Monday Reads: Descent into White Trash Resentment and its Trumpian Meanness and Madness

It’s Labor Day!

This usually means a last, long summer weekend at the beach or around the mountains. Today’s pictures are from the inspired lens of photographer Seph Lawless and the many photographers that photographed the big Pocono resorts during the 60s and 70s.  I feel as though we are losing our American way of life much the way that these grand Poconos resorts have fallen into decay and destruction after giving so much to so many. Go check the photo gallery and narrative.

A photographer is sharing what he calls a “heartbreaking” look at some of the resorts that made the Poconos the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.”

Photographer Seph Lawless shared his photos of Penn Hills Resort, Buck Hill Inn, Summit Resort and Unity House with Fox 8 in Cleveland.

While the resorts became super popular starting back in the 1960s, Lawless says times have changed and “the honeymoon is over.” He said many of the most popular resorts in the area are now empty and abandoned.

Pablo Iglesias Maurer  juxtaposes now vs. then postcards and photos too.  He’s written a narrative to accompany the gifs he’s created of the postcard views  and his journey to capture their eerie “abandoned states”.  It’s quite brilliant.

I found the old matchbook lying on a desk.

It was buried under some papers, beside a thick, water-logged book frozen solid in the January chill. I ran my fingers down its spine and read the title: “How to Run A Successful Golf Course.”

The owner of the Penn Hills Resort in the Poconos probably hadn’t followed whatever advice the author had to offer. They boarded the place up years ago, and there’s a gaping hole in the roof of his old office. Muted greens and yellows, shag carpeting peek at me through a sheet of ice.

The matchbook, which looks to be from the 60’s, is about half empty—whoever was sitting here when this place finally went under surely needed a smoke.Its cover is a reminder of better days. Swimmers are frolicking at the resort’s indoor pool, now a scene of trash, mangled deck chairs, a life preserver. I lock eyes with a huge bullfrog who didn’t make it out. He was entombed in the ice.

The matchbook no longer lines up with reality. I look down through the viewfinder of my camera and up again at the matchbook, aligning the two images the best I can. Up (snap) down (snap). It feels like I’m seeing this place in some sort of dystopian View-Master, each image on the wheel darker than the next.

Weeks later, I score a cache of old postcards from the Poconos and Catskills on eBay, the sort that end up in family albums, stuck in some box in the attic. “Our Honeymoon.” In idyllic scenes at Penn Hills, The Homowack Lodge, Grossinger’s, and a fourth resort in the Poconos which we aren’t identifying, vacation-goers and honeymooners frolic in the mountains.

They have a surreal quality. Ephemeral, disposable, they served only one purpose—to let someone know “I’m here. I’m thinking of you.” It feels a bit like social media does sometimes, where you’ll snap a photo of some vista, sometimes to bring those you care about a bit closer to you. And like social media, the postcards manage to be a little impersonal: “I didn’t quite care enough to write a letter.” It’s analog Foursquare, a non-digital check-in.

Trumpian madness and meanness means DACA and dreamers have been ground beneath the heel of racism and of destroying Obama’s legacy.

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.

The administration’s deliberations on the issue have been fluid and fast moving, and the president has faced strong warnings from members of his own party not to scrap the program.

Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. But conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress — rather than the executive branch — is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program and kick the issue to Congress, the two sources said.

In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official. But a senior White House aide said that chief of staff John Kelly, who has been running the West Wing policy process on the issue, “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.”

White House aides caution that — as with everything in the Trump White House — nothing is set in stone until an official announcement has been made.

Trump is expected to formally make that announcement on Tuesday, and the White House informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of the president’s decision on Sunday morning, according to a source close to the administration. Ryan had said during a radio interview on Friday that he didn’t think the president should terminate DACA, and that Congress should act on the issue.

Kremlin Caligula continues to attack and baffle long time allies of our country.  From Wapo “Seoul tries to ignore Trump’s criticism: ‘They worry he’s kind of nuts,’ one observer says.”

After North Korea conducted its nuclear test Sunday, Trump tweeted: “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

Trump did not talk to Moon on the phone Sunday — in stark contrast to the two calls he had with Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan and a leader who has proven much more willing to agree with his American counterpart. This will worsen anxieties in Seoul that Tokyo is seen as “the favorite ally,” analysts said.

Moon, who was elected in May, advocated engagement with North Korea but has also acknowledged the need for pressure to bring the Pyongyang regime back to talks. He has also come around to an agreement between his predecessor and the U.S. military to deploy an antimissile system in South Korea.

Trump’s tweet was widely reported across South Korean media, and Moon’s office responded to the tweet with a measured statement Sunday night.

“South Korea is a country that experienced a fratricidal war. The destruction of war should not be repeated in this land,” it said. “We will not give up and will continue to push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means working together with our allies.”

It says a lot that a country brutally occupied by Japan less than a century ago thinks more of their friendship than of ours.  But then check out Moyers & Company’s montage of “What Trump and his Team have wrecked so far” written by Karin Kamp and Kristin Miller.

Policy attacks on US Labor have been unbelievable given Trump’s populist rants at rallies.

A few months ago, President Donald Trump devoted his weekly address to the beleaguered American employee. “For too long, American workers were forgotten by their government — and I mean totally forgotten,” he said. “My administration has offered a new vision. The well-being of the American citizen and worker will be placed second to none.”

No doubt he’ll come up with more pro-worker blather for Labor Day. Don’t listen. The only way Trump is helping the average employee is if you consider The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns a working stiff.

The rollback of labor rights and protections since Trump took office is staggering. It puts worker safety at risk and guarantees that many workers will earn less, but that’s not all. Measures to help victims of discrimination receive redress are on the scrap heap. Unions are running scared. “It’s a death by a thousand cuts,” explains Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Last week, as most of us in the United States were riveted by Hurricane Harvey’s descent on Texas, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration removed from its Internet home page a list of workers who died as a result of workplace injuries, burying it deep within the website. At the same time, it changed how the list is compiled; it will now only include instances where the company was cited for safety violations leading to a worker’s death. Details such as the name of the deceased worker are also no longer considered worthy of inclusion. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution worked out that of the at least 32 Georgia workers it determined died as a result of work-related injuries since October 1 of last year, only two even get a mention on the new list.

This is the state of our Union. The “US has regressed to developing nation status, MIT economist warns Peter Temin who “says 80 per cent of the population is burdened with debt and anxious about job security”.

America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation, an MIT economist has warned.

Peter Temin says the world’s’ largest economy has roads and bridges that look more like those in Thailand and Venezuela than those in parts of Europe.

In his new boo.k, “The Vanishing Middle Class”, reviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Mr Temin says the fracture of US society is leading the middle class to disappear.

The economist describes a two-track economy with on the one hand 20 per cent of the population that is educated and enjoys good jobs and supportive social networks.

On the other hand, the remaining 80 per cent, he said, are part of the US’ low-wage sector, where the world of possibility has shrunk and people are burdened with debts and anxious about job security.

Mr Temin used a model, which was created by Nobel Prize winner Arthur Lewis and designed to understand developing nations, to describe how far inequalities have progressed in the US.

When applied to the US, Mr Temin said that “the Lewis model actually works”.

He found that much of the low-wage sector had little influence over public policy, the high-income sector was keeping wages down to provide cheap labour, social control was used to prevent subsistence workers from challenging existing policies and social mobility was low.

It isn’t black and brown people doing this to white America. It’s the Trumps of the country doing it to the rest of us.  Jamelle Bouie–writing for Slate says it best.  “Trump has never been less popular—and never more clearly the head of a party of racial resentment.”

Seven months into his presidency, Donald Trump is deeply unpopular. In Gallup’s latest poll of presidential job approval, he’s down to 34 percent, a level unseen by most presidents outside of an economic disaster or foreign policy blunder. In FiveThirtyEight’s adjusted average of all approval polling, he stands at 37 percent. And yet, few Republican lawmakers of consequence are willing to buck him or his agenda, in large part because their voters still support the president by huge margins. What we have clearer evidence of now is why. From polling and the behavior of individual politicians, it’s become harder to deny that people support the president not just for being president, but for his core message of white resentment and grievance—the only area where he has been consistent and unyielding.

You see broad Republican allegiance to Trump in the polling. Nearly 70 percent of Republicans say they agree with Trump on the issues. And 78 percent of Republicans say they approve of the president’s overall job performance. Republicans who have bucked or criticized Trump, like Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, have jeopardized their political futures as a result.

You also see the degree to which white racial resentment is a key force among Republican voters. Most Republicans, remember, agreed with President Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he held both sides—white supremacists and counterdemonstrators—responsible for the chaos that claimed the life of one anti-racist protester. In an analysis of recent polling, my colleague William Saletan observes that, across a number of questions gauging racial animus, Republicans generally (and Trump supporters specifically) are most likely to give answers signaling tolerance for racism and racist ideas. Forty-one percent of Republicans, for example, say that whites face more discrimination than blacks and other nonwhite groups (among strong Trump supporters, it’s 45 percent). Ten percent of Republicans and 19 percent of strong Trump supporters have a favorable impression of white nationalists, while 13 percent of the former (and 17 percent of the latter) say it’s “acceptable” to hold white supremacist views.

Trump wants tariffs and trade wars.  He insults our friends. He is willing to throw US nurses, soldiers, workers and students out of the only country and home they have known.  His dream is that of a country in ruin and a palace of gold for him and his.

Have a good holiday!

27 Comments on “Monday Reads: Descent into White Trash Resentment and its Trumpian Meanness and Madness”

  1. dakinikat says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      How interesting – Reagan even disses the “fence” thing. I guess he wasn’t as racist against brown people as black.

      Interesting too back then you could call a Hispanic immigrant an “alien” and a black male a “buck”. But the tRumpanzees don’t like political correctness.

  2. Sweet Sue says:

    Those heart shaped bathtubs always looked like chlamydia factories to me way before I ever heard the word chlamydia.
    I went to Little Flower camp in the Poconos; it’s a beautiful area.
    Good labor day to Dak and all.

  3. palhart says:

    I can’t get into “Aide says Trump “is insane” (CapitolHill Blue) on my Yahoo page. Tried umpteen times. His birther “search” indicated screws loose. He and his messy, publicized first divorce rated a publicity crazy.

    I never realized the level of economic unrest and racial hatred this country had risen to, or, in the later, had hidden, waiting to explode at an opportune time. To have white supremacists tipping the presidential election, along with the Russians, is doubly astonishing and troubling.

    We have lived in a unsettling period for the last 8 months (or more), but now we are rolling in our insane decider, “only I can fix it”, liar, America/Americans basher, white supremacists’ supporter/protestor, CEO to destroy the US. The promised “carnage has been, and will be, of his making.

    I say the Republicans, in Congress and Trump lever pullers, are insane as well. The stalwart 34 % are the “true believer” types who will go down in ashes for him and will take us with them.

    I have to leave my computer for a while and distract myself from this hell.

    • palhart says:

      My vision is tricky: corrections — “Aide says Trump ‘is insane'” and white supremacists’ supporter/protector.

    • dakinikat says:

      There appears to be attacks on Democratic leaning websites … they were crashing the Dao’s site yesterday

    • palhart says:

      I was tenacious, finally got the post and e-mailed it to myself. Everyone around him knows he’s insane.

      Republicans, fake being a “patriot” until you’re slammed into the role.
      Line up to set the stage for impeachment. Just do it!

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    No, if Trump cancels DACA, it will be one more attempt to endear himself to his shrinking base with the only thing that truly energizes the dead-enders: vengeance fueled by white grievance. And it will also be an act of uncommon cowardice. (“Should Trump move forward with this decision, he would effectively be buying time and punting responsibility to Congress to determine the fate of the Dreamers,” writes The Post.) Dumping it into the lap of the hapless Congress, he can try evading responsibility for the deportation of nearly 800,000 young people who were brought here as children, 91 percent of whom are working. (And if by chance Congress should save DACA, it will be Trump who is the villain and they the saviors, an odd political choice for a president who cares not one wit about the party.)

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    Trump has few core beliefs. How often has he changed positions during the campaign?

    But he is on a mission to countervail and overturn every Obama position just for the sake of it.

    What we have in the WH is a little man with little man syndrome. He hates Obama for various reasons primarily because Obama was better received by the public at large, something that Trump will never achieve.

    Obama was polished. His rhetoric and tone were measured. Obama was smart, able to communicate with empathy and compassion. Obama was comfortable in his own skin. He was determined to learn on the job, surrounding himself with talented people who knew the ways of government. Few of us went to sleep each night worried that he was going to put us on the path of destruction as we have been since November 2016.

    Obama had his flaws but he was a gentle man. Some of us came to respect him after time even if we had not always been a fan. We found his laugh genuine. His tears real. His words often profound. His intelligence was never in doubt. We came to appreciate that he meant well. And his sanity was never in question.

    Trump, on the other hand, is the antithesis of Obama. And he knows it. Couple his instability with his mean spirited personna and you have what we see before us.

    He threatens. Insults. Demeans. His lack of general knowledge for a man who has lived for 71 years is appalling. He is lacking in common decency and his racism is transparent. What he doesn’t know outweighs what he does. And he knows it. His tweets rival a 16 year old. He is a fake.

    This is what America has done to itself. We have cheapened the office with the election of this little man. And we are paying the price for indifference. For lowering the bar that admitted this phony to a pantheon of greats.

    Woe on us.

    • dakinikat says:

      Well put Pat. I completely agree.

    • jan says:

      yes, I agree. Plus trump thought that just by being white, when he replaced President Obama, we would all love him and everything would go well, and he would go down in history. Well, they just found out that a black man with a lot of flack being thrown at him can still do a better job than a rich white man. Ha Ha. Trump shows just what a lot of bull that white supremacy is.

    • joanelle says:

      Boy, you hit the nail squarely on the head, Pat. I don’t for a minute his true followers could have put him in office though without a “rigged election.” He told us it was rigged, we just misunderstood how and for whom it was rigged.

  7. palhart says:

    For a couple of weeks, I have been seeking info on what horror the Trump WH had done so far. From the first source, others were revealed., 8-31-17, “What Trump and His Team Have Wrecked So Far”, by Karin Kamp
    and Kristin Miller, a listing of 18 out of 31 items at the post. Their full series is “While He Was

    WaPo has a graphic explaining Obama-era rollbacks.

    BBC’s “Trump Tracker”

    The Guardian UK has compilation of Trump’s effect on the environment, Environment + Donald Trump.

    The Sunlight Foundation tracks conflicts of interest within the Trump Administration.

  8. palhart says:

    dak, something is wrong here. I’m not allowed to add

  9. palhart says:


    • dakinikat says:

      I’m seeing it. It’s actually quoted up top there and there is a link to it.

      • palhart says:

        It was weird since the site,, was removed and then added back by someone because, for example, I didn’t add to my Help! comment.

  10. Minkoff Minx says: