Friday, March 24, 2017

Rolling the Stone Up the Hill

So much has been going on. The U.S. government is in turmoil. There's a race between the patriots who are trying to find out about the Trump administration's involvement with Russia and the administration's need to eliminate regulations that protect our society against racism and corporate greed. Who will win? Every day, more honorable Republicans are joining Democrats and questioning the illegal actions of the Trump administration, but will the truth come to light soon enough?

It's nail-biting to watch the news these days. What a fucking drama. (You should know that I follow that fake news, MSNBC, The New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post.) Can't these politicians lie any more convincingly than they do? Spicer and Nunes both look like they have bones stuck sideways in their throats when they talk. And none of the sentences any of the pressured politicians use are clear. Sometimes what they say doesn't actually have a meaning. What a fucking dance to always have to avoid saying anything that is true. It's like watching the little kid with a stain on his pants and a yellow puddle at his feet who looks off to the side and says defiantly that he didn't pee himself. But we can see what's happening. Why keep lying?

I suppose it worked so far for Sessions. He's still in his position even though he recused himself. They still need to fire him. The whole Trump administration is a quagmire of conspiracy and only a vague attempt at concealment.

Here at home, it's a mess too. Oh, I shouldn't make you think we're in a true turmoil like the one in D.C. Everyone is healthy, thank God. No one is leaving home and we're not screaming at each other, except once in a while when Nick is being intentionally obtuse and stubborn. Last night, he forgot to bring in groceries from the car he was driving. Today, he's eating the stuff that sat out all night. I hope he doesn't get sick. The temperature outside was in the mid-forties this morning, so he should be okay. I'm not entirely certain of that though.

Still, my mind is in turmoil this morning.

Nick has begun to prepare for the ACT and the SAT. He took a mock ACT and last night we got the results. He's horrible at taking tests. I'm sure he's a bright kid, but he hides most of his intelligence. He does well in math and science, but the boy refuses to read on his own, so it affects anything that requires much reading and writing, which is practically everything!

It's time someone else told him to turn off the damned TV. It's time someone else told him to read a damned book. So, I just finished writing a note to his Language Arts teacher.

I asked her to nag him. I did. Truly. I used the word 'nag.'

Nick is sixteen. There isn't very much that he will hear that comes out of my mouth. Oh, sometimes he listens, but that only happens when something shitty comes out of my mouth. Then, he's wide awake to my words. Gossip? Self-righteousness? Hypocrisy? Cursing? Oh, he's avid to hear stuff like that. But when I try to tell him how to prepare for life, he's in a soundproof room and I am in space where no one can hear me scream.

I just finished reading an amazing book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, by Col. Chris Hadfield. If I thought Nick would crack the spine, I'd buy him a copy. I'm tempted to buy copies for five of his best friends and hope some of the ideas will bleed back into Nick's sphere of awareness. I'm tempted to buy a copy for one of his teachers to give to him.

Col. Hadfield writes about attitude, preparation, and about making sure you choose a life you think is fun. He writes about achieving your goals and about how to manage when you don't. This guy started thinking about how to prepare to be an astronaut when he was nine! I'll bet he began saving for his retirement at about that age too. And as the book proceeds, Hadfield describes some of the most exhilarating experiences a person can have. Doing somersaults in zero gravity. Throwing a live snake out of an airplane window at 200 mph. Looking at the jewel of the earth from orbit. He's so enthusiastic, it's infectious.

In the meantime, I've given up trying to get Nick to read, even an amazing book like this.

So, I'm begging teachers to take over the job of pushing his stone up the hill.

I am Sisyphus.

As if teachers don't already have enough stones to roll uphill.

 Thank you for listening, jules

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Release Trump Taxes

Most nights, when I finally get to sit down for a minute, I watch MSNBC. I like watching Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. I've never watched this much news before. It feels important, critical even. Every night, when I finally turn the television off, I feel as though I have something to say.

So, if you've read my blog for a while, you know by now that I am a ordinary person. Technically, I'm a stay-at-home mom, but I end up running all over the county in my 'free' time to give my hours away in great volumes. I work with Boy Scouts to earn their Citizenship in the Community merit badges and run any other errands their leaders might need me to run. I tutor students at the high school. When I'm home, I try to cook real food. I make good pie, brisket, and a calzone that makes my husband feel very well-loved. I read, walk my dog, talk too much to the cashier at the local market, and I spend too much money having coffee with my girlfriends, some of whom even voted for Trump because they believed him when he said he'd help ordinary people in this country. We have interesting conversations. We could solve the world's problems if the world would only listen to us. I've noticed that we are good indicators of what's trending for women our age. Well, you have to leave out jewelry and makeup trending for me. Sorry. Jewelry and makeup generally bore me.

So, when I watch the news and I hear Trump representatives saying that 'most people don't care if Donald Trump releases his taxes,' I want to stand up and yell at the TV.

"I want Donald Trump to release his taxes!"

I don't actually stand up, but Mike is used to me talking back to the TV by now.

I want you to know that I've nearly gone past caring what the Trump administration is doing. Every day, they indeed do something horrible, a new Muslim ban, a new lie about what Trump tweeted on his unsecured phone, a new controversial appointment with the intent to dismantle the EPA or the Department of Education. It's an endless stupid show. I no longer expect the Trump administration to act with decorum or integrity. I'm not surprised when they lie. I'm not even surprised when news is released that Trump's promises are repeatedly broken or that he intends to dismantle some of the very departments that make our country so beautiful and compassionate, like the EPA, the National Parks, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education.

No. I don't think, despite the postcards that I'm sending to the White House tomorrow, that any of the protests, the activism, or even the reactions by experts is going to have one iota of impact on what the Executive Branch is currently doing. I have given it up. They don't care what happens to the people of this nation. My opinion is that they have their own agenda and it's all about how they can inflate their billion dollar bank accounts with my taxpayer money. Just look at the way Trump has traveled, spending eight times what Obama did in the same time period. No. I'm losing interest in that three-ring circus.

But I am very interested in what Congress is doing. There are very particular areas where I want to see action by Congress.

Congress needs to appoint an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the Trump administration's involvement with Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. 

Congress needs to investigate Trump's sources of income and his violation of the Constitution when he is taking money from foreign governments as gifts or payment. 

Congress needs to insist that Trump release his taxes.

I am not a paid protester. I am not a journalist. I'm an ordinary voting mom who sees the strong ties between the current members of the Executive Branch and the leaders of the Russian government.

So, why is our Congress ignoring the red flags that keep being thrown onto the field by our most reputable journalists? A few members of Congress are beginning to see that this new administration is not comprised of your standard Republicans with the honor that Republicans generally stand by. Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham have begun to make an effort to keep the Trump administration in line. These two brave men might just save our democracy.

While many Republicans are voting in lock-step with anything that the Trump administration wants, there are a few others who are beginning to call foul on the crazy edicts that come daily from the Oval Office.

Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina and Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina both voted to request Trump's tax returns. That's what I'm talking about! These men are heroes. I may have stayed up too late watching Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the Democrats filibustering the poor choices for Cabinet members, but it's going to take strong Republicans to finally stand with a Democrat or two to demand that this administration stop violating our Constitution.

The Constitution is something that Republicans have stood behind for years. Republicans love it. Many of them have probably read the Federalist Papers.

Sorry. No. I haven't read them.

These brave Republicans need to get behind their beloved Constitution now to prevent it from crumbling into dust. They need to see the corruption in the Trump administration that is so obvious to me, an ordinary mom who lives hundreds of miles from the nation's capital.

Thank you for listening, jules

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tweeting Hypocricy

Have you noticed that so far, all of the complaints that Trump has tweeted about are things, true or not, that he has begun to do himself now that he has the power to do them?
Trump complained of how many times President Obama played golf. I forget how many times Trump has played golf so far, but he outshines President Obama. Well, maybe he doesn't outplay him. Who knows?

Trump complained when President Obama spend a couple of million dollars one year to go on vacation for two weeks with his secret service contingency. Trump has now traveled to Florida four weekends out of five. Plus, all those expenses? They go straight into Trump profits. President Obama didn't make a profit from bringing his cronies on vacation with him.

And let's talk about unsecured devices, shall we?

Do you remember the chant? 'Lock him up! Lock him up!' Right, it was 'her' wasn't it? Poor Secretary Clinton. Trump's tweeting make Hillary's emails look like an amateur. He's tweeting up a maelstrom and it's on an unsecured phone. Are those tweets official Presidential responses?

And didn't he say that Secretary Clinton was a liar? Didn't he? Every other day, he's caught lying. It's not even news any more.

Just listen. When he complains about someone, it's usually something he's done or is doing himself.

Oh, I suppose we have bigger fish to fry. Why can't Congress get going on this investigation about Russian communication with Trump's campaign staff? What the hell is that? Why can't these people see through all these issues and promise to investigate using an impartial bipartisan commission? I have respect for John McCain and Lindsey Graham. They are saying that the emperor has no clothes. Is every other Republican in Congress blind?

If the Republican Congress keeps in lock-step with Trump, there won't be a government to govern. The people in this country will be sick with pollution. The controlling population will be white only and male. Most everyone else will live in a company town, subsisting on scraps that they pay directly to their employers for food, necessities, and rent. And millions of innocent people will be expelled from our country because of their race or their religion. 

Watch the tweets. Am I right? Do what I say, but not what I do.

Thank you for listening, jules