Should Washington Evaluate Policies With Guts Or Brains

Ed Raymond

   A Republican state senator the other day said; “I depend on my gut to make major decisions.”  He evidently is following the decision-making practices of his Great leader, King Donald Trump, who claims; “I’ve got a gut. And it thinks better than some brains.” I wonder if the Manhattan village idiot got this idea from his primary doctor—who happens be a gastroenterologist. In challenging the action of the Federal Reserve Bank Board he exclaimed: “They’re making a mistake, because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.” Science has definitely proven that guts, loaded with good and bad bacteria, can only digest food like broccoli and parmesan cheese--which later can spew verbal diarrhea of the host over everybody.  Science has  proven that the brain is the only organ that can digest facts. 

   In talking about negotiations with China, he remarked: “I know it better than anybody knows it, and my gut has always been right.” His gut told him the Obama’s birth certificate was forged. In endorsing candidates for office, King Donald added another organ: “I endorse candidates on “very much my gut instinct, but also from my heart.”  Science tells us hearts pump blood and life-giving oxygen around the body, not facts. The fact is the brain regulates the guts and the heart.  Before we knew that, we thought the heart did a lot of that stuff. We used the phrase: “I love you with all my heart.” Not really. We know the brain comes up with that fact. The heart can’t. Actually the gray brain as an organ of love should be on all Valentine  cards instead of the red heart. Trump, basically a non-reader who gets his “relative facts” from Fox News TV, supports this premise: “Go with your gut…You have to follow your gut…Develop your gut instincts and act on them…I have seen people who are super genius, but don’t have that gut feeling.” There are other life forms that do “some thinking” with body parts and organs other than brains, but they are called lobsters, sponges, and scallops. Trump is more like jellyfish that sting on contact.

When Trump’s Lips Move He’s Probably Lying

   Washington Post columnists and reporters have kept track of Trump’s lies for two years while he has been in office, including all of his “gut” comments. Today his lies are in the 7,450 range since his inauguration. Yale University psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee has studied the president’s mental functioning and has come to this conclusion: “When Trump talks about his gut he’s really referring to his ‘primitive brain’—from which a rush of emotion overcomes him and he is not able to access his actual intellect.” But how can a man who doesn’t read and listen to others for guidance have much of an intellect? How many facts are on Fox News? Lifelong New Yorker Maureen Dowd has followed the checkered career of Donald Trump for much of his uncelibated life. The New York Times columnist again covered him in her column “Nancy Pelosi Spanks The First Brat”: “Two men, sons of (German and Italian) immigrants, rising to the head of their own empires, powerful forces in their ethnic communities, both wielding a potent influence on the children who learned at their knees and followed them into the family businesses. But here’s the difference: Big Tommy D’Alesandro, Jr., once the mayor of Baltimore, taught little Nancy how to count. Developer Fred Trump taught Donald, from the time he was a baby, that he didn’t have to count—or be accountable; Daddy’s money made him and buoyed him.”

Dowd: “No Wonder He Is Still An Infant”

   According to various investigations, Daddy provided three trust funds and $10,000 Christmas checks to his son. Daddy made the “Orange Nut” (as he is called by many today) a millionaire by age eight through various tax scams. When Donald was a teenager, Fred and his wife got their arrogant, smart-ass son out of the house by sending him to a private military school to get some discipline.  It failed. At 27 Donald and his father were getting sued by the U.S. Justice Department for refusing to rent to blacks. By the time “Little Donnie” was 40 he was getting a $5 million annual allowance from Daddy. Going bankrupt a half-dozen times never bothered him much. That ain’t living paycheck to paycheck as 78% of Americans are currently doing during his administration. Dowd writes: “No wonder he is still an infant. But how do you discipline the world’s brattiest 72-year-old?”

   After spending 80 years of my life educating myself and others from ages five to doctorate level, I can claim the following: our Great Leader claims he is a genius and has a high intellect. Actually, all the evidence — facts not gut-- points to King Donald being an illiterate, uniformed dumbass.
   President George “Dubya” was another “gut player” who never made an effort to know anything—but at least he had friends who knew a little. But the Trump life story is contained in an e-mail sent me by a reader. Trump is pictured sitting in a chair looking arrogant and grim. The caption: “No books. No friends. No curiosity. No patience. No integrity. No compassion. No empathy. No loyalty. No conscience. No courage. No manners. No respect. No character. No morality. No honor, not even a dog.” What a complete biography of his life. Seventeenth Century English poet and theologian John Donne wrote “No Man Is An Island.” It reviews normal men (condensed): 

“No man is an island, entire of itself,

Every man is a piece of the continent, 
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, 
Europe is the less.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.”

  Donald Trump is alone on an island of his own creation, dog-less — and nurtured only by himself.
                                                               
We Have Managed To Elect Six Dead People To Congress

   Sometimes I wonder if they are still serving. Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. writes in his column “Why Is Congress So Dumb?” that Congress is close to being brain dead. He uses examples of ignorant colleagues who attempt to exercise oversight over industries that develop new technology. During hearings one rep asked a Google executive about the workings of an IPhone, not knowing it was an Apple product. Another did not know that Facebook made all of its money by advertising. Many reps have no idea how extensive new technology is used by a majority of the people

  He blames staff cuts made by Speaker Newt Gingrich starting in the 1995 session for this problem. He got the Congress to cut the Congressional workforce by one-third, including the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional Research Service(CRS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). He writes it was “Congress’s self-lobotomy, and the cuts remain largely unreversed”  to this day,  Evidently Republicans feel that guts are better than brains in governing.

   A 2015 study shows that American corporations devote more resources to lobbying Congress than Congress spends to fund itself. Just between 1980 and 2006 the number of lobbying organizations doubled. Lobbying expenditures between 1983 and 2013 rose from $200 million to $3.2 billion. In a 2017 tax battle there were over 6,200 registered corporate tax lobbyists fighting for control over 130 staffers working for the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation. In 2016 there were only 1,300 registered tax lobbyists. Guess who won in 2017. The lobbyists regularly flood Congressional offices with studies, reports, and mountains of data—all supporting their positions. A member of the Ways and Means Committee, Pascrell says there were no hearings on the 2017 Trump tax bill that gave most of the $1.5 trillion tax cut to the top Ten Percent. In the 1970’s the House held over 6,000 hearings on every conceivable subject. In 1994 slightly over 4,000 took place. In 2014 the number went down to 2,000. It’s a brainy fact that Congress really does not make policy anymore. That task takes place with a few political leaders, lobbyists, and the White House now—all behind closed doors.

  Voting records show that the public has actually elected six dead people to Congress because the “candidate” was listed on the ballot. Today’s Congress reminds me f that great scene in a horror movie of dozens of unblinking zombies marching stiff-armed through the woods, oblivious to the society they are living in--while “governing” the People’s Republic of America.

Pascrell: “ We Are Functioning Like An Abacus”

   Although our population increased almost 100 million to 316 million between 1980 and 2016, aides for the House actually decreased to 6,880. Other House staff increased only 1%. (One of my sisters was a Capitol Hill House aide between 1950 and 1985, working for six different congressmen.) He wants the Congressional Research Service to be fully funded again because it provides studies from experts in law, defense, trade, science, industry, and many other fields. 

   He states:”We are functioning like an abacus (a very old accounting device) seeking to decipher string theory. Great nations build libraries.” Between 1980 and 2015 The GAO staff was cut by one-fifth although its job is to furnish info to Congress on any requested issue. Even Oklahoma conservative Senator Tom Coburn estimated that every dollar of GAO funding saved the country $90. Pascrell wants the Office of Technology Assessment brought back to life to study biomedical research, CRISPR (genetics) space exploration, artificial intelligence, election security, and climate change.

   Pascrell summarizes Congress’s problems in this paragraph: “After decades of disinvesting itself, Congress has become captured by outside interests and partisans. Lawmakers should be guided by independent scholars, researchers, and policy specialists. We must recognize our difficulties in comprehending an impossibly complex world. Undoing the mindless destruction of 1994 will take a lot of effort, but with investment, we can make Congress work again.”  This representative is definitely not dead or one of the marching zombies surrounding him.

This Paragraph Should Be The Economic Platform Of Democrats

    While Jeff Bezos of Amazon makes $300,000 a minute, while owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys just took delivery of his 357-ft $250 million luxury yacht, while the top 25 financial edge fund managers made a collective $15 billion in 2018, while the rich pay $250,000 for a five-minute ride in space on Virgin Galactic, while 78% of American families live paycheck-to-paycheck, while 80% of the 640,000 students in the Los Angeles School District are in poverty and eligible for free school lunches, the national Democratic Party should adopt the following paragraph written by Michigan  Philosophy Professor Elizabeth Anderson as its economic platform: “To be truly free, members of a society have to be able to function as human beings (requiring food, shelter, medical care) to participate in production (education, fair-value pay, entrepreneurial opportunity), to execute their role as citizens (freedom to speak and to vote), and to move through civil society (parks, restaurants, workplaces, markets, and all the rest). Egalitarians should focus policy attention on areas where that order has broken down.”