Saturday, May 06, 2017

No Matter If Beer Or No Beer

From the significant to the trivial. David Frum points out the obvious, or at least what should be obvious notwithstanding the insistence of the news media in referring to President Trump as a "populist." Frum writes

Trump’s Republican Party may attract white working-class votes with its cultural messaging, but the excited promise of 2016 of a “working-class party” can be disregarded. The working class will be stripped of its Medicaid coverage. It will again be exposed to the worst practices of the pre-2010 healthcare status quo. The coming tax cut that will absorb the resources shifted away from healthcare subsidies looks likely to be tilted even more radically to the wealthiest in society than those of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, the House’s next priority after Obamacare repeal and the tax cut will not be the roads and bridges that Trump promised his voters, but amendments to the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill to allow big banks to engage in riskier transactions.

Even the one policy thrust which Democratic politicos (as well as the media) hold out hope for as a truly populist initiative, infrastructure spending, as written would be a sop to the wealthy.  Private developers would be offered tax cuts to finance for-profit projects, then benefit from the tolls and fees imposed.

Transportation, finance, health care, education, bridges and dams, veterans' health care, prisons, and the list goes on: President Trump wants to privatize anything that moves.

That is the significant, but there also is the trivial to demonstrate that the President is no more a populist than I am a lumberjack.

Just prior to the House vote gutting the Affordable Care Act, Vice reporter Alexandra Jaffe tweeted about a case of Bud Light being wheeled into the Capitol. The intern denied it was for a party to celebrate the expected win and a spokesperson for house Speaker Paul Ryan claimed the same.

No one has determined definitively whether the denials were valid, and it makes little difference if a big, albeit far from final, legislative victory is hailed with beer or coffee.

Still, there remains little doubt that the brew headed for the Capitol was Bud Light, no longer a product of Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis, Missouri, USA but of Anheuser-Busch In Bev SA which was, Wikipedia explains, "formed through successive mergers of three international brewing groups completed in 2008: Interbrew from Belgium, AmBev from Brazil, and Anheuser-Busch from the United States."  It is a publicly-listed company with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

House leadership could have selected beer from an American company.  The number of domestic breweries is dwindling but includes craft operations Sierra Nevada Brewing, Anchor Brewing, and New Belgisum Brewing Company. They could have gone with Trumer Pils or with the D.G. Yuengling, owned by a Trump supporter, which brews an overrated beer.  They could have gone with inexpensive Pabst or at least with famous Samuel Adams, foreign-owned but domestically brewed.

No one has verified the final destination of the light beer from Anheuser-Busch In Bev SA. We don't know what party it was going to, but we do know where the Party headed by Donald Trump and Speaker Ryan is taking us to. It's a government of, by, and for plutocrats, and the Democratic Party must actively and continually refute the notion that either of these two guys is more determined in anything else they do.

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