THE PUBLIC EYE: Trump’s Road to Armageddon

Bob Burnett
Friday May 31, 2019 - 10:02:00 AM

Just when we think that Donald Trump's behavior cannot become more bizarre, it does. On May 22, congressional leaders went to the White House, ostensibly to discuss a plan to rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure; Trump walked out of the meeting, after throwing a temper tantrum -- saying he would not work with Congressional Democrats until they called off all investigations into his (alleged) high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats aren't going to call off these investigations and Trump isn't going to work with Congress. So where does this leave us? On the road to armageddon.

The Federal Debt Limit expired on March 1st and, at the moment, the Treasury Department is using accounting gimmicks to pay the nation's bills. Experts say that this will only work until sometime in September-October. What will happen then?

Forbes Magazine ( ) explains: "When the [debt] limit is reached, the U.S. Treasury can’t borrow any more... severely impacting the real economy for fear the government would default on our debt.... Interest rates, already one of the fastest rising costs in the federal budget, will rise as the political crisis builds, because foreign borrowers will demand an additional risk premium. And rising interest rates will impact U.S. Treasuries, mortgages, credit cards, car loans, student debt, and corporate debt. If workers, households, students, and corporations can’t pay their bills because of the interest rate shocks, the economy could go into recession."

Judging by his increasingly erratic behavior, it's likely that Trump will hold the nation hostage over the Federal Debt Limit -- and the appropriations bill to keep government running (which comes due October 1st). Trump will issue an ultimatum, "Call off the investigations or I won't sign these bills." Even though his intransigence will be opposed by all congressional Democrats and most Republicans, Trump will refuse to compromise. In the process he will drag the United States over a financial cliff. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Dealing with Loss

Jack Bragen
Friday May 31, 2019 - 10:08:00 AM

One of the challenges in getting well and staying in remission is that of appropriately dealing with loss. Remaining out of the hospital involves a lot of self-management. This includes methods for dealing with emotional hard times. To stay well, a person with mental illness must be able to deal with the hard things that life brings, without going too far into an abyss of pain, yet without trying to sweep difficulties under a rug. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: National Animal Rights Day

Ralph E. Stone
Thursday May 30, 2019 - 03:59:00 PM

The 9th National Animal Rights Day will be celebrated on Sunday June 2, 2019. Let’s salute our non-human friends and companions.

Anyone whose family includes a pet knows that animals think and feel. In fact, a number of scientific studies has shown that animals are far closer to us than recently believed. The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness in Human and Nonhuman Animals, signed by a group of leading animal researchers, asserts that mammals, birds and other creatures posses consciousness and, in all likelihood, emotions and self-awareness.

If we accept that animals are self-aware beings and have emotions, then this raises the question of whether we should keep animals in captivity (zoos), whether we should allow the cruel confinement and mistreatment of farm animals, and whether we should use animals for experimentation and research. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Saturday June 01, 2019 - 03:08:00 PM

When it comes to former senator and war prisoner John McCain, Donald Trump just can't let go. Trump continues to speak ill of the dead. Now his petulant pettiness has peaked again following a dust-up over a reported White House request to further disrespect the departed Arizona Republican. Responding to press reports that the Navy had overruled a White House request that would have draped a tarp over the bow of the USS John McCain, President BoneSpur was left to sputter: "I didn't know anything about it! I would never have done that!" -more-