Tracker Pixel for Entry

​One man’s tax break is another man’s betrayal

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Last Word | December 27th, 2017

Art courtesy of Daily Trump CartoonTreasonthe offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one’s country or of assisting its enemies in war. – Webster’s Dictionary

“(Thomas) Jefferson seems to have had none of (James) Madison’s fear for the tyranny of majority opinion. Let everything come out, and the judgment of the common people will be sound. Over and over again, he writes of the essential ‘goodness and wisdom’ of the common people.”
– Alistair Cooke

The desperate and fearful hatred of some extremely rich and powerful few for the less fortunate many is impossible for ordinary, decent folks to imagine, unless they have read history, or have been within earshot of these disgusting people.

Nastier still are the hearts and minds of those who aspire to be among the richest and most powerful, but their thoughts, lies, and evasions are readily available in the daily news.

As Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) front their band of Republican millionaires, and their “Coward in Chief,” Donald Trump, in pimping for deep-pocket billionaire donors, the dark legacy of the Citizen’s United decision eats its way into our 21st Century democracy.

Like rats gnawing at the infrastructure of America’s busiest airport in Atlanta, Corker, Graham and other “Greed Republicans” are doing their best to impoverish our Ship of State before they desert it. It is quite a spectacle, but, who knows? They and their fellow “legislative terrorists” among Republicans in the House of Representatives, may yet fail to dampen the defiant spirits growing among liberal and conservative alike, flocking to the banners of the Democratic Party.

The Republican tax bill might even fail to wreck an economy, in which the private sector was already enriched and empowered by President Obama, as he strove to enhance what government does well in the areas of public safety, health, infrastructure and access to education. But these Republicans will NOT fail to wreck a lot of American lives, heedlessly, and without a trace of human sympathy.

Naturally, should the Republican tax bill be followed by a recession in the near future, they will blame anyone but themselves, maybe even Obama again, but the rest of us will have to look elsewhere for answers, maybe even in a mirror.

It may, indeed, turn out that devastating those of modest means, and destroying those of little means at all, just to enrich the already extremely wealthy, is as stupid as it is dishonorable.

“Don’t get excited about a tax cut,” said Arnold Glasow. “It’s like a mugger giving you back car fare.”

Once again, I had to turn to my Siberian husky friends, Putin and Rasputin, for advice on these thorny matters:

High Plains Reader: Do the criminal oligarchs in Vladimir Putin’s Russia despise their own people as much as our dark-money billionaires do us in the U.S.?

Putin: Oh yes, but for them it is more practical than emotional. Democracy and the rule of law ARE threatening their autocracy on their western borders and in the Ukraine. Islamic fanatics threaten all along their southern borders, and the North Korean problem could easily get out of control on their eastern borders with China. They cheer at any weakening of U.S. stability, as they see it, economic or political.

HPR: Just as I suppose our big-time Scrooges derive pleasure from more misery for the American middle class -- the underpinning of U.S. democracy.

Rasputin: True enough, but their visceral fear of diverse democracy really does matter as well. I’m sure you realize government shutdowns don’t hurt these plutocrats. Short-term budget fixes let Republicans blackmail the likes of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Democrats away from putting people before profits. In any event, federal and local governments, not to mention payroll departments around the country, will be thrown askew by the obscene haste of “Corker’s kickbackers” to mandate this mess by January 1, 2018 for political effect.

HPR: Anything to halt the advance of more freedom, more opportunity, more fairness and equality!

Putin: I’m afraid so. But there is this matter of Robert Mueller’s Special Investigation of Candidate Trump’s possible aiding and abetting of Russia’s attempt to overthrow the will of the American people in their Presidential election of 2016, an extension of the definition of treason. Not to mention U.S. military and civil service people around the country and the world who swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution, not to the current President “who would be king.”

HPR: You mean loyal Americans attacked by Congressman Devin Nunes’s (R-CA), renegade “conspiracy committee,” and FOX News to rally right wing wackos and gullible mainstream Republicans against a so-called “Deep State?”

Rasputin: Precisely. Like FBI employees who follow the money trail and other facts wherever they lead, into Russia and the Trump Tower in NYC. Like CIA officials who know the difference between suborning other countries’ citizens and the corruption of our own. Like any government official, in fact, who considers the demands of their job to be more important than whims of the President.

HPR: But once Trump signs the new Tax Bill, the fat cats won’t really need him. A President Pence can just as easily veto Democrats’ attempts to produce fairer legislation between now and 2020 as a President Trump.

Putin: And Vladimir Putin doesn’t need Trump anymore. His successful attempt to turn the President of the United States into a Russian State asset has already paid off in ways that he could only have hoped for, but not expected.

HPR: But Putin’s biggest prize, the elimination of sanctions through the Magnitsky Act, still eludes him, doesn’t it?

Rasputin: Of course, but that matter is controlled by Congress, not the President, and they have not been willing to betray your country to that extent.

HPR: Because, deep down Republicans are just as patriotic as Democrats?

Putin and Rasputin: Around the country, to be sure, but not this Republican bunch that controls Congress. Their patriotism is contingent upon self-interest. They hate competition from Russia. If there is any screwing of the American people to be done, it should be a domestic affair, a sort of “Republican family values.”

HPR: As Samuel Johnson’s saying goes: “(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Thank you my friends for your grim, but enlightening thoughts, as the New Year approaches and Republican Congressional scoundrels and President Trump scramble to escape accountability for their actions!

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

Culture

Drink n’ Destroy

by Logan Macrae

Pixeled is every 1980’s nerd’s wet dream. This is the kind of place that you sat in your parent’s basement and dreamt about. Contemplating what college might look like, and through your braced teeth, you took a wheezy breath,…

Saturday, December 15th, 3-6pmJunkyard Brewing Company, 1416 1st Ave N, MoorheadCome bare the elements with us for a good cause. Bring your spare winter gear to be donated to Churches United for the Homeless. Coats, gloves, boots,…

by Josh Boscheejoshua.boschee@yahoo.comphoto courtesy of Mitch MarrEight words that perfectly describe the beautiful spirit of Kim Winnegge."I have given my whole life to words."Those of us who knew her remember these words as a…

Gadfly

Affluenza

by Ed Raymond

What happens if conspicuous consumption becomes global?The latest National Geographic has an editorial “The Global Peril of Inequality” by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond which the entire world should read. The author of many…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comUs North Dakotans love our Knoephla soup. I am no exception. I have fond childhood memories of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen making this dumpling soup. From then until today, my taste buds go…

Music

Snow and Flurry

by HPR Contributor

by Jacques Harvieux jacquesthejock@gmail.comMosh pit etiquette 101: The mosh pit is located front and center of the stage.Create a sizeable ring.When the music starts unleash mayhem. If you fall - get up immediately.If somebody…

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller beautifully translates another personal autobiography to excellent results. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is based on the confessional 2008 memoir of literary forger Lee…

SEBEKA, Minnesota – Nearly a century ago the nation was racked by inclement weather, soaring unemployment, and despair following World War I and the lucrative Roaring 20s. The 1930s were an era of dust storms and lunch lines,…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comFargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story: The Musical” which is underway at the Stage at Island Park and will run through December 22. It has been promoted as a show both…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…