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    • The Class War the Rich Won And the End Of NeoLiberal Capitalism
      Many years ago now, I wrote a post called “There Was a Class War And %he Rich Won.” Ironically, post the financial meltdown of 07/8, and thanks to Bush, Obama, Bernanke and Geithner both bailing them out and immunizing them from their crimes, that victory has accelerated. This chart, from Harvard, tells the story of […]
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Other things.

This week in Pittsburgh there were protests following the death of Antwon Rose. The unarmed teenager was shot to death in East Pittsburgh not too far from here. As you might have guessed, police shot him as he was running away.

Now, I’m not going to say Pittsburgh is a perfect place to live when it comes to this kind of thing, though this is the first I’ve heard of it in the 5 years I’ve been back. But I love this city and it’s diversity and it makes me really angry when I detect forces that are trying to drive a wedge between us.

For example, the owners of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette recently fired Rob Rogers, a cartoonist who had been on staff for 25 years. The reason? His cartoons reflected the reality of the Trump years a little too well. The owners withheld the cartoons he drew and told him to make changes. He refused. He was fired.

This is the same paper whose publisher insisted on defending Trump’s comment about “shithole” countries, essentially defending racism. The paper’s staff was horrified. But the owners feel confident that they’ll keep working there because where else are they going to go?

I don’t subscribe.

It’s so out of place in this city. This city went overwhelmingly for Clinton in 2016. We are a spot of bright blue in a sea of red (our blue is spreading since Conor Lamb won). Our city song is “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. You haven’t lived until you hear thousands of people singing it together on a chilly November evening when all the Christmas trees are lighted up.

To think there are newspapers and trigger happy police who are careless enough to bring that all down makes me really angry.

I took the week off because I felt a bit burned out and I have a bit of poison ivy and I’m tired and haven’t had a vacation since 2011. Sometimes, you gotta regroup. But I feel like I also have to be eternally vigilant because it’s my responsibility to keep the place from falling down. I’m sure some of you feel that too. You can’t just throw up your hands and walk away. It’s our collective conscience that keeps us together and focused on all the good things we are. The world is starting to condemn Americans but I refuse to accept guilt by association. The people who are doing this to our country are a minority that just happened to gain power by an electoral fluke. We outnumber them.

Nevertheless, next week is going to be even more eventful than this week when Congress tries to ram through a bill that cuts $1.5 Trillion dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Congress has to pay for the tax cuts it gave to its donors. It’s going to come out of our deferred benefits that we paid for our entire working lives. The Republicans are determined to cut them.

Oh, yes they would. And if they are hoping for campaign money to run this fall, they’d better vote for it. They’ll just amplify their message about how it’s necessary because of the debt and what “we’re passing on to our children”. Commence the crocodile tears.

It’s just the tip of the iceberg. There will be more government dismantling. It might not affect you now, but it will eventually.

It’s an understatement to say that the Trump voters didn’t know what they were voting for. And as far as I know, Republicans have no qualms about stealing the vote this fall. They’ve done nothing to protect us from Russian meddling. I expect the Supreme Court to give the ok to Texas to keep African Americans and Hispanics from voting next week.

It will be up to us to convince every non voter we know to get registered because their votes really will count this fall. We can’t let them stay home this year. That’s what we have to work on this summer and fall. Focus on that and don’t let the heartache and outrage divert you from that crucial task.

In the meantime, put down your sword and shield this weekend and enjoy that which nature gives you for free and is available to everyone regardless of who they are and how much money they have.

We’ll be needed again soon enough.

********************************

I have a full day today. I’m going to see Keith Urban tonight. That’s right, I’m a little bit country. Go figure.

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Does Central NJ exist?

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen about central NJ. I lived there for 23 years and it’s all true. The most mystical thing about Central NJ is the way my cell phone used to go dead as I passed through Princeton. The telecoms had a firm dividing line leaving some parts of central NJ as a dead zone. Angie’s List doesn’t cover central NJ. Yep, my subscription was useless. Other interesting fact: there is no local news in NJ. You either get your news from Philly or NYC. You HAVE to choose. Central NJ does exist. For the record, it’s tentatively aligned with NYC. But NY shouldn’t get cocky about it.

More interesting facts about Central NJ:

It’s the definition of suburbia. There is nothing rockin’ about it. My former resident Millenial had to go to Wayne for rock, or whatever it was she called it.

There’s a natural geological feature that runs roughly from Lawrenceville to South Brunswick called the terminal moraine. The telecoms seem to have used this feature as their signal cutoff point.

When it rains hard enough, you can’t cross from south to north NJ and parts of central NJ become bathtubs, especially those towns bordering the Raritan river including the misnamed Bound Brook where the brook refuses to remain bound.

Somewhere out there…

… beneath the pale moonlight…

***********************************

I heard on TRMS from last night that the airlines are refusing to let their planes to be used for the purpose of transporting separated children to places around the country. It started with American Airlines and spread and is still spreading.

Yesterday, PA governor Tom Wolf joined other governors in saying that the PA National Guard would not be sending units to the border to help the border patrol detain asylum seekers and separate their children from them.

But I have to wonder about these church charities that are offering to do this foster care work. Aren’t they also going to be tarnished as collaborators? Then there are companies in bed with Trump who have contracts to set up camps in the Texas desert with tents and no air conditioning in the summer for detainees. Now those tent cities will be used to hold families together in the sweltering heat until these asylum seekers are prosecuted and returned to whence they came.

Why isn’t Trump attacking the problem at its source by stepping up diplomatic and security forces in Central America?? Because if we really don’t want immigrants in the country, it would make sense to help them stay in their country of origin in the first place.

Oh, that’s right. Trump doesn’t do diplomacy. Its hard. You have to consult experts and read briefing books and stuff. Plus, it’s not a testosterone soaked aggressive maneuver sure to piss off the libtards. 🙄

I am American

Americans are welcoming

Americans are loyal

Americans are optimistic

Americans are patriotic

Americans are hard working

Americans are friendly

Americans are brave

Americans are generous

Americans are clever

Americans are innovative

Americans are from everywhere

Americans are protecting

Americans are honest

Americans are courageous

Americans are kind

Americans are hopeful

Americans never fail

Never forget who you are

****************************

Morning music from Woody Guthrie:

All meetinged out

I had 12 meetings on my calendar today. TWELVE. No one is that important.

Anyway, we’re still in R&R mode since I won’t be vacationing any time soon.

There are bloggers in this country who can not get away for vacation until September. They’re tired, they’re cranky and they are irritable with their bosses in the real world. My group has the sweetest people on earth. (Hey, thanks for the cupcakes today!) Imagine what it’s like for them to have to put up with me.

Some bloggers haven’t been on vacation since 2011. But for price of a grande Flat White at Starbucks, you can give this blogger a much needed extended weekend this summer.

With your gift, the blogger will have the energy to write more. You can give her the gift of a new bathing suit. A hat. Sunscreen. In return, she will send you postcards from her destination. (She just got a new passport for that quick getaway to Canada)

Don’t you want to make a difference to some blogger’s life? To help her get through the Trump era so that she can help YOU get through the Trump era? Isn’t it worth one Venti? One lemon raspberry biscotti?

Thank you.

(I have no idea how this thingy works)

******************************

Trump pulled us out of the UN Human Rights commission. Always a good sign.

And then there’s this:

Yeah, I’m betting the specter of losing Medicare might even get some of the most dedicated older Trumpers’ attention.

(Oh, yes, he would do that. Social security too. Yes, we know you’ve paid into both all your working life and you don’t have a pension. He does not care. Neither does the rest of the GOP. Welcome to post-rational America!)

Walk home song according to my mental state:

Morning Walk

If we don’t take a little break from all the bad, we will wear ourselves out. We have to keep this going for as long as possible.

Hold hands, look both ways before crossing the street, watch out for one another.

Post your favorite music in the comments.

Art of the Deal

ProPublica has obtained a recording of 10 Central American children as they are processed by the border patrol and separated from their parents. It’s hard to hear this without wanting to give them hugs and reassurance because that’s what little children need. They are too young to fend for themselves.

And it just occurred to me that this is exactly what the Trumpers voted for. It’s not that Donald Trump is some brilliant strategist and deal maker. But he is a brutish thug who knows damn well that causing misery for the young and helpless and forcing others to watch is the best way of shoving his unacceptable policies down our throats. He’s going to get $25 billion for his border wall if he has to terrorize every little kid from El Salvador to do it. Just dangle them out the window by their feet and threaten to drop them unless he gets what he wants.

This is exactly what Republican voters wanted. They don’t want him legislating or negotiating or compromising or being diplomatic. They want him to cut through all that comity that exists between people that make life less stressful and go right for the jugular. They want him to rip some throats out. And if that means being cruel to people who need help, kicking them when they’re down and taking their kids away, so be it. He showed them, those pansy liberals.

What does he want that wall for anyway? $25 billion is not going get it completely built, it’s not going to stretch from sea to shining sea. But I’m guessing it’s going to make some people very rich. No one I know wants a stupid wall. A wall could be used to keep us in. It’s a waste of money when we could use it for so many other things, like real infrastructure.

But he’s gotta have it. The money is going to end up in his pocket one way or another.

So, let’s just cut him and his family a check for $10 billion and tell him to take a hike from the White House.

Take the deal, Donald, and go away.