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:

FARGO – The National Weather Service has predicted widespread flooding from the Great Lakes to Devils Lake to the Red River of the North River Basin, saying the risk is elevated because of packed snow, deep frost, and…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com“North Dakota (and Minnesota) nice” is an attitude, a stereotype, and a way of life that has permeated our region, as well as perceptions of the Midwest, since as long as people have been…

March 19-23Fargo Theatre, 314 N Broadway, FargoThe Fargo Theatre will be opening daily at 9am during the Fargo Film Festival and will be screening 90+ submissions! Add director Q&As, 2 minute movie contest and extra special guests.…

It is possible, even ethical, to stand behind Israel and criticize the nation at the same time. No country, no man or woman, is without fault. While we at the High Plains Reader believe the U.S. House of Representatives’…

The Battle Between Extreme Capitalism And Democratic SocialismAfter Vice-President Mike Pence representing racial and extreme capitalism ended his scathing rant about democratic socialism at the Conservative Political Action…

The eighth week of this year’s HPR Cocktail Showdown was another tripleheader for our panel of judges. On this particular week, we found ourselves focused on a trio of downtown dining and entertainment establishments to visit…

In rural Minnesota, outside of Park Rapids, Amy Thielen was attempting to light her wood-fired oven. It is in her brand-new kitchen that she hopes to teach cooking classes out of, which is a far cry from what it was when she and…

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra has had its fair share of guest performances headlining its concerts over the years. They all have impressive resumes, their fair share of awards, and worldwide recognition. However, bringing…

With the 19th annual Fargo Film Festival underway this week, film lovers and filmmakers are flocking to the Fargo Theatre to catch screenings. One local filmmaker, Steven Warkel, got to see the short film that he wrote and…

Though Harvey North Dakota based photographer Lew Ableidinger has switched from film photography to digital photography and back he couldn’t avoid the analog.“I returned to film because I wanted to start shooting large format,…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

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…

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin.…