Our Sleazy Political Mess

by Kevin E. Ready Sr.

I was asked by a friend on Facebook what can be done about the current disgusting political climate in our country, where we have two candidates who have significant negatives and fail to inspire the general populace and where most of the electorate is unhappy with the options and worried about the future. The problem is that the reforms people yearn for in the current political system are antithetical to the interests of the powerful moneyed interests that control the system on both sides. Both sides use the dark money. Both sides have mastered the existing game. That was actually a large part of Bernie Sanders message. You cannot expect an elected official who attained political office with the help of a Super Pac to earnestly seek to destroy that system that created their political career. When you hear a Democrat vowing to fight the “Citizens United” decision, look at his or her campaign contributions to see if they practice what they preach. When you hear a Republican vow to fight the “Washington Insiders” check out where their campaign money came from. I think Sanders was right when he said it is going to take a revolution to change things. Every individual who hates the current system must stand up and speak and maybe run for office themselves. Tell your local candidates that you will not contribute to them if they take special interest money. If you cannot find a clean politician, fill out the papers to run yourself.

Another thought — I think a large part of the current problem has to do with the changes that have occurred in the news media. Both the 24/7 news cycle and instant Internet communication with no valid way to critique the lies have engendered that current crop of outlandish mud slinging. Powerful moneyed interests have bought CNN, Fox, NBC and all the other broadcast, cable and internet news channels. It is in their financial interest for the news to be outrageous and appealing to the largest audience. News stories about stalwart, sensible people trying to run a clean campaign do not make headlines and cannot be counted as “breaking news.” On the other hand, the sleaziest, crudest rumors about powerful people drives people to watch. And, we are constantly bombarded on Facebook and Twitter with posts and reposts of absolutely lurid claims and announcements that are outright lies. Many of my Facebook friends re-post articles and pictures they know are false, but which they find as cute, provocative or poignant. This is not a minor thing, I believe fully 50% of what I see in political Tweets and FB posts are outright lies. The problem is that this false “news” generates an emotional response from both sides and degrades that ability of anyone to have a thoughtful discussion of the real issues and facts. Donald Trump is the logical heir to this dynamic of outrageous hyperbole, sleazy headlines, disgusting “breaking news” and misinformation. We deserve what we allowed to happen.

Legal News – Trump Tries to Stiff Small Business – Gets Nailed for $300,000 in Attorney’s Fees

From http://www.politicususa.com and the Miami Herald

Trump Tries to Stiff Small Business – Gets Nailed for $300,000 in Attorney’s Fees

Trump stiffed The Paint Spot $34K, claiming it had been “paid enough” regardless of the contract he had signed

Trump Tries to Stiff Small Business – Gets Nailed for $300,000 in Attorney’s Fees

The Miami Herald reported Friday that “Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto, presiding over a lawsuit related to unpaid bills brought by a local paint store against the Trump National Doral Miami golf resort, ordered the billionaire politician’s company to pay the Doral-based mom-and-pop shop nearly $300,000 in attorney’s fees.”

Yes. Another example of Donald Trump stiffing those who do work for him. Not paying his debts. You know, managing money – the thing of which he says he is the master.

Apparently The Paint Spot did a job for Trump and Trump failed to make a final payment of $34,863 on a $200,000 bill for paint used at the resort. The guy who thinks he is immune to all laws – and indeed, the United States Constitution – figured The Paint Spot had been “paid enough” regardless of the contract his company had signed.

Try that one next time you run up some bills at the store. See how it works for you. As Judge Cueto showed, it doesn’t.

The Herald reports that this led “The Paint Spot to slap a lien on the property and Cueto to order the foreclosure sale of the resort.”

Trump National avoided disaster by placing the $34K in escrow but that only avoided the auctioning off of the property; it did not remove the lien, and so Judge Cueto ruled that Trump had to pay for 500 hours of legal work plus a 75 percent “risk” fee for the paint company’s lawyers, who had taken the case despite risking not being paid at all.

Of course, this is Trump we are talking about. The Herald reports that Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot said, “I’m happy I have a judgment. But he [Trump] hasn’t paid yet.”

“You know how he says he’ll surround himself with the greatest people if he is president? In this case, he might not be surrounded by the right people.”

That’s right. Trump says he has the best people working for him. Apparently, they’re good at screwing everyone else out of money while protecting Trump’s own dwindling resources.

As Josh Marshall of TPM reported today, Trump’s “debt load has grown dramatically over the last year, from $350 million to $630 million. This is in just one year while his liquid assets have also decreased. Trump has been blackballed by all major US banks.”

Trump’s entire campaign is built on the idea that he alone can create all the jobs already created by President Obama and save an economy already saved by Obama, when he can’t even save his own.

Worse, the GOP claims to be the champions of small businesses. Apparently, this is only if they don’t stand between the 1 percent and money.

Trump is a deadbeat, pure and simple. If he is planning to do to the US what he has done to his own businesses, we all need to get out and vote on Election Day, because all the things Republicans said are true about Obama are actually true of Donald Trump. And that’s a mistake we cannot afford to make.

“Feckless” so says Governor Pence

Last night, during the VP debate, Governor Pence repeatedly said that Obama Administration leadership had been “feckless.” He repeated the refrain three or four times, so I assume it was part of the advice from his Prep team or speech writer to call Obama and Clinton feckless. While I must assume Pence knew what the word meant to have used it so often, I have to question how many Americans listening to the VP debate knew what the word “feckless” means. They probably know it is a bad thing to say about a President or political candidate, in part because it just sounds so bad, “FECKless!”

 

But that leads to the question of “What’s the feck?” What does the word really mean? If feckless is a bad thing, what is the opposite, the antonym of feckless. “Feck” comes to us from the old Scots langauge and passed into old and Middle English. We no longer use the direct opposite “feckful,” I suspect we still use feckless, because Shakespeare liked to use it, “this feckless knave.” But, Shakespeare never used “feckful,” hence its obsolescence. And, the Middle English and modern English users Frenchified “feck” into a more common and less pejorative sounding word “effect.” They also gave “feck” an English verb “affect.” So, “feckless” is actually the synonym of “ineffective.”

 

Since it is most often used now as a pejorative for a government policy or leader, i often misused by people like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh as though it meant slothful or incompetent, but it really just means ineffective. Also, it is incorrect to use it as a pejorative for something you disagreed with, or when that leader or policy did something you did not like, because if it actually did something, it is not feckless.