Thought Chasm these posts, while infrequent and poorly thought out, are also not all that complex, structurally.

Norwegian: No thank you, President Trump

A century ago it was different. About 800,000 Norwegians migrated to the US, including my great-grandfather. We were a poor country, and the migrants were searching for opportunities and fit the phrase on the Statue of Liberty: They were our tired, our poor. America welcomed them, and they found what they were looking for.

Today, Norway is one of the richest countries in the world, and we will not give up on our cradle-to-grave welfare. Our parental leave is a generous year, kindergarten is cheap, and our higher education is free. Health care is also free for every Norwegian citizen. Our society strives to be tolerant. Every political party promotes liberal values, gender-equality and human rights. The plumber´s son goes to school with the CEO´s daughter, and social mobility is high. Hence, our leaders have diverse backgrounds and anyone could meet the NATO secretary general skiing in the woods or our Prime Minister at the supermarket doing her own grocery shopping.

The premise is great. Instead of importing actual Norwegians who would find our mix of social fallibility and economic exclusionism mildly upsetting to vastly grotesque, we should import the ideas they’re using to become happier and richer while also maintaining upward mobility.

I know, I know. It’s weird. But… thought: we give it a try?

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Posted in politicish, recap

Donald Trump’s presidency is an American crisis

This isn’t a reality show, and it’s not a pulp novel. This is the most powerful country the world has ever known being run by a man singularly unqualified to run it. Our president lacks legitimacy, our government is paralyzed, our problems are going unsolved. As we abdicate global leadership, both our allies and our enemies step into the void we leave unfilled. Meanwhile, at home, we are discussing whether the president obstructed justice within his first 100 days in office, and anxiously awaiting the Senate’s questioning of former FBI Director Comey.

America is not being made great. It is being made weak, and it is only getting worse.

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Posted in media, politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

Can we please not do this in front of the whole planet?

The news of Trump sharing classified information with Russian diplomats exposed a rift in national media, with left-leaning media bringing up the specter of impeachment, and right-leaning media talking about “liberals melting down” over something that Trump didn’t do — and even if he did, it was something that he had the authority to do.

Polls in 2016 swing state Ohio have voters mostly saying “meh, more fake news. Something tells us we’re going to wind up with two different sets of history books to explain all this to our grandchildren.

This is probably the most unfortunate development of the last generation. The bifurcation of politics and media over ideology makes it too easy to reaffirm or ignore viewpoints.

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Posted in media, politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

Donald Trump Is Lying Again, Now About James Comey

Members of Congress need to give Americans reason to believe the Russia investigation isn’t a charade with a predetermined outcome. They need to make clear that while the president may think he is above the truth, he is not above the law.

:: cheers emoji ::

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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts, recap, wtf??

Trump Supporters Celebrate Imminent Loss of Their Health Insurance

“Knowing that Trump could take away my Obamacare makes me feel super optimistic about what he’s capable of,” Tracy Klugian, of Columbus, Ohio, said. “I can’t wait until he gets rid of my Medicare.”

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Posted in haha, politicish, quick thoughts


This is no little thing. Describing Mar-a-Lago in a news article as “the so-called Winter White House” is normalizing out and out corruption — Trump’s shameless profiteering of the presidency.

If the Times wants to quote Trump using the phrase, so be it. But the description should never be used in news copy. The New York Times has no more reason to describe Mar-a-Lago as “the Winter White House” than they do to refer to their own publication as “the failing New York Times”.

With reporting on Russian oligarchs and Venezuelan and Peruvian authoritarianism, it seems easy to call that out as power mongering and affronts to democracy. Odd that a president can make money off hosting foreign leaders, give his kids high-ranking and ill-defined positions of power that will easily lead to profit, and give his sycophants similar positions they are incredibly unqualified for.

More odd that we seem to want to normalize it rather than call it what it is.

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Posted in media, quick thoughts, wtf??

Paul Ryan, Brought Down to Size

“In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress,” Mr. Boehner said, “Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once. And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal — yeah, we’ll do replace, replace — I started laughing.”

We might thank Mr. Ryan for one thing. His dreadful legislation drove voters of both parties to flood town halls and the Capitol, demanding that Congress reject the bill.

So at a time when many were beginning to question the vitality of American democracy, Mr. Ryan’s failure showed Americans that our system works.

While the TC staff was on edge all of Friday, after the non-vote, there was a little disappointment. If it had come to a vote, it would have been a pile of burning feces. Now it’s just an embarrassment that both parties can mostly ignore after the hubbub dies off.

The staff drank away the disappointment and then laid about hungover all Sunday and now we’re good to go for the next round.

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Posted in haha, politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

Trading Health Care for the Poor for Tax Cuts for the Rich

Well, whether Mr. Price wants to believe it or not, the numbers are the numbers. The C.B.O. has called it as it sees it, and the picture is clear: Trumpcare would throw millions of Americans off their health coverage. And no amount of spin or scorn for the C.B.O. can alter that reality.


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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

Did Ben Carson Liken Slavery to Immigration?

That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.

His own words in his own defense:

I think people need to actually look up the word immigrant. Whether you’re voluntary or involuntary, if you come from the outside to the inside, you’re an immigrant. Whether you’re legal or illegal, you come from the outside to inside, you’re an immigrant. Slaves came here as involuntary immigrants but they still had the strength to hold on.

In an interesting parallel, trump’s family immigrated (in a way more closely related to the real definition than this idiot tries to contend) after begging not to be deported. The more you know.

But back to Mr Carson, here’s another fun definition for today: Kakistocracy.

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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

The ridiculous gushing over Trump’s speech

The most absurd statistic he cited was the 94 million people out of the labor force, a rhetorical sleight-of-hand that suggests a catastrophically-high unemployment rate. That number includes 44 million retirees, 13 million students, and millions more who have no interest in getting a job. The real unemployment rate stands at just 4.8 percent, a historically low figure delivered by Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama.

It’s certainly true that the speech was better than most of his and that he has set an embarrassingly low bar for being palatable as a politician, but here’s where we differ: I say we get those lazy bastard retirees back to work.

There are enough ‘Boomers around to mess up even more of the future (mostly in congress) and I say we make them sit in the pile of feces they created as long as they’re around to enjoy it. Retirement is for the weak. Make America great again.

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Posted in haha, politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

Death and Tax Cuts

So why do Republicans hate Obamacare so much? It’s not because they have better ideas; as we’ve seen over the past few weeks, they’re coming up empty-handed on the “replace” part of “repeal and replace.” It’s not, I’m sorry to say, because they are deeply committed to Americans’ right to buy the insurance policy of their choice.

No, mainly they hate Obamacare for two reasons: It demonstrates that the government can make people’s lives better, and it’s paid for in large part with taxes on the wealthy. Their overriding goal is to make those taxes go away. And if getting those taxes cut means that quite a few people end up dying, remember: freedom!

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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??