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Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

Day 104. 

The one thing we learned about trump’s presidency in the first 32 days or so is that we definitely need hip waders just to be able to wade through the bullshit that constantly comes out of his mouth.  If people worried about the swamp flooding out Washington, D.C., they forgot that you can drown in bullshit just a well as water.

After at least three attempts to get trump to say anything about anti-Semitism, yesterday he said he was against it.  Most people think that since he didn’t stutter as much as usual, he meant what he said,.  Only he really didn’t mean much of what he said.

Besides saying he denounces anti-Semitism, he also talked about a culture of hate.  He even said that the “country will come together”.  He talked about how hate seems to run in cycles, and at least that part was true.  Even still, I will give him some credit, he did sound genuine in his comments.

But it is still words.  Just words, and trump uses more words than anyone I have ever listened to before.  As a matter of fact, he uses so many words, at the end of his statement never know what the hell he said.  Does he hate anti-Semitism or does he just hate that is was brought to light?

A lot of people are saying he caved to the press on this matter.  I don’t believe that.  I think he caved to his daughter.  Ivanka tweeted the day before his comments to say that we should all be tolerant of other religions.  That tweet was met with a lot of responses that were less than praising her.

The main theme of the responses was “tell that to your daddy”.  There were also many questions about if that “tolerance” includes Muslims.  The very next day, trump made his announcement about the issue.

But, since you cannot trust the words that come out of trump’s mouth, you need to watch his actions.  His actions do not show any attempt of “bringing the country together” or helping to eliminate “hate”.

Yesterday, the same day, DHS released two memos about deporting undocumented immigrants.  In essence, these memos mean that anyone who can be picked up and deported if they are here undocumented.  Of course there are fears of a “mass deportation” on the horizon.

There is also nothing in the memos that talk about how to handle undocumented immigrants who have children who are U.S. Citizens.  Are we really going to break up families just to get “rid of those damn illegals” as the right-wing wants?

If we do deport parents of these children, what happens to them?  Are we also going to deport U.S. Citizens with their parents?  Or, are we going to place them in an orphanage or the mostly broken foster care program?  What happens to these children?  Of course the memos also talk about our upcoming Berlin Wall being built.

I also find it amazing that these memos were released the day before the Sec of State and Sec of DHS are to go to Mexico to try to mend the gulf growing between our two countries.  What the hell were they thinking?

I am not going to argue about this being illegal, because as the laws are written, they are not illegal.  However, what I am questioning is the rush to deport as many people as possible in a short period of time without regard to any circumstances that may change things.

What makes breaking up families moral?  What makes breaking up families even nice?  These attempts to deport 11 million people is simply stunning.  Rather than working with Congress and fixing our immigration problem, this administration is more interested in showing “power” than humanity.

The next thing is the so-called revised travel ban.  The administration is saying that this will pass muster in the courts.  Yet, one of his top advisors says that it is basically the same order that caused all of the chaos when it was first released.

We don’t know much about this revised order, but we are pretty sure that green card holders won’t be affected.  Other than that, we know nothing.  Are they going to make it effective immediately so people already on their way here with valid visas are turned away when they get here, like they were under the original order?  That is not how civilized people treat other people.  But, I must admit that I never accused trump of being civilized.

These are the contradictions that trump has unleashed on us.  On one hand, trump talks about anti-Semitism all the while he is issuing orders on deportation of mass amounts of people with no compassion in the orders.

On one hand he says we should not be anti-Semitic, and on the other hand he orders the deportation of massive amounts of people who are mostly Latino.  On one hand he says we should be more inclusive and on the other hand he says Muslims aren’t welcome here.

As a country, even an immigrant country that we are, we do need borders and have a proper system to allow immigration.  However, we cannot be a country that just rounds up people based on their race, religion or immigration status and either lock them up or deport them.  Instead of placing so much vigor in deportations, we should be putting that much vigor in fixing our immigration rules and make it more humane to the people of the world.

This is a country of immigrants.  Unless you are a Native American, you are either an immigrant or a descendent of an immigrant.  This is a country that claims to be a nation of immigrants.  Yet, we seem to want to slam the door on “certain” people from being immigrants to add to our diversity.

Instead of fixing a broken system, trump wants to punish people by breaking up families to show how “tough” he is.  That is insane.  Yes, we need to fix our broken immigration system.  Yet, we do not need to punish people just because they came here without visas.  Especially those who have been here for years and have actually contributed to our economy which most have.

I agree that criminals need to go if they are not here legally.  However, we need a very certain definition of what constitutes “criminal”.  Driving with a broken tail light is not “criminal”.

We have lost our moral compass.  We have a president who is the descendent of an immigrant claiming nativism as his excuse.  And, at the time his grandfather immigrated to this country, visas weren’t always necessary.  So technically, trump could be called a descendent of an “undocumented immigrant”.  His grandfather even went back until he found out he could be prosecuted for evading mandatory military service.  Which means he came here as a “criminal” back home.

All of the major groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are against these mass deportations.  They understand the havoc that deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants would cause on our economy.  Yet our beloved leader is deaf to their concerns.

We were once told by the liar Kellyanne Conway to judge trump by what is “in his heart not his words”.  If you look at just this one issue, you can see what is in trump’s heart.  Hate and contempt for people of color.  There is not other explanation for his actions.

Our beloved leader can use all the words he wants to claim he is not a bigoted person.  He can use all the words he wants to claim he is “trying to bring the country together”.  But, his actions say just the opposite.  His actions show his contempt for anyone who is “different’ from him.

He claims to not be anti-Semitic and not to be bigoted.  Yet, when his propaganda minister was asked about the tripling of hate groups against Muslims since 2015 at his press meeting yesterday, he avoided the question like the plague.

We know what trump believes ever since he rode that escalator down from his big office in Trump Tower and announced how Mexico is sending us “drug dealers and rapists”.  We know what trump believes ever since he declared that there should be a ban on all Muslims immigrating to our country.  We know what trump believes ever since he said there should be a “Muslim registry”.

Conway told us to look into trump’s heart to see what he really means when he speaks.   I agree to a point.  But, if you do, you will find a hate-filled heart.  Is that what she really wants us to see?

As we know, justice is not absolute.  There is far more than a story of if a person came here “legally or illegally”.  We are not just a country of laws.  We are a country of compassion.  Just look at what happened after that Jewish cemetery was vandalized.  Who were the people who started a fund-raising program to help repair the damage?  Muslims!

When the Mosque in Texas was burned down a couple of weeks ago, who was the first group to hand over keys to their place of worship to help them?  Jews.

We need the president to be more interested in working with Congress to fix our immigration laws instead of acting like a heavy-handed dictator who will solely determine who is allowed in and who isn’t.

If you support this mass deportation on the horizon and the banning of Muslims, don’t dare speak to me about your Christian Values.  You don’t have any and you are a liar.  You have no Christian Values.

It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, this matter isn’t just about law, it is about humanity.  It is about treating other people like we want to be treated.  It is time for this bullshit to stop.  It is time to look at the problem with a humane lens and figure out the best ways to make things better for everyone.

These issues will not be stopped with laws that restrict immigration.  They will not be stopped with a Berlin Wall on our southern border.  They will not be stopped with a Muslim ban.  They will not be stopped with mass deportation.

We have seen this story before.  We have seen groups being made scapegoats before.  We have seen it in places like Russia.  We have seen it in places like Mussolini’s Italy.  We have seen it in Nazi Germany.  We have seen it in Hussein’s Iraq.

Our Constitution was designed to protect minorities from the excesses of the majority.  These actions are making a mockery of that premise.  It is time for it to end and real solutions to this problem found.  That is how democracy is supposed to work.  To me, these actions are more fascist than democratic.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

 

 

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Day 103. 

In all my years watching and participating in politics, I have never seen a president act so irresponsibly or incompetent as our current beloved leader.  And, I have seen the likes of JFK, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, etc.  This side-show we call our presidency has gotten completely out of control, and it is the fault of one person – donald trump.

Rather than taking expensive vacations that we pay for at his private club in Florida, maybe he should actually start filling the government positions that would help him govern.  Leadership is actually leading and making sure the proper people are in place to ensure things work.

This came to light yesterday at JFK airport.  At about 6 am, the TSA checkpoint was not fully manned.  They still opened the “prescreened” area.  However, no one was there to check the passengers as they went through the checkpoint.  Eleven passengers passed through without proper screening.  Three men were reported to have set off the metal detector.  No one stopped them.

To make matters worse, it took TSA 2 hours before they told the police about.  The police checked the terminals, but the passengers all had already boarded their fights.  The three men who activated the metal detector were identified from video.  They were eventually screened – after they landed at their destination in California.

At first glance it would appear that the screeners at JFK are to blame for this incident.  And they were.  But, it goes a little deeper than that.  The head of the TSA left the agency on the day trump took office.  He has yet to be replaced.  As a matter of fact, no one has even been named to replace him.

This is not an isolated problem either.  The government has a total of 549 positions that need Senate approval to be filled.  As of yesterday, 515 of those positions have not even had a nominee named.  That means a whopping 34 positions have had nominees named.  So far only about 14 of them are still waiting for approval.

As you can see, it is not the Democrats who are holding up trump from filling the government, trump is holding up trump from filling the government.  You also have to remember, those are just the positions that require Senate approval.  There are still hundreds of staff positions that haven’t been filled at the White House.

I am still hearing reports that the West Wing feels like a ghost town rather than a functioning government.  There are not enough people to do the job of actually governing.  Again, who is to blame?  Donald Trump!

Instead of filling vital positions for the government, trump is instead trying to figure out how to keep Muslims out of the country.  He is trying to figure out how to deport 11 million people.  He is spreading fake reports about terrorist attacks in Sweden.  And, he is sucking up to Putin.

This incompetence is showing in the nervousness of our allies.  Over the weekend, Mike Pence assured our NATO Allies that America was steadfast in its support of NATO.  Then on Saturday, trump said again that NATO was obsolete.

Yesterday, Pence tried again to reassure our allies about our “strong support for NATO.”  Is it any wonder that one of the questions he received from a foreign reporter “are we supposed to believe you?  What keeps trump from tweeting something in the next few hours that contradict with these comments or at a new conference in a day or two?   Who are we to believe, you or trump?”

He was even asked if our country was going to maintain our freedom of the press.  Why would our allies even think that?  Maybe because of trump’s attacks on the media including calling it “the enemy of the American People.” Maybe it is because European countries know that losing freedom of the press is the first steps in creating a dictatorship like happened in Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Secretary of Defense, Mattis, had to tell the world yesterday that the U.S. “was not in Iraq to take the oil”.  This was necessitated as Mattis was on his way to Iraq and he needed to calm Iraqi government fears about our intentions.  Especially in light of trump saying over and over that “we should take the oil”.

We were told that Rex Tillerson was going to be a “great Secretary of State”.  Yet, he and his under-secretary have been locked out of meetings with foreign leaders, especially Netanyahu.  How can he be a “great Secretary of State” if he is not included in meetings with the same foreign leaders he is supposed to represent us to?

We have seen a tremendous rise in hate crimes since trump’s inauguration.  Bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers have risen off the charts.  Vandalism of Mosques have risen dramatically as well.  Yet, the administration has said nothing about any of that.

Even when a Jewish reporter said he had no doubts that trump was not anti-Semitic but asked what he would do to stop these attacks, trump told him to sit down and accused him of asking a “bad question”.  Then he went on a rant about how he was not anti-Semitic.  We still have not heard him denounce these attacks.  I guess he doesn’t want to upset his most ardent white supremacist supporters.

We have what we in the service would call a “skeleton crew” trying to run a government and a leader who doesn’t seem too interested in filling the crew out.  We have a leader who has tried to consolidate all power inside a very small clique of power brokers inside the White House.

Our dear beloved leader has done nothing to “bring us together” since he took office.  Rather, he has done everything he can to divide us even more.  That is also a strategy of dictatorship.  If you can divide the country, you will know who your opponents are and can then better target them.

I’m sorry, but this president, at least in his first month in office, has been a total disaster.  He has no vision for America.  He has no foreign policy, except 20 second sound bites that vary depending on who he is talking to.  He has no plans to help the American People except huge tax cuts for the rich.  So far, he has only shown a desire to “take over” and become our first king of dictator.

We have a White House that leaks like a sieve.  Why?  Is it because they don’t trust trump either?  Is it possible that they understand the damage trump is doing to our country especially with our most ardent allies?  Are they leaking because they see how incompetent trump really is and want to avoid more damage by letting the American People know what bad is coming?

Then we have trump saying the “leaks are true but the stories are fake news”.  What?  Only trump can claim that the information a story is based on is true but the story itself is false.

Leaks are inevitable in a free government.  But, there have been more leaks in the first month of trump’s presidency than most Presidents have seen in their entire term.  What does that say about trump?

I am sure that this will upset trump supporters.  But, as the new dictionaries start rolling off the presses, if you look up the definition of incompetence, you will see the picture of donald trump.

Our great leader, who claims to be very successful, still has 515 vacancies in his administration and hasn’t even bothered to nominate anyone to fill any of them.  Although he is very quick to fire anyone who says anything not loving about him, like he did over the weekend to a senior NSC member who criticized him in a speech.  All signs of incompetence.

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

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Day 102. 

There are always two sides to any question and answer.  When it comes to immigration, those sides are always presented as opposing and even hostile to each other.  On one hand there are those who say that we should stop people from coming into the country illegally.  On the other hand we have those who claim we are a nation of immigrants.  On their face value, both sides are correct.

However, as with any issue that can be rolled up in politics the issue of immigration is a lot more complex than that.  The fact of the matter is our immigration policies are archaic and broken.  There was an attempt to fix the problem with the so-called “Gang Of Eight” bi-partisan Immigration Reform Act.  That bill passed the Senate, but the House Republicans shoved it into a drawer and did nothing with it.

As a result, we are facing a real moral conundrum.  On the right we are told, especially by trump supporters, that all 11 million undocumented immigrants should be deported.  On the left, we are told that is inhuman and there has to be a better way.

As a country, we have to figure this out.  But, we should not figure it out in a way that only spreads fear. It doesn’t help that the administration is so confused over the issue either.  There have been more leaks about how “deportations” will be handled, and we have already seen how this confusion is affecting people’s lives.

There are already two incidents that show just how inhumane these policies can become.  One woman was allowed to stay in the country even after using false Social Security number to get a job.  As part of her agreement, she needed to report to ICE twice a year for interviews to ensure she broke no other laws.

Last week, she showed up and was taken into custody and deported.  The bad part is that she has two children who are American Citizens.  Another woman faced the same problem.  Only, instead of showing up for her ICE interview, she turned to a church and took sanctuary there.  She also has children who are American Citizens.

We also saw the havoc that trump’s Muslim Ban caused families when that was first rolled out.  There were reports where people who were legal immigrants complete with a Green Card were turned away.  There was also one report where Customs forced to brothers to sign away their Green Cards after being threatened that they wouldn’t be allowed in the “country for years” if they did not sign the papers.

That is where the Immigration Reform Act would have come in handy.  If that law had been passed, there would have been lots of money given to secure our borders.  The E-VERIFY system would have been placed in effect nationwide so undocumented immigrants could not get jobs.  And, there would have been humane ways to deal with the many undocumented immigrants already in the country to allow them to stay.

Immigration bans are nothing new to our country.  There were several attempts to close our borders to immigrants of all stripes.  There were bans on Asians, especially Chinese.  There were attempted bans on the Irish, Poles, Germans, Italians, Mexicans, Jews and Catholics.

The biggest stain on our handling of immigrants was in World War II when we rounded up all Japanese Americans and put them in camps for the duration of the war.  They didn’t do anything wrong, they were American Citizens, but they were Japanese and that was all that mattered.

The odd fact of this scandal was that the military took Japanese American Citizens into their ranks to fight in Europe.  So, as their parents suffered in internment camps, Japanese Americans were risking their lives to defend the country that imprisoned their parents and family members.

Both the administration and private citizens have used fear to justify these draconian methods.  The administration constantly rages about “terrorism” and how they are making our country safe.  Even Saturday, our beloved leader announced the “Terrorist Attack In Sweden Last Night”.  Only there wasn’t a terrorist attack in Sweden Friday night.

This is just another example of made-up attacks that his administration has put forth.  Like the bowling Green Massacre and the Atlanta Attack.  Neither of which happened.  Then we have a case in Texas where four hunters claimed they were attacked by illegal immigrants while on a hunting trip.

They claimed that illegal immigrants, probably drug cartels, attacked them in their RV one night.  That story went viral on social media.  The right-wing latched onto the story as the reason why we need a wall on the border.

Only, there is a problem.  According to police, the four were not attacked by illegal immigrants.  The two that were wounded were actually wounded by members of their own hunting party.

“There were no bullet casings or projectiles from weapons other than those belonging to the individuals hunting on the ranch nor in the RV belonging to the hunting party,” the sheriff’s department told Big Bend Now last month.

The incident took place near Candelaria, about 250 miles southeast of El Paso.

Bryant and Daugherty, both hunting guides with Redwing Outfitters, were indicted last Wednesday on charges of deadly conduct by discharging firearms in the direction of others, local radio station KTSA reported.

But, there was probably a reason for this lie.  It turns out that Daugherty does not have medical insurance.  After the lie went viral, Daugherty was able to raise a total of $26,300 on GoFundMe to pay for his medical care.

Even Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller cited the shooting as “proof” that the border wall is needed.  When confronted about the discrepancy, he simply said his tweets should not be held to the same standards as the press.  Nice copout dip-head!

That, unfortunately is the environment that this “fear” caused by our beloved leader has created.  We are living in a time when it is “fashionable” for people to blame others for their problems.  It is “fashionable” for people to blame immigrants for unemployment, not the billionaires who hire them instead of Americans.  Like trump’s own son who just asked for more visas for foreign workers to work at his vineyard instead of Americans.

We are constantly told how immigrants, especially “illegal immigrants” are trying to destroy our country.  We are constantly told to be afraid of anyone and everyone who looks different from us.

Of course all of the people who are very willing to break-up families in the name of “law and order” all claim to be “god fearing good Christians”.  Well, by their actions, they better be “god fearing” since they are going against everything they claim to believe in.

We have come to a point when our beloved leader can lie to us with impunity.  We are at a point where our beloved leader’s administration can lie to us with impunity.  We have come to a point where fear has been imbedded into our very social fabric.

Yes, we need to do something about our immigration problems.  We need to fix our broken system.  However, mass deportations are not the answer.  Mass bans against a specific religion is not the answer.  We have always claimed to be reasonable people who are willing to figure out the answers to our problems.  These actions are not reasonable.  They are not answers to our problems.  They are simply another attempt to divide us among ourselves.

The Republican Party has been on a mission of “divide and conquer” our country for their lust for power for the last 40 years.  Our beloved leader has taken that lust to new highs and instead of using “code words” he has openly declared war on everyone who thinks differently than him.

Under the so-called leadership of our beloved leader, we have lost our moral compass.  We have lost our humanity.  We have lost who we are as a nation and as a people.  Instead of being the “land of the free” we are quickly becoming the “land of fear”.  It may suit trump’s plan to establish his authoritarian government, but it is not who we are.

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

 

 

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Day 99.

car2

Yesterday we discovered that the trump administration is “running like a finely tuned machine”.  If trump really believes that to be true, might I suggest he find another machine to replace the one he has?

I don’t even know how to discuss or talk about his “thing” that took place yesterday.  He and his staff are calling it a “press conference” but I admit I haven’t seen any press conference like it.  What I saw was the old “blame game” from trump for his miserable failures so far in his term as president.

Everything that has gone wrong is not his fault.  The Muslim Ban didn’t get blown to pieces because it was poorly writer and violated several clauses in the Constitution,.  No, it was because the Judiciary is incompetent.

Michael Flynn wasn’t let go because he was a liar whom even the president decided he couldn’t trust.  No, it was all the media’s fault for printing those leaks about him.  He is a “wonderful guy”.  Despite the fact that trump can’t trust him enough to keep him on the job.

Nor did he mention anything about the report that Flynn lied to the FBI about his sanction talks with Russia, which is a felony.  Not that Sessions would let him go to trial for his crime.  Come on trump supporters say it:  “Lock him Up!”

He claims to have “accomplished so much in his first month”.  But, he really hasn’t accomplished anything that will help anyone but his buddies.  Let’s take a look at his “wonderful accomplishments”.

His first “wonderful accomplishment” was raising the mortgage insurance rates on millions of first-time home buyers by $500 per year.  That will really help the insurance companies, but do nothing to help average people who want to own their own home.

Another “wonderful accomplishment” was stripping away protections of people with retirement accounts.  He is now allowing brokers not to have to get approval and explain any switches in their portfolio so the brokers can make changes not based on the benefit of the owner of the portfolio, but rather on their commission.  Great for brokers, lousy for portfolio owners.

The next “wonderful accomplishment” was the elimination of the regulation that required energy companies to disclose their overseas investments, profits, and even bribes to governments to get the contract.  Again, wonderful for the energy companies.  Lousy for the American people and will produce absolutely ZERO jobs.

Then we have the “wonderful accomplishment” that takes away the requirement that Social Security report to the national background check database anyone who is so severely mentally impaired they cannot take care of their own personal business like cashing their Social Security Check.  That way, these people will be able to purchase any firearm they want.  Great for gun manufacturers and the NRA.  Lousy for public safety.

Yesterday, he signed another “wonderful accomplishment” with a bunch of coal miners behind him.  This “wonderful accomplishment” will make it much easier, for that matter perfectly legal, for the coal companies to dump their waste in streams and rivers.  Again, something wonderful for the coal companies, but lousy for those same miners behind the president who will see their drinking water polluted by the company they work for without anything stopping it from happening.  Did trump tell those miners that part of what he was signing?

Then there was that “wonderful accomplishment” called a “Travel Ban”.   This thinly disguised Muslim Ban was struck down in the courts.  Not one court as trump wants you to believe, but several courts all around the country.  This ban caused chaos at airports all across the nation because Customs had never been told it was coming and how they were supposed to handle the people affected.  Many of those affected were actually mid-air when it went into effect and didn’t even know they weren’t going to be allowed in.

Yet, yesterday trump claimed that the roll out of the ban went “so smoothly”.  I would hate to see what trump calls chaotic.  And, during the press conference, trump repeatedly said they would beat the stay in court.  All the while his own Justice Department was telling the ninth circuit of appeals to hold off on more hearings.  They said trump would rescind the order and write a new one in the near future.  Showing that in the trump White House the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.  As trump would say, Sad!

Yesterday, trump was asked a couple of times about the rise in anti-Semitic activities in the country since his election.  He went on to say how he won the election by such a huge margin and that he was not anti-Semitic.  He never said anything about what he would do to stop this rise in anti-Semitic actions.

One of the questioners even premised his question by stating” Our community does not believe you are anti-Semitic” but what are you going to do about the rise in anti-Semitic activity?  Again trump went off on a tantrum about how he is not anti-Semitic.  When the questioner tried to bring him back to the point, he told him to be quiet and kept ranting about how wonderful he was.

This is the second day in a row that trump ducked this issue.  Anti-Semitism actions have risen dramatically since he was elected.  Just in the last two weeks there have been over 48 bomb threats to synagogues and Jewish centers.  That number doubles to over 90 since he was inaugurated.

Is trump ducking the question and issue because he knows it is his supporters who are guilty of these activities?  Is he that afraid that he would lose about half of his “base supporters” if he tells them to “knock it off”.  Since he has a Jewish son-in-law, a Jewish daughter, and Jewish grandchildren, that can be the only answer.  But what does that say to his Jewish family members and why aren’t they saying anything?

Yesterday, several career State Department workers were fired.  They were told that their services were no longer needed.  The people laid off were the department that coordinates between the Sec of State and the various departments.  And, when Netanyahu was visiting, no one from the State Department sat in on the meeting between him and trump.  As a matter of fact, the Under-secretary was scheduled to sit in but the White House staff shut him out.

The Hispanic Congressional Caucus had requested a meeting with ICE officials to discuss the “round ups” taking place.  When the meeting was granted, the Caucus that requested the meeting was shut out.  As usual, the Republicans changed the rules and said it had to be “bipartisan” and the only member of the Caucus let in was their chair person.

But, remember all of these “failures” of diplomacy, ethics, and decorum are not trump’s or the Republicans fault.  It is the fault of the “leakers” and the “media”.  If we didn’t have leakers trump could do whatever he wanted and no one would know.  If it wasn’t for the media, he wouldn’t get caught trying to set up his little dictatorship.

What we saw yesterday was the president of the United States of America stand in front of the American people and whine, complain, and bitch about being “treated unfairly” because he is incompetent.  If he wants praise, why doesn’t he DO SOMETHING for the American people instead of his donor class.  Maybe then someone will say nice things about him.

Yesterday’s press conference was nothing more than a rallying cry to his base to get them fired up to reelect him in 2020.  That is what the “rally” in Florida tomorrow is all about.  Instead of concentrating on doing his job and making life better for ALL Americans, he is starting his 2020 campaign.

I hate to say this, but trump is making Richard Nixon look like an honest upstanding fellow.

And, the shirts keep marching along!

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Day 97. 

We are coming to the end of the fourth week of the trump administration.  And, what have we gotten in those four weeks?  From where I sit, we have gotten nothing but chaos, lies, and miserable leadership.  There seems to be no limit to the depravity of the trump administration.

The problem is that the Republican Party, especially those in the Senate and House seem to be willing to go along with this depravity if it gets them something as well.

During the last four years of the Obama administration, we couldn’t count the number of investigations held by the Republican Controlled Congress.  I am not even going to talk about whether or not they were valid.  But, with one of the biggest potential Constitutional crisis looming, Republicans in their controlled Congress don’t seem to willing to investigate their own.

Yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul on Kilmeade and Friends on Fox said he doesn’t think this warrants an investigation.  He seems to think the president did everything that needs to be done.  But, he went even further.  He said:

I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party.  We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.

It would appear that Paul only believes in “investigation after investigation” only if it involves Democrats.  It makes you wonder just where the true heart of Republicans is.  Is it with the American people or is it with the party.  If it is with the party, then they should all be fired.

Then let’s look at three “roll-backs” of “burdensome” regulations that Republicans are rushing through Congress.  The very first one was to repeal the prohibition of coal mines from dumping waste from their mines into streams and rivers, even if those waters provide drinking water for people.  This tells me that they are more interested in saving coal mine owners money over providing clean drinking water for people.  Party over the country.

The second was signed yesterday by our beloved leader.  This rule involved the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and involved energy companies, like oil companies.  This regulation was in connection with the Dodd-Frank bill that is intended to make sure we don’t go through another 2008 meltdown of our economy.

This order required energy companies to disclose their foreign investments.  Meaning their profits, their taxes, and any “payments” they may have made to get the deal to a foreign country.  Yes, as you can see that is a real burden on the profits of the energy companies and keeping them from hiring lots of Americans into new jobs.  And, who was the number one opponent of this rule when it was first talked about?  Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon/Mobile and the current Secretary of State.  Another case of party over the country.

The Senate today is set to vote on another repeal bill that the House already passed.  This one is really needed because it really takes away freedoms from every single person in the country.

This is the Executive Order that President Obama issued that makes the Social Security Administration provide information to the national background database on people collecting Social Security Disability because they are so mentally ill they cannot take care of their own affairs.  According to this order, if you are so mentally incapacitated you are not allowed to cash your Social Security Check and need someone else to handle your affairs, you should not be able to buy a gun.

Republicans, the true lobbying arm of the NRA cried foul!  How dare the government say that a mentally impaired person can’t buy a gun!  This is a total outrage and it needs to be overridden as soon as possible.

Forget that every time some white guy shoots up a bunch of people they say it was just someone with mental problems.  That doesn’t matter.  The mentally impaired should all be armed.  How else can we protect the right of every American to be shot and killed by a mentally impaired person?  A third case of party over country.

These are the types of things that Republicans are so interested in.  And in each case, their donor class are the ones who benefit, not the American people.  Then, when something like this mess about the administration and Russia come to light, they don’t think any real independent investigation into the matter is necessary.

What Republicans want is for the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate this mess.  Why?  Because that way they can keep the whole investigation secret.  Without transparency during the investigation they can say anything they want at the end and no one would know.

The reason is because the Intelligence Committee always deals with classified material.  That way they can hide behind “national security” and not let the American People know if this is something critical or not.  Another step to show party over the country.

Some of these questions could be answered if trump would just release his tax returns.  Many of the questions surrounding this mess is whether or not trump is being so nice to Putin and Russia simply because of personal business dealings.  I didn’t know this, but there is apparently a way that Congress could order the IRS to release trump’s tax returns, and Democrats introduced that the other day.  Republicans very quickly killed the idea.

Trump surrogates all over the country are pounding their chests and saying what a wonderful job our beloved leader is doing.  Only, we don’t know what he is doing.  We don’t know what “response” we can expect against North Korea for test firing their missile on Saturday night.  We don’t know what “response” we can expect against Russia for violating international treaty by deploying cruise missiles.

Those two things seem to not be as interesting to our beloved leader than figuring out those leaks from the White House or calling the national press “fake news” to protect himself and his minions.

Our adversaries are testing this new administration and our beloved leader is too busy tweeting insults against his domestic opponents and not taking care of our country.  And, Republicans in Congress are letting him get away with this simple case of incompetence.  As usual, today’s Republican Party is only interested in party and not the country.

Just ask Paul Ryan.  He says they shouldn’t be wasting their time investigating members of their own party.  If their party’s president is shredding the constitution and ignoring adversaries, that’s okay.  It isn’t the Republican’s problem.  Party above all else!

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 96. 

The only question to ask today is “is this the end of the beginning, or is it the beginning of the end?”  I don’t ask that question lightly either.  The problem is that even with Flynn’s resignation, there are still way too many questions about the situation, and how trump handles classified information as well.

Let’s start here.  The Yemen raid was supposedly discussed over dinner.  That in itself isn’t a problem, but who was at the dinner and where it was held is a question.  As I have written before, I do not see any reason why Kushner was present.  Nor do I understand how the president could discuss and then make his decision without a full briefing from the entire security staff in a non-secure space.  Having dinner outside a SCIF to discuss such a raid is very troubling, at least to me.

Then we have what happened over the weekend.  As you probably heard, the Prime Minister of Japan was visiting.  Our beloved leader took him to Mar-a-Lago for a weekend of golf.  While they were having dinner on an outside patio, North Korea launched their missile test.

In another breach of security, the president and the Prime Minister started talking about the launch and their reaction to it at the dinner table.  According to reports, the president’s staff began bringing documents about the launch to the table and other guests were milling around and taking pictures.  There are even pictures of staff holding cell phones to light up the documents so they could read them.

We don’t know what was in the documents, and we probably never will.  I don’t even want to claim that the information was classified, but the optics of just how lackadaisical the president seems to hold such discussions is very troubling.

Then late list night, Mike Flynn resigned his position over the Russia scandal that he started.  I am sure that trump and his team will consider the matter closed.  But it is not closed and we the people cannot let it end with Flynn’s resignation.

There was something very odd about his letter of resignation.  It wasn’t what he said in the letter, it was what he did not say.  In his letter he wrote:

Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.

He admits that he misled the Vice President Elect.  However, he does not admit that he misled the president-elect.  That is a glaring omission to me.  If you are resigning because you lied to your boss, why didn’t you mention his name in your letter?  If I were Pence, today I would be demanding and explanation from trump about that omission!

This all means that there are way too many questions about this whole mess that still need to be answered.  As we discussed, “What did the President know and when did he know it?”  Additionally, why did the president take so long to do something about this?  We never heard anything from trump about this matter right up to Flynn’s resignation, except a lie when he sad “I didn’t see that report”.

According to our intelligence communities, Flynn also had contact with the Russians during the campaign.  That is extremely troubling.  Especially when you consider the fact that our intelligence agencies say Russia was behind the hacks during the campaign and that Russia was trying to influence the election in trump’s favor.

So, was Flynn and/or trump actually coordinating the campaign with Putin and the Russians?  Was there any illegal activity between the two parties during the election?  If there was any coordination, then there were a whole bunch of laws broken.

Then we have the fact that Flynn talked to the Russian Ambassador about the sanctions that the Obama Administration was going to impose on Russia over the election interference.  I am sorry, but I do not believe that trump did not know about the phone calls.  I can’t even say I believe that trump did not order the phone calls.

Furthermore, it was also reported last night that Sally Yates, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Justice warned the White House about Flynn.  According to the report, she said that Flynn was “compromised and could be subject to blackmail from Russia.”  She gave the warning last month.  With that information in hand, the White House did nothing!

Then, Yates said she believed the travel ban that trump ordered was not constitutional and would not defend it.  Right after that, trump fired her.  Question – Was she fired due to her not defending a law she considered unconstitutional or because she ratted out Flynn?

And, who are the ones crying the most about Flynn’s resignation?  The Russians!  There have been some very interesting tweets from Russian lawmakers about what they are calling “Flynn’s Retirement”.  One even said he was forced out because of “Russophobia”.

This mess has become so bad, I have to wonder if we can trust trump or anyone in his administration on anything?  What makes them think that the American People are so stupid as to not see through the veil they are trying to place over everything.

Our beloved leader is a disaster when it comes to national security.  He keeps saying that his travel ban and his round up of undocumented immigrants are all designed to “keep America safe”.  Yet, when you look at the overall picture, you will discover that the biggest threat to our country’s safety and security is our beloved leader.

We now have a president who really believes that he is above the law.  He believes that we, the American People will just fold up our tents and follow him wherever he decides to lead us.  That became very apparent when one of his top advisers, Miller, said on national TV that the president’s orders are “unquestionable”.

The media and other pundits keep saying that the administration just doesn’t know what they are saying.  They try to give us the impression that they are just getting their feet under themselves.  That they are learning a real tough job on the job.

Do not believe this bullshit!  THE ADMINISTRATION KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS DOING!  Their campaign against the media and the judicial system has only one goal.  Make people distrust those institutions so they can ignore the media and the courts and just do what they want.

The whole process behind their methods is to establish an authoritarian government.  Our beloved leader does not want to have to deal with a court system that challenges his unconstitutional actions.  He does not want a media that tells the people what lies are being forced down their throats.  He does not want a Congress who will stop his agenda.

He explained everything very well during the campaign.  He said:  “ONLY I CAN FIX OUR PROBLEMS”.  Once the election was over, he started taking steps to do just that.  He began taking steps to make it possible for him to make all decisions and do whatever he wants because he wants to be dictator.

Congress needs to act on the mess.  They need to investigate just what the hell happened and who knew what and when.  This is way too big for normal committee to investigate.  We need a Special Committee with a Special Prosecutor to get to the bottom of this sink hole.

Yesterday was only the fourth Monday of the trump presidency.  And, in that short four weeks, we already have a potential constitutional crisis like we haven’t had in about 50 years.

I don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican.  I don’t care if you are a conservative or a liberal.  You can not close your eyes to this potential explosive mess that was created by trump and his administration.

We cannot accept any more excuses.  We cannot keep explaining away these breaches in protocol or security.  Our president is a disaster and he needs to start explaining himself.

If you are willing to accept Flynn’s resignation and let the matter go, then you cannot call yourself a patriot!  Patriots don’t sit around and let a president establish his authoritarian government without screaming back, NO YOU DON’T!

Are you listening Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?  Our president ran his campaign on fear and hate.  He is running his presidency on fear and hate.  He keeps talking about “security” as something behind all of his actions.  But, his actions have either been unlawful or inhumane.  Is that the kind of president you really want in the Oval Office?

This is not being limited to just “national security” matters either.  Our entire government is under threat.  The Justice Department has already cancelled a case involving LGBT rights.  They have put on hold other cases about voting rights and abortion rights.

If you are concerned about anything special, it will be under attack in the near future by this administration.  Even “conservative” ideas since trump is not really conservative.

I warn you.  Be very concerned with any administration that claims that everything they do is in the name of “national security”.  That is just a cover to sidestep the constitution and the laws.

Remember the warning from Benjamin Franklin.  “If you are willing to give up some freedoms for security, you will soon discover that you have neither”.  We are being forced by our president to make that choice today.

If you read this and think I am pissed off, you are right.  This is not the America I served, and not the America I want my grandchildren to grow up in.  All things begin at the top.  I do not believe Flynn acted alone.  I believe trump knew what he was doing.  I don’t know for sure, which is why we need the investigations.  We need to find out the truth.

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

 

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Day 95. 

During the campaign, our beloved leader showed a complete disregard for just what a nuclear war could unleash.  He once asked about nukes “Why do we have them if we aren’t going to use them?”  He also said more than once that he believes that countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia should develop their own nukes.

Of course the trump apologists said that he was just be sarcastic, ironic, or comedic.  We are supposed to believe that trump is really afraid of nukes, even though he told Putin just last week that the New Start Treaty was a bad treaty even though he didn’t even know what it said.

Then we have Mr. Alt-Right Steve Bannon.  There have been reports from various sources that he believes that we live in apocalyptic times and that war with either Iran or China, or both, are inevitable.  Those are very serious comments if they are true, especially coming from the man who has the most influence on our beloved leader.

But, before you really begin to worry, you better understand that they are not alone.  They have members in their Republican Politburo in Congress who think the same things.  The two most vocal supporters of this fantasy are Sen.Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

You may remember Cotton who last week introduced legislation to reduce “legal immigration” to half of what is now allowed.  And, his plan hits non-European countries the hardest.  Meaning, he only wants white people to be allowed into America.

So, Cotton, apparently not knowing a damn thing about nuclear war introduced another stupid bill, S332.  To help out his fellow moron, Wilson introduced a companion bill in the House.

These two bills effect an organization with the long name of Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.  If you don’t know, here is the story of the group.  Between 1994 and 1996 the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was hammered out.

The treaty was signed by 183 countries and subsequently 164 ratified it, including nuclear powers France, Russia, and the United Kingdom.  However, in 1999 the Republican controlled Senate refused to ratify the treaty along with other countries like Israel, India, Pakistan, China, and North Korea.

Since then India, Pakistan and North Korea have violated the test ban treaty.  The U.S. has held by its pledge to not test nuclear weapons.  Despite not being fully ratified, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization went ahead with their activities of monitoring nuclear tests.  They get the funding from almost every country including the U.S despite the fact we haven’t ratified the treaty.

This organization does nothing but monitor the world for nuclear tests.  They have a world-wide organization of 337 nuclear monitoring stations.  The commission explains on its website:

The ban makes it very difficult for countries to develop nuclear bombs for the first time, or for countries that already have them, to make more powerful bombs.  It also prevents the huge damage caused by radioactivity from nuclear explosions to humans, animals and plants.

Here is something to consider about the program.  China’s warheads are heavy enough that they cannot put very many of them on their missiles according to experts.  China would need additional nuclear testing to develop a lighter warhead.  If it were free to test and thus develop lighter warheads, China would have the potential to field more, perhaps significantly more, warheads without expanding its current missile force.

As a result, a fully ratified Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is in the best interests of the U.S.  Even in the absence of full ratification, so is the norm against testing nuclear weapons.  I don’t think that anyone with a normal thinking brain would disagree with that idea.

This brings us back to Cotton, Wilson and Trump.  The bills introduced by Cotton and Wilson would defund America’s contribution to the commission.  Of course this prohibition of contributing to the fund will have a huge impact on balancing the budget.  See, our country contributes a whopping $30 million annually.  Geeze what a waste.

Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists in New York City, told The Daily Beast.

Any move by the United States toward reducing commitment to the CTBT or resuming nuclear testing would without doubt trigger similar actions in other nuclear weapon states.  Such a development would undermine U.S. national security and international efforts to restrain nuclear weapons development.

To show his utter ignorance on this matter, Wilson said:

Congress never ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, so it is only logical that we should no longer fund the preparatory commission for its implementation,  This bill will leave in place only the funding for the international monitoring system aspect of the preparatory commission—which improves our global nuclear detection capability.  Nuclear deterrence is a critical part of protecting American families, and this legislation protects that capability.

There you have it.  He is claiming that the commission obviously does other things than test monitoring, and that we are only cutting those additional funds.  Except the commission only conducts nuclear test monitoring.  Which means if you eliminate funding for this commission, you will be defunding the monitoring the commission does.  That is a great way Cotton and Wilson will be helping protect American families.

To put it better Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey said:

The international monitoring system that’s part of the [test-ban organization] feeds back into an international data center.  So they’re not going to fund the people who read the computer screens when the data comes in?

Lewis believes that Cotton and Wilson’s bill is, in part, a thinly veiled attack on the pro-ban United Nations, another institution trump has attacked. He said:

Can you imagine hating the U.N. so much that you’re willing to kick yourself in your own nuts?  This is madness.

If Lewis understood the current Republican Party, he would understand that is exactly what the party is about.  Madness!

Ever since the end of World War II, the world has lived on the edge of a possible nuclear war.  During the Cuban Missile Crisis we came extremely close to fulfilling that fear.  Since the 1970s we have worked with Russia and other countries to limit the number of nuclear weapons on the planet.  We understood that unleashing a nuclear war would be the end of our planet.

Now, we have a beloved leader and a Republican Congress that seems hell-bent on unleashing the very thing we have all wanted to avoid.  It begins with little steps.  Like defunding the global organization whose only function is to monitor nuclear testing to keep other countries from getting the weapons.

Once that happens, and other countries begin testing nuclear weapons, we can pound our chest and say we need to start testing again to get better weapons ourselves.  In essence we would get what trump told Morning Joe once “let it be an arms race”.

But, remember, it isn’t just trump and his regime that wants this.  They are getting help from Republicans in Congress.   As I have said more than once, trump is not the only problem we have in this country.  The Republican Controlled Congress is just as dangerous as trump.  That is really frightening.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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