17.3.17

Have I got a deal for you

Thanks to the delayed winter storms and Spring Break and a never-ending cold, I've been watching more tv than usual.  And because I've been a politics junkie for a while, much of that it stuff like MSNBC and C-SPAN, so I'm getting a lot of what's going on in Washington.  And... it's depressing, isn't it?  No matter who you voted for, you should be depressed by the tone of conversation, the lack of presidential demeanor and the spate of "fake news"/"alternative facts"/Tweetstorms pouring out of that city.

Yesterday's press conference was a case-in-point.  Reporters trying to get a clear answer from the Press Secretary, who actually gave one of the worst storytime readings I've ever heard (and I've judged the NYC storytelling competition, so I have some expertise in this).  They did a great job of not laughing in his face but it was close.  It's fascinating theatre.  Crap politics, but you can't have both, right?  (at least, you can't these days)

One thing that I think is getting lost in all the budget bother: our president claims to be a Master Negotiator.  Everything he does is framed that way, and most of his campaign promises were along the lines of "better deal" or "renegotiate".  The Draconian nature of this budget and his government reorganization may be just that, a position that simply can't be defended or that will pass but will serve as a point from which to negotiate.  And then, when the budget or government size his advisors (because I simply can't believe that Trump himself actually has a clue about any of this) actually want, it can be TRUMPeted (see what I did there?) as a HUGE WIN.  #MAGA.  Etc.

I'm reminded of the episode of Star Trek TNG where Scotty tells LaForge that he always padded the time needed for a repair so when it came in well under that prediction, Kirk would think he (Scotty) was a genius.


Lost in their calculations is that the way this is playing out means many people will feel as though no one has their interests at heart, from the president to their representatives.  Also lost is the fact that while ultimately I may send less to Washington, I'll be sending more to Boston (and you, dear readers, will be sending more to Albany, Sacramento, Austin, etc.) as programs fall on the shoulders of state governments and those taxes will rise.  And rise.  As our president says, Sad!

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