Which way is it, Mr. Trump? Delivered with all the sincerity he could suck off a teleprompter, Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech last night was a matter I’ll leave largely to pundits wiser and better briefed than I. However, there was one glaring inconsistency that I feel I must point out. He told us that economically we’ve never had it so good. We have more employment, for better money, for more people, than ever and ever hallelujah! And then he got into immigration, and how immigrants are taking away all our jobs and driving down all our wages.
No no, Donald. You can have it one way. Or you can have it the other way. But you can’t have it both ways at once. (Except maybe in the case of those two hookers with full bladders in Russia.)
Trump and his damn wall. If he really wants to keep people from walking across the border, all he has too do is lay a minefield. Yes, people would get killed and maimed. Not to mention jackrabbits, field mice, gophers, rattlesnakes, and the occasional curiosity seeker and minefield tourist. What’s that you say? We don’t have minefield tourists now? Lay a minefield and we will. As P.T. Barnum, (or was it H.L. Mencken?) once said, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. You want proof? His name is Donald J. Trump.
How to make college — and prescription medicines — affordable at the same time. I think I’m serious about this. Or partly serious. Or sort of serious. I mean it’s a crazy idea. But like flying into the sky with the help of an internal combustion engine attached to what’s essentially a pinwheel, which is in turn attached to a pair of giant dragonfly wings (thanks, Wright Brothers!) …or like curing previously deadly infections by injecting some kind of mold into peoples’ veins (thanks, Alexander Flemming)…or spending billions to fly men to the moon just so they could plant a flag there and burble some stuff about small steps and giant steps and mankind (thanks NASA and the Congresses that funded it)…this might work. I’m not saying it will. Just that it might. If we try it.
Suppose we pass a law — yeah, a radical law — that restricts all government funding of pharmaceutical research to not-for-profit universities. The universities would be entitled to earn a small-but-reasonable profit on drugs they invent, perfect and test — not the obscene profits private drug companies earn.
Moreover, the universities would be required to apply those profits to tuition reduction for their own students. Some of the research would have to be farmed out to small liberal arts and technical colleges, and they would then share in the profits proportionately. (If the the small institutions don’t have the labs and technical chops for the drug research, let them handle the statistics and other details for the clinical trials.)
Bottom line: Drugs become less expensive. College becomes less expensive. America becomes healthier. Martin Shkreli’s and Heather Bresch's heads explode. I mean, it’s all nothing but positives. And now back to Donald Trump.
Can Trump be tricked into having a giant public meltdown? I’m not talking about an itty-bitty cursing fit, or another coded racist diatribe about good people on both sides. I’m talking about a screaming, yelling, kicking, table-pounding, foaming-at-the-mouth, foul-language explosion that reveals his inner six-year-old. Okay if you insist, not-so-inner. How can we make that happen?
Let’s start calling some of the Trump organization’s Russian ventures what they clearly appear to be to many people, myself included: Treason, committed for reasons of venality. And let’s start demanding the death penalty, which I believe is still on the books for treason. Let’s start waving banners and chanting, “Trump. Treason. Death Penalty.” Let’s put it on bumper stickers. Let’s encourage the press to ask about it at every turn. I’ll betcha one of Howard Schultz’s Grande Venti Trenta super moccicato skim milk cold-brewed hot lattes that at some point, if we all keep up the treason pressure, The Trumpster loses it in public. I mean really, really loses it.
Speaking of Howard Schultz have you noticed that since he announced he’s considering running for president and everybody, me included, jumped down his throat and then crawled out of it again just to poo all over his bright idea, things have been quiet on the topic of the Barrista Presidency? Let’s make sure he lets the idea die a merciful death. To do so, we saner bloggers ought every so often to jump on Schultz’s not-so-bright idea and rip him a new one, just to remind him that a barrista should stick to his espresso machine.
Where’s Kaepernick? Where’s Kaepernick? That’s not me asking the same question twice. That’s a proposed chant that ought to be chanted at every NFL football game. Colin Kaepernick is being punished for protesting racial violance. His protest was expressed by getting down on one knee during the salute to the American flag. It was visual. But it was also respectful. He didn’t turn his back, thumb his nose, spit, or walk off the field. He knelt, just as people in some churches do when they pray. A bent knee is always — I mean always — a sign of respect, not the opposite.
The real disrespect to the flag — and to the people who died for it — is by those who would punish peaceful and respectful protest, the very thing our Constitution grants us and that the American flag symbolizes. But imagine if every football game from now on were delayed while the crowd chanting Where's Kaepernick?
Chant it over and over again: Where’s Kaepernick? Where’s Kaepernick? Where’s Kaepernick? Where’s Kaepernick?
Remind the NFL every chance you get that they have furthered the cause of racism to make a filthy buck.