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Saturday, March 3, 2018


Let's face it.  Things are godawful and getting worse.  Even Tiggers like me have trouble finding something to bounce up and down about.  I grasp at every smidgen of good news like a man sinking into quicksand and reaching for a low-hanging branch.  This morning, after an extra early walk [beautiful full moon], I came upon two stories that lifted my spirits.  

The first was this story in the Washington Post.  It seems that Kansas has never gotten around to actually passing a law stipulating the minimum age for Governor, so five teenage high school students -- all young men -- have announced for the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial nominations this year.  It is immediately obvious from the Post story that any one of them would be superior to the rightwing idiot now occupying the post.  You gotta love a country in which this can happen.

The second story was an MSNBC report of a Russian sex guru, a young attractive woman currently in a Thai prison awaiting extradition to Russia, who claims to have eighteen hours of tapes and such connecting Russian oligarchs with the Trump campaign, which she will share with anyone who gets her out of jail.  Her story is about as likely as Trump's claim that he was an honors student at Wharton, but the report gave me a frisson of glee.

Now, there, don't say I never give you anything to smile about!


Howard Berman said...

I graduated from Penn thirty years ago and am thinking of withholding my further donations to the Penn fund until they replace Trump's diploma with a dishonorable discharge

David Palmeter said...

I wonder how Wharton feels about the achievements of its illustrious alum.

Howard Berman said...

My guess is Penn administration toes the corporate line of awkward tact about Trump. People in charge of the business world either exploit him or hedge against him but you don't bring him up in polite circles. My guess many Wharton students envy him- like Michael J Fox's character in Family Ties. This is strictly guesswork- but I know people in the corporate world and they are mum on the dumb bum in the oval office.

Matt said...

I taught at Wharton for three years (in the legal studies and business ethics department) and can say that Trump didn't have a good standing there. It probably didn't help that he wasn't a generous donor, of course, but there are many alumni of Wharton much more wealthy than him, and not as much of a dolt, so there's no need to envy him. The student are mostly modestly center-left, and his victory was not at all greeted with excitement for the most part. (I taught required classes for both undergrads and MBA students, so got a fair cross section of the student body.) If anything, the rest of the university, including the administration, is even more anti-Trump. Now, if Trump was a generous to the university (or was anywhere close to as wealthy as) Ronald Perelman (for example) has been, maybe Penn would act differently, but, at least, because Trump has been a very minor donor, at best, it's easy to oppose him, and even get credit for opposing him, despite his connection to the university.

Howard Berman said...

Matt, thanks for dispelling my worst fears- is Wharton much different in this regard from the business community? My father is an executive and he just stays off the topic rather forcefully. My impression is that he's the elephant or gorilla in the room you just don't mention

s. wallerstein said...

Howard Berman,

My father, now deceased, was a fairly important executive in the financial sector in several important banks and investment firms; and while he was far from a Marxist or radical, he voted for the Democrats and would have detested Trump, I'm sure. He undoubtedly would have voted for Hillary in the Democratic primary elections.

He had lots of friends from his social circle, so I imagine that he was far from a misfit among the business executive set.

Howard Berman said...

S. Wallerstein

This guy in my gym, whose father survived the Gulag and the Holocaust is a big Trump supporter, or should I say fan, and from a human nature standpoint I try to see things his way- it's like politics were a sport and Trump is his team- this fellow is not obnoxious- I can think of things Joe says, such as "Trump hires the most vicious people and let's them do their job" or when I point out that people deserve health care he simply says that we have to balance the budget. Joe's not an evil person or even banal- this is common sense to him and his dignity or his regality is at stake- Joe holds court in the gym and teases me by calling me De Blasio (the mayor- I work for the city)- just like he can tell you everything about what's wrong with the Knicks, thus with Herr Trump- I almost feel we or I'm in some kind of Elizabethan drama, observing all these minor characters, like Gildenstern and Rosencrantz play their part as footnotes to the fall of American democracy- my father's associates are wily enough to know the score- but anything I say to this Joe is wasted breaths- he KNOWS just knows Trump is the man for the moment, no matter how you may argue with him, appeal to reason, or even humiliate him or Trump

s. wallerstein said...

Howard Berman,

Joe sounds like a troll, that is, someone whose main motive is to irritate you rather than to discuss or debate the issues.

The standard advice is "don't feed the trolls" and that seems wise in this case. Why argue with Joe if his only purpose is to irritate you?

When I think of it, the chief reason why successful executive business types like my father would detest Trump is Trump's incredible vulgarity. A friend from college who is now a very successful corporate lawyer can't stand Trump, once again because of Trump's vulgarity.

howard b said...

You see, he is a troll, except somehow we get along, somehow the banter is more good natured than in the public forum

Anonymous said...

My Mom’s family is an upper middle class large WASP family of executives, lawyers. Reliable republican voters for decades. Trumps vulgarity and crassness I believe is what led many of them to do the unthinkable- vote for a democrat for the first time.