Two Days On The Road With The Radio

There’s nothing like driving through northern Nevada during fire season, when a person can’t see northern Nevada because of the smoke. And, nothing like driving along our miles and miles of miles and miles with noise coming out of the radio — even satellite radio.

Hark!  The president (feeling the bind inherent in a 33% approval rating) issues forth with two Congressional allies to roll out a DOA immigration policy change.  “Merit based” immigration is supposed to “fix” the problem of foreign workers taking jobs from Americans.  I waited for someone, pundit or presenter, to make the point that in many places in this country where the economy has changed there are people enrolled in programs to acquire the skills necessary to get employment in new and more technical jobs — but here is the president and faithful cohorts advocating a green card system to invite into this country precisely the kind of workers who will be competing for jobs in health care services, health technology, information systems, computer science, and so forth.  So, while ‘hating’ on those Democrats and fuming about those foreigners, our hypothetical Trumper keeps plugging away at his or her computer coding training program — to be faced in the long run by coders given green cards because they are “skilled” workers.

Hark Snark.  I do tire of media interminably interviewing Trump voters to see if any of them are displaying any form of buyers’ remorse.  Of course not.  The 2016 election is barely over, those who voted for him can’t be expected to switch merely because that would be ‘interesting’ to media types.  For that matter, why not interview some of those Americans (the majority by the way) who did NOT vote for the Trumpster?  This constant parade of Trumpster Voters is the contemporary version of giving the president the benefit of broadcasting a view of an empty podium while waiting for him to appear.   By the way, when Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency in August 1974 he had a 24% approval rating. [PRC]

Hark —  Guess what — the president lies.  However, what is intensely disgusting is listening to so-called righteous right wingers explain why this is no big deal.  First comes the what-about-ism during which they can be counted upon to say, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” one mis-statement of a possible change of health care plans President Obama made while trying to sell the ACA.  The GOP jumped on this one and has been clutching it like a toddler with a teddy bear.  The closer the ACA came to enactment the more tenuous this claim became for those in the individual market, ultimately undermining the 2008 claim that health plans in the individual market would not be transformed.   But if this is all they’ve got, then who am I to yank their fuzzy blanket and pacifier away from them?

Yes, it matters that the occupant of the White House lies, about to whom he has spoken and what was said.  It matters because he says it matters.  It is fodder for his “fake news” claims, and the pattern begins — the lie, the denial, the re-interpretation, and the next lie.  It appears to be a signal feature of his attack on our media, fact checking, and journalism in general.  If we can’t trust the news, then who can we trust — he has an answer: Himself.  (And maybe a conservative hate-radio personality or two)

It matters because it highlights the hypocrisy of his right wing supporters, moralists of the first water, who would eagerly jump on any mis-statement of fact by a Democrat or progressive, but will twist into ethical pretzel forms to assert that the president just mis-spoke, was just ‘riffing,’ was just kidding, was just being inarticulate, was just “being himself.”  I’ll agree with the last one — he’s just being himself — a liar.

The trip’s over, the radio’s off, and now I can settle into an evening of “What does the empaneling of a Grand Jury” mean?   What do you think it means?  It means that Mr. Mueller is progressing with his investigation, and he’s using the best tool for getting documents and testimony.  Full stop.  Every other bit of palaver runs the gamut from wishful thinking to rationalization.

Happy trails indeed.

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