WTF

Bernstein – Trump’s Lies Are “The Most Dangerous Enemy Of The People”

Carl Bernstein is not a fan of Donald Trump and for good reasons. The new Republican president has taken it upon himself to chastise the intelligence committee and the media, categorizing any negative story about him as “fake news” and setting the American people against these news outlets.

Can you say dictatorship?

Bernstein, a well-respected journalist and author of many best-selling books including “His Holiness” and “A Woman In Charge”, took to Twitter to warn Americans against the lies of the new President.

Domestic Policies

Make America Great? Promote the Arts and Culture.

Had enough yet? Of course not. And it’s still February.

If the press conference wasn’t proof enough that the president still doesn’t have a handle on his facts, then let’s move on to those things that do not lie: the numbers.

Yes, it’s almost time for the president to issue a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, that starts in October, and word is that it’s going to include the GOP’s greatest hits. That means that social programs will of course be on the chopping or reforming block, such as Medicare and Medicaid, programs that actually do a great deal of great for their intended beneficiaries, while we are in for a massive infusion of money to the military because, well, we need a huge amount of new weapons to fight, well, ISIS? Russia? China? I’m not quite sure. I guess maybe after being at war for 16 years, many of our weapons have been used and we need new ones? We’ll come back to that one.

Some of the other cuts on the Republican wish list are oldies but goodies from the 1980s Reagan Revolution.  They include drug treatment programs and the Export-Import Bank, but the program cuts that really show where the right’s priorities are will fall on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. That these programs account for maybe a few hundred million dollars in a $4 trillion dollar budget doesn’t seem to matter. They will be on the chopping block no matter what that says about the ruling party’s priorities.

The CPB, the NEA and the NEH, quite simply, bring a certain level of calm, thoughtfulness, pragmatism, knowledge, intelligence and, yes, democracy, to the country. So naturally you can see why the right would want to get rid of them. Chaos and unpredictability are in. Sober-minded analysis is definitely out. But ever since Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano and “Tales of the City” made their way into the consciousness of the party of morality, they have tried to demonize publicly funded culture as elitist and leftist, arguing that if television programs and art exhibits can’t pay their own way, then they should be thrown onto the bonfire of the inanities.

A country that loses its culture is in more trouble than one that loses a war. And some culture will always need public support. Artists cannot always get exhibition space on their own and some television programs are worth seeing even if they can’t attract sponsors. The public benefits from programming and exhibits that supports new and vibrant artistic voices in areas of the country that might want or need to see different perspectives. This is what makes our country great. Democratizing culture serves everyone. And if you don’t like it, turn it off.

Even more damaging would be cuts to or elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is where the United States shows its commitment to learning, academic research, and school programs that encourage people to read poetry and great literature, and to involve themselves in timeless and timely ideas that might not see the light of day without this support.

The NEH sponsors educational institutes for school and college teachers in areas that allow for significant pedagogical growth across the education establishment. Thousands of teachers, including me, have spent wonderful summers researching, studying, arguing, observing and learning something that they never would have learned without these programs. The NEH provides a lifeline to teachers and students and makes our schools richer in every way. Why would anyone want to cut that?

It would be terrible for this country to lose its creative could in order to save a pittance. We can’t afford not no have these programs. And once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

WTF

Trump Supporter Cannot Give an Example of a “Fake News Story” – Video

Donald Trump and his supporters try to pummel the media into submission, categorizing all stories against Donald Trump as “fake news.” To answer get an example of these “fake news” stories, Don Lemon of CNN attempted to ask two trump supporters for examples of these stories.

Of course, coming up with a real example of a fake news story was harder than thought. When asked for an example, one cast member said, “it doesn’t matter the story, what he does is always negative.”

Don Lemon pressed on. Watch the response.

Video

WTF

Former Head of CIA – Trump “wanders between the real world and the world according to Trump” – Video

Leon Panetta, the former head of the CIA, went on CNN Thursday and referenced Donald Trump’s recent bazaar press conference. Panetta expressed worry over the apparent fantasy world Donald Trump wallows in, and the real world the rest of us live in.

“We are living in the world according to Trump,” Panetta said. “You know, it’s tough to gauge this president by a standard that has been set by past presidents. This is a president like no other president we’ve ever had and he wanders between the real world and the world according to Trump. I guess my concern is that at some point the president of the United States has to get very serious with the American people and with the press about the challenges we face and what this president is going to do to deal with those challenges. If he simply continues to engage in this kind of personal attack, counterattack to the press, this reality TV kind of presentation, what I worry about is that not enough time is going to be focused on the real crises and the real threats that the country faces.”

Video

Elections #WTF

Hey You! Wanna be Governor of NJ? We Need One

Chris Christie will go down in New Jersey history as one of the most unpopular, least effective, self-serving governors this state has ever had. And given our history, that’s saying a lot. But for someone with the political skills he has and the ability to connect with everyday people, having a 17% approval rating is shocking. He spent all of his political capital on Hurricane Sandy and thought that he would be the big mouth with the righteous anger in 2016, but that didn’t work out either.

And now he seems to have disappeared. OK, not entirely. He is spending his last few months highlighting the problems of drug addiction and is stumping for more money for treatment programs, but otherwise, he doesn’t have much else. His school spending plan is pretty much dead on arrival and Trump has taken all of the available space and oxygen in the politician realm. Christie was passed over for a cabinet position, but I can see him taking over after one of Trump’s originals flames out, which will happen sooner rather than later. Heck, if Christie can hang on, he could become VP if Trump does something high-crimish or misdemeanorlike in the next two years, which is also looking somewhat possible given that he can’t stand criticism and thinks that everything that goes against his family is unfair.

Even Christie’s Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guagdano, is fleeing Trenton and is running to succeed her boss. It will be interesting to see how she’s going to separate herself from him since we didn’t see much of her leadership style for, well, eight years. And that includes the time when the state got smacked with a blizzard when Christie was on vacation and Guagdano was the acting Governor. Not a peep. And the state ground to a halt. Talk about laissez-faire.

The Democrats are in much better shape in this state than nationally, but they are still going to have to round up votes in the traditionally Democratic urban and suburban areas. Right now Phil Murphy is the front-runner and has already been endorsed by party bigwigs and some unions. John Wisniewski is also running and he actually has state-level governing experience as a member of the State Assembly for the past 20 years. He’s trying to run as an outsider, but if Trump is any guide to how an outsider runs a government, Wisniewski might want to run as the trusted, sure hand who can actually govern.

But this is all for the future as we’re in the money-grubbing phase of the election until springtime, and the primaries aren’t until June. Another election. Fun.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

WTF

World-Wide Gamblers Betting Big Bucks on a Donald Trump Impeachment 

The joke that is Donald Trump is serious business in the gambling world, as people place big bets on whether the Donald would be impeached or quit before his term is out.

Gambling houses all over the world are taking in action on whether Trump, inaugurated just last month, will resign or be impeached. And the odds aren’t as long as you might think.

Ladbrokes, the British oddsmaking giant, has Trump’s chances of leaving office via resignation or impeachment and removal at just 11-to-10, or just a little worse than even money. The odds of Trump being impeached this year in the House of Representatives are only 4-to-1, according to the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, despite GOP control of the chamber. You can win $180 on a $100 bet with Bovada, the online gaming site, that Trump won’t make it through a full term — though the bet is off if Trump passes away during the next four years.

All in all, Trump has meant big business for the international gambling industry. There’s always been betting on politics — mostly as a novelty around election season — but professional bookies say Trump’s unlikely victory and tumultuous transition mean that gamblers are jonesing to wager on his presidency.

WTF

Trump Aides – Donald Trump is Not Prepared for The Job of President

Donald Trump is beginning to feel the pressures of running the federal government, so say some of the people who works in his miserable administration. Politico reports;

In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, from congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives to staff in-fighting and leaks.

The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation. Yet it has become apparent, say those close to the president, most of whom requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of the White House, that the transition from overseeing a family business to running the country has been tough on him.

Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. And, when discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject — to “seem in control at all times,” one senior government official said — or direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.