Category Archives: Politics

Bloomberg Businessweek on Trump, “Would You Let This Man Run Your Company?”

Blomberg-01174But in many ways the more appropriate perspective [to judge Trump] is through a  business lens: The immediate issue is whether a boss tried to halt embarrassing revelations about his company; the underlying one is whether he knows how to run it. Bloomberg Businessweek

Several months ago, I got a complimentary copy of Bloomberg Businessweek and really liked it. Several weeks ago, I got one of those cut-rate subscriptions – something like a year for eight bucks – and subscribed. I’m glad I did. This article, in this issue, is especially fascinating. Almost all my usual news sources – except, most of the time, The News Hour on NPR – are slightly to massively hysterical about Trump (although most haven’t sunk to the level of many of my facebook friends who have just given up any pretense of thinking about Trump rationally). So, when The New Yorker has an article on impeachment, say, I have a hard time judging its accuracy.

The Bloomberg article is refreshingly dispassionate. So when Bloomberg says, Behind this list of individual transgressions sit four larger failings: This CEO-in-chief has failed to get things done; he has failed to build a strong team, especially in domestic policy; he hasn’t dealt with conflicts of interest; and his communications is in shambles. it packs a more devastating punch than, say, The New York Times saying the same thing.

Check it out: if you are a Trump fan,  you might find a couple of things that will give you pause and if you think Trump is evil, you might find some things that will give you a more reasonable perspective (as well as getting some good arguments for The Cause).

Portraits and Signs at the March for Science

Portraits-00531The March for Science was not what I expected and yet, somehow it was not surprising. I don’t think I have ever been to a March for something before. I have been to campaign rallies, I’ve been to protests, but never a march for something. In some ways, this didn’t seem to be a March for Science as a March against Anti-science – ahhh, Trump. Although everybody at the March seemed to be having a good time, there was also a lot of anger under the surface. Portraits-00515

Still, there were also lots of pro-science people and a surprising number of young women.

Portraits-00513-2 Portraits-00525Portraits-00520 Portraits-00545

The following are Michele’s images…

March for Science, LA; By Michele Stern
Seen at the March for Science, LA; By Michele Stern
Trump Supporters at the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
Trump Supporters at the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
At the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
At the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
At the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
I was wishing I had a lab coat myself. I thought that was the perfect thing to wear to the March for Science, by Michele Stern
At the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
“If I were 21 I’d vote for Kennedy,” by Michele Stern
The back of his shirt says "I don't care what you believe," by Michele Stern
The back of his shirt says “I don’t care what you believe,” by Michele Stern
At the March for Science in LA, by Michele Stern
Love that Hello Kitty riding a unicorn hat, by Michele Stern
Not everyone at the March for Science in LA, was marching for science. This woman was promoting something to do with the Mexican President and our immigration policies. Given the language barrier, I was not quite sure what or who it was; by Michele Stern
Not everyone at the March for Science in LA, was marching for science. This woman was promoting something to do with the Mexican President and our immigration policies. Given the language barrier, I was not quite sure what or who it was; by Michele Stern

Portraits-00522

I ran into the guy above fairly early in the day and it made me realize what is at stake here. Trump may be the poster child for ignoring Global Warming but the list of politicians – who either don’t believe in Global Warming or, if they say they do, are not really doing anything about the problem – is a long one, Sad.

I can’t help myself, I love Lyndon Johnson

smothers_brothers

Fifty years ago, the Smothers Brothers were the gutsiest show on television. By today’s standards, they were very mild but they were critical enough of President Lyndon Johnson that Johnson called William Paley, the head of CBS, to complain, leading to this story I heard on NPR.

On their final show, Dick read a letter he and Tom had gotten from former President Johnson. These days, President Donald Trump responds to Saturday Night Live skits with angry tweets. Back then, former President Johnson, reflecting on his treatment by the Smothers Brothers, responded by writing: ‘It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. You have given the gift of laughter to our people. May we never grow so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our lives.’

 

Donald Trump and Michele’s theory of why we should burn coal

Zhangjiajie

China has eye-burning smog everywhere. When we were in China, in 2009, I think we only saw blue sky on one day. We thought we would see blue sky when we went to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park because it was pretty much out in the boonies – Zhangjiajie is a combination of Brice Canyon and Zion National Parks except that it has wild pink azaleas, roaming monkies, and Chinese food in little kiosks along the trail – and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, but we never saw it with blue sky even after a two-day rain storm. Every day, my eyes burned and my nose ran. It was worse than when I lived in Los Angeles in the late 50s.

Because the smog is so bad in China, the pressure to reduce it is very high just like it was in Los Angeles in the 50s. Because the pollution is so visible, there is a massive lobby to get rid of sources of pollution and China has become a world leader in solar and wind power. In the US, because our sky looks so blue, the Clean-air Lobby is much weaker.

More and more we are burning Natural Gas. However, Natural Gas is still doing great damage to our environment. It is not as bad as coal – according to the Union of Concerned Scientists,  Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant – but burning Natural Gas is still doing great damage to our planet. Michele thinks that we should burn coal, because, then, we would see the damage we are doing and increase our efforts to clean up.

Hillary and the Democratic Establishment are like Natural Gas, they have been undermining our Democracy and pay only minimal attention to the Environment. Trump is like coal, we really see the damage he is doing and that is mobilizing the opposition (or Resistance as San Francisco Magazine calls it). In that way, Trump may be the best thing that has happened to us.

 

Time to Volunteer

Bernie2

Donald J Trump is president of the United States of America. Even if you don’t like it, even if you are horrified, it is still true. What is also true, is that marches like The Woman’s March don’t change that and they won’t change Trump either. Bitching whether it is facebook, Twitter, a blog, or standing on a street corner,  doesn’t do anything but, temporarily, make the bitcher feel better.

I worked on the Obama campaign and went to a couple of Bernie Rallies plus I’ve complained a lot so I figured I had done all that was necessary but I was wrong. I am just beginning to understand what the Tea Party figured out years ago, that getting people in power, whose values match mine, is the only way to get the political result I want. Get involved. The easiest and fastest way to get people we want into power is in the swing districts of the House of Representatives. That is where this Trump insanity started and, if Progressives want to take back the house and end the insanity, we have to get involved. Here is a good place to start. 

Volunteer