Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Brief Update and a TrumpWorld December Not to Remember - The Ongoing Series: Looting America Through GOP Smash-and-Grab Plunder

Updated 10:56AM 12/20/2017: See bottom of entry.

A very picturesque winter scene; location and date unknown (perhaps Alaska, Dec. 2005); image source here.


I'm very tired at this midnight hour. In fact, I'm too tired to make a late night dinner. Instead, I'm just watching the Me-TV late night lineup of old but enjoyable shows: Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

I'm back from the gym after a borderline strenuous and multipart workout, which in turn followed my workday that wasn't as productive as I needed it to be.

No idea where or when this was taken but kind of amazingly beautiful in a dream-like sort of way.


I should note that I'm flat broke until Friday (payday). I've been behind on my finances since my Chicago trip -- plus the fact that I overspend. The Friday check should finally bring me back in line, although I still need to get a Christmas present for my mom. (My dad and I do not exchange gifts, although he will send me a check for my birthday.)

Snowy night in Watertown, Mass., December 14, 2007; Photo by Flickr user Hal Morgan.


That being the case, tomorrow night cannot be an after work bar night at Trade and/or No. 9. Thursday night is a planned gym night and then on Friday -- after I do my laundry in the morning -- I'm going to head up on the MARC train to Maryland to meet my mom for the extended Christmas holiday weekend.

The weather was mostly sunny with well above normal temps. Highs (and departures from normal Dec. 19th highs) were as follows:

KDCA 62F (+16F / 46F)

KBWI 60F (+16F / 44F)

KIAD 60F (+15F / 45F)

KDMH 61F (+16F / 45F)

Note: KDMH does not yet have a full 30-year normal period, only a partial record period.

The forecast has cooler weather for midweek and chances of rain Friday through Sunday followed by sharply colder conditions. As ever, snow is unlikely for Christmas, although it is a teeny-tiny bit less unlikely than usual.

12Z 12/19/2017 ECMWF showing 2-meter temperature anomalies [in degrees Fahrenheit] for Alaska and adjacent regions valid at hour 96 / 12Z Dec. 23, 2017, as prettied up by


Oh, yes, of note, Alaska has been -- once again -- absurdly and ridiculously warm in this anthropogenically globally warming world. Here is the CWG entry about it (link embedded): Baked Alaska: 49th state is having an insanely warm December. (The image directly above is taken from that entry.)

So I was going to write about some topics political, in particular, the GOP's abortion of a "tax bill" -- "legislation" that is simply a vehicle of sky-trillion dollar, reverse-class-warring plunder by every evil plutocratic, oligarchical, and dark money donor force that calls the Republican Party home and that makes a half-tragedy/half-farce mockery of all those downwardly mobile, ethnonationistically-panicked white working class voters -- that has been rammed through in a sort of national mugging and that represents the apotheosis of what Matt Yglesias aptly calls the Republican Party's hideous Trump era "smashing-and-grabbing" approach to government (link embedded): We're witnessing the wholesale looting of America.

I also wanted to note what Yglesias's colleague Ezra Klein attempted to answer the following: What does it say about American politics that policy outcomes seem so divorced from electoral sentiments, messages, and even the rhetoric of the winning candidate? What does it say about American politics that members of Congress seem so unafraid of passing such an unpopular bill?

However, I'll put that on hold for now. At the very least, it's a done deal -- and perhaps now the revolting marriage between Trump and the GOP Establishment can fray more quickly since the latter got what it has wanted as an article of perverted faith and inverted morality for the past 50 years. (Actually, it's part 1. Part 2 is the destruction of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.)

OK, that's all for now. I'll try to post another entry later today or tomorrow.

UPDATED 10:56AM 12/20/2017

Some very good extra content for this entry ...

I don't know whether Jonathan Chait or Charlie Pierce is in better form on denouncing this massive heist -- this "loot and flee," to quote Jim Newell -- since each has a particular strength as a writer.

That being the case, I'm going to link to two pieces they just published:

Jonathan Chait: How the Trump Tax Cuts Solved the Democrats' Campaign Problem

Charlie Pierce: The Only Way Paul Ryan Wins Is if Millions of Americans Lose

Below are some excerpts from both pieces. The pierce one is worth of H.L. Mencken -- and it also showcases the amorality and hypocrisy of Paul Ryan.

Chait piece concluding paragraphs:

The Republican Party has decided as a whole to enable President Trump to conceal his tax returns, and further decided to pass a tax cut that rewards him personally. They have likewise formed a protective shield against the Russia probe, which is investigating Trump's opaque ties to the Russian regime and criminal underworld.

The regular Republican Party of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of polluters and the financial industry once seemed to be set apart from its clownish demagogue presidential candidate. In rapid order, the strands have merged together into a party disdainful of transparency and united in self-enrichment.


Pierce piece excerpt:

Jesus God Almighty, what a fake. [Ryan's] tax bill, his defining generational moment, guarantees that his grandchildren, and those of the president*, and those of the Republican donor class, which is this bill’s only true constituency, never will have to work a day in their lives.

The defining generational moment maintains the egregious carried-interest deduction, which every single presidential candidate on both sides of the aisle in 2016 agreed was nothing more than a goodie bag for a singularly non-productive industry that nearly killed the economy entirely.

End of Update and of Entry.


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