Sunday, January 22, 2017

FINALLY, DONALD TRUMP'S CROWD SIZE DISCREPANCY EXPLAINED ...

If you're like every other normal American citizen you're probably chuckling about Donald Trump's complaints over inaugural crowd size comparisons. From their concerns over the lack of numbers, to the suggestion that use of white floor coverings skewed perceptions, Team Trump is adamant about telling America what they saw with their own eyes is wrong.

According to Donald Trump and his spokespeople, his inauguration crowd size was "the largest ever" ...



_________________________________

With David Duke, and other KKK members, celebrating Donald Trump's election, Team Trump might want to embrace this "alternative fact" argument to explain the appearance of small crowds ...


- Mark

Thursday, January 19, 2017

DONALD TRUMP'S PARADE DELUSIONS ... A TIN-POT DICTATOR IS POISED TO TAKE OVER?


Yesterday the Washington Post reported that President-elect Donald Trump is contemplating having military parades in the streets of America. Yeah, military parades. You know, like the kind that North Korea's leader, and every other tin-pot dictator who's walked the earth, like to have because it makes them feel strong.

Those of you who voted for Donald Trump will no doubt buy into his rationale that we need to be proud of our military. This, he argues, we can only do if we show it off.

So, whatever happened to "walk softly but carry a big stick"?

Somehow saying "carry a big stick because I'm proud of my big stick ... and let's make lots of noise so everyone sees my big stick" says much more than Donald Trump, or his supporters, will ever admit.

The worst part of Donald Trump's "pride in the military" faux rationale is that it's coming from a man who got 5 deferments to avoid getting drafted during the Vietnam war (and, no, attending the New York Military Academy, so Trump could play soldier, doesn't count as military experience, or training).



Simply put, Donald  Trump's suggestion to parade our military in the streets signals a real threat to America's future. It's what weak minded and narcissistic dictators resort to when their legitimacy is questioned, and when their ideas and self-esteem need help.





The trappings of military might, and thoughts of the glories of war, give dictators a sense of strength they can't get from other areas in their lives. Controlling men who possess guns, and state-sanctioned power to kill, is what gives them a sense of value. When political credibility is lacking it's delusions of military grandeur that create a sense of worth and bravery.

But it's all an illusion.




We all know about Donald Trump's campaign threats to investigate and jail Hillary Clinton. This compelled George W. Bush's secretary of Homeland Security to comment that Trump's threat was something "tin-pot dictators" do.

Sadly, it's not just threatening to jail a political foe that's transformed Donald Trump into a wannabe tin-pot dictator. It's his other reckless ideas, like busting up NATO because Russia doesn't like it. It's his secretary of state nominees' claim that we will challenge China in the South China Sea. And it's Trump's belief that nuclear proliferation in Asia might not be a bad idea (look, rearming Japan is akin to giving a recovering alcoholic a drink).

Sigh ...

I don't know about anyone else, but Donald Trump's flippant parade suggestion, combined with his desultory worldview, brings to mind "The Parade of the Tin Soldier" (Парад оловянных солдатиков), which you can access courtesy of Russian Records (seriously) by clicking here.

- Mark

Hat tip to Agulia for the "military parade" article.

AMERICA'S EDUCATION SYSTEM IS IN BIG TROUBLE IF BETSY DeVOS IS CONFIRMED ... HERE'S WHY


The Washington Post has an interesting article in yesterday's paper that highlights the "Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said - and refused to say - at her confirmation hearing." 

Among the lowlights (my comments are in standard font) ... 
_______________________

  • DeVos refused to agree with a Democrat that schools are no place for guns, citing one school that needs one to protect against grizzly bears. (She really said this.)
I'm surprised she didn't cite the lions and snakes.

_______________________
  • DeVos seemed to have no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, which requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities.
This one, quite frankly, was embarrassing.

_______________________
  • DeVos refused to agree with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) that all schools that receive public federal funds — traditional public, public charter or private schools that receive voucher money — should be held to the same standards of accountability.
Is this because we can trust that for-profit Christian schools will hire nothing but qualified (certified) teachers who understand academic - and not Christian - standards?  Another embarrassing exchange. 

_______________________
  • DeVos said she would review gainful employment regulations without committing to enforce them.
More embarrassment. DeVos was asked about sham colleges and fake universities - with a specific reference to Trump University - that suck students in, and leaves them with little but a worthless piece of paper and a pile of debt. 

_______________________
  • DeVos appeared to have no idea what [Senator Al] Franken was talking about when he referred to the accountability debate about whether to use test scores to measure student proficiency or student growth.
Yup, more embarrassment. If you don't know the difference between passing and advanced knowledge you shouldn't be in the field of education. 

_______________________
  • DeVos did not answer Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) when he asked her what she had learned about the failures of the Detroit traditional public and public charter schools that would inform her decision-making as the secretary of education.
At this point in the questioning most of the U.S. Senators who were taking the hearings seriously were ready to throw up their hands and say, "What the hell is she doing here?".  


_______________________

One thing is certain. After watching her testimony it's clear DeVos hasn't done her homework. No pun intended. She doesn't understand what makes education work in America, and doesn't seem interested in learning. It gets worse. Betsy DeVos:

* Never attend public schools or a public university.

* Never had to take out a student loan.

* Has no teaching experience.

* Never put her kids in public schools.

* Does not believe in public education.

* Believes public school teachers are overpaid.

* Supports sucking money out of public education coffers and into for-profit, Christian-based education. 


Put more simply, Betsy DeVos does not understand how important public education is or has been to our nation. No clue.

If education is your thing - and it should be if you care about the future of this country - you should be worried if Betsy DeVos is confirmed as Secretary of Education. 

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

- Mark 


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RANKING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AGAINST POST-WWII PRESIDENTS

After having to clean up the economic disaster that was left to him, while dealing with a hostile Republican-led Congress that vowed to work against his every effort, how does President Obama's economic performance fare against other presidents since World War II? In a few words, not bad.



Using 17 economic indicators Bloomberg Views puts President Obama's economic record above both President Bushes and President Nixon, and right behind Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan ...
_______________________________
_______________________________

For the record, the economic indicators used to gauge economic performance include unemployment, the federal deficit, the stock market, inflation, employment growth, productivity growth, gross private investment, personal savings, interest rates, population below the poverty line, exports as a share of GDP, trade balance, federal budget growth rate and share of GDP, and tax revenue share of GDP.

The top score for each indicator is 100, while zero indicates an average score. Given where he started (with the momentum of Bush's negative 140 staring him in the face), it's clear that President Obama actually did quite well. You can read more about the indicators by clicking here

- Mark

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

BIBLE STUDY FOR TRUMP'S CHRISTIAN SUPPORTERS ... WELCOME TO YOUR APOSTASIA DOCTRINE

How many of Donald Trump's Christian supporters do you think will recognize themselves here?


________________________________

___________________________________


For additional Trump-inspired Bible lessons, that you can share with your Christian friends, click here.

- Mark

Hat tip to Charlie for the last meme.

WARREN BUFFETT 'MANSPLAINS' THE REAL ISSUE DONALD TRUMP HAS WITH RELEASING HIS TAXES

_______________________

____________________________

So almost three quarters (74%) of all Americans want to see Donald Trump's taxes. Warren Buffett explains why Donald Trump, if he has nothing to hide, should have no problem sharing his taxes.
____________________________


For those of you interested in the Forbes article referenced above, click here.

- Mark

Monday, January 16, 2017

DONALD TRUMP'S RESPONSE TO REP. JOHN LEWIS REMINDS US WHY HE'S A NATIONAL DISGRACE

After Congressman John Lewis announced that he would not attend the presidential inauguration, and that President-elect Trump is an illegitimate president, Donald Trump responded on Twitter in his usual petulant way.

___________________________________

The facts, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, illustrate how wrong Trump is about the facts, once again ...


_______________________________


- Mark

Sunday, January 15, 2017

HEALTH CARE COSTS AROUND THE WORLD ... LOWER LIFE EXPECTANCY, HIGHEST COSTS IN THE UNITED STATES

Via Virtual Capitalist we get "U.S. Healthcare is a Global Outlier, and Not in a Good Way." It provides another way of looking at how out of whack our health care system is, even after Obamacare came into force.

_________________________________
_________________________________


For all Republicans who claimed doom and gloom after the Affordable Care Act was passed (yes, the ACA is Obamacare) be sure to see (and try to understand) how per capita healthcare costs in America grew before Obamacare, and how fast they accelerated during the Reagan-Bush I years.

Put more simply, Obamacare has slowed down a cost trend that began long before Obamacare arrived on the scene.

- Mark

Friday, January 13, 2017

YUP, HE'S MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

From the Swiss German-language daily newspaper, Tanges-Anzeiger, we learn how the Swiss see Donald Trump's relationship with the Russians. It's not pretty ...


For the conservative snowflakes out there who don't like seeing their guy mocked, know one thing: You elected him, and brought this on America.

You have no one to blame but yourselves. Deal with it.

- Mark

Hat tip to Laura for the piece.

IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG 4 YEARS ...

It's going to be a long 4 years having to watch and listen to Trump's level of buffoonery come back to slap him in the face. Amusing, yes, but a national embarrassment nonetheless ...
_______________________________

_____________________________

Image may contain: 1 person, meme, suit and text

If you want to share the "nobody knows" GIF above, you can access the link by clicking here.

- Mark