaign.”

Forget the Russia investigation. Even if no wrongdoing is proved on that matter, the Trump Administration’s behavior would still be epically swampy. A list of examples is clarifying:

 

Corey Lewandowski, who worked as Trump’s campaign manager, moved to Washington, D.C., and started a Beltway lobbying firm, where he accepted lots of money from special interests that were trying to influence Trump. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported, “Established K Street firms were grabbing any Trump people they could find: Jim Murphy, Trump’s former political director, joined the lobbying giant BakerHostetler, while another firm, Fidelis Government Relations, struck up a partnership with Bill Smith, Mike Pence’s former chief of staff. All told, close to 20 ex-aides of Trump, friends, and hangers-on had made their way into Washington’s influence business.”

 

Read the article:
Trump Has Filled, Not Drained, the Swamp

 

 


 

Ah! At last we see
What once was hidden;
you’ve replaced the swamp
with a moral midden.

2017 William John McQuade