By James A. Kidney I finally decided to buy a new car the other day. Wow, it is a cumbersome and annoying process. At the end, I was feeling helpless and victimized, and with no new car. Of course, as with everyone, I first went to the two dominant car dealerships — Regal and Demos. It was easy to get to them on Metro. They both have huge, bright dealerships on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. The salesmen are very cheerful and upbeat, except if you walk out the door without buying a car. Then you get some flak. But the dealerships seem to promise all you would ever want in a car. That was the promise, but not the reality. At Regal, there were only two colors — white and green. The green was full of special features — satellite radio and tv, and … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney Tuesday’s election results — President, Senate and House — freed liberalism from its shackles. The ransom payment is high. In the long run, it may be worth the price. The key is to put aside defeatism and start adopting new tactics now that the Democratic Party elite has been shamed and defeated by a horrible con man and his angry allies. Liberalism — by which I mean a set of political goals recognizing and trying to contain the power of the elite, bringing genuine equality of economic opportunity to those not sharing in the top five percent, and sponsoring a strong foreign policy using force as a last resort — has been treated by the Democratic Party for years as the smelly uncle at the dinner table who talks too much but contributes too little. Hillary Clinton embodied this party sentiment in her campaign, fully endorsed … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney One challenge in this vicious, unsatisfying presidential campaign is for the average voter to separate legitimate worries about either candidate from paranoia. The Trump side of the campaign thus far has had more trouble keeping to boundaries of reason than Clinton supporters. Egged on by Fox News and Trump allies from Breitbart News, as well as the Rasputins of Clinton conspiracies, such as broadcaster Alex Jones, right wing bomb thrower Roger Stone (who, like Trump, learned nastiness from the late Roy Cohn) and David Bossie (author of, among other things, Hillary: The Politics of Personal Destruction), the Trump camp is actively promoting long-time crazy notions such as that Clinton is responsible for the death of Arkansas state troopers and the suicide of White House aide Vince Foster. They also are supplementing the oldies but goodies with newer tropes, such as that Clinton failed to protect U.S. … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney Now that the major party nominees are chosen, the economic pundits are making their recommendations on how to boost what remains a moribund economy. Despite recent months of reported job increases and a slight uptick in average pay last month, few believe the economy is robust or expected to be so. See also here (pay wall). The reasons — and proposed cures — depend on your politics, of course. Where the Candidates Stand Donald Trump this week proposed the usual failed trickle down policies. He wants tax cuts for the wealthy, including elimination of the estate tax (which effects about 0.2 percent of citizens). He would increase the earned income tax credit, which is a pure redistribution of a little income to the poor which does not create jobs. He would provide only a tax deduction for child care — which means you have to … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney Hitler had Joseph Goebbels and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Donald Trump has Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. God help us. Goebbels was Hitler’s propaganda minister and a close associate. Hitler named Goebbels his successor in his will. Goebbels actually had the title of Reich Chancellor for one day after Hitler died. Then he killed his wife, six children and himself in advance of the Russian seizure of Hitler’s bunker. Nearly every ugly theme of the Nazi regime was supported by the thinking and actions of Goebbels. Ribbentrop, a close confidant of Hitler’s, was Nazi Germany’s foreign minister from 1938 until 1945. He was executed after trial at Nuremburg. He helped broker the Pact of Steel, an alliance with Mussolini’s Italy, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union which Hitler later discarded. It is way past time to apologize for, or to be reticent in … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney Whether you are a reluctant or die-hard supporter of Hillary Clinton, or even an increasingly rare “undecided” voter, take the weekend to savor the just-concluded Democratic convention. Enjoy your own post-convention “bounce”. Set aside your serious worries about the Republican candidate, though by-all-means enjoy the dark humor his candidacy has engendered. If you think about presidential politics at all, be sunny. If necessary, suspend your disbelief. The hard and fearful events of the campaign will come again soon, if they have not already begun. Savor the warm recollections of our gorgeous First Lady and her thanks to the American people for providing love and confidence as she, her husband and two beautiful daughters weathered vicious attacks on their Americanism, heritage and hope from politicians and people who have not a flicker of their good spirit. Remember the vice president’s speech. He knows the disappointments of life … Read more of this post . . .