Irish Stew #59…

International

Classic Putin? His refusal to expel U.S. diplomats in response to Obama’s retaliation for Russian hacking and inviting the diplomats’ kids to a Christmas party made me wonder if a bare-chested Putin would ride in to the party on a reindeer sporting the rest of Santa’s costume. Even without the latter, Putin’s response makes Putin look like a PR genius (can I hire his PR people for my books?) and Obama look like a chump. McCain rightly states that Putin is a murdering thug, though, and certainly not on Santa’s “nice list,” so maybe Trump’s chump for SecState won’t be approved by the Senate. Trump is swimming in dangerous waters! No one likes Putin except Trump and the narcissistic despot himself.

I’ve been very careful to separate the sleazy practices at the DNC exposed by the Russian hackers from the criminal actions of the hackers and the man who commands them, Vladimir Putin. Obama is right to say that we should be on the same page about Putin’s nefarious attempts to undermine the American election, now established by U.S. intelligence leaders—Putin is the enemy here. But I’m not alone in wondering if Obama and other Dems would give a rat’s ass about this if it had been the RNC that was hacked, or if HRC had won. Those who would say HRC lost because of the hack in spite of the findings from the intelligence community, and the continue to blame the FBI director, should just move on. Trump won, figure out why, and never let it happen again. Moreover, let’s work our butts off to keep this psycho Il Duce from destroying the world!

The art of the deal? To many one-percenters, war is a business. Either Trump wants to pander to these ghouls, or he wants a piece of the action. The U.S. sells more arms to the rest of the world than any other country and, of course, the Pentagon still wants their new and improved toys too. People get rich off war. Il Duce Trump, not content with the endowment Nature gave him, wants to extend it by forging new swords to brandish internationally. “Let’s have another arms race,” he says, “because we’ll have bigger and better bombs.” (OK, I couldn’t find the direct quote, but that’s the idea!). We have a recipe for disaster on an international scale. At the very least, I can see international conflagrations occurring as more bodies, Americans and others, are poured into the maws of Mars. Insane!

National

What’s with deifying Elizabeth Warren? This faux-progressive is becoming Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc for all HRC’s liberal faux-progressives licking their wounds after the presidential election. I can imagine “liberal Catholics” (now there’s an oxymoron!) proposing her for sainthood. Just remember, ye true progressives across the land, she campaigned for HRC in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the primaries instead of Bernie Sanders. Remember that guy, the one who could have beaten Il Duce Trump? Warren and the rest of HRC’s sleaze-team got what they deserved. And Warren is part of that crowd! She just announced she will run in 2018. I’m hoping there’s a true Massachusetts progressive candidate who will run against this faux-progressive in the primary.

Healthcare. Mitch McConnell says the first item on the agenda for the new Congress is to end the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare. McConnell, Ryan, and others in the GOP are already talking about slashing Medicare and Social Security, and Medicaid is on the way out. Do the American people really want to turn back the clock to when health insurance meant insurance that you would die young? When insurance companies dropped you as soon as you contracted something serious? When millions of people’s insurance reduced to emergency visits to ERs?

I can’t believe all those elderly voters in Florida who voted for Trump won’t have second thoughts about Il Duce when the GOP starts killing off the most vulnerable members of society. Don’t expect the VA to get any better either—a vet will be better off dying on the battlefield in an all-GOP administration. Bernie Sanders, author of a VA bill with John McCain, found out the hard way that the GOP members of the Senate like vets but won’t pay for their care—just another example of hypocritical senators.

The only ones who will get decent medical care are the one-percenters. 2054 in my post-apocalyptic novel Full Medical might come sooner than I imagined. The Grim Reaper is chortling about the new victims who will feel his blade as it’s sharpened by the GOP.

I’ll probably go to my grave insisting that the only fair healthcare system is single-payer. Medicare isn’t there yet, but Medicare for all is a closer approximation to the ideal. How can other countries, including so-called Third World countries, have single-payer systems that work and we can’t? It boggles the mind.

Fake news? The problem with all news is that it’s all fake now! I advertise my blog posts honestly as op-eds about current events. The media prints news items and passes them off as truth, but there’s always a slant—they’re guilty of lies by omission in not telling the American public their news isn’t basically op-ed too. It’s all relative, of course. Some news is more fake than other news (I stopped believing most things on Facebook long ago, especially those popups on the right-hand-side of the screen). Seems like everyone is a spin doctor now at work to mold public perceptions. I’ll admit to doing it here—always have. Too many don’t admit it.

Sports

NRA—guilty as charged! The greatest obstacle to sane gun control in this country is the NRA. A recent case in Mount Vernon, New York added yet another victim to their fanatic resistance that makes every NRA member an accessory to murder. A young high school basketball superstar with dreams about a scholarship to UConn or some other basketball school with a strong program (I’m not going to say “with a strong women’s program”—we shouldn’t have to use “women’s” because of Title IX, which is rarely enforced) was gunned down while riding in a car. An errant bullet that wouldn’t be flying through the night if it weren’t for the NRA. Did the girl mumble Heston’s “over my dead body” as she died?

The failure of the NRA affects all levels. The mental case who shot up the Ft. Lauderdale airport is a national case. How can it happen that a mentally disturbed individual can carry a firearm and ammo legally from Alaska to Florida and go on a killing spree? Like the theater case in Colorado and the one at Virginia Tech, these are terrorist cases only in the sense that they caused terror (the Ft. Lauderdale shooter did complain that ISIS was in his head–to an FBI agent!). If the NRA wanted to do something positive as lobbyists, they should at least push for stricter gun control that would keep guns out of the hands of mental cases!

NFL incompetence? My choice for 1 p.m. games on New Year’s Day? Cowboys v. Eagles on Fox and Bills v. Jets on CBS. I think my complaint is just: The NFL and its network sycophants often leave a game in the middle for “a more competitive game.” What’s more meaningless than that Bills v. Jets game? The Cowboys v. Eagles was almost meaningless too—the Eagles were already out of the playoffs and the Cowboys were only playing for home field advantage. I “watched” Cowboys v. Eagles (I’m not certain, but I think the Eagles won) and focused on the scores streaming across the bottom of my screen, scores from more competitive and meaningful games. Der Fuhrer Goodell and his inept staff of lackeys really know how to lose fans.

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And so it goes…

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