Archive for July, 2017

pbs on reince’s exit from trump administration

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

as david brooks states, you need someone in the west wing with friends in congress. looks like mike pence is the last man standing.


GOP dodges a bullet

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

although the GOP has been unable to fulfill their hopes and dreams of getting rid of obamacare (aka the affordable healthcare act), they recently decided to pull back on a BAT (border adjustment tax) just in time for US retailers to start planning their inventories for the fall and christmas. we try not to live in the past here at a blog about whatever. but we will say this: that tax would have immediately raised prices on consumer goods in the immediate term. in the long run it would have encouraged retaliation from US trading partners. so it’s all a win-win for the american people. but the affordable care act is still a problem. like senator lindsey graham once famously said, it’s hard to roll something back that’s got a president’s name attached to it. it would be good if somehow the GOP and the rest of congress would find it in their hearts not to fine people for not having health insurance. it’s a regressive tax and it’s crushing the middle class.

the july purge at the white house

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

reince priebus is out. sean spicer is out. whose next? is this the beginning or the end of the bloodletting? now the US president has surrounded himself exclusively with family, friends and generals. engaging in nepotism and cronyism has always beenat the heart of how donald trump has run his private businesses. it’s like the east european roots of his wives have trumped trump’s north european roots. it’s a playbook straight out of the mafia. having attended a military academy as a child, trump values the leadership abilities of those who have served in the military. despite his having been a draft dodger during the vietnam war. that being said. what makes a good leader? well, vision matters. what also matters is the ability to pick good people and to delegate. what makes a good president? a man (and they usually are men) who can articulate his vision, has the ability to compromise, and the ability to admit when he is wrong. the phrase personal responsibility is a phrase the trump family are not familiar with.

like the head of the (a) mafia clan, trump doesn’t trust anyone unless he feels like he knows him (and it’s usually a him). he values unflinching loyalty and he trusts people with money because in his capitalist mindset rich people are smart and poor people are dumb. it’s not clear how he feels about the middle class. but it will be the middle class who will decide (when they vote in the mid-term elections) whether or not the trump administration is a complete disaster.

the theory about populists is that they cannot govern. they know nothing about creating policies and even less about compromise and diplomacy. according to the hill, donald trump called john mccain the day mccain voted against the repeal of the affordable care act. obviously trump’s ability to persuade rivals hasn’t lived up to anyone’s expectations. we must all remember that about 18 months ago trump berated senator john mccain for having fought in the vietnam war (which trump’s wealthy family helped him avoid) and being imprisoned during the same war. the irony of all ironies, innit?

dark side of tesla motors?

Monday, July 24th, 2017

did tesla buy germany-based engineering firm Grohmann engineering to accelerate production? or was the supposedly 150M paid for the company a way for tesla to sort out how the car industry really works while also gaining access to inside information about his competitors? grohmann’s clients include (d) BMW as well as other premium german brands.

identitarians or nazi hipsters?

Friday, July 21st, 2017

this identity movement for young people founded in france expanded to germany in 2012. the italian branch recently raised 100K to charter a ship to enter libyian waters, confront humanitarian aid organizations in the attempt to literally send africans back to africa. the german branch is under surveillance due to their perceived undemocratic leanings. which in turn is maybe justified. recently the group tried to storm the justice building in germany as the members of the identetarians (sp?) protested germany’s new anti-hate speech law.

in honor of all the paranoid authoritarians in the world

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

think different. or think differently?


far right takes ship to high seas

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

a far right group has raised more than 80,000 USD to charter a ship. and now are headed to the mediterranean to snoop on NGOs and deter immigrants from coming to europe.

steve king says mean things about fat poor people

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

steve king, united states representative from iowa and also the united states’ future ambassador to the czech republic (now known as czechia we think) thinks programs that help women and poor people should be cut and used to pay for donald trump’s border wall with mexico. is our interpretation accurate? you can tell us. he is correct on some levels. in that welfare programs in the united states were initially created to fight poverty. has it created inter-generational dependency? there is no proof of this. but the majority of people on social welfare in the united states are poor white women –the majority of whom voted for donald trump.

airbnb host caught on camera shoving guest

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

the beauty of the internet, camera phones and the internet of things, is that in the 21st century life has been made a bit more transparent. 20 years ago someone would hear a rumour that x,y,z had happened to their friend who rented an apartment. we would be outraged, but perhaps a bit sceptical. sometimes people make decisions in the heat of the moment that are perhaps clouded by a personal bias. one would assume that if one were to stay at the holiday inn that the probability of the manager pushing you down a flight of stairs would be minimal. so perhaps this is an argument for the advantages of staying at a hotel as opposed to a tiny apartment in amsterdam or anywhere else for that matter.

airbnb has gotten infront of the potential problem. which is good. it is a good service that provides normal people with the opportunity to earn extra money. given that wages are relatively low and stagnant in parts of the developed world, this is appreciated by a lot of people.

turks get their groove back

Monday, July 10th, 2017

it has taken more than 1 year of turks facing the clamp down on free speech, the clamp down on the judiciary, the purging of intellectuals from universities, the grounding of turkey’s academic class before the opposition parties in turkey have pushed back. the recent jailing of one of the politicians from turkey’s main opposition party has inspired them to democratically push back against turkey’s president erdogan. the 25 day protest march across turkey ended yesterday with a rally with 1.5M people in istanbul where kemel kilicdaroglu of the republican people’s party spoke yesterday. **Updated 100K to 1.5M people**