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I Don’t Know Who The Fed Is Working For, But It Ain’t You And Me

I’m no economist. But economics seems to be one of those fields that you can be trained in for years and years and still not know what the fuck is going on. Not even a savvy investment giant like Warren Buffett can tell which way the wind is blowing all the time. Economics is a guessing game, judging by the amount of divergent opinions one can help themselves to in the news on a daily basis.

So the field is open for a layperson like myself to learn the fundamentals. But even the “laws” of supply and demand elude people interested in the subject. Some people think that is the end of the discussion, that all economic activity comes down to that raw tension between those two concepts. Their relationship is definitely very much a thing and weighs hard on all economic discussions, but it is not the end of them. What I have learned so far is that there are several forms of market warp that transcends the simplicity of laissez- faire notions of how money moves.

Peoples’ memories and attention spans being shit as they are, they often don’t remember events that changed the face of history. Just for an easy example, Trumpers like to point out the price of gas when he was president as compared to what it was this summer while Biden presided. Now of course this is dumb on its face because of the easily understood fact that the president does not really control gas prices. There are things that can be done, like releasing oil from our strategic reserve, employing gas tax holidays, and diplomacy with oil-producing nations. But most of that will not bring significant results that people are clamoring for. Stupid people think that presidents are like CEOs, where everything that goes wrong on their shift is attributable to them. But there’s this little thing called current events, and a president would have to have a crystal ball to head them off. History has to run through the course of a presidency, and to truly understand the efficacy or failure of a presidency we must know what happened during it, looking at phenomena that haven’t got a thing to do with who sits in the Oval Office.

So anyway, why was gas so cheap during Trump? Well, let me get right to it. It’s the prime mover of every calamity we have had and are continuing to have.

COVID-19.

If you don’t understand what the epidemic did to the economy, you have shit for brains and should shut up on the subject of economics for the last three years or so.

We literally didn’t leave the house for a year and a half. Businesses were destroyed. Supply chains mangled. Workers laid off. Oil actually traded in the negative, which technically meant we were running out of places to put the oil that no one needed and were on the verge of giving it away. We were worried about how we were going to wipe our ass. It took Trump begging the Saudis to shut their taps off to keep American producers afloat.

An event like this only comes perhaps once a century. It changes everything, and sometimes it just doesn’t matter who is the unfortunate chump in office is when they do occur. Mind you, Trump’s response to COVID was as bad a response as could be imagined, first denying the danger for months and then hawking quack treatments for people who were encouraged to have vaccine hysteria.

By the time Biden entered office, America was back at play, footloose and fancy free. Mask restrictions were done away with, vaccine proof was no longer needed to do certain things and we were off to the races. Demand skyrocketed.

But supply did not. A good chunk of manufacturing is coming from China, who has a zero COVID policy and if they catch a whiff of a breakout they literally go on lockdown. This would and still is causing a crimp in our supply capabilities. Oil company investors, who had their profits pared down seriously by COVID, went on a wild greed spree this summer, refusing to up production to meet the demand, citing a labor shortage, drill parts shortage and the events in Russia and Ukraine. Some of that may have been true-but much of the rise in price in oil was partly attributable to stock buybacks and and insistence on not growing to maximize the barrel price.

So what happens when too much money is chasing too few goods because supply cannot meet demand?

Inflation. It’s as natural as a newborn. Now during COVID under Trump, we printed seven trillion dollars to keep the economy alive. Another two trillion was printed in the first months of the Biden administration. Now those seven trillion under Trump had no effect on inflation. The Fed kept rates at near zero, allowing cheap money to flow wherever it needed to. Once again, it is stupid people who don’t understand that debt is not tied to inflation in a sophisticated economy like ours. Had this been true, we’d be like Argentina since we’re already 23 trillion in the hole and debt to GDP is almost 100%. We absolutely had to borrow that money to just keep basic services going. Some of it went to bad places but on the whole it was necessary debt, which some nitwits cannot tell from bad debt. But anyway, America is taking risks and are back in society, buying what they want. But they’ve noticed big time that what they want is going up in price quite a bit.

What’s the real problem? Did we overdo quantitative easing? Or is this inflation just a function of low supply and high demand? Or do we have yet more greed coming from monopolistic elements within the economy? Either way, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell thinks he has the answer. He’s gearing up for several aggressive interest rate hikes to combat inflation. People I have been reading say he’s going to crash the economy if he keeps it up, and that may be his plan-which sounds insane for a society that just got let loose into the marketplace to buy, buy and buy. Yes, some tightening is probably necessary. Some. But not recession-causing tightening. Apparently Powell doesn’t think the market has the know how to heal itself, and is going to instead contract us into a manageable size, where wages are lower as well as prices. This is madness. COVID-19 warp has shit to do with monetary policy. Those trillions were on the books and they could have stayed there a bit more while we got on with business. Once again, incremental adjustments to the interest rates make sense, but not these ham fisted moves Powell is making. He’s not going to squeeze inflation out of the economy if he is not taking into account what is causing it.

It’s not the balance sheet, folks. It’s the bug. And if Jerome Powell thinks he’s doing us a favor by making the cost of of money expensive and halt this economy’s gains, he doesn’t understand the American consumer nor the pandemic. Give America a minute to actually be a free market. Or to be free, period.

You Can Google Yourself Into Staying Current. You Cannot Google Yourself Into Expertise.

The Internet is such a fucked up thing, a true paradox. It is the largest repository of information on the planet. You would think this a good thing…yet the people who use it seem to be getting dumber.

Let’s talk a little bit about people who think that when they look for information on the Internet, they are performing “research”.

You know these people. They are legion. They are all around you, believing some of the most insane shit you can dream up. Not knowing much about how the real world works, they construct fantasy worlds based on ignorant, paranoid biases they have. They have consumed so much information confirming them, that they actually see themselves as authorities on a matter. And they’re not, because they aren’t trained to be one. Yet every fucking person these days always has something to say about everything. It’s tiring. I’m sorry, but rare is the true polymath.

Let’s be clear: Experts are the only people who should be conducting any sort of “research”. And many of them constrain their expertise to one subject, as any knowledge base can be ridiculously complicated and is in constant evolution.

Most of us drones can read a book and maybe really digest a fourth of it. Even less will be able to spit out the contents of what they read to a fellow human. Shit, sometimes I can’t say anything about a TV show I just watched. Hardly any of us commoners are doing any structured “learning”. The best of us can merely familiarize ourselves with a subject. So it is with the Internet. We can read all we like and still not know a whole lot. But then we get super offended when all of our “research” gets questioned.

That’s not the way to wisdom. Having your beliefs challenged is really the only way to actually “learn”. In other words, looking for what might be wrong about what you think you know is the key to possibly knowing anything at all. That requires a bit of humility most people do not possess, though, especially if you are dealing with someone who thinks that just because they have access to the biggest journal/encyclopedia in existence it makes them somehow learned.

I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology. The theory is painful to comb through, and that is a lot of what you have to get through to make it past your sophomore year. A favorite professor of mine gave up the goods on why we needed to dig up fossils like Emile Durkheim. “It’s really just to torture you the way we were tortured.” I believed her. You also get introduced to the world of statistics, which I actually found fun. Some of my fellow classmates were fucking insufferable, though; like I had this one class in stats where the textbook was filled end to end with studies. Now, this book’s purpose, from what I could tell was to help us learn how studies are structured, to immerse us in the world of what we can learn from surveys and data. Yet for some reason, the class devolved into “how can we pick apart this study and declare it invalid?” Students got hung up on dumb shit like sample size. If it was deemed not high enough (it was always an arbitrary number that varied from student to student), it was a bad study. That’s not how this works, though. You can sample or plot 20 points and get a mean that suggests a correlation in one direction or another. Yes, you can sample 40 and be more accurate, but it’s really the difference between say, 90% certainty and 95%. There’s tests you can perform that give you confidence values. What I’m getting at is that the picture is the same, it’s just slightly blurrier when you work with less data.

Anyway, four years is what I survived. Did that mean I was well-educated? Was I a sociologist, or one in training? Looking back, I’d have to say no. Nowadays, bachelor degrees are not held in high esteem by employers. Everyone wants the grinders who stick with shit for eight to twelve years. I wasn’t able to do that for several reasons, but one was that I don’t think I could have bullshitted my way through graduate level work. I didn’t want to anyway. Sociology could be fun and fascinating, but I was never destined to be an expert in it.

I’m getting a little sidetracked, but the point was is that real education takes place in educational institutions, and real expertise gets conducted by experts. Reading the Internet for the average schmo should be like reading the morning paper-oh, here’s some interesting news, hey that’s a cool subject, hm, I didn’t know that, let me find out more, wow, they did what? Basically, keep the fuck up. Be active when it is necessary. That is your civic responsibility, nothing more. Now it’s a little rough out there, because major media gatekeeps for or is outright owned or manipulated by the moneyed and the powerful. But there’s a lot of people doing journalism for journalism’s sake. Good stories and portals are out there, and real journalists have been telling inconvenient truths. Did what you read make you mad? Excellent. Did it change your mind? Awesome. Did it add perspective to something you are interested in? I’m all for it.

This “research” epidemic, however, is for fools. It’s just ducky to Google or Wikipedia a subject you just encountered, I encourage that behavior. What is not sensible is consuming a lot of information/bullshit on a topic you aren’t an expert in. You can easily be misinformed, for one thing, if you don’t know how to check your sources. That is something that typically an expert would know how to do. And confirmation bias, as far as I can tell, is habitual in this fucking species. Starting with a conclusion is absurdly common. I think X is happening, and since I have a giant library at my fingertips, there’s a good chance I can definitely find evidence for X being true. Even science itself is guilty of this.

I dunno. Maybe some people are just raised berserk, and it’s best to leave them be if we are creatures of mercy. But I grow weary of it. For me, everything I “know” is in a state of flux. Does that bother me? Honestly, no, it doesn’t. There are things about this objective reality we will never figure out. (Then again, I haven’t tried DMT). It’s cool, that’s what it means to live, especially as a human. Uncertainty is part of the package of survival. “Research” and “figuring things out” isn’t going to make me feel existentially better.

They say everyone needs something to believe in. Maybe. And I suppose in our virtual world of connectivity, that’s easier than ever to find. In that sense, the Internet peddles millions of faiths. We want so badly to be special, we want to know we are part of the Correct, that we are In. Maybe in our atomized society this is all we can do anymore to remain cohesive, share our ridiculous faiths through an invisible ether. I’m out of answers.

Perhaps know yourself first before you go knowing anything else. I think some wise weirdo advised this a long, long time ago. I think he was killed for giving it to people.

Next We’ll Be Revisiting Fluoridated Water-Tucker Carlson Is An Insane Conspiracy-Spewing Asshole

I’ve taken quite a vacation from watching Tucker Carlson. His show has devolved in a way I could never imagine. Used to be a time when, however wrong he was, he’d have guests on to have a contentious fight with. I don’t think anyone remotely credible wants to go on his show anymore, though. Now it’s all just hair-on-fire end of civilization commentary that probably only serves to scare old white folks.

Today, let’s highlight a couple of his latest conspiracies. This would be twice now in a span of perhaps a month that suggests that the Biden administration is trying to use drugs or the non-use of them to “control” the population, a familiar Tucker refrain with about zero basis in fact. Here’s Tucker saying that nicotine users have more mental acuity (debatable) and therefore a ban on Juuls is going to make men soft and stupid:

Not long after, he’s howling on a Brazilian beach about how government and corporations don’t want people to have families because they are still trying to help women obtain safe abortions and that the government might put SSRIs in the water supply to keep people happy:

Yes. That’s airing on a major cable “news network”. Not to mention that it’s one of the most popular shows on television. It’s no wonder this country is going to the dogs if this is in the diet.

UPDATE: More drug talk from Tucker. He’s alleging that school “counselors” are handing out “psychotropic” drugs all over the country. This is patent bullshit of course, as is the use of a scare word that most people don’t know. Then he mentions SSRIs again. I have news for Tucker; it’s not 1985 anymore; there’s SNRIs, tricyclics, tetracyclics, typical, atypical antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, a panoply of drugs that go way beyond the promise of Prozac that doctors are prescribing more and more these days. If you are going to scare people, get fucking up to date with your nonsense, asshole.

Meet Virginia

Many are clamoring for further investigation of Virginia “Ginni” Thomas and what her role may have been in the January 6th insurrection. They’re ticked off at the J6 committee for not asking her to come in. They think a story has been killed because the “media” moved on.

Well, I hate to disappoint, that’s probably because there’s no “there” there.

Yes, Clarence Thomas made a colossally unethical decision not to recuse himself from a case where his wife’s activities, whatever they may have been, could to come to light. However, Thomas is without a doubt the worst member of the Court, a bootlicker through and through and maybe he just has a shit grasp of the law and is a moral degenerate. Those factors may have contributed him to being the lone dissenter. We shall never know, because we are not and never will be privy to Clarence and Ginni’s pillow talk.

Ugh. That was a gross mental picture.

Moving right along.

Internet sleuths have traced some of Ginni’s past to her involvement in a cult called Lifespring. Here’s some video of a young Ginni, after escaping the abusive group:

It’s my understanding that what cultists really crave is affiliation. And if Ginni Thomas’ history shows anything, it’s that she needed desperately to be affiliated with things. After her time in Lifespring, she got a good education and good jobs, eventually working for the Chamber of Commerce, the US Labor Department, and The Heritage Foundation. She married Clarence during her time at DOL. At Clarence’s hearings, it was brought up that Ginni’s post may have created a potential conflict of interest for him. No matter, he was confirmed despite the circus that surrounded his hearing.

Ginni became a lobbyist for various right-wing causes, again raising her profile and making people nervous about her conflicts of interest with her husband’s job. She found herself working at Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, a known wackadoodle factory of lies and disinformation.

It was then that Ginni joined her next project, Groundswell, ostensibly fighting the evil of progressivism. Ginni would become “the Trump whisperer” in due time, feeding him conspiracies about the “deep state” and recommending who he should hire and fire.

“We all knew that within minutes after Ginni left her meeting with the president, he would start yelling about firing people for being disloyal,” a former senior-level Trump official told The Beast. “When Ginni Thomas showed up, you knew your day was wrecked.”

Cut to 2020. Thomas happily promoted the rally on January 6th, 2021. There was talk of her busing protestors to the rally, which turned out to be false. That would have been Kirk’s group Turning Point. She has told the press that she was in the crowd at the rally but left early because she was cold.

But what’s really got people curious about her involvement is that she texted Mark Meadows like a crazy person after the election and around January 6th. Now Meadows and Thomas are friends outside of work, so maybe commo between them was not all of an incendiary nature. Yet there are many texts that were:

“Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!! …You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice,” she wrote in one of the messages to Meadows on Nov. 10, shortly after Biden was projected to defeat Donald Trump. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

In the messages, Ginni Thomas repeatedly pressed Meadows to reverse the 2020 election results, touting conspiracy theories about voter fraud and right-wing falsehoods about Biden and his family members.

“Do not concede,” she wrote Meadows on Nov. 6, 2020. “It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.”

November 13: “Sidney Powell & improved coordination now will help the cavalry come and Fraud exposed and America saved.” (Sidney Powell was Mike Flynn’s attorney and a conspiracy theorist pursuing Trump’s bogus voter fraud claims throughout the country. None succeeded.)

November 19: “Sounds like Sidney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down… You guys fold, the evil just moves fast down underneath you all.” (After the election, the far right used “Release the Kraken” as a catchphrase. It referred to the exposure of a massive voter fraud conspiracy that would have the force of a “Kraken”—a mythical giant sea monster.)

November 24: “If you all cave to the elites, you have to know that many of your 73 million feel like what Glenn [Beck] is expressing…”

When Meadows asked what Thomas meant, she answered, “I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences… the whole coup and now this… we just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.”

Describing the effort to overturn the election, Meadows invoked God: “This is a fight of good versus evil. Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”

Thomas responded, “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!”

Her best friend, according to sources, is her husband.

One last text, after the smoke cleared from the 6th.

January 10, 2021: “We are living through what feels like the end of America,” she wrote. “Most of us are disgusted with the VP and are in listening mode to see where to fight with our teams. Those who attacked the Capitol are not representative of our great teams of patriots for DJT!! Amazing times. The end of Liberty.”

She found another cult, the cult of Donald Trump. But do her hysterical texts suggest culpability or planning of J6? It doesn’t sound like she was in the know, as evidenced by the text above. In the end, Ginni Thomas is probably just a well-connected kook who is married to a SCOTUS justice. That’s all. The greater crime in all of this will be if Justice Thomas continues to adjudicate regarding J6 now that it is known that his wife was aware of all the little plots to wrest the election from Biden. Awareness does not equal conspiracy. Were it so, the dragnet in this country would be pretty fucking wide indeed.

Now Is The Time To Stop Tom Cotton

Well, I’ve been waiting for this day for years. Tommy Cotton is officially eyeballing the presidency.

To Republicans, he may be the man for their times, should Trump decide not to run. He’s fairly well educated and served his country honorably. That’s more than you can say for the majority of the Republican Party. He’s certainly smarter and has more gravitas than a wannabe tough guy doofus like Ron DeSantis.

All of this is to say that makes him very dangerous. His ideas are, to put it mildly, radical as fuck. When the New York Times published a Cotton editorial in 2020 calling for the military to crack down on protestors, The Times almost lost its shirt due to the number of subscription cancellations. Went out on a limb to scotch the Iran nuclear deal. Wanted to use the Espionage Act on journalists. May have engaged in a little stolen valor by claiming to be an Army Ranger when all he did was go to Ranger school. Hates SNAP. Loves waterboarding. Steve Bannon is into him. Wants to lock up as many people as possible. Doesn’t want teachers to teach slavery. Anti-immigrant. ACA opponent. Supported Defense of Marriage. Refused to support Violence Against Women Act. Hyper anti-choice. Believes China purposefully leaked COVID-19.

All of this and more can be found elsewhere, some behind paywall journalism.

Until now, Republicans had some pretty piss poor choices for ’24. But put Cotton in there minus a Trump run and the calculus changes.

If we don’t expose this creep for who he is now, it may be too late to do so soon. Jen Psaki took the first shot today condemning his warmongering nature and just talking the talk but not walking the walk, and many need to follow. I’ve been right about his ambitions, and I suspect I will be proven right that Tom Cotton is going to be a contender.

March ’22 Internet: The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

We’re only in the third month of the year, but so much is happening in the world that’s there’s bound to be some monumentally smart takes, and some monumentally dumb ones.

Today, as always for posterity, let’s look at an example of each.

One the smart side: Seth Abramson’s Substack produced a really long but super comprehensive assessment about the nature of our world as Russia continues its push through Ukraine. You will gain much if you can finish and digest that.

On the dumb side: a post that could make the Hall Of Fame Of Stupidest Fucking Tweets if there ever is one. I haven’t seen something this dumb on Twitter since Glenn Reynolds tweeted that protestors blocking streets should be run over. Here’s Peter Schiff, whoever the fuck he is, commenting on President Zelenskyy’s sartorial choices while addressing Congress as his country is being reduced to rubble:

There is no sign yet of him deleting that thought. I hope it stays so I can continue to be entertained by the fallout.

Jive Talkin’

Donald Trump achieved very little in his four years in office except for maybe giving a tax cut to the wealthy. Now that he is out, he wants congressional Republicans to do the same. Trump, possibly unaware of his waning influence, had this to say about an infrastructure deal that could pass the upper chamber:

“Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill will be used against the Republican Party in the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024. It will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal,” Trump said in an official statement.

Trump called the package a “gift” to the Democrats and argued that it was only supported by “RINOs,” an acronym meaning “Republicans in name only.”

You see, Trump doesn’t give a good god-damn about the needs of the nation. As always, what matters to Trump is defeating one’s perceived enemies. Anything done in the spirit of comity is of no use to him. Now I can’t stand Mitch McConnell-he’s a traitor to the nation who never met a bill he couldn’t spike. But he may actually let his caucus vote on this thing. Even he knows it’s bad politics to undermine traditional infrastructure. But that ignorant, blithering nutbag Trump wants to keep scorching the earth with hyperpartisanship. In purely political terms, Trump does understand that evading a filibuster will be a W for the Democrats. I’ll give him that. But he doesn’t understand the necessity of something important like an infrastructure bill. He’d rather let it all burn before giving up any juice at all to Democrats.

That’s why he sucks and should never hold office again. He couldn’t bring this nation together if he tried-it’s just not in his DNA to cooperate. Which is funny, given that one of the things he is putatively known for is making deals.

Hand Of Doom

I never saw it coming. How silly of me.

I don’t know how they did it, but conservative forces have figured out a way to politicize vaccination and make it unpalatable to a certain cross-section of society. Why are they doing it? Like, what’s Fox’s endgame? To kill as many viewers as possible? What’s most likely is that at bottom they are trying to own the Biden administration, denying it the victory over COVID that it should rightfully have considering we have reached a point where you wait 15 minutes to get a vaccine at the supermarket. If Trump couldn’t beat corona, no one can, goes the logic perhaps.

A few wise words from the erstwhile president would be helpful here; in fact, today Peter Doocy wanted to know if a PSA of some sort from both Biden and Trump would spur people to go get their shot. But Trump’s too big a baby to be a statesman. That has never changed. He’s quite busy churning out childish “statements” about how he won the election or whatever other petty grievance he can’t let go of.

Let’s be clear; anyone who dawdled as much as Trump did on COVID deserved to be unelected. But I think that even if the number dead were cut in half whoever was president would still have gotten the axe. It was simply a bad time to be president. So now is not the time to be small about it. It was fated. He should say something for the health of society in any event, especially since he’s still held in high regard by his followers. But I certainly won’t hold my breath.

Personally, I don’t think that calumniating against the vaccine should even be legal at this point. This is still a public health emergency. The rules of media and markets simply don’t work for the times we live in. We are being super-irresponsible. If this stupid virus continues to race around the country, it’s a virtual certainty that the little fucker will mutate its way around a vaccine and then we are all screwed. Some people think we will see an end to the virus eventually, but I don’t see it happening. We’ve poisoned the discourse around vaccines with impunity, all in the name of free speech and association- rights which will not help you when you are on a respirator or dead.

Group Groyper

I think I have found the right-wing id. I have traced it down to Nicholas Fuentes.

Nick’s just hit my radar, as well as puberty. I seem to be a bit late to the party, but the kid is making a name for himself by out-outraging the outraged right. He’s even started fights between Charlie Kirk’s adherents and his, that’s how right-wing he is. His little fascist army calls themselves Groypers, which apparently is what this fella is:

Oh boy, another Pepe meme.

Hilarious. Anyway, he’s so over the top that I wonder if he is left-wing performance art. It can barely be taken seriously, but thanks largely to Donald Trump we’ve reached a juncture in political discourse that the Overton Window is open just enough for a Nick Fuentes to slither through. Here’s Nick rhapsodizing outside of CPAC (not invited, again, amazing considering what they talk about there) about an era far removed from his Gen Z ass:

Bless his little pointed head. He’s very much into America First rhetoric too, which as you probably know was one of the slogans of 1930s American proto-fascist nationalism.

This is the baby-faced enemy, folks. This is the terminus, the end result of right wing thought in America, where “owning the libs” (or in Nick’s case, owning everyone he can) is the only initiative that matters. If it’s offensive and outrageous, they want in on it. Then they bitch about being canceled when someone objects, of course. What good this game is is anyone’s guess. It certainly is making a mockery of the first amendment, that is for sure.

Reverse Reverse Discrimination

Nothing is stupider or more pathetic than white males bitching about unfairness in America. We’ve been giving ourselves special treatment since we hit that rock.

But thanks to America’s steady decline as a place of limitless opportunity, there’s a whole lot of us incensed that minorities and women are helped by programs that promote parity with the people who have traditionally enjoyed the rewards of this soon to be not-so-fecund land now that there’s increasingly less to go around.

Some of the more troglodytic among our kind called it “reverse discrimination” or “reverse racism” whenever a traditionally oppressed minority was given “special” privileges, like being given a protected spot at a prestigious college or enjoying first serve on a government contract as a minority owned business.

Worry no more, my white male compadres.

The Trump administration is here to fix this interminable, institutionalized discrimination against us.

Always implicit in the “take our country back” rhetoric was that we were clawing it from the uppity females and minorities who had taken our places in line as the real backbone of this country. Those are our shitty jobs with vanishing pensions, damn it. Those are our graduate degrees that aren’t good for much any more.

If PoliticusUSA’s angle on Donald Trump’s signing statement astride the stopgap budget is correct, the special treatment gravy train is over.

I know what you’re thinking. Donald Trump cannot spell the word “tap” on his phone, much less craft a response full of legalese to a budget that he neither read nor had a hand in writing. I’m as incredulous as you are. In toto, if you read the whole nauseating thing, it is the equivalent of I’m The President And nyah nyah nyah. Its thrust is nothing new; it’s just another hopscotch square towards the unitary executive gaining primacy over anything or anyone that seeks to limit its power. Elbridge Gerry called it: we are becoming a monarchy, with a corrupt aristocrat wearing the funny hat, or in Donald Trump’s case, the scotch-taped power tie.

But anyway, included is a sop to bitchy, insecure, aggrieved white males who don’t want to share their station with anyone. In it, somehow, the intent of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendment has been turned against itself. For example, used to be a time when the Fourteenth tried to help the enslaved and marginalized become equal. Now we all know that the promise of the Fourteenth took almost a century to realize itself in jurisprudence with Brown. And even that was like a trip to the dentist for regional white men. But anyway, it had legal dynamite in it whose explosion is still being heard today, and thankfully so 99.9999% of the time. It ended with the clause “equal protection of the laws” and no one was to be denied.

But now white men are apparently on unequal footing with groups like women, blacks, and Indians:

“My Administration shall treat provisions that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender (e.g., Division B, under the heading “Minority Business Development”; Division C, sections 8016, 8021, 8038, and 8042; Division H, under the headings “Departmental Management Salaries and Expenses,” “School Improvement Programs,” and “Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program Account”; Division K, under the heading “Native American Housing Block Grants”; and Division K, section 213) in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”

Taken at face value, in Trump’s America the long march to a balance of opportunity has become lopsided again, and this time around white males are the ones that need protection from the oppressive minorities.

Further through the looking glass we go.

Over, under, sideways down.

When will it end?

When will it end?

 

 

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