I wish this was just a bad dream…

But it is not. Sigh. Just the headlines, they are bad enough. All from this evening.

  • Mother, daughter charged in murder of pregnant teen who was strangled before baby was cut out of her womb
  • Trump administration defends $62M bailout to crooked Brazilian meatpacker
  • Former government sniper admits he shot former girlfriend to death on Manhattan street
  • ’You Jews, I’m gonna get you’: Florida man charged after allegedly spitting on, threatening to sexually assault Jewish people
  • Five more states sue OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over opioid marketing
  • L.I. high school teacher faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child porn
  • Pennsylvania man has his scrotum torn open by angry girlfriend, leaving him with a bleeding testicle

I could post more, but you get it.

Getting in on the ground floor of the slow-moving coup

On May 1, 2019, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff appeared on the MSNBC program The Last Word discussing Attorney General William Barr and mused, “Why someone at this point in their career would be willing to sacrifice his integrity, his reputation, everything in the service of this unethical president will forever be a mystery to me.  But he’s not alone. Obviously, there are many others around Trump who are doing the same thing.”

Hmmm.  With all due respect to Congressman Schiff, I don’t find it a mystery.  But the subject he brings up is important.  Don’t wander off, let me mention something else.

Over the last couple years Bill Maher has entertained and frightened us with his Dictator Checklist and all the boxes Trump checks.  Since 2016 Maher has also been talking about what he sees as a slow-moving coup d’état being perpetrated by Trump and his gang of cronies and sycophants.  There is a lot to be said for Maher’s theory.  Especially in light of the afore-mentioned checklist and the actions and appointments of his administration.

So what if Maher and others are right, that Trump and his enablers are in fact deliberately undermining the U.S. system of government?  Let’s be honest here, there is no shortage of people who would welcome, embrace, and help enforce the kind of intolerant, racist, misogynistic, trample-on-the-99% world Trump inhabits in his head. So, if you’re a Giuliani, or a Barr, or a Kushner, or anybody else who seeks to have power over the masses; and if you also are comfortable in the idea of a Trumpist homeland; why wouldn’t you want to be part of the power-grab.  Of course you would want to be in on the ground floor.  You don’t need to be part of a name-brand alt-right organization to want to be running the show in the kind of future they espouse.

If you are a Trumpist and you believe an authoritarian regime is going to take over, you will want to run the equivalent of the Stasi or the Gestapo or the FSB or the State Security Department rather than be a target of such an organization.  You will want to run the War Department or the State Department so you can be an extension of the great leader’s will.  It’s either join the regime or be crushed by it.  And so, the Trump True Believers™ gather around their shining leader; excusing, defending, enabling, and empowering him; so that they can share in the exercise of that power over those they disdain and despise.

And that, to me, is the essential answer to Schiff’s mystery.  Not a mystery at all.  Just Trumpist assholes looking out for themselves and their ticket to giving the rest of us our marching orders.

I’m angry, and you should be too

You probably heard a headline or two about this, but the stream of news, information, and deceit coming at us is so strong, it may have been pressure-washed out of your immediate consciousness.  So, at the risk of repeating something you’ve already heard, some ranting follows.

To start, there were lots of headlines that you might have seen.  Here is one:

Shocking New Trump Tax Cut Report Shows Workers Got Almost Nothing As 60 Corporations Paid Zero Tax, Or Less

Here is another you might enjoy:

You paid taxes. These corporations didn’t.

There are lots more where these came from, but you get the point.

What triggered all the (all too short-lived) outrage was the report found here.  Those of you with sufficient attention spans can read the report for yourselves.  Basically, 60 top corporations, with profits totalling just over $79 billion dollars, paid essentially no tax — some even got refunds.  This was roughly twice the average number of major corporations paying no tax prior to the 2017 tax law changes.

This is a bit mind-numbing.  And so wrong.  I won’t go into all the tax breaks, chicanery, tricks, loopholes, and meritless special exceptions that make this possible.  Suffice to say that this crap has to stop.

These companies benefit from the things that we (excepting, it seems, the 1%) are expected to pay for with smiles on our faces.  Things like the Interstate Highway System, the FAA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, the Commerce Department, state and local governments, agencies, and infrastructure that receive federal funding.  The list goes on and on.

Why do we have to pay for these things, but they don’t?  What makes their shareholders so fucking holy that their stock portfolios are propped up on the backs of average folks like us?  Because, in the end, that’s what this is all about.  Stock price and executive compensation.  Jack up prices, don’t pay taxes, and a hearty “screw you” to the rest of us.

There is much more I could say, but I am too angry at the moment (and also quite irritated by my crappy keyboard) to write more now.  I’m sure you’ve already thought of more examples of how you are being screwed by this anyway.

So if you live in the good old U.S.A. and plan on voting in 2020 (you goddamn better!), don’t just think about getting rid of the assholes that gave us this tax “break” — consider as well who is most committed and likely to lead us to a more fair tax code.