Apr 19, 2019

The Muller Report Confirmed: Trump Crime Family Colluded, Obstructed Justice, Betrayed the Country!

One thing is abundantly clear: Trump and his people are criminals, unethical, and unpatriotic/treasonous. After the FBI director and the Attorney General were fired by Trump, his current AG decided to act as his personal lawyer and not as the top law enforcement official in the country. Oh, and the so-called "fake news" outlets got their reporting confirmed by Muller!

The Muller Report, redacted as it may be, clearly shows what we already knew--how Trump and his people have been acting all along. The unredacted details contradict Trump and the AG.  Here's an editorial by conservative columnist J. Rubin, Right Turn -- one of the few Republicans who see this for what it is.

Only the willfully ignorant or morons can't get themselves to acknowledge that the Trump crime family colluded and conspired with the Russians, that they were eagerly willing to use illegally-obtained information and Russian lies to win an election, while they were talking to a foreign power about lifting sanctions, and hoping to profit by doing business in Moscow. The Trump family is still making money and taking payments from foreign interests.

Obstruction of justice? He did it in the open by firing Comey, Sessions, not cooperating with Muller, attacking the legitimacy of the investigation, and instructing others to lie to the FBI and Muller.

The FBI (yes, their job is to investigate) was looking into the Trump campaign for a good reason, because of persons who had been colluding with Russians and other foreign powers. Five of his closest associates already have or are going to jail. When president Trump was told not to give security clearance to his son-in law because Jared was compromised, DJT did regardless. Same with convicted felon Flynn, who was made National Security Advisor with access to the most secret classified information.

Thankfully, Ivanka declined to be the head of the the ..World Bank. Her father wanted to appoint her there, because.. "she's good with numbers"!!!   But, he has appointed dozens of incompetent and unqualified people for jobs in important positions. Trump himself is not qualified to be president.  Yes, I'd still disagree about Republican policies if they were put forth by president McCain or president Romney, or as they were by president Bush. But, the big difference is that those people were qualified to be president of the US. 

"Lock him up"  What more damning evidence do you need?
Others have been convicted on lesser crimes, but as long as he's got the Republicans to shield him, he gets a pass, for now.
So, now what's next? There will be many spinoffs. Those who say the American public is fed up from this and wants to move on are playing a partisan game. Don't listen to them. Keep describing him as crook #1. I'm not suggesting the Dems should focus on this only--they should offer their alternative policies. But, clearly Trump rode the train to the White House by harping on the.. crooked Hillary's emails. [Wouldn't you love it today if that was his scandal instead of all the other crimes and misdemeanors he's been involved in?]

Elections are not won because one side plays nice. The voters themselves aren't the rational jurors who render a careful decision. They're the cultivars of a long process of politicization and cultural indoctrination. There are a few factors that determine close elections, and one very important one--if not the most important one--is turnout. 

What causes voters to show up or stay home? Excitement and commitment, and how do you get those?.....

Feb 28, 2019

Capo's Consigliere: Crime Boss Directed the Operations.... (and, let me tell you where the bodies are burried)

Finally, Congress--well, the House, 'cause the Republican Senate was checking executive power only when Obama was president--is looking into Trump's crimes. I don't know what more someone needs to finally accept the reality that Trump cares only about himself and committing fraud-crimes has been his only skill. 

You don't have to believe M. Cohen's testimony to Congress. Don't take his word for it. But, check the evidence and sources to more evidence he provides. I think he had no incentive to lie in his latest testimony; he's already a convicted felon. But, he, and many others, in Trump's inner circle has been saying the same story about Trump and his crooked family. Further, several of those persons have been indicted, plead guilty, and sentenced for various crimes. It's only a matter of time, the crime boss goes down too.

Ah, those damn emails of crooked Hillary.... Wouldn't you take that scandal over what we're witnessing under Trump?

Obviously, the Repubs would attack the credibility of Cohen, but offered no rebuttal to the evidence or arguments he made. They acted like mafia boss lawyers defending their client. Cohen provided insights and ways for Congress to find those "buried bodies." 

It's more than apparent that Trump has cheated, lied, colluded, defrauded, betrayed all sorts of people and the country. Some cognitively-challenged persons can't go past their biases. Trump could indeed shoot someone in the middle of Manhattan and some people would blame the victims for walking in front of his bullets.  Others are indeed deplorables --those who don't care about Trump's crimes.  Of course, they would've started a revolution if Obama had committed a fraction of Trump's crimes. Ah, yeah, those were the good ol' days of a presidential tenure free of scandals...except those "damn emails" that the FBI and Congress investigated ad nauseam .

The whole Trump family, going back to his father, has been a mafia-type operation. They've cheated on taxes; set up a fraudulent foundation, a fraudulent"university", scammed contractors and buyers, profited from bankruptcies, colluded with a foreign power against the US, made deals with foreign interests while running for president, then as president promising to lift sanctions against Russia, and since have been profiting by selling influence, and taking bribes!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was brilliant in her 5' questioning of Cohen. She put on the record other people who have knowledge about Trump's illegal dealings, which is how Cohen can corroborate his statements. She, twice, made a point that if the Committee was to verify Cohen's statements, Congress needs access to Trump's tax records, which, against tradition of presidential candidates, have not been made available to the public, because Trump has been lying about being under audit..... In itself a stupid excuse since an IRS audit doesn't prohibit anyone from releasing their taxes.  Cohen said that Trump was not under IRS audit, and he might be if he released his taxes, that would show the fraud he's been committing, plus his sources of income!

I can't wait for Muller's report. He may not issue conclusions and leave it up to Congress (and the states) to do so, as well any further legal actions. But, Muller's report will add to the momentum of exposing one of the worst frauds in our history, which may be the biggest considering that a crime family made it to the White House!

I wholly recommend Rachael Maddow's podcast, Bagman. It's about the Nixon-Agnew saga. The similarities between those crime figures and Trump are striking! So much for the party of ..values!  

Update, 3/1/19: It's worth noting what resurfaced in the news today. Trump overruled our intelligent agencies to give Jared Kushner top security clearance! Trump's own chief of staff at the time, John Kelly, wrote an internal memo saying how disgusted he was about this matter. Nepotism is the least trespass here. It's an issue of national security and how the Trump crime family is all about their own interests damn the country!

Feb 19, 2019

Sanders to Run for Prez in 2020

A socialist from Vermont
I am a Bernie fan. I think he has almost single-handedly moved the Democratic party to the left and made certain topics part of the mainstream, like higher taxes for the rich, pro-environment, universal health care, etc. Of course the conservatives and the advocates of the "donor class" don't like this kind of socialistic talk, but there are now majorities in America that support, well, socialism!

The word socialism may have a negative connotation but mostly with older Americans who experienced the Cold War and communist/socialist dictatorships in the second half of the 20th century. But the world and our country have changed. 

Younger people are more socially-minded. They do want to tax the super rich. They do want social services. They do care about the environment. They do want regulations in the marketplace, consumer protections, etc.

When the Cons point to Venezuela as a bad example of.. socialism, the reply should be, an authoritarian regime can be socialist, or fascist/Nazi (national socialism), or communist, or, capitalist.

Most people are already aware of Canada and ..Denmark and the rest of the Scandinavian countries who practice democratic socialism. These countries have some very desirable & enviable outcomes. They beat us in happiness, quality of life, health care, education, longevity, leisure, etc, so they must be doing something right.

We should be pointing out that all western type countries are liberal-social-democracies. Liberal, because they promote individual freedoms, social because of social safety net (i.e., Social Security), and democratic, because of free expression, etc. The basics are the same, the recipes vary. But, if we want better outcomes, it's time we try what other countries have done to surpass the US in many critical outcomes.

Bernie will be a good addition to the Dem class of presidential candidates, because he'll raise important issues and force the other candidates to respond. Primary voters of both parties are more to the left and right than the general population, so any serious candidate may have to steer to the more extreme wings of their party. However, I think Trump will be the nominee of the Repubs, unless he's indicted and resigns--which is a probability. I don't think he'll be impeached, nor would I advise the Dems to start such process unless they could secure the 67 votes in the Senate required for removal of a president.

On the other hand, the Democratic candidates will veer to the left during the primaries for sure, though I believe the eventual nominee will be the one mostly considered as the stronger candidate to defeat Trump. Who will be the one to cater to the left but also present themselves as one who could get the independent votes, plus excite people to actually get out and vote? Turnout is always the key to success. HRC could have won if more than 70,000 Dem voters in three states had done that. And, yes, Dems had millions more votes--their turnout was lower than four years earlier!

Perhaps, you noticed that I am not expecting Sanders to be the nominee. He is the most progressive, like Senator E. Warren, but I don't think the Dems will take a chance selecting the most progressive candidate, since the base and most independents find the current buffoon in the White House totally unacceptable, they'll opt for a safer choice. I don't think Warren will fare well in the contest. Sanders might, but not her; it just a hunch... they'll be appealing to same group of voters. 

There are two reasons for both of them not being the nominee. One, the Dems want someone who can beat DJT, so they'll go with the safer choice, and two, the age of Bernie (79 on election day), and Warren (71). Oh, Biden too (78). The presidency is very demanding, if, unlike Trump, the CEO of the USA actually works. 

I also think the Dems would like the next Dem prez to be a two-termer, so all three--Sanders, Warren, Biden--have a great disadvantage. It's not impossible but if you're pushing 90...

The Democratic parties have rules that are mostly proportional representation at the convention. It's much easier for someone with even 25% consistent support, in a field of dozens, to win the nomination in a winner-take-all system, like many Republican parties have. This system made it easier for Trump to win, whereas the PR% system allowed Obama to win in 2008. Hillary Clinton won all the big states but didn't win all their delegates.

We have an interesting system of selecting and electing presidents in the US. Until the 1970s and 1980s, the two major political parties decided their nominees mostly within a closed system of party bosses with the general public excluded. After the disaster of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, the Democrats opened up the primaries to regular voters. By the 1980s, the Republicans followed too. This democratic (small "d") development weakened the political parties further--their power had been declining since the 1960s with the emergence of media politics (TV). It also made the process messier and more expensive.  

Each state, plus DC and US territories, have their own parties with their own rules of voting for committed delegates to the national party convention. Most use simple straight voting (also called a primary). Some used a more complicated and time-consuming process, known as a caucus. The national party committees--the DNC and the RNC--control the conventions and decide on the role of the super-delegates, who are party stalwarts, and are not committed to any particular candidate (at least in theory). The Dems reduced their numbers and impact on selecting the nominee.

Anyway, it's going to be very interesting. I see it as the beginning of the end of a very bad choice the country made in 2016.

The Faux News network for a long while now is harping about the "coup d'etat" against Trump.... There was no coup. I wonder what the cons would say if Obama had a similar relationship with the Chinese leader, against the advice of his own security agencies, that he was being bribed by foreign countries & persons while running and after being elected president, when dozens of his top people in his campaign and in his close circle were indicted, under investigation, or plead guilty...   When his campaign colluded with the Russians...

Yes, it's reasonable to begin to discuss the possibility of removing a president who may be a foreign agent...

Today we found out that Trump wanted to give nuclear secrets to the Saudis against NSA advice!

Dec 18, 2018

'Tis the Season....

Ti's the season to be..... (insert your own word here). For me, it's been a decent year, better than the previous two. Politically, we got a needed boost, and some hope for the needed additional checks & balances with the Democrats winning the House so convincingly.

Good news from New Jersey. Progressives defeated the NJ Democrats who wanted to gerrymander the hell out of their state, like Republicans so blatantly have done in many states. Perhaps we can now have a national law that prohibits this practice. But, don't hold your breath since the Republicans have to result to such methods and election fraud to win elections and cheat the people of their choices.

Health care is in the minds of many people, and it was a big topic in the past November election. Yes, there are lots of costs of providing care, but shouldn't this be a hallmark of an advanced society? It's about human lives. Suffering matters; we should promote life and happiness.  The recent judge's decision that ACA ("Obamacare") is unconstitutional may be a very bad thing for the GOP. But, what's new about the Republicans promoting policies that hurt people, directly, and often irreparably.

For most Trumpistas, logic and facts don't apply. They're cognitive challenged, and, as someone said on the topic of religion, it's very hard to move someone from a position by using logic when they didn't arrive at their position using logic.

I've asked the following question to a couple of Trump supporters: At which point would you say, 'lock him up' ?  His business have been fraudulent; he was selling and buying influence while running for president of the US; his election was aided by foreign agents/powers, including a brake-in ala Watergate; his top people (remember? "I will choose the best of the best"..) have been indicted, convicted or are under investigation; his transition team and his inauguration committee, his campaign, the emolument clause, the lies, the dishonesty, the attack on our institutions, the..., the....

He needs to be shamed out of office... He will be rebuked by the system and by the voters, and he'll go down in history as the worst, most corrupt, most incompetent president in the history of the U... of the world!

Happy solstice!

Nov 7, 2018

Midterms 2018--There Will be Checks and Balances

There was a blue wave, not a tsunami, but Dems, again, won the majority of American votes, this time by 9% points--which they had to to overcome the barriers to voting put up by the Republican machine.

Just watched Trump's press conference. Nothing new. Idiotic, nonsensical statements, very limited vocabulary, same stupid drivel, unhinged, egotistical megalomaniac ignoramus as usual. This is not just about the wrong policies and the wrong direction Trump and his party are inflicting on our country, but it's also about the kind of vile person he is and how unqualified. No serious company would hire this moron or have him speak for them. What an embarrassment. 

There was a big effort to register new voters and get out the vote by the Dems and progressives. It worked up to a point. It was probably a very high turnout for a midterm election, but still most Americans didn't vote! It's pathetic. And, it's also pathetic that we have to beg, entice, almost trick or treat people to vote. It should be a civic duty, a patriotic duty to vote. And, not just vote, but be informed about the important issues.

If you vote is counted, then it matters even if your political choice didn't prevail. We measure public opinion and commitment through voting. It matters because voter participation influences how we're being governed. Of course, elections have huge consequences, especially in a sharply divided country whereas the two parties represent vastly different policies--policies that directly affect the lives of our people, and not only.

 It's disheartening to see so much support for Trump--OK, the majority of Americans disapprove of him, but still there are too many who do like him. The change will take time and lots of effort. I think most people are misinformed about the issues; many are just very ignorant and/or don't have the ability to understand that they don't know enough and they don't know how to evaluate evidence.... 

This is not a snobbish comment. It's the Dunning-Krugger effect in play.  It takes a skill to understand what constitutes a fact and what a reliable source is, and how to arrive at a rational conclusion.  That's why it's very difficult, next to impossible, to have a conversation with anyone who doesn't understand this. In the absence of common facts, no rational conversation can take place!

At any rate, I'm looking forward to the next 2 years....

Oct 12, 2018

(Un)happy Columbus Day

They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned....They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features....They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane....They would make fine servants....With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. … They are so na├»ve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed it would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone … As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island I found, I took some natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.”
~~Christopher Columbus, Captain’s Log, October 12, 1492

Sep 8, 2018

Anonymous: Com'on, You Already Knew Trump is a Dangerous, Impetuous Child

It's painful to have to deal with someone who, by all indications, should have been dismissed long time ago. It's not just an adverse reaction to his policies, but the fact he's incompetently dangerous to be in a position of power. The Don, unfortunately, will be damaging the institutions and interests of the US, and of our sanity for a while longer. My senses are tired and I shudder every time I think of Trump and his actions.

We already know that hard-core Trump supporters are impervious to reality. Even a simple task--comparing two photos from Obama's and Trump's inaugurations--is beyond their ability to see the obvious.  Likewise, when they hear so many voices--many of whom are life-long Republicans--state the obvious about Trump and his chaotic style, such talk is dismissed as "fake news." There are several reasons for Trumpistas to believe in alternative facts. One is the Danning-Kruger effect, that is, people are too incompetent (or morons) to realize the extend of their mistakes and ignorance.

Anyway, the recent anonymous OpEd in the NYT about the resistance against Trump's childish behavior didn't reveal anything new, other some more details that support the view he is so far out that even his own people are trying to curtail his destructive and dangerous impulses.

Very few Republicans, especially the ones who are in power, have dared to openly criticize the "dear leader." Hopefully this will change after the midterm elections if there's a blue wave that sweeps Republicans out of many offices.

But let's not forget that he's also giving the conservatives a lot of what they want: deregulation, tax breaks to the rich, and the Supreme Court. Perhaps that's why the Republican leadership has been relatively quiet and acquiescent to Trump's trespasses.


Aug 14, 2018


Sorry, I couldn't help it..
Yes, it's been a long while since my last post, but I've been mulling about the nature of blogging in this age of social media. When I started blogging, in 2004, this medium was very, very young. I had many followers soon after, some even outside the US, as people were getting more familiar with online blogs and sites. I was more eager to write posts and I believed it was necessary for the progressive movement. Then everybody came to posting online and most people began to get most of their information on the Internet. Newspapers and dedicated news/opinion/information sites abound today. Many bloggers I knew from the early days have moved on to other things. It's amazing how the media have changed in the last 15 years...

I was working for the Kerry campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, when I started Liberal Citizen. After George Bush's reelection, it became imperative for progressives to resist the kind of conservatism and the policies, including the wars, Bush had been pushing.  You see, the 2000 election was disappointing but most didn't think Bush would do crazy shit, and we believed in 2004, the blue side would retake the White House.  But, 9-11 happened, and it changed everything!

Blogging was great for us. We connected, we learned, we organized, we acted, we helped each other through this free social medium. It was good to feel part of a greater family with regular exchanges via posts and comments. 

So, I'll make an attempt to re-invigorate this blog. I think it'll be good therapy for me. I should raise another "Resist" flag on the Internet, and this will be it.


Dec 24, 2017

The Dangers of Newspeak Are Very Real Thanks to Trump and His Fake and Fraudulent Persona

In the political world, this year has been a torturous one since DJ Trump became president, because it's a constant assault on our senses. It's like a case of a deranged person or a ludicrous ogre that you normally would dismiss and not bother with him. The evidence is so overwhelming of who he is that you want to stop paying attention, except in this case you can't because he is in the highest office of the land.

How many times are you going to bother with someone advancing the flat earth theory, or insult your decency? You can't reason with such person. I find that I want to forget his bad behavior and insulate myself. I'm a progressive liberal and I couldn't possibly support a Republican, but this is beyond strict partisanship--it's about the incompetency of the person who occupies the White House.

We have reached a point where we're losing common ground with reality. We have to have shared facts in order to have a conversation and a debate. We also have to have shared trust in the institutions that bind our society, from the judiciary, to the media, to the electoral process, to the scientific methodology, and everything in between. [Here's a piece in the New Yorker. The Distrust Trump Relies Upon]  Unfortunately tribalism is eroding such trust. The tribal leaders message is the only true one, whereas the rest is "fake news." 

Losing this common ground makes it easier for the fake news originators to put out their garbage. Curbing fake news isn't easy though if many people don't care (due to tribalism) or don't know how to evaluate a news item. Accuracy and quality are necessary in reporting the news, because it gives us the necessary common ground to have discussions and make decisions.

Having freedom of speech has its price, and fake new is one such cost. The same goes for democracy and all sorts of freedoms. They have to be exercised prudently, or at least there has to be a big majority of the population that has the ability to evaluate the news and the messenger. Otherwise, it's a recipe for authoritarianism. Our democracy depends on shared facts and a consensus on the legitimacy of our institutions.

 Here's how John Oliver [in his latest show of 2017] summarizes what Trump has been doing. One is being an expert troll, another is "what about-ism" which is deflection, and the other is whatever he doesn't like is fake news. He's not held to any standard, from the meaning of words, to statements, to actions. There is a constant assault on reason and truth. This is, again, not about politics or ideology, but about a person who is not qualified and trolled his way to the highest office. Many dictators rode to power on popular support. We have to keep fighting this trolling, this assault on reason and truth. 

Trump supporters like how he behaves but this is toxic to our society. It's prudent to always be inquisitive and to question established knowledge, but there's a specific process to do it. You can't dismiss anything on the basis of unsubstantiated opinion. Sadly, we see too many people who believe patently falsehoods or ridiculous conspiracies, like a flat Earth belief. [yes, this moronic belief is coming back and this is possible in a universe that nothing can be trusted]

This from a 12/23/2017 NYT editorial also summarizes Trump's persona:

As president, Trump employs the same charlatan’s gibberish that served him well as the owner of a failed casino and a fraudulent “university.” He says “terrific,” “phenomenal” and “incredible” to describe a routine meeting, or someone he just met. His favorite words for those who cross him are “loser,” “moron” and “lightweight.” As he explained last year, “I know words — I have the best words.”

Of late, Trump is down to a single best word to describe himself — “I.” He puts it in quotes, just like that. From a tweet in which he was trying to make down into up, on the loss he suffered with the Alabama Senate race, Trump wrote: ‘I also predicted “I” would win.’ Oh, I, me, mine!

“Liar,” as applied to Trump, is something that can be quantifiably proven. A mere 4 percent of the president’s public statements — 4 in 100! — have been rated true by PolitiFact.

Trump may be the greatest, most terrific, incredible fake person who coned his way to the top.

Nov 4, 2017

The Myth of a Loving God...

And the faithful keep sending messages like, "Merry Christmas," "May God Bless..."

Did you hear about the 7 year old who's dying of brain cancer and wants hand-made xmas cards now since he won't, most likely, survive until xmas?... His parents are asking for those cards and for donations for his funeral expenses.

If suffering matters, why do people still believe in a loving God who creates sickness, natural disasters, hunger, and evil? Where's "free will" in this? Where's the chance for a 7 year old to demonstrate his worthiness to his creator? Any decent person (even non-decent ones) wouldn't want little children suffering and dying... for any reason.

Oct 3, 2017

Republicans and the NRA are AGAINST Safety and Common Sense

Another mass shooting, in Las Vegas this time, the deadliest in our history, until the next one of course. Our fundamental right to be safe is trampled by the right of people to own military-grade weapons according to the NRA, most Republican leaders (not necessarily their base), and a conservative judiciary.

So, what else is in the news? Oh, hurricanes, flooding, and lots of human suffering. It must be God's will. Let's all pray so we can change his mind to either not indiscriminately punish his creation and/or help the victims. Well, good luck with that! 

But, the humans who could do something about it--I'm talking about the elected representatives--are failing to do much in terms of safety and to alleviate suffering. 

Those leaders are concentrated in the Republican party which is clearly anti-safety.They want to eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), take away health care, deregulate pollutants, kill consumer protection laws, and are against any sensible programs that reduce violence, poverty, and help people live longer and healthier.

This essentially the party that claims to be the guardian of law and order and national security but in reality it's really bad for people's health and safety!

As the stories and pictures of the Vegas shooting begin to emerge, I leave you with the young faces of the Sandy Hook children, as a horrific reminder of how a society has been allowing WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) to be readily available.

Sep 28, 2017

One of the Best Editorials About Peaceful Protests During the US National Anthem.

Dale Hansen, a Dallas sportscaster, nails it!

We should not cede the definition of patriotism to the scoundrels or the intolerant and the ignorant!

In the 1943 West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette,  Justice Robert Jackson wrote for a 6-to-3 majority that the state could not compel children to salute the flag. Reversing a court decision from just three years earlier, Jackson wrote, in the midst of war, what remains one of the enduring statements of confidence in what truly makes America great. “To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous, instead of a compulsory routine,” he wrote, “is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds.

Apr 25, 2017

Analyzing the Trumps..... (it's not pretty)

As Ivanka Trump said in her book, The Trump Card [check John Oliver's interpretation here], perception is more important than reality, her father, the president of the US, suffers from an acute syndrome of ego-maniacal narcissism.  I could see why someone would vote for DJT and think he's doing a terrific, fantastic job in is first 100 days, simply because his fans loathed Obama and they're happy hated Hillary isn't in the White House. 

But any reasonable person has to acknowledge Trump's lies, character flaws, bad temperament, lack of knowledge about important issues, his impulsiveness and lack of good judgement, his flooding the so-called swamp with more muck, and his nonresidential demeanor, etc. So anyone who still thinks Trump is fit to be president they have to argue that all these don't really matter. I just can't see how anyone can make this argument.

At any rate, here's a excerpt from a Rolling Stone article:

The most current iteration of the DSM classifies narcissistic personality disorder as: "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." A diagnosis would also require five or more of the following traits: 

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., "Nobody builds walls better than me"; "There's nobody that respects women more than I do"; "There's nobody who's done so much for equality as I have").

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love ("I alone can fix it"; "It's very hard for them to attack me on looks, because I'm so good-looking").
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions ("Part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich").
4. Requires excessive admiration ("They said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl").

5. Has a sense of entitlement ("When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy").
6. Is interpersonally exploitative (see above).

7. Lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings
and needs of others ("He's not a war hero . . . he was captured. I like people that weren't captured").

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her ("I'm the president, and you're not").

9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes ("I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters").

NPD was first introduced as a personality disorder by the DSM in 1980 and affects up to six percent of the U.S. population. It is not a mood state but rather an ingrained set of traits, a programming of the brain that is thought to arise in childhood as a result of parenting that either puts a child on a pedestal and superficially inflates the ego or, conversely, withholds approval and requires the child to single-handedly build up his or her own ego to survive. 

Either way, this impedes the development of a realistic sense of self and instead fosters a "false self," a grandiose narrative of one's own importance that needs constant support and affirmation – or "narcissistic supply" – to ward off an otherwise prevailing sense of emptiness. Of all personality disorders, NPD is among the least responsive to treatment for the obvious reason that narcissists typically do not, or cannot, admit that they are flawed.

Apr 10, 2017

Bill Maher: Republicans are Dicks. Who knew?....

What would a "dick" do? He would go out of his way to screw others, demonstrate incompetence and ignorance. Anybody you know?...

Gun Violence in America: Why "Good Guys with Guns" Isn't the solution...

Another shooting at a school today, 2 adults 1 child dead. This latest gun violence incident by an estranged husband who killed his wife in an elementary school classroom also took the life of an innocent student. The perp had a history of domestic violence and weapons charges, but of course in the US obtaining a gun is not hard.

In December 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place where 26 children and staff were killed. In a disgraceful response the NRA and many conservatives repeated the mantra, "a bad guy with a gun can be stopped by a good guy with a gun." Dangerous simpletons.

I just found this clip and I think it's worth sharing.

Mar 16, 2017

Why The Conservatives are Hypocrites and Morally Corrupt

The conservatives claim to be faithful, especially those pious Xtians who miss no opportunity to tell us how morally superior they are. In reality, they and their party are morally corrupt when it comes to public policy meant to help the sick, the powerless, and the poor.

The Good Samaritan story? Who's that socialist person who redistributes resources, advocates something unsustainable, and reinforces bad behavior?...

Here's today's NYT Op-Ed:

Editorials, Op-Ed and Letters | OP-ED COLUMNIST

And Jesus Said Unto Paul of Ryan ...

What would Jesus tell House Speaker Paul Ryan about looking after the sick and the needy?

A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.”
Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!

They were interrupted by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, have pity on us.”
“NO!” shouted Pious Paul. “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple. And don’t worry about them — they’ve already got health care access.”
Jesus turned to Pious Paul, puzzled.

“Why, they can pray for a cure,” Pious Paul explained. “I call that universal health care access.”
Jesus turned to the 10 lepers. “Rise and go,” he told them. “Your faith has made you well.” Then he turned back to Pious Paul, saying, “Let me tell you the story of the good Samaritan.

A man was attacked by robbers who stripped him of clothes, beat him and left him half dead. A minister passed down this same road, and when he saw the injured man, he crossed to the other side and hurried on. So did a rich man who claimed to serve God. But then a despised Samaritan came by and took pity on the injured man. He bandaged his wounds and put the man on his own donkey and paid an innkeeper to nurse him to health. So which of these three should we follow?”
“Those who had mercy on him,” Pious Paul said promptly.

Jesus nodded. “So go ——”

“I mean the first two,” Pious Paul interjected. “For the Samaritan’s work is unsustainable and sends the wrong message. It teaches travelers to take dangerous roads, knowing that others will rescue them from self-destructive behaviors. This Samaritan also seems to think it right to redistribute money from those who are successful and give it to losers. That’s socialism! Meanwhile, if the rich man keeps his money, he can invest it and create jobs. So it’s an act of mercy for the rich man to hurry on and ignore the robbery victim.”
How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus mused to himself. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven.”
“Let me teach you about love, Jesus — tough love!” Pious Paul explained. “You need a sustainable pro-business model. And you need to give people freedom, Jesus, the freedom to suffer misery and poverty.”
“The Lord God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor,” Jesus replied, emphasizing the last two words. Then he turned to a paralyzed beggar at his feet. “Stand up!” Jesus told the man. “Pick up your mat and go home.” As the man danced about joyfully, Pious Paul rolled his eyes dismissively.
“Look, Jesus, you have rare talent, and it should be rewarded,” Pious Paul said. “I have a partner, The Donald, who would like to work with you: He’d set up a lovely hospital, and the rich would come and pay for you to heal them. You’d get a percentage, and it’d be a real money-spinner. Overhead would be minimal because every morning you could multiply some loaves and fishes. You could strike it rich!

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God,” Jesus said. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received comfort.”

“Oh, come on, Jesus,” Pious Paul protested. “Don’t go socialist on me again. Please don’t encourage class warfare. The best way to help the needy is to give public money to the rich. That then inspires the poor to work harder, galvanizes the sick to become healthy, forces the lepers to solve their own problems rather than kick back and depend on others. That’s why any realistic health plan has to focus on providing less coverage for the poor, and big tax benefits for the rich. When millions of people lose health care, that’s when a country is great again!”
From everyone who has been given much,” Jesus told him, “much will be required.”
“Well, sure, this hospital would have a foundation to do some charity work. Maybe commissioning portraits of The Donald to hang in the entrance. But let’s drop this bleeding heart nonsense about health care as a human right, and see it as a financial opportunity to reward investors. In this partnership, 62 percent of the benefits would go to the top 0.6 percent — perfect for a health care plan.”

Jesus turned to Pious Paul on his left and said:Be gone! For I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; and I was sick, and you did not help me.”
“But, Lord,” protested Pious Paul of Ryan, “when did I see you hungry or thirsty or sick and refuse to help you? I drop your name everywhere. And I’m pro-life!”

Jan 26, 2017

Trump Started His Presidency With Lies, while Conflicts Between His Huge Ego and Small Mind Rage

Meanwhile, in an alternative fact universe...

It is about claims to reality that are fraudulent, meant to deceive, and boost the ego of a pathological narcissist.....   (and, you said, give him a chance to work for the country... look at what he's preoccupied with....  a juvenile's obsession with anything remotely critical of him).

From his interview with ABC's David Muir:
MUIR: What you have been presented so far has been debunked. It has been called false.
TRUMP: Take a look at the Pew reports.
MUIR: I called the author of the Pew report last night and he told me that they found no evidence of voter fraud.
TRUMP: Really, then why did he write the report?
MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud.
TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report? According to Pew report, then he’s groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters. They grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear, but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear. 
The Pew study focused on outdated voter rolls, which showed people still registered to vote after dying or moving. It found no evidence of people actually voting illegally.
We found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted.
— David Becker (@beckerdavidj) November 28, 2016
Voter lists are much more accurate now than when we issued that study in 2012, thanks to the 20 states sharing data through @ericstates_info
— David Becker (@beckerdavidj) November 28, 2016
Despite the lack of evidence, Trump has repeatedly claimed he lost the popular vote because 3 million to 5 million “illegals” voted in the November election. He repeated the lie in his first meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Monday. On Wednesday, he announced a “major investigation” into voter fraud.

I guess it'd be like investigating Obama's birth certificate for 8 years while saying "you wouldn't believe what my people are finding".....Geesh, what a fraud! Any decent person when presented with facts and rational arguments would not keep repeating falsehoods because then they become intentional lies.

When Stupidity Dictates Public Policy

This is when ideology, (especially those ideas derived from ages and societies steeped in ignorance), prevents even good-meaning people from doing sensible things that actually may help humanity.
Take for example abortion, which is something nobody likes. I mean everybody wants to see as few abortions as possible; none would be ideal. We can all agree to this. Right? Now, what do you think makes abortions rare? What are those factors that reduce abortions? We have the answer, and it is being pro-active, reach out, educate, provide access to health care.

Why in 2016 (source) we had the fewest abortions in the US since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade (legalizing abortion)? The facts are there, and they show that sex ed and most importantly women having access to various methods of birth control is what reduces abortions drastically. This is what has made abortion to decline for the last 20+ years.

What do you think Trump and the conservatives are doing now?.... Something that works or something that doesn't?  The con leaders either prefer wilful ignorance or want to impress the religiously conservative base....  So, yeah, now with Trump and Pence at the WH, they'll begin to teach ..abstinence and the fear of God as preferred (but failed) method against abortion, while they'll be de-funding women's health clinics and education in human reproduction.

Are we great yet?


Jan 9, 2017

Obama Is a Muslim Terrorist, Gun-grabbing Socialist, and the Destroyer of the US Economy.... (or, so we were told by the cons)

As we're drawing closer to the unthinkable, that is, uttering the phrase, "president Trump", there might be time for Obama to live up to the worst fears of the Republicans, tea partiers, and conspiracy idiots.

Now, of course, this won't happen, but it actually won't be noticed by the knuckleheads who've been accusing president Obama of all those things that were actually lies, that he wasn't, and he didn't.  I don't think they'll really notice the tricks Trump will be pulling off to not do what he promised during the campaign.

Happy new year. The resistance begins on January 20th, 2017. I mean, believe you me, Trump is already responsible for bad weather, disease & pestilence, the middle class woes, Putin's grab of power, the rich getting richer, billionaires in charge of our government, and the Giants' loss in the playoffs.

Nov 9, 2016

Our Worst Fears for the 2016 Election Materialized. The Most Unqualified Candidate in 100 years is Elected President of the US

Twelve years ago, I worked for the Kerry campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, and on the day after the election we were stunned, defeated, and despondent. But, this feels worse, much worse. The candidate, now president-elect, is worse than GWB, and the way he got to the finish line is irredeemably deplorable. 

I could understand why Americans chose GWB to remain as the commander-in-chief in 2004 at the height of two wars, but it hurts when half the country voted for Donald Trump who built his campaign on racism, xenophobia, hate, attacking people and the constitution, insults with no limits, threats, childish temper tantrums, and by bringing out the worst among us. I did not believe we could be so bad as a nation to elect and find someone like Trump acceptable. Even if you believe you have termites eating your house, you don't fight them by torch.  

I am for democracy, and support the institutions of this great country. Institutions that DJT does not respect. We accept the verdict of the voters, even if we disagree with it. The rules may be outdated--the EC, winner take all system, etc--but they apply to all competitors. Imagine what Trump and his cohorts would say had he, like JRC, won the popular vote but lost in the EC.... He refused to say whether he would accept the outcome of this election if he lost.... This child in man's clothes, who throws a fit, "it's not fair", when he thinks he might lose--a blatant disregard for our institutions and acceptable norms of civility, and citizenship.

What Now?

 It'll take a while for the shock to wear off, though I don't think I'll find the outcome any less palatable for years to come. We'll pour over data to try to understand what exactly happened and plot ahead. Much will depend on how Trump governs. One of the terrifying things about him is that his awful character flaws that make him unfit for the office may result in unpredictable consequences. With GWB we knew what to expect. Did it make it more acceptable? Not really, but he wasn't crazy unpredictable.

It took an non-traditional Republican to win the presidency for the Republicans. But they took a big gamble with Trump. He demolished traditional Republican policy values: free trade and no protectionism; no talk of redistribution of resources; no regulation of Wall Street; pro-NATO and strong presence all over the globe; no tariffs; etc.  There will be clashes within the GOP. Trump's feud with Speaker Ryan may escalate. Will Trump choose the tea party or the Republican party establishment?

Is Trump capable of changing his style? No, not his hair, but the way he's run his business and his TV show. You can't run the country like that, or like a country club or a casino. Nor can you fail to uphold the obligations the country has undertaken, from foreign treaties, to the national debt, to the social safety net.

Most Americans vote on a loose, simple narrative and feelings. They don't know or care to understand the workings of our complicated political system that's been in place for hundreds of years. However, while the majority of Americans wanted change--and Trump represented change--they'll expect change. They'll be aware that the Republicans will control the Executive and both chambers of Congress, so Trump and the GOP will have no good excuse for not delivering what the people want. Now, many of Trump's promises aren't realistic, from building the wall to bringing back factories and improving the lives of the middle class by trickle-down economics and weakening consumer protection.

I personally know people who did not vote for HR Clinton because she was very unappealing to them, and  while they found Trump abhorrent, they didn't reason out: not HRC = yes DJT. This group included 10% of 18-35 year-olds who voted for third parties or millions of them who didn't vote at all. Trump got the majority of women! Trump got more Hispanic/Latino votes than Romney. Likewise, millions of people who benefited from the social safety net, including Obamacare, didn't bother to vote. Elections have consequences and these groups will feel this. First thing on the agenda: repealing Obamacare, so 20 million Americans will soon find out how free they'll be from the government obliging them to have health insurance by not having no insurance.

One thing for sure, Trump will shake the foundations of this country. 

It's been an exhausting campaign and a draining couple of days... I'm afraid this is not going to get any easier for a long time. To all my liberal friends, this is not the end. The country is moving in a progressive direction; look what policies, often via referendum, states are adopting. Many important steps are laid in stone by now, and even though we got an anti-science president and a creationist VP, progress will prevail; it'll just take a detour in the next 4 years. It's up to us to reverse this setback as soon as possible, but we have to bring a sizeable chunk of those misguided people who voted for Trump to our side. Most of them are not part of the fascist core that propelled Trump's campaign, so we have to become even more vocal and active. It's probably the best therapy for us now.

Oct 29, 2016

False Equivalency and Laziness in Our Politics

Bill Maher is spot on.

Several good points made here, like the amount of lies and the magnitude of those; not all are the same, and, yes, not all are evil.  Also, the lackadaisical attitude and citizenship failure of so many Americans who they hide behind cynicism so they don't have to invest time, energy, and precious brain cells into a process that has a direct effect on their lives!

But they know about sports or the measurements of Kim Kardashian's ass.  Don't believe me? See how people talk about sports and the knowledge they exhibit.....

As for the latest FBI announcement that they found more emails... oyvey, I thought the FBI and the media (which are eating this latest "news") were in HR Clinton's corner.  Anyway, the bottom line is that this will not make any difference as most people already have decided that this scandal either enrages them or they don't care. It's beating a dead horse; it doesn't have legs anymore.

I like the aggressive response by HRC to demand the FBI release all the details, and that this "revelation" is irresponsible at this stage. Those emails were not from her server but came from a separate investigation into a creep's (Anthony Weiner) sexting underage women.  I guess it was expected to move from the pussy-gate to weiner-gate.

Oct 8, 2016

Yes, It DOES Reflect Who You Are, Donald! [just go away already, you disgusting bully]

While the "deplorables" is a recent tag, and H.Clinton has gotten lots of criticism about this, it's appropriate. The only question is the size of this dirt bag. The GOP should have realized that Trump was riding a wave that had those deplorables as its core. The ones filled with hate, prejudice, and utter ignorance. And, he encouraged this. No party should have promoted anyone who gets on stage and denigrates possible future presidents of the US by calling them, "ugly," "little ..." . "lyin'.. etc, and brags about the size of his penis.

But, he is the product of the seeds and cultivation the GOP employed in the last 10 years. That unless Republicans are in charge everything else is suspect, treasonous, foreign, anti-American, anti-Xtian, illegitimate, and worthy of not only disrespect, but hate too. Everybody knows how the Congressional GOP and its leaders have behaved. Same with others down the line to local levels. Trump rode this wave the GOP created, so the GOP, Tea party, etc, all OWN him. As he said last week, "I reflect you"... 

This pussy-scandal shouldn't surprise anyone. If anyone didn't know of or cared about Don's personality before this latest revelation confirms that they've rightly have earned the label of deplorables!

A juvenile, braggart, vile, dangerous ignoramus, who wants to run the United States as a gambling hole, while encouraging and employing a basket of deplorables. He has lead them by example! What more do you want to reject this disgusting bully?

Oct 5, 2016

The Veeps had a Slugfest, But Let's not Lose Sight of the Stakes in this Election, and It's Not Style Over Substance

The Tim Kaine-Mike Pence VP debate is over, with an estimated 40 million viewers. As VP debates go, this will not move the needle, but it will be more useful to the Clinton-Kaine team in the next few days. There could be many useful quotes for C-K, because not only Pence contradicted himself but he couldn't possibly defend the indefensible Trump. The wild card is whether DT responds and how. Hopefully, the Donald will be Donald again.

Most Americans will read about the debate or will watch snippets and I think those who had already chosen will not change their vote, but there could be some on the fence who may be motivated to vote for Clinton, women and minorities especially. Hopefully the editors and fact-checkers will realize that Kaine was right and Pence just danced around the issues, often choosing not to even defend the indefensible DT.

Many pundits, focus groups as of now think that Pence did much better because Kaine was too aggressive. Again, style over substance--that's how most analysts talk about the debates, which of course is ridiculous. There are serious policy differences. T-P ticket stands for failed economic policies, favors to the rich, anti-choice, for a conservative Supreme Court, anti-science, anti-environmental policies, no consumer protection, no health care, no education, crazy conspiracies, and for militarism--and with Donald as C-i-C is a very scary proposition. 

Governor Pence has a record of extreme conservatism, so while many talking heads liked his performance tonight, his politics are out of the mainstream, today and I'd imagine in the future, should he decide to run for the presidency.

Lastly, we still remain a country where a non-religious person (or someone who admits it) cannot be a viable candidate for high office. Beliefs on bad evidence and horrible logic are a badge of honor and a requirement for the highest office in the land.

Read Pulitzer-winner journalist David Cay Johnston's article, the Art of the Steal about how Trump lost $916 million but reaped great financial benefits by not paying contractors and taxes.

I thought this VP debate also revealed what issues Hillary Clinton would try to talk about next Sunday at the second debate against Trump. Issues like, Trump's taxes and bad business acumen, nuclear weapons and foreign policy, hateful speech, bad temperament, Supreme Court and right to choose, health care, education, immigration, LGBT issues, and Donald's disrespect for women.

At this point, campaigns don't change minds. Actually very few people are moved by logic and evidence during campaigns. Most are intuitive, have certain views that don't change so quickly. Even the CBS and CNN focus groups that said Pence won tonight also showed that no one changed their intended vote.

The key is to excite--positively for your candidate or negatively against your opponent--your political base and get it to go out and vote on Nov. 8th. Fivethirtyeight, HuffPol, Electoral-vote, and a few other reputable poll crunchers  have Clinton at about 80% chance of winning. Time is not in Trump's favor right now, and he's failed to get closer or overtake Clinton so far, especially after the first debate. If the plethora of polls are right, there's a clear trend and the candidate that's ahead in mid-October goes on to win the election.

Sep 22, 2016

Parsing the Election: Shining Objects, Lies and Misdemeanors

As this election campaign unfolds, it's very obvious that what passes for voting choice based on issues and policies is a thin layer of he-said she-said, shiny objects, and bullshit arguments. Then there is the very small group of low-information voters who will probably determine the winner. They waft from one candidate to another, as the polls indicate. Yeah, like a horse race at a carnival game whereas the horses advance by how much the "playing" public sprays water into a hole. 
Oh, what an entertainment it is to watch this race for the most powerful office on earth. We've seem to have lost the sense of scale, seriousness, comparables, and the sight of the big picture. 

Somebody has to call the truth. We are a nation of people who are ignorant how their government works, what policies work or not, and ignorant as to the fundamental differences among the candidates their parties and what they truly stand for. The media for the most part readily cater to this ignorant audience, further perpetuating the lowest common denominator. 

Some news media,like Fox News, openly say that their aim is to cater to their audience and peddle propaganda--and this is more honest as compared to the so-called mainstream media that want to self-identify as professional and truth-seeking. The truth is that when a lie is uttered by an official or a candidate, you call it a lie. If there's proof to the contrary, you don't accept a lie as one side of a story and give it equal value, be it that Obama was not born in the US or that the earth is flat.

Another sad but very real fact is that most people aren't truly rational or open to reason, especially in the heat of the game. You are a rabid fan cheering for your team and you only see your team being robed by the refs or the system, while you hate the illegitimate s.o.b.s of the opposing team. Then there's a small section in the stadium (half filled, because the rest of the population don't really care for this sport) that goes back and forth cheering for the team that does the latest trick or puts on the field the cutest cheerleaders.

Oh, the Humanity....

So, everybody is freaking out about the EpiPen these days because the company that makes it decided to up its price by hundreds of dollars. It's not the only time a drug company does such a thing if it has a monopoly and wants to maximize profit. Congress gets on the act of shedding crocodilean tears and holds public inquiries deriding big pharma execs for being ..inhumane. A chorus of other interested parties chimes in to say how they care about the public's health and the plight of the consumer. Oh, it's about people's health? Then it's Obamacare's fault! The right points out that it's the high deductibles people have to pay under the ACA (Obamacare) that have patients feel they're being gauged. Hahaha.

Let's cut through this bullshit. First, reporting the story--as done by most media--is a disservice to the public. It's another case of perpetuating a lie and not truly examining an important issue.  OK, let's start from the top. Why shouldn't a capitalist company try to maximize profit? Isn't this what the free-market conservatives advocate? Supply and demand is the ingenious mechanism that serves the consumer Adam Smith argued. The conservative goddess Ayn Rand was not in favor of a system of a social safety net because this is morally bad.

But, people may be hurt, suffer or die if they don't have access to certain drugs and health care? Oh, really? Is this a problem? Then what do we do about it besides feeling bad, curse at the drug companies, Obamacare and whomever else. Do we need to put in place a system to take care of those in dire need? Who should pay for it. Why are drug prices so high? 

The more you think about it, the more you realize that some regulation, oversight, and social safety net is necessary in some sectors of society! Oh, and why capitalism should work primarily in the direction of the big and powerful? 

Instead of Congress pretending to care about the ..poor patients, it should pass a law to allow Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices. Currently they're prohibited from doing what capitalism purports to want: competition!  Further, as Bernie Sanders points out, we can import food from all over the world but we cannot (illegal) to import even brand-name medicine/drugs from Canada at a fraction of what they cost in the US!  I happened to have witnessed scores of buses filled with senior citizens at the US-Canadian border around the beginning of the month. They're buying drugs they need but can't afford in the US! This is illegal, by the way, but the authorities probably think it's either bad publicity or unkind to arrest those senior citizens.

Steal Millions of Dollars with no Penalty (but don't get caught smoking weed)

Wells Fargo [see story here] abused its customers for 5 years, creating millions of accounts and charging fees without the knowledge or permission by the customers. This is not the only bank that has been abusing the consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB*) fined WF $185 million for this. Is anyone going to jail? No! Get caught smoking weed in most of the US and you get a criminal record!

Republicans came out complaining why WF was allowed to do this.  Well, because the banks can and will if left unsupervised. Who knew, right? I mean take a look at Wall Street in the 2000s, or any other era. The GOP has systematically opposed anything that would interfere with the "free marketplace" including the CFPB. 

Now, why can't there be a class action suit against WF? Because the law allows the banks to stipulate in the contract when you open an account with them that you agree not to sue and not join others who may have similar grievances. You must go to arbitration, where a judge hired by the bank resolves the dispute. But if you have no other recourse, you accept the offer.  Similar case with employers, like Fox, where a sexual harassment case must be settled via arbitration.

Oh, and what happens to the big bosses that know of, or even encourage the abuses? Sometimes they lose their jobs, poor slabs. Ailes got a $40 million severance, and WF CEO gets $ 125 mil. package. That kind of money buys you lots of therapy I reckon. 

Now back to parsing this election......   


* This is what a modern state (country) should do, protect the consumer. Which political party do you think favors this? Beyond personalities, which party do you think would promote consumer protection? This election is about progress and what we want the government to do for us, right?....