So very presidential, tremendously presidential, more presidential than anybody, and other Gleanettes

  • Nothing uttered by anyone in the Trump administration can or should be believed by anyone anywhere. So I didn’t watch Trump talk at Congress Monday night because it’s far from clear to me what, if any, practical purpose might be served by listening to any of the words that come out of the disinformed game show host’s fat mouth. But he seems to have read all the words that were on his teleprompter, prompting in turn people who had to watch the speech because they were getting paid, i.e., pundits, to declare the oaf “presidential.” Technically, the characterization is correct since everything any president does or says is, by definition, presidential. For instance, if Trump picks a booger out of his perpetually snorting snotlocker, momentarily doesn’t know what to do with it, and Reince Preibus, upon assessing the crisis, swoops in, secures the presidential booger from the presidential fingertip, and eats it, that series of events is, technically, presidential. It’s also revolting. But that’s why it’s such a good example, because though still largely detail-free, the outlines of the Trump/Republican policy agenda are also revolting. Or as Astrid Silva said delivering a Democratic response: “El discurso del Presidente Trump que escuchamos hace momentos fue divisivo y tiene como fin causar miedo y terror en comunidades alrededor del país. Este sirve como evidencia y recordatorio de que los planes y la visión del Presidente Trump y los Republicanos van completamente en contra de nuestros valores como Demócratas, como Estadounidenses, y como seres humanos.” Now that sounds presidential.
  • Perhaps you think you are familiar with all the ins & outs of the Sandoval-backed, Devos-approved “educational savings accounts” scheme to gut public education in Nevada. If you are, then you must have already read Bradley Schrager’s fresh – yes fresh! – recent take on the voucher scam – or as Schrager calls it, “this midway sucker’s game.” Schrager, who was an attorney on the case, unpacks how the state supreme court’s ruling against vouchers effectively exposed the GOP’s “tawdry little parlor trick,” stripping the scheme of any veneer, no matter how paper-thin, of moral and budgetary responsibility.
  • Any slacker who relies on a collectively bargained contract for better wages and benefits, instead of earning a decent income by polishing their individual brands like the founders intended, is a “thug.” Just ask a Republican. So a decline in Nevada union membership, only the latest stat in the long decline of organized labor in the U.S., will be hailed by aforementioned Republicans and most business professionals. Here’s a question for all those business professionals who have so painstakingly cultivated and promoted their personal brands, and who also think unions are icky: Nevada’s low-wages are already a drag on consumer spending. Those wages would be even smaller, and the vitality of our consumer core drained even further, if not for organized labor. So as decades of relentless business-sponsored assaults on organized labor continue to take their toll, and as working people continue to lose ground economically, who, oh businesspeople, who, do you think is going to buy your stuff?