Uncommon Sense

November 20, 2020

Really? Trump Really “Connected” with Rural Folks?

Filed under: Economics,Politics,Race — Steve Ruis @ 9:36 am
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The Guardian and a whole slew of other news agencies are expressing increasing confusion about how President Trump performed so much better than expected on election day.

Here is an excerpt from one article: “But on election day, rural Iowa turned out in force for Trump. He not only beat Joe Biden decisively in a state that opinion polls consistently predicted would be close, but the president significantly increased his vote in counties that put Barack Obama into the White House and which then flipped to Trump.”

Oh, the title of that article? It was “‘He made a connection’: how did Trump manage to boost his support among rural Americans?”

He made a connection? Really?

Iowa turned out for Barack Obama . . . twice. Do you consider Iowa a state free of racial prejudice? What got them to vote for a black man for the first time in any presidential election?

I will repeat. This quite racist country voted for a black man for president, twice, because they were fed up with the status quo. People in rural communities are seeing their way of life being plowed under, to use a farming metaphor.

But Barack Obama was a disappointment. He ran a campaign based upon “hope” and “change” and what did we get? More of the same. The bankers, the Wall Street types, the corporate fat cats, and the rich were still in charge.

Well, if electing a black man didn’t send the message they wanted, they need a bigger message, so . . . Trump!

Is there any mystery that an icon of the old status quo, Joe Biden, lost big in a rural state?


They voted against the old status quo represented by the corporate Democrats and there was no hiding the fact that Joe Biden is a corporate democrat, and the rich will be continued to be served . . . before everyone else.

October 3, 2020

Let the Comments Begin!

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 12:26 pm

I have no personal comment about Mr. Trump falling victim to COVID-19, but I see comments, yes I do.

  • One comment said that the Distracter in Chief is pulling another fast one to shove his miserable debate performance off of the front page of the news media.
  • Another comment suggested that Mr. Trump did contract the disease in the hopes he would die before the election because he hates, absolutely hates to lose.
  • This is his “October Surprise” hoping the sympathy generated will take him to victory in November.
  • The Deep State deliberately infected the president to undermine his re-election . . . right.
  • “I don’t want Fat Donnie to die right away. I’d prefer that he suffer for a while.” (Egad!)
  • The whole thing is fishy . . . symptoms usually develop two to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19. If Trump and everyone around him are actually being tested daily, how could he have been showing notable symptoms on Wednesday, but not received a positive test result until the wee hours of Friday?
  • One of the many bizarre things QAnon advocates believe (without any foundation) is that COVID-19 is a hoax designed to deflect attention from a Satan-worshipping pedophile ring operated by Hillary Clinton and liberal elites. Trump, their reasoning goes, is pretending to have COVID-19 as part of a grand plan to arrest Clinton.
  • Donald Trump is pretending to have COVID-19 so he can use his miraculous “recovery” to claim the virus isn’t a big deal.

If you live by the conspiracy theory . . .

July 9, 2020

Trump Wanted Closed Borders . . . And Now He has Them

By mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic President Trump has gotten an unintended benefit: closed borders. Of course, the borders are being closed by the other countries involved and not Mr. Trump’s administration, but a promise is a promise. Mexico has closed its border with the U.S. . . . to prevent the spread of the disease that is raging in the U.S. but not so much in Mexico. Canada has closed its border with the U.S. . . . to prevent the spread of the disease that is raging in the U.S. but not so much in Canada. The EU has closed its “borders” with the U.S. . . . to prevent the spread of the disease that is raging in the U.S. but not so much in the EU.

Mission Accomplished, President Trump, Mission Accomplished . . . say it now. . . .

From today’s The Guardian:
“Canadians have spent the past three months in isolation, away from businesses, friends, families and schools,” said Lori Turnbull, a professor of political science at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. “They’ve done all this to make sure that they survive the public health crisis. They don’t want the border to open and have Americans bring it up here. The contrasting pandemic experiences of the two countries aren’t just a result of luck or geography: experts point to widespread access to healthcare in Canada, as well as high levels of trust in government and public health officials.”


May 19, 2020

Mr. Trump’s Administration (sic)

I have said quite a few times that President Trump is neither smart enough nor aware enough to receive credit or blame for many of the actions taken by “his administration.” He is responsible for his own actions and his own appointments, however, which are highlighted in these excerpts from Watchdog Was Investigating Pompeo for Arms Deal and Staff Misuse Before Firing  by Julian Borger in The Guardian (U.K.) today.

“The government watchdog who was fired last week had been investigating the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, for sidestepping Congress to approve arms sales to the Gulf and using staffers for personal errands, according to congressional sources.

“Donald Trump declared his intention to fire the state department inspector general, Steve Linick, in a letter sent to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, late on Friday night. The White House said the decision was taken at Pompeo’s advice.”

“In his letter on Friday, announcing Linick’s dismissal, Trump said he no longer had full confidence in him. On Monday, he said he had never heard of Linick before being asked to fire him.

“’I don’t know him. Never heard of him,’ Trump said. ‘But they asked me to terminate him. I have the absolute right as president to terminate. I said who appointed him, and they say: President Obama. I said: look I’ll terminate him.’”

Mr. Trump has the ultimate defense against impeachment . . . “too stupid to know what he was doing.”

May 17, 2020

Is President Trump a Racist?

Filed under: Politics,Race — Steve Ruis @ 9:17 am
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In a comment to another of my posts, Gus the Realist said “Because in his simple, distorted and illogical mind, black men do not have the same rights as white men.” He was referring to Donald Trump, of course. I responded “That is absolutely clear.” But . . . is it?

Consider the following two photographs and focus in on Mr. Trump’s body language.

Is it clear now?

April 23, 2020

Can You Spell Opportunity Cost, Boys and Girls?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, now a pandemic, that noted medical specialist President Donald Trump has been trumpeting the efficacy of the drug hydroxychloroquine. Since this drug was already FDA approved, a long set of tests to make sure it did no harm were unnecessary, but it hadn’t ever been proscribed to combat Coronoviruses.

Soon, both President Trump and Fox (sic) News were touting the efficacy of this drug for this disease. There was only one part missing . . . any evidence it was effective against COVID-19, so some trials were quickly devised and approved. In a French study the drug had no effect whatsoever on COVID-19 suffers and in a larger US study involving Veteran’s Affairs patients, who were likely Trumpeters, it had an effect. The veterans who were given the drug as a potential COVID-19 treatment died at a higher rate than the people who were not administered the drug.

President Trump and Fox (sic) News have stopped touting the miracle drug hydroxychloroquine. Hmm, I wonder why?

In economics there is a concept called an opportunity cost, which is basically common sense. It is the simple fact that if you choose to take action A, you are forgoing the opportunity to take action B, action C, etc. So, the President and his enablers/co-conspirators pushed a useless drug to the top of the list for tests, applying no medical knowledge or common sense at all.

And while those researchers were investigating the useless hydroxychloroquine drug, other drugs that could have been helpful were not being tested by those teams of researchers.

I am sure the President and Fox (sic) News are, right now, shrugging and mumbling “Who knew?” Apparently any number of the President’s advisors knew, but what do they know, they’re just the experts, right?









April 16, 2020

POTUS Meltdown

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:44 am
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Mr. Trump has recently stated that he will give the states the okay to let down their Stay at Home pandemic orders one at a time (presumably on a scale from Most Respect Paid to Least Respect Paid to Mr. Trump). What this brings to question is how Mr. Trump, who has sworn (on a Bible) to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, can actually defend the Constitution when he clearly does not understand the Constitution.

One would expect that Mr. Trump will have less say as to when the state’s will lift their quarantine and self-isolation requirements than he did in them being implemented in the first place. That is not possible, however, as Mr. Trump had no say over those state’s orders (zero, zilch, nada) in the first place, so he cannot have “less that zero” affect on the retirement of those orders.

And the fall of the GOP is very sad, very sad. Remember when the GOP was the state’s rights party? Now they seem to have transformed themselves into the Trump’s Rights Party. They should rename themselves into the Trump’s Right Ultimate Minority Party as that would change the GOP into the T.R.U.M.P. The name ought to reflect the reality, don’t you think?

April 8, 2020

Mr. Trump’s Enemies

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 10:14 am
Tags: , , ,

Our “The Buck Never Stops Here President” has named a number of causes of the pandemic now raging. He has blamed China, the Obama Administration, and even the World Health Organization (WHO) in his rants.

Our cowed news agencies (or bought off, or . . .) never seem to follow up on these. For example . . .

It Is All Obama’s Fault
The transition from the Obama Administration to the Trump administration occurred in January of 2017 (over three years ago!). Even though the transition mechanism is required by law, the Trump people blew off large portions of it, even refusing to appoint people to fill serious vacancies in various departments. Remember that? Remember how Mr. Trump was praised for reducing the size of “Big Government”? (No? Neither do I.) I am seriously concerned about the transition out of a Trump administration. If it is as botched as when he came into office, it will take years to repair the damage.

If the Obama administration was so evil and corrupt, why wasn’t there a major effort made to weasel out what they had been up to so all of the evils could be fixed? Sounds like more than a few people were asleep at the switch.

It Is All WHO’s Fault
The evil enemy in the form of WHO is just ludicrous. Especially since Mr. Trump announced that for his administration, the watch word was “America First.” If we are No. 1, why were we depending upon a global big government agency to do our work for us? We should have seen what was going to happen before the Chinese noticed it. Mr. Trump’s most recent proposed budget substantially cuts “donations” to WHO. Since we are a major supporter of WHO, what if those cuts had gone into effect a year ago? Anybody want to guess? Mr. Trump probably believes they wouldn’t have had enough funding to be so China biased. Others think that China might have willingly stepped in and made up the slack, further diminishing our influence around the world. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but China surely does not, especially political vacuums.

It Is All China’s Fault
And, China, Mr. Trump’s Big Bugaboo. If China is the root of all evil, why were we not all over whatever nastiness they were drumming up? This has to be a major intelligence failure on the part of the Trump administration. With most people looking at China as a potential partner in creating a global future, Mr. Trump recognized the threat that was China way before anyone else. So, why did he sleep on that threat? Isn’t he supposed to keep us safe? Mr. Trump seemed to be fixated on currency manipulation by China and a trade war Mr. Trump started and allowed them to slip a biological weapon past our borders that has brought our economy to its knees. Apparently the defense of caging immigrant children at the border provided no protection.

Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Trump is just flailing about, trying to strike pay dirt by highlighting an “enemy” that non-Fox News viewers will accept. This has worked for him in the past. If he finds one expect his to tag it, like “Lock Her Up!,” and lean on that until the election.

Addendum I can’t write or read the phrase of “Mr. Trump’s enemies” without thinking of Senator Joe McCarty and his famous tag line “I have a list …” (Communists to the left of me, communists to the right of me …). Mr. Trump seems also to have a list and it seems to be made of the the same thing as Tail Gunner Joe’s … whole cloth.

February 9, 2020

I Have to Believe

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 10:56 am
Tags: , ,

In President Trump’s state of the union address, he singled out a school child from Philadelphia who was “trapped in a failing government school” and announced that the girl was at last getting a scholarship to attend the school of her choice. Ignoring for the moment that the term “government school” only has purchase with certain right-wing groups, it has now been made know, thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer, that the young person under discussion has been a student in a charter school since September and that prior to that she had been in a private, for pay, Christian school (with a partial scholarship). In fact, she hadn’t been in a public school since kindergarten, and kindergartens are hard to describe as “failing government schools.”

So, I am not going to make the unnecessary claim that “The President lies!” yet again as that is unnecessary. The fascinating thing is that it is clear to me that the President did not find this young student all by himself. Someone on his staff must have orchestrated this. So, is that staffer: (a) incompetent, (b) trying to undermine the President with a set up that makes him look bad, or (c) doing exactly what is expected of him?

We all know what Mr. Trump does to people who fail to serve him as he desires, so (b) is unlikely. Option (a) is always on the table, but I think that Option (c) is the most likely explanation.

If you look at the scope of the President’s actions (not his comments, just his actions), I would suggest that maybe a few percent of those came from the President himself. The rest were created and served up by others, the enablers of Donald Trump, as it were. So, it is clear, at least to me, that the President has staff cooking up lies that are beyond his powers to create.

This has to be, just has to be, by design. As we rush about debunking fairy tales about a single Philadelphia school child, Trump’s minions are unraveling environmental regulations (CAFE standards, climate change regs, light bulbs, low flush toilets, is there anything too small to receive their attention?), banking regulations, food safety regulations, etc. I think in the future we will look back in horror at what this wrecking crew is accomplishing and the means by which they accomplished it.

Addendum When the Trump administration took over, they basically dumped all of the transition documents that had been created for them. This was an amateur move, of course, because those documents would have explained in great detail all of the things they wanted to dismantle and thus saved them a great deal of time and effort. In any case, the law requires the Trump administration to created such a process for its successor, either in about one year or five. Does anyone believe that (a) they will actually do that (their record as scofflaws is quite secure) or (b) if they actually do it, that it will help the next administration. It will be decades getting back to the point we were at before this wrecking crew swung the first wrecking ball.

December 3, 2019

What You Oppose You Make Stronger

I cannot find a source for the quote used as the title of this post but it has been rattling around in my head for a very long time (it might be a Go aphorism). It came to me as I was reading these paragraphs in an article in The Atlantic:

“But the liberal politics of young people brings us to the first big reason to care about rising (religious) non-affiliation. A gap has opened up between America’s two political parties. In a twist of fate, the Christian right entered politics to save religion, only to make the Christian-Republican nexus unacceptable to millions of young people—thus accelerating the country’s turn against religion.

“Although it would be wrong to call Democrats a secular party (older black voters are highly religious and dependably vote Democratic), the left today has a higher share of religiously unaffiliated voters than anytime in modern history. At the same time, the average religiosity of white Christian Republicans has gone up, according to Robert P. Jones, the CEO of the polling firm, Public Religion Research Institute, and the author of The End of White Christian America. Evangelicals feel so embattled that they’ve turned to a deeply immoral and authoritarian champion to protect them—even if it means rendering unto an American Caesar whatever the hell he wants. American politics is at risk of becoming a war of religiosity versus secularism by proxy, where both sides see the other as a catastrophic political force that must be destroyed at all costs.”

I could almost hear the pieces clicking together in my mind. Follow me now. For the last half century, the wealthy elites in this country have engaged in a class war, although all they were doing was trying to reassert the control they used to have over the economy and culture, at least they claim that is what they were doing. They wanted: social stability, lower restrictions upon their ability to make money (lower taxes, less regulation, etc.), and a small grab bag of other things they thought were all to the good for “ordinary people,” of whom they knew none.

As part of that social stability, they saw strong corporations, strong families, and a dominant religion as parts (our dominant religion is “Christianity,” whatever the heck that is).

Their strategy was to control elections and government, something the wealthy elites were used to doing in the past, although they did it socially. It was considered unseemly and “beneath their station in life” to participate in politics. But that changed with the Powell Memo and a new breed of wealthy businessmen (yes businessmen, few women were involved as they were seen as a pillar of families, so they belonged in the home bringing order to that chaos).

In order to expand and protect their wealth, it was necessary to effect wealth transfers, from the poor and middle class to them. This was effected mostly through tax revisions; for example, tax cuts were good so small tax cuts for the poor and middle class (throw them a bone) and large tax cuts for the wealthy were, and still are, the order of the day. Many of the wealthy were shocked at how effective their political spending was. ROIs of over 20:1 were seen (for every dollar they spent on politicking/lobbying, $20 came back to them or their corporations). This was too easy.

But eviscerating the poor and middle class by making them politically impotent and economically disadvantaged, had consequences. By making them less secure, they also were being made less religious. Religious leaders were seen to be as corrupt as the political leaders. This was topsy-turvy to the wealthy; usually insecurity raised religiosity. People turned to God when their needs were not being met. But in this case, people were seeing religions forming coalitions with politicians and religious scandals were undermining people’s acceptance of their religion as being separate from and different from their politicians.

The economic uncertainty has weakened the state of marriage, weakened the hold of religion on people’s thinking, and undermined the social stability these fat cats were trying to effect.

They are now riding the tiger of the populous sentiments that have risen in response to their actions.

Well, it least they got richer.

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