EppsNet Archive: Politics

And That’s the Truth: Held Back by History

[And That’s the Truth is a feature by our guest blogger, Sojourner Truth– PE] Black folks been treated very poorly over the years. Jews been killed and run out of almost every country on earth. Asians been slave labor, ostracized, put into prison camps. Now Jews and Asians are doing all right for theirselves. Why are black folks held back by history and other folks aren’t? Never been a Jewish president, never been an Asian president, maybe never will be. Politicians never helped nobody. They promise to give you this or that, or such and such a privilege, if you will give ’em your vote and your money, and when the time comes, they recollect nothing of the kind. Don’t wait for people to do things for you. Keep your families together and make sure your kids get a good education in school. And that’s the Truth! Read more →

Animal House Tax Policy

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland sued the federal government over the Republican-led tax overhaul Tuesday, alleging the new law championed by President Donald Trump unfairly singles out high-tax blue states. — wsaz.com I thought this was noteworthy in that I can’t remember ever in my life hearing a Democrat say anything about people in high tax brackets other than they are not paying their “fair share.” If a Democrat has ever before said that people in high tax brackets are being singled out unfairly, I can’t remember it. The new federal tax law passed last year caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000, meaning that residents of high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland — and California, where I currently live — will see big increases in their federal tax bill. It reminds me of a scene from… Read more →

We’ll All Go Together When We Go

NORTH KOREA DEAL IS OFFFICIALLY A BUST. Media owes it to the American people to cover this as much as they covered the initial meeting. They covered the original summmit very irresponsibly, implying a level of success despite nothing achieved & lots lost. At least follow-up. — Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) July 7, 2018 I’m afraid that there are people who, given a choice between a Trump success story and a nuclear war, would choose the war. Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Why I Don’t Wear a MAGA Hat

Folks mad that I said kid who lost his MAGA cap and a drink thrown on him got off easy. I just think he learned a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. You want to offend, be prepared to face the consequences. — Mike Stuchbery ?? (@MikeStuchbery_) July 6, 2018 My fellow Americans — This is why we fought a war to get away from the goddamn Brits. I would personally not wear a MAGA hat in public for the reason cited, i.e., Trump opponents seem to be violent and easily triggered. That said, if your idea of a good time is to steal a kid’s hat and throw a soda in his face, you should probably shut up about the tolerance and mental stability of others until you get your own shit together. As for lessons in personal responsibility, the drink thrower is now in jail. He who laughs last,… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Separating Babies and Mothers

My fellow Americans — Separation of families at the border was going to be a great election issue for Democrats until fate intervened in the form of Justice Kennedy announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court. Most of the people outraged by border separations are also afraid of losing a key Supreme Court swing vote, particularly on the issue of abortion. Unfortunately, Democrats have standardized on a needlessly violent metaphor — “ripping” — to talk about family separations. A representative example: As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations. That's being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers. pic.twitter.com/WyyHU3U7jE — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 2, 2018 Now that abortion has again become a leading national issue, the Republican talking points re “ripping babies from their mother” write themselves. Footnote: In apprehending and prosecuting people who committed crimes, one… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson Explains Family Separations

My fellow Americans — The reason families are separated at the border is that the United States, like many countries, has laws governing border crossings by non-residents. When an adult is apprehended crossing our border illegally, they go into the criminal justice system and are placed in a detention center. Keep in mind that an American citizen apprehended in the commission of a crime is not processed any differently. If you are placed in a detention center, I assure you that your children will not be in there with you. A note on rhetoric: A strong line of argument should not require violent metaphors and manufactured hysteria — families “ripped apart,” children “torn from their mother’s arms” — to be persuasive. Read the Declaration of Independence, for example. Read more →

You Can’t Tell the Nazis Without a Scorecard

If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. — Maxine Waters And they should be made to wear armbands so they’re easier to identify! It’s getting to where you can’t tell the Nazis without a scorecard. Read more →

Separation of Families Considered Harmful?

Here’s a photo showing two girls in a “cage” watching a World Cup match, amongst dozens of other kids who are for some reason wrapped in foil. I’ve seen this photo and others widely circulated online recently as evidence of the Trumpenfuhrer’s crimes against humanity. But guess what? The photos were taken in 2014, when some other guy was president. Many people have a single standard for evaluating political activity: Is it being carried out by Team Red or Team Blue. Nothing is good or bad on its own merits. I don’t remember anyone on Team Blue being outraged about kids in “cages” in 2014, but in 2018 it’s a humanitarian crisis has to be denounced mercilessly, even if the evidence has to be faked. I haven’t heard anyone propose a viable alternative to separating parents and children at the border. I’m not sure Team Blue wants to find a… Read more →

Those Weren’t Burglars, They Were “Confidential Informants”

F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims — New York Times It’s too bad for Richard Nixon that he wasn’t able to come up with a similarly quick-witted explanation for Watergate. It reminded me of a joke: A man sees one of his neighbors scattering crumbs all around his house. “Why are you doing that?” he asked. “I’m keeping the tigers away.” “But there aren’t any tigers around here.” “That’s right. You see how well it works?” Read more →

The Last Four U.S. Presidents on Jerusalem

Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel and must remain an undivided city. — Bill Clinton As soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving the United States ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital. — George W. Bush Jerusalem will remain the capital, and I have said that before and I will say it again. — Barack Obama I have decided that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. — Donald Trump Today we officially open the United States embassy in Jerusalem. Congratulations, it’s been a long time coming. — Donald Trump Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Animals, Not People

My fellow Americans — I heard or read the Trump sound bite — “These are not people. These are animals.” — several times this week, always with no context to clarify who or what the pronoun “these” refers to. I plan to use that line next time I visit the National Zoo. It’s going to be hilarious. Listeners and readers were invited to apply the broadest possible interpretation, i.e., Trump said immigrants are animals. He was reviled by people who relied on the short, skewed attention span of the American public to avoid facing the regrettable fact that they use the same “dehumanizing” language themselves. This doesn’t work as well as it did before Twitter became an online memory bank for better or worse. For example, here is CNN “journalist” Ana Navarro: Once it became widely known that Trump was referring specifically to MS-13 gang members, Nancy Pelosi and other… Read more →

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers

PolitiFact has a article headlined “Donald Trump’s NRA speech, fact-checked”. Here’s a sample: “African-American unemployment has reached another all-time, in history, record low … And the same thing with Hispanic American unemployment, which is also at the lowest level in history — unemployment, lowest level in history. And women’s unemployment — women, many women — is at the lowest level in almost 20 years. Think of that.” The “fact check” starts out like this: As far as the numbers go, Trump is correct. It then goes on for another five paragraphs to say that Barack Obama deserves “at least as much” credit as Trump for low unemployment. That’s a fact check?! Trump didn’t even say anything about who deserves the credit, although the listener is invited to make a favorable inference. Had he added “. . . and I deserve all the credit,” it would be fair in that case… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Hillary Clinton

My fellow Americans — Hillary Clinton is still rattling off all the “reasons” she lost the 2016 presidential election: misogyny, the FBI, sexism, the NRA, Russia . . . To my knowledge, she has never correctly identified the actual culprits: the patriotic men and women of this country. Read more →

Was Nikolas Cruz Bullied?

In 2018, being accused of bullying is not on a par with being accused of murder, but it’s close. Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, said this about Nikolas Cruz at the anti-gun march in Washington, D.C.: Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him? You don’t know this kid. OK? We did! I can’t see anything unusual about that. The popular kids sneer at the geeks, the nerds and the weirdos. Because they deserve it. You don’t know this kid. We did. But when the kid in this case goes off the rails, which “was no surprise to anyone who knew him,” some self-reflection seems to be in order before blaming the usual suspects. I don’t understand the strategy of gun control proponents. Every tragedy… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Middlemarch by George Eliot

George Eliot is a transgender author whose work was previously unfamiliar to this reviewer. Ha, kidding! It’s hard to think of new things to say about old books, but if you appreciate the novel as an art form, or you think you might appreciate the novel as an art form if you gave it a chance, you should read Middlemarch. What it is about? At 800+ pages, it’s about a lot of things: life in rural England in the 1830s, the status of women, the bonds of matrimony, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy and politics. It’s about the heroism of ordinary lives. It’s about, in the character of Dorothea Brooke, “the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion.” Here’s the conclusion of the novel,… Read more →

People I Thought Were Dead

Herb Alpert – trumpeter Max Baer Jr. – actor, “The Beverly Hillbillies” Barbara Bain – actress, “Mission: Impossible” Brigitte Bardot – actress Rona Barrett – gossip columnist Frank Borman – astronaut Roy Clark – musician Roger Corman – film producer Robert Crumb – cartoonist Bill Daily – actor Vic Damone – singer Angie Dickinson – actress Annette and Cecile Dionne – quintuplets Sam Donaldson – TV newscaster Hugh Downs – TV announcer Daniel Ellsberg – released the Pentagon Papers Barbara Feldon – actress Fannie Flagg – actress and game show panelist Larry Flynt – publisher of Hustler Whitey Ford – baseball pitcher A.J. Foyt – auto racer Ron Gallela – celebrity photographer, aka “paparazzo” Whitey Herzog – baseball manager Ernest Hollings – U.S. senator Cloris Leachman – actress Tom Lehrer – musical satirist Jerry Lee Lewis – singer and pianist G. Gordon Liddy – Watergate mastermind Rich Little – impressionist Peter Max… Read more →

Every Male Journalist Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes

Either for a sex-related termination or for botching another “bombshell” Trump story . . . Read more →

Liberalism and the Wrath of the Privileged Whites

The largely white and affluent solid liberals are notionally egalitarian and opposed to white privilege, but they include many of the most privileged whites in America. . . . Millions of working-class whites felt that Obama was talking about them, too, when he said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” And many of those same Americans knew that Hillary Clinton was talking about them when she ranted about the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” deplorables. — Pete Spiliakos | First Things Read more →

Al Franken and Ted Kennedy

I’m old enough to remember when a U.S. senator could actually kill a woman and not only NOT resign but be considered a legislative luminary, the lion of the Democratic party. (If you’re not old enough to remember that, google “Ted Kennedy.”) I’m hearing that Sen. Al Franken will be resigning his seat within the next day. The last straw was an allegation from a woman who said that Franken, before he was a senator, appeared to be about to kiss her and she moved away: He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the… Read more →

Presumption of Guilt

But some female lawmakers, like New York’s Kathleen Rice, have begun to ask why elected officials aren’t being drummed out like their private sector counterparts. “You see the actions that CBS, NBC take when there are allegations against very well-known men in positions of power, and we don’t do the same,” Rice said. “I think it’s a disgrace.” — CBS News “Allegations.” She’s talking about Al Franken and John Conyers. The Franken case has photographic evidence, so the allegations against him are provably true. But Conyers vehemently denies the allegations made against him. Why should he be “drummed out”? Why is there a presumption of guilt? Anyone who’s ever been alone with another person can be the subject of allegations. Why is there a presumption in favor of the accuser? A case study on false allegations, which you probably remember if you’re old enough, is the McMartin preschool trial: Members… Read more →

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