Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
You are the madman of the year!
Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?
( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel,
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
Betty MacDonald's sister Alison Bard Burnett
Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,
a fascinating Betty MacDonald biography should include all the info on Betty MacDonald's siblings, family and very important friends.
As a reader and Betty MacDonald fan you also would like to learn the story about the persons in Betty MacDonald's books, for example the already mentioned mysterious lady Dorita Hess.
You'll be able to read this updated Betty MacDonald biography in 2017.
There will be also several new Betty MacDonald fan club interviews available.
Don't miss Vita Magica on December 13, 2016 please.
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel invited a very famous author.
We bet you'll enjoy Vita Magica very much.
If you know the city don't miss the chance, please to send us a mail as soon as you can.
If you are lucky enough you are our Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner today.
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.
This interview will be published for the first time ever.
New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.
We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli
Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.
Wolfgang Hampel's literary event Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.
It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's new very well researched stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett, Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.
Vita Magica was very witty and enjoyable.
We know the visitors had a great time there.
Congratulations dear Letizia Maninco, Wolfgang Hampel and Friedrich von Hoheneichen!
Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.
I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.
Don't miss it, please.
It's simply great!
You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.
He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.
Thanks a million!
Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.
Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.
Letizia Mancino's magical Betty MacDonald Gallery is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.
Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please.
Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites.
I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.
I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.
Don't miss the very interesting articles below, please.
The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career
Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang!
Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?
I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.
Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say
Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel
All rights reserved
Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.
He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!
Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!
Besides him ( by the way the First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech.
The old man could be his great-grandfather.
The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.
Dear 'great-grandfather' continued and praised the Democratic candidate.
He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.
He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.
She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt. Do you know how corrupt she is?
Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.
Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends.
He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:
Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!
Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.
They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens.
By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.
I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.
Away - away - there is nothing more to say!
I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.
I totally agree with these comments:
Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.
We hope you'll enjoy it very much.
I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions
Can you remember in which book you can find it?
If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner.
I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's new very well researched stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett, Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.
It' s such a pleasure to read them.
Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's Vashon Island.
Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.
Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding Betty MacDonald biography.
I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.
Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please.
You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.
This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum.
Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications?
If so would you be so kind to share them?
Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.
If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.
Thank you so much in advance for your support.
Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.
More info are coming soon.
Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans.
Many Betty MacDonald - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.
We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.
Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary.
Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is beloved all over the World.
We are so happy that our 'Casanova' is back.
Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.
The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952.
Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.
Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.
Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.
Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German )
Betty MacDonald fan club
Betty MacDonald forum
Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I
Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - cyclopaedia.net ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia ( English / German )
Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )
Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )
Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)
Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel
Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD
Betty MacDonald fan club items
Betty MacDonald fan club items - comments
Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I
Betty MacDonald fan club groups
Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund
Betty MacDonald fan club and Heide Rose
Betty MacDonald fan club fan Greta Larson
Trump: Madman of the Year
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Russians flock to U.S. real estate after Trump victory
Wealthy Russians are looking to spend big on U.S. real estate in the wake of Donald Trump's election victory.The number of Russians who have expressed interest in buying luxury properties in the U.S. has spiked by 35% over the previous year following the billionaire's win, according to global real estate consultancy Knight Frank.
"Many of our customers are going go to the Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition and will see real estate there," said Marina Kuzmina, head of international sales at Knight Frank Russia. "A few customers are interested in the opportunity to buy property in development projects of Donald Trump, and we have received requests from U.S. developers wishing to cooperate with Russia."
Some investors see Trump's election as a sign that relations between Russia and the West may soon improve. Trump has praised Vladimir Putin as a strong leader, and the Russian president has made clear that he preferred Trump over his rival Hillary Clinton.
Related: Russian investors cheer Donald Trump's election
Russian purchases of U.S. property accounted for roughly 15% of Knight Frank's international sales as recently as 2014.
Some of the Russian purchases were extraordinary. Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the daughter of billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, made headlines in 2011 when she purchased the then most expensive apartment in Manhattan. The Central Park West condo was bought by a trust under the name of the then 22-year old for $88 million.
Rybolovlev himself bought a $95 million beachfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida in 2008. The seller? Donald Trump.
But demand fell of the cliff after western countries imposed sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the crisis in Ukraine. The sanctions, coupled with falling oil prices, put a huge strain on Russia's economy and sent the ruble plummeting.
Now, Russian buyers appear to have returned with force.
America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country. Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country. And we are lost for it. As I surveyed the ruin of that country this gray Wednesday morning, I found weary consolation in W.H. Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939, which concludes:
“Defenseless under the nightOur world in stupor lies;Yet, dotted everywhere,Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”
I hunt for that affirming flame.
This generally has been called the “hate election” because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let’s not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us.
If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: “He says the things I’m thinking.” That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool’s paradise. Now we aren’t.
This country has survived a civil war, two world wars and a Great Depression. There are many who say we will survive this, too. Maybe we will, but we won’t survive unscathed. We know too much about each other to heal. No more can we pretend that we are exceptional or good or progressive or united. We are none of those things. Nor can we pretend that democracy works and that elections have more-or-less happy endings. Democracy only functions when its participants abide by certain conventions, certain codes of conduct and a respect for the process.
Democracy can’t cope with extremism. Only violence and time can defeat it. The first is unacceptable, the second takes too long. Though Trump is an extremist, I have a feeling that he will be a very popular president and one likely to be re-elected by a substantial margin, no matter what he does or fails to do. That’s because ever since the days of Ronald Reagan, rhetoric has obviated action, speechifying has superseded governing.
Trump was absolutely correct when he bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t care. It was a dictator’s ugly vaunt, but one that recognized this election never was about policy or economics or the “right path/wrong path,” or even values. It was about venting. So long as Trump vented their grievances, his all-white supporters didn’t care about anything else. He is smart enough to know that won’t change in the presidency. In fact, it is only likely to intensify. White America, Trump’s America, just wants to hear its anger bellowed. This is one time when the Bully Pulpit will be literal.
The media can’t be let off the hook for enabling an authoritarian to get to the White House. Long before he considered a presidential run, he was a media creation — a regular in the gossip pages, a photo on magazine covers, the bankrupt (morally and otherwise) mogul who hired and fired on The Apprentice. When he ran, the media treated him not as a candidate, but as a celebrity, and so treated him differently from ordinary pols. The media gave him free publicity, trumpeted his shenanigans, blasted out his tweets, allowed him to phone in his interviews, fell into his traps and generally kowtowed until they suddenly discovered that this joke could actually become president.
Just as Trump has shredded our values, our nation and our democracy, he has shredded the media. In this, as in his politics, he is only the latest avatar of a process that began long before his candidacy. Just as the sainted Ronald Reagan created an unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor that the Republicans would later exploit against Democrats, conservatives delegitimized mainstream journalism so they could fill the vacuum.
With Trump’s election, I think that the ideal of an objective, truthful journalism is dead, never to be revived. Like Nixon and Sarah Palin before him, Trump ran against the media, boomeranging off the public’s contempt for the press. He ran against what he regarded as media elitism and bias, and he ran on the idea that the press disdained working-class white America. Among the many now-widening divides in the country, this is a big one, the divide between the media and working-class whites, because it creates a Wild West of information — a media ecology in which nothing can be believed except what you already believe.
With the mainstream media so delegitimized — a delegitimization for which they bear a good deal of blame, not having had the courage to take on lies and expose false equivalencies — they have very little role to play going forward in our politics. I suspect most of them will surrender to Trumpism — if they were able to normalize Trump as a candidate, they will no doubt normalize him as president. Cable news may even welcome him as a continuous entertainment and ratings booster. And in any case, like Reagan, he is bulletproof. The media cannot touch him, even if they wanted to. Presumably, there will be some courageous guerillas in the mainstream press, a kind of Resistance, who will try to fact-check him. But there will be few of them, and they will be whistling in the wind. Trump, like all dictators, is his own truth.
What’s more, Trump already has promised to take his war on the press into courtrooms and the halls of Congress. He wants to loosen libel protections, and he has threatened Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos of Amazon with an antitrust suit. Individual journalists have reason to fear him as well. He has already singled out NBC’s Katy Tur, perhaps the best of the television reporters, so that she needed the Secret Service to escort her from one of his rallies. Jewish journalists who have criticized Trump have been subjected to vicious anti-Semitism and intimidation from the white nationalist “alt-right.” For the press, this is likely to be the new normal in an America in which white supremacists, neo-Nazi militias, racists, sexists, homophobes and anti-Semites have been legitimized by a new president who “says what I’m thinking.” It will be open season.
This converts the media from reporters to targets, and they have little recourse. Still, if anyone points the way forward, it may be New York Times columnist David Brooks. Brooks is no paragon. He always had seemed to willfully neglect modern Republicanism’s incipient fascism (now no longer incipient), and he was an apologist for conservative self-enrichment and bigotry. But this campaign season, Brooks pretty much dispensed with politics. He seemed to have arrived at the conclusion that no good could possibly come of any of this and retreated into spirituality. What Brooks promoted were values of mutual respect, a bolder sense of civic engagement, an emphasis on community and neighborhood, and overall a belief in trickle-up decency rather than trickle-down economics. He is not hopeful, but he hasn’t lost all hope.For those of us now languishing in despair, this may be a prescription for rejuvenation. We have lost the country, but by refocusing, we may have gained our own little patch of the world and, more granularly, our own family. For journalists, Brooks may show how political reporting, which, as I said, is likely to be irrelevant in the Trump age, might yield to a broader moral context in which one considers the effect that policy, strategy and governance have not only on our physical and economic well-being but also on our spiritual well-being. In a society that is likely to be fractious and odious, we need a national conversation on values. The media could help start it.But the disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled white Americans, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us.We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.
The casual invitation “left civil servants amused and befuddled.” In Trump’s mind, the British prime minister might have plans to swing by America for a visit, in which case, the president-elect hoped May would give him a heads-up. What Trump doesn’t realize is that May would only come if invited.
Yesterday, the Republican had another chat with a foreign leader, and as the Washington Post noted, no one prepared Trump for this conversation, either.
Pakistan’s Press Information Bureau on Wednesday released a readout of a phone call on Monday between Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and the U.S. president-elect, Donald Trump. The readout is unusual in that it focuses almost entirely on Trump’s contributions to the conversation, and reproduces them in a voice that is unmistakably his.
Of particular interest, the readout added, “On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump.”
It’s worth noting that Trump hasn’t always had such a friendly attitude towards Pakistan. In recent years, Trump published tweets in which he insisted Pakistan “is not our friend,” and shouldn’t be considered an “ally” of the United States.
But more pressing in this situation is that Trump told Nawaz Sharif he’s prepared to help resolve Pakistan’s problems and would love to visit Pakistan in person as president.
Time magazine had a good piece on this yesterday, explaining why the president-elect’s comments were “reckless and bizarre.”
Tensions between India and Pakistan have intensified, which leaves the United States in an awkward position. The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to strengthen U.S./India ties, while also delicately maintaining financial support for Pakistan.There are few foreign policy topics quite as complicated as the relationship between India and Pakistan, South Asia’s nuclear-armed nemeses. Any world leader approaching the issue even obliquely must surely see the “Handle With Care” label from miles away, given the possibility of nuclear conflict.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, however, doesn’t seem to have read the memo, injecting a pronounced element of uncertainty about the position of the world’s only remaining superpower on this most complex of subjects in a call with the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif…. Trump’s intervention could have serious consequences for both regional and global stability.
Note, however, that President Obama is the first American president to ever visit India twice during his term, while Obama has not set foot in Pakistan.
Trump, who probably isn’t aware of the diplomatic balancing act, apparently signaled to Sharif a very different U.S. posture towards Pakistan – up to and including a presidential visit to the country.
If Trump does go to Pakistan, it risks alienating Indian allies. If Trump doesn’t visit after telling Sharif he would, it will further complicate an already difficult Pakistani relationship. And I can’t wait to hear what this means: “I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.”
Electing a president who doesn’t know what he’s doing carries real consequences.
The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist
Trump’s Agents of Idiocracy
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Donald Trump's Republican Fascist Party. Puppets for Putin.
This outspoken bigoted, xenophobic, misogynist fascist who lost the popular vote by two million and counting will never be my President. Period. I will never accept the legitimacy of Trump’s Presidency. Nor should any of us.
The egregious, dog whistling reality is that twice in my recent lifetime the Electoral College and Supreme Court (in 2000) elected two Presidents that clearly lost the popular vote. In 2000 Al Gore won 500,000 votes over W. who, as we all well remember, is one of the most destructive Presidents in recent U.S. history. We can hardly forget what happened under W.’s watch.
Two unfunded wars, tax cuts for the rich, at the expense of middle and working class Americans, and a global financial meltdown that nearly matched that of the Great Depression in 1929 dealt a crushing economic blow to the majority of us. Hard working Americans lost their jobs, their homes while their retirement savings accounts went poof! College graduates in 2009 and 2010 had a tough time finding well paying jobs. Jobs that could sustain them as the recent graduates struggled to pay off their college loans. The lack of economic opportunities forced too many college graduates to move back at home with their parents. Who, by the way, also struggled during the bleak W. years of unpaid wars and tax cuts for the 1%.
Meanwhile the GOP’s donor class, the rich, got richer. Its wealth never did trickle down to the lower masses, a Republican fraudulent myth that has been promoted since the Reagan Administration.
There is no way in hell that I will roll over and passively watch the ensuing nightmare that is about to unfold. The right wing shit show ahead promises to be even worse than anything W./Cheney visited upon we the wee ones during the dark Bush years.
I will not get over it because Trump is a fraud. He may be a favorite play thing and puppet for Vladimir Putin, global oligarchs and U.S. warmongers, but he's no President of mine. Trump lost over 2 million American votes. And counting.
You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.My sentiments exactly. And the real crook at hand turns out to be Trump, himself. Lock him up.
I don’t believe you care much at all about this country or your party or the American people. I believe that the only thing you care about is self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment. Your strongest allegiance is to your own cupidity.
I also believe that much of your campaign was an act of psychological projection, as we are now learning that many of the things you slammed Clinton for are things of which you may actually be guilty.
Hillary Clinton leads by two million votes so far. But she is not our President.
This should be appalling.
We “sore losers” are literally terrified that Trump will make W. look somewhat competent. There is already talk of dismantling Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Dodd-Frank will soon be toast, no doubt. Wall Street will become a venue for reckless gambling casinos all over again. And when the casinos crash and burn, for they will, you and I will pick up the tab.
And so it will go.
Ironically and yes, sadly, Trump and U.S. House Speaker Ryan’s economic plans will punish Trump’s working class voters the most.
It is these very voters—less educated, struggling to get by on low incomes—who will bear the brunt of unified Republican government under Trump.Trump will not bring back working class jobs. Technologies will continue to do the work of humans in most factories. For unfettered capitalism thrives on personal greed for those at the top. Jobs will continue to be outsourced to countries that exploit cheap labor. Coal mines will continue with strip mining and mountaintop removal that requires fewer workers than under the ground mining. CEO’s will continue to receive huge bonuses on the backs of their employees. Libertarian billionaires like the Koch boys will continue to influence the destruction of labor unions that once protected workers.
The GOP Congress may give Trump his “infrastructure plan,” but that looks like it will consist of a bunch of tax cuts for investors to sink into toll bridges and toll roads. It will definitely give him the rest of his huge tax cuts, but those are skewed toward those at the top and won’t bring much relief to the “forgotten men and women of this country,” as he promised when campaigning.
If the GOP repeals the Affordable Care Act, as it’s vowed to do since it was enacted, many of these voters will lose their subsidized health insurance. Block-granting Medicaid and privatizing Medicare will dramatically increase these their economic insecurity.
They’ll lose food stamps and Head Start slots. They’ll lose access to reproductive health care. They can forget about a hike in the federal minimum wage. According to one estimate, 20 million Trump voters will lose out on a big raise when Republicans kill Obama’s overtime rule.
And if the GOP doesn’t get rid of it entirely, they’ll at least hobble the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which reined in the kind of predatory lending schemes that often indenture the working poor. It’ll be death by a thousand cuts.
There will be no doubt some voter’s remorse pretty soon when folks realize Trump conned them. We should not demonize these voters. No one can blame anyone for voting to climb out of minimum wage jobs, poverty and the misery it brings. Unfortunately, a bait and switch con artist should not have been the struggling working class’s main man.
Donald Trump is correct when he bleated “the election is rigged.” That it is. It is rigged for Trump, thanks to the Electoral College. Our Founding Fathers apparently implemented this system in order to protect slavery in 1787 and 1803.
Standard civics-class accounts of the Electoral College rarely mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery.Right. As in when the South fought the civil war in order to protect slavery. Slavery as in some human beings literally owning other human beings is thankfully gone. The Electoral College should have been abolished along with slavery since its original goal was to protect human enslavement.
If the system’s pro-slavery tilt was not overwhelmingly obvious when the Constitution was ratified, it quickly became so. For 32 of the Constitution’s first 36 years, a white slaveholding Virginian occupied the presidency.Disgusting. Nor does it help that Donald Trump has nominated three white supremacists into his administration (Bannon, Sessions and Flynn) for starters. White supremacists now replace former slave owners? How fitting.
Southerner Thomas Jefferson, for example, won the election of 1800-01 against Northerner John Adams in a race where the slavery-skew of the electoral college was the decisive margin of victory: without the extra electoral college votes generated by slavery, the mostly southern states that supported Jefferson would not have sufficed to give him a majority. As pointed observers remarked at the time, Thomas Jefferson metaphorically rode into the executive mansion on the backs of slaves.
We are in for some very rough times ahead all right. But we cannot curl up and hide under our beds for the next four years. While there is talk about an election audit we’re likely stuck with Trump for now. We must stay engaged. For now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent.
And the press usually takes a stance that the new administration at least deserves to have a chance to get started - a honeymoon period. But these are not normal times. This is not about tax policy, health care, or education - even though all those and more are so important. This is about racism, bigotry, intimidation and the specter of corruption.Like most members of this community the outcome of this election all but destroyed me. My husband I reeled in shock, unable to eat for two days. I skipped a class that I take at Rice University. I cancelled a swimming date with a friend on Wednesday. Both of us were afraid we’d sink to the bottom of the 7’ deep pool and never re-emerge. My siblings, relatives and friends from New York City to Seattle are still speechless. Some of us among Texas bloggers were too shocked to write for several days after the election. It took me over two weeks. When I learned that a few Catholic members of my large family voted for Trump b/c the right to lifers got to them, I wanted to scream.
When I visited my mother in Cincinnati days after the election I saw Trump/Pence and Choose Life signs in too many yards. These are neighborhoods with a large Catholic population. My mother knows that her daughters are highly upset with her. Our Catholic mother is 91 years old. I had to say “No one will blame you for voting for your religion, Mom.” She hated voting for Trump, she admitted, but she felt she had to because of abortion. I sucked it up and hid my tears out of love and respect for our mother.
None of us felt so hopelessly ravaged before because we know this election has gone terribly wrong. We didn’t lose to a McCain, Romney, Jeb Bush or John Kasich. Though we would have been distraught and disappointed, we could have moved on because these men don’t terrify us.
But we “lost” (not) to a plain spoken hate master, bigot, misogynist, xenophobic, self-serving narcissist and fascist instead. Who essentially said a President can do anything he wants and get away with it. As if he is a King or CEO.
Moving on and getting over it are not viable options.
Playing the blame game at this point in time is counter productive. No more talk about Bernie vs. Hillary. We are well past this point in the political dialogue. We are down to the basic survival of our country’s democratic process.
Citizen bloggers like me and members of our community must continue our activism, no matter the challenges. Our local Democratic Parties must stay focused on and shout out about the forthcoming abuses of power as well as an era of unsurpassed government kleptocracy and intimidation.
We should make sure to donate to organizations such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center. For these are groups that can put the legal brakes on the right wing shit show that lies ahead.
But as I stand I do not despair, because I believe the vast majority of Americans stand with me. To all those in Congress of both political parties, to all those in the press, to religious and civic leaders around the country. your voices must be heard. I hope that the President-elect can learn to rise above this and see the dangers that are brewing. If he does and speaks forcibly, and with action, we should be ready to welcome his voice. But of course I am deeply worried that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggests otherwise.Birds of a feather flock together. Trump has chosen three white supremacists to serve in his government so far. Non-Christians have much to fear in a Trump administration, as well.
To all of you I say, stay vigilant. The great Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that even as a minority, there was strength in numbers in fighting tyranny. Holding hands and marching forward, raising your voice above the din of complacency, can move mountains. And in this case, I believe there is a vast majority who wants to see this nation continue in tolerance and freedom. But it will require speaking. Engage in your civic government. Flood newsrooms or TV networks with your calls if you feel they are slipping into the normalization of extremism. Donate your time and money to causes that will fight to protect our liberties.Many of us became political activists during the Bush Administrations. The results of the 2000 (stolen) election had stung so many of us to the core. In my case, while working for a private academic institution in Houston, a colleague courageously sent an email to those whom she thought would be open to serving as grassroots activist watch dogs of the Bush Administration. Sarah had reserved a conference room on campus and about 30 of us met there for a couple of hours. We met once a month. Sarah and another colleague are well seasoned organizers (supporters of the former Kucinich progressive movement) and they got us started. We joined our neighborhood’s Democratic clubs and Civic Clubs. If we had kids we ran for PTO school board posts. We became voter deputy registrars in our home counties. We joined forces with our local party as well as with Battleground TX in 2014. Some of us are bloggers. We know how to use social media. The good news in this ongoing horror show is that Hillary swept Houston/Harris Co. The Tea Party has been put to bed. For now.
The fight never ends especially for those of us who live in Republican controlled states. The US government is about to become another Koch boy owned Kansas if we don’t fight back.
The battle ahead is like none other so far. We are literally fighting for our basic democratic rights as well as for our country’s future.
I must add, in the sixteen years that I have served as a political activist I never cease to be amazed by voters who will routinely vote against their best interests. I understand how it happens (right wing media, online fake news sites, religious beliefs, dog whistles, the fear, the evil doing “other” cards) but what will it take, finally, to wake folks up?
And when will hard working Americans end their romanticization and worship of billionaires like Trump? Billionaires like Trump don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves. Nor will Trump, et al allow their vast wealth to trickle down to a bunch of “undeserving, dumb morons” who are poor and lazy. Former President Ronald Reagan’s demonization of the “welfare queens” is still in play within the Republican Party.
Mr. Tigerli in China
Copyright 2016 by Letizia Mancino
translation by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved
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