Brian G. Arens 1959 – 2017


Our pal is gone.  The crusty curmudgeon is silent.  We’re all gonna miss him.



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Repeal and Replace!


. McConnell and the Republican Senators choked.  They couldn’t get it together before the July 4th break.  Now they get to hear what their constituents think of their plan.  But all this effort begs two questions: Why and with what?

As to why it’s obvious.  They wanted President Obama to fail, putting party before country.  And now they want to destroy Obama’s legacy.  They did such a good job polishing Reagan’s  legacy, despite it’s many failures, they figure they can do the opposite with Obama.  But why?  Because he’s a Democrat?  Because he’s Black?  Because they have a craven desire for power?

So after doing all they could to sabotage Obamacare for the last eight years what have they come up with?  Nothing.  You’d think in eight years they’d have plenty of time to come up with their own plan.  Instead they cobbled together a plan in five months that’s good for the very rich and craps on everyone else.  Again why?  Perhaps they had so much trouble is because Obamacare is their plan.  It came from the Heritage Foundation.  It has ideas that go back to Nixon.

The result of this failure may be leading us down the path to a public option and then on to single payer.  And why not?  We spend more on healthcare than anyone else yet we rank 39th on good outcomes.  We could save billions.  Every other industrialized country has it so it would make our businesses more competitive.  Better than a tax cut!


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Au Revoir Paris



Trump’s decision to drop out of the Paris Climate Agreement was to put it lightly, astonishingly stupid.  Even for him.    There are a number of reasons it’s stupid.

First is the obvious one.  The climate is changing and not for the better, thanks to fossil fuel emissions.  Scientists may debate how fast it’s happening or what the effects will be, but they all agree climate change is happening.  It is astonishing that people don’t believe the science.  Climatologists are some of the most educated minds around.  First you need to get a Ph.D in climatology, for which you need a Master’s level of understanding in math, physics and chemistry.  Some knowledge of computer science is required for modeling.  People don’t question if quantum tunneling is real — certainly a concept that’s harder to believe than climate change — so what’s the deal with global warming?   Unless you understand why semi-Lagrangian methods are used in modeling climate change rather than Erlangian , it’s best to STFU and believe the scientists.  And why is it a right vs. left thing?  Is science liberal?

Next it’s not too bright on the diplomatic front.  It certainly shows a lack of leadership.  Throw in we’re playing second-fiddle to China in clean energy.  If Trump promised to bring back manufacturing jobs, clean energy is one way to do it.  Ten times more people in America work in clean energy than is dirty, dangerous coal mining.

Finally, oil funds terrorists.  Want to defeat terrorists?  Cut off their funding source.

What a dope.


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Trump’s Budget

Trump’s budget is basically: screw the poor, give to the rich.  OMB director Mick Mulvaney claims that we need to show compassion to people who pay for things like Medicaid, SNAP, food stamps, etc.  I guess he wants to boot granny out of the nursing home too.  Hello Mick, do you really want to cut farm subsidies?  Many of those guys voted for Trump.

Conspiracy theorists think this may be a setup.  The bill is so bad it will be voted down by Republicans.  Then they can go home and tell their constituents who would have been negatively impacted that they voted against it.

Who knows, but the optics are not good for Trump.  No wonder Melania hates him.


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The First 100 Days

Whew! 100 days.  Seems like a 1,000.  After having the largest crowd ever for the inauguration, now he’s gotten the most done in the first 100 days ever.  Even though he doesn’t think the first 100 days are important (now).  Okay, he got a SCOTUS pick.  And signed a bunch of executive orders, including a travel ban and things that will be awful for the environment.  He’s watched a lot of TV — Fox and Friends is his favorite — and played a lot of golf.  He’s got some other accomplishments.  There’s the botched raid in Yemen.  Firing Flynn.  Being investigated by the FBI, Senate and House.  Dropped bombs on Syrian airport that did nothing.  Some of the things he promised to get done in the first 100 days were “the wall,” tax reform and repeal and replace Obamacare.  Turns out he found out the job’s harder than he thought.  He misses his old life.  Well Mr. President, your supporters would be let down if you decided to quit and go back to your old life, but you’re 70 and life is short.  If you want to go back to your old life, we’ll understand.


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Repeal and Replace!

Finally!  For eight years the Republicans have been trying to destroy Obama’s signature accomplishment.  During that time they weren’t busy coming up with their own comprehensive plan.  They were busy coming up with bogus reasons that Obamacare was a disaster for the American people.  So now they have hastily come up with a crappy plan that will only benefit insurance companies.  For the rest of America it will be a disaster.  Clever pols that they are, the actual implementation won’t begin until after the next elections.

Let’s face it, the only reason they hate Obamacare, which was modeled after a Heritage Foundation plan and Romneycare, is that they hate President Obama.  They failed at  their attempt to make him fail.  This upsets them so much that they are willing to do anything no matter how badly it impacts the people they represent. #Sad. #Sick.


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Fake News?

It’s documented that fake news helped Trump win the presidency.  Now Trump and his supporters are calling anything reported that is not flattering “fake news.”  It’s become a regular part of their lexicon.  It’s not surprising.  Chapter 1. of “Dictatorship for Dummies” is about disparaging the press.  By repeating this over and over one convinces the masses that they can’t trust the legitimate news.  In fact if you want to be a great despot, the thing to do is take over the press and use it for your propaganda purposes.

So expect this to continue.  And expect reporters to race out to regions that elected Trump and interview people about trusting the media.  We can only hope that journalists will continue to point out the obvious disinformation.


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