Saturday, July 28, 2018

Update From Hell

So today I got my marching orders to vacate the flooded, incipiently moldy premises as of 3 p.m. Sunday so that Servpro can get on with making it like it never even happened. 

Granted, this was pretty short notice on the part of the landlord, who had given me a date of a week from now to check into the hotel. But professionals that they hopefully are, Servpro found themselves unexpectedly ahead of schedule. 

So no blogging, except maybe posting a few links, for the next week or so. I am not lugging my heavy equipment into exile, because it will be hard enough lugging my self and my clothes, my meds and my toothbrush into exile.

  Before starting packing, though, I did comment tonight on Maureen Dowd's piece, which ever so originally compares Trump to a mob boss. Naturally, she just happened to run into Robert De Niro at a party a while ago, and whenever one has the opportunity to drop a famous name in one's New York Times column, one must never waste it. And one must also coyly hint while one is at it that one was the direct inspiration for DeNiro's F-bomb-laced diatribe at the Tony awards.

My published comment: 
 I found myself lately wishing that the Trump Show would end just like "The Sopranos" did: with an abrupt blackout and no chance of a revival or spinoff.

And then I realized that such a blackout might spell not only the end of his organized crime spree, but of all of us. This guy has already created whole hellscape of collateral damage and misery. Will there be any turning back?

He threatens to nuke countries he doesn't like. He quit the Paris Climate accords. His nominee to head the Superfund program has made a career out of getting the polluters and poisoners of the earth off the legal hook, at great public expense. His "health" consiglieres are already plotting a mob hit on single payer health care. The thug heading HUD wants to triple the rents of the poorest tenants, while Trump's slumlord son-in-law Jared sues them for every last dime. His moll Betsy DeVos came not to oversee public education, but to destroy it.

Trump brags about GDP growth without admitting that such growth is a cancer which kills all but the richest of the ethically challenged rich. Wages continue to stagnate even in this "booming" economy.

 His pathological lack of discipline and a business model built entirely of deceit are the mirror image of late-stage capitalism's pursuit of limitless wealth and power - planet and people be damned.

Not just Trump, but the whole crooked system must come down and be replaced by a moral system of government, aka democratic socialism. Our lives depend on it.
Not to brag or drop names or anything, but the president who first reminded me of a Tony Soprano-style mafioso godfather was none other than Barack Obama. There was that time, for example, when his Secret Service thugs kidnapped Green Party candidate Jill Stein in 2012 for attending his debate with Mitt Romney. They literally handcuffed her to a metal folding chair at an undisclosed location before letting her off with a stern warning.

And who can forget Democratic Senator Dick Durbin deflecting blame from Mob Boss Obama of the Austerian Cartel right onto greedy senior citizens who, through their selfish desires for a barely bearable retirement via Social Security, are robbing those precious future generations of any future at all? "Social Security is gonna run out of money in 20 years," Durbin trumpily lied on corporate-sponsored TV in 2013.

"The Baby Boom generation is gonna blow away our future. We don't wanna see that happen," Dapper Dick declaimed demagogically in his best Don style.

And then there was the Trans-Pacific Partnership corporate crime cartel, whose dastardly plans for total world domination hinged entirely upon Obama-style secrecy, stealth and lies. You might remember those hellish times circa 2015-16 when even congress critters were not permitted to examine draft copies of this planned mega-hit on ordinary people without the presence of armed guards to make sure they didn't make or steal copies. 

It goes on and on. Just a cursory glance through my Obama-era blog-posts provides a smorgasbord of tasty reasons why Trump won and the Democrats lost - not just the presidency, of course, but about 1,000 federal and state seats.

Here, for example, are excerpts from one typical right-wing speech that Obama gave in 2013, doubtlessly inspiring legions of disgusted Democrats to stay the hell home the following mid-term election year, in what turned out to be the lowest voter turnout year in modern American history:
We’ll need Democrats to question old assumptions, be willing to redesign or get rid of programs that no longer work, and embrace changes to cherished priorities so that they work better in this new age.
(That was the standard, centrist, dog-whistled attack on Social Security and Medicare, in case you didn't know.) 

We’ve come a long way since I first took office. As a country, we’re older and we’re wiser. And as long as Congress doesn’t manufacture another crisis – as long as we don’t shut down the government just as the economy is getting traction, or risk a U.S. default over paying bills we’ve already racked up – we can probably muddle along without taking bold action. Our economy will grow, though slower than it should; new businesses will form, and unemployment will keep ticking down. Just by virtue of our size and our natural resources and the talent of our people, America will remain a world power, and the majority of us will figure out how to get by.
With $100 million in book, speech and media deals in just little over a year, I think it's safe to say that Obama has figured out how to get by as ably as the majority of One Percenters.... or is it the .001 Percenters? Math was never my strong suit.

I also think it's safe to say that the reason that millions of Obama voters either stayed home again in 2016, or voted for Donald Trump out of sheer disgust and desperation, was that not only had they not figured out how to get by, but they realized how royally they'd been screwed by The One.

Political pro though he may be, it's like his eight years of Hope and Change never even happened. Serving the bottom 90% was just never part of his deal.


Rima S. Regas said...

Be safe, Karen!

Erik Roth said...

Dear Ms. Garcia,

Along with all of your avid followers, I'm feeling what must be a kind of withdrawal from your keen observations and conscientious commentaries.

While not presuming to fill that void, I nonetheless want to alert your readers to watch and listen to this memorial on Democracy Now. You'll be impressed and inspired. --

Remembering Ron Dellums: The Radical Congressmember Who Fought Against War, Apartheid & Poverty

Legendary anti-war activist, former Oakland mayor and longtime Democratic congressmember Ron Dellums of Oakland, California, died on Monday at the age of 82. A self-described socialist and radical, Dellums served in the House for 27 years, leading the congressional opposition to the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa. His activism landed him on President Richard Nixon’s enemies list. Ron Dellums opposed bloated military spending throughout his career, instead pushing for increased investment in housing, healthcare and education. We remember Ron Dellums by airing part of a 2015 Democracy Now! interview with the famed congressmember.

Ron Dellums (1935-2018): Organizing for Peace Forces Us to Challenge All Forms of Injustice

Ron Dellums, the legendary politician and anti-war activist who fought against U.S. intervention around the globe, apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War, has died at the age of 82. During his nearly three decades in Congress, Dellums opposed every major U.S. military intervention except a bill in 1992 to send troops to Somalia. This legacy began when Dellums pushed for the House to conduct a probe into U.S. war crimes committed in Vietnam shortly after taking office in 1970. When this effort failed, Dellums held his own ad hoc war crimes hearings. The celebrated congressmember once said, “I am not going to back away from being called a radical. If being an advocate of peace, justice, and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I’m glad to be called a radical.” We remember Ron Dellums’s legacy by airing his 2015 speech at the “Vietnam: The Power of Protest” conference in Washington, D.C., where he was introduced by Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonz├ílez.

And, Karen, I hope you're managing some way to use this rudely enforced hiatus to truly get away from it all, and find the restorative power of escape that Tolkien describes in his essay "On Fairy-Stories."

Anna Radicalova said...

Is this type of thing also going on elsewhere?

Colorado regulators secretly created a way to police medical marijuana providers by using secret criteria to create a secret list of doctors to investigate and charge. Hearings were kept secret as were all related records. Judges even suppressed the record of their suppression orders. Doctors sued, won, then lost on appeal, which somehow led the Denver Post to discover clues in peripherally related documents. Thank Dog for journalists!

"The lawsuit is just one of thousands, including felony criminal cases, that a Denver Post investigation found were hidden from the public, some of them for years and all the result of judges’ orders that are also suppressed."

Anna Radicalova said...

More on the trend of secrecy in public affairs:

'Cities’ Offers for Amazon Base Are Secrets Even to Many City Leaders'

"A primary reason for the information blackout is that, in many cases, the bids were handled by local private Chamber of Commerce affiliates or economic development groups that aren’t required to make their negotiations public. Many of the groups are also not covered by Freedom of Information Act or state open-records requests."

Anna Radicalova said...

Secrecy is everywhere in our 'democracy'.

'Just why is the Obama Center heading to Jackson Park?'

"The University of Chicago-backed Jackson Park deal may not have been cut in the kind of smoke-filled backroom Chicago is notorious for, but it might as well have been. The public disclosures by the Emanuel administration, the Obama Foundation and the U of C have been about as transparent as cigar smoke. The university refuses to release a copy of the bid that edged out the alternatives to Jackson Park, and Crain’s reported July 20 that city staffers never saw the bid, either."

voice-in-wilderness said...

I can't even imagine the disruption and stress caused by that sprinkler system. Someone in our town experienced $175K in damage to their condo from a sprinkler going off because of unusual cold last January. I expect in most cases the sprinklers are mandated by fire/building codes and the residents have no choice. And I'm sure fire departments are right, that sprinklers in the aggregate save lives, but at an unmeasured cost due to accidents.

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes and in a few cases, actual cash! It helped out with the food and transportation expenditures which my rent abatement was supposed to cover but didn't quite.

They let us back in the apartment on Friday, when it was still very much under construction. The building inspector OK'd our return solely due to availability of water and toilet , which we had to ask permission to use because the bathroom was still being primed and painted. Nothing like a bunch of guys getting all pissy when a woman needs to pee every three hours, what an inconvenience it was for them. What made it really interesting was the large gap left in the door from removed molding.

So yesterday was the final day of interior work in our own place. We had to beg them to move my dresser from the living room back to the bedroom before they left. They also left paint stains in the sink and dents in the walls and stains on the carpet, which I am documenting in the interest of my security deposit. And they are still making tons of drilling and blasting and sawing noises in the surrounding apartments which actually suffered the brunt of the damage.

Could be worse. At least it wasn't so noisy that I couldn't get back to blogging today!

Thanks again for everything.