Don The Destroyer — Because destruction is easy and leaves more time for golf!

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Trump the Destroyer                                                   (Picture credit: knowyourmeme.com)

It’s so much easier to destroy than construct. It’s easier to rescind than create. It’s easier to repeal than replace. Criticism and ridicule is simple compared to governing or managing with efficiency, effectiveness and fairness.

Donald Trump is just the kind of lazy, vengeful fuck whose main mission as President has been to destroy shit, no matter what its merit. He doesn’t care. If it pleases him or his billionaire boys club or his base, it doesn’t matter who gets hurt or what the consequences are. And if it originated with Obama or the Democrats, it is automatically bad and needs to be destroyed.

Trump has been in office for over a year. He has built or created nothing new. Instead he has destroyed lives, beneficial government programs and protections for needy Americans. All Hail the Destroyer!

TRUMP IS HELPING TO DESTROY OUR ENVIRONMENT:

Coal Mining Pollution

He made it legal again to dump toxic coal waste in nearby steams and ponds (left).

He rescinded Obama-era regulations on oil companies that protect against another BP/Gulf of Mexico type oil spill and required oil companies to establish a fund to help clean up future spills.

Under Trump the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has eliminated the Clean Power Act which was designed to force coal and natural gas fired power plants to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions 32% by 2032 (NY Times 10/17).

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement which was the product of years of work by people around the globe, and agreed to by 193 nations in 2015. It is unquestionably the most important climate agreement in history and we Americans are now officially outliers.

Don the Destroyer (“climate change is a Chinese hoax”), said he would negotiate a ‘much better’ deal”. He hasn’t. In fact, he hasn’t said a word about a new deal since the withdrawal. Because withdrawing is much easier than leading.

TRUMP HAS PARTIALLY DISMANTLED AND SOWN CONFUSION IN AMERICA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM:

The Affordable Care Act has provided health insurance coverage to 20 million previously uninsured Americans. The percentage of uninsured Americans which hovered between 16-18% for decades has since dropped to below 10%. That’s a good policy that could have been improved upon by a willing Administration.

But Republicans ran on “Repeal and Replace”. And when it came time to replace, their plan was infinitely worse than the ACA. So Don the Destroyer could only weaken the program by reducing funding, limiting sign up periods and dropping the individual mandate.

As a result, during Trump’s first year in office, 3.2 million previously insured Americans have lost their health insurance (commondreams.org Jan. ’18) — proving that repealing a working, viable healthcare system is much easier than replacing it (with “something better”).

TRUMP HAS CRIPPLED CONSUMER PROTECTIONS:

The recession of 2008 was brought upon us by the reckless and illegal practices of a financial industry gone amok. They destroyed the wealth of tens of millions of Americans. As a result, Congress and Obama passed the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPB) to provide oversight for the predatory financial industry and prevent the abuses that caused the financial meltdown.

As of Oct. ’16 the CFPB had shown the following results in its first 5 years:
        $11.7 billion: Approximate amount of relief to consumers from CFPB supervisory and enforcement work.
$27 million: Consumers who will receive relief as a result of CFPB supervisory and enforcement work.
$573 million: Money ordered to be paid in civil penalties as a result of CFPB enforcement work.
1,000,000: Complaints CFPB has handled as of September 1, 2016
(from uspirg.com)

Smart, sensible and necessary. Many economists said the regulations didn’t go far enough to prevent another crash. But because it was legislation from Obama and a Democratic Congress, Trump had to destroy it. His administration has cut the budget, stopped prosecutions against violators, defanged the law and put one of his own henchman (Office of Budget Director Mick Mulvaney) in as interim director to make sure the Agency remains neutered.

Middle America should rest better at night knowing that Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citi Bank and the usurious Pay Day lenders of this country can go back to manipulating markets and fucking us any way they please just like 2008.

How short are our collective attention spans?!

TRUMP HAS DESTROYED ANY GLIMMER OF FAIRNESS FROM OUR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

No President since Richard Nixon has so egregiously interfered with the operations and policy direction at the Department of Justice.

Trump has meddled deeply into the Russia investigation and ranted furiously that his Attorney General recused himself, which he was legally mandated to do. He has fired the FBI director because of the Russia investigation and he recently pressured the Acting Director to resign (same reason).

Trump has also taken the GOP mantra of “activist judges” (judges that make decisions that Conservatives don’t like) and doubled down to attack judges and denigrate the judicial system that block his imperial decrees.

Image:Trump and his evil elf Attorney General Jeff Sessions have reversed a 20 year policy of protecting citizens from police abuse and civil rights violations. They have frozen many of the lawsuits and consent decrees left over from the Obama administration and even suggested to police that they “not be too nice” to suspects when they are being arrested. With a wink of the eye Trump has let police know that this he is willing to turn a blind eye to abuses and civil rights violations. (Picture credit: alternativelyfacts.com)

And in another ridiculously destructive campaign, Trump and Sessions have threatened to fight the ‘budding’ legal marijuana industry, currently in 29 states. Legal marijuana is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, which has produced a rare win-win in legislative history: huge tax revenue increases and huge savings from law enforcement, judicial and incarceration costs. (See my blog  Americans Need More Marijuana for a full discussion).

But ‘liberals’ smoke pot, so Trump wants to destroy it.

TRUMP IS LITERALLY DESTROYING LIVES WITH HIS GESTAPO-LIKE TACTICS ON UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS:

The Destroyer is not just going after undocumented aliens with criminal records, he’s ordered ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to arrest any undocumented person: fathers arrested driving their children to school; successful and established business owners being arrested; and one story of ICE in a hospital waiting room to arrest an undocumented child after she was released from medical treatment. None of these people had criminal records. Most of them were law abiding tax payers who had been in the country for many years.

DACA deportations

But nothing has been as heinous and destructive as rescinding the DACA program. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by Obama in 2012 protected the young children of undocumented adult aliens who entered the U.S. illegally. Those children have grown up in the United States and a statistically impressive group of young people, highly educated, strong work ethic, law abiding and optimistic. These kids are American in every sense of the word. Deporting these kids to a strange country, without their families, without anything would be the cruelest act by a President since Andrew Jackson sent Native Americans on the “Trail of Tears” in 1830. Only a true Destroyer would even contemplate such a thing. Now the lives of 700,000 DACA kids hang in the balance. Cruel, barbaric and absolutely senseless.

TRUMP IS TRYING TO DESTROY THE FREE PRESS.

Free Speech quote Jefferson

Trump shows his autocratic side when he persistently degrades the American free press. No President has gone to such lengths to delegitimize the media. Every story that portrays Trump negatively is pronounced “fake news” by the Destroyer. A dangerous precedent that is common practice among aspiring dictators. In a government controlled by Republicans in every branch, mainstream media may be the only independent check on the abuses of this Presidency. And those come almost daily.

It’s particularly easy for the Destroyer to claim “fake news”. He doesn’t read anything anyway!

TRUMP IS DESTROYING THE LEGACY OF PRESIDENTIAL DIGNITY AND ETHICS.

The ethics violations of this Administration are unprecedented. Trump created more ethics controversies in his first month as President than Obama did in eight years.

Trump corrupt

Trump’s refusal to publicize his tax returns, to put unqualified, close family members in top administrative positions, his refusal to put his business assets (and Jared’s and Ivanka’s) in blind trusts, and to have key advisors who do not qualify for security clearances — are unlike the ethical standards every other modern day President. Unfortunately, our ethics rules are toothless and Trump knows it.

We will also have to beef-up enforcement of the ‘emoluments’ clause in Article 1 of the Constitution:

Emoluments Clause

The fact that the Emolument Clause has never been tested is itself a testimony to the general trustworthiness and ethical consistency of 44 past Presidents. Up until now, there has been no need to test this clause. But thanks to Don the Destroyer, there will be, and needs to be, a greater scrutiny of the law and hopefully some new legislation to clarify and fortify the Emoluments Clause.

In the future, we also may want to consider a thorough psychological exam and a CAT-scan for all presidential nominees. Oh yeah, maybe a literacy test too.

He has tarnished the very dignity of the office of the President with his incredulous support for White Supremacists in Charlotte; his false claims of felony wiretapping against the former President; his insulting attempt to comfort a war widow; his obvious fondness for thugs and dictators over our democratic allies; and his denigrations of women who have accused him of sexual predation. The list goes on endlessly. Trump is beneath the dignity of any other American President. He is a scum-bag, a scoundrel, a thug, a liar and a criminal.

TRUMP HAS FURTHER DAMAGED AMERICA BY BEING THE MOST DIVISIVE PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY:

Without question, his most horrific behavior is his purposeful intent to divide this nation through outright lies and false accusations – solely for the purpose of getting himself and keeping himself elected. The path to American Greatness will never pass through a divided country. But Trump neither understands nor cares. The Republicans have been using the “Divide and Conquer” strategy for 20 years (see my blog The Successful Republican Election Strategy …..Divide And Conquer!”   Part 1 — Wedge Issues.). It has brought them political success, but it has done great harm to the fabric and foundation of our great country.

Like destruction, segregating Americans into “us and them”, “red and blue”, “good and evil”, “patriots and snowflakes” is much easier than working to build a more unified, more tolerant, more compassionate society.

Trump the babyThe Destroyer’s childish, divisive, insulting, denigrating and abusive behavior and speech have made his Presidency the most adversarial and least popular in modern history. Worse now I believe than Richard Nixon’s. Trump is a cancer upon the American Presidency. He is not a builder, a uniter, a healer, a constructor, or a mediator. He is a destroyer for two simple reasons:

1) Destruction is easier than Construction. And Trump is inherently a lazy fuck. He can get in more rounds of golf by being a Destroyer. With a short tweet, he can send the whole political world into a shitstorm.

2) The ashes of destruction are fertile ground for the birth of autocratic tyrants. Just look at the rise of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Castro, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, to name a few examples.

Trump clearly does not want “Checks and Balances” on his power. He neither knows nor cares what’s in the U.S. Constitution. The free press is an enemy to be defeated. He has no regard for American values of equality, fairness, decency or tolerance.

Don the Destroyer MUST BE STOPPED. And for the continuity of American Greatness, it needs to happen sooner rather than later. Every day he remains in the White House he destroys a little bit more of our American institutions, values and dignity.

Tuesday, November 8 must be the day of The Great Blue Wave. Every citizen hurt or sickened by the actions and policies of the Destroyer must show up at the polls. Trump is not on the ballot, but by voting OUT the obstructionist Republicans and voting IN Democrats and Independents, we can neutralize the power of the Destroyer, allow the Mueller investigation to run its course and one way or another, clear the way to remove the Destroyer from office.

In the meantime, resist, speak out, write your Congresspersons, register to vote, run for office, march, activate. Viva La Resistance American!

Vote Tues Nov 8

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Nov. 8, 2016 Part 2: Donald Trump’s No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day.

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NOVEMBER 8, 2016 PART 2:

DONALD TRUMP’S NO GOOD, HORRIBLE, VERY BAD DAY

“What?!?” you say. “That’s the day Donald Trump was elected President of the United States! Why, that’s probably the greatest day of his life!”

One might be tempted to think that. But, in fact, November 8, 2016 could ultimately become the absolutely WORST day in Donald Trump’s life.

If Donald Trump had lost the 2016 election like he should have, he would have returned to his businesses and previous lifestyle as an even greater celebrity, narcissist and blowhard than before. This was the real reason why Trump ran in the first place – he didn’t want the nomination or to be President. His run for President was about filling his fragile, Lake Superior-sized ego and as a world-wide marketing campaign for the Trump Organization.

Anyone who thinks that Donald Trump gives one hot damn for the people, political traditions and Constitution of this country, needs to have a brain scan.

As a former Presidential candidate, demand for the Trump name and/or partnership would have gone through the roof. He could have upped his management fees, received better deals on naming rights and more lucrative partnership opportunities. Trump would have been making more money legally than he had when he was laundering money for the Russian mob. Ivanka, Uday and Cusay (Don Jr. and Eric), Jared Kushner and the Kushner Companies could have paid off all of their shitty, underwater real estate deals and started making really big money.

Trump with money

Picture credit: trofire.com

 

But to everyone’s surprise and especially his, HE WON!

Trump surprised

Picture credit: en-volve.com

I don’t think it ever crossed his mind that now, for the first time ever, his life, his lifestyle, his deepest flaws and insecurities, his businesses practices, his criminal associations would now be open to full scrutiny by the entire world and measured by the U.S. Constitution.

Trump clearly loved the campaign. He loved mixing it up, he loved being Mr. UnConventional, he especially loved throwing political hand grenades into his opponent’s (and even his own Republican party’s) backyard. Campaigning is like crack for Trump — a daily fix of unbridled adoration. On the campaign trail, Trump could put to use all of his P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie, snake oil salesman skills that he had honed for 40 years. He could bring the house down and walk away with that adoration dopamine coursing through his veins. That, is what it was all about.

But you may argue, “But Trump’s a winner, he wants to win at everything he does! How can you say ‘he didn’t really want to win’?” Because Trump, at 70, has become fat and lazy. He is still the “Presence” behind the Trump Organization and has his fingers in most of the pie, but now it’s just the pudgy tips of his tiny fingers. Ivanka, Uday and Cusay take care of all the heavy daily lifting. These days, Donald’s “Presence” only requires a few hours a day. We know that from his work habits as President.

And then there is Melania, who, it has been reported, upon hearing the news of her husband’s victory, burst into tears and ran inconsolable back to her bedroom. Melania’s eccentric, extravagant, private gold-digger existence had just come to a crashing end. No more tony Trump Tower penthouse? No more 2 hour lunches with the girls or long afternoons at the spa? No more shop-til-you-drop marathons on 5th Avenue? Now, she was looking at being inside the White House ‘prison’, down in the swamp known as Washington D.C. no less, constantly surrounded by Secret Service, forced to become the “First Lady” of which she obviously wants nothing to do with. She was trapped! Melania had only signed up for a short-cut to citizenship and a cushy life married to some old rich fuck. She hadn’t signed up for national limelight, community service and playing kiss-ass with a bunch of stodgy politicians. One can only imagine her shock and grief. By the way, how’s that campaign to End Bullying going Melania?

But back to Donald’s very bad, horrible, no good day.

Trump on throneAfter Trump’s victory shock wore off, he replaced it with his familiar blustery bravado: “Now I can tell everyone what to do!” In his ignorance (and arrogance), I think Trump thought he could climb upon the great throne in the Oval Office (below) and start issuing royal decrees and commands to force his twisted, archaic, dystopian vision on all Americans. He genuinely believed he could run the country the way he ran his business and his reality TV show.
Picture credit: rebrn.com

For many decades Donald Trump has run his business and personal life like that of a small-time mafia boss. He has bullied, intimidated, threatened and sued anyone who crossed him. He’s paid millions in hush money, legal settlements, fines, bribes and pay-offs to keep his name and his business out of hot water. What is amazing is that he has avoided going prison – but in America, white-collar crime is rarely prosecuted, at worst, it ends in a paying a fine.

Trump with Roy Cohn                 Trump with Mob Attorney Roy Cohn.  Picture credit:  democracynow.org

That’s how Trump has always done business. Very little of it has been honest, straight-up, above-board or fair. And even by using all the sleazy angles and behind-the-scenes graft, Trump still wasn’t that successful. Trump has declared bankruptcy on six different real estate ventures since 1990 (per Robert Harrow/Washington Post):

1991 – Trump Taj Mahal
1992 – Two Atlantic City casinos (unnamed).
1992 – Plaza Hotel in New York
2004 – Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. $1.8 billion owed.
2009 – Trump Entertainment Hotels

I mention this because current investigations into Trump have revealed that in the early ‘90’s after 4 bankruptcies, Trump found it almost impossible to borrow money from American banks and investment firms. He was not deemed credit-worthy. It is believed (and yet to be officially confirmed) at that time Trump, who was no stranger to business relationships with criminal and mafia types, was introduced to some very wealthy and very shady Russian oligarchs and mobsters.

The Soviet Union had collapsed in 1991. As a communist country most of the country’s wealth, assets and resources were controlled by the State. Immediately after the collapse, a small handful of high-ranking survivors were the only ones who knew where the wealth and assets were hidden and how to control the natural resources. Under their new leader, Vladimir Putin, a top KGB operative, this cabal of men moved quickly to seize the wealth and assets and monopolize the resources. Then, to keep this trillion-dollar theft a secret from the Russian people, the money had to be laundered, i.e., made untraceable.

We don’t know how they laundered it all, but billions of dollars found its way into Donald Trump real estate ventures. Suddenly, Trump was selling overpriced condos and homes in New York and Miami like hot cakes despite slow real estate markets in both cities at the time. Many of those same properties were re-sold just a few years later, most at incredible losses. Dark money LLC’s buying overpriced real estate for cash and reselling it within a few years at huge losses is a classic indicator of a money-laundering. I can’t prove this yet but Robert Mueller will do it for me in the very near future.

To Donald Trump this was just another day at the office: flaunting the law, fucking people over and doing business with known criminals and mobsters. In his private, pseudo-master-of-the-universe world this was just smart business and he knew he could either a) get away with it completely or b) worst case scenario; occasionally get caught going too far and pay a fine or settlement that was a relative pittance compared to the profits he had made on the deal. He has made a career on obstructing justice and it has paid off handsomely.

He (or his lawyers) handled his personal discretions the same way. Recent reporting has confirmed that Trump has paid at least two women hush-money to the tune of at least $100,000 each, to keep their mouths shut about extra-marital affairs with him in recent years.

Trump with Stormi the Pornstar
Trump with Pornstar Stormi Daniels

Unfortunately for Trump, holding public office, even the highest elected office in the country, does not entitle one to act like the autocratic mafia boss of the Trump Organization. Trump has found, to his chagrin, that there are well-entrenched legal limitations on his powers as well as numerous entities whose sole job it is to closely monitor and scrutinize most of the actions, policies and decisions of the executive branch.

Furthermore, if any of his actions, policies or decisions appear to be even the slightest bit illegal, someone is going to call him out, sue and/or write salacious articles. Never before has Trump experienced a work environment where everything he does is done under a very public microscope.

Thus every racist utterance of his becomes front page news. Every cruel, demeaning and ignorant comment he makes is fodder for cable and internet news for days. Every time some misinformed, erroneous and outright stupid brain fart escapes his smug, lipless pie-hole, he becomes the butt of every joke, the object of widespread ridicule and the laughing stock of intelligent, thoughtful people world-wide.

He is forced to listen to TV news analysts; many like David Fromm, George Will, Bill Kristol, Steve Schmidt and David Jolly, to name a few, who are devout, Conservative veterans of Republican politics; skewer the President, his policies, his ignorance, his ineptitude as well as his total disregard for the dignity of the Office of the Presidency. Worst of all for the vainglorious Trump must be the daily charges that this man is intellectually, behaviorally or morally unfit to be President of the United States.

Trump crying
Picture credit: mintpressnews.com

This cannot be passed off as some vast left-wing conspiracy. Many elected members of Trump’s own party have publicly mocked him as disreputable, child-like and irresponsible. His own Secretary of State called him a “moron”. His National Security Advisor referred to him as “an idiot” and said he had “the intelligence of a kindergartener”. His top Economic Advisor is quoted as saying that Trump “is an idiot surrounded by clowns”. Trump has never had to put up with such challenges to his authority and questions of his mental competency.

But thanks to the election results of Nov. 8 2016, Donald Trump will be fuming, ranting and raging about these criticisms for many years to come.

But ultimately what will make Nov. 8, 2016 Donald’s very bad, horrible, no good day is the Russia investigation. Trump doesn’t believe he ever does anything wrong and what’s worse, he has never had anyone around that would tell him otherwise. Breaking the law, or even pushing the limits of the law beyond any moral or ethical boundary has never phased Donald Trump. He is, in his own mind, above the law. This has been Donald’s secret to wealth. Trump’s manifesto, “The Art of the Deal” should have been called “The Art of the Spiel” (Yiddish for bull-shit, a con, or a long-winded excuse designed to be more distraction than substance).

Like his Presidency, his whole business career has been based on lies, deceits, subterfuge and yes, illegalities. Until Nov. 8, 2016, Trump was relatively safe in his protective bubble of the Trump Organization Cosa Nostra. Had he lost, he could have gone on, probably to his bitter end, robbing, plundering, bamboozling, shysting and bullying his way to riches.

But on Nov. 8, 2016 he won what he should have lost. Now Trump’s private bubble world has been broken. Like a surgeon with a rib spreader, the U.S. news media, some Congressional committees and Robert Mueller’s highly trained and professional team of investigators are probing, poking and shining bright daylight into the deep cavity of past and present deeds of our President. What they are finding are decades of misdeeds, law-breaking, hush-money payments, intimidations, pay-offs and under-the-table deals with an assortment of mobsters, criminals, international thugs, tax-evaders and other shysters.

Because of Nov. 8, 2016, the American public may get to witness a very rare but important event – an unscrupulous wealthy robber baron being charged with high crimes and felonies…..and actually have to suffer a commensurate penalty!

Trump sad
Picture credit: youtube.com/oursocalledpresident

Republicans have pulled out all the stops to discredit Mueller’s investigation by attacking the FBI and debasing the Justice Department. They have tried to distract the public by releasing partisan memos full of inaccuracies and cherry-picked accusations and resurrecting the 8 year old, already litigated, investigation into Hillary’s Clinton’s involvement in the Uranium One deal (no wrong-doing found). Not only are they serving as enablers for the most corrupt Presidential administration in modern U.S. history but they are committing party-wide obstruction of justice.

Never again can Republicans claim to be the party of law and order. And any Republican legislator who claims to be a “strict constitutionalist” is blowing smoke up your ass.

At this moment, we don’t know if Trump will further obfuscate the Russia investigation by firing Mueller. If he does, will the Republicans finally grow a pair of balls and stop this reckless criminal? Yet I have confidence that no matter what shenanigans Republicans pull to protect Trump, the Special Counsel will release a report and that report is going to reveal a history of high crimes and felonies committed by Trump, Trump Jr., Jared and Ivanka and perhaps other Trump Organization associates.

If, at that time, Republicans refuse to start impeachment proceedings, all of the obstructers deserve to be voted out of office in 2018 and/or 2020. America cannot remain the leading democracy in the world if we allow such crimes and injustice to exist at the highest levels of our government. Don’t forget Mr. Trump, there is always the possibility that the FBI, some future Justice Dept. and the Attorney General of the State of New York (where many of Trump’s business crimes were committed) can still bring criminal charges and for the first time ever, attempt to convict a sitting President of the United States.

Trump in prison
Picture credit: veteranstoday.com

Whatever the scenario, Nov. 8, 2016 is very likely to be Donald Trump’s very bad, horrible, no good day.

Nov. 8, 2016 Part One: What If Hillary Clinton Had Won Like She Should Have?

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NOVEMBER 8, 2016 PART 1:
“WHAT IF” HILLARY HAD WON LIKE SHE SHOULD HAVE?

First, the good news:

— Donald Trump would not be President.

— First woman President. After electing Barack Obama, America demonstrates that it will continue to embrace diversity and greater gender equality by electing the first ever woman President.

President Hillary

— The Supreme Court has a 5–4 Liberal majority for the first time since the very early 1970’s. That, in itself, should have been reason for Democrats/Liberals to turnout in record numbers. If only.

Supreme Court Ideology (2)

— The “McConnell Gambit” would have failed. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, blocked dozens of Obama’s judicial nominations and, most importantly, his Supreme Court nomination on the slim hope that a Republican would win the November 2016 election. If Hillary had won, McConnell’s gambit would have failed and eventually he would have had to allow at least some of Hillary’s judicial nominations.
Sen. Mitch McConnell R-KY

Mitch McConnell

— The Paris Climate Change Agreement, environmental regulations against polluters and offshore drilling protections would all still be in full effect. The official position of the Federal Government would be that Climate Change is serious business and a threat to our National Security, not a Hoax.

 

— Millions of law abiding undocumented immigrants would be living, working and paying taxes in this country without fear of arrest and deportation. However, with a Republican controlled Congress, no headway would be made toward a comprehensive immigration policy.

— There would be a sane and sensible Attorney General who would reinforce Justice Department decrees against police departments that had abused power and used illegal and discriminatory tactics. There would be no waste-of-time threats and intimidations against states with legal recreational marijuana programs.

Eric Holder

— America would remain a world leader thru the Paris accords, NATO, Southeast Asia and in democratic loving countries all over the world. Russia would have suffered intensive sanctions and suffered possible retaliation for its interference in our election.

— Congressional investigations into Russian meddling and conspiracy to collude with the Trump campaign would be moving forward a bit more rapidly. Clinton would have insisted on an aggressive, all-out effort to protect the security of American elections from cyberattacks and infiltrations.

— — Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea would probably not be quite as intense as they are today. There is a much higher probability that Clinton would have had capable State Department negotiators taking a much more active role to try to diffuse the situation.

— The Affordable Care Act health care system would have been improved and expanded as much as a Republican Congress would have permitted. But we would not be dealing with the losses of health care for millions of Americans.

ACA

— Taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans would not have been slashed at the expense of the other 98%. And the economy would have been just fine.
Now for the bad news about a Hillary Clinton Presidency:

— With a Republican controlled Congress, much of Hillary’s agenda would have been stymied. On most issues we would be suffering through a similar kind of gridlock that we had under Obama.

— Republicans would have been relentless in their ongoing pursuit of finding Hillary Clinton guilty of something, no matter how trivial. Congressional inquiries of the Clinton email controversy, the Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal, hell, probably Bill Clinton’s infidelities would have continued endlessly. How they would ended is anyone’s guess. Ironically, Congress today is investigating some of those red herrings anyway.

— A Clinton Presidency would have further incensed Republicans and they would have pilloried Clinton at every step. The resulting chaos would make the Democrats more susceptible to mid-term (2018) defeats, allowing Congressional Republicans more power to block the Clinton agenda and possibly even impeach her. If still President in 2020, and if she sought a second term, winning would have been very difficult. Clinton would likely have been a one-term President and Republicans may have recaptured the White House in 2020.

In sum, a Clinton victory in 2016 would not have brought about an atmosphere of change in America politics. A reason in fact why many independents and Republicans voted against her. But sometimes “change” isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be — especially if it’s change directed by a madman. I never understood why in 2016 so many Americans were eager to vote for change. After all, under Democratic leadership, America had recovered from the Great Recession of 2008; job growth had been steadily increasing, the housing market was coming back, the stock market was back above pre-Recession levels, more Americans had health care than ever before, gasoline prices were low, taxes had been raised slightly on wealthy individuals with no ill effects. America’s recovery from the Great Recession was more robust than any other economically advanced democracy. Why then was such radical Trump-style change so attractive?

The American political attention-span is dangerously short. How quickly Republicans, independents and some Democrats forgot how god-awful things were under the Dubya Bush administration. We were attacked on 9/11, started 2 failed wars, we tortured and illegally renditioned POW’s, we dismally failed to help the people of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and the economy collapsed all in 8 short years. And for his achievements? Uhhhh………. No Child Left Behind? Good Job Brownie? I’m the Decider? And it wasn’t just Bush. He had a Republican led Congress that aided and abetted his failures.

Bush funny face

But just 8 years later, after things were starting to turn around, 61 million voters thought it was a great idea to elect a Republican majority again! This time, led not by a simple minded, ne’er-do-well who had failed at most things in life; but by a scoundrel, a charlatan, a snake-oil salesman, a narcissistic thug, a pussy — grabber, a money-launderer, a conspiracy theorist who was simultaneously mentally deranged!

America did not need this kind of change. But there may be a silver lining to all the ensuing chaos and tumult. Nov. 8 2016 was a day of great surprises and shocks but there are reasons why Democrats, Liberals, Independents and other clear-thinking Americans can have hope for our future; and may even see a day when, in the longer run, Hillary’s defeat was perhaps the best outcome.

Coming soon on this blog: “Nov. 8 2016 Part 2: Little Donnie’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

Dear Trump Voters,

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I recently read a Letter to the Editor in my local paper.  It was from a woman who was defending her vote for Trump.  Her defense was very succinct and well written.  But then I realized, it was in essence, the same tired crap I had heard many times before.

I was compelled to respond because her defense spelled out the very reasons why Non-Trump voters (i.e. the clear majority of American voters) are both baffled and horrified  by the election of Donald Trump and the people who voted for him.

In context, her letter was written in response to a previous letter which I did not read   That previous letter was obviously supportive of Hillary Clinton and perhaps denigrated Trump and his voters.  After referencing that previous article she continued:

“I am one of the 53 percent of white women who voted for Donald Trump, and I take offense at being called an “ignorant voter” who cannot discern my own self-interests.  I chose Trump because in my opinion, Hillary Clinton was a disastrous secretary of state.”

Let’s pause right there.  Here is the “I Hate Hillary Clinton” argument .  A pretty popular theme among Trumpians.  She doesn’t actually say she hates Hillary, instead it was carefully couched in the put-down about her as Secretary of State.

Hillary for Prison sign

Admittedly, people disliked Hillary almost as much as they did Trump.  It is also unfortunate that after an 18 month campaign costing billions of dollars, we ended up with two candidates that most people hate.  That’s a sad reflection on the state of American elections — something we all should be concerned about and work actively to change.

But Clinton’s term as secretary of state was not disastrous.  Maybe not stellar, but certainly not a disaster.  This talking-point is straight from the Republican spin room.   Mistakes were made, for example the outcomes of the Libya and Syria strategies were mixed at best.  But no one could rightfully accuse Clinton of not being a highly engaged, hard working Secretary.  She put in grueling hours and logged more miles and visited more countries than any previous Secretary of State.  And then there was Bengazi.  Republicans tried very hard to pin that tragedy on Clinton — conducting 8 separate Republican-lead Congressional investigations.   If they had found even the slightest illegality, Republicans would have nailed her to the cross with it.  But there was nothing.  Begazi was a horrible tragedy and mistakes were made, but, sorry Trump voters, Hillary Clinton neither broke any laws nor acted with any negligence.   Not even rabid Republicans could make a case.

All that digging revealed that Clinton had been using an email account on a personal server at her residence instead of the one provided by the government.  While using a government server was “policy”, both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice (Secretaries of State under W Bush) used private servers during their tenures and no one raised an eyebrow.  But with Clinton, the Republicans cried “Eureka” and launched even more investigations.  The FBI even got involved.  Despite Clinton’s poor handling of her own defense, by July of 2016, it was concluded that Clinton’s actions did not warrant criminal prosecution.

But Hillary was running for President and,  despite all of the above, was still favored to win.  So Republicans continued to batter Clinton with unfounded Bengazi and Email accusations.  By repeating a non-truth often enough, Republican voters seem to be much more likely to accept it as fact.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign I routinely compared the two candidates by pointing out a simple fact:  Hillary Clinton had spent most of her adult life devoted to public service.  As a lawyer, she could have exclusively taken cases from wealthy litigants, but she always found time to do pro bono work and support causes for people unable to afford legal council, especially women and children.  She continued her public service as the First Lady of Arkansas for two terms, First Lady of the U.S. for two terms (and an active policy advisor), U.S. Senator from New York for 1 term and Secretary of State for 5 years.  Pretty impressive resume.  The point is, like her or not, she has been a dedicated, hard working public servant and advocate devoted to making America a better place.

Let’s contrast that with Trump.   He had no political resume whatsoever.  Not a clue about how government works, not to mention the Presidency.  He doesn’t read books, doesn’t have the slightest inkling about American history and knows absolutely nothing about our Constitution (which used to be as sacred as the Bible to Republicans) and worse, doesn’t care.  Republicans voters decided these were good (or at least acceptable) attributes.  Trump had spent his entire adult life thinking of no one but himself.  He parlayed a silver spoon upbringing into a sizable real estate empire heavily funded by Russian oligarchs and mobsters.  He succeeded by bullying, suing, and slandering anyone who stood in his way.  He screwed contractors, customers and banks over and over again, was forced to pay damages in numerous civil suits, but was able to avoid criminal conviction in others by hiring teams of aggressive lawyers that would drag out litigation and intimidate plaintiffs.  A true, quality individual.

His record alone on the Trump University scandal should have disqualified him.  His admission of being a sexual predator alone should have disqualified him.  His refusal to turn over his tax returns should have disqualified him.  His refusal to divest himself of his business and real estate holdings should have immediately disqualified him.

But it didn’t.  Instead Republicans rewarded him with the nomination!

Back to the Letter to the Editor.  My local Trump supporter went on:

“I am also opposed to abortion on demand, and I wanted more conservative judges appointed to the Supreme Court.  Neither the media nor the Russians had any influence on my decision.”

This was another popular reason for voting for Trump:  A Conservative, Anti-Abortion court.  I’ll do an entire article on abortion sometime in the near future, so for now I’ll just say this to Pro-Life Trumpers:

Polling on Abortion in this country has remained relatively steady over 40+ years.  Here is a historical Gallup Poll overview:

Abortion Poll Gallup

Legal Under Any Circumstances:  42 year range – 22-34%.  Currently 29%

Legal Under Certain Circumstances:  42 year range – 48-61%.  Currently 50%.

Illegal In All Circumstances:  42 year range – 15-21%.  Currently 18%

Consistently over the years, OVER 50% of Americans believe abortions should be legal in some or all circumstances.  Despite all the political wars, the scare tactics, the screaming and the shootings, opinions have changed very little.

Your “Pro-Life” agenda selfishly ignores the will, wishes and beliefs of well over half of adult Americans.  The legal and social ramifications of a Pro Life American would be volatile, divisive and authoritarian.  For what?  So you can impose your will on the majority who see it differently?

Well Mrs. Trump voter, you got your pivotal Supreme Court pick.  Congratulations.  But you sold the soul of this country to get it!  To preserve a Conservative majority, you were willing to elect a man-child of the lowest imaginable character, thoroughly unqualified, a pathological liar, with the temperament and maturity of a 3 year old,  who has a long history of scam artistry and subterfuge, and no respect whatsoever for American political, judicial or media institutions or separations of power.

Since he walked into the White House six months ago, our country has been in a constant state of Constitutional Crisis.  Practically no meaningful legislation has been produced because President Treason has everyone in Chaos Mode.  There are expanding criminal investigations into key members of Trump’s campaign, senior Administration advisors and the President himself!  In just six months, there is already talk of pardons, obstruction of justice, perjury and yes, even possible treason.  WTF?

Trump Russia Connections

Non-Trumpians were able see thru Trump in seconds.  He is a shyster, a snake-oil salesman, a con artist, a compulsive liar.  He has dangerous autocratic tendencies, a racist streak and had no respect for women.  And oh by the way, Trump is the least religious man that has ever been President.  The only God Trump worships is himself.

Why didn’t you see thru him?  Or did you feel perfectly comfortable ignoring his mental and behavioral instability?  You drank the Trump brand Kool-Aid and your still drinking it.  America will NEVER be greater with the likes of Donald Trump as President.

You want change?  Elect a responsible, thoughtful, experienced candidate who will bring sensible constructive change.  Not this sociopathic imbecile who has put our entire country and system of government in danger.

The Letter To The Editor writer concluded by saying:

“The arrogance of Democrats is staggering.  If they could just accept that many of us have a different opinion of the direction we would like the country to take,  and that doesn’t make us ignorant, uninformed, misogynists or racist.

Message to Democrats:  Tone down the arrogance, and maybe you’ll have better luck in future elections.”

Well, she’s sort of right about that.  Democrats were arrogant — after all, we expected to win!  We simply could not imagine a scenario in which enough people in this country would vote for a mentally deranged scum-bag like Trump to make him President.  We were horribly overconfident and I’m sure, to our opponents that came across as arrogance.

We Non-Trumpians are painfully aware that Americans have different opinions about the direction of our country.  We truly welcome a robust, bi-partisan debate on any of those issues.  It is that very ideal that has, over 2 1/2 centuries, made our country great.  The problem today is that one party in particular (yes, yours) has, over the last 20 years, shifted even further to the right and adopted a “Take No Prisoners”, “No Compromise”, “Win At All Costs” strategy that has, at least on many major issues, ended any chance of meaningful dialogue, debate or bi-partisanship.

I sense that you’re probably shaking your head in disagreement right now.  Let me make two quick points to support my position.

When Obama became President he IMMEDIATELY reached out to Republicans and offered to include them on policy discussion and legislation.  The Republican response was essentially: “Go Fuck Yourself.  We’re going to block almost EVERYTHING you want to do (despite the needs of the American people) and do everything in our power to prevent you from winning a second term.”  Despite this, Obama continued to attempt to play nice for many months, way too long in my opinion.

Compare Obama’s approach to Donald Trump and today’s Republican Congress.  Not only have they deliberately shunned any bi-partisan debate (on the pitifully few bills they have put forward so far) but, in the health care debacle, only a handful of exclusively white, male legislators were invited to craft the legislation.  They didn’t even ask any of their minority or female members much less hold public hearings.   There has been almost no effort to reach out to Democrats for anything, even though Democrats have openly offered to participate.

As to the second point, there was a very telling poll taken a few months ago after Trump launched the Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airfield.   From the Washington Post April 11, 2017:

“In 2013, when Barack Obama was president, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that only 22 percent of Republicans supported the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians.

A new Post-ABC poll finds that 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump’s decision to launch strikes on Syria for the same reason. Only 11 percent are opposed.

— Overall, a bare 51 percent majority of U.S. adults support the president’s action in our new poll. In 2013, just 30 percent supported strikes. That swing is driven primarily by GOP partisans. For context, 37 percent of Democrats back Trump’s missile strikes. In 2013, 38 percent of Democrats supported Obama’s plan. That is well within the margin of error.”

Syrian missile strike poll

The Democratic numbers barely moved, even though Trump is a highly unpopular President among Democrats.  What this says is that on issues of this magnitude, Democratic support is not conditional on partisanship.  On the other hand, Republicans had a 64% swing, solely because it was their guy doing it.

Republicans have put party before country time and time again .  And it is their seismic shift to the right that has created a dangerous ideological war within the American electorate.  Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Alt-Right media have fueled the flames.  Extreme redistricting and gerrymandering have insured too many Republicans have relatively safe seats and can pursue scorched-earth conservative policies without voter retribution.  It has been a remarkably effective strategy, I grudgingly admit.  But it has made America more divisive, more intolerant, more insular and it has dispossessed a lot more of our struggling citizens.

Our enemies, foreign and domestic, are cheering at the polarization of American politics; at the inaction and fecklessness of the American Congress; at the threat that our democratic institutions; such as the sanctity and fairness of our voting process, an independent judiciary, a free and independent press, the collapse of bi-partisanship; are under attack.  Donald Trump’s campaign and administration has fed these monsters and encouraged  divisiveness and distrust among us.  This is YOUR doing Trump supporters.  For your Conservative agenda, you have sold the soul of our country.

The party that not long ago promoted “Law and Order” has just chosen a criminal as President.  The party that claimed the mantle of “Strict Constitutionalists” has elected a man who has zero understanding or respect for our Constitution.  The “Anti-Communist” party now has a President who is neck deep in collusion and debt obligations with Russia.  Perhaps, Letter To The Editor writer,  you may not consider yourself  “ignorant, uninformed, misogynist or racist”.  But you support a party whose platform and legislative agenda are, in many instances, racist, misogynistic, discriminatory, and favor wealthy and corporate interests over the rest of us.  If you need further proof of this accusation, please read any article on this blog.

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have already committed the most grievous dereliction of duty:  Russia attacked our country in the summer of 2016.  There is no doubt of this even though Trump supporters have conveniently looked the other way.  The Russians meddled with the sanctity of our elections and voting processes.  They promoted a candidate who was beholden to them and that they could, in some ways, control or at least manipulate.

And what exactly has this Administration or Republican Congress done about it?  They have slow-walked and even at times obstructed investigations into the causes, the principals, and most negligently, the ways to protect ourselves and prevent this from happening again.  Trump has railed against fake news, in-person voter fraud, Obama wire-tapping Trump Tower — all of which is unproven bullshit.  What has he done to protect America from another foreign attack?  Absolutely nothing — he doesn’t even discuss the issue.  This is as gross a dereliction of duty and disregard for his oath of office as I have ever seen in my lifetime.  This should disqualify him as President of the United States right now.  We will hopefully learn in the next few months whether or not our President has committed treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors and just how deep his financial involvements are with Russian oligarchs and mobsters.

Non-Trumpians knew this man was bad news from Day One.  There was no doubt.  His character and actions screamed RED FLAG.  But Trump supporters were willing to lie with the Devil so they could have their Conservative majority on the Supreme Court.  Party before Country.  Win at all costs.  Turn the clocks back to the ’50’s or the 80’s.  That’s the way to make America Great? What a crock of shit.

The Democrats biggest problem is not arrogance.  Republicans have demonstrated, over the last 20 years, that extreme arrogance can be a winning strategy.  The Democrats biggest problem is complacency and apathy.  There are more of us, than there are of you (Democrats have won the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 elections).  If we can motivate an additional 5% (or more) of eligible voters to turn out on Election Day, despite Republican attempts to suppress the vote, your governmental majorities will disappear like ice in July.  We don’t need luck in future elections.  We need dynamic candidates and a big turnout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Trump Voters,

0

 

I recently read a Letter to the Editor in my local paper.  It was from a woman who was defending her vote for Trump.  Her defense was very succinct and well written.  But then I realized, it was in essence, the same tired crap I had heard many times before.

I was compelled to respond because her defense spelled out the very reasons why Non-Trump voters (i.e. the clear majority of American voters) are both baffled and horrified  by the election of Donald Trump and the people who voted for him.

In context, her letter was written in response to a previous letter which I did not read   That previous letter was obviously supportive of Hillary Clinton and perhaps denigrated Trump and his voters.  After referencing that previous article she continued:

“I am one of the 53 percent of white women who voted for Donald Trump, and I take offense at being called an “ignorant voter” who cannot discern my own self-interests.  I chose Trump because in my opinion, Hillary Clinton was a disastrous secretary of state.”

Let’s pause right there.  Here is the “I Hate Hillary Clinton” argument .  A pretty popular theme among Trumpians.  She doesn’t actually say she hates Hillary, instead it was carefully couched in the put-down about her as Secretary of State.

Hillary for Prison sign

Admittedly, people disliked Hillary almost as much as they did Trump.  It is also unfortunate that after an 18 month campaign costing billions of dollars, we ended up with two candidates that most people hate.  That’s a sad reflection on the state of American elections — something we all should be concerned about and work actively to change.

But Clinton’s term as secretary of state was not disastrous.  Maybe not stellar, but certainly not a disaster.  This talking-point is straight from the Republican spin room.   Mistakes were made, for example the outcomes of the Libya and Syria strategies were mixed at best.  But no one could rightfully accuse Clinton of not being a highly engaged, hard working Secretary.  She put in grueling hours and logged more miles and visited more countries than any previous Secretary of State.  And then there was Bengazi.  Republicans tried very hard to pin that tragedy on Clinton — conducting 8 separate Republican-lead Congressional investigations.   If they had found even the slightest illegality, Republicans would have nailed her to the cross with it.  But there was nothing.  Begazi was a horrible tragedy and mistakes were made, but, sorry Trump voters, Hillary Clinton neither broke any laws nor acted with any negligence.   Not even rabid Republicans could make a case.

All that digging revealed that Clinton had been using an email account on a personal server at her residence instead of the one provided by the government.  While using a government server was “policy”, both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice (Secretaries of State under W Bush) used private servers during their tenures and no one raised an eyebrow.  But with Clinton, the Republicans cried “Eureka” and launched even more investigations.  The FBI even got involved.  Despite Clinton’s poor handling of her own defense, by July of 2016, it was concluded that Clinton’s actions did not warrant criminal prosecution.

But Hillary was running for President and,  despite all of the above, was still favored to win.  So Republicans continued to batter Clinton with unfounded Bengazi and Email accusations.  By repeating a non-truth often enough, Republican voters seem to be much more likely to accept it as fact.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign I routinely compared the two candidates by pointing out a simple fact:  Hillary Clinton had spent most of her adult life devoted to public service.  As a lawyer, she could have exclusively taken cases from wealthy litigants, but she always found time to do pro bono work and support causes for people unable to afford legal council, especially women and children.  She continued her public service as the First Lady of Arkansas for two terms, First Lady of the U.S. for two terms (and an active policy advisor), U.S. Senator from New York for 1 term and Secretary of State for 5 years.  Pretty impressive resume.  The point is, like her or not, she has been a dedicated, hard working public servant and advocate devoted to making America a better place.

Let’s contrast that with Trump.   He had no political resume whatsoever.  Not a clue about how government works, not to mention the Presidency.  He doesn’t read books, doesn’t have the slightest inkling about American history and knows absolutely nothing about our Constitution (which used to be as sacred as the Bible to Republicans) and worse, doesn’t care.  Republicans voters decided these were good (or at least acceptable) attributes.  Trump had spent his entire adult life thinking of no one but himself.  He parlayed a silver spoon upbringing into a sizable real estate empire heavily funded by Russian oligarchs and mobsters.  He succeeded by bullying, suing, and slandering anyone who stood in his way.  He screwed contractors, customers and banks over and over again, was forced to pay damages in numerous civil suits, but was able to avoid criminal conviction in others by hiring teams of aggressive lawyers that would drag out litigation and intimidate plaintiffs.  A true, quality individual.

His record alone on the Trump University scandal should have disqualified him.  His admission of being a sexual predator alone should have disqualified him.  His refusal to turn over his tax returns should have disqualified him.  His refusal to divest himself of his business and real estate holdings should have immediately disqualified him.

But it didn’t.  Instead Republicans rewarded him with the nomination!

Back to the Letter to the Editor.  My local Trump supporter went on:

“I am also opposed to abortion on demand, and I wanted more conservative judges appointed to the Supreme Court.  Neither the media nor the Russians had any influence on my decision.”

This was another popular reason for voting for Trump:  A Conservative, Anti-Abortion court.  I’ll do an entire article on abortion sometime in the near future, so for now I’ll just say this to Pro-Life Trumpers:

Polling on Abortion in this country has remained relatively steady over 40+ years.  Here is a historical Gallup Poll overview:

Abortion Poll Gallup

Legal Under Any Circumstances:  42 year range – 22-34%.  Currently 29%

Legal Under Certain Circumstances:  42 year range – 48-61%.  Currently 50%.

Illegal In All Circumstances:  42 year range – 15-21%.  Currently 18%

Consistently over the years, OVER 50% of Americans believe abortions should be legal in some or all circumstances.  Despite all the political wars, the scare tactics, the screaming and the shootings, opinions have changed very little.

Your “Pro-Life” agenda selfishly ignores the will, wishes and beliefs of well over half of adult Americans.  The legal and social ramifications of a Pro Life American would be volatile, divisive and authoritarian.  For what?  So you can impose your will on the majority who see it differently?

Well Mrs. Trump voter, you got your pivotal Supreme Court pick.  Congratulations.  But you sold the soul of this country to get it!  To preserve a Conservative majority, you were willing to elect a man-child of the lowest imaginable character, thoroughly unqualified, a pathological liar, with the temperament and maturity of a 3 year old,  who has a long history of scam artistry and subterfuge, and no respect whatsoever for American political, judicial or media institutions or separations of power.

Since he walked into the White House six months ago, our country has been in a constant state of Constitutional Crisis.  Practically no meaningful legislation has been produced because President Treason has everyone in Chaos Mode.  There are expanding criminal investigations into key members of Trump’s campaign, senior Administration advisors and the President himself!  In just six months, there is already talk of pardons, obstruction of justice, perjury and yes, even possible treason.  WTF?

Trump Russia Connections

Non-Trumpians were able see thru Trump in seconds.  He is a shyster, a snake-oil salesman, a con artist, a compulsive liar.  He has dangerous autocratic tendencies, a racist streak and had no respect for women.  And oh by the way, Trump is the least religious man that has ever been President.  The only God Trump worships is himself.

Why didn’t you see thru him?  Or did you feel perfectly comfortable ignoring his mental and behavioral instability?  You drank the Trump brand Kool-Aid and your still drinking it.  America will NEVER be greater with the likes of Donald Trump as President.

You want change?  Elect a responsible, thoughtful, experienced candidate who will bring sensible constructive change.  Not this sociopathic imbecile who has put our entire country and system of government in danger.

The Letter To The Editor writer concluded by saying:

“The arrogance of Democrats is staggering.  If they could just accept that many of us have a different opinion of the direction we would like the country to take,  and that doesn’t make us ignorant, uninformed, misogynists or racist.

Message to Democrats:  Tone down the arrogance, and maybe you’ll have better luck in future elections.”

Well, she’s sort of right about that.  Democrats were arrogant — after all, we expected to win!  We simply could not imagine a scenario in which enough people in this country would vote for a mentally deranged scum-bag like Trump to make him President.  We were horribly overconfident and I’m sure, to our opponents that came across as arrogance.

We Non-Trumpians are painfully aware that Americans have different opinions about the direction of our country.  We truly welcome a robust, bi-partisan debate on any of those issues.  It is that very ideal that has, over 2 1/2 centuries, made our country great.  The problem today is that one party in particular (yes, yours) has, over the last 20 years, shifted even further to the right and adopted a “Take No Prisoners”, “No Compromise”, “Win At All Costs” strategy that has, at least on many major issues, ended any chance of meaningful dialogue, debate or bi-partisanship.

I sense that you’re probably shaking your head in disagreement right now.  Let me make two quick points to support my position.

When Obama became President he IMMEDIATELY reached out to Republicans and offered to include them on policy discussion and legislation.  The Republican response was essentially: “Go Fuck Yourself.  We’re going to block almost EVERYTHING you want to do (despite the needs of the American people) and do everything in our power to prevent you from winning a second term.”  Despite this, Obama continued to attempt to play nice for many months, way too long in my opinion.

Compare Obama’s approach to Donald Trump and today’s Republican Congress.  Not only have they deliberately shunned any bi-partisan debate (on the pitifully few bills they have put forward so far) but, in the health care debacle, only a handful of exclusively white, male legislators were invited to craft the legislation.  They didn’t even ask any of their minority or female members much less hold public hearings.   There has been almost no effort to reach out to Democrats for anything, even though Democrats have openly offered to participate.

As to the second point, there was a very telling poll taken a few months ago after Trump launched the Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airfield.   From the Washington Post April 11, 2017:

“In 2013, when Barack Obama was president, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that only 22 percent of Republicans supported the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians.

A new Post-ABC poll finds that 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump’s decision to launch strikes on Syria for the same reason. Only 11 percent are opposed.

— Overall, a bare 51 percent majority of U.S. adults support the president’s action in our new poll. In 2013, just 30 percent supported strikes. That swing is driven primarily by GOP partisans. For context, 37 percent of Democrats back Trump’s missile strikes. In 2013, 38 percent of Democrats supported Obama’s plan. That is well within the margin of error.”

Syrian missile strike poll

The Democratic numbers barely moved, even though Trump is a highly unpopular President among Democrats.  What this says is that on issues of this magnitude, Democratic support is not conditional on partisanship.  On the other hand, Republicans had a 64% swing, solely because it was their guy doing it.

Republicans have put party before country time and time again .  And it is their seismic shift to the right that has created a dangerous ideological war within the American electorate.  Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Alt-Right media have fueled the flames.  Extreme redistricting and gerrymandering have insured too many Republicans have relatively safe seats and can pursue scorched-earth conservative policies without voter retribution.  It has been a remarkably effective strategy, I grudgingly admit.  But it has made America more divisive, more intolerant, more insular and it has dispossessed a lot more of our struggling citizens.

Our enemies, foreign and domestic, are cheering at the polarization of American politics; at the inaction and fecklessness of the American Congress; at the threat that our democratic institutions; such as the sanctity and fairness of our voting process, an independent judiciary, a free and independent press, the collapse of bi-partisanship; are under attack.  Donald Trump’s campaign and administration has fed these monsters and encouraged  divisiveness and distrust among us.  This is YOUR doing Trump supporters.  For your Conservative agenda, you have sold the soul of our country.

The party that not long ago promoted “Law and Order” has just chosen a criminal as President.  The party that claimed the mantle of “Strict Constitutionalists” has elected a man who has zero understanding or respect for our Constitution.  The “Anti-Communist” party now has a President who is neck deep in collusion and debt obligations with Russia.  Perhaps, Letter To The Editor writer,  you may not consider yourself  “ignorant, uninformed, misogynist or racist”.  But you support a party whose platform and legislative agenda are, in many instances, racist, misogynistic, discriminatory, and favor wealthy and corporate interests over the rest of us.  If you need further proof of this accusation, please read any article on this blog.

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have already committed the most grievous dereliction of duty:  Russia attacked our country in the summer of 2016.  There is no doubt of this even though Trump supporters have conveniently looked the other way.  The Russians meddled with the sanctity of our elections and voting processes.  They promoted a candidate who was beholden to them and that they could, in some ways, control or at least manipulate.

And what exactly has this Administration or Republican Congress done about it?  They have slow-walked and even at times obstructed investigations into the causes, the principals, and most negligently, the ways to protect ourselves and prevent this from happening again.  Trump has railed against fake news, in-person voter fraud, Obama wire-tapping Trump Tower — all of which is unproven bullshit.  What has he done to protect America from another foreign attack?  Absolutely nothing — he doesn’t even discuss the issue.  This is as gross a dereliction of duty and disregard for his oath of office as I have ever seen in my lifetime.  This should disqualify him as President of the United States right now.  We will hopefully learn in the next few months whether or not our President has committed treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors and just how deep his financial involvements are with Russian oligarchs and mobsters.

Non-Trumpians knew this man was bad news from Day One.  There was no doubt.  His character and actions screamed RED FLAG.  But Trump supporters were willing to lie with the Devil so they could have their Conservative majority on the Supreme Court.  Party before Country.  Win at all costs.  Turn the clocks back to the ’50’s or the 80’s.  That’s the way to make America Great? What a crock of shit.

The Democrats biggest problem is not arrogance.  Republicans have demonstrated, over the last 20 years, that extreme arrogance can be a winning strategy.  The Democrats biggest problem is complacency and apathy.  There are more of us, than there are of you (Democrats have won the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 elections).  If we can motivate an additional 5% (or more) of eligible voters to turn out on Election Day, despite Republican attempts to suppress the vote, your governmental majorities will disappear like ice in July.  We don’t need luck in future elections.  We need dynamic candidates and a big turnout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Don’t Applaud Or Encourage The Master of Distraction!

0

 

Trump has demonstrated that, as a politician, he is good at three things:

  1.  He is very good at whipping up fear and hate.
  2. He is even better at lying.  He does it so naturally because it’s pathological.
  3. He is a master of distraction.

I’ve written extensively about his first two talents (see The Successful Republican Election Strategy …..Divide And Conquer!”   Part 1 — Wedge Issues. and The American Pluto-Kleptocracy).  So, this article is about Trump’s Art of The Distraction.

Chapter 1.  Whatever I Call You,  I Am Times Infinity.

Trump gives his opponents nicknames that are a manifestation of some of his own worst qualities.  During the campaign he called Marco Rubio “Little Marco”, specifically referencing the size of Rubio’s hands – and thereby implying Rubio had a little dick.  Now that we all unfortunately know Trump better,  he sure acts like a guy trying to overcome multiple insecurities — one of which probably involves his unusually small penis.

Marco Rubio Little

Trump’s nickname for Jeb Bush was “Low Energy Jeb”.  During the campaign, Trump didn’t come across as a low energy guy.  But since becoming President, Trump has been the laziest bastard to ever inhabit the White House.   Trump doesn’t read policy papers, daily briefings or books, instead he watches Fox News.  Trump didn’t vet Circuit or Supreme Court nominees, he used the list that the Heritage Foundation handed him.  He hasn’t invested any measurable time into healthcare, a more comprehensive immigration plan, infrastructure or really even JOBS.

Trump fat

Clearly his greatest priority is his own self-interests followed by those of his family and a small fraternity of ruthless billionaires.  He really has no macro, long-term vision for a greater America; instead he tweets his morning brain farts. He has played golf 15 times in 16 weekends on the job (politifact.com) and has spent 10 weekends at his Mir a Lago Resort in Florida.  That’s a lot for a man who said, “I would rarely leave the White House because there is so much work to be done.  I would not be a President that takes time off”  (June ’15, thehill.com).  Trump is a fat lazy fuck.

 

Which brings me to Ted Cruz, better known as “Lyin’ Ted”, his chief primary opponent and the only man I wanted to become President less than Trump.  The fact that Cruz received the second most primary votes says as much about the state of the Republican party as nominating the Orange Buffoon.  But no one trumps Trump on telling lies.  He doesn’t lie like a normal politician, making promises that he can’t keep and selling his soul to Big Donors for $$$.  Trump lies pathologically, about EVERYTHING:  little things, like the size of his inauguration crowd to huge things, like “Obama wiretapped Trump Tower”.  His lying is so pervasive that it may well be, in the end, the very flaw that sends his Presidency crashing down.  No one is a more accomplished liar than Trump, not even Cruz.  See How To Spot A Pathological Liar

And “Crooked Hillary”.  Trump knows crooked — he’s made a career out of it.

Trump liar

From contractors he stiffed, to landowners he bullied and intimidated, to banks he defaulted on, to the Trump Foundation’s funds he illegally misused, to Trump University students he scammed.  In retrospect, Hillary’s email issue seems petty and partisan compared to Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors.  He is a criminal that has, until now, escaped prosecution.  He makes Richard Nixon look like a Boy Scout.  See It’s Time to Revisit the Watergate Scandal.

Finally, the “Fake News”, “Alternative Facts” mainstream media.  Trump’s attacks on the independent media have sent the chills of Fascism down millions of spines.   And true to form, no one is a bigger phony than Trump — from his lies, his conspiracy theories,  his contentions about his wealth, his hair, his whole campaign shtick of bullshit and snake oil that 60 million gullible Americans consumed as a magic elixir.  Trump has no conscience, no real policies, no substance, he was surprised how “hard” it is to be President and was shocked that issues like healthcare and tax reform were so “complicated”.  “Who knew?” he tweeted.  Everything that doesn’t directly serve or benefit Trump is either “fake” or “false” until his deluded, addled brain decides otherwise.

By using nicknames in this fashion, he deflects his own worst flaws onto someone else.  He uses simple, 4th grade level, derogatory name-calling as a distraction.  And for many Republicans voters, it was quite effective!

Chapter 2:   If You’re Going to Distract…..Distract Bigly!

Trump’s campaign chants, “Lock Her Up”, “Build The Wall”,  “America First”, “Fake News” were simple, yet whopper distractions to overcome the fact that Trump had no policies, no real practical knowledge of governance or no long term goals.

He just couldn’t let go of the fact that he lost the popular vote by roughly 3,000,000; so he invented a distraction that “3-4 million” votes were cast fraudulently in the 2016.

Trump illegal voting

He doubled down and said proof would be coming in 2 weeks.  It’s now been 2 months and not a shred of evidence has been produced; secretaries of states from all 50 states have certified their election results and found virtually zero cases of in-person voting fraud.  Not dissuaded, Trump has recently appointed an advisory panel to investigate the non-existent fraud.

After being “forced” to fire Michael Flynn and in the wake of snowballing news on the Russia/Trump controversy and Jeff Sessions recusal, Trump tried to avert the firestorm by claiming “Obama Wiretapped Trump Tower” and demanding an investigation.

Trump Flynn

And once again he claimed that supporting evidence would be “released very soon”.  Days later he even went so far as to ask the Congressional Intelligence Committees to begin an investigation into the wiretapping — without releasing one whiff of evidence to back up his claim.  That was 2 months ago.  The FBI has said they have seen no proof nor have the Congressional Committees received anything upon which to launch an investigation.  In this author’s opinion, this claim is more than a fabricated distraction; it is liable and slander of the highest order and proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Trump is mentally unfit to continue in the office of President of the United States.

In early April the heat in Trump’s hellkitchen was becoming uncomfortable.  Michael Flynn offered to testify before Congress; leaks were popping up everywhere; and the FBI was not corroborating Trump’s claims that “he wasn’t under investigation”.  At this sensitive moment, U.S. intelligence reported that Bashar Al-Assad had used chemical weapons against innocent civilians in Syria.  This gave Trump the opportunity to pull off one of his biggest distractions yet — he ordered a missile strike on the Syrian air base from which the chemical attack had originated.

To my horror, many people, even some who had been very skeptical of Trump, applauded the move and publically praised Trump.  Brian Williams, the MSNBC anchor, described the event:

Brian Williams syrian missle strike

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.’”

“They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them what is a brief flight over to this airfield,” he added.

Shame on you Brian Williams.  I thought you were better than that….

Why are people cheering this mental patient for potentially committing an act of war?  Trump really doesn’t give a damn about Syrian children caught in hell-on-Earth.  We know this because he hasn’t said “boo” about it since then, hasn’t promoted any plan to change the children’s plight, has proposed a budget that significantly reduces foreign humanitarian aid and is in neck-deep with the Russians who are propping up the thug Assad.  This was just an excuse for Trump to try out his very dangerous new toys and redirect people’s attention from his Russia scandal.  Stop cheering!  This isn’t a good thing.

Chapter 3 (and Moral To The Story):  Don’t Encourage The Master Distractor.

The absolute LAST THING we should be doing is giving Trump praise and adulation when he carelessly and without proper notification/authorization uses American military power.  I almost hesitate to print this but military strikes, military build-ups and war have traditionally been the most effective distractions for an otherwise, unpopular President.  Most recently, “W” Bush (with the help of Darth Cheney) used 9/11 to pass the Patriot Act curtailing individual freedoms and to justify torture and illegal rendition against enemy combatants in direct violation of the Geneva Convention.  And clearly the on-going Afghan and Iraq wars helped Bush win a second term.

WE CANNOT NOR SHOULD NOT APPLAUD PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR LASHING OUT MILITARILY AGAINST ANYONE AT THIS JUNCTURE OF HIS PRESIDENCY.  He is a reckless and disturbed man who has become increasingly isolated and desperate as scandals of his own making are threatening to undo everything he has accomplished.  INSTEAD, WE SHOULD REACT IN HORROR AND PROTEST WITH OUR LOUDEST VOICES AGAINST THIS MANIAC.

Resist

More recently Trump has provoked North Korea using tough talk and sending an “armada” to Australia instead of Korea.  This has done nothing but fueled talk of retaliation from North Korea, followed by an aggressive series of missile tests.

Most recently, Trump attempted another massive distraction by firing the director of the FBI and gave a series of conflicting and nonsensical reasons for doing so.  The real reason behind Director Comey’s firing is all too obvious.  Comey was leading a growing, and potentially very damaging investigation into the President and his campaign aides over their involvement in the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.  In Trump’s deluded mind he thought this would side-track or maybe end the investigation.  Instead, he may have just added ‘obstruction of justice’ to the list of crimes he has committed.

As Trump becomes more deeply mired in scandal and possible treason, his attempts at distraction could become increasingly ominous.

drumpf-crazy-face4

I would not put it past this deranged man to do something genuinely terrifying.  Trump is unfit to remain as President and he MUST BE REMOVED either by impeachment or by invoking the 25th Amendment (Sec. 4) to the Constitution.  Unfortunately, Republicans are recklessly slow-walking the Trump/Russia investigations and have yet to stand up to this spreading cancer.  For a party that ran on the slogan “America First”, it’s time they set aside their real agenda, “Party First”, and commit to the constitutional rule of law.

In the meantime, We The People must remain vigilant and encourage our Representatives to keep Trump in check over the next few weeks and months — especially our Republican Representatives, until he can be legally and permanently removed from the office of the Presidency.

Trump impeachWrite your Congressmen and Senators today.  Demand that they hold Trump accountable and allow these investigations to move forward post-haste, and if they don’t, we will not-so-kindly show them the exit door come 2018.  Leaving Trump in power one extra day might be too long.  What other acts of desperation is Trump capable of before he is removed from office?

To Contact Members of the House Of Representatives:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

To Contact Members of the Senate:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

 

“The Power Of The People Is Greater Than The People In Power”   Wael Ghonim

 

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It’s Time to Revisit the Watergate Scandal

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watergate-nixon-resigns-headline

All politicians lie, it comes with the job.  They make promises they can’t keep.  They have grandiose plans that fall through.  They dodge hardball questions and give fuzzy answers at town halls and press conferences.  Millions of dollars are spent to spin “facts” and distract voters.  It’s all part of our First Amendment right to free speech.

The American voter is numbingly tolerant of this type of lying because generally, it has no profound effect on national security nor does it create serious harm to U.S. citizens or interests.

However we are currently in an unprecedented era of political lying.  The war over truth and facts has once again turned the branches of government against one another.  Political entities are deliberately vilifying the press and sowing discord and division among the populace.   These lies have now impacted national security and have the potential to create serious harm to U.S. citizens and institutions.

It’s time to refresh the story of the worst single case of presidential dishonesty (to date) in modern American history — a travesty of lies, deceit and cover-ups that resulted in prison time for many high ranking advisors and ultimately in the resignation of the President of the United States of America.

Known as the Watergate Scandal, it was a fascinating, complex and horrifically dark chapter in our nation’s presidential history.  I highly recommend all American citizens read or re-read a more detailed account.  Here are the brief highlights:

In June of 1972 members of President “Tricky Dick” Nixon’s inner circle had approved a burglary and electronic bugging of the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate Office Complex in Washington D.C.  The burglars were part of a special “investigative” unit Nixon had secretly created, known as the “Plumbers”, to prevent security leaks and gather intelligence about his political enemies.  The money used to finance the operation came from the President’s own Committee to Re-elect the President (ironically abbreviated as CREEP).  The burglars were  more like bunglers.  They were caught inside the DNC’s offices at the Watergate complex by police and arrested.  Their identities quickly lead to connections in Nixon’s White House.  Nixon ordered his senior staff to aggressively cover up the break-in and deny any involvement.

watergate-office-complex

The Watergate Hotel and Office Complex — Washington D.C. in 1972

Despite the White House’s best efforts, the media revealed a growing body of new and incriminating evidence and certain information was actually leaked from within the government itself.  As the scandal widened, members of Nixon’s inner circle of advisors were implicated.  Nixon became furious, railing against a biased and vengeful media.  He approved additional covert investigations against his enemies in the press and in elected offices.  The White House and the American press were in open warfare.

Later in June 1972 through January of 1973, highly damaging information about the Watergate burglary was leaked to the Washington Post by a then anonymous source, called Deep Throat, who later turned out to be a deputy director of the FBI.

In February of 1973 the U.S. Senate, on a unanimous vote, agreed to begin investigations.  Shortly thereafter a Special Prosecutor was authorized for an independent investigation.

In April of 1973, in a nationally televised speech, Nixon publicly acknowledged the burglary and cover-up, announced the resignations of three of his most senior advisors but denied any personal complicity.

In November of 1973, Nixon again appeared on national television and delivered his most audacious and bald-faced lie:

“I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in: I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent cover-up activities; I neither authorized nor encouraged subordinates to engage in illegal or improper campaign tactics.”

But evidence against the President poured in at tidal wave proportions.  Nixon stubbornly hung on, flailing against his usual scapegoats.

watergate-conspirators

In August of 1974, a secret tape recorded conversation surfaced that was later tagged as the “Smoking Gun” tape (It turned out that Nixon had secretly recorded thousands of hours of conversations in the Oval Office, roughly 200 hours pertained to Watergate).  Recorded just a few days after the break-in, in June 1972, the “Smoking Gun”tape revealed Nixon and two of his top aides discussing how to cover up the break-in and manipulate the FBI investigations into the matter.

This revelation prompted Nixon’s own attorneys to comment: “The tape proved that the President had lied to the nation, to his closet aides, and to his own lawyers — for more than two years.”

Under the threat of impeachment in the House and the near certainty of conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned his office on Aug. 8, 1974.

What were the effects of the Watergate Scandal?  First, the American people became more cynical about government in general.  The battles for Civil Rights, Women’s Rights and protests over the Viet Nam War had already done damage to the Federal Government’s credibility.  Watergate sealed the deal.   It could even be said that mistrust of government, a regular mantra of today’s Republican fear-mongering campaigns, began as a result of Watergate caused by a dishonest Republican administration!

Secondly, Watergate was an incredible civics lesson to the American people about the how our Constitution works and the genius of it’s authors, particularly in creating a government of separate powers with the ability check and balance one another.  Such a system has protected us from any one power center of government trying grab power or act independently.  So far the greatest threats to the separation of powers structure have come from the executive branch.  We should all fear a presidential power who claims to be above the law, routinely lies to the public, who attacks the judiciary when it decides against him, and vilifies the press.  Sound familiar?

Thirdly, Watergate demonstrated the importance of what is called the “Fourth Estate” an expression attributed to an 18th century English parliamentarian.  In the United States the expression refers to a free and independent press being a fourth power center as a check on the other three (legislative, judicial and executive).  Without the tireless and persistent efforts of the press, the Nixon administration may have gotten away with the crimes and cover-up of Watergate.

Today’s “Fourth Estate” is infinitely more complex that it was in 1972.  It is, in some ways, a victim of its own success.  The 24 hour TV (cable) news cycle began in 1980, only seven years after Nixon’s resignation.  News reporting was never the same after that.  By the late 1990’s, many Americans started getting their news from another source, the Internet.  This inundation of news and the media options through which it is broadcast, have permitted the rise of less-than-credible news sources intent on spreading false news, slander, misdirection and lies solely for the purpose of ratings, profits and partisan rabble-rousing.

Such speech is legal under our First Amendment.  It is up to the American public to carefully screen and fact check the news you receive.  If a news item seems unreal or sensational, check a different channel or publication.  If there is an intense debate among politicians, plug the topic or key words into your Internet browser and make sure you read more than one article on the subject.  Healthy skepticism makes for a better informed electorate.

It’s time for all Americans to refresh our knowledge of the Watergate Scandal and it’s impact on our Democracy.  There is good reason to suspect our current president is exhibiting traits similar to Richard Nixon — a belief he is above the law; condemnation of a dissenting judiciary; scapegoating the press and lying almost every time he steps up to a microphone — all in the first month of his administration.

There is one difference between Nixon and Predator Drumpf:  Nixon’s persona was shaped by his own deep paranoia and delusions born out of the Cold War, McCarthyism, his previous scandal as Vice President under Eisenhower (see Teapot Dome Scandal) and his election loses for President in 1960 and Governor of California in 1962.  Nixon was not a compulsive liar, just highly secretive and paranoid.  He lied about Watergate to cover his ass.

Drumpf’s lies are pathological.  Every American should be deeply concerned about the mental stability of our president.  This will be the subject of the next blog from La Resistance American.  Stay tuned and in the meantime:

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