I Wonder Why We Have These Agencies and Programs?

Or, more accurately, why we had them.

A few days ago, The Hill came out with a list of 66 agencies that the tax “reform” bill simply eliminates. They include everything from Agriculture’s Economic Development agencies to the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education to the Education Department’s Grants for Comprehensive Literacy Development  and Effective Instruction.

At a time when our infrastructure is crumbling around us, the bill eliminates the Transportation Department’s National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER).

The list includes many other programs that would seem important, as well as a number of initiatives with puzzling names and obscure purposes.

I would be the last person to argue against pruning the mystifying thicket of federal programs and agencies. I’m sure many of them have outlived whatever usefulness they may have once had–and it wouldn’t shock me to discover that some of them didn’t ever have much justification for their existence. That said, the process through which they are being terminated is simply indefensible.

There has not been a single hearing held to determine the continued utility of any of these agencies. To the best of my knowledge, no notices were sent out to affected constituencies, no publication in the Federal Register invited public comment. Like the rest of this monstrous bill, these decisions were made hastily, in back rooms to which neither Democrats nor more moderate Republicans were invited.

This is not the way a democratic system works. In a representative government that honors due process and the rule of law, how decisions are made is ultimately more important than the substance of the decisions themselves.

The decision to terminate a program or agency should be made in daylight, with people familiar with the purposes and operation; those making the determination should hear from critics and defenders of the program, and from proponents and opponents of its termination. There should be some version of a cost/benefit analysis upon which a final decision is made.

These 66 programs were created for a reason. There should be a principled reason for their discontinuance.

Right now, America is being ruled–not governed, but ruled–by an illegitimate cabal empowered by vote suppression and gerrymandering and answerable not to the citizens who (theoretically) elected them, but to their donors and to a much lesser extent, their rabid and uneducated base.


  1. Sheila,

    “Right now, America is being ruled–not governed, but ruled–by an illegitimate cabal empowered by vote suppression and gerrymandering and answerable not to the citizens who (theoretically) elected them, but to their donors and to a much lesser extent, their rabid and uneducated base.”

    America in 45 words [If I counted right]. It’s called the SIMPLIFICATION of government. What’s the problem with that? Shouldn’t I be proud to be an American?

  2. On PBS News Hour last evening one of the guests stated that this tax bill is nothing more than a pay off to the republican donors. The term “pay off” stood out to me because those donors are loan sharks who demanded that they get paid back with interest or those Rs would be destroyed.

  3. Now that the crazies are in power, they get to show what we have been saying.
    Republicans HATE clean Water, Clean food, Clean Air, Safe Medicine, Medical care for people other than themselves, Gay people, NON Christians, women, blacks, Education (because educated people would NEVER voter for them).
    Lets home the Trump family is soon in jail so we can get back to some sort of normal.

  4. Liz Watson, a razor-sharp young woman from Bloomington who is running for IN-09 against “Tennessee Trey”, posted some late night thoughts on all the Republican shenanigans, and wondered how they sleep at night. She framed this around the issue of “integrity” or rather, the complete lack of it on the part of Republicans. No one had commented on it and I felt bad so, of course, I had to unload a 1,000 word response (lol). But essentially, I didn’t agree that the issue was integrity, because that requires both the party lacking integrity and the party observing it to share the same general system of values and beliefs. The issue revolves around creed. Anyway, here was my response.

    Sorry. This is long. I don’t think you can equate a filthy dirtbag like Roy Moore with GOP politicians who advocate for things that generally don’t seem to be in the best interests of their own constituents. I live in the IN 3rd Congressional district, where I regularly follow our Rep Jim Banks (OK, I’m a troll – to see some of my best work – go to his FB page and read my comments on his last 3-4 posts). I have NO reason to believe that Jim is a bad person. He’s worked hard, he has a beautiful family, he serves his country in the US Naval Reserve and he’s a widely respected former member of the Indiana General Assembly. His persona is that of being the adult in the room – very personable, professional, business-like and level-headed.

    He is also out of his ever-loving freaking mind. And that is the problem with he and many, if not most, of his GOP colleagues. They are simply insane.

    What they do in Congress has nothing to do with good policy or changing bad policy, in fact it has nothing to do with policy at all. Because to be an advocate for a policy position, whether it is conservative, liberal or in the middle (where most good policies are found), one has to believe that their essential role in government is to GOVERN. And these people, including Banks, no long believe this, and perhaps for some never have as Banks is still quite young. There several fundamental articles of faith that form a creed that guide their decisions and votes:

    1. “government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem”. The quote of St. Ronald forms the most basic tenet of the creed. That government is bad and no government, or less of it, is good. In all situations and at all levels. It drives GOP elected leaders to ignore actually overseeing government, or they enact legislation to hobble it, or appoint officials who have no knowledge and expertise and/or are otherwise incompetent. These actions over time fulfill the prophecy – government institutions fail to accomplish what they were chartered. This is not limited to Washington D.C. It happens right here in my county.

    2. Taxation is theft and should be lowered or eliminated whenever, wherever and however it can be, no matter the consequences on the health and welfare of the citizenry.

    3. Federalism works best. The US government should be limited to the War Department (it’s long past time to restore that name to what is now the DoD), the State Dept (albeit with a skeleton staff of nincompoops) and the US Treasury Dept (run, of course by an ex-Goldman Sachs CEO, hedge fund manger, or asset bottom-feeder like Wilbur Ross). Historically, Federalism, the idea that states should be laboratories of liberty to check the reckless powers of the federal government, worked very well back when……well never. If there is ONE thing that has helped grow our federal government more that anything else it is the many wars we have had to endure as well as those we have started. Next is civil rights, or the lack thereof, in many states, and affecting certain people more than others. If you’ll recall, the state laboratories didn’t do much to address this problem – and a succession of brave leaders in the US Government sent in the Depts of Justice, the FBI, the National Guard and created agencies to help right the many wrongs of centuries of misdeeds and our brand of capitalism’s failure to float ALL boats to a point where every child in America has a real opportunity to succeed. This is not to say all those agencies, programs, bureaucrats have achieved their mission – they have not. But that does NOT mean that they can ONLY fail…..so many other countries in the G20, some more diverse than ours culturally, have proven that wrong.

    4. And the last and the worst: People who don’t agree with any of the above are “libturds” who are inherently flawed, evil, and do not deserve a voice in their government. This is probably the most insidious of all the tenets and I offer US Rep Jim Banks as a good example. On his Facebook page yesterday he posted a screed inviting his Democrat consituents who like paying higher taxes to go to a website of the US Treasury where they can make additional tax contributions to the federal government. It was childish and rude – take straight from 45’s playbook: If you can’t win the argument – just bully and belittle the other side. Ironically, I don’t think Jimbo realized that in a previous post where he extolled all the virtues of the pending tax cut bill, the comments ran 99-1 AGAINST the bill and many of those commenters were very likely Republicans who voted for him last Fall. That is just how out of touch the guy because of his commitment to creed.

    Anyway, sorry for the epistle to the choir, and please offer your support to Courtney Tritch in the 3rd and we’ll do what we can to help you! Good Luck Liz!


  5. To all,

    Make sure you stay in good shape. The only future that I can see, that doesn’t include racial warfare, is slavery for about 30 or 40% of the population. We need to look at the holocaust for understanding what procedures we should take to protect ourselves. Most of us understand because of our age what happened to the Jews who couldn’t work.

    What do you’ll think is going to happen to the stock market when it starts reflecting more that just “financial rape?”

  6. We have given birth to a new nation,one that relies on a one sided,winner take all. no democracy here,no voter rights,just a slash and clean one sided take over,and ignorance won. again im pelted with converstion from associates who,truly believe trump is a god,who,will save America from itself. im in texas again this week,and the mind spin is deafening. When approached by someone,who,(i dress like a working man) just come unglued about some minority,who hes dealing with( an employee at whatever company im hired to haul for) they are just madder than hell hes not white. (mind you,in texas,most of the labor is of mexican decent) he,ll go on for hours if you will just nod and agree.. I allowed myself to be exposed by this tirade,just to see him loose his composure when i speak about the issue he has,and nothing gained.maybe if he voted as a working man,maybe his wages also would increase,as his life style. be damn with that, that hilary etc etc etc. anyway, as i see congress today,be damn with whats right,majority rule,rule of law,democracy,working on a plutocracy,and screw the working class,because they dont do wall streets greed.(with what we make,there goes all my money for wine,women,and song) you can put this whole scenrio in someones face,and be hammered for your views,though,your just trying to say,thanks for voting to keep the working class next to poverty. I actully enjoy this, looking at the so called educated society merely alowing our country to be ruled,(and i mean that term) by a greed rich goon ,and a congress who constantly lies to the public.( for self interests) if you cant see treason here, then by all means, carry on.. 2020 is coming for them..

  7. I am quite sure Trump is in the position of a puppet regarding these eliminations; he is not intelligent or enlightened enough to have been aware of or to understand their worth or the lack thereof had he heard of them. The list appears to me to have some economic connection to his appointees and indirectly would effect the amount of income saved by his personal income. Many of these connections are buried deep within developments owned, supported by or indirect connections to the Trump family empire of wealth.

    This statement is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: “Right now, America is being ruled–not governed, but ruled–by an illegitimate cabal empowered by vote suppression and gerrymandering and answerable not to the citizens who (theoretically) elected them, but to their donors and to a much lesser extent, their rabid and uneducated base.” It is not only gerrymandering at the base of this ruling “illegitimate cabal” but the Electoral College which must be totally repealed to prevent another “presidential appointment” rather than election by public/majority vote.

    Trump is the most uneducated of his rabid and uneducated support base. And yet; he surges on daily, making asinine decisions and Tweeting idiotic commands and unwarranted slanderous statements. This morning CNN reported a Washington Post article which should be of interest to all of us on all levels as well as the organizations and Americans this edict will directly effect. Trump and his cohorts have sent a list of words/terms which are banned from use by the CDC; “vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based”. First Amendment be damned…Trump has spoken. Are we to be grateful the CDC has not been eliminated or are they indirectly effected by some of those 66 agencies and programs?

    Listed in the scary tax bill which will more than likely be passed, is the elimination of personal exemptions. I have not been required to file with IRS since 1994 but, unless the meaning of the term “personal exemptions” has changed; this will drastically increase taxes on all but the wealthy who have countless loopholes to rely on.

  8. Mike Seczney, I enjoy reading your comments as much as any on any blog or page I follow. Unvarnished and straight from the trenches. You’re our roving reporter with a finger on the true pulse. Stay safe on the roads out there. PW

  9. Actually, things could be much worse. If you think this is bad, just wait when Mike Pence really enters into the picture. That’s when all the criticism will evaporate.

  10. Patrick Wilshire –

    Thanks for your comments. Banks was the state senator for my district. I attended a meet and greet when he was running for that office and I was impressed. What I learned once he was in office is that he was not honest about who he is or about his real beliefs and goals while he was running. After his true character showed at the state house I learned that one of his biggest financial backers, if not his biggest, is Club for Growth. If they are supporting you then it is not good for the middle class citizens that you are elected to represent. It is good only for the one percent and wealthy evangelicals.

    At local meetings he increasingly showed his ass when citizens questioned his motives or votes. It became very clear to me that he is in office to serve the wealthy and to shove his religious beliefs down everyone’s throats.

    He is no longer in my voting district, but I really do hope that people like you keep exposing him and make sure he is voted out of office. Courtney Tritch is an amazing contender and I hope the voters recognize that she will serve the interests of the middle class and poor, rather than the rich.

  11. The passion in the responses to the various articles published on this blog is getting increasingly strident, and for good reason. Watching the purposeful dissembling of our government without any input from the citizenry smacks of “taxation without representation”, does it not?

    If the simmering rage from THIS constituency is shared elsewhere, the country is heading for another revolution. Some writers are from different states than Indiana. I lived in Texas for 15 years and witnessed first hand the mindless hate Obama segments while the liberal minority kept silent and didn’t vote. I now live in Colorado where in Denver County, voters voted 82% for Clinton in 2016.

    I say again, after many iterations, the 90+million voters who stayed home in 2016 deserve as much vituperation as the idiots they allowed to be elected. The vultures of Republicanism feasted on our social sloth. Now we are paying the price for our bones being picked.

    O.K. So, we all know what the problems are, who is causing them and what our democracy should look like. But so many of our brethren do not realize these things. It’s why the lip-strummers are all in for Trump and his bullying ilk. NOW…. we must set our sails to find, train, promote and fund viable candidates at EVERY level for EVERY office in EVERY precinct and district. There are only 43 weeks until the mid-term elections, and the bastards that we pillory are hard at work destroying as much as possible that Obama built.

    Do something. Get active. Write. Call. Volunteer. Something!

  12. Marv, your 7:49 comment mentioning 45-1/2 was a stomach turner. I can’t even stand to see that name in print anymore. Please try to clean up your language. (just kidding)

  13. Im in the process of printing some index size cards up, with diffrent areas of research others,who,like myself,need some difrection. Im not telling anyone who,or whats right, instead,give a mentoring hand,and direction so others may researchand find thier own answers to their questions. The I phone,( me i pad) is actully the greatest tool,(not apple) one can reinforce thier opinons,and facts. the cards i print will include,documentries like, plutocracy,shadows of democracy,hiest- who stole the American dream,capitalism- a love affair.,etc, sites with journalists who,are,standouts,and donate thier lives to this experiment called democray, the nation,common dreams,vox,slate,ICIJ,intercept,truth dig,and more. the lack of resources and lack of direction is much needed, and helps prevent what im hearing all day long out here. I work with some good people,but mind you,im also in the central plains,and its as red as alabama. (god,guts,guns) Im taking this money out of my pocket,(no tax incentive here folks)without regard,and to make a point here to, you can do this also. mentor the ones who just listen to a turned off world,ask why? and explain why,a democracy like ours is not free,amd many millions have died for less. we stand today looking at what can,and is happening,in our own halls of congress. this is not germany 1932, or russia,1946, its still America,the only country we will ever have… best of the seasons to all,(even the trumpers,you couldnt take much more) and thanks for this blog,its a good blog,and very nice people write here..

  14. We have failed to treat the anti-Semitic and racial EPIDEMIC of hatred that has been emanating from the ultra-conservative wing of the Southern Baptist Convention located in Dallas since 1970. It’s shielded by the so-called Christian-Zionist Alliance.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center/Anti-Defamation League Partnership has continually side stepped the EPIDEMIC as I have tried to warn on this blog for over two years. We’re witnessing the result.

    Steve Bannon plays the anti-Semitic card every time he has a chance. Two weeks ago it was Jerusalem; Last week it was Judge Moore. We ought to promote a new game called: WHAT’S NEXT? It won’t stop when Mike Pence enters the picture. It will only get worse.

    What’s happening here is similar to what happened in the African countries who refused to deal with the AIDS epidemic.

  15. Lets not take our eyes off the ball. Well over a trillion dollars (more than 2/3) is a give away to businesses, corporations and the 1%, while they tinker around with impermanent tax rates and deductions for the middle class to make it seem as if it’s reducing taxes for most everyone.

    “But ’tis strange and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence” (1.3.124-28). Macbeth

  16. Vernon,

    No one understands the surface battle any better than you. But there’s also a battle at the sub-surface level. It’s one thing not to fight. The only thing worse is to say, “there isn’t a fight.”

  17. Vernon – regarding the people who chose not to vote in the election last year, I believe it is because people who used to be middle class citizens have been beaten down so badly that they don’t have the time or the energy to fight back. They and their fellow working poor are working two and three part time jobs just to try to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

    They feel that their opinions and votes don’t matter and I cannot argue that point because there haven’t been many good candidates to vote for. Where I live it is ALL republican. Until the last election, I would choose the R ticket in the primaries so I could vote against who appeared to be the sure winner. There were never any Ds to choose from on the state and local tickets in my district during the primaries before last May.

    You hit the nail on the head with your comment that we need to find, train , promote and fund viable candidates for every office. I hope you are able to make these things happen where you live. Funding is a huge issue for local and state Democrat candidates in Indiana and it is most likely because the good paying factory/union jobs are gone. The people left are the working poor who cannot spare even a penny to support a political candidate that wants to fight for their rights.

  18. Vernon,

    “The passion in the responses to the various articles published on this blog is getting increasingly strident, and for good reason.”

    On a scale of 1 to 10, the volume needs to be set continually at 10, especially through the holidays. No letup.

  19. Marv, you just hit on the one thing that scares me more than another three years of 45, three years of Pence especially if Dems don’t take back the House or Senate next year. We would see a full on rush to theocracy. Jane Mayer just published a book about how bad he would be.

  20. The reason we both have so much content to write about is we’re not a democracy, nor are we a representative republic.

    Why is it legal to bribe public officials in this country?

    If a billionaire in Kansas can direct monies to an election and candidate for congress in Indiana, how is this a representative government? Any clear thinking person can see this as a bribe but not our SCOTUS. LOL

    I believe one of the corporate judges declared there was no “reciprocity” with these donations. How about grotesque inequality in income and wealth?

    If our SCOTUS can’t see how the bribes have worked out for both millionaire politicians and the Donor Class, they are also paid off industry whores.

  21. The tax bill which will from all appearances soon become law is a tax cut bill with deadly swipes at Obamacare and scores of federal agencies, all concocted in the back room by lobbyists for the rich and corporate class (read Wall Street, Kochs, Mercers et al.) without hearings or other opportunities for the people or their representatives to know the contents of such a monstrosity, which is hardly consonant with the democratic process or legislative protocol.

    The bill gives a chump change tax cut to you and me for a limited time and massive tax cuts for the rich and corporate class with no time limits. It explodes the deficit and makes assumptions on economic growth that no reputable economist (other than those employed by right wing think tanks) agrees will happen. (I, an amateur economist, for instance, am predicting a recession in 2018 or no later than 2019 as the toxic effects of this bill savages demand.) On top of that, we are now told that certain words and phrases by order of Herr Trumpf’s administration cannot be used by the CDC in an apparent violation of their members’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. It appears that in this battle between the donor class and the people that the donor class with its senatorial puppets have won as Bannon’s vision of “deconstruction of the administrative state” proceeds apace.

    I am not impressed with the phony concerns of such as Corker and Rubio who (respectively) pretend to be against a massive increase in the debt and more money for child credits before succumbing to a yes vote. They are running for president and need a more moderate record to point to in 2020, though in so doing they have unforgivably and in any event agreed to the rest of this monstrosity. With the CDC gag rule piled on top of Trump’s Russian connections and putdowns of our intelligence community and FBI (in order to save himself), I finally if reluctantly agree with Marv – that we are about out of time to save our democracy since fascism is already here, and it may be that the only thing between us and the loss of our democracy is Mueller (if he can survive the attempts of the fascists who want to shut him down). We are living in perilous times and must strenuously resist these fascist attempts to destroy our democracy from within by the Bannons and Trumps and their legislative puppets beholden to Big Money.

  22. I refuse to accept an air of hopelessness. Even if you live in a ruby-red district, there MUST be an alternative to more Republican idiots. Attack them. They’ll fold like yesterday’s newspaper. That’s what Republicans have done: Attack. Attack. Attack. They always blame their mistakes on the other guy.

    Yes, Marv, the fight is at several levels. Educating the public is not enough, because the true-believer syndrome is manifest among so many. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it is. Most “red” states, for example, receive more Federal money than they pay in because they are poor. Yet, they’ll keep voting in those people who make them – and our country – poorer. Go figure.

    So, it is up to us to lead, educate, train and promote candidates that will IN FACT represent we the people. If we don’t do it, the political hacks and billionaire suck-ups will continue to turn us into a very large banana republic.

  23. Bernie Sanders:
    What they (Koch Bros) want is an oligarchic form of society in which government plays virtually no role in public education, healthcare or addressing the needs of middle-class and working families.”

    The end game, Sanders said, was that “you are on your own. You are 80 years old and you have cancer – good luck to you. Government is not there for you.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/16/bernie-sanders-tax-bill-republicans-trump
    Years ago when Ross Perot ran for President he bought some air time on TV. He talked about Federal Programs and Agencies. Perot said you should look at these Programs, policies and Agencies like a new airplane. What is the plane’s purpose – military or civilian – Then what do you want the new plane to do??

    Engineers would be needed to convert the “want” to specifications for each part and for the whole plane. Various factories would produce the parts within the specs and be tested. The plane is then assembled and a test pilot will fly it. Only after extensive testing is the plane placed into production. Even after the plane is produced oversight and follow-up is necessary to make certain everything is functioning properly. Competent people must be selected to fly the plane as well as service it.

    What we have now in the Republicon Party is the takeover by the Oligarchs who realize this time is a golden opportunity. The so-called moderate Repubicons will not oppose their Masters.

  24. Peggy,

    “Marv, you just hit on the one thing that scares me more than another three years of 45, three years of Pence especially if Dems don’t take back the House or Senate next year. We would see a full on rush to theocracy. Jane Mayer just published a book about how bad he would be.”

    Ditto. That scenario is my greatest FEAR. Successfully, standing up to Trump/Bannon is possible. That’s not the case with Pence. What is going on in the Republican Party is like a relay race where the first runner Trump goes out real fast, finally peters out, and then the second runner takes the baton with an unbeatable lead.

    I’m reminded of the time I was a junior in high school and living at the beach during the summer. One of my best friends was Charlie Cherry, a senior, and the best distance runner on the track team. I didn’t run track. So one day I said to Charlie, I’ll race you to the end of Atlantic Beach. We were both living in Neptune Beach. Running on the beach, especially, in and out of shallow water feels good. It was probably four or five miles to the finish. I tried the Trump/Bannon strategy. I turned it on from the beginning and took a very, very, long lead.

    I beat Charlie, but not by much. He let me get TOO FAR AHEAD. I knew what it took to beat him. It was a race of endurance. I knew him like a book. In our earlier years, his family lived downstairs and mine lived upstairs in the duplex we shared.

    If we don’t stay up with Trump, we will meet the fate of Charlie Cherry, I’ll assure you.

  25. Peggy,

    There’s no one running the relay race with Trump/Pence/Bannon and the THIRD FORCE backing them. Until a team from a COUNTERVAILING THIRD FORCE enters the race nothing will change.

    Jane Mayer is an exceptional journalist. However, she is not a competitor in the race. She reports on the race.

  26. “Right now, America is being ruled–not governed, but ruled–by an illegitimate cabal empowered by vote suppression and gerrymandering and answerable not to the citizens who (theoretically) elected them, but to their donors and to a much lesser extent, their rabid and uneducated base.”

    Really, nothing else needs to be said or keyed. This is what we’re all up against and we need to fight it with all that we have within us. Unless we do, and act soon, very soon, everything that hundreds of thousands of Americans have given their lives to preserve will be lost possibly forever. America, which has always been at its heart an idea, will die.

    Our choice is that stark. What Patrick Henry said as the noose was being draped around his neck comes to mind – “Give me liberty or give me death!” What these fiends have in mind for us and this country is akin to death with the spark of freedom being firmly suppressed and replaced by socio-economic slavery.

  27. Trump/Pence/Banner are backed by a THIRD FORCE the Tea Party. The Nazi Party was a THIRD FORCE.

    The Democratic Party is not a THIRD FORCE and thus can’t even enter into the race. There is no competition. That’s why you can’t talk to the Republican base. Why should they respond. They see and feel no competition. They don’t have to do anything at this point in time.

  28. Tom,

    “Our choice is that stark. What Patrick Henry said as the noose was being draped around his neck comes to mind – “Give me liberty or give me death!” What these fiends have in mind for us and this country is akin to death with the spark of freedom being firmly suppressed and replaced by socio-economic slavery.”

    If we’re not going to fight back, let’s surrender on the most favorable terms we can work out.

  29. So far, no surprises. The Trump family gets all that matters to them. Wealth. The Congressional Republicans get all that matters to them, power. Wall St gets all that matters to them, deregulation.

    Who pays for all of those gets? Wealth creator/worker/taxpayer/consumer/voter families. Apathy got us the government that we deserve.

  30. Pete,

    “Apathy got us the government that we deserve.”

    Is it apathy or lack of vision? Having been a top executive with Eastman Kodak, I believe your vision is superior to most. Can others SEE and want to do what you can do? I doubt it.

    I would bet, if more of our society could SEE the grave dangers you can SEE, we would have less apathy. The answer to all of this might well be with MAKING A MOVIE to better understand what has happened to us as a country.

    It is important to remember that MOVIES were an important tool in motivating the country at the beginning of W.W. II.

  31. As a former state and federal prosecutor, I’m submitting we’re dealing with a major case of INTENTIONAL CREATION OF IMPAIRED VISION within the pro-democracy community. It must be prosecuted at once.

  32. Steve Bannon has the Jewish Community “over the barrel.” And won’t quit unless he is effectively confronted.

    “over a barrel”

    (idiomatic) In a disadvantageous or helpless situation, especially one in which one may be controlled or victimized.


    “up a tree,” “up the creek”

  33. Thanks to all of you for making me feel a little sane in an out of control, chaos, insane world. No one is going to know how to maneuver this new way of our world.

    So there are not enough places to send us to imprisonment, enslavement; so I guess “they” will all be shooting us. Especially with all the guns being held legally.

    We are not alone, the entire world is not only watching, but also seems to be immeshed in their own chaos.

    What a New Year we have in store.

  34. Barbara,

    “We are not alone, the entire world is not only watching, but also seems to be immeshed in their own chaos.”

    That’s why we have to take care of our political problems, NOW. We’re not going to have any help from the outside. I’ve already tested The Guardian. They’re not going to intervene.

    It’s all up to US.

  35. Marv, “vision”.

    First, I was not a “top executive at Kodak”, those who were destroyed one of the finest corporations this country has ever been served by.

    Second vision is a great concept but I think that one of the important dimensions of it is big picture.

    Many who I talk to get dragged into details and miss the big picture which is the sum of all of the details.

    America was the modern world’s great experiment in democracy and is now being reduced to a third world banana republic of economic classes where rights are displaced by privileges and privileges accrue dependant only on wealth.

    That path could be so downhill that recovery is impossible but there is still a chance that incompetence at governance will slow us on that slippery slope and allow the ship of State to return to our former course.

    So we need to act like it’s possible and that we are united in the challenge.

  36. Pete,

    “That path could be so downhill that recovery is impossible but there is still a chance that INCOMPETENCE at governance will slow us on that slippery slope and allow the ship of State to return to our former course.”

    The vital word is INCOMPETENT. Steve Bannon is a DANGEROUSLY, INCOMPETENT advisor. Thankfully, he doesn’t have to be voted out office to PROVE that. If he goes, it’s very possible that he could cause the demise of both Trump and Pence. Without Bannon, neither of the two would be sitting in the White House.

  37. General Kelley has become my hero as he drains the Whitehouse swamp one by one. With some help from Robert Mueller the draining will continue.

  38. “Elections have consequences” quote of President Barack Obama when republicans disagreed with a health care “reform” that was passed without input of anyone other than the then democratic majority.

  39. In the context of REALISTIC HOPE, here’s something on a rare positive note in these “dark times:”

    “In the realm of politics, where secrecy and deliberate deception have always played a significant role, SELF-DECEPTION is the danger par excellence; the SELF-DECEIVED DECEIVER loses all contact with not only his audience, but also the real world, which still will catch up with him, because he can remove his mind from it, but not his body.”

    “Crisis of the Republic” by Hannah Arendt (Harcourt Brace & Company, New York, 1969) p. 36.

  40. SHEILA … Just for the record … and this doesn’t change the point you are making, but … you started this post: A few days ago, The Hill came out with a list of 66 agencies that the tax “reform” bill simply eliminates.” … But according to THE HILL article you cite, the proposed elimination of the 66 agencies isn’t part of the TAX BILL; it’s part of the PROPOSED 2018 BUDGET. … As stated in The Hill article’s first paragraph: “President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion.” I just thought you’d like to know. Thanks!

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