Predictions, comments and thoughts. I’ve got some of all of them to share with you today so let’s go.
Regardless of where you stand on the issues in the war in Israel, all reasonable people want it to end. Glaringly outside those constraints is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Most observers of Israeli politics predict that shortly after the war ends so will the political career of Netanyahu. In view of that what incentive does he have to end the war?
The influence of money in today’s American politics is its number one problem. Both parties are playing a game of placating Jewish political donors. That is one of the big reasons we give so much foreign aid to Israel, (which is not exactly a poor country). It doesn’t much matter who controls the White House or Congress; the green keeps flowing to Israel.
One danger in cutting Israel off in the current conflict (which I do not advocate, but that is another discussion) is that they might be driven into the money filled arms of China. Russia isn’t as much of a threat in this situation. They simply are not that wealthy. China on the other hand, has plenty of cash to play with and for some time has made a priority expanding its global influence.
Not Very Swift
The right wing has come up with some inane theories on the Super Bowl and Taylor Swift. I won’t waste resources regurgitating them here. (At least there are no Italian satellites or dead Venezuelans involved this time.)
Let’s look at who they have embraced as their almighty leader. Donald Trump is not exactly a swifty and I’m not refereeing to his playlist; I’m talking about his mental acuity.
Thanks to SNL?
No thanks to the NRC, Nikki Haley finally got her opportunity to “debate” Donald Trump Saturday night. It took her doing a cameo on Saturday Night Live to make the fake debate happen. Unfortunately, few Republican primary voters watch that show.
What Will Pass
Congress is currently trying to craft legislation on both tax cuts and immigration funding. Each chamber seems to have very different bills and the Republicans are fighting each other (at Trump’s orders) to the point that everything is as clear as mud.
My prediction – and I’m not alone – is that something including a tax cut for the wealthy and corporations will pass and the immigration situation will remain unchanged. It’s all a matter of providing a ROI (Return On Investment). Big dollar Republican donors expect a return on their donations which they view as an investment or they will stop making them. In many cases they are the major beneficiaries of our broken immigration system because it provides them with cheap and easily exploitable labor with which they can make even more money off of.
At a more pedestrian level lower paid service providers (i.e. lawn care and the grounds keeping crew at the golf course) aren’t something the medium size donor wants to give up (or do himself).
The Banking System
I’m glad that emails are easy to delete. If you are anything like me on a daily basis you get a plethora that are simultaneously humorous and annoying. Like the ones that claim to contain live footage of World War III.
One of their favorite themes is the collapse of the American banking system. (I shudder to think what alternative to dollars in the bank these snake oil salespeople are pushing.) I did a little quick calculation and us regular Joes and Janes are safe. There are over 4,000 commercial banks in the United States that offer free FDIC insurance on deposits up to $250,000 per account (for a couple it is $500,000.) Let me break it down for you, assuming you didn’t want multiple accounts at a bank, four banks can insure one million dollars and 4,000 banks can insure one billion dollars.
The Oily Truth
Drill, Baby Drill is a Republican cry and Trump has embraced it. Let’s look at the facts. Today, under Joe Biden, the United States is producing more oil than any nation ever has. Not just the current number one; number one of all time. Truth: Kryptonite to the modern GOP!
They Don’t Pay Off At The End Of The Third Quarter
If you listen carefully to the “experts” trying to defend Trump’s economic record as president they always exclude 2020. Trump was president that entire year. That’s like saying that a coach was undefeated when his teams played against weak opponents. I guess if you exclude all the games my teams lost I went undefeated for 15 consecutive seasons.
Like It Never Happened
Along similar lines Trump has dodged some tough questions of late by saying that bad things would never happen on his watch. Basically, what he is saying is: That would never happen so I don’t need a policy for that. Ask any coach, business or military leader; things seldom go 100% according to plan.
If, Then It’s Coming
If Trump loses the 2024 election, I expect his defense teams to pivot to the insanity defense. You can see him setting up for it. I have to admit it would be difficult to dispute.
GOP Rule # 1
The modern version of the Republican party’s rule number 1 is: Never tell the truth. Oklahoma Senator James Lankford recently violated that in an interview about his efforts at immigration reform and the Oklahoma State Republican Party quickly censured him.
The New Obamacare
The border is the GOP’s new Obamacare. In 2010 they successfully ran against Obamacare. The facts that they were wrong and lied are irrelevant; it worked as an electoral strategy. Today if there is one issue that unites their base it is xenophobia and racism as expressed by immigration concerns. They do not want to solve the problem because they don’t want to lose the electoral issue.
Two More Antis
Today’s GOP is also anti-NFL and anti-Taylor Swift.
I will admit that I have watched only part of one NFL game this season (it was on at the family Thanksgiving get together). I seriously doubt I will watch any part of the Super Bowl. Yet I know that NFL football is the centerpiece cultural event in America and has been for years.
A few months ago, I could not have picked Taylor Swift out of a lineup. Even today I cannot give you the title of one of her songs or recite a line from any of them. (I’m not in her primary target demographic.) Yet, I know she is huge.
Most Americans are very, very different from me on both of those topics. I’m not sure that Donald Trump and his minions are bigger than the combination of Taylor Swift and the NFL.
Most legitimate news people will refer to Donald Trump as an alleged sexual assaulter and fraud. The reality is that he has been adjudicated both. Perhaps it is time to use the latter a-word.
I went way too long and didn’t even clear out one set of my notes; but that is enough for today.
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