Author Archives: Trish Ponder

New Government Rule: Presidents Get to Charge More for Memberships at Their Resorts

$200,000

The new initiation fee to join the Mar-a-Lago resort owned by Donald Trump and designated the “Winter White House.” The fee, which is double the pre-presidency rate, was announced shortly after Trump’s election in November and took effect Jan. 1. It includes the chance to mingle with president, and Trump advertised the resort by tweeting a photograph of himself seated at a desk there which he claimed depicted him writing his inauguratory address.

Beyond Fact Checking: Why Trump’s Lies Are Beside the Point

handheartIf you have noted — and possibly pointed out to a Trump supporter — that his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was lying when he said Trump’s inauguration drew the broadest audience in history, period, then Trump has you right where he wants you. Bloomberg columnist Tyler Cowen explains why focusing on facts ignores what’s really going on, and the real reasons Trump’s staff is lying.

Cowen points out that some hardened leaders use loyalty tests that ask their followers to go against conscience. Spicer and Kellyanne Conway are passing their loyalty tests with flying colors.

Trump isn’t lying in hopes you’ll believe his version of things. The real reasons are much worse.

By requiring subordinates to speak untruths, a leader can undercut their independent standing…That makes those individuals grow more dependent on the leader and less likely to mount independent rebellions against the structure of command. Promoting such chains of lies is a classic tactic when a leader distrusts his subordinates…and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

But there’s even more to it than that.

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America First, the Netherlands Second?

Holy crap, this is funny. Watch this Dutch satire show’s video (fake news?) that shows the rest of the world hears the Donald exactly the same way we do.

The People Who Visited Trump Tower Before the Inauguration

Here’s an oddly compelling look at the people brought to Trump Tower for sessions with the Donald during 10 weeks following the election. Our question: Why would so many people go to so much trouble to be ignored?

#ThanksObama — We Will Always Be Grateful for Your Service

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We’re going to be feeling the feels on Inauguration Day — fear, sadness, disgust. We hope 44 is right, and our country is strong enough to withstand the next four years intact as a democracy. In the meantime, let’s make #ThanksObama a trending topic on the Twitter. If you tweet, go forward and let @BarackObama know you were glad he and his family made it through the past two terms and add what you’d like to thank him for the most.

Photo via Whitehouse.gov.

A Moment That Will Never Be Again

How about every moment?

You’re Going to Miss Obamacare

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Photo by Graur Codrin

Depending on where you live, up to one in three of you could find yourselves without insurance if Republicans are able to follow through on their threat to repeal Obamacare.

Here’s the problem. Without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare’s official name, we would go back to allowing insurance companies to refuse to cover you if you ever had certain health problems. And it’s not just cancer or heart disease that falls into the “declinable pre-existing conditions” category. Do you, or does a loved one, have:

  • Arthritis or other inflammatory joint diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity (defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, such as 5’9″ person who weighs at least 203 pounds)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pending surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Sleep anea
  • Stroke

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Reverse Draining the Swamp?

President-elect Trump has said that he’s going to “drain the swamp” in Washington…but lately it’s gotten even more complicated: so far, Mr. Trump seems to be implementing a sort of “reverse-draining” technique. Perhaps he intends to overflow the swamp first, thereby draining it? This would be an incredible feat of politics, not to mention nature, physics, and logic.

— Recent newsletter from the On the Media radio show and podcast from WNYU. The comment comes as President-Elect Trump continues to pick Washington and Wall Street insiders and cronies to serve in his cabinet.

Obama Puns His Way to Final Turkey Pardon

A nice final turkey pardon speech from the guy we’re all going to miss.

A Wall Wouldn’t Help

What I want is a secure border, whether it’s a wall or a fence, however you do it. I want to to know who’s coming into our country because I don’t want another Pulse attack.”

— Gov. Rick Scott (GOP/Tea-Fla.), commenting on how incoming Pres. Donald Trump should handle border security. Scott, whose state experienced the country’s deadliest mass shooting and hate crime at Pulse Nightclub, is apparently unaware that the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, was an American born in Hyde Park, N.Y.