Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Nazis Are Coming! The Nazis Are Coming!

The mask was lifted and it was disturbingly dangerous.

Steve Bannon (the de facto president) spoke yesterday at CPAC.  He vowed the Trump adminstration will estblish "a new political order" which will "deconstruct" the federal government as we know it.  He acknowledged that the new Cabinet heads were chosen to help do just -- destroy the agencies they lead.  He spoke of a policy of "economic nationalism" (authoritarian newspeak for build a wall around everything).  He said Trump's war against the media is "going to get worse.  Every day is going to be a fight."
Today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer banned the New York Times, the BBC and CNN from attending a press briefing.

OK, that does it!  It is indeed gonna be a fight.  Game on, and let's rumble, you assholes! 

Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly refute stories from the NY Times and CNN about the Trump campaign's Russian contacts and connections, financial and other.  The FBI rejected the reject, then leaked the story to the media.  (Says something about the FBI's assessment of new administration.)

A.G. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions has reversed federal LGBT protections and instituted the National Potty Police.  In other policy switches, his DOJ is promoting the idea of for-profit private prisons, and they're cracking down on recereational marijuana use.

Homeland Security/ICE has declared all Muslims, Mexicans and brown people to be terrorists and bad hombres, and is busily engaged in deporting any of them with an overdue library book.

My headline is wrong.  The Nazis aren't coming.  They're already here.


Unproductive Pat

After skipping a constituents town hall meeting on Wednesday, last night I saw Pat Tiberi on TV trying to defend his weak-ass decision to avoid any future town halls or other public meetings where anyone might give him some verbal grief.  He said such gatherings are "chaotic" and not a "productive use of [his] time."  He said he's "just not going to do that," ever, but he's always ready to meet "individually or with small groups of 3 or 4 constituents."  Right!  ("No, I'm sorry, the Congressman can't see you Thursday either.  How about never?  Does never work for you?")

I was compelled to write to him yet again, using the subject of "healthcare" on his drop-down menu.

I am a constituent who was in attendance last night at the town hall in Beechwold, organized by Indivisible.  Where were you, Pat?

You are a craven chickenshit, afraid to face any group of citizens who disagree with you, too scared to deal honestly with any protest against you and your harmful ideas.

Your assertion that meeting with you individually or in tiny groups is better and more "productive" is nonsense.  You have no intention of doing so, and  even if you were to meet with every person in last night's town hall, you'd do nothing else for the rest of your term.  That's not productive.  The truth is you refuse to meet with any non-Republican group, be it Indivisible or others.  You're a bubble-dweller.

I've sent you many calm, reasonable and well-thought out emails about the ACA, and your responses (staff responses, I understand) are always a disappointment -- just boilerplate regurgitations of your tired, old, partisan "repeal & replace" fetish.  How is that productive?  You politely but callously ignore my concern, not listening to it, thinking about it or caring about it.   You will not be moved.  So don't be surprised if a lot of folks like me are fed up and angry and somewhat less than polite.  We're pissed off now and you can't hide from all of us forever.

I need affordable health insurance, and I personally need income-based premium subsidies.  I don't need any more of your policy papers, because your policies are WRONG, Pat.  Most Americans, even the majority in your gerrymandered 12th District, approve of the ACA and don't want to see it repealed.  You are standing against the majority; you're thwarting the will of the people. 

Your absence last night spoke volumes -- you're a true chickenshit, a clot in the artery of progress, and a failure as my elected official.  I'll do everything I can to unseat you.

Please don't bother to send me another pre-fab response.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tiberi Town Hall, or "Where You At, Pat?"

In the main meeting area.
The sign reads "Lives in Ohio.  Not getting paid to be here."
Tonight I attended a With-or-Without-You town hall meeting organized by constituents of my U.S. Congressman, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R).  Our purpose was to let Tiberi hear our views on his hateful commitment to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  The meeting place was the Unitarian Church in Beechwold, and the place was jammed beyond capacity.  Organizers had said that over 1500 people made online commitments to attend.  That estimate may have been on the low side.  The main sanctuary was filled wall-to-wall.  It was SRO ten-deep around the perimeter and in the entry hall.  There was an overflow room with a video screen and people were packed in there like sardines.  Still more people spilled out the doors and stood outside.  The parking lot was full, and so were side streets and alleys.  The turnout was wonderfully encouraging, and I'm reasonably certain that none of us were paid to be there.  I know I wasn't.
Watching on video in the overflow room.

The Dispatch sent reporters and photographers.  Jerry Revish and a 10TV team showed up.  I rubbed elbows with State Rep. David Leland, and shook hands with Gov. Ted Strickland.

The only person not there was the safely gerrymandered Rep. Tiberi, who's a chickenshit weenie too scared to face the public and defend his indefensible positions.  He declined to attend.  In his stead, the organizers brought along a life-size cardboard cut-out of him -- Flat Pat.

Bad photo of "Flat Pat"

Regarding his absence, the lovely Mrs. Gammons made an excellent point:  In our jobs, most of us must occasionally deal with unhappy, complaining customers/clients/constituents.  It comes with the territory and there's no escaping it.  Unlike Pat, we cannot "decline to attend."

Paul Ryan Wants Me To Be Free -- Free Of Affordable Health Insurance

Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need. Obamacare is Washington telling you what to buy regardless of your needs.

Milk Carton Kid

The New ICE Age

The forecast for America calls for cold-heartedness, cruelty, prejudice, racial profiling, disregard for basic human rights, and a steady downpour of lies and disinformation.

Long-range forecasting models predict a prolonged period of darkness and ugliness throughout the nation, for a duration of perhaps four years.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"States Rights"? Almost Always B.S.

Today I read that, regarding LGBT civil rights and the potty police, the 4th Reich administration will revoke some Obama rules and flip the whole thing back to the states.  That's because Baby Boy DT has "always believed" that such things should be left to the states.

Oh stop!  Setting aside the fact that Diaper Donny has held no beliefs about anything ever, please explain to me how this issue has anything to do with states rights.  Is it in any way different in, say, Rhode Island as opposed to New Mexico?  No, it is not.

"States rights" is usually bullshit, a rationale for doing nothing, for preserving prejudice and awful discrimination.  The most instructive example is, of course, slavery.  The non-existent "right" of South Carolina to use slave labor was no more defensible back then than the nebulous "right" of North Carolina to pass laws today about who pees where.  Is murder or theft or assault or fraud permissible some states but illegal in others?  Nope.  No "states rights" when it comes to those things.

Now, I'll acknowledge that states rights/home rule has some legitimate application.  Local taxation leaps to mind.  As does state/local legislation which treats federal law as the minimum requirement, then ups the ante.  Some state minimum wage and state EPA regs are good examples.  There are doubtless many others.  

But usually, when some politician cites states rights as a rationalization, you may be assured of two things:

1. Said politician is a conservative Republican, and  2. Said politician wants to screw somebody over.