Fools Rush In …

“I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

Stepping away for a minute from Trump’s abandonment of our Allies in Syria and Afghanistan, James Mattis’ resignation, Trump’s wall and related government shutdown, let’s take a look at some other things that happened last week.

On Thursday, it was reported that acting attorney General Matthew Whitaker had been told by Justice Department officials that he would not need to recuse himself from oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election — despite having been an outspoken critic of the Mueller and the investigation.  Imagine the surprise of the Department of Justice ethics officials who had, in fact, told Mr. Whitaker that yes, he should definitely recuse himself!

Whitaker

Matthew Whitaker, acting Attorney General

As the story unfolded, it turns out that Whitaker had some of his own personal advisors at the Justice Department say that it wasn’t necessary for him to recuse himself, and at the same time, they falsely claimed that it was unheard of for an Attorney General to recuse himself based on a conflict of interest.

Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, has also been a highly outspoken critic of Robert Mueller and the Russian investigation.  He will likely be questioned during confirmation hearings about his intent toward the investigation and whether he will recuse himself.  It would seem that Trump will pull out all the stops to throw a wrench into the search for truth.  The investigation has already racked up over 100 criminal charges against dozens of people, including guilty pleas from Trump’s former national security adviser, former campaign chair, former attorney, and multiple former advisers since it started in May 2017.  Can anybody honestly believe that Trump, his family, and most of his senior campaign staff were not involved in helping Russia rig the 2016 election?  No.  But Trump is pulling out all the stops to try to halt the investigation before Robert Mueller issues his final report.

Beyond the concern that Trump will direct his Attorney General to terminate the Russian investigation is the concern that Mueller’s report, once issued, will never make it to Congress, let alone to We The People.  By law, the Special Counsel’s report and conclusions must be presented to the Attorney General. But … the Attorney General then decides what portion of the report, if any, will be issued to Congress and ultimately the public.  Would Whitaker or Barr choose to suppress the report?  Hmmm … take a wild guess.  Watergate is beginning to look like a Sunday picnic in the park.


I know better than to judge a book by its cover or a person by their looks, but that said, Steven Mnuchin has always looked a little … seedy, sleazy, not-too-honest … to me.  Turns out he’s just plain not-too-bright, I suspect. MnuchinThroughout the past two years, a number of safety nets have been cut loose and sent to the dumpster, some rolling back the post-financial-crisis regulations that had been put in place to prevent another financial crisis similar to the one in 2007-2008.  As a result, our money, our investments, are a bit less secure now as the potential for a recession grows more likely.

So, Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, is apparently getting a bit nervous now that the regulations have been rolled back.  On Friday, he apparently called six of the largest banks to make sure they had plenty of money!  Yes, you heard me right.  What a way to run a government, eh?  Financial analysts, bankers and economists were all left scratching their heads on this one.

The best guess is that, in light of the stock markets tumbling last week, and then Trump threatening to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Mnuchin was doing damage control, attempting to stroke the ruffled feathers of investors and assure the public that … nothing to see here, folks – business as usual.  Well guess what … it isn’t working, as we can see by the continued slide today.  Analysts said it was almost certain to have the opposite effect and throw up some red flags.marketsTrump blames Powell for the stock market plunge, whereas in reality, it is more attributable to his own erratic moves over the past few weeks, tariffs, and the chaos that reigns in Washington at the moment.  In other words, Trump, who has taken credit for a decent economy that he largely inherited, now also owns the economy that is on the brink of recession.

But back to Mnuchin.  He called the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo to “confirm that they have ample liquidity available”, according to Treasury officials.  He then issued a statement:

“We continue to see strong economic growth in the U.S. economy with robust activity from consumers and business. With the government shutdown, Treasury will have critical employees to maintain its core operations at Fiscal Services, IRS, and other critical functions within the department.”

One financial analyst, Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said …

“Panic feeds panic, and this looks like panic in the administration. Suggesting you might know something that no one else is worried about creates more unease.”

Folks … let’s call a spade a spade.  This administration has rapidly devolved into complete chaos with a “leader” who is either the biggest fool on earth, else in the throes of severe mental illness.  Between the government shutdown, the threat of pulling our troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, the resignation of General Mattis, the border wall dispute, the issue of our treatment of immigrants, Trump’s horrid choices for Attorney General, his threats and bullying … there is no sanity in our federal government and we are not all fools.  I wouldn’t invest in the market right now under almost any circumstances.  Mnuchin can issue as many statements, tweet as many tweets as he likes, but he is not calming the fears of the public.  The fears are very real and nothing he can say will allay them.  Steve Mnuchin is, perhaps, as much a fool as his boss.

62 thoughts on “Fools Rush In …

  1. We wait for Congress to do something and they just sit there making excuses. I’m sure many of us wonder just how far this train wreck of a government will be left to go before they act. Their brains seem to be frozen in place. Are they waiting for Marley and the three spirits of Scrooge to visit them? To know how things in the White House are going you only had to watch Pence during that televised meeting some days ago. At least it seems Trump won’t get to have his pie-in-the-sky wall as the Democrats aren’t afraid to say “NO” to him. Some of the Republicans are leaving like rats from a sinking ship. They’re trying to keep a low profile as they slink away. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, we wait, for other than start a revolution in the streets, there is not much else we can do. And we hope that the newly-elected House with a democratic majority will be able to make a difference, to apply the brakes to this runaway train, but with the Senate still filled with boot-licking sycophants … I’m not sure how much the House can do. Or will do. Time will tell, and the one thing I am sure of is that this coming year will bring change. Whether for better or for worse, I cannot say right yet, but change it will.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Dear Jill,

    Isn’t it a crying shame that even with the stock market tanking, the US Acting General Whitaker having been proven to be a sleaze ball, the abrupt pulling out of US troops from Syria against experts advice, there are those fools that will still continue the big fool living in the WH. Oh wait, that’s why they’re attracted to each other.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is very much a shame, and a puzzle. I understand why the sycophants in Congress are still clinging to his coattails, though I resent it, for they were elected to represent us, not to kiss Trump’s patootie. But I cannot understand why his base is still with him. WHAT does it take??? Do they have to lose their jobs, their homes and starve before they wake up? Sigh.

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, paraphrasing a song, “the weather in the White House is frightful…” As Warren Buffett advised early in 2017, as The Donald patted himself on the back for the stock market growth, “if he is going take credit for something he had little to do with , he needs to also take the blame when it falls.” Of course, the large ego of the President does not accept accountability on anything bad. A true leader deflects credit to others and accepts responsibility. This man does neither. Yet, he is the one in charge. By the way, Wall Street knows his role in these matters, the tailwinds and headwinds, which are blowing strongly. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! He may not accept responsibility and try to pin the blame on others, but we all know that he owns what is happening with the market this month. And the GOP knows it. His supporters may not, for they listen to him, but then again, even Fox News is said to have had some criticism of him lately, so perhaps people will wake up. No, a leader he is not, and where he’s leading us is not somewhere I would like to go. I think the time has come, as Gronda quoted Thomas Friedman in her post, to remove him from office. Preferably before he starts WWIII.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very scary times…I’m glad I’m old.. I feel so sorry for the next generations for what they are gonna have to deal with and will they even be able to? Even after trump, his obscene base will still be there in all their racism, bigotry, greed and utter ignorance. It’s like a cancer and who knows if the “treatment” will do any good in the long run.

    A friend of mine said the other day, the she thought it was man’s destiny to destroy himself. Looks like it’s on track.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Mary,

      Speaking of self-destruction, sooner or later, the next generations will have to deal much more with environmental problems than sociopolitical problems. The time of true reckoning is near: It is not a GFC but a GEC (Global Ecological Crisis), which my next forthcoming post is going to discuss in great detail.

      Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Indeed, Mary and Jill! We are already in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction. If you are interested, the main issue is twofold: speciesism and anthropocentricism. Until we critically deal with the main issue, even environmentalism in all its diversity may not suffice to turn things around, as discussed in my multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary post entitled “SoundEagle in Debating Animal Artistry and Musicality” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/soundeagle-in-debating-animal-artistry-and-musicality/, which is simultaneously witty and serious about a number of outstanding issues.

          The said post actually ventures far beyond whatever its title may suggest or mean to any reader, especially in the very long “Conclusions” section. Please note the ISEA Model that I have devised to analyse and describe the Instrumental, Spiritual, Pro-Environment and Pro-Animal/Plant perspectives.

          There is even a poll for you to vote on. May you enjoy the post!

          Liked by 2 people

          • I am most definitely interested, but will have to come back to this, for I have barely had time to even breathe these past several days, and now exhaustion has caught up with me. However, I shall visit this site asap! Thank you!

            Liked by 1 person

    • Scary indeed! I say the same thing you do … I’m glad I’m old, for I don’t see a good end in sight for a time, at least. And you are correct … Trump is here because of the populist movement, because of an increase in white supremacy, because people are not ever satisfied and always seek more. Those elements will remain even once Trump is but a bad memory. I don’t know the answer … I wish I did. Like your friend, I have been saying that it seems man is on a path of bringing about his own extinction. I sometimes believe the human race was a bad experiment.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Actually, Jill, I think humanity was a good learning experience, if nothing else. We were able to raise our consciousness above the level of instinct. We created a pseudo-target to aim for–living together in harmony with the rest of nature, and life. (We did not get there, but we tried.) We found ways to connect with the spirit that is life, though we failed to make a universal connection able to be made easily by all. Whatever else we did or did not do, we proved we could try. That we were unable to overcome the forces of god, gold and government was our downfall, but we brought all those things into being too early in our history to see the damage they were capable of doing to our species.
        All in all, as long as we do not kill all life on our planet, we were a good experiment, something evolution can improve upon. And meanwhile, there is a chance we can survive this catastrophe, and have a chance to start over. No promises a second chance will succeed either, but it might…

        Liked by 4 people

        • Perhaps you are right. I would hate to think that all of the positive things humans accomplished … and there are some … would be for naught, gone up in flames, wasted. I hope, if another species similar to ours ever inhabits this planet again, they can learn from the lessons of the human race. Don’t build skyscrapers. Don’t invent money. Don’t want for more than your fair share. Don’t look down on another for ANY reason. Be satisfied with what you have … realize that life doesn’t owe you happiness … only you can make your own happiness, but nobody owes it to you. Happiness comes from being satisfied with what you have and living in harmony with others.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Excellent answer. Ive often thought in this huge universe there has bound to be other beings that have been in our position and there will be more in the far future. We are just one of millions and some will succeed and many will not. We are probably one of the “will nots.” But in some strange way it gives me comfort to know there will be those out there that have or will and we gave it a good try.
          Perhaps if our brains had evolved differently to where our reasoning and critical thinking areas were larger and our aggressive tendencies lessened in time.
          It has been said we are here because of survival of the fittest. But is that true? And at what point does that evolutionary process become self destructive?

          Just thoughts…

          And here is an excellent article about this.

          https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hi Mary, thanks for that article, it discusses a lot of my own thoughts along those lines. The thing is, though it is only four years old, it completely misses the possible Great Filter of climate catastrophe which was really just a concern in 2014.
            Another thing it misses which surprises me, is sticking to Earth-type planets revolving around Sol-type stars. Surely there would be more types of life than our carbon-based lifeforms that dominate here on Earth. Even those great-thinking scientists are caught up in the humanocentric belief that life would need to be like us, no matter where it grows. This is an unbelievably stupid mistake, IMO.
            Still it discusses some good possibilities. I am most in favour of the one that we are less than the ants beside the 10 lane superhighway. When I suggest such possibilities to most people they laugh at me. They think our technology and industrial “success” would be clearly visible to everyone, no matter how advanced their culture. I shout to the stars for some advanced civilization to come and prove my point, but of course no one listens… Which brings me to my scariest thought possible–that there is no other (intelligent) life out there at all.
            Despite my wonderful self-inspired Science Fiction upbringing, where the universe is packed full of life, intelligent or otherwise, there is always the possibility we are utterly alone. I actually surprised myself one day while writing an epic Science Fiction story in poetry, when I wrote a line that humanity’s biggest surprise in reaching out to the stars was discovering no other multi-cellular life anywhere. I had to stop writing, and try to figure out where that idea had come from. To that point in my life I had never really considered such a proposition, yet there it was on the paper in front of me. Humanity was alone in the universe! It took me days to recover from that line. I do not want to believe such a thing is possible, but I wrote it. Somewhere inside of me lives that possibility…
            I sometimes think the greatest problem with humanity is that individuals do not obey nature in survival of the fittest. Granted, we cannot understand who the fittest might be, physical strength, mental strength, ability to create, ability to imagine, there are so many ways to describe the fittest. But that aside, poor examples of humanity reproduce as much as, or more than, fit examples. Yes, I am being judgmental here, it is necessary to be so–in theory. What would humanity be like today if only people with certain traits had been allowed to reproduce as in the animal kingdom–would we be better off today, or worse off? There is no way to ever know. I think fortunately, but I cannot be sure. (Surely Trumpmandias would never had made it to power in such a world, lol.)
            All that said, the evolutionary process, IMO, ìs still life’s best process for success. Within individual species it can become self-destructive, but not overall. Evolution, by its very existence, will eventually succeed, as long as there is life in the cosmos, by which I mean every dimension and level of existence everywhere. Our physical universe might cease to be, or at least all forms of physical life, but as long as life itself continues, it will eventually succeed at finding its purpose, and conclusion. This I believe with all my own life, and understanding of life. Life is forever, even if individual lives are not…

            Liked by 2 people

            • I have had that same thought about us being the only one and found it quite unsettling in many profound ways…more in a minute.

              Definitely climate change is a filter and it could be both ways…sentient being made and natural changes made. Here of course it leans heavily to man made.

              As far as carbon based, I agree. But perhaps life would have to be based on some elements and I believe carbon is abundant. But not necessarily exclusive

              Now earth being the only one with so called intelligent life….creatures who think with a brain, analyze, project into the future and wonder what it all means….well that is the unsettling thing to me. What would that imply?
              Maybe one in the past, us now and one in the distant future. Even that is troublesome. I like thinking if we screw things up, it’s just one little planet and it doesn’t matter much that we do. But if we’re it! I can barely fathom the implication. It would mean more, I think, than just a freak accident.

              Once we’re gone, there would never be consciousness again? Nothing to “know” there was something rather than nothing!

              Much to think about, but in reality, we probably will never know of other life. It’s all too far apart and the times may be too far apart as well. I truly believe man will never know the answer to this and I admit, that really bothers me.

              Perhaps it’s all a simulation. In some ways that would make more sense than us just being the only one.

              Liked by 2 people

              • I cannot even think of the ramifications of whether we are alone in the universe or not, either way is unbelievable. Maybe if we are the only human-appearing race, that would be more acceptable to me. Different world should provide different lifeforms, what do you think?
                A simulation, I think that would crush me. Simulations should not contain beings that believe themselves to be alive. Not that we would have any say in it, but what would be the purpose. At worst it would have to be a form of artificial intelligence (AI), but even that seems impossible.
                Conscious life, I think, cannot be completely destroyed, now that it has evolved, but that is part of my spiritualistic approach to life. Life cannot end, IMO, but my opinion can be wrong.

                Liked by 2 people

              • An interesting article, but one that does not talk to life, and the possibilities inherent therein. 400 billion years into the future we cannot even think of how evolution will have produced new forms of life, including intelligent life. My mind is stretched beyond my capacity to imagine. Thanks for the opportunity to try.

                Liked by 1 person

                • What I took from the article is that regardless of any sort of evolution on any planet and how many tens of thousands of generations come to be, the expanding universe will change the night sky forever.

                  It will become virtually empty of stars and any contact, even at the speed of light will become impossible. Any signal will not be able to catch up with the speed of expansion.

                  So no contact…no way to ever have knowledge of what’s out there for any future generations on any given planet with life.

                  So we will be alone even if we’re not.

                  Does this make sense?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I took the same things out of it, but that makes science fiction necessary to come true soon. We need to discover faster than light travel sooner than later.
                    But 400 billion years is a long way to go–as I said, more than we are able to imagine. Since man has started keeping track of the stars, drawing them into pictures of all kinds of beautiful beasts and such, the skies have not changed by more than what appears to us as millimetres, if even that. The skies are more stable than the geography of earth. Therefore, whatever might be in our future is on an “if when” basis. If Trump has his way, we won’t last another hundred years, let alone 400 billion.
                    We are going to need a lot of luck to get there.

                    Liked by 2 people

  5. No disuptes on your final conclusion, but what is American government going to look at in a couple of months, if Trumpmandias keeps it shut down? You might as well say goodbye to your income tax refunds, if any, if there is no one to process them. Who is going to fly Air Force 1, etc., or is that an essential service? How about all the Embassies around the world, and all the diplomatic missions? Will their doors be open? Their missions completed? All over a temper tantrum by the Orange Ignoramus in the White House! “This is a fine kettle of fish you have gotten us into, Donnie.” (My apologies to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy for the misqotes.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jill and rawgod,

      I really like Jill’s quote by George Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

      And I really like to know who is going to put the final nail into the coffin of the “Pig Boss”, as depicted in my cartoon in the parlance of political satire at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/best-quotation-to-win-an-exclusive-loyal-contract-to-make-pig-boss-company-great-again/

      Any idea or clue?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jill and rawgod,

      It seems that the quote has been misattributed to George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Cyrus Stuart Ching, J. Frank Condon, Richard P. Calhoon, N. H. Eagle, Cale Yarborough and others.

      According to https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/07/08/pig/

      The earliest strong match for the modern saying located by QI appeared in the January 3, 1948 issue of “The Saturday Evening Post” within a profile of Cyrus Stuart Ching who was the head of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The ellipsis is in the original text: 2

      A man in the audience began heckling him with a long series of nasty and irrelevant questions. For a while Ching answered patiently. Finally he held up his big paw and waggled it gently.

      “My friend,” he said, “I’m not going to answer any more of your questions. I hope you won’t take this personally, but I am reminded of something my old uncle told me, long ago, back on the farm. He said. ‘What’s the sense of wrestling with a pig? You both get all over muddy . . . and the pig likes it.’”

      Ching did not claim coinage; instead, he credited an unnamed uncle who may have been relaying a pre-existing item of folk wisdom. Oddly, another later citation shows Ching crediting his grandfather. Whatever the source, Ching did help to popularize the expression.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is a lot of hard work you have done, SoundEagle, and I think you deserve a lot of credit for it. But I think it is time to interrupt your soliloquies with a rant of my own, my apologies to Jill who I hope will not be offended with mine: I did not believe it earlier this year when I read somewhere we were going to hear a lot more “Merry Christmas”s this year than the previous few decades, and less Happy Holidays, or Season’s Greetigs, etc. But I have found it to be very true, despite my worst fears.
        People, including non-christians, atheists, and others are throwing the christian greeting around like it is fighting the war to put christianity back into christmas. And that was the exact reason the writer of that remark gave for the coming increase. Christians are taking back christmas!
        To the best of my knowledge, christians never lost christmas. All that was happeing were the rest of us were trying to be polite to the non-christians who might be celebrating other holy days from their own religions, or no holy days at all, theist, pantheist, or atheist. So what is really happening with the huge increase in the christian greeting?
        I am thinking it is “christian privilege.” Like whites want to own America again, christians want to own the last days of late December again, even though so many researchers have stated for many different reasons that no christ was ever born on what would have been December 25th of the year 0, or any other year anywhere close to that. They have made this day important through tradition, not through any sense of the word truth. Nan said something àbout this in a post a while back, though I cannot remember the gist of that post. The gist of this comment is that those who have no stake n the ownership of this time would be better off not helping them to own it. Acknowledge it, if you so desire, I have no problem with that. But unless you are sure the person you are addressing is christian, why take the chance of insulting them, or their beliefs. I wish that I had the time to stop and talk to everyone who assumes I celebrate christmas just because I appear to be white, which I am not. I am metis, and proud of it. I am not christian, I am at best a worshipper of life, and at the very least an atheist. I have no religious affilliation anywhere in me, and I resent that christians assume I am one of them. But I do not have that time, else I would. Next year I may have to make up a sign stating I do not celebrate christmas, and wear it around my neck like a stock, because that is how I feel at this time of year.
        Am I being overly sensitive, maybe. But better overly sensitive than overly insulting.

        Liked by 4 people

    • I doubt it will stay shut down much past mid-January, but yes, he has recklessly and irresponsibly put the nation into additional chaos over his ego. Hopefully this is a wake-up call to both the GOP and to Trump’s supporters, for it can be seen as nothing other than him putting his own desires above the needs of the nation.

      Liked by 1 person

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