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Well… It’s here

happy-new-year-2017-images-hdWho list his wealth and ease retain,
Himself let him unknown contain.
Press not too fast in at that gate
Where the return stands by disdain,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.

Americans are spoiled. We haven’t had war pounding on our door for 150 years. If we want to engage in warfare, we have to join someone else’s war or create one of our own somewhere else. Yes, Yes, there was that whole Pearl Harbor thing but you know, it’s not the same when it happens halfway around the world.

Not that there’s going to be a war this year. Or at least not a new one. I hope.

It’s just to say that Americans don’t really know hardship. Well, SOME Americans know hardship rather well. They’ll probably adapt better than the rest of us. It helps to have been laid off in the Great Recession. That will give you a good perspective on things, like when’s the best time to plant your garden.

All this is to say that 2016, as awful as it was, is going to be nothing compared to 2017. In 2017, I expect to see a fire sale of the various working pieces of government as there is a rush to privatize absolutely everything. The Congressional Republicans will try to replace Medicare, which you have paid for all of your working life out of your salary, with scrip that you can only use at the company store for inflated prices.

The high mountains are blasted oft
When the low valley is mild and soft.
Fortune with Health stands at debate.
The fall is grievous from aloft.
And sure, circa Regna tonat.

I expect that they will also use generational warfare to stick a shiv deep into the thoracic cavity of Social Security. They will lie about how broke the program is. But it’s not broken if they raise the limit on the payroll tax. Simple, simple fix that will harm almost no one. That’s not how these people roll though. So expect them not to do the simple thing. Expect them to dismantle it piece by piece, giving the elderly Fox News crowd a temporary sense of false security.

There are surely some elderly out there on fixed benefits who use Medicare who are saying, “They would never do that. Why would they do that?! No one would put up with that.” It’s just INCONCEIVABLE that these paragons of Christian virtue would permanently vitiate your future or current retirement or medical benefits. You’re an American, after all. That kind of thing only happens in Greece.

I hate to break it to the Fox News contingent but the people you have been following probably don’t care about your suffering. They’re very good at deflecting blame. But they are in office for a reason. You voted them in or did nothing to prevent it. It’s a little like listening to the seductive whispers of the vampire. Once you invite them in, they get a little blood thirsty and the honeymoon is over.

These bloody days have broken my heart.
My lust, my youth did them depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb seeks to revert.
Of truth, circa Regna tonat.

As for Obamacare, it was doomed when Obama and the Democrats went all soft and squishy on setting the cost of procedures and prescription drugs just like every other nation with an operating national health care system.

{{banging head on keyboard again and again and again}}

Ok, I’m better now. Where was I?

Who to blame? Well, I’m not going to blame myself or any of the GOTV people I worked with this year who were magnificent and dedicated and took their mission very seriously. I’m sure as hell not going to blame the candidate who performed so brilliantly at the debates that the fog of indecision lifted for millions of voters to such an extent that it had to be brought crashing down again quickly by a poisoned letter.

The bell tower showed me such sight
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I learn out of a grate,
For all favour, glory, or might,
That yet circa Regna tonat.

There are several culprits in this whole bad thing coming our way. First, there was the unforgiveably long recession brought on by what appeared to be criminally negligent and fraudulent behavior on the part of the finance industry. We were crippled by that and the fact that when we needed the government to work on our behalf, it did a really half-assed job of it. Someone needed to get serious and courageous with the stimulus package. Someone didn’t.

Second, there is the media. There’s just no getting around it. I hope someone has a plan to deal with this problem. Because the good guys are not able to control the message.

Anyway, long winded rambling. We’ve heard it all before.

It only remains to be seen how brazen Trump is going to be. I think we can expect him to go up to the line and cross it – routinely. Expect palace intrigue, a survival of the fittest attitude at the White House as the wealthy and powerful discover with intense self-reflection that they are the most virtuous and deserving. This gives them the responsibility to take whatever they can get so it doesn’t fall into the hands of the unvirtuous and undeserving.

Regrettably, Trump’s supporters may find that without the requisite proof of their virtue, say, $100 Million or so, they will fall into the latter group.

The absence of attention at the top is only going to encourage the courtiers and advisors to fill the vacuum, probably by stepping on the metaphorically dead corpses of their colleagues.

What is bewildering is that we have seen this before and still ended up here. Don’t set your sights too high or climb the ladder too fast in the court of a volatile, self centered king.

By proof, I say, there did I learn:
Wit helpeth not defence too yerne,
Of innocency to plead or prate.
Bear low, therefore, give God the stern,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.

Next time, if there is a meaningful next time, don’t sit at home on election day. Vote.

Circa Regna Tonat, “About the Throne the Thunder Roars”, Thomas Wyatt, 1536

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29 Responses

  1. A couple of things: the recession (I call it a depression) should be laid directly at GW Bush’s feet – in his desire to be able to point to how well America was doing while we went to war all over the world, his one measure seemed to be home ownership numbers. But the ownership of those homes was based on the games that the financial industry was allowed to and encouraged to play – by the Bush administration.

    And with regard to Trump: He can’t stand not to be the center of attention every single day and his campaign has just made that more important to him. So every day he will make some ridiculous statement and watch everyone scramble.

    I think the base of his “game” is to continue to bash everything that his reality Tee Vee fans are angry about – a continuation of the campaign, regardless of whether it is true or not. That’s why twitter and his rallies (which I suspect will continue) are so important to him – they allow him to get away with spouting this shit. Meanwhile, the job of running the country will be left to the Tea Party – and when the results of their efforts finally settle-in on the heads of his fans, I wonder what he will try and do to shift the blame?

    • I’m looking forward to the dance the Republicans are going to play. The Congressional Republicans are going to ram stuff through and expect Trump to sign it or else. But Trump’s got his own intelligence machinery and as far as we know, it has the goods on everyone in Congress.
      McCain and Graham don’t count. What are you going to do to guy who survived the viet cong with a severely broken leg and lingered in a dungeon for years- Voluntarily?? All they have on Graham, I suspect, is his sexuality and no one on OUR side of the aisle is going to give a rat’s ass about that.
      But the rest of them? Including Democrats…? There’s probably a lot to mine there. Meanwhile, the rest of us are screwed.

  2. By Justin Rosario in the Daily Banter:

    2016: The Year Decency Died 😡

  3. Well, in defense of some Trump voters Trump did say he was not going to touch Medicare or Medicaid. However why they believed him I don’t know.

    Trump voting family members are now realizing how much they are going to be screwed over by Trump. Too late smart I guess. White nationalism is an addictive drug that will literally get people to give up everything they have in order to get it.

    The question is not really that they are going to dismantle everything. The question for me is how long is it going to take to fix it all back.

  4. I am not too optimistic about any positive political or social things any time soon. The Republicans have taken over not only every branch of government, but every institution. Looking for people or entities to stop them, is very wishful, I am afraid. If they want to get rid of Social Security; eliminate every single environmental protection law, who is to stop them? Not the courts. Not the media. Not the voters, millions more of whom are going to be disenfranchised by the next election. We are looking at a group of people who are determined to set up a perpetual dictatorship in this country. They only way to stop dictators is either by armed force, or by a massive popular uprising. But without the vote, without the courts, without the ability to even get the stories out amidst the miasma of fake news, it is not going to be easy. I’m actually almost rooting for “Seven Days in May,” and the military and the CIA to take over. I am no fan of military juntas, but it might get us our democracy back at some point. The people now in charge of the country do not want a democracy, not in any legitimate sense. They are authoritarians, social darwinists; many are phony religious zealots. They have no morality other than power. They lie easily about everything. Inconsistency and hypocrisy do not trouble them at all. Reality is whatever they say it is at the time, pending a change in their needs.

    How can we dislodge them? Their voters are almost all exceedingly low information. They mostly think they won the popular vote; that Hillary was running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor. How does one even talk to them on any level? Does it take an absolute economic collapse to get them to change their innate hatred of all Democrats, and their automatic Republican vote? They now have a growing fondness for Putin, per polls. The electoral system is woefully archaic, and it is set up now to give Republicans permanent majorities in Congress, and in the electoral college. The country may be unsaveable. Certainly Bernie Sanders isn’t going to save it, nor Elizabeth Warren. Do you know what the betting odds are for who will be elected in 2020? Trump is 6-5, that is horrifyingly low, given the fact that it is not a guarantee that he is healthy enough to run. The lowest odds on any Democrat are Warren at 8.5-1, and she has no chance to ever be elected. Booker, to me the most likely nominee, is 12-1. Those looking for another Obama are not going to be able to win with Booker. Hillary is 15-1, and obviously unlikely to run, though she should, as she is probably the only person who can save us, who could actually defeat the Republican tyrants in an election. But of course the Left would be quick to mock her and tell her to go away, as they try to steer off the cliff to a McGovern-like political debacle, behind Warren. The “field,” everyone who is not the above, or Sanders (25-1), is 10-1; that is also horrifying. The oddsmakers are saying that you could take Warren, Booker,and essentially everyone else via the field, and still get about 3-1 odds in total, while one only would get 6-5 on Trump. In other words, they see Trump as almost a sure winner in 2020.

    Obama was up to some tasks, but not this one, where the need was to protect America from a deranged Republican Party which simply bullied and cheated its way to control of every mechanism of governance. He did almost nothing to stop; it, or to alert the public to the terrible dangers. This was the crisis of the age, more so than even terrorism. And he was not the right person to at least try to deal with it. We got the African-American President, which is a good thing in itself; but which ultimately led to the Tea Party, and to Republican dominance of our political system. And the Blacks didn’t even turn out in large enough numbers this election, for someone who was not Obama. So what did we actually accomplish by electing him, other than making a social statement?

    So what can we do? If we can do anything, we can try these things: Support Tom Perez for DNC Chairman, simply because he has vowed to make fighting voter suppression his primary focus. If Ellison or someone else can also do that, fine. But we cannot ever win an election again, if we do not keep people’s right to vote. We also need some leaders. We have been so gutted in the midterms of the last eight years, that we have almost no one who is a rising star, or someone whom people can rally around. That is really frightening, because it takes at least ten years to grow a bench. Obama did not do one thing toward it. Hillary was trying to. There is going to have to be an absolutely massive effort made by otherwise dispirited and disillusioned people, to start grass roots organizing in every state, to take back statehouses, and thus control the districting and voter protection If Republicans control the statehouses in 2020, when there is major redistricting, Democrats won’t regain power for another ten years or more. I also think that people in Blue and populous states which drive this economy, should basically try to stop helping the economies of Red states, who are in effect sponging off us, while hating us and trying to take away our rights and quality of life. Right now, it looks as if it is going to take many years to win our country back, and we don’t know what kind of shape it is going to be in by that point. I mostly blame Sanders, the media, Obama; and certain childish, spiteful, and stupid voters, for allowing this horror to take place.

    Apologies, if necessary, for the long expostulation. It just sums up how I have felt ever since the election “returns” came in. Actually, I am sure that Hillary won MI, WI, and probably PA, if the people who were eligible to vote, and were ready to vote, had been allowed to vote. But of course that is how tyrannies are born. We could see it coming, and no one in power did anything about it. Happy New Year, Riverdaughter, and to everyone here. And I hope no one gives up. I haven’t, despite the bleakness of the situation. Giving up is not a feasible or moral option.

    • Thank you William for your post and a reminder that we are for an uphill battle to defend and protect our democracy.

    • Tom Perez seems to be the leading candidate for DNC right now. Not having a bench is not much of a problem in 2018 but it sure is gonna be a problem in 2020.

  5. and certain childish, spiteful, and stupid voters, for allowing this horror to take place.

    Over at a blog which is made up largely of people who used to post here before they lost their alleged minds, there actually was a caption to an image of Cheeto Mussolini (Cheetolini):

    “TRUMP–Because F**k You, That’s Why!”

    A local newspaper columnist here in the Arkanshire called it “defiant voter irresponsibility”.

    I find it difficult to imagine that the Deep State will just sit on its hands and watch Cheetolini turn our country over to the Deep State’s arch-rival, Tsar Vlad, due to the defiant irresponsibility of a gaggle of fake-news-addled, vacuum-skulled knuckle-walkers from the Great White Amurkan Booboisie.

    I would guess that the Deep State can produce (or if needed, manufacture) proof of treasonous collaboration, or at least dangerous gullibility, by Cheetolini and/or his top subordinates, regarding the Russians.

    The Deep State also has connections in the media, so I would guess they could put a stop to the media’s diligent kissing of Trump rump.

    Surely, the Deep State has the blackmail material needed to make enough Republicans vote for impeachment–assuming that the Republican Establishment wouldn’t jump at the chance to defenestrate this tribble-haired upstart.

    I suppose I am a Hamiltonian now.

    • Well, I appreciate any spar of hope; but I don’t think the Republicans who control Congress would ever dream of impeaching Trump, no matter what conflicts or actions of his rose to that level. Might makes right for these people; there is no principle which they will not subvert if it helps their ends. That is one of the many nighmaristh aspects: words like “justice,” “fairness,” “legality,” now have no generally accepted meaning, they are whollly malleable to fit the purposes of those who invoke them. The media incredibly goes along with this. It is obvious that Trump is daily communicating with a foreign power, and even taking advice and directions from them, even for these last months. Not a problem for these Republicans. They don’t care about anything more than their very narrow goals of enriching themselves and their patrons, and taking away all benefits from average working people. But I hope you are right, and someone with reasonably good ends in mind, steps up and usurps the power.

      • That’s why I mentioned the blackmail material; I was figuring that was what it would take to make enough Elephascists (my “affectionate” nickname for the GOP, which I coined back in the Dubya years) go along with impeachment.

        My hope is that the Deep State will not allow this country to become a Russian satellite state.

        However, Cheetolini, if secretly pressured by the Deep State, might betray his buddy Putin and do what the DS wants in foreign affairs, as Hitler betrayed Stalin–in which case the DS would probably allow Cheetolini at least one term. Also, it may be that Pence is a DS man, and will be the actual Prez, as Darth Cheney was.

        Though if the Russians hacked non-Democratic computers as well, Putin might have enough blackmail material on Cheetolini to create a dilemma for Cheetolini.

        • T was in Moscow for his beauty pageant. Might have been approached by women on KGB payroll. One has to be beyond reproach not to have incriminating audio/video from the bugs in the hotel vents. Hillary was bugged in Moscow but doubt there was any grounds for routine blackmail. She knew the walls have eyes and ears.

          • Quite possible, but Cheetolini may genuinely love Putin.

            I reckon Putin reminds Cheetolini of Papa Trump; Vlad Putin and Fred Trump are both white trash who, by the whim of some fallen angel or malignant pagan god, managed to rise above their proper stations in this world.

    • I’d give a lot more credence to this theory if “deep state” had actaully been able to keep Trump from winning.

      • Yeah, probably correct–I just hope that maybe, like so many others, they didn’t really think he’d “win”.

        Plus, if they were trying to stop him, they were fighting another deep state–Mommie Dearest Russia.

  6. Do you realize that Bill Clinton was the last President of the USA who was both legitimately nominated and legitimately elected to both terms? (I do not regard Obama’s 2008 nomination as legitimate, although he won both general elections legitimately.)

  7. Ivory: what is this Deep State of which you speak?

  8. Sometimes I wonder if he turned out to the best president we ever had. Peace, prosperity, social justice and every issue we hoped for just perfect, would that be enough to make Hillary’s loss less painful.

    • My gut says he’s every bit as bad as we think he is.
      The day after the election was so awful. It rained and the weather turned cold and dark. i got on the bus in Wilkinsburg. It’s a very black neighborhood. There was a cluster of ladies who ran into each other and hugged and rocked under the shelter. Every African American man I saw stared at me in the face in disbelief as if to say, “was it you? Did you vote for him? Can I trust you?”
      And I got on the bus and couldn’t find my bus pass and the driver waved me back. Then I felt like he was giving me special treatment. I dug thru my bag until I found my pass then sat back down on my seat and felt my eyes sting. I started crying so hard but stuffed a glove in my mouth to make sure I didn’t make any sounds and I rode into pittsburgh like that. Just the day before, I was so full of joy and anticipation. I was looking forward to pulling the country forward out of its 20 year intertia. I was going to walk taller.
      Then it was gone. All gone. And there we were, looking forward to the dark ages. Ugh.
      I don’t think anything can make that better right now. I just have to reach down into my reserve of resilience and see if there’s enuf left to get me thru the next two years.

      • Yeah, I was thinking, too, about that day, and read an article about how FAST the feminist triumphant energy disappeared after 11/9, how it’s hardly talked about now.

        This action by the GOP today, to basically destroy the House Ethics Committee, is the scariest thing to happen so far (besides the election), IMO. Can they do this legally? Can whistleblowers still challenge illegal (let alone unethical) activities by GOP house members? I now understand why the Rumpers didn’t seem to be concerned about all those conflicts of interest.

        • Have you read that book called In The Garden of Beasts? This is beginning to feel really similar to what happened in Nazi Germany before WWII. Laws were changed or discarded and no one did anything. Each successive outrage was met by passivity. So the next one would be even more outrageous. And still, the Germans adapted. Before long, the country was being run by thugs and criminals and there wasn’t anything they could do about careening into war and genocide.

        • The question is whether there is any form of corruption or evil peformed by Republicans, which would cause even a part of their base to turn against them. I do not think there is. These people have morphed into those who were invaded by the body snatchers. They parrot everything the Republican leaders say, they believe it all.The Republicans say they are patriots and pure of heart, they believe them. They tell them that Hillary is conniving and corrupt, they believe it. Now the Republicans win, and the first thing they do is to make sure that they can never be investigated for ethics violations, which they will commit by the thousands. The masses of Republican voters are like the rabid sports fans who rationalize any violation of rules their team commits, because it is their team, right or wrong; they don’t want to hear anything to the contrary.

          Last night, I watched a movie which I had taped months ago, and just now refound. I don’t even know the name, because I had taped over the first ten minutes. But it is a rather famous British film of the ’50’s, with David Niven and Kim Stanley. There is a scene in an afterworld, where Niven’s character is contending that he deserves to have more time on earth. His advocate in this trial is a recently deceased British man, who tells his advocate opponent, a stubborn person who hates the British, because he was the first American to die in the Revolutionary War, that he would actually want to defend Niven before a jury of only Americans. He extols the patriotism and courage of Americans throughout the centuries. It would be a moving scene, except that at this point, it was ruined for me, because I know longer recognize this country.. Britain, for all its political missteps over the centuries, never voted for fascism

  9. Shaming the republicans is unproductive because they are shameless. We are here because of our side didn’t do what they are supposed to do to win. I guess all the ink and efforts should be focused on them. We need strength in our values and who we are before we go to battle. It was traitors fest of all shapes, colors and sizes. It took all of them to bring her down.

  10. This morning the Great Orange Cheeto is citing Julian Assange that Russia was not the source of the DNC e-mails.

    The Chicago Tribune has an opinion piece by Gary Kasparov from the Washington Post. Riverdaughter had mentioned in a Dec. 18, 2016 post an interview with Kasparov that was on Slate’s Trumpcast.

    It’s very interesting. Here’s the link.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-putin-russia-hacking-election-trump-20170103-story.html

  11. Ladies and gentlemen, Populism in a nutshell:

    Click here.

    *lolsob*

    • The vacuum-skulled booboisie loves its big-screen boob tubes and pecker pills, but loathes all those impious eggheads (such as our esteemed hostess) who make all those toys and remedies possible. 😡

      Maybe the eggheads, not the fat cats, need to “go Galt”.

  12. What Roland offers us:

  13. Ga6thDem posted this article on Uppity Woman’s blog.

    I thought it was worth re-posting here.

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