What would be worse than 8 years of Trump as President?

How about even more years? So, the would-be dictator for life has again dropped a hint (threat?) about his potential endgame. As reported by multiple news outlets, Trump said this on his Twitter feed: “at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT)”

That was certainly not his first hint at wanting to stay beyond the two terms allowed by the Constitution. In March, 2018 Trump, at a Republican fund-raising lunch, while commenting on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent consolidation of power he said, “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great.” Adding, “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.”

Now famously, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, testified to the House oversight committee earlier this year that he believes “there will never be a peaceful transition of power” if Trump loses in 2020.

If Mike Pence thinks being Vice President will be a stepping stone to his own turn as President, he has another think coming. Trump is likely to only reliquish power to Don Jr. or to his incest-fantasy daughter Ivanka.

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.

 

U.S. Tourism Update

A follow-up to a previous post.

On April 23 another Grand Canyon visitor, this time an elderly woman, hurtled to her death about 200 feet below the rim.  This is the fifth Grand Canyon death so far this year.  Not all have happened in the official national park.

How long until someone wants to ruin the view by putting elaborate, high fencing all along the rim in an attempt to prevent stupid people from being stupid?

 

More horrible people in Texas

Here is the headline to start you off (article is linked):

Texas Lawmakers Are Considering The Death Penalty For Women Who Get Abortions

House Bill 896 aims to criminalize all abortions and defines the procedure as homicide, which is punishable by death in Texas.
Obviously, these people have no respect for the separation of church and state.  But beyond that, this is just another example of the desire by too many Texans to turn Texas into a theocracy.  The Texas Taliban should move to Afghanistan.
If you think Trumpism is bad, wait until you live in a theocracy.

New U.S. tourism trend

The latest hot trend in U.S. tourism is falling over the edge of the Grand Canyon and plummeting to your death.  Recently, there have been three such airborne deaths at the canyon in the span of just over a week.

The “things happen in threes” rule suggest that the trend may be over, but we are dealing with humans in the age of smart phones, so this could go on for a while.