I Could Run for Senate!

On my way home from work the other night I was struck by a thought that hasn’t occurred to me for a while. I could run for office! I’ve always been partial to the idea. That’s why I made sure to get all my tattoos in places where a suit would cover them and I’ve tried very hard to keep all my extreme viewpoints to myself.

But after my third DUI I gave up on the idea. I mean, I probably wouldn’t vote for someone with three DUIs, even if they were in recovery and hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol since the last one. Even the people of Cleveland, OH wouldn’t elect someone with three DUIs as their mayor.

But obviously, there are some people who would! I was ecstatic that Doug Jones beat lunatic Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, but it really opens my eyes to the fact that literally any maniac can run and be considered!

Hell, I even forgot what a madman Roy Moore was until a coworker brought it up last night. I completely forgot about his extreme anti-LGBTQ views, his open Islamophobia, his being a leading voice in the Obama birther movement and other conspiracy theories, his claim that NFL players kneeling during the national anthem were breaking the law, or that he was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court… twice.

All of that was completely overshadowed by the fact that he pursued romantic relationships with and allegedly assaulted girls as young as 14 while he was in his early thirties. It’s strange to think that the thing about him I find the least disturbing is his pedophilia.

I suppose the only problem with me running is that I would have to change my party affiliation. I fit pretty comfortable on the left side of the political spectrum and don’t see that changing anytime soon, but Democrats have shown they are less willing to protect scandal in their own ranks. Sen. Al Franken has been forced from office “while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.” 

I suppose it shouldn’t be too hard to run as a Republicon. I don’t think many people pay a whole lot of attention to anything to anything other than the D or R after someone’s name. I could still keep all my beliefs about equality and the need to fight against the concentration of wealth and power into the hands of few people, but I’d just say things like “jobs” and “freedom.”

Come on, Donald Trump has built a political career on saying he’s working to help the little guy and then has supported legislation specifically designed to fuck him without exception. If he can do it, I probably can.

Let’s Rob a Bank

 

I’ve always wanted to rob a bank. This could be Elmore Leonard’s fault as he always made it seem like a really cool thing to do, but I’m going to blame Kathryn Bigelow’s  1991 film Point Break. Either way, somehow I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to rob a bank… and I think now’s the time.

The Republican-controlled legislature just passed the biggest tax reform bill in 30 years, and as you would expect it’s Robin Hood in reverse. The new taxes offer tax cuts to corporations who offshore jobs, end many deductions for the working class and is expected to raise the deficit by a trillion dollars. And that’s just the highlights. I’m sure there are going to be many more far-reaching effects.

I shouldn’t be too mad really. I’ll get a modest cut for a year or two before I see an increase. My student-loan interest deduction is going away, but it won’t break me. I’m not going to go hungry.

Maybe I’m just pissed off because I know a lot of people will go hungry. A lot of people are going to lose health insurance. I’m not going hungry, but I’m not so wealthy that I can donate enough to help all those needy people in my country. I don’t even like to think of people in other countries because it’s too overwhelming. I give to my church, the Salvation Army, and other charities, but it never feels like I’m doing enough.

I’m not a libertarian. I don’t have a huge problem paying taxes. I just don’t like it that my taxes are going toward dropping enormous bombs on Afghanistan and gold-flecked toilet paper for the oval office.

And I keep wondering why the United States has such bad roads, bridges and infrastructure. Aren’t we the richest nation on the planet? I know we’re the largest economy. We should have a highway system that is the envy of the world, every American should have health care, the plumbing in Flint, MI should have been replaced before it could become a problem and should be able to spew Pepsi AND we should be able to do all this stuff and still have plenty of money left over to build that stupid wall on the Mexican border.

But we don’t. People sleep on the street and go without food to buy medication so we can give enormous tax breaks to multi-millionaires who pay their workers starvation level wages so they have to rely on welfare to make ends meet. Then they cut the welfare benefits.

The money held in banks is insured by the federal government so technically I wouldn’t be stealing from Chase, PNC or any other average joes like myself. I would be stealing from the government that has just voted to steal from myself and everyone I know. In fact, they’ve voted against everyone in this country who makes less than $75,000/year. They’ve voted against everyone with a conscience.

Anyone with me? I’ll need a bit of cash to pay off my student loans, but the rest can go to UNICEF. I don’t want to be rich, I just don’t want anyone to be extremely poor.

 

 

A Few More Thoughts on Current Political Developments

Oh shit

After last week Friday, it is impossible for anyone to deny that the Trump campaign administration tried to collude with Russia.

I’m not implying Donald Trump was personally involved or is directly to blame, I haven’t seen enough evidence to make that kind of judgment yet, but I do have something I think everyone should consider.

Trump either knew his campaign chairman National Security Advisor was up to some shady business that could possibly lead to a number of charges, and either didn’t care or thought he could get away with it…

Or he had no idea Paul Manafort Michael Flynn lied to the FBI.

I’m not sure which is worse. That he knowingly hired someone who would engage in unethical behavior or that he would hire someone without knowing enough about them to be certain they wouldn’t engage in such unethical behavior.

Either way, is this the kind of guy we want having input on how we manage our tax code? For all we know he might be embezzling our taxes and social security to gild the White House and have prostitutes pee on the Obama’s old bed.

High School Dropout Thoroughly Convinced He Is Smarter Than Harvard Professor

Gadsden, AL – Robert Hodge, a busboy/dishwasher at a Denny’s in Northeastern Alabama, took to Twitter today to call former Harvard Professor and current Senator Elizabeth Warren a “stupid fucking libtard cunt that’s should get a refund on her JD degree.”

“Yeah, I let that liberal Liawatha bitch have it,” said Hodge during a smoke break during the dinner rush. “I’m just so sick of these people with educations and degrees acting like they know it all. It’s just a piece of paper ya know?”

He also took to both Twitter and Facebook to call Democrat candidates things such “DemoRats,” “Feminazis” and “Snowflakes.” He has managed to troll many opponents of current Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore by calling them “Blue-Pilled Sheeple.”

“All these coastal elites think they’re so smart,” he said. “But it’s just that they’re so brainwashed by the mainstream media. I get my news from the real media. I watch and read stuff from Breitbart, Fox News, and Infowars. Those are the only sources telling people the truth!”

Despite never attaining at High School Diploma or GED, Hodge is completely convinced he could do a better job running the country than some of our  former leaders.

“Barack Obama was nothing but a lazy, stupid ni- black guy,” he said. “Well, I shouldn’t say that. He was pretty smart for a black guy, but he’s still dumb compared to me.”

“I’m just glad we finally got a president with some sense. One who’s going to lower taxes, ban Muslims and execute queers.”

When it was pointed out that President Trump hasn’t been able to do any of these things despite his party controlling all three branches of the federal government, he shouted “Fake News” before reentering the Denny’s to clean up chocolate milk spilled by a toddler.

Letter to my Representatives

Dear Congressman Gibbs and Senator Portman,

With the attention being given to tax reform by both Congress and the media, I feel it is important to voice my opinion on the matter. I’m hoping I will have a few views that you may not have heard or considered regarding this debate and I sincerely hope you will receive them with an open mind.

I’m not opposed to the idea of tax reform. There are certain aspects of this debate I think merit attention. I strongly support making our tax code simpler and easier. I also like the idea of ending loopholes that allow American companies to shift profits overseas and ending subsidies that allow poor businesses to continue at taxpayer expense. It’s well past time we make a few changes.

I also like the idea of paying a lower tax, I would drop from the 15 percent bracket to 12 percent, but I don’t like the idea of adding 1.5 trillion dollars to the national debt. This seems like an extremely irresponsible and selfish thing to do at the moment. There is no economic crisis or cold war going on that could justify passing this tab to our children. I have a three-year-old daughter and I can’t help but think to pass a tax cut that would add to what she will have to pay would be like taking her out to eat at McDonald’s and then making her pay for everyone’s meal.

I have other qualms about this plan. I know the chief argument for it is that it will create enough growth pay for itself, but aside from the fact that there is no evidence or such a thing happening in the past the president himself recently tweeted that unemployment is somewhere near 4 percent and the stock market is higher than it has ever been. There really isn’t any need to stimulate growth or give our economy a “shot in the arm.” It’s also possible that adding to the debt may increase inflation, so while I would be receiving more money from my paycheck it would be worth less.

My second concern comes from the effect of these cuts on the future of our country. There has been talk of investing in our infrastructure, but no concrete plans have been laid out as to how it will be paid for. I’m also concerned about the effects this could have on other government-funded programs such as Medicaid (which both my girlfriend and mother use) and education.

I’m really concerned about what this tax plan and future budgets could mean for my income-based student loan repayment plan. Not only does this program allow me to pay my mortgage, health insurance, bills and groceries; it also allows me to put aside a few dollars every month into a savings plan so I can someday send my daughter to college.

The most important thing we can do right now is to make this a better world for our children. I may not be a small business owner or the chairman of a Super PAC, but I am one of your constituents. When considering the effects of tax reform I don’t think we should be looking at how it will affect us, but how it will affect those we care most about.

Thank you,

Zachariah T Baer

Trump Blames Obama for Hurricanes, Wildfires and Drought

Palm Beach, FL – President Trump held a press conference yesterday amid the blowing winds of Hurricane Irma where he blamed his predecessor for multiple natural disasters facing the U.S.

“Look at this crowd, this is a great crowd,” he told the hundred-some people gathered in a shelter to escape the rains and winds outside. “This is a bigger crowd than Obama ever got for a photo op in a disaster area, but the lying media won’t tell you that.”

Trump then lashed out at ‘fake news’ outlets for about twenty minutes. He told the crowd that they could believe anything positive that was written about him in the press, but that any criticism was ‘fake news.’

He then made the statement that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were part of a deep state conspiracy to try and undermine his presidency.

“You know,” he said. “There are a lot of Obama appointees still working at the National Hurricane Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After all  that I’ve been through with my microwave being tapped and this fake Russian witch hunt it wouldn’t surprise me if some bureaucrats cooked up these storms to try to make me look bad.”

(From the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.com)

He then stated that wildfires in the American West were started by Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, droughts in the Dakotas were started by Bernie Sanders and a giant fan, and his high cholesterol is the responsibility of former Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.

“Everything is a conspiracy. Don’t trust anyone! Except me. You can trust me. I’ll sell you the best car. It’ll be the best used car you’ve ever had. Definitely not a lemon. You’ll get tired of how not a lemon this car is.”

The president continued to speak for about an hour and a half and never seemed to notice the water seeping into the building and rising. Threatening to engulf him and his entire administration.

So Confused

Am I the only person who gets confused when I hear about Donald Trump sticking up for Christian values?

I’m really starting to worry that I bought a fake bible. Or maybe I just really fucking misunderstood the one I bought. I didn’t read it in the original Hebrew or Aramaic so maybe something was lost in translation. But you’d think the big points would carry over. You don’t figure there would be this much debate.

“A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce. He later remarried and returned to televangelism.” -Wikipedia

I guess conservative Christians are saying a Trump impeachment will spark a second American Civil War. And a bunch of churches got together to write something called the Nashville Statement that is just some sort of anti-gay manifesto.

I know there’s a lot of war, smiting and other unpleasantness in the bible (Including homophobia, spousal abuse, incest and absolutely NO eating of pork), but I thought the general message was supposed to be “Love your neighbor as yourself.“*

I believe it was Haruki Murakami that wrote “Either I’m funny or the world’s funny. I don’t know which. The bottle and lid don’t fit. It could be the bottle’s fault or the lid’s fault. In either case, there’s no denying that the fit is bad.” Something is definitely not fitting with what I learned about Christianity versus how the Christian world is acting.

Can we just start using the term “so-called” in front of terms like “Conservative Christians,” “Televangelists” and “Religious Right.”

Murakami also said, “It seemed to me that this world has a serious shortage of both logic and kindness.” **

Current political rumblings have me in agreement.

 

 

 

 

*Mark 12:31

** Both are from his great novel 1Q84

 

Unite or Die

I was really excited a few weeks ago when the Trump Administration announced “Infrastructure Week.” I thought, “Great, here’s something everyone can agree on. Republicans and Democrats can work together on a plan to get our roads, bridges, and utilities up to snuff.” Of course, that’s not what happened. 

 

It’s really sad that every issue in this country is now political. You would think there would be a few things we could all agree on. We’re all Americans right? We all want to make our country a great place for ourselves and our children right? So why is it that we cannot work together to solve these problems like adults. I think bipartisanship would help us to make a better world if we could just find some common ground.

 

I have absolutely no evidence to back me up on this theory because I can’t remember the last time we had any bipartisan issues, but I’m going to stick with it until someone proves me wrong.

 

I really don’t understand the question of whether or not we should protect the environment. This seems like a no-brainer. Sure, profit and money are nice, but it doesn’t do a whole lot of good without air to breath or water to drink. We shouldn’t look at the EPA as the bringer of job killing regulation; we should look at it as an entity that challenges us to create jobs while protecting the environment. I don’t see why we can’t do both.

 

(Courtesy of Yes! Magazine)

I have to give props to my Republican Senator who has fought for the Great Lakes Restoration Fund to help clean up Lake Erie. He and many other senators resisted Trump and Obama’s efforts to cut funding to the program.

 

I can understand why there is some friction in the health care debate. This is where I’m reminded that Democrats are for working people and Republicans support big business. I just don’t understand why they can’t get together on a plan to make healthcare more affordable for everyone. I constantly read politicians say Obamacare is not working and we have to do something so we can make insurance more affordable while also fighting the current opioid epidemic, but then Mitch McConnell presents a bill that would do the exact opposite. This shouldn’t be about helping mega rich corporations make more profit, it should be about helping people.

 

And it doesn’t help a whole lot when the president is talking about “victims” of Obamacare. We’re all aware that the law hasn’t worked for everyone, but words matter. If you paint your predecessors biggest legislative accomplishment as something working to hurt people it doesn’t instill a lot of good will to unite people to work on a solution.

 

I’m glad I can say that both sides are starting to stand up to the Russian meddling that occurred during our last election. Many people don’t believe this (or simply don’t care), but unless you’re working for some sort of intelligence agency please don’t argue with me. It’s nice to see bills on Russian sanctions passing Congress with only a few brown nosers voting against them. It’s great to see the Senate working on a bill that would make it harder for President Trump to fire the man investigating him. I will say that it’s taken too long for everyone to get on the same page about this, but it’s great that we’ve all finally gotten there.

 

I just hope we can find some common ground on other issues. We all want to see America succeed and be great, we just disagree on the methods of getting there. But that’s no reason we can’t all come together. 

Words vs Actions

I’ve often heard ‘actions speak louder than words,’ but like with many other things in life I’m finding this does not extend to the world of politics. In politics it doesn’t matter much what you do so much as how you speak. If you aren’t able to accomplish your goals there are plenty of scapegoats, and then you can just go right back on your speaking tour.

 

I didn’t notice this until Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama. The thing that really brought it to my attention was the way both men deal with terrorism and the ongoing Syrian conflict. From what I can tell, the only difference in their approaches is that while Obama would quietly execute drone strikes and remain low key about American involvement in the area, Trump is full of bluster and bombast about “extreme vetting” and “radical Islamic terrorism.”

 

From what I can tell Trump’s method of referring to ISIS as “radical Islamic terrorists” hasn’t been any more effective than the drone warfare conducted by the Obama administration. And I’m not sure where the idea that we are just letting refugees into our country like through a revolving door came from. They were already subject to extreme vetting. It would be ridiculous to not look into the background of people we invite into our country and I haven’t heard anyone say we shouldn’t be cautious. The only difference in the approaches has to do with the rhetoric, which now makes us seem like total assholes.

 

Something I’d like to see more from Republicans is pragmatism. Maybe I just haven’t come across bloggers and pundits with critical thinking skills, but it’s hard to take the Trump cheerleaders seriously. I couldn’t take Obama cheerleaders seriously. His expansion of drone warfare, the massive surveillance of the NSA and his avoidance of releasing documents under the Freedom of Information act were a few of his policies I didn’t completely agree with, but I don’t regret voting for him.

 

But Obama never went on television and lambasted the media, the intelligence community and anyone who disagreed with him. Most of his actions aligned with his words and any policies I disagree with he had good reasons for pursuing. Trump is actively seeking to destroy the working-class voters who put him in office. He’s championing a healthcare bill that will charge more for less coverage, rolling back environmental and labor protections and working on tax reform that I’m sure will disproportionately benefit the upper 1 percent.

 

The crazy thing is how many people still support him because of what he says. And will continue to support him no matter what he does.

 

It’s important to look at what politicians do, especially the ones we’re prone to agree with. We can all agree that Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information with her private email server. I’ll admit that was a massive mistake on her part though I supported her in the last election. However, it’s important to note I didn’t support the guy who appointed someone working for the Turkish government to the National Security Council.

 

Whose actions were more detrimental?