As the royal triumvirate of Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell continue their perverse quest to turn our America into a gold-plated Trumplandistan for oligarchs, they keep insisting that their blatantly-elitist schemes will magically elevate the middle class and even the poor, delivering a 7-course-dinner to everyone!
From 1776 forward, the "common yeoman" – America's middle class – has been hailed as the virtuous heart and backbone of our nation. How ironic, since it took 150 years before we actually created a broad middle class. Before the 1930s, most Americans were poor, or near poor.
In the 1980s, when I was Texas Ag commissioner, my staff and I proposed a comprehensive set of state rules to protect farmworkers, public health, our water supplies, and farmers themselves from the life-threatening consequences of toxic pesticides.
Every decade or so, America's mass media are surprised to discover that migrant farmworkers are still being miserably paid and despicably treated by the industry that profits from their labor. Stories run, the public is outraged (again), assorted officials pledge action, then... nothing changes.
Every decade or so, America's mass media are surprised to discover that migrant farmworkers are still being miserably paid and despicably treated by the industry that profits from their labor.
Let's talk about two daily essentials: Breakfast and, of course, beer.
This special day got me to thinking about America's spirit of giving, and I don't mean this overdone business of Christmas gifts. I mean our true spirit of giving – giving of ourselves.
For most of us, food is not just fodder to get us through the day – it touches us emotionally, culturally... personally.
Free and open access to the internet is a virtuous democratic principle known as "net neutrality," meaning the system doesn't care if you're a brand-name corporation or an unknown start-up, a billionaire or a poverty-wage laborer – you are entitled to equal treatment in sending or getting information on the worldwide web. However, corporate executives never let virtue stand in the way of profit.
The Trump tax plan is not selling well. Indeed, two-thirds of the American people oppose it, and only 16 percent believe it would reduce their tax bill.
Sam Rayburn, a legendary Speaker of the US House in the 1940s and '50s, offered this piece of ethical advice for lawmakers who were conflicted over whether to vote for the People or the lobbyists: "Every now and then," he said, "a politician ought to do something just because it's right."
"We've had a great relationship," exulted a giddy Donald Trump, following his two-day schmoozefest in Manila with the thuggish Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte.
It's "Cyber Monday" – get out there and buy stuff! But you don't actually have to go anywhere, for this gimmicky shop-shop-shop day lures us to consume without leaving home, or even getting out of bed.
Let's talk Turkey! No, not the Butterball sitting in the Oval Office. I'm talking about the real thing, the big bird, 46 million of which we Americans will devour on this Thanksgiving Day.
As Donald Trump said: "Strange things happen in life."
If you've ever been to any of the cities graced with a Trump hotel, casino, resort, etcetera – you know that The Donald splashes his name in giant, gaudy letters across every structure he owns, preferably in gold.
Here's a question for our Trumpestuous President and his Trumpeteers in Congress: "Why are you even considering giving more tax breaks to corporate giants?"
Isn't it funny that right-wing politicians across the country piously rant against giving a few bucks worth of jobless benefits to the needy, then turn around and shove billions of our tax dollars into corporate welfare for the greedy?
Would you give your house key to a complete stranger, letting that person (whose name you don't even know) walk right into your home when you're not there?
Noting that the US military was developing armed, autonomous robots to serve as battleground soldiers in our wars, a 2015 New York Times article asked an important question: "Can they learn to make moral choices?"
In June, our Tweety Bird president tweeted this message to members of the US Army: "Proud to be your commander-in-chief." Actually, Trump is only the delegator-in-chief, having passed to subordinates a president's most solemn duty of guiding our nation's war policies – including what wars to be in.
Good news, people – at last, congressional Democrats have gotten a clue, grown some spine, and are beginning to act like... well, like Democrats!
So, President Trump makes what was to be a condolence phone call to the young widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four American soldiers killed on a military patrol in Niger – and all of a sudden, the White House explodes in yet another political conflagration and a new burst of presidential lies.
There's a robot in your future. Not one of those cute little labor-saving automatons – like a "Roomba" vacuum cleaner.
The governors of many states are boldly stepping forward these days to stop grassroots democracy.