Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump at the Four-Week Mark: It's Getting Worse

As a lot of folks have said around the ol' Interwebs lately, it's even crazier and less competent than I expected, even given that I expected it to be completely crazy and incompetent. I'll list a few items from this week below, then talk a bit about where I think this is going.

Monday night National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned after it became public knowledge that he had been recorded in conversations with the Russian ambassador about easing sanctions imposed that day by President Obama for Russian hacking. During yesterday's press conference Trump said that Flynn had been right to do that. Just as a reminder, yes, is illegal for private citizens to conduct foreign policy discussions on behalf of the United States.

In response the Republicans in Congress mostly announced their intentions not to investigate anything in regard to Russian influence, penetration, or control of the Trump administration, except maybe to see if they can uncover where the leaks confirming that Flynn violated the law came from.

The Watergate-era phrase "What did the President know, and when did he know it," has become very popular this week.

Also on the Russian front this week Russia launched a cruise missile, had fighter planes buzz a US warship, and positioned a spy ship off our Naval shipyard in Connecticut -- all with no response from the Trump administration.

Reports also surfaced Wednesday that the intelligence community is now withholding information from Trump and his administration in the belief that Trump and/or several members of his administration are compromised, and that sensitive information released to the President of the United States and his top staff will leak to the Russian government.

Yesterday Trump offered the now-open job of National Security Adviser to Rear Admiral Robert Harward. He declined the job, apparently unwilling to take it if he could not install his own team and have control over national security policy. Normally that's the definition of the job of the National Security Advisor. It seems that national security really is being controlled by Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, instead.

As far as I know, nobody has ever turned down the offer to be National Security Adviser, which has until now been considered one of the most important roles in our nation.

Also yesterday, Trump held a truly loopy press conference. I could type all day about it, but let's just pick a few items:

Trump again lied about the size of his electoral victory, calling it "the Biggest Electoral College win since Reagan." (His 304 electoral votes were more than George W. Bush, but less than George H.W. Bush in 1988 or the totals amassed by Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.) When pressed by a reporter about the lie he replied, "Well, I don't know, I was given that information. I was given -- I actually, I've seen that information around."

He chastised a Jewish reporter for asking what his administration intended to do about a series of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and growing anti-Semitism, calling the question "not a fair question" and "very insulting." In asking the question the reporter very clearly stated that he was not accusing the President or his staff of anti-Semitism, he simply wanted to know what the Trump administration planned to do about the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S.

During his opening remarks he said this about protesters opposing the repeal of Obamacare, "they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they are not the Republican people that our representatives are representing." Yes, the President of the United States stated that Republican Congressional Representatives are in Congress to only represent Republicans.

In fairness to Trump, Congressional Republicans behave as if they only represent pro-Republican donors and lobbyists, so perhaps we'll just classify this statement under Freudian slip.

During the press conference Trump also made several odd statements about nuclear weapons and warfare during replies about Russian influence in his administration that made me truly rue the fact that he's the man with his finger on the nuclear trigger. I'll take solace, however, in this bit, "We're a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you one thing about a briefing that we're allowed to say because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other."

At least somebody explained to him that a nuclear war would be a bad idea. I am glad he has that bit straight. I like to hope most of us will survive the next three years and eleven months.

Also this week, a Republican Congressman introduced a bill in the House to simply abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. That sounds crazy, but today the GOP Senate confirmed as the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a man whose mission is to gut the EPA on behalf of the fossil fuels industry.

The Trump administration also continues to push for extreme actions against immigrants, both legal and illegal. They intend to issue a new version of their Muslim-based ban on entering the country in hopes that it will pass muster with the courts this time. This morning the Associated Press broke a story on an internal White House draft memo regarding plans to use up to 100,000 members of the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants for deportation. This would be a shocking advance towards imposing a police state in America. Although the White House refused comment despite repeated requests for comment before the story broke, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer immediately denied that it was true.

Since Sean Spicer has already established that he will lie about anything it's anybody's guess how close the memo is to becoming policy.

A PPP poll released last Friday indicated that Americans were split 46% to 46% on whether Trump should be impeached, an increase of 6% over the results in the Gallup poll released the previous week. Trump's approval rating continues to decline since his inauguration, now hovering at or slightly below 40% in most polls, though the Rasmussen poll of voters, which often leans Republican, still has him above 50%.

Perhaps most importantly, all of the polls show a huge partisan divide. Nearly all Democrats disapprove of Trump's performance. An overwhelming majority of Republicans approve. This split matters because the vast majority of Republicans Congressmen live in safe districts drawn by Republicans or represent red- or red-leaning states in the Senate. They will continue to hold themselves accountable only to Republican voters and not to the majority of Americans as long as Trump's approval ratings continue to remain strong among Republicans. Whether that continues the case probably relies on his ability to keep Fox News and the rest of the right-wing mediasphere on board. So far, they're all on board the Trump train.

I took a survey of the late-night talk show monologues last night, to see if I could get a sense of how this is all playing outside of the immediate news media or my various lefty amigos. I'd say the mood varied from bemused wonderment to appalled concern. It could sour quickly. Or it could hold up. Trump is a never-ending source of fodder for comedy monologue writers.

What next?

My guess is that we'll continue along this chaotic path for a while -- weeks? months? -- muddling along with slowly sinking approval ratings for Trump until we have a genuine crisis, something other than the self-imposed political crises that have enveloped Washington for the last month.

What that crisis will be, I have no idea. Natural disaster? Military conflict? Terrorism attack? Iron-clad evidence of Russian collusion?

Who knows? Your guess is as good as mine.

If the Trump administration handles it well or at least reasonably competently, they will buy themselves a good deal of rope, probably enough to make it to the 2018 midterm elections. If it goes poorly, especially if it seems to have been botched by incompetence -- Bush with Hurricane Katrina, for example -- we may see public opinion shift much more strongly against Trump.

I know my Democratic amigos mostly believe that any crisis will be met with the demonstrated incompetence we've seen to date. But it's also entirely possible that Trump's administration handles a genuine emergency genuinely well, or at least well enough to get some of the news media back on board. These things always have a way of surprising you.

How this all plays out relies a great deal on the GOP Congress. It's already obvious that they don't want to investigate Trump because they're worried about what they will find. They don't want to do anything that will distract from their rush to push through a long list of law and policy changes. If Trump's approval ratings are high enough to carry them through the mid-term elections with continued control of Congress, they'll probably stay hitched to him. If not, they'll jettison him. Pence would be just as willing to sign their bills, but dumping Trump would cause them enormous difficulties with the Republican base. A split in the party is the only thing truly likely to endanger their control of Congress, given their gerrymandered majority and an unfavorable 2018 map for the Democrats in the Senate.

The problem they face is that the longer Trump stays in office the more strongly they will be co-branded with him. If they're forced to try to push him out of office in 2018, he'll probably take them down with him.

My best guess is that we'll have is a race to push as much GOP legislation through Congress as possible. That race will be run against the ticking clock of the 2018 elections and the potential for a complete Trump implosion. From the GOP Congressional perspective their current situation may look like they're trying to push all their hopes and dreams through a corridor that contains two ticking time bombs. We only know how much time remains for one of those bombs. The other could explode tomorrow or not at all.

The 22-1/2 months until the next session of Congress is sworn in is a long time. The Democrats will try to stop the worst of the changes, but they really have very little practical power to stop things right now. And among the changes that are certainly coming we can expect to see changes to voting and election law designed specifically to help Republicans at the polls next November.

Final notion for today: there's a lot of discussion about parallels between the current situation and Watergate, much of it justified. But there are a couple of important differences, too. The Democrats controlled the House of Representatives during Watergate and were willing to investigate to find the truth about what Nixon and his staff had done. The current GOP leadership in Congress seems genuinely afraid to discover what Trump and his staff have done.

More importantly, perhaps, forty-plus years ago we lived in a country that didn't exist in two separate media bubbles. Although there were substantial disagreements on policy solutions and governmental philosophy, there was general agreement on facts and reality. In the year 2017 that is no longer the case. Four weeks into this we're already on the edge of peak Watergate territory. But as a nation we're not there until the Republicans are there, too. That could happen slowly, quickly, or not at all.

Reality has a way of catching up in the long run. But sometimes it's a long, long run.

Strap yourselves in, kids. This is an E-Ticket ride and it's likely to be a long one.

Monday, February 6, 2017

State of Wolverine Lake, 2017

My annual "State of the Village" column came out in our Wolverine Lake winter newsletter in this week's Spinal Column newspaper. 

Here it is for those of you who didn't catch it there:

State of the Village 2017
John Magee, Village President

Welcome to 2017, everybody! Hard though it is to believe, I am now entering my second decade as your Village President. It’s been quite a decade. When I was first elected as Village President we were beset with deep budget problems. A once-healthy fund balance had been nearly exhausted. We were on pace to run out of money altogether in another 18 months.

Turning our finances around despite the continued cuts in state revenue sharing and the real estate collapse didn’t come easily. We made painful staff cuts in the Police Department, the DPW, and our front office. We deferred many needed improvements in our village’s infrastructure. And we asked all of you to pay for your trash pickup because even with those cuts we could no longer cover the cost of trash pickup within the general budget.

I am happy to say that as we enter my 11th budget cycle as your President the village is in its strongest financial shape ever. We have a strong fund balance and an especially strong bond rating for a municipality of our small size. I would like to take a moment to thank our Village Treasurer Mike Kondek, who came on board during those dark times. His vision, guidance, and long-term planning keeps our financial course clear.

We’ve faced many other challenges, successes, and setbacks together over the last ten years. What I’ve found most amazing on that path has been the commitment of all of my fellow residents to make Wolverine Lake the best place it can be. When I first ran for Council my motto was, “This is a great place to live, and I aim to keep it that way.” The only thing I would change ten years later is to say, “This is a great place to live, and we all aim to make it even better.”

What now as we enter 2017? We expect to continue making Wolverine Lake a better place to live.

Congratulations are due to our new Village Administrator Nathan Burd on a very successful first year in office. Nathan has proven himself to be a strong leader and administrator. I want to thank him for choosing to join us.

Our Police Department is working to become one of the first departments in the area to be a fully certified department through the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. This certification will assure all of us who live here that our department meets the highest professional standards. This certification should also help us to reduce our insurance costs. Our DPW continues to work around the village to improve our streets, pathways, and parks. Our Water Management Board continues to improve its public outreach efforts and to improve our plans for lake maintenance this summer.

There’s much afoot for our parks this year. We expect to build out Amenia Park on the south side of the village this Spring, making it a true neighborhood asset. We are working on a new master plan for Clara Miller Park. As part of that plan we are working with local soccer and baseball organizations to improve our playing fields. We also expect to improve our playground equipment and to make improvements that will make our park more accessible for all of our village’s children. And we continue to look for ways to keep improving our pathway system. Safer pathways for walkers and bikers makes for a safer village.

I’ve used the words “we” and “our” a lot in this message. This is because it is our village and it takes all of us to make it work. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved – whether it’s through serving on a board or a commission or simply volunteering for a park event – this is the time. Please contact the village office to see how you can be a part of it.

And finally, thank you. I want to thank all of you – residents, employees, volunteers, consultants, and everybody who has attended even one Tiki Night celebration or Tuesday in the Park event – who have made serving as your president for the last ten years such a pleasure. Few people are lucky enough to get such an opportunity, and I’ve tried my best for the last ten years to live up to the standard that all of you set.

Thank you for that. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Trump at the Two-Week Mark

Two weeks into this debacle and I trust that I've heard the last of "give him a chance" from my right-wing amigos and "there's no difference between Trump and Clinton" from the left.

This is bad.

I expected it to be bad, so I'm not surprised that it's bad. But I did think that Trump might go a few weeks or a month or two before he inevitably reverted to form, that form being defined by how he has acted in public and private every damn day for the last forty years. I thought there was some chance that his inner circle would get him to rein himself in for long enough to get his cabinet and some deputy secretaries through the Senate quickly. I thought that he would at least put whatever awful executive orders he intended through some level of inter-agency vetting so that they might at least be enforceable or executable or ... well, purposeful and effective.

I expected lying, but even I didn't expect the lying to accelerate after he took office. They lie about everything. They lie about matters of substance (the Muslim ban, the Navy SEAL raid in Yemen, global warming) and about silly things (the size of the inauguration crowd.)

It's not just the dishonesty and corruption that's breathtaking. It's the incompetence.

They are going to get people killed. That may have already happened in the case of the Yemen raid. The cloud of dishonesty coming off the White House right now is so thick that it's hard to tell. The problem is that it really *is* a dangerous world out there. And right now Donald J. Trump is making it a much, much more dangerous world.

Something truly awful is going to happen before this is over.

I could go on and on about the specifics. But instead I'll point you to these weekly lists of authoritarian changes compiled by Amy Siskind. It's pretty amazing when you see an entire week's lunacy all in one concise place. (Alas for you non-Facebookers, they're on FB.)

Here's the list for Sunday, Jan. 22, through Saturday, Jan. 29: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Here's week 11

A Gallup poll released yesterday showed that 40% of Americans want Trump impeached. We're entering peak Watergate territory and WE'RE ONLY TWO FREAKING WEEKS INTO THIS!

(Nixon reached 38% favoring impeachment in Novemeber 1973 after the "Saturday Night Massacre" and 44% favoring impeachment in June 1974 after the indictment of several top aides. He ultimately reached 57% favoring impeachment just before he left office on Aug. 8, 1974. Source: Pew Research.)

The same poll that showed support for impeaching Trump already reaching 40% also showed that 95% of Republicans still approve of Trump's performance. We have become a nation divided by two different views of reality:

1) Fox "News" and the right-wing media bubble.
2) Reality.

News organizations that make some objective attempt to report reality -- CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters -- are now being called "the opposition party" by this White House.

Reality has a way of catching up in the end, but usually not until after awful things happen.

At this point I would genuinely welcome President Mike Pence. He'll be more effective at enacting things that I hate, but at least we'll have a mentally competent Commander in Chief.

I never in my life contemplated writing a sentence like "I would genuinely welcome President Mike Pence."

In the middle of the madness I am heartened by the sight of so many Americans showing up and speaking out against this. From the Women's March, the largest protest in American history; to the spontaneous demonstrations against the Muslim ban at airports across the country; to the record-setting number of phone calls and letters to Congress it has been an astonishing sight. A lot of Americans love this country and we're willing to fight to make it a better country.

For all of you who are equally dismayed, take heart. You are not alone.

So what's going to happen?

I genuinely don't know.

My best case scenario is that although the erratic behavior continues, some close call scares the Republicans in Congress straight. Trump is impeached or resigns before something truly awful happens, and Mike Pence goes on to be a loathsome but reasonably normal right-wing President. The result is a lot of damage to things that I care about -- civil rights, the environment, education, workers and retirees -- but no permanent, irreversible harm is done to our democracy or our world.

Yeah, that's my best case scenario.

I don't have any scenarios in which Donald Trump changes his behavior. It was always a fool's mission to think that he could discipline himself for at least a few months. But it's obvious now that he will never change, never improve, never learn.

The scenarios get worse if I think about it too long. Before the last two weeks I didn't think there was a significant chance that Trump would blunder us into a major war if he stayed in office for a full term. I am no longer so optimistic. This is going very, very badly.

What can we all do?

No one of us can do everything that needs doing. But all of us can do at least one thing. Find your thing and do it. Go to a protest. Call a Congressman. Write a letter to the editor. Find a 2018 candidate and hop on board. Pray.

Especially pray. We all need some prayers to get us through this.

What am I doing?

Well, I'm doing what I can and trying to sort out how I can be most effective. Right now I feel as if I range from things that are on-point but extremely ineffective (rage-tweeting about the madness on a daily basis @Patioboater) to something that is extremely effective but pretty much to the side of all this (continuing to lead our village with dull, fact-based, compassionate nonpartisan governance.) I guess that wouldn't be to the side of all of this if I could convince the world to join me on that course. But that ain't happening anytime soon that I can see.

I am grateful to have an opportunity to put my own ideals into practice as a local elected official. Since my ideals pretty much center around dull, fact-based, compassionate governance they don't draw much attention in the Age of Trump. But it makes me feel better to know that I'm doing what I can in a way that does have a genuine positive impact on my neighbors and my community.

And I'm trying to take better care of myself, too. I stretched myself way too thin in 2016 and it finally started to genuinely catch up with my health. As I trundle through middle age I'm coming to appreciate that I can't do any of the things I want to do unless I take care of my health first. I'm working on that.

So, I guess I leave all of you with that notion. Do what you can, but also be sure to take care of yourselves and each other along the way.

This isn't going well, but we will get through this.

Pax and love.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Today's Inauguration

I mourn.

I mourn that what was once unacceptable
Now holds the highest office in our land.

I mourn.

I mourn an American course opposed to
Rational thought
Human kindness

I mourn.

I mourn for elections so broken
That we voted for one thing
And got the opposite.

I mourn.

I mourn for the loss of good things
For new good things that will never be.

I mourn.

I mourn for all the people
Whose lives will be diminished
Or lost
When empty rhetoric
Takes the place of informed policy.

I mourn.

I mourn for air.
I mourn for water.
I mourn for earth.
I mourn for our globe.

I mourn.

I mourn for all of us:
Those who voted for this
Those who voted against this
Those who didn't bother to vote
Those too young to vote.

I mourn.

I mourn, but I will fight.
I will put my shoulder to the wheel.
I will join with my fellow Americans.
I will find my place.
I will find my voice.
I will keep trying to make
My home
My community
My country
A better place for all of us.

But today,

I mourn.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Keeping my social media sanity over the next four years...

I've started to make a bit of progress on the "making my life more manageable" pledge from my last post (Kvetching and resolutions.) Here are a couple of the first decisions and steps.

I intend to treat the Republican Congress and Donald Trump with every bit of the respect that they've shown for Barack Obama over the last eight years. So ... that probably means I'm going to say some pretty ugly things about them on a regular basis. But I'm going to try to keep partisan politics -- especially Trump bashing -- off my Facebook page and over on Twitter where it belongs. Longer thoughts will mostly go into this blog, and I will continue to link to it from FB when I post something I think people may want to read.

There are a few reasons for this:

1) I have yet to see anybody's mind changed by anything partisan on FB.
2) Mostly all I want out of FB is little updates from friends and family about their day-to-day life. I kind of assume that's what most of my FB amigos want from me, too.
3) I've often described Twitter as a place for awful people saying awful things. That makes it an excellent place for me to finally say awful things back to some of them.
    3A) In particular, look for me to tag things with #ThisIsALie whenever I happen to come across something from Trump that is egregiously untrue. It's shouting into the wind, but at least the shouting will help to keep my sanity while a compulsive liar is our president.
4) Twitter is Trump's preferred communication channel. That probably makes it the best place to communicate my opinion of what he tweets, says, and does.
5) Genuine politics are complicated. Every now and then I'm going to want to make a complex case and point. This blog is my platform for writing longer things. I originally thought I'd keep it relatively politics-free, but there's no reasonable way for me to do that when I have complex political things to say and this is my place to say complex things.

If you do want to follow me over on Twitter, my handle is @Patioboater. My feed there used to mostly consist of me making the occasional comment, but mostly retweeting cool sunsets, astronomy info and photos, random items that amused me -- especially from Drunk Hulk, Drunk Miggy, and Conan the Salaryman -- plus links to new posts on this blog. That stuff will still be there, but it's likely to be accompanied by a lot of reposted Trump bashing as well as a good deal more direct Trump bashing from me. You've been warned.

This also means that I'm likely to ask my FB algorithm to hide most of the partisan repostings that fill my feed, and this includes crap from both parties. My Democratic amigos whose posts mostly consist of reposting aggravating partisan stuff are going to be hidden, too. I'm not likely to unfriend anybody, but some of the things I see posted there on a regular basis make me think genuinely less of people that I otherwise like. I don't want to think less of any of you because you're addicted to thoughtless reposting on Facebook. And I don't want to have to spend every day fact-checking your feeds because crap that you've reposted. It's a waste of my time and a pointless aggravation, since you couldn't be bothered to fact-check things yourself.

As a particular point, most of my FB friends who are politicians who use FB to say political things aren't likely to get hidden. Why? Because they're saying these things for themselves. It's the endless reposting of crap that I can't take any more.

If I do see something genuinely errant, I may point it out or link somebody to Snopes, probably just before asking FB to hide more crap like that from me. But I just can't spend all my time and energy every day trying to refute everything in the crapfest.

Related item: it's time for another round of "unsubscribe" in my email. Mostly this'll be for a list of vendors that I like who insist on emailing me on a daily basis. But it'll likely also include a lot of political causes and organizations that I like. Y'all need to stop asking me for money all day every day.

That's it for now. More to come, I'm sure. It's a start towards making my life more manageable, but just a start.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kvetching and resolutions

I am bone tired. It all probably just adds up to "middle age" but I need to find a way to live my life at a sustainable pace in 2017.

This was the Facebook status I posted Saturday morning: "I don't want to say it was a long, full week, but when I finally got home last night I was too tired to drink beer. #TheHorror"

Really, I was too tired to sit on my couch and drink beer on a Friday night.

If it was just one long week during the run up holidays that would be fine, but this has been a long time coming. I bore you with the kvetching details, gentle reader, but I've essentially been working what used to be 2-1/2 jobs at work for four years now. I like my job, but there's too much of it. I've also served as Village President (essentially the mayor) of our village for ten years. Plus, I served as treasurer on a state representative campaign this year.

It adds up.

I'm worn out. And as a result, I'm not doing a particularly good job of the things I should be doing. So it takes me longer to do them, so I get more worn out.

Rinse. Repeat.

I no longer seem to have long blocks of time for coherent thought. My daily existence is broken into a never-ending series of meetings crammed around dozens and dozens of emails. Worse yet I sometimes find myself multitasking during many of those meetings because I am awash in unread email and behind schedule on eight-thousand other fronts. Then I come home and impose multitasking on myself as I peruse the web while half-watching sporting events or routine TV shows. I have the attention span of a ... well, I was going to say "a five-year-old child," but frankly most five-year-olds can focus better than I can these days.

I need to re-establish my ability to focus and to sustain coherent thought for long periods of time. That used to be my thing, damn it.

I haven't been taking good care of myself. Not nearly enough exercise. Too much food. And then I get tired or stressed and overeat even more. It used to be that even when I overate I usually ate pretty decent food, but there's been an awful lot of junk going into me lately.

I have become a compendium of poor health habits. My doctor is not amused by the recent trend in my overall health the last few years. His advice to me at my physical this month went something like this, "Stop letting your job make you crazy and don't work yourself into an early grave."

Junk food into my belly, junk thought into my brain. I need to read more print and do less surfing of FB and Twitter. And good print. Books.

I can't maintain for the next four years the pace and intensity of my fury that Donald Trump was elected president. It's the most inconceivably awful decision democracy has made in my recollection or study of American history. I like to think that I stand for rational, reasonable, fact-based policy and decision-making in government with an emphasis on fairness to everybody and long-term solutions for problems. "Dull, efficient government," is my motto. Trumpism is pretty much the opposite, headed up by a sociopathic compulsive liar.

Just typing that last paragraph raised my blood pressure by 20 points. I need to find some way to not let the next four years drive me mad.

Because it could. It really could. We're six weeks past the election and I still find myself in a white-hot fury about it at some point every day. Unfortunately, I have enough empathy and imagination to see that the next four years are likely to be very bad for a lot of people who already have it pretty bad. The results of the next four years have a very good chance to be catastrophic for some parts of the world.

I don't know how to turn myself off from that knowledge. Empathy and imagination is what makes me tick. I don't know how to not care. I don't know how to pretend I don't see what I'm watching right now. I don't think I'm going to be able to ignore it or compartmentalize national politics for the next four years.

But there's also not much I can do about it, either. I can do my best to get my village ready to ride it out, I suppose. And when I do my job well I make it easier for people to find good, reliable information and I make it easier for people to learn. All of which makes it even more infuriating that so many people have chosen to wallow in crappy, inaccurate information and flat-out lies. I guess I can take a bit of solace in knowing that I'm on the right side of the information war that is being fought. It doesn't seem like enough, though.

I don't think there's anything truly wrong with me that six months on a quiet tropical beach wouldn't fix. (Well, maybe four years on that beach for the Trump thing....) But that ain't happening.

So, most of all I need to figure out how to get myself to a reasonable, sustainable, healthy pace and place in 2017. I'm not there right now. And I'm not sure what the path is to that place. But I need to find it.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Official Republican Party Platform Regarding Russian Foreign Intervention, 1945-Now, a Postwar Timeline

May 8, 1945 - VE Day

May 9, 1945 - We must use every tool at our disposal to contain Soviet foreign aggression.

October 6, 1976 - Gerald Ford: "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe."

October 7, 1976 - Gerald Ford: "I misspoke during the debate. What I meant to say was, 'We must use every tool at our disposal to contain Soviet foreign aggression."

June 12, 1987 - Ronald Reagan: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

November 9, 1989 - Berlin Wall torn down.

Nov. 10, 1989 through Nov. 8, 2016 - We must use every tool at our disposal to contain Russian foreign aggression.

Nov. 9, 2016 - Official start of the Trump Doctrine: "Kiss kiss, smooch smooch. Oh, Pooty-Poot, I get so tingly and giddy when you cybertouch my electoral process. Do it again!"