Archive for March, 2024

Trump & Bibles, Yet?

Donald Trump now selling Bibles? That sounds like a Bill Maher far-out parody or a Saturday Night Live caricature or an Onion headline.

Apparently, it’s neither, but something that’s actually occurring.

Trump hawking Bibles is like Satan endorsing the Almighty or Iblis selling the Koran.

We all know that the Donald is willing to do anything to make a buck, or to avoid paying anyone he doesn’t have to, but Trump selling “God Bless the USA” Bibles might be his greatest feat of hypocrisy yet.

On the other hand, it also might be, in a strange way, the most honest thing he’s ever done, because it blatantly declares that he has no regard for honesty or ethics whatsoever… or for the tenets of the faith that so many of his followers profess to follow.

It also shows the absolute stupidity, gullibility, and/or hypocrisy of his evangelical followers. Trump has broken every one of the Ten Commandments and now is trying to profit from their faith. In addition, he’s also broken the commandment that “you shall have no other God before me,” because, in TrumpWorld, there is no other god but Trump.

Not that any of this matters to the sheep who follow him blindly, as did the clueless children who followed the Pied Piper. Nor does it seem to matter to the majority of Republican officeholders, many of whom privately despise Trump, but who don’t have either the guts or the integrity to oppose him.

Slow on the Uptake

I just looked through the latest edition of The Atlantic and discovered an article discussing why popular perceptions about the state of the economy don’t match the statistics. The bottom line in the article was that the statistics don’t match “the reality” the average person sees.

Inflation may have leveled out, but the higher prices it caused remain, particularly for food and home utilities. Also, interest rates for mortgages, car loans, and credit cards are still much higher than five years ago.


I pointed this out four months ago []

There’s another aspect of this as well. It’s not just about asking the right questions, but asking the right people.

I’m well aware of the increase in food prices, because I’m the one who does the grocery shopping, but I suspect that, in most households, it’s more likely to be a woman who does the shopping… and who’s the angriest about those higher prices.

Some costs don’t hit some people. Someone younger who’s renting or house-hunting is definitely going to be unhappy about the prices of houses or rents. Someone with a fixed low-rate mortgage or who’s paid off the mortgage won’t be as concerned, although they may balk at the price of electricity or natural gas. Likewise, someone trying to get a college education or an advanced degree – or parents helping a young adult – will be more directly impacted than someone not having to worry about education costs.

And, as I pointed out earlier, many of the costs that worry people aren’t fully factored into the “favorable” economic statistics, which is why so many people don’t believe the numbers.

But I do wonder why those smart writers at The Atlantic took so long to figure it out, though.

Immigrant Crime?

For the past several years, Republicans, especially far-right Republicans, have trumpeted “immigrant crime” as a massive problem, using specific incidents as an illustration of the magnitude of the problem.

There’s one “small” problem with this claim. U.S.-born citizens are far more likely to commit horrendous crimes than immigrants.

Yes, some immigrants do commit crimes, and once in a while those crimes are horrendous. But a study co-led by Northwestern University economist Elisa Jácome and conducted by a team of economists found that over the past 150 years immigrants were consistently less likely commit crimes than people born in the U.S. They also found beginning in 1960, gap between immigrants and U.S.- born citizens increased enough that immigrants today are 60% less likely to be criminally imprisoned than the U.S.-born.

In another similar study, Stanford University economist Ran Abramitzky and his co-authors also found that for the last 140 years imprisonment for crimes was markedly lower for immigrants, and that, today, immigrants are 30 percent less likely to be incarcerated than are U.S.-born individuals who are white. And when the analysis was expanded to include Black Americans — whose prison rates are higher than the general population — the likelihood of an immigrant being incarcerated is still more than 55 percent lower than of people born in the United States.

So, if the average immigrant is more law-abiding than the average U.S. citizen, why are the Republicans getting away with blaming crime on immigrants, and why have so many Americans bought into this myth for more than a century?

There are many good reasons to restrict immigration, beginning with the simple fact that the U.S. doesn’t have the resources to process the number of people trying to enter the United States, or that we should be allowing more talented immigrants who follow the rules, but claiming that immigrants increase criminality isn’t one of them.

Failure to Distinguish

One candidate for President discovered a few classified documents in his files, perhaps even a boxful, and turned them over. The other had scores of boxes of classified documents and tried to hide and keep them.

The first candidate has stuttered since he was a child and makes occasional conversational gaffes… and has for years. The second makes wild misstatements and utters thousands of untruths, almost all of which have been revealed to have little or no factual basis.

The first candidate lost his wife in a tragic car accident, but later remarried, and has a stable home life. The second candidate has been married three times with numerous affairs, including with a porn star, an affair he tried to cover up using campaign funds, and has been found guilty of sexual assault and defamation of the woman he assaulted.

The first candidate has always accepted the results of elections. The second candidate only accepts them when he wins and incited an attack on the capitol when he lost.

About the only similarity is that of age – both are near eighty.

Now… I could go on and on about the basic and important distinctions between Biden and Trump, the clear and obvious differences in character and behavior, which seem rather important to me.

Yet almost half the electorate either doesn’t see these differences… or doesn’t care.

And what does that say about that half?

Memories Are Made of?

Apparently, if the polls are correct, a slim majority of Americans believe that life was better during the last administration, even in the depths of the pandemic, when we had a President who seriously considered injecting bleach into people’s veins as a treatment for COVID and who later tried to overturn an election.

For all the uproar over immigration, no one seems to remember or understand that the Biden Administration has deported more illegal immigrants than did the Trump Administration. And while the Trump Administration talked about bringing jobs back to the U.S., the only thing the Trump Administration did was grant a minuscule tax cut to the average American and a whopping tax cut to the wealthy and corporations, while the Biden Administration passed legislation resulting in the building of high-tech factories in the U.S. They also forget that Trump’s spending policies set off the inflation that they hate, and that inflation rates have come down under Biden.

And those fond “memories” seem to omit the fact that Trump paid hush money to a porn star, and drove small companies and contractors out of business because he wouldn’t pay his bills. Or the fact that he was convicted of tax fraud and sexual assault, or that there’s a recording of him illegally soliciting votes. Or that he did nothing for four hours while police were fighting for their lives in the Capitol. Or the fact that lawyers won’t work for him unless they’re paid in advance.

Nope. None of those memories seem to count… or even be remembered.

Apparently, inconvenient and proven facts don’t seem to have much weight against well-delivered bombastic rhetoric that paints an overly rosy picture of a past that never was.

Justice, Reconsidered?

Exactly what does whom the Fulton County (Georgia) Attorney General might be sleeping with have to do with whether Donald Trump tried to solicit some 11,000 votes illegally from the Georgia Secretary of State?

For that matter, why have both the Georgia State House and Senate passed measures that would create an appointed commission to discipline or remove district attorneys, measures that removed oversight by the state Supreme Court, and which would in fact allow the Republican Party to dictate which district attorneys should be investigated and disciplined.

Might it just be that all that effort is designed to halt a state court prosecution of the great Donald Trump because, even if Trump is elected in the fall, he can’t stop a state prosecution nor can he pardon himself if he’s convicted?

From what I can tell, whether the district attorney is sleeping with a prosecutor has very little bearing on whether Donald Trump tried to use the power of his office to illegally solicit votes. It appears that digging up dirt on Fani Willis is simply an effort to remove her from prosecuting Donald Trump…. or at the very least, to further delay his trial.

While I sincerely hope that someone accused of murder would not even be allowed to bring up unrelated personal matters and have them be considered as relevant to the guilt of an accused murderer, it appears that, in fact, if one has enough attorneys and money, he can try defense ploy after defense ploy to string out the case either for years or until one of those ploys succeeds.

Does that represent justice? For Donald Trump, it obviously does.