Shia Altman

Washington news is so exhausting lately

To begin, everything is happening at such a dizzying pace; what was news in the morning is no longer as newsworthy by the evening, or even the afternoon. You know what people say about the climate in some locales, right? “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” So in these times, “If you don’t like the news, wait a minute.”

Of course, if it is political in any way, and what isn’t anymore, then depending on what side you are on, you will either be ecstatic or even more infuriated.

For me, it is not just that so much seems to be happening so quickly, many times without careful thought, a lot of it is just plain distressing. Not just because of any act or incident, but also because of how people deal with it. Controversy, conspiracy, hypocrisy, histrionics. And all of this really makes the news so exhausting.

Let’s look at a few current event examples.

Unless you are living under a rock, and there may be those who are looking to do that very thing this very moment, President Trump had his Justice Department fire FBI Director James Comey. And as with anything and everything going on today, hypocrisy more than the deed itself was a huge part of the fray.

Look, if Trump wanted to stop an investigation into supposed Russia-Trump campaign collusion, he would have to fire everyone in the FBI. Firing Comey doesn’t put the brakes on. What the dismissal does is rid the American people of someone who disqualified himself during and after last year’s general election presidential campaign.

Both sides wanted Comey gone, the Democrats more than the Republicans. Now the left is going even more nuts than they were before, if that was even possible.

Trump should have fired Comey on day one of his presidency. He should not have waited. But now? The timing, and with it the optics, were terrible. Isn’t there anyone in the White House with enough political savvy and enough juice to positively influence the boss? What did the administration think would happen?

Firing Comey at this time and so abruptly just gave the Democrats more ammunition in their quest to rid the world of Trump. Impeachment had already entered the conversation of the unhinged ones, but now even more so.

Hey Democrats, if Trump is forced from office who do you think takes over? Mike Pence, who is a true conservative, not whatever the heck Trump is. Do you really want that? I can hear you yelling, “So we will impeach him too!” OK, if all the impeachment dreaming makes you feel better, go ahead and waste your time salivating.

In any event, President Obama should have fired Comey before he left office, but the former White House resident felt it was more important to use his energies in his last days to screw Israel at the United Nations.

And speaking of Obama, he is now on the speaking circuit earning upwards of $400,000 a pop to show up and do one of the only things he did very well as president. Use a teleprompter. And it’s to a Wall Street Bank. Now I believe in capitalism, so if he or anyone can legally make tons of money, hey, they should go for it. But again, hypocrisy is a partner in this.

Ah Obama, who I wish would just quietly ride into the sunset, is that champion of the poor and downtrodden, the man who created one traffic jam after another every so often in my West Los Angeles/Beverly Hills/Bel Air neck of the woods fundraising at the homes of Hollywood fat cats – $30,000 per person and up entrance fee – always ignoring his struggling–to-make-ends-meet devotees just minutes to the east in South Los Angeles.

No money, no honey. Maybe Obama waved as Air Force One descended into LAX.

But let’s be fair. Barack and Michelle Obama are only worth $24 million, and a new book deal will yield them a mere $60 million. People, let’s face it, with everything being so expensive today, it is just not enough. It really is never enough for those who pretend to care so much for those who have so little.

But the Obama’s are not yet the Clintons in the “cashing in” department. The poor Clintons earned over $240 million since they left the White House in 2001. Don’t worry, Barack and Michelle, you will get there and more. And faster.

Many political talking heads who criticized Republicans for cashing in defended Obama, of course. Exhausting.

And speaking of anything Clinton, not only is Hillary telling sycophantic audiences that although she takes responsibility for her loss in November, she was a victim of so many other things for which had they not happened she would be president. Comey, and Russia, and the “deplorables,” er, I mean misogynists, and WikiLeaks, and who knows who and what else.

Hey lady, no hiding behind a private server, along with all your lies, no Comey. No primaries screwing-Bernie Sanders-collusion with the Democratic National Committee, no leaked story to tell. And were there those who did not vote for you simply and only because you were a woman? I am sure there were. Not enough to make a difference, but yes there were. By the same token, there were many, many more who did vote for you simply and only because you were a woman. So get over yourself.

And next time, hit the blue state Midwest in the last weeks of your campaign, as your husband Bill suggested you do, instead of ignoring past two-time Obama voters. Of course, Bill wanted to go there because as the Beach Boys tell us, “The Midwest farmer’s daughters really make you feel alright.”

Wait, what! Next time? What do you mean? Well, if you haven’t heard, “resistor” Hillary is creating a political fundraising organization called Onward Together. One of Hillary’s many campaign slogans was Stronger Together. Some pundits are now saying perhaps the worst presidential campaigner ever will be using the group as a springboard for yet a third run.

Love them or hate them, both former presidents Bush had enough class to just leave the limelight and keep their mouths shut even as they were blamed for everything by their successors for every ill of the world.

I have an idea. We can create a group for just two members and call it, Will You Please Just Go The ____ Away Already Together.  What do you think?

Health care. I could go deeper believe me, but for now, I will just say this. Any Republican who says people affected with pre-existing conditions and those on Medicaid will not be detrimentally affected by the House Republican health care bill are lying. Risk pools and income and inflation changes will hurt both groups.

By the same token, Democrats who say 24 million people will be thrown off their insurance plans are lying. Killing the mandate forcing people to buy insurance or pay a penalty is giving people a choice and if some don’t want to buy insurance, they won’t.

One of the reasons Obamacare is dying (Aetna just announced, after losing nearly $1 billion, it is pulling out of its last state exchanges) is because the architects of the bill thought penalties would force younger, healthier people to buy insurance. Way too many chose the penalty and not enough money was put into the pool for those older and in more need of health care, those who use more services.

The lies from both sides, the hypocrisy, it is all so exhausting. Bring on the Senate. Republican senators say they will fashion their own bill. Moderate Republicans, please work with moderate Democrats and stay away from the lying fringers.

Look people, I was very disappointed with the results of last year’s presidential primary results yielding two very unworthy and unpopular candidates. And I knew what would happen. It wouldn’t have mattered which of the flawed, self-absorbed egoists would have prevailed. We would be on the same road on which we presently tread.

Can’t we at least go one week, even one day, even one hour, with some semblance of political quietude? I know it won’t happen but I can dream, can’t I?

I pray for the day when we can use the media to see fights on airplanes and at airline counters, uninterrupted by Washington political intrigue.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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