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.’”
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.
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.
We want our politicians transparent, yet we want them powerful as well, and power, even in the best of circumstances, means the management of information, and telling the truth is not managing the information. Nathan Heller in The New Yorker some time ago.
“I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.” Trump at CIA Headquarters.
“You’re saying it’s a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that,” Kellyanne Conway, senior Campaign Manager and now counselor to President Donald Trump, to NBC’s Chuck Todd.
What most irks me right now is when my fellow Liberal dismiss Trump as stupid or deranged. The problem is that when one thinks of him as stupid and he does something like the crowd size press briefing, the natural reaction is to say Look how stupid he is, doing something so stupid and counter-productive? But Trump is not delusional – he just believes what he wants to believe which, BTW, will be much easier now that he is in the Presidential Bubble – he is very smart and he is nasty and cunning; the question should be Why would he do something that seems so stupid and counter-productive, what does he have up his sleeve?
I have been relatively sanguine about Trump, mostly because I think he is more of a Populist than a Conservative. For me, the worst case scenario would be for Trump to be impeached and Pence takeover. But, while Trump says “[we] are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people,” he keeps surrounding himself with the Conservative Establishment. That is very worrying.
I keep looking at Trump’s daughter and son-in-law who were formerly Democrats and part of the New York Liberal Elite and are now trusted advisors, and I think They sound so sane, they will keep him from going off the rails, and then I watch the first thing that comes out of the White House. The first Official press briefing wasn’t about building a wall or saving a factory or, even, canceling Obamacare, no, the first press briefing, the most important thing on the agenda, was about the size of the crowd during Trump’s speech. It was just a sad little man lying, trying to make us believe that this inaugural crowd was the largest in history.
This guy is out of control; the sane ones don’t tone him down. It is impossible to change Donald Trump because this is a family operation and President Donald John Trump is the family patriarch. He sets the tone. He is the boss. That is more than a little disquieting.