Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blaming Democrats and the Liberal Press

Make America Great Again, because the Democrats have ruined it.

Here's the result of 30 minutes of googling... all back of the envelop stuff, probably something wrongish but close enough ... 

Since 1993/94 ish to current -

  • Republicans have had the majority of state legislatures 11 times, Democrats 7 times, and 1 time tied.
  • Republicans have had the majority of Governorships 16 times, Democrats 4 times
  • At the Federal level:
  • Republicans have had the majority in the Senate 7 times, Democrats 4 times, and 2 times tied
  • Republicans have had the majority in the House 10 times, Democrats 3 times
  • In the Supreme Court, of the 18 Justices who have served on the Supreme Court between 93/94 and today - 14 were appointed by Republicans and 4 by Democrats.
And of course there have been 3 Republican Presidents and 2 Democrats as President during the same time period.
For the last month plus they've had the White House, Supreme Court, House, Senate, 33 Governorships, and the majority of the state legislatures.  
But, they have done NOTHING BUT WHINE since November.   They've become so accustomed to blaming others for their shortcomings that they don't know what to do.

The biggest target of their whining has been the dastardly LIBERAL MEDIA.  Yes, that same group that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Fox News have been complaining about for the last 20+ years.

The media on the right love to brag about how they dominate the ratings.  Bill O'Reilly loves to remind Rachel Maddow and the folks at MSNBC that many more people watch Fox than MSNBC.  Something like 14M people listen to Rush daily, 13M listen to Hannity, along with Fox News dominating the TV news ratings.  To compare about 600K people watch Morning Joe on MSNBC every day.  But, they can't stop whining about the liberal media.  First, listen to Democracy Now if you want to hear Liberal media.  The argument is one I've never understood, MSNBC/CBS/ABC and Fox all are corporate media and on a pretty narrow political spectrum, each company's primary goal is making money, not teaching or influencing opinion. Rush actually knows this, it's just he's made his brand on complaining that people aren't treating people like him and his listeners fairly, and it's worked, so he continues to roll with it.

They've been in the political majority for the last 25 ish years.  They've dominated the media during the same time period.  And they whine and complain that the world sucks and it's somebody elses fault.  And these folks are supposed to be the ones that believe in personal responsibility?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

How to handle this idiot

Donald Trump is on a "fake news" rant... it is his latest shiny object.  There have been literally thousands of these "shiny objects" since he started running for President, and as of yet, neither the media nor other rational reasonable people know how to deal with someone so clearly in their own reality.

On "fake news" it's interesting that Donald doesn't really even understand what it is... he believes it is opinion that disagrees with his own.  In fact it's all the links embedded at legitamate news sites and webpages that is paid content... here are some I just copied from an actual newspaper's site:


The IRS Announces 2017 Standard Mileage Rates

What turns off small business shoppers?

Three Tax Credits for Your Family

New Year, New Tax Implications

Possible Jail Time For Stallone?

How To Fix Your Fatigue (Do This Every Day)

Megyn Kelly Joins NBC After Fox News Drug Allegations

Ivanka Has Last Laugh At Media With Secret Net Worth

Trump Saves Homeowners $5,088

Itching This Part of Your Body Is a Sign of Alzheimer’s

There are some more egregious than these that most people have seen - photo shopped pictures of muscle bound folks which say something about "scientific breakthroughs"...

But this dumb ass we've elected President doesn't know the difference and when he spouts this crap about CNN being "fake news"... the 35% who somehow think this idiot is going to make their life work by being mean to the people that they blame for their failures (the poor, blacks, immigrants, liberals, etc.) they absolutely believe it.

Reasonable and rational people don't know what to do with irrational, illogical idiots like this guy.  They all grew up hearing that if they argued with an idiot bystanders wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  So they just assumed that people would figure it out.. well that didn't work out did it?

Carl Bernstein tweeted - "the most dangerous 'enemy of the people' is presidential lying--always. Attacks on press by @realDonaldTrump more treacherous than Nixon's."

Maybe just maybe the media is going to figure out how to handle this very dangerous man and his alternative reality.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Psychoanalyzing Trump

My friend Mary, a brilliant writer, wrote this on facebook -
"Public Service Announcement: If someone says, "Nobody loves you more than me. Nobody!" run far and fast. That's not love. That's how an abuser keeps his or her victims in line."
Donald's speech to the CIA yesterday -
 "I just wanted to really say that I love you. I respect you. There’s nobody that I respect more. You’re going to do a fantastic job. And we’re going to start winning again. And you’re going to be leading the charge."
The Psychological Condition that Best Explains Donald Trump's Twisted Worldview: Think of our president as a hoarder. But instead of objects, he collects victories and vendettas.

The evidence mounts to overwhelming: He's a pathological climber. The self-declared "ratings machine" suffers from "Impressive Compulsive Disorder,” a condition that is like hoarding, not of stuff but of impressive power.You know that burning sinking feeling you get when you're around someone who's more impressive than you? That's Trump's sole driver. There's nothing in him to upstage it, no greater good to temper it.

 The Mind of Donald Trump

Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity—a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency.

 Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

 The Mayo Clinic’s definition of NPD is: “A mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism. If you have NPD, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious, you often monopolize conversations, you may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior, and you may feel a sense of entitlement (when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry). At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior.” Does this sound like Mr. Trump? You bet it does!

Has there ever been a more damaged person who was President, perhaps.  But, I guarantee there has never been a more damaged person so easy to read as our new President. 

How the press and the public navigates figuring out which of his rants are "donald being psycho" and those that  have serious implications are going to be one of the great challenges over the next four-years.

The other challenge will be making sure he doesn't destroy everything we've built since 1776.


Fears of the President

Trump supporters are all over social media chastising "liberals" for what they deem as unwarranted fears of the President.  They're also suggested that singer/actress Madonna be charged with treason after she said publicly that she'd thought of burning down the White House after the election.

AlterNet pulled out some of the fears of the right-wing regarding the last President.

10 Right-Wing Predicitions About Obama That Never Came True
1. Obama Will Create Death Panels2. Obama Will Kill His Critics3. Obama Will Spread Disease In Order To Imprison Americans4. Obama Will Start A Race War5. Obama Will Create A Personal Brownshirt Army6. Obama Will Seize Guns7. Obama Will Invade Texas8. Obama Will Ban The Bible
9. Obama Will Impose Sharia Law10. Obama Will Stay In Office

Read the AlterNet piece to see which loonies were pushing which conspiracy theory that didn't come true.

Speaking of loonies, lots of your facebook and twitter friends are warning of that evil Madonna today and what she said to the rapid "feminazi's" that marched on 1/21/17, actually here's what she said:

Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die.
"I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love."
Here's the Full Transcript of Madonna's Speech at the Women's March

Oh wait.  It was a message of love? Hmmm... kinda like those 10 thoughts from the conservatives, right? Uh, no.

Friday, December 23, 2016

From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture, from Ag to Industrialization, next?

One of the common themes on this blog, along with , "the essence of normality, is the refusal of reality", is that we're in the middle of fundamental transformation that is completely changing the way we live, work, and learn.

I've irritated folks over the years, and probably stretched it too far, by arguing it's the root cause of every major political event in the last 20 years or so.  Why do people fly planes into the World Trade Tower, this transformation led by globalization has them really scared and they acted out of fear.  Why would people vote for someone like Donald Trump, who by any standards is not only unqualified but not a decent person that anyone should aspire to emulate much less follow... because they're scared and want someone to "fix" it, stop this transformation, stop these changes, make things like they used to be.

A piece of this going forward about 30% of the population are going to thrive and 70% are going to struggle to make ends meet.  This fact will continue to raise animosity, polarization and ultimately conflict for scarce resources.

Richard Florida had a nice thread on Twitter about this a few weeks back -

"1. We are undergoing several nested transformations at once that are causing incredible disruptions of the economic social & political order

2. The first is the shift from natural resources & physical power/labor to knowledge - where the mind has become the means of production.

3.  This shift advantaged roughly a third of the workforce/ population while 66% falls further behind.

4. The second shift is from toward clustering as the source of innovation & economic advantage.

5. This massively concentrates talent & economic assets in a handful of super-star cities & knowledge-tech hubs ...

6.  The world becomes spikier & spiker, across nations, across regions, & within cities ...

7. This clustering of talent & economic assets also makes the city/ metro the new economic & social organizing unit ...

8 Undermining two core institutions of the old order the large vertical corporation & the nation state

9. I would suggest this transformation is perhaps the most disruptive in human history -  the clustering of knowledge > physical labor ..

10. So it should not be surprising that such a widespread transformation & the upheaval of myriad social categories leads to backlash ..."

A couple of books on the subject worth checking out;

Nine Shift: Work, Life, and Education in the 21st Century

And this one definitely worth preordering -

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I wouldn't vote for me either... The Big Sort

An important point to President Obama's interview with  Bill Maher, especially as it relates to my blog, was when the President said, "If all I watched was Fox News, I probably wouldn't vote fore me either"...

We're becoming so divided, I have previously and do now blame demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly for this... but, nevertheless, it's all part of what Bill Bishop called "the big sort"... and I think it's clear.. it will get worse and nobody knows where it will lead.

You are voting for Trump? Why?

Reasonable people cannot disagree on this election.  Trump is a dangerous con artist who has exposed a disturbing percentage of the population that would willfully trade their freedom, democracy, and risk permanent damage to our country for a demagogue's promises.  

Perhaps you're voting for Trump because you're an evangelical...
 Donald Trump Exposes "hypocritical" evangelicals 

Or you're worried about your money in your retirement accounts...
Financial markets rattled at prospect of Trump victory

A Trump Win Would Tank the Markets 

Global Markets Shudder on Prospect of Trump presidency 

Or just angry about all the damage that Obama has done...

       He took your guns, the stock market tanked, gas prices skyrocketed? ... hmmm.

Because you're a 'business guy' and we need a 'business guy' running things:
       From business guru Tom Peters on twitter:
"Trump stands for hatred, small-mindedness, revenge, exclusion. (I am borderline embarrassed to be an old white male.)"

See also Trump Steaks, Trump Water, Trump University and his tax returns (he isn't rich, he's a showman, a con artist).

Because he'll bring your jobs back?... No, we're in a fundamental transformation of our economy, largely due to automation/technology/globalization...

"Given the volatility of the changes, the idea of an “average” worker was becoming obsolete. And while much of the discussion about economic inequality has centered on the top 1 percent, it’s the gap between the top 20 percent and the rest that’s more salient to young people. “That is a dividing point,” says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis. People in the top 20 percent of income — roughly $100,000 in 2013 — have taken nearly all the economic gains of the past 40 years. (Of course, the top 1 percent and, even more so, the top 0.01 percent, has taken a far more disproportionate share).

This uncomfortable fact, which many economists have recently accepted, suggests that we are living not simply in an unequal society but rather in two separate, side-by-side economies. For those who can crack the top 20 percent, there is great promise. Most people in that elite group, Rank told me, will spend at least part of their careers among the truly affluent, earning more than $250,000 a year. For those at work in the much larger pool, there will be falling or stagnant wages and far greater uncertainty. "
“Weaver and Osterman offer a more industry-specific explanation: The manufacturing industry has become so specialized that companies are looking for hyperspecific skills that few outside workers could be expected to have. But companies have also become less likely to offer training for new hires. Companies, the authors write, “are unwilling or unable to solve their skill challenges through internal training, even for skills that are highly specific to a particular plant.”
Even if companies invested in more training, though, it’s unlikely they would go on a hiring spree. Ultimately, the slow pace of job growth in manufacturing isn’t companies’ fault any more than it is workers’. The cause is more fundamental than that: Due mostly to automation, U.S. factories now produce more than ever with fewer workers. That’s a trend no job-training program will reverse.”

Sadly, most are supporting Trump because they are scared.  As the NYT's piece above points out all the gains are going to the top .01% and the rest of us struggle to make sense of an economy that doesn't look like the one's we were taught about by our parents or our schools.  We must have serious, big, conversations about what success looks like and what a meaningful life is, in this new transformed economy and world.  I hope that after the election we'll be able to have those conversations, but my guess is this has all been a con from Trump to start his own TV network and try to pay off his billions in debt to the Russians.  And he'll take 30% of the population, along with Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, and others.  And they'll continue to divide this country, caring only for their fame and wallets not the future of the country.