Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bull Conner would be jealous

News that law enforcement dowsed Dakota Access Pipeline protesters with freezing water in 27 degree temps provoked a bit of jealousy in a long gone practitioner of the fine art of the firehose. Down in Authoritarian Hell, Bull Conner, is seething; his water hoses, if failing to knock over the civil rights demonstrators of 1963 Birmingham, merely cooled them off on a hot summer day.  

39 down, 5 to go to end Rauner's ruinous turnaround budget stalemate

Illinois' finances continue to collapse since Gov. Bruce Rauner instituted his 44 point turnaround agenda 2 years ago as the price of implementing a balanced budget. That is extortion and was justly resisted by the Democratically controlled legislature. And what has Rauner's turnaround agenda extortion scheme achieved?

Unpaid state bills which declined under Gov. Quinn have skyrocketed past $10 billion and likely will hit $13.5 billion by next June's fiscal year end. Late payment penalties have zoomed to $118 million from a program intended to speed up payments but now strangling state finances. Fees on unpaid bills grows almost $2.5 million per week. Junk status looms for $26 billion in Illinois bonds. Unfunded pension liability, also slowed by Quinn's fiscal sanity, rises north of $130 billion.

Rauner, desperately trying to extricate himself from a self painted corner, touts his dropping 39 of 44 turnaround agenda items, even saying he may drop one or two more if Democrats will only compromise.

Ain't gonna happen, Governor. You bought Illinois with $26 million of your billionaire wealth and figured you could blast it apart to fit the business model of the companies you bought, then sliced and diced on the road to Xanadu style riches. But Illinois, unlike those companies making things that can be easily disposed of, consists of 13 million flesh and blood folks, many of whom now desperately trying to get by in a state run by a morally confused and heartless oligarch. If you have trouble sleeping at night over the abdication of the most basic governmental functions, try counting the students, business owners, working poor and needy suffering under your governance. There's about a million of them to count before you'll get a good night's sleep in the Governor's Mansion.

Monday, November 21, 2016

False, racist immigration issue fueled Trump rise

Like any deviously brilliant demagogue, Trump exploited the twin tools of fear and ignorance to fuel his initial rise into electoral contention. His first and most frequent such tactic was stoking the lie that hordes of Mexican rapists and other criminals were pouring across our porous border to degrade American society. Proposing a giant wall was a simpleton's delight, solving the imaginary problem for millions of fearful, uninformed Trump supporters. The concrete wall became a mental wall insulating them from any disconcerting truth. Trump then put flesh and blood on his demagoguery, claiming only he could prevent the shooting death of Kate Steinle from a stay bullet fired by an undocumented Mexican already deported five times.
Yet Trump would never tell voters that the Obama Administration reversed the net annual half million increase of undocumented under Bush, bringing it to zero with increased border security and laser like focus on deporting only the criminal, leaving hardworking undocumented families intact to seek eventual citizenship. Trump shamefully exploited the real grief of the Steinle family to stoke xenophobia and offer delusional solutions. But hypocrite that every demagogue is, Trump never revealed he used the undocumented to build his Trump Tower; then threatened them with deportation after complaints about his lack of wage payments.
Now heading to the White House on the last gasp of aging white fear and resentment, Trump has already reneged on his signature promise; reducing the deportation of 11 million undocumented to the 3 million he falsely claims are criminals, and green lighting a 'fence' in some areas. And in the Great Carnival in the Sky, P. T. Barnum is smiling and likely offering: ' know more about suckers than I ever did.'