Trump tax reform just makes the rich richer

Trump, Tax, Plan

Clete Wetli, Contributor

Like most things that Trump hawked during his contentious campaign, his tax reform plan was purposefully ambiguous and sold as huge windfall to the middle-class. Of course, now that he’s been forced to put down some specific details, it looks like it’s nothing more than a huge tax break for the richest Americans and wealthiest corporations.

No surprise that Trump would endorse a plan that puts even more money in his own pockets and those of his obscenely wealthy friends while proposing huge cuts in programs that benefit the middle-class and poor. He desperately wants to lower the corporate tax rate and keeps saying that it will benefit working class Americans. What he fails to mention is that a reduction in the corporate rate will, indeed, boost profits, but companies will simply see their stock prices rise and use the extra cash to pay their shareholders higher dividends.

Just like Reagan’s ‘voodoo economics’, Trump’s ‘screw you’ economics isn’t going to result in companies hiring more workers or raising salaries. In fact, corporate America is currently sitting on tons of cash and the stock market is going gangbusters and nobody is going out of their way to significantly expand or raise wages. True, we’ve seen cautious, incremental growth, but certainly not at the same explosive rate that we’ve seen profits soar.

Trump’s ‘screw you’ economics is just another version of failed Republican trickle down. The problem is that not much trickles down because the rich tend to hoard their profits. This is why there continues to be widening wealth disparity and it’s why our middle-class continues to get slowly squeezed out of existence.

In Trump’s ‘screw you’ plan, he also intends to eliminate the estate tax and cut the top marginal income tax rate. Hmm, that sounds like a big gift to Trump’s offspring and their progeny for generations to come. Oh, but wait, there’s more in Trump’s ‘screw you’ strategy- his plan would really raise taxes on the poor by eliminating the head of household deduction for single parents. You know, the people that could use a deduction the most.

Ivanka probably threw that one in after she endorsed the roll back of Obama-era policies that would have eliminated the gender pay gap. As an advisor to Trump, Ivanka sure knows how to be a champion for single, working moms. Remember, she gave women invaluable advice saying,” You can be born into privilege, or you cannot be born into privilege. You can be born into the opposite extreme and into poverty. I think from there on, though, you really do have to make your luck.” Don’t you just feel so damned lucky that she’s on your side?

Well, at least Trump has been forced to release a few details of his scheme. We’re all still waiting for the details on his top-secret plan that was supposed to eliminate ISIS months ago. Oh, we’re also still waiting on that amazing magical healthcare plan that insures absolutely everyone at much lower cost and much higher quality. Remember, Trump’s plans are the best because no one knows plans like Trump knows plans- he invented plans.

So, be sure to call your congressmen and tell them what you think of Trump’s ‘screw you’ economics before people start buying all his tax reform snake oil. They are going to market it as a simplification of the current code and they’re going to try to rebrand ‘trickle-down’ economics. Just remember who got trickled on the last time the Republicans tried that scheme.

What we really need is to reform the tax code so that rich people actually pay their fair share of taxes instead of taking advantage of tons of loopholes and tax shelters that are only available to them.

Trump’s plan is like most things that he creates- a gaudy façade to hide a scam that only benefits Trump and his wealthy friends.

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Why Joel Osteen’s response to Harvey was wrong

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Jerry Waters, Contributor

On social media, there has been relentless criticism of mega-church pastor Joel Osteen for not immediately declaring that the enormous church could be used as a public shelter for Hurricane Harvey flood victims. Osteen has said that the city didn’t ask for help until they realized the magnitude of the disaster and, now, the church has opened its doors in response to their request.

Most of the folks criticizing Osteen are doing so because they have deep disagreements with him about the validity of the ‘prosperity gospel’ themes that are central to his theology. Others despise Osteen because they take issue with a church leader amassing vast personal wealth which they believe contradicts the message of the Christian Bible.

Why does a man who claims he’s devoted his life to following Christ need a ten-million-dollar house and a yacht?

Personally, I think the ‘prosperity gospel’ is nothing more than excuse for greed, excess, and hypocrisy. It turns Christianity into a transactional process where good behavior is rewarded with wealth. To me, this is also incredibly vain and self-centered because believers of this theology really think that the Almighty is tuned into their every thought and action in order to reward or punish them. In fact, if you think about it, it’s exactly the opposite of the humility and selflessness that Jesus preached.

Followers of the ‘prosperity gospel’ are quick to say that amassing wealth is not sinful and that Jesus would not want his devout followers to be poor. Of course, anyone who’s read scripture knows that Jesus forsook wealth and went out of way to warn his followers by saying, “Truly, I tell you it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God…”

Well, I haven’t tried to push any camels through a needle’s eye, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they try it on ‘MythBusters’ next season and we’ll see how that works out.

Yet, I don’t think that Osteen’s wealth or his brand of Christianity is the actual problem in this situation. I mean, those factors were definitely responsible for the light-speed acceleration of social media vitriol, but they weren’t the spark that set off the explosion. I think that the spark was a failure of leadership.

Osteen’s problem was that he failed to properly communicate until after the situation became a PR nightmare and he was forced to respond. His city just got hit with historic flooding and he was silent until forced to speak. Perhaps, he wouldn’t be facing controversy if he had been proactive and told people that he had previously reached out to city officials. Perhaps, he could have offered other types of assistance to people that were looking to him for leadership.

Personally, I don’t care much for him, his religiosity, or his ostentatious display of wealth. I think he just failed as a public figure and as a leader in a time of crisis. Unfortunately, like other public figures that think highly of themselves, he won’t admit he made any mistake. He’s been doing interviews defending himself and doing lots of explaining.

Disasters tend to expose the reality of a person’s character. In the aftermath of Harvey, we’ll see tremendous acts of heroism and we’ll see people looting their neighbor’s house. We’ll see generosity and we’ll see price-gouging. It will all be on display and all too slowly things will get rebuilt and life will normalize.

Right now, people material help and they need leadership. When it came to leadership, Joel Osteen failed epically. If he’s not careful, God’s going to take one of his yachts away to teach him a lesson.

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Legalizing marijuana would help Alabama grow

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Franklin, Contributor

Hey! Franklin here, your Canine-American editor of twentytwentynews.com who’s been watching Alabama tie itself into knots trying to figure out how to raise enough money to pay for basic public services. Now, of course, I don’t smoke pot because my paws aren’t exactly equipped for rolling joints or even using a lighter for that matter, but I do know that it’s pretty stupid and very expensive for the state to be locking up people for smoking weed.

However, I do know some cats who are way wasted on the catnip and if you private message me, I’ll be happy to tell you where they are right now…

As much as AG Jeff Sessions, who could stand a bong hit or two, wants people to think that legalizing marijuana will usher in a new age of drug-crazed depravity, research clearly shows otherwise. Sessions probably thought the movie ‘Reefer Madness’ was a documentary. Contrary to Sessions’ beliefs, the states that have legalized marijuana aren’t seeing significant increases in crime, but instead, they are seeing huge increases in revenue that they’re using for education, healthcare, and, yes, substance abuse prevention.

Gee, maybe Alabama could even pay for a few badly needed roads with that kind of dough.

The point is that Alabama is missing out in many ways. First, think about the jobs that could be created here, especially in rural Alabama where it’s hard to attract high-tech and manufacturing. Second, imagine all the money the state could save by not spending precious taxpayer dollars on judicial proceedings and incarceration. Also, there are proven medical benefits to using marijuana for a variety of purposes including chronic pain relief. Wouldn’t that make more sense than prescribing people highly addictive opioids and other psychotropic chemicals?

It seems to me that the same people opposed to legalizing marijuana in Alabama were also the same people that opposed Sunday liquor sales, the lottery, motor-voter registration, and, for a time, indoor toilets. They probably also hate dancing and only watch ‘Footloose’ if they’re sure they won’t get caught! I hate to tell them that marijuana is already one of Alabama’s biggest cash crops and it makes zero sense that the state isn’t legally able to tax it.

If people abuse a substance and become a harm to others, then punish their behavior. Folks have been using marijuana throughout history and it’s just stupid that we suddenly decided to ban it a few decades ago. Used responsibly, some good things can come from it. Personally, I think it helped the Beatles go from ‘I wanna hold your hand’ to ‘I am the walrus’ and I’ll always be grateful for that.

Folks, the War on Drugs has been a complete and utter failure. It’s ruined the lives of millions of Americans and, guess what, people are still using mind-altering substances. Yet, we’ve got some weird double standards when it comes to legality. Alcohol has killed countless people, but there’s yet to be one single overdose fatality related to marijuana. Well, there may have been one dumbass who choked to death on Cheetos, but you get the point.

Look, people in this state would rather kiss their grandma on the lips at Thanksgiving than raise taxes. Well, that might be a Mississippi thing. Anyway, it’s time for Alabama to quit being at the bottom of every list and twenty years too late. Our state simply needs the money. Plus, there’s no denying that Alabama could use the jobs. It could even help existing businesses like Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers, Golden Flake, and Wickle’s Pickles. It would surely help a lot folks get through this next Republican primary season of political mudslinging ads without committing random acts of violence…

So, take a minute and think it all out. If you do, you’ll see that it could make a huge positive difference in our state. I’ll leave you with one last thought and then I’ve got to go bury this bone in the backyard.

Like many Alabama conundrums, the solution is obvious. It’s time for people to quit being on the fence and take a stand for the legalization of marijuana. We’ve spent too much time and too much money spinning our wheels and throwing people in jail. It’s time for Alabama to grow.

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During Harvey some think price gouging OK

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Clete Wetli, Contributor

In Trumplandia, the lack of ethics, basic morality, common decency, and social norms have become a sad, new status quo. Yet, I had to look twice when I saw an article in Forbes that genuinely advocated and promoted price gouging during an historic natural disaster. Yeah, you heard that right.

Here’s the link to the piece written by Tim Worstall, a Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/08/27/hurricane-harvey-is-when-we-need-price-gouging-not-laws-against-it/#1d89826913fa

Basically, Worstall argues that price-gougers should be thanked rather than punished because the law of supply demand is helped when scarce resources are allocated to “more valuable uses”. In this case, Worstall contends the person that can afford $99 for a case of water in Houston is a “more valuable use” of that water than the person who dies of thirst because they only have $50. Of course, Mr. Worstall, what were we dumb liberals thinking? Certainly, people with more money are way more valuable than useless poor people.

Oh, he’s not done. Worstall ends his linguistic fellatio of unfettered capitalism by positing this brilliant gem, “Price gouging is the market’s get out of jail free card in the wake of a disaster, bringing supply and demand into accord–yet we try our damnedest to imprison people for employing our most effective tool. We really need to change the laws here.”

I know! I had to walk away from it a minute and let an insane torrent of profanity loose before I could address Worstall’s privileged, fraudulent syllogism and vulgar rationalization of human exploitation and unbridled greed.

The obvious counter to Worstall’s argument is that regardless of whatever economic theory he espouses at the ivory tower of Adam Smith Institute; he is a subhuman piece of shit with no moral compass or an iota of compassion if he thinks that it’s ok to deny people aid during a disaster because they can’t afford it. Perhaps, the only human being that might be worse would be Trump who allowed the Border Patrol to remain open during the hurricane evacuation in hopes of catching illegal immigrants that were fleeing for their lives. This is the butt-ugly truth behind the conservative love affair of the “free market”.

It’s in Worstall’s piece that you can plainly see how this embrace of unfettered and unregulated capitalism is foundational to the racism, the sexism, and the vilification of poverty that entwines modern conservative ideology and policy.

This is why Republicans voted against relief funding for Hurricane Sandy and it’s why the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina were insufficient. Conservatives are terrified that someone may get something for nothing or that someone they deem undeserving may get a benefit. This sick way of thinking goes beyond price-gouging advocacy or offset funding for disaster relief, it even shows up in stupid ways like demanding drug testing for food stamp recipients.

I’m a liberal because I’m a decent human being that cares about others. Scumbags like Tim Worstall are why I’m a loud activist that will fight to his dying day to keep people like him from inflicting damage on the world. There’s no good argument for price-gouging. There’s not a place on this earth or any imaginable situation in which profiting off the suffering of others is morally acceptable.

In the era of Trump, we’ve got to stand against this type of bullshit. This is the kind of garbage that fuels the white supremacists and other mental midgets that seek justification for their prejudice, xenophobia, and avarice.

Mr. Worstall, I don’t know you, but what you wrote appeals only to the extreme worst of human nature. Because of morally bankrupt assholes like you, we’re stuck with a President that’s the epitome of whoring selfishness.

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The general who became ‘Oval Office Nanny’

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Clete Wetli, Contributor

The characterization of Trump as a narcissistic, uncontrollable, tantrum-prone child has now become a trite truism that prefaces and permeates every discussion about the Executive Branch. Yet, the most pathetic turn of events in this absurdist tragedy has been the appointment of a decorated general as White House Chief of Staff whose sole mission appears to be Trump’s nanny. Gen. John Kelly, former Commander of the United States Southern Command and former Secretary of Homeland Security, the Marine combat veteran with more honors than can fit properly on his uniform, now has the unenviable job of trying to keep Trump from throwing poopy at his imaginary foes.

Of course, Trump is quite smitten with generals, because he went to a very expensive “fancy lad” military academy where rich kids could pretend to be in the military without the annoyance of having to sacrifice their gilded sock-garters or suffering more than a hangnail that ruined their manicure. Boy Trump is still fascinated by pretty, colorful medals, uniforms, and cool nick-names like “Mad Dog”.

So, Kelly drew the short straw and was likely chosen by the other hand-wringing adults to watch after Trump to make sure he didn’t mistake the “I need a Diet Coke” red button for the nuclear launch red button. They thought Trump might listen to his new nanny because new nanny had lots of medals and war stories and a tough sounding voice.

Apparently, Kelly was brought in to replace Priebus, who had become Trump’s masochistic gimp, and was powerless to keep Trump to an appointment schedule. Also, Priebus was allowing people to give Trump clippings and stories from Breitbart, The National Enquirer and InfoWars, which Trump digests as absolute truth and foundational to his world view and thoughts on policy. According to reports, Kelly has been able to do the minimum of creating an appointment schedule for Boy POTUS and filter some of the disinformation that is landing in Trump’s tiny hands.

Unfortunately, the disobedient child still has his Twitter-toy. Sadly, he can’t be trusted to speak without a Teleprompter that’s loaded with simple words and simple thoughts. No more metaphors infused in soaring rhetoric or polysyllabic words- just stick to the script of America is great and going to be greater. Trump is the snotty kid who always has to be the line leader and screams uncontrollably if he doesn’t get his way.

The Oval Office Nanny is having a hard time keeping Trump from throwing tantrums. Nanny has removed the other boys that were making trouble, like Scaramucci and Bannon. Nanny has patiently explained how outbursts make the other kids not want to play with little Trump, but he just won’t seem to listen. Nanny can’t keep him from flicking his boogers on McConnell, McCain, Flake, or Ryan.

At this stage, it’s difficult to determine if the Oval Office Nanny deserves our admiration for attempting the impossible for the good of our nation, or our condemnation for trying to lacquer a faux veneer of legitimacy on Trump’s staggering incompetence and immaturity.

One thing is perfectly clear, Oval Office Nanny has had very little success in modifying Trump’s pugilistic behavior or teaching him how to maturely handle situations when they don’t go his way. During the infamous press conference about infrastructure that devolved into Trump’s implicit support of “many sides” racism, Oval Office Nanny’s downcast, defeated look spoke volumes.

It’s disgusting that our nation has come to the point where we need a decorated general to babysit the President of the United States because he can’t be trusted to make the most basic adult decisions.

Hopefully, our nation will recover from the destruction and chaos wrought by our Toddler-In-Chief. Maybe, we will learn the lesson that experience and leadership do, indeed, matter greatly. Otherwise, we should stop with the pretense of having a position called White House Chief of Staff and, instead, call it what it is- Oval Office Nanny.

General Kelly tries to control information President Trump sees

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Jesus is not voting for Roy Moore

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Clete Wetli, Contributor

Unlike Trump, who only pretends to be a man of religious conviction when pandering for gullible evangelical votes, twice-ousted Judge Roy Moore, Alabama Republican senatorial candidate, is a bona-fide crazed zealot who thinks he’s Jesus’ handpicked chosen one. Moore not only rejects any notion of the separation of church and state, he has spent his entire career trying to ram his version of Christianity down Alabama’s throat.

Of course, Moore gained national infamy when he was removed from the bench for trying to install a Ten Commandments religious monument and subsequently removed again after instructing probate judges to ignore the law when it came to recognizing same-sex marriage.

Moore’s cult-like supporters believe that he’s a man of faith adamantly standing up for what he believes. Everyone else knows that he’s a religious nut-job who keeps crossing the line and that his morals and ethics are questionable at best.

For example, his latest lie is that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to get Alabama Democrats to vote for his opponent Luther Strange. Trust me, no Democrat is going to vote for Big Idiot Luther or cares one whit what Mitch McConnell wants. Moore just made it up and when confronted he said, “That’s what they’re talking about. I wish the people of Alabama knew that. I wish the people of Alabama knew that McConnell and them were using the Democrats to come into the Republican primary.” Then, Moore went on to say, “I’ll tell you the truth. There are a lot of Democrats that understand about the acknowledgement of God and understand what the Republican Party’s doing, and they may have a little trouble there, too.”

“The acknowledgment of God”? Well, that’s Moore’s entire schtick. He’s learned that he can get tons of votes in Alabama by pretending that he’s being persecuted for his religious beliefs. He’s also learned that pliable people will donate a pile of money to his foundation, as well. Yeah, the same foundation that forgot to file tax returns and paid Moore and his wife millions. We can’t help but wonder if God acknowledged that, too?

The problem is that while he was pandering, he was not doing his job. Under his watch, the Alabama Judicial system was struggling for funding and case-loads sky-rocketed in the state. While he was grand-standing and pretending to be a martyr for religious liberty, people in the state were suffering due to his lack of leadership and ended up paying a lot of unnecessary court costs on top of that.

On the eve of the Republican senatorial primary, Moore said, “There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities. But Sharia law is a little different from American law, It is founded on religious concepts.”

Well, first of all, that’s just complete bullshit that he spewed to rile up his nutjob base. What’s monumentally disturbing is that he sees no parallel between the idea that Sharia law’s religious foundation is exactly what he’s espousing when he claims that American law must “invoke ‘the favor and guidance of almighty God.”

Maybe, he should take a moment and brush up on American law and make an honest attempt to apply it without illegally infusing his own religious bias. Moore was removed from office twice for violating American law, not for his religious beliefs.

Interestingly, Moore’s version of Christianity appears to condone lying, enriching himself through a religious foundation, and only following the laws that he likes.

Alabama needs to vote for Doug Jones. He’s actually done substantive things to make Alabama a better place and understands American law. He understands the separation of church and state. Doug Jones is a statesman, not a faux martyr like Roy Moore. Doug Jones is a Democrat and he understands why Moore and Trump are a danger to our democracy and the diversity of our religious liberties.

I hate to say it, but Alabama needs Roy Moore like this Jew needs a Spam sandwich with pork rinds. Don’t tell him I’m here or he’ll be telling everyone that we’re trying to institute Jewish law and that’ll just confuse everyone, even Moore.

Look, the truth is that Jesus told me that he’s going to do what he’s always done and not endorse any Alabama candidates this year. Jesus isn’t even registered to vote in this state and, if he was, his name was probably purged right along with Mo Brooks.

Roy Moore, Sharia Law

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Political cruelty murders political correctness

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Franklin, Contributor

When you’re a Canine-American without an opposable thumb, you really don’t get a lot of choice as to what you get to watch on television. My humans are decidedly liberal and they watch a ton of news interspersed with Game of Thrones marathons and snarky chick flicks. I’d prefer a lot more Animal Planet, but that’s just because I like barking at jungle predators. Anyway, last night I was forced to watch the insipid ramblings of the Orange cult leader and I was amazed at the sadistic pleasure he and his audience took in vilifying others.

For years, liberals have taken a beating over their advocacy of ‘political correctness’. In truth, some of this beating was deserved because political correctness, when taken to an extreme, endangers freedom of speech and thought by replacing it with a bizarre and intolerant groupthink. However, its aim to eliminate language and actions that foster bigotry and division is aspirational and morally sound.

During Trump’s campaign speech in Phoenix, it became clear that the age of political correctness is finally over. Political correctness had its throat slit by political cruelty.

This moment was significant because Trump took delight in re-opening the fresh wound of Charlottesville. He grinned like the devil as he assaulted the media. His beady eyes sparkled with malignant glee as he talked about immigrants as if they were sub-human. It’s disgusting to watch his hateful diatribe, knowing that he is getting aroused and excited by all the fear he’s creating. It’s not just unusual, it is cruel. Politically cruel.

Political cruelty is Trump’s doctrine. He views the entire world as a surreal bloody conflict in which people are either trusted allies or monstrous villains. There is nothing in between. There is no gray area, no nuance, no middle ground.

In Trump’s world, political cruelty means giving your enemy no safe harbor and it means that you destroy absolutely everything they cherish. If they’re for it, you’re against it. You annihilate it and desecrate it and humiliate it and kick it when it’s down.

Trump’s doctrine of political cruelty explains his obsession with the wall. It explains the lies he’s told about Obamacare. Hell, it even explains why he continues to repeat that repulsive, de-bunked, and stupid story about Pershing dipping bullets in pig’s blood before murdering Muslim prisoners of war.

Political cruelty is what causes Trump to denounce members of his own party. Political cruelty is why he is dismantling environmental protections. Political cruelty is his bully bludgeon.

Trump confuses strength and toughness with cruelty. He was the kid that tore off butterfly wings for no reason and did horrible, mean things to cats, although I must admit that I have had similar thoughts but I blame my canine chromosomes for those suppressed instinctual urges.

I knew a dog once that had an owner like that. He was always chained in the back yard and would howl because he never had enough water or food. The owner was unbelievably cruel and would sometimes kick the dog for making noise. The dog would cry and cower because it was powerless. Well, one day the chain broke and the cruel human tried to kick the dog. The dog bit him and there was blood everywhere. Luckily, the dog was able to run away.

I think this is how the humans will react, too. I think right now, they feel powerless and they feel abused. Soon, I think they will realize that they can break the chain. Right now, there’s a whole lot of howling and barking going on. But, I think that’s all about to change dramatically. I think the Orange one will learn very soon that barks are not worse than bites.

Well, thanks for listening to my thoughts about his speech last night. It’s time to get back to napping. I’ll have more poetry soon. In the meantime, do something about the Orange hatemonger and his followers. There’s a reason that there’s no dog in the White House… just sayin’.

P.S. If he gets one, I bet it’ll piss all over that Resolute Desk.

President Trump’s Speech on August 22, 2017 in Arizona

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New climate change policy: Don’t ask, don’t tell

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Jerry Waters, Contributor

While the EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is busy dismantling every sensible environmental regulation he can get his oil-soaked hands on, he has simultaneously launched a new strategy to ensure that the fossil fuel industry wins its public opinion war over the realities of climate change. This last week, the EPA disbanded the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment which is the fifteen-member federal agency in charge of helping the government, the military, and big corporations deal with the practical and tangible issues arising from climate change. They are also supposed to guide the production of the National Climate Assessment Report which is supposed to be produced every four years. Well, that just got thrown into a landfill.

So, the new EPA strategy for dealing with climate change has now become ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ In fact, policy has changed so that even saying things like ‘global warming’ or ‘man-made climate change’ just might get you fired if you work for the EPA. Well, they may not fire you, but you could end up being another research scientist that’s been recently relocated to the accounting department.

The thing that’s stunningly stupid about this is that even if you harbor the insane delusion that mankind has absolutely nothing to do with climate change, it’s obvious to every person on this ever-warming and polluted planet that it is, indeed, happening. You can debate the causes all you want, but there’s no arguing about the measurable fact that temperatures and ocean levels are rising. The destruction of rain forests isn’t dependent on anyone’s opinion, it just a fact. The list of endangered and extinct species is real regardless of what anyone thinks or believes.

Having said that, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of scum-sucking fossil-fuel lovers and champions of industrial pollution to know how climate change affects their bottom line? I mean, what’s the point of destroying the environmental habitat of a beachfront to build condos if rising sea levels or fierce tropical storms are going to endanger your investment in a few short years? You’d think these profiteers would at least like the facts about how climate change will impact their businesses even if they believe mankind didn’t cause the problem.

That’s not how our new EPA or the geniuses in the Trump administration see it. They just want everyone to believe that the majority of the world’s most respected scientist are engaged in a liberal conspiracy. Those Birkenstock-wearing hippies are trying to kill the coal industry and they’re always bitching about water pollution. Didn’t they read that part in the Bible about man having dominion over the planet? Besides, if we don’t acknowledge that there’s a problem, then there won’t be a problem anymore. Obviously, that approach worked with gays in the military and Pruitt is hoping it can work with climate change, too!

All joking aside, this is something that Americans should be outraged over. This is a global problem that transcends politics. Mother Nature isn’t going to care about your political leanings as coastlines deteriorate, our water becomes increasingly toxic, and summer temperatures get so high that commercial jets are grounded.

This new policy of deliberate ignorance is nothing more than a short-term strategy for the fossil fuel industry to squeeze every penny out of consumers before their industry becomes obsolete. The damage they are doing to our planet is horrific and, in some instances, irreversible. Hopefully, clean and renewable energy will continue to flourish before it’s too late. As Americans, we can’t allow the destruction of the EPA.

Pruitt may be thinking that the EPA’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy will work, but just like the military discovered, reality can be a drag queen with an assault rifle.

Inconvenient Truth: More Information on Climate Change

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GOP sells the last of its soul to Trump

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Clete Wetli, Contributor

As disgusted Americans watch the media label each ensuing week as the ‘worst’ in Trump’s chaotic and destructive fledgling presidency, it’s also worth noting that the GOP has collectively shown that it has sold the last of its conflicted soul to Trump to appease his angry white, immovable base. It began during the campaign when Republican leaders failed to loudly condemn Trump’s incessant racism and sexism, and gleefully ignored his daily tempest of bold, outrageous lies.

The GOP has decided that scrupulous statesmanship only exists in direct proportion to opinion polling. Republicans have abandoned moral principles to cater to the basest of their base.

What strange times these are when Trump’s business advisory council resigns in protest over racist remarks, but Trump’s evangelical advisors remain to announce they are increasingly confident that the Almighty has personally chosen the Orange Duck-tailed One as America’s savior!

This goes beyond AG Jeff Sessions weird explanation of ‘pussy grabbing’ or Speaker Paul Ryan’s observations on the definition of racism during the Judge Curiel fiasco that fell on Republicans deaf ears. This speaks to a horrible truth that Democrats have known for some time. Republicans want to make sure that they keep the bigot vote. They want the sexist vote. They need the votes of craven people who don’t give a shit about anything or anyone so long as they’re making piles of money. Trump was perfectly clear in his intent when he called out to ‘the poorly educated’ because he knew he could buy their votes with a cheap red hat.

This is not only a larger portion of the GOP base than anyone cares to acknowledge, but they desperately want to continue to keep the nation focused on identity politics and endless war against global terrorists predicated on paranoia and exacerbated by xenophobia. In practice, it’s why Trump is fueling this national debate over Confederate statues. We know that it’s monumental stupidity, but while we’re busy fighting this racial nonsense, the Democratic plan for a ‘Better Deal’ has been drowned in the cacophony.

Of course, we should demand that Confederate statues be removed, but we’ve also got to highlight the Democratic plan for economic growth, better education, and ensuring equality through humane policy and good governance. Democrats cannot become the mirror image of Republicans by simply running against the symbolic image of Trump and his delusional, self-centered minions.

We’ve seen the evils of populism in the era of Trump as evidenced by a morally bankrupt Republican party. Democrats, indeed, must stand by their principles and give voters a compelling reason to vote for progress instead of merely rallying oppositional support to obstruct Trump’s regressive agenda.

The now soul-less Republican party will continue to support Trump until it’s physically impossible to lower the bar any further. Yet, Democrats will only be able to take advantage of this if they have a positive, sensible plan expressed with simple, powerful messaging.

The GOP will continue its attack on Democrats with ‘weapons of mass distraction’, but we must resist and not fall into their cynical and twisted traps.

It may sound melodramatic, but this has become a political fight that will redefine the existential meaning of America for generations. Liberals should take a new and detailed look at FDR’s policy and messaging. It’s time to take our Democratic soul back from Wall Street. Liberals should discover ways to control the narrative proactively. Liberals can’t play defense anymore and expect to win. Liberals should own their moniker and lead decisively.

The Republicans have sold their soul to Trump and draw their strength from cynicism, skepticism, deception, and division. Let’s call them out on their bullshit, but more importantly, let’s give America something to believe in again.

Our greatest enemy is apathy borne out of self-imposed defeatism for feeling that nothing can change for the better.

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POO (Party Of One) Part 5- Final Installment

Bernie Morgan, Contributor

A Different America
 
Americans stockpiled millions of weapons before the once-powerful lobby, the National Second Amendment Distortion Association (NSADA), had been exposed for what they really stood for: sucking up to politicians who fanned the flames of a government taking all guns from average citizens to make them VERY SCARED while, at the same time,  making gun manufacturers’ even richer than they were. Plus, with the NATO mandate to not allow conventional weapons to be used in wars, NSADA membership had now dwindled to pitiful numbers. Average citizens began to realize they didn’t need assault rifles lying in every window sill and grenades stashed under their mattresses to be safe. In fact, that type of mentality had kept them less safe because of their availability when arguments broke out, especially when alcohol was involved, and the easy assess that children had to pick one up and accidentally shoot someone.
 
 
Time Is Up
 
Early one afternoon in early June 2040,  as the sun was setting in the west, and as the POO was fighting it out for power in Congress before leaving on their fifth vacation of the session; a vagina shaped spaceship landed on the National Mall in Washington and a large group of armed soldiers  disembarked . . . it wasn’t the Russians we had feared in the 1960s or the Martians we had wondered about and feared forever; it was the RotTots, hoards of now grown discarded babies,  coming down from planet Hypocrisy  to seek revenge on their government, the government that dictated their fates by repealing Roe vs Wade, by making contraception illegal and by secretly transporting thousands of them to that ghastly planet after they were born. The RotTots were mad as hell and they weren’t taking it anymore.
 
As they made their way up the Capitol steps, forging their way to get inside, loaded weapons in hand, they began to quickly fire at will and bombarded the Capitol Police with  water-filled condoms fired from slingshots. Not content with only using that weapon, the RotTots began to throw thousands of plastic models of vaginas and vaginal probes and penises, and soon hundreds of tourists joined in the protest. They all, in unison, then began to chant the words “vagina” and “penis” while simultaneously clapping. The RotTots also played loud recordings of Christian-based religious speech that laid out the sins of using contraception and having abortions and how both “vices” were sure paths to Hell. The taped voices also yelled out the word “fornication” and preached how it was sinful unless for procreation purposes.
 
Using bullhorns, the RotTots then invited and encouraged members of Congress to join them on the Capitol steps. Soon, liberal members of both the House and the Senate, and hundreds of their support staffs, joined the RotTots and others and, as they locked arms singing and swaying back and forth, no thunderbolt came down from Heaven to kill them. The RotTots thanked the liberals for arguing and protesting against the terrible decision to whisk them off to Hypocrisy where out-of-sight out-of-mind was the norm. They also thanked them for fighting for the right to use  contraception to lessen the number of hungry, unwanted babies in America.
 
Conservative members of Congress were notably no shows on the Capitol steps; in fact, they all literally ran out back doors and jumped in their limousines.
 
The RotTots made it clear that they planned to target all members of the current Congress who voted to round them up and send them on their way by qualifying and running for office against them.  (Many members of Congress were so physically and mentally frail they should have already retired on their own anyway, but the money and perks were too damn good for that to happen.)
 
It was, all in all, a good day for America.
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