2018 in a Single Tweet

There’s no point hedging. It has been a remarkably bad year with the promise of worse to come. Events have unfolded at a furious pace with almost incomprehensible absurdity, frustrating any effort to settle on a narrative or summary. Then, a gift arrived in the form of a tweet from a prominent StormTrumper:

There it is, a concise summary of the attitude, intellect, and moral quality of the cretins who presently run our country. It’s 2018 in a single tweet.

A reckoning lies ahead. It can’t come soon enough.

Happy New Year.


  1. Last evening I reviewed the opening of the 116th Congress on CNN – that despised FAKE NEWS network. I was struck by the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, particularly in the House. In the House, the Democratic Conference was full of good cheer and life, the members were surrounded by children and grandchildren. The membership fully reflected the diversity of America, including ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and religion. It is youthful, forward looking and confident. Whereas, the Republican Conference is largely composed of older white males, who were dour and curmudgeonly. There was almost no diversity including few women. In general they seemed to be acting like scared, little puppies.

    Even when Pelosi quoted Ronald Reagan in her acceptance speech when he stated in “If we ever close the door to new Americans, our leadership role in the world will soon be lost”, the Republicans refused to applaud. This is similar to FDR, when he stated in his inaugural address in 1933, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”. FDR and Reagan had an optimistic viewpoint in common. They both became president at a time when the U.S. was in the deep funk and had lost its sense of optimism. That is similar to the present. Both realized action was needed.

    We now seem to be at a similar crossroads. I believe the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress is leading the way forward. The U.S. must stop trying to go back to an imagined greatness of the past and start building a new ethos for the 21st century. That ethos will be inclusive for all ethnic groups, religious sects, gender preferences, etc. It must be a diverse culture. That will build a prosperous, enlightened America. I believe this past election was the beginning of a turnaround. That is not to say that there remains a lot of work and suffering, but perhaps we are at the beginning of the end of the beginning, to misquote Churchill.

    Personally, I contrast my outlook to the Republicans in Congress, I welcome newcomers and new things, even though I am in my early to mid 70’s. They all seem to be younger than myself, yet they want to go back to an imagined great past. Where i will be leaving for a 24 day birding trip to Vietnam in a few days and look forward to other adventures, many of the politicians want to close the doors and retreat. That is even true for my partner who suffered a major stroke in January and will be going to HI with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in a few days. They will do some snorkeling, hiking and birding. Later in the spring we are planning trips to San Diego and to southern Oregon for birding and hiking. Obviously, we continue to look forward and are not retreating and hiding.

    Since I will be travelling, this will likely be my last post until February. So keep the faith and keep the pressure on Congress and the negative politicians.

    1. I once told the Republican Chairman of Orange County Fl local Republican Party that while the County was overwhelming white that was going to change over the next several decades and would if we did not start recruiting diversity would turn blue. We could have purple if we acted now. I was blew off. Well Orange County now is a deep blue.

      My pastor of the same time approach his counsel which I was on with a request. A Hispanic preacher wanted to use our church for meetings for his congregation. I enthusiastically thought that was great. We did that. We also welcome couples of mix race. Well now my church is diverse and thriving. A redneck community is being used to reconcile people.
      I enjoy the out doors and new experiences too. I refuse to let fear dominate me. Fear is not from God but from Satan. I think you can have grey in your hair and still be young at heart. I am in my mid sixties.

  2. And the failure of the Dem’s begins. Surprised it took all of 24 hours.

    From HuffPro article re: Going after the puppet tyrant’s tax returns:

    “Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee ― who is legally entitled to see any American’s tax returns ― has indicated that he wants to wait and “lay out a case” so he doesn’t look too partisan.”

    Simple cowardice.

      1. I agree
        They should stop and NOT do anything major until at least next week

        I had a rule when I was at work – if I wrote a note that was NOT 100% “nice” I would always “sleep on it” before sending

        None of those first reaction notes were ever sent! – they were all edited after my “sleep”

        The Dems should spend the first week doing minor and “nice” things

      2. Civility? Undue haste? The Dem’s have had 2 years to plan for this day.

        They should have had the supeona’s issued in the 1st hour. Their enemy, the enemy, of all people, the fascist regime controlling the White House, the Senate, the DoJ, and SCOTUS, would already have everything in place and moving minutes after the swearing in ceremonies, if the roles were reversed.

        Say what you will about the 1930’s and 1940’s Nazi’s, there were efficient and effective. Evil, insane, no doubt, but they had a plans, and executed them well, at least at the beginning. The regime in place today, which is based more and more around mcconnel et al as opposed to the madman, is no less evil and effective.

        Until the Dem’s recognize this is war, they will fail.

      3. The Dems don’t have to be civil, but they do have to do this right. They have to do this under the mantle of corruption reform, where getting those tax returns will be one of the beneficial results. You do not want to give Trump the opportunity to play the martyr to anyone outside of his cult. The Dens have one shot to do this properly. Pelosi knows how to play the long game here. You are passing judgment on their efforts way too early. Getting out of this mess isn’t going to happen quickly.

  3. So, Apple announces it won’t make its targets because of “rising trade tensions with China”, and it tanks 9%. The Dow is down another 2%.

    Apple is now at 144. In Oct it peaked at 232. It is down 38% in 3 months, the vast majority of the responsibility lying directly at the feet of the puppet tyrant and the senate supporting the madman.

    Dec 30, 2016: Dow closed at 19,762.
    Right now at 22,797.
    That is an increase in 2 years of 15%.

    That is a really solid gain, unless of course you look at the carnage in the past 12 months, all due to the madman.

    At what point does some large company or country Al Pacino him? “It’s not personal, its business.”

    What happens to the markets when he goes after the chairman of the Fed?
    Or to oil prices and world markets when Bolton and Fox make him declare war on Iran? You KNOW that is coming, because this tyrant really needs to play with all the toys.

    At what point do all the C-Suite guys say “we can’t wait 2 more years”?

    1. EJ

      Always remember that Trump needs to lose office because he’s a white supremacist and a sex abuser, not because he disrespects people with guns or because makes rich people lose money.

      The next white supremacist and sex abuser who comes along may be good at making money for rich people, or may be good at praising people with guns; and these factors should not excuse them.

  4. EJ

    Movie recommendation:

    I recently saw the French movie L’Atelier (The Workshop) and would highly recommend it. It depicts the humiliation of small-town post-industrial poverty in a very human way, and examines the factors within that which radicalise lonely young men and give rise to the new Fascism.

    I saw it in a French-language cinema and was blown away. I imagine it might be hard to find it on the big screen, but if you can see it on the small screen it’s still well worth watching.

    1. This is prime low-hanging fruit for the Dems to seize, if they choose. The criticism from the left that politicos like Hillary Clinton were too beholden to Wall St. is valid. If they are willing to really tackle some economic reform, they can cut off some of the lifeblood of this ethno-nationalism. I’m fine with improving the economic situation of some people whose views repulse me, as it is better for society as a whole.

      1. Democrats are hardly perfect in their outreach to working class people but their oblivion to hold conservatives responsible for policies that directly hurt them is worse. Is messaging so poor on the left that people are unable to understand the simplest facts about the reality of who is actually imposing these conditions on their lives? At some point, there is no excuse for willful ignorance. At some point, people will need to bear pain and suffering in order to force them to accept responsibility for who they elect.

      2. The only thing that will open their minds is when they are directly harmed. That pain will be different for each person but apparently consequences that cannot be ignored or spun are the only way they will accept the truth.

        The irony for corporate America is written. We’ll see how long it takes this sector to abandon trump if the economy continues to decline. Even the sweetheart deal they got on taxes won’t be enough to compensate for 2008 level profits. The ones I feel for are workers whose wages were always second to shareholder and CEO interests.

      3. Rubio “knows” but haś capitulated way too often for me to trust his present humble appeal of the dignity work provides. Why now? The cynic in me thinks he’s positioning as the GOP 2020 trump alternative by carefully using acceptable conservative terms (work is the way to ‘earn’ happiness) to appeal to both trump’s base and the GOP elite. I also take exception to his premise that work is The elixior for Manson happiness. I agree that work can offer dignity and happiness but only when people feel valued and are fairly compensated.

      4. EJ

        Could you break down the subtext of that Rubio comment for me please? On this shore of the Atlantic, that sentence would he read as overtly socialist; I’m guessing that since Rubio said it, this is not the case.

      5. (hoping this lands in the right place to respond to EJ)

        So the headline points out that government has a role to play supporting employment policy. Sometimes headlines, which are often not written by the article author, are misleading. And Rubio talks about lots of things but does allude to that role of government: ” the discussion [ by many policymakers and commentators about disruptions of worker’s lives] absolves government and business of any responsibility for creating an economy that exists to benefit working Americans.” and “For too long, government and business leaders alike have stood back and endorsed supposedly unstoppable global forces that have made life harder for working Americans.” And he expresses support for unions, which will go down hard among the oligarchy, to say the least. So, socialism? He’s no Marxist, but like Marx he at least recognizes a fundamental flaw in capitalism as currently practiced.

      6. Rubio’s epiphany offers hope that there are republicans currently serving in government who are aware of the consequences of the policies they are passing. More significant is his acknowledgement that government has an important and necessary role in managing our country for the benefit of every man not just those who manage to shape policies. I will be following him closely to determine if his personal commitment to this philosophy is supported through his actions and votes.

      7. EJ

        Thanks Creigh. In this instance I’m very happy to be wrong – as you say, Rubio is usually a long way from being a Marxist, so it’s weird to hear him speak in favour of government regulation and in favour of organised labour; but he appears to have done exactly that. I wonder what will come of it.

      8. Creigh and Mary summed Rubio’s statements well. I would add that whatever Rubio writes or says has to be interpreted with considerable caution. He is positioning himself to run as an alternative to Trump in 2020. He realizes that there is a big counter-reaction and that there is a progressive trend in the electorate. However, if one reviews his 2016 campaign book, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, he will find that it repeats much of the old conservative rhetoric. I did that during the 2016 election and found that to be the case. In other words, I basically think this is old wine in new bottles.

  5. But hey, these psychopaths, who are encouraged and paid to demonstrate who they are, they have rights, like the one to breathe, correct? We should trust in democratic institutions, which these creatures control, to oust them from power?

    Imagine if these monsters decide that most, if not all law enforcement and military will back them. Just how much longer until they “don’t care” about democracy, and act.

    1. EJ

      The thing that I keep coming back to is that in a horrible sense, I think Schlichter is being consistent. He has probably never cared about poor children dying or about foreigners having difficulty entering the country; and judging from the last few decades of healthcare and immigration discourse, this is an attitude that many people like him have held for many years.

      So what’s changed? Two things, in my opinion. Firstly, he now feels that he no longer has to maintain a pretense of caring. Secondly, we have changed: the rise of Trump has pulled many people to the far Right but has also pushed the mainstream of American politics Leftwards. People now care about foreigners and healthcare much more than before, and this is a positive.

      I think being aghast at him for his honesty is the wrong thing to do. The correct thing to do is to be aghast at the opinions he’s held for many years. This – not his newfound boldness and honesty – is the root problem, and it’s what needs to be addressed.

      1. I agree EJ, such attitudes have always been there. The big reveal over the last few years is just how many people hold them, or are willing to look the other way from them for short term gains. That was what shocked me in 2016. I am sadder and wiser now.

      2. Very true, EJ. Obviously, trump has emboldened people who have always held these views. Contempt has become acceptable and a model for public expression. But, could today’s fascist movement be driven by something more primal than financial hardship? Could this anger reflect fear and insecurity resulting from the rise of women and people of different races and ethnicities , an excuse for their failure to succeed? Movements offer legitimate protection to those who lack the ability to change their circumstances through traditional channels but they also provide shelter to bullies and those who harbor dangerous intentions. The latter group are the ones who concern me most because their goals are patently self-serving and depend upon depriving others to advance their interests.

      3. The debate has been raging- is it economic anxiety or is it racism? To me it’s obviously both. However, dealing with the economic aspect is much more straightforward. I loathe their views, but I would never want any government action against people based on what they choose to think. No thoughtcrime, please! It’s your 1A right to be a bigot and hate anyone you want, although we all already understand such speech will not be free of social consequences. But Bubba the racist blue collar dude with a steady job that earns enough gives Bubba less fuel for grievances and less time to stir up trouble. The racist chattering class Schlichter types will carry on though, the price we pay for 1A.

      4. EJ

        It is my understanding that “economic anxiety” was only ever a comfortable euphemism.

        Firstly, there are lots of poor Black and Latinx people who are just as economically anxious but have somehow managed to avoid becoming overt Fascists.

        Secondly, remember who Trump supporters are: people who voted for Trump in 2016 but didn’t vote for Romney in 2012. (If you voted Trump and also Romney you’re not a Trump supporter, just a loyal party-line Republican.) They are, according to demographic data, generally suburban rather than rural or urban; they have above-average incomes; and they are overwhelmingly White. Describing them as the “white working class” or referring to Trump as a phenomenon of the “economically anxious” losers from global capitalism is a lie.

      5. My understanding is that trump’s largest support comes from rural areas but, undeniably, he also is supported by well -educated, financially secure people who live in suburbs. These are people who chose to leave or avoid urban areas for enclaves that offered a socio-economic, racially and ethnically similar environment that offer an appealing lifestyle where life is orderly. I get this. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as It is inclusive. When I see hypocrisy in welcoming diversity only when it is accompanied by wealth or position, and political views that are critical of those who are poor or “different “, that bothers me.

        Why then, do we see life so differently, especially as it relates to our relationships and responsibilities for our fellow man and our country? I am missing something. What is it?

        What drives peoples’ social and political choices that could possibly convince them to vote for a man as crude and selfish as trump? Worse, how can responsible, rational people continue to support this president and the Republican Party in power (because if you ignore or excuse what is happening, you “do”support them)? How can they be oblivious to the chaos , meaness, and outright assault on democratic institutions that threaten our nation and world order without concern? What has happened to the values of compassion, acceptance of differences and generosity? Common sense? Big thinking ? Christian faith that embraces tolerance and kindness? Personal responsibility for something larger than ones own small life? Where’s the love?

        I struggle daily to understand this. These differences nag at me and create subtle barriers that I wish didn’t exist but cannot deny. As the new year commences, I will continue my efforts to influence change as I can, but I doubt i will ever understand the contradiction in values.

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