A Storm Of Disrepect

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(Some of you know I live near Charleston, SC and the area felt the effects of Irma’s outer bands of winds and rain. Power was out for several hours. No major damage on the coast or inland. Small boughs dropped and rain persisted from after midnight to dark the next day, with moderate wind gusts. /wr)

Trump is a true believer–racism is one of the few things he has been consistently loyal to throughout his life. But let’s not forget Jefferson Sessions, the racist operator.

Resist the Attorney General’s lies. The DACA program is not illegal; if it were, court actions would have killed it, making Session’s lies unnecessary–a related Supreme Court 2016 case split 4-4. Every prosecutor has the authority to determine priorities for bringing cases to court; Presidents besides Barack established deferred programs without questions of constitutionality. Resist Sessions’ paternalism, his “Big House” mentality. Named for the Confederate President who headed a government in rebellion against the country Session now serves, he has lessons to unlearn before he can teach others the meaning of citizenship and American values. He has been quoted as saying his only problem with the Klan was its drug use, civil rights groups were anti-American, and am Alabama judge was a “traitor to his race.” He denies being a racist, but his actions fit the mold. If Trump vision is the looking glass, Session’s mission is teach the natives and “illegal aliens” the importance—and power–of being white.

Sessions is a spineless errand boy. A wide swath of America believes DACA take “hundreds of thousands” of jobs from Americans. How did that happen? Were these residents (not aliens!) with work permits better qualified head-to-head? For their success, they are condemned! Racists love scapegoats; but at 5% unemployment, low wage jobs are available except in areas with chronic structural unemployment (rural areas, inner cities). Barack correctly observed removing 800,000 adults who grew up American won’t increase anybody’s paycheck!


Beware Of Any Trump Deal

Trump listened far and wide for cabinet appointments, picking notorious bandits and thugs tainted by corruption (often within the rules!) to dismantle government and plunder the people’s interests, but he is inept at, indifferent and confused by legislation—he cannot claim credit for its passage; his cold calls, cajoling, and threats failed to repeal Obamacare! He doesn’t understand the process (calling the Senate rules archaic); he has no influence on its factions and mavericks; he curses its leaders in fits of pique, and he deeply resents sharing the spotlight with Congress.

Then why do a deal with Democrats? The “deal” is rooted in his personality, not in politics! He is humiliated by his limitation: the nation’s leader, he is stymied; Congress did not pass a single major bill. (Minor ones that can do great damage got through, but without the media spotlight Trump in which Trump showers and breathes.) His deal feeds his twin impulses: to flee defeat (he pledged to abandon healthcare) and lost causes (budgets/taxes); and to strike vengeance on those who embarrassed him. As he does in the White House, he acted impulsively, assigning blame and issuing punishments, ignoring the voices and consquences and counsel of experience.

The deal rebukes McConnell, Ryan–his own cabinet. It is a public thrashing. He did it to former wives. His perfidy marks the White House. Now Congress has come in turn to know its wrath.

With Trump, it is always symbols over substance! (The wall over immigration reform; Confederate statues and Nazi slogans as a defense of American history; crowd size, electoral maps, travel bans, et al.) He merely pushes the debt ceiling 90 days ahead because he cannot think long-term or strategically, no matter how many pastors come to pray for him or cabinet members sing his praise. He is still the blind mule who follows the smell of the hay, no matter the barn and kicks out from his darkest inner fears because the world around him is shrouded in his own permanent darkness.

Of course, the news cannot discuss the personality-driven politics of Trump, his followers, and so frame his thrashing and flogging as political “deals.” Maybe in appearance–but not in essence or substance. Not now, not ever! Always Trump first, the lowest levels of locker room personality over policy. Not prowess but ineptitude and cowardice, a bully’s bravery.


Hurricane Irma, Havana, Cuba.

Hurricane Irma, Havana, Cuba. Remember to support relief for all the Atlantic islands; their needs are desperate.



If Not The Undocumented, Who?

Political economy attracts strange tales. Braced by narratives that have little to do with economics, its tales direct power by providing villains and heroes. The money follows both–in victory and defeat! Money is the payoff to a good narrative. Blame the housing bubble on the poor—pretend innocent bankers got fleeced (ignore they got bailed out!); create a conspiracy of 3 million illegal votes; argue Russia expelling US personnel saves payroll (not, they still have jobs!); the misdirection of Republican storytelling is rooting in bunce, the payoff, the power to stream cash to a hotel only blocks away from the White House or to clone another Flint by poisoning the air and water; mine federal lands–forsake new green jobs for the old club of political thieves. Turn healthcare into a tax cut. Call it “beautiful.” Act white. Defend history by denial. Then (slavery) and now (corporations/politicians) stripped labor to its lowest form.

But stories will only go so far. Trump’s are about to hit a wall. How will Houston, Florida, next year’s disasters be rebuilt without the mobile/skilled/dedicated workforce of undocumented residents (the AG’s “illegal aliens”)? 25-50% of Houston’s construction labor is undocumented. Will millennials/Gen X’ers, the Rust Belt displaced, former coal miners rush to Houston for 3-5 years of steady work with a guaranteed paycheck? If they don’t, the city will decline and one old story—job theft–always a lie, should be dumped with the rest of the debris.

Nobody ever says we should not forget events like this in our history; no one argues that these horrific images have lessons to teach. No one points out these images have already been erased. No one talks about the domino effect that led to this. No one answered when African-Americans asked how far will it go and when will it stop?

Nobody ever says we should not forget events like this in our history; no one argues that these horrific images have lessons to teach. No one points out these images have already been erased. No one talks about the domino effect that led to this. No one answered when African-Americans asked how far will it go and when will it stop?