As Expected and Predicted

By George Smith

As expected and predicted by government and private sector economists, the Trump administration’s combination of a big increase in military spending and a very large reduction in revenues (mainly aimed at the super-rich and big corporations) meant rapidly growing interest payments both because of higher deficits and debt and rising interest rates.

The self-ordained “stable genius” and fiscal wunderkind (who has, should we forget, have had six businesses go into bankruptcy) is spending our children’s and grandchildren’s future. And 40-plus percent of Americans simply do not care.

It is not a partisan rant to proclaim the country is in serious fiscal trouble even for these relatively good economic times.

And,  for the first time since the end of World War II, our allies in the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are skittish about our political moods, methods and motives in regard to America’s place in the world. Who are we … today? Who will we be … tomorrow?

You can defend your Trump vote by saying Hillary was not your candidate of choice, but that choice three years ago should not blind those that voted for Trump forever, or give them an excuse to forget the inexcusable behavior of a befuddled egomaniac and tyramt.

As a person, Donald Trump is fatally flawed; his errant, unpredictable mental flappings of delusional conspiracies galore are too frequent to be contrived. He is, in a word, delusional.

In fact, he is dangerous in the office he holds and those who bow to his wishes or (God forbid) believe his delusional thoughts come from some divine intervention, are linked forever to the tearing apart of the moral and ethic fabric of the United States.

Look around you: You cannot blame the widening division in the country on partisan politics or Hillary Clinton. You cannot blame Barack Obama for the out-of-control, runaway federal budgets and spiraling federal debt; the GOP was in charge of Congress six of Obama’s eight yers in office.

The increasing partisan rancor, the ridiculing and sloughing off of valued global allies, scandals and investigations and pleas and sentences of Trump associates, and, yes, even the impeachment proceedings against the president, lies squarely on the twirling brainpan thoughts, tweeting fingers and twitching tongue of the president.

Defend him and his aberrant behavior at your peril. For, as sure as you are reading this line, if you are an ardent defender of President Trump, you will find yourself on the wrong side of history.

He will be reviled for generations to come because of his economic shortcomings, belief that his thoughts are laws-in-action and that his infallibility comes from God, and ill treatment of citizens and immigrants alike.

It is his future. It does not have to be the future of his current followers. It’s not too late to embrace our better selves, to interact with the truth that shows beyond a doubt Trump is a fake and a fraud and will be forever branded as the most horrid person —personally and professionally — ever to hold the highest office in the United States.

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What team(s) could take down Trump-Pence

By George Smith

What team(s) could take down The Trump-Pence or Trump-Anybody ticket in 2020?

Every single Democratic presidential candidate needs a vice president who can bring in extra votes from various essential demographic segments from throughout the nation. 

On paper, Biden has more governmental experience than all the other candidates combined. But his age and tendency to “blank out” on occasion is a real cause for concern.

His running mate needs to be younger, female and/or a minority to satisfy the progressive and non-white voting blocs of the party.

Biden and … who? Georgia’s rising star Stacy Abrams? Or Sen. Kamala Harris?.” Or Texas’ Julian Castro? 

Elizabeth Warren would need a miracle to get the nomination. If she got it, she’d have to pick Sen. Corey Booker, Castro or dark horse Andrew Yang (see below). An all-female ticket sounds so “NOW cool” but any such ticket would get creamed in the general election. Why? Just because. The hard, sad reality is that America is not ready for an all-female ticket.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: See above.

Sen. Harris: Castro, Yang or Pete Buttigieg.

Andrew Yang is arguably –right there with Buttigieg — the smartest candidate running but the voting public’s general knowledge of the well-spoken entrepreneur is too miserly to form a positive impression. His non-profit Ventures for America was designed to create jobs in struggling American cities fits nicely with the progressive aims of the party.

Buttigieg has two negatives: He had no federal governmental experience and he’s openly gay, not that there’s anything wrong with either one. Any Democratic nominee must carry heavy minority support in all states to win and, as a sad truism, minority support for a gay candidate would be sorely lacking.

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. Sanders cannot win. A picture of him in ads with wind-blown hair and two words — “Socialist Jew!” — and Trump would win 46 states.

Age and proclaiming his love for socialism are vote-killers.

It is a sad fact that the average American does not know the difference between a socialist  and democratic socialism but there is the rub.

The other candidates, at this point, are after-thoughts who, individually, have to hit a collective heartstring with a huge slice of Democrats and Independents in order to break out of the bottom tier of wanna-be’s.

Can any candidate, any ticket, beat Trump and Company?

Even with impeachment hanging in the air like a guillotine over the president, his foundation of support seems as strong as186 proof moonshine.

Opposing party candidates are not going to win the nomination, much less the election, by promising big dollar gimme programs like Medicare for all and free college and college debt forgiveness without addressing the federal debt, high medical costs and the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.

Right now, with the candidates on the trail, defeating Trump in November 2020 is an uphill battle in icy conditions.  And it is already looking like the snow chains were left at home.

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A Small Town Gave Up Tackle Football. It Came Storming Back.

A community’s struggle with when children should play tackle football reflects a broader debate over the sport and who is left playing it.

New York Times: By Ken Belson Photographs by Brandon Thibodeaux

MARSHALL, Texas — One evening last spring, a retired doctor named James Harris carried a pickle jar filled with bright red Jell-O to Marshall’s school board meeting.

He shook it up so the Jell-O sloshed against the glass, a representation, he told the school board members, of what happens to the brain during a hard hit in football and what can happen to those who are allowed to play the sport at a young age.

“The brain is like this Jell-O in the bottle,” he told them. “When the head hits the ground, it hits front and back, and swishes, twists, sloshes and stretches inside the skull.”

It was a dramatic presentation. It was also futile.

The board listened and then voted unanimously on the matter at hand, to bring back tackle football for seventh graders, which it had banned only five years ago.

Football is a powerful, cultural force in Marshall, a city of about 24,000 people in East Texas, where high school games can draw half of the city’s residents and church ends early on Sundays when the Dallas Cowboys are playing.

Still, even Marshall has not been immune to the nationwide debate over whether and how young children should play tackle football — and the shifting demographics of who is left playing it.

The most urgent battle lines are forming along the first years of tackle football, including middle school in many parts of the country, even as football remains by far the most popular sport in the United States. But high school participation has dropped more than 10 percent in the past decade, even in football hotbeds like Texas, Ohio and Florida, as young athletes and their families seek alternatives they perceive as safer.ON DEFENSE Articles in this series are exploring the debate about the future of football.Inside Football’s Campaign to Save the GameNov. 8, 2019

Despite all the warnings about the risks of tackle football in Marshall, two youth leagues popped up to replace the programs that had been disbanded in recent years. And this year, the school district’s new athletic director, Jake Griedl, who is also the high school football coach, persuaded the school board to restart seventh-grade football, too. He reassured trustees that the game was safer now because of new rules, more medical attendants at games and expanded training for coaches in modern tackling methods and concussion protocols.

“Anything you can do to ease the minds of parents is good,” Griedl said this fall. “People don’t realize it’s safe.”

Read the complete article at:

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By George Smith

I want Donald Trump to be a one-term president. I want it badly.

The president has turned his first three years into a movie sequel of “All the President’s Men.” You know, criminals setting public policy among a litany of dirty tricks aimed at messing with  the opposition…that movie.

While the Republicans are sticking to their game plan of posturing with dynamic displays of feigned righteous indignation, the Democrats out of the TV screen are doing everything they can to hand Trump a second term. 

I’m talking about the 113 candidates (or whatever the number is today) wanting to be the Democratic nominee in 2020.

A Democrat, any Democrat, is not going to break through the culture of them vs. us, elites vs. deplorables and decaf latte drinkers vs. those that swill lukewarm Budweiser by talking about corruption-squared amateurs playing politics and scamming the system to maximize their reputations, power and latent need for money.

The Democratic Party is not going to win the White House a year from now by impeaching this president or emasculating, so to speak, other Democratic candidates.

The only way a Democrat, any Democrat, will win the right to sit in the Oval Office is to talk about the most important items facing Americans —the deficit (which no one is talking about), the long-term survival of Medicare and Social Security (which no one is talking about), the failing national infrastructure (which no one is talking about), and climate change (which no one is REALLY talking about).

A majority of Americans are tired of the partisan party games, name-calling, egocentric stunts and cock-of-the-walk preening for the television cameras.

What they want — what we all should want — is an honest discussion of what the future should hold to ensure the safety of our nation and a dedication to re-establishing of the U.S. as a true global partner of any nation that embraces democracy as a right or a goal.

The division in the nation’s framework is steeped in prejudice and tribal regionalism and hatred of the political status quo.

It’s time to make a conscientious effort to put aside paltry, petty differences and start thinking “America is better than this.”

It’s not too late to seek a different path one which is lined with angels to help guide us into the future.

We are all headed to the same place.

Leave the bugaboos and will o’ the wisps behind. Look to the light. Move to the light.

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By George Smith

Ethics? Gone. 
Moral judgement? Gone.
Common sense? Gone.
Grasp of basic human emotions? Gone.
Basic political survival mode? Strong as 180 proof moonshine.

That’s the state of a majority of elected Republicans in Washington-on-the-Deficit as the Trump Train roars down the mountain at 90 mph. with the party’s hand on the throttle.

Will individual representatives and senators be scalded to death by the steam?

Bad analogy, assuredly, but you get the point.

There are many good people on both sides of the political spectrum. In this era of constant head-shaking actions, when it seems light is dark and up is down is the truism of the day. But those good people who are standing strong in support of the most conflicted president in history are inflicted with a hard-to-control virus: Reelectionitis.

The symptoms include:

— Blind acceptance of dictated talking points on any subject dealing with the actions of President Trump.

— Lacking the ability to conjure up and espouse original thoughts.

— Inability to discern the difference between the truth and blatant lies.

— Disintegration of spinal column and severe depletion of intestines in males and females; males may also experience a severe shrinkage of testicular matter.

— Formally and openly offering for sale one’s independence, ethical spirit and moral fiber.

It is excruistingly sad  to watch professional, so-called public servants sign up to enhance the Cult of Trump with their actions, words of praise and defense of the president’s indefensible actions  simply to maintain a public office.

Do they all not realize three key truisms about the backing of this morally flawed human being will be their legacy as chronicled by public records and historians?

Three points of which Trump kowtow-ers should take heed:
1. His followers will forever be linked to Trump’s administration, which has been marked by violence, abuse of human rights, scandals involving key officials and impeachment.

2. They will be forever s part of and  ridiculed for their strident support to this president who has made public statements detrimental to those with  a physical handicap, Gold Star families, Native Americans, immigrants, those opposing white nationalists, foreign counties he deems of inferior status, women in general and the women he paid money to in exchange for silence about alleged affairs in particular.

3. For being members of the Cult of Trump for whatever reason, his supporters enable and tacitly give their blessing to his bullying, support of tax breaks for the rich, spiraling deficit, shunning valued allies in need, a widening of the wealth gap of the uber-rich and the other 99 percent of Americans, and the frightening fluctuation of respect other countries have for the U.S.

To many politicians, selling one’s soul is simple: Just spit on the notion of using common sense, putting country over party and following the Golden Rule.

It’s an easy choice when all you truly care about is the “now”, and what
you have endure to keep turf, territory,  title and ego intact.

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