Our admirable foolish pride helps Trump

I am not jumping up and down with joy because Hillary Clinton is the Democrat’s nominee for the presidency. However, you can bet I’m going to vote for her because Donald Trump is a direct threat to what freedoms and rights we do have at the moment. You’re a fool, delusional, or, astonishingly gullible, if you don’t think the man is a flat out racist and bigot and misogynist, if you’re going to vote for him, you are, to some degree, a bigot.

Now, there are friends of mine who, like me, love Bernie Sanders and wish to hell he’d won the nomination. Sanders has urged his followers to vote for Clinton, pointing out, correctly by the way, that now is not the time for a protest vote. Some, marching under the banner of admirable but misguided foolish pride, have rejected his advice. Some have even gone so far as to treat him as if he betrayed his own message. Rubbish. He realizes, like many of us do, that our country’s very ability to keep what shaky and unfairly distributed freedoms it currently has, is at risk. He realizes that the very freedoms we do have is what allowed his candidacy to succeed far more than anyone predicted (except Sanders) in the first place. He realizes that if Trump wins, these freedoms (and many others) that allowed his candidacy may not be around next time. Trump is already lining up freedom of the press in his cross-hairs.

When it comes to how a leader must treat the public, consider Trump: “[T]he better he understands how to treat them psychologically, the less the workers will distrust him, the more supporters he will win among these most energetic ranks of people. He himself has nothing in common with the mass; like every great man, he is all personality.”

By the way, Hitler said that, not Trump.*

Scared yet? I am. I’m also voting for Hillary Clinton.

*(The Rise & Fall of Third Reich, Simon & Schuster, 50th Anniversary Edition, pg. 48)

Memo to Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich

Lord knows I like columnists Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich very much. But humble up for God sakes and get over yourselves. Obama isn’t in office three months yet and already you two are taking prepubescent runs at him. Please note, I write about these two columnists because I really do respect them. Believe me, I’m not going to write anything like this about the likes of Bill “Lufa” O’Reilly, Sean “Brylcream” Hannity or that skeevy little twit, Glenn Beck, because those three were apparently put on earth to drool poison, dribble dishonesty and sweat hatred.

Dowd and Rich are without question class acts who despite being so, could use a dose of humility, and a nudge once in awhile to get themselves right sized, as it were.

In today’s NY Times Dowd is whining that we “less smooth jazz and more martial brass,” comparing Obama’s extraordinary calm to smooth jazz. Maureen, if you want martial brass, start a band. Most Americans are grateful for a calm non-panicking president. Relax. And, by the way, we could all use a little more jazz in life.

Rich writes, “A charming visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it”, it being the economy. Thanks for the heads up, Frank. I’m sure the president and the rest of us really were thinking: Wow, he’s on Leno, our economy is saved. Relax, Frank. Maybe many Americans were happy to see him (20 million watched, bro) and maybe just maybe his going on Leno reminds all of us that it is okay to keep on living and enjoying life. That’s a pretty nice message to get when we so many of us are struggling don’t you think? And an even nicer message when it is coming from – wait for it – our president!

Sometimes I wonder if some columnists fear they would go into some kind of inner churning withdrawal if they were to say go a couple of days without criticizing someone and, perish the thought, try on the possibility that maybe they don’t know all the answers themselves.

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, folks, it is thinking less about yourself. So relax, breathe, turn on Leno and watch like the rest of us. You might actually have a nice time. We did.


$hitibank, Prank of America, and Friends

Congresswoman Maxine Waters was one of several public officials yesterday who grilled eight bank executives who came across as so slick and slippery I found myself wondering if we couldn’t drill into them for oil.

At one point Ms. Waters asking if they had raised their interest rates on credit card customers after $350 billion in taxpayer money was pumped into their coffers to keep their quaffed butts afloat. Bank of America’s Ken Lewis along with Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit admitted they had raised rates. Mr. Pandit, in a statement I would have thought funny had it not been so disgusting it overwhelmed me with the desire to dunk his infected self in a vat of hydrogen peroxide, reminded committee members that Citigroup had cancelled its order for a $50 million dollar jet.

If you think this crisis doesn’t reach all of this, consider this, when I got home today there was a notice from Citibank (part of Citigroup) informing me that the interest rate on my credit card was going to increase by more than seven percent!

I called their customer service and was told, by a truly nice woman who clearly wanted to be anywhere on planet earth that didn’t include a customer who wanted to ring the necks of bank executives, that I could refuse to accept the rate increase but when my card came up for renewal, it would not be renewed.

“You mean to tell me that Citibank actually has a policy that says, either accept out rate increase or we don’t want you as a customer anymore?”

Quietly, she said, “Yes. I’m so very sorry, Mr Kahrmann.” And my heart broke for her because I could tell she meant it.

I told her I wanted to cancel my card. I was switched to the card-cancelling department and was informed, by yet another lovely woman who, like the first, clearly wanted to be on an island somewhere, away from justifiably angry customers, that upon further review, Citibank could reduce my interest rate dramatically, way below what my rate had been prior to the increase because I am such a good customer.

You can’t make it up. What is true is this, Citibank said first that if I refused the interest rate increase they would drop me as a customer when my card was up for renewal. And then, when I pushed it to the limit, said, Oh, my bad, we’ll reduce your rate.

These well-heeled sleazeballs should be jailed.