Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's Roskam's, not Trump's words that disappoint,

As vicious, racist and Xenophobic as Trumps words on black countries were, they are not as disappointing as those my congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6th). Trump is being condemned around Congress, America and the world for what he has always ignorant, hate filled racist. But Roskam begins his peculiarly tepid response by offering the doubt "If true" before simply saying Trumps words were "disappointing". He then goes on to "urge Trump to continue to reiterate his commitment to continuing America's legacy of being a welcoming country to those seeking a better life." Bunk. Roskam knows Trump has never had that commitment; indeed built his entire campaign around the racist and Xenophobic theme of demeaning blacks, Hispanics, immigrants; anyone not part of his disgruntled white male base. When Trump was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women, Roskam, after saying that's not how he raised his children to treat the opposite sex, reiterated his support by saying his policy values and Trumps were aligned. When it comes to racism, Xenophobia and sexism, Trump never disappoints. When it comes to enabling such atrocious and un-presidential behavior in a Chief Executive, neither does Roskam.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Roskam turns back on state with anti Illinois tax bill

My congressman Peter Roskam (R-6) seems to have forgotten what state he represents. As a leader in crafting the tax bill, Roskam bought into the GOP dagger aimed at progressive blue states limiting deductions for property and state taxes. Cynical and spiteful politics aside, most economists agree that measure will reduce resources for education and infrastructure, possibly affecting resource starved Illinois most of all. Roskam's many exaggerations and falsehoods offered to justify his 'reverse Robin Hood' tax cut for the wealthy can easily be rebutted. Less obvious is what he'll never offer in his victory lap for endless expansion of income inequality: a stick in the eye of progressive voting Illinois. This November voters in the Illinois Sixth may remind Roskam he resides in the Land of Lincoln...not the land of the GOP donor class.   

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Not gentle on my mind

The Doomsday Machine has been on my mind lately. Couple weeks back I caught 'Dr. Strangelove' for the first time in decades, watching as American crazies helped set off the Russian Doomsday Machine, which would have prevented nuclear annihilation if the world knew about it, which it didn't. Then I stumbled across one of my all time heroes, Daniel Ellsberg, pitching his latest plea for nuclear disarmament, 'The Doomsday Machine' on Book TV. Ellsberg, speaking at the Chicago Writers Museum last month, reviewed his role in planning for nuclear deterrence in the 50's and 60's before he turned his focus to the Vietnam War lies in the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg discussed how America always got the Soviet nuclear threat wrong. The 'experts' estimate of Soviet ICBM's aimed at the US ranged from 300 to 1,000 when the real number at the time (late 50's) was 4. But the US used the fantasy numbers to set off an arms race that was totally unnecessary then...and totally unnecessary now, even though the last two administrations are proposing an un-cool trillion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal. And the Doomsday Machine? It would only take a couple hundred or so nuclear firestorms to set off a worldwide dust cloud that would starve most of humanity. But Ellsberg ends on an upbeat, arguing we simply have to abandon nuclear escalation in favor of disarmament to keep the Doomsday Machine under wraps. One would surmise the 2018 tax theft of $1.5 trillion in treasure given to the rich might derail such an insane plan. Nah, Congress will simply cut that money from the social safety net. Their mantra?  "Let the nuclear buildup begin."

Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn