Mind your business.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When The World Is Led By A Partisan, Dysfunctional Media

If you keep hating Trump for the wrong reasons you're going to get something even worse...

This week the New York Times published an Op Ed by David Brooks entitled, "When the World Is Led by a Child."

In it the NYTs columnist begins by saying that President Donald Trump is not a budding authoritarian and rabble-rousing populist, neither a corrupt Nixon-type politician, nor a big business corporatist. Instead, Brooks claims, one can tell by the way Trump answers questions in long interviews that he's basically just a big baby. (Brooks used the term "infantalist," by which he meant "a big baby.") But his analysis of Donald Trump as an exemplar of immaturity and impulsivity appears to be little more than name calling to rile up readership disguised in the form of some staggeringly unsophisticated analysis.

As you'll see if you bear with me through this rebuttal of the article's three main points, the problem with Brooks' criticism of Trump is that he frames these character flaws as unique to Trump, when they are not unique to Trump at all. In fact the criticisms that Brooks makes apply equally to every major establishment politician in recent times, including at least the last two presidents before Trump.

If we succumb to the temptation to polarize and personalize the dysfunctions that are systemic to our political process, because it feels good (in the short run) to point and blame, we will never root out and solve these problems with our government at this time of urgent political crisis.

Brooks' analysis begins:

"First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump’s answers in these interviews are not very long — 200 words at the high end — but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.

His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. On an impulse, he will promise a tax reform when his staff has done little of the actual work."

Is Brooks unhinged? It's an easy way to dismiss a politician that the columnist doesn't like, but regardless of how much one may dislike the president because of other more substantial (and much worse) criticisms one can make about him, it severely strains credibility to assess a man like Donald Trump as unable to focus, lacking in impulse control, and bad at learning.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dear Russian Government: Thank You For Interfering in Our Election (Like Our Media Should Have)!

My latest Op Ed, an Open Letter to The Russians who interfered in our election. Thanks for doing our own media's job for them!

Dear Shadowy Russian Conspirators (whoever you are),

I know we don’t really know for a fact at all that you were the ones who leaked the contents of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, hacked DNC emails, and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

That as Glenn Greenwald meticulously detailed at The Intercept in December, all we have at this point are some wild claims initiated by the Washington Post and echoed in the New York Times that “are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.”

So I’m writing this open letter to you as if these claims about you are true, even though we hardly have any smoking guns yet.

Because if they are true, the American people, and especially Democrats, even the ones who refuse to see why, owe you big time for doing what our own establishment media– including the Post and the Times– didn’t do in the last election.

If only our own mainstream media companies, Guardians of Democracy and Heralds of Truth that they purport to be, could have kept us as well-informed about our political candidates as you did!

Monday, May 8, 2017

RON PAUL UNLEASHED: Former Candidate SAVAGES Trump and Congress on One Issue after Another

Dr. Ron Paul, who served 12 terms in the US Congress and became famous when he ran on a libertarian platform for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, has been on a rampage this Spring, excoriating both President Trump and the Republican-held Congress on one issue after another.

Carol Paul must be putting something in her husband's coffee, because the libertarian firebrand (who turns 82 this year) spent the month of April challenging the political establishment with the kind of gusto and pointed criticisms that gained him a devoted global following when he ran for president in 2008 and set two records for the most online donations in a single day to a political candidate in US history.

Let The Shutdown Happen. Forever.

On the latest government shutdown drama over appropriations, which has become more banal with each passing year since 1995, Ron Paul accused Congress members of using a dysfunctional policy-making process as an excuse for why Washington keeps spending exponentially more of Americans' money...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

IT'S HAPPENING: Congress Effectively Legalizes Medical Marijuana at the Federal Level

Last week, Congress avoided a government shutdown by agreeing to a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded for another week. Then over the weekend, US lawmakers agreed to a deal that will extend funding through September while Congress and the White House continue to negotiate longer-term fiscal policy priorities.

The US House passed the budget deal Wednesday.

But amidst Washington’s annual kabuki theater dance around fiscal policy and possible government shutdowns, a little provision was tucked away in the budget bill that addressed medical marijuana in the now 29 states where it’s legal, with West Virginia the most recent to legalize just last month...

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