Remember When?

June 19, 2017 By: Juanita Jean Herownself Category: Uncategorized

Remember when Republicans were calling for more civility after last week’s shooting of a Republican congressman?

Remember when Charlie Brown would try to kick the football and Lucy would pull it up at the last minute?

Yeah, the Lucy Republican strikes again …

 

 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution covers the story.

 

Culinary Scandal

June 11, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Russian Hacking, Sumbitches, Trump

File under “Long Ago in a Galaxy Far Away”…

If you’re like me, you’ve run out of words to describe the slow motion train wreck that is today’s White House.  Shocked.  Stunned. Astonished. Embarrassed.  Humiliated. Outraged. Aggrieved. None of those words sufficiently describe the relentless onslaught on our senses these last months as The. Worst. President. In. U.S. History. eviscerates virtually every tradition, custom, and law that governs our executive branch.  Common decency suffered a quick death at 12:01 on January 20th.  After that, this walking, talking violation of the Constitution has been urinating all over our society while stuffing his pockets full of foreign money.  Have I described this administration accurately?  I believe I have.

So.  Let’s go back to this same point in Barack Obama’s first term.  He was also dealing with a HUGE scandal himself.  The scandal?  He went out for a hamburger with his pal, VP Joe Biden and dared to order his burger with dijon mustard.  That’s right, folks, that sissy latte’ sipping secret Muslim from Kenya dared to order a traditional American dish with a French mustard.  Outrageous.  The noise machine lit up, lead by the knuckle dragger, Sean Hannity.  Have a look:

That same noise machine today (what’s left of it) is whistling past the grave yard, defending Trump and his mob buddies for cozying up to despots and hackers.  I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if characters from The Empire showed up as Trump surrogates on national television.

Texas is a “Free Market” State, Right? No, Not Really.

June 09, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap

All of our glorified politicians and Chamber of Commerce representatives continually crow about Texas being a “free market” state with a “light touch” when it comes to regulations.  But is that really true?  Actually, no.  It’s only free market for those who pay for it.  To wit:

  • You can’t buy a Tesla directly from the company in Texas.  You have to buy it online and have it delivered from California.  Bills to allow direct sales have died 3 times since 2013, killed by big money from the powerful auto dealers lobby to protect their own dealer franchises.
  • Under the same Byzantine laws promoted by Texas auto dealers, Warren Buffett was prevented from keeping his chain of auto dealers in Texas because his company happens to also own an RV manufacturing company in Indiana. Buffett tried to fix the problem, but Teabaggers shut him down and the bill never made it to the floor.  In Texas, manufacturers cannot sell cars.  I know, weird, right?
  • You can’t buy wine online in Texas like you can in most other states.  The powerful liquor lobby controls the governor’s mansion and both houses in the legislature, and has had enacted more Byzantine laws that are inconsistently applied.  These laws treat beer, distilled spirits, and wine differently, with complicated permitting requirements.  A national online distributor, Wines Til Sold Out, recently received a cease and desist letter from the State of Texas and has shut down sales to the state.  Texas consumers lose again.
  • This year, the powerful beer distributor lobby, which has doled out over $11 million to Texas elected officials (Greg Abbott got $1.4 million, and Dan Patrick got $688,000), got a roll back of the beer law passed in 2013 which encouraged small craft brewers to invest in Texas by lifting insanely low limits on how much beer can be made by small brewers and allowing in-brewery sales directly to customers.  That law was so successful that small brewers increased by 3 fold since 2011 drawing the ire of the beer distributors who don’t like competition.  They hate it so much that they got a new law passed this year that limits the size of brewers who can sell directly in their own taprooms.  The limit is a production size of 225,000 barrels in all of their facilities regardless of whether those facilities are actually in Texas.  This shuts down craft beer company Oskar Blues of Colorado, who just spent millions opening a new brewery and tap room in Austin, and also affects Deep Ellum Brewing which is near the 225,000 barrel limit and has already announced that, because of this law, it will now seek to invest in other more friendly states.  Oh, and BTW, mega brewers like Anheuser Busch, Heineken, and Miller-Coors were all given carve outs to the size requirement.  I’m shocked, just shocked, I tell you.  Well, not really.  Oh, and for reference, Anheuser Busch produces about 125 million barrels a year.
  • But it gets worse…In this same law, small craft brewers must pay a per barrel fee to local beer distributors for beer they sell in their own facilities and that is never actually touched by the distributor.  That’s right, folks, the Great State of Texas is so “free market” that it has made a law that allows huge multi-billion dollar distributing companies to freely extort money from small brewers for the privilege for selling their own beer in their own taprooms.  You’re welcome.  This bill is on Abbott’s desk, and if he doesn’t veto it, will become law on June 18th.  With $1.4 million of beer lobby money in his pocket, what do you predict he’ll do?

By now, most of those paying attention know that Texas is not a “free market” state, not in the slightest.  It has been turned into a corrupt banana republic that benefits the wealthy and powerful while trampling on the small businesses all over the state it claims to promote.  But the really weird thing?  Those same business people and consumers who are hurt by this corruption are the very people who support and vote for those who participate in it on a daily basis.

You can only draw one conclusion from these clear facts – voters in Texas are stupid.

 

Translation: “I’m So Corrupt I Can’t Even Keep Track”

May 25, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Foreign States, Trump

In response to a House Oversight Committee document request, Trump’s lawyers sent a slick pamphlet describing how he’s NOT going to track money he receives from foreign governments, strictly prohibited by the Constitution’s emoluments clause.  Much has been written by legal scholars about Trump’s egregious violations of the Constitutional provision, and it’s all been ignored by the GOP and surprisingly, the press.  The Brookings Institute has published some of the best analysis of Trump’s real and continuing problem of taking money from foreign governments. It’s an impeachable offense, but no one is even trying, at least yet, to do anything about it.  Bloomberg has written about how money is pouring into Trump’s DC hotel which is housed in the Old Post Office building, both from foreign governments and GOP World, which has established the hotel as its new headquarters.  Oh, BTW, Trump is also violating federal rules prohibiting leasing to an elected official, but that’s another story the press is ignoring.

Before the inauguration, Trump said that he was putting all of his interests in a trust, which he didn’t, and wouldn’t be involved, which he is.  The pamphlet generally outlines how his spider web of hotels, resorts, and golf clubs will attempt to track payments, but basically says that it’s just too difficult, “impractical” I believe it says, to track all the payments.

So there.  Emoluments Clause?  We don’t need no Emoluments Clause – it’s just too hard to keep up with the graft, so we’ll just not try.  Just another day in Trumpland.

The Latest Shiny Thing

March 27, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Trump

Last week was one of the most disastrous weeks of Cheeto’s administration where his biggest promise, kicking 24 million people off of healthcare, came crashing down to decisive defeat.  Republicans, knowing he actually is nuts and would sign anything they put in front of him, finally woke up and decided that taking healthcare away from their voters would actually lower their chances for re-election, their only true goal.

So, CJ put that promise back on the shelf and has now moved to making government “sleek”, by assigning his son in law, Jared Kushner, to yet another new job.  So far, his primary job has been trying to keep his father in law from chopping up the Resolute desk and using it for kindling to burn down the White House, and so far, that has been pretty much a full time job.  Now young Kushner is going to head up the shiny new White House Office of American Innovation, a supposed think tank made up of an amalgamation of billionaire inventors and business people who have been charged with making the US government run like a business.  Of course, the US Government is not a business and CAN’T be run like one, but no matter, here’s our new shiny thing to talk about while the Congress continues to ignore the actual threat to the US government – the Russians.

I’ll give this one two weeks or so, then we’ll be consumed with another incendiary tweet from His Orangeness.

Jesus.  No, really.  Jesus.

One Down, Dozens to Go. Flynn Resigns.

February 13, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Sumbitches

Mike Flynn just resigned in disgrace.  One down, dozens to go.

Can I get an amen?