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Day 98. 

“I love WikiLeaks.  Here is another email about Hillary Clinton.  I can’t wait for more information from WikiLeaks.  I love WikiLeaks.”

That was our beloved leader on the campaign trail.  He couldn’t wait for the next “illegal” leak from an organization that breaks the law all over the world.  It is illegal to hack into emails and/or any other cyber systems and WikiLeaks is an organization who does exactly that.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum.  Our beloved leader discovered that leaks can hurt you.  He discovered that leaks can actually make a leader act reasonably.  And, that is beyond the pale for trump.

Our beloved leader has attacked our intelligence agencies because they said they have proof that Russia was behind the hacks during the campaign.  The thing he really hates is that they say Russia hacked our election process in an attempt to sway the election to him.

FALSE – LIES – FAKE NEWS!  That was our beloved leader’s response to this announcement.  He even went so far as to blame some unnamed “400 lb. guy sitting on a bed in his mother’s basement”.  He attacked the intelligence community comparing it to Nazi Germany.

Then, within days of the inauguration, the acting head of the Justice Department told the White House Counsel that the new National Security Advisor had made an improper telephone call to the Russian Ambassador, lied about the call to the Vice President, and was “subject to blackmail from Russia” as a result of his actions.

Three weeks later, Flynn was still on the job.  Only, one night, the press reported on this “story”.  Then the shit hit the fan.  On Monday night Flynn resigned.  Then, the next day, trump’s White House went into spin mode.

The Minister of Propaganda, Sean Spicer said that there was an internal investigation at the White House and the White House Counsel did not find anything illegal about the call.  However Spicer said that the “president asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation because of an erosion of trust over this matter and other issues.”

Of course the media let that “other issues” fly by without swatting it and asking what other issues.  So, as usual, trump’s team got away with another one.  Since then, there have been lots of calls for an independent special investigation into Flynn’s actions and the other part of the report that trump campaign aides had “constant contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign”.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is going to look into the matter.  They don’t seem to be worried about the consequences and are only interested in the truth, “wherever it leads”.  Good for the them.  Only, I hope they don’t keep the whole thing secret so we don’t know what actually happened.  Which is why it is so important to have an independent investigation.

However on the House side we keep hearing nothing but silence.  They seem very willing to just roll over and let trump do whatever he wants.  They don’t think this has anything to do with protecting our national security or our country.

Then yesterday, during a press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to him he said:

Michael Flynn ― General Flynn ― is a wonderful man. I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it, the fake media in many cases. And I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.  I think in addition to that from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked, it’s criminal action. It’s a criminal act and it’s been going on for a long time before me but now it’s really going on. People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton. I think it’s very, very unfair what’s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally ― I stress that, illegally leaked. Very, very unfair.

So, as you can see, the real problem isn’t that Flynn did something wrong enough for trump to personally ask for his resignation, it is all the fault of the intelligence community and the press.

Hell, Rush Limbaugh the other day even tried to blame President Barak Obama.  It is always the Democrats fault when Republicans break the law and get themselves in trouble.

As a result of this horrible treatment of Flynn, trump is determined to “get to the bottom of all of these leaks”.  He started tweeting, not about the Russia scandal, but against the people who brought it to light.

In one tweet he said:  “Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!”

In another he tweeted:  “The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!”

Falling right in line with their beloved leader, Jason Chaffetz and Bob Goldblatte sent a letter to the Inspector General at the Justice Department demanding an investigation into the – leaks.

It seems probable that the fact that an intelligence agency monitored the call, if it did, as well as any recording of the call, would be classified.  We have serious concerns about the potential inadequate protection of classified information here.

Finally, trump seems ready, according to reports, to investigate and “review” the intelligence community.  And, just to show just how serious he is about getting to the bottom of these leaks, he is willing to appoint a “real professional” to do this investigation and review of the intelligence services.

He decided that the best candidate is none other than Stephen Feinberg.  His credentials to run such an investigation and review?  He is a private equity executive and close ally of our beloved leader.  Needless to say, this has all the earmarks of a political purge of the intelligence community.

Of course that would be step three in dismantling our democracy.  Get the intelligence community to only agree with your worldview and keep them in line so you can control information and make the citizens too dependent upon your propaganda.

Of course we have seen this kind of behavior before.  We saw it with Richard Nixon.  People forget that the people who got caught breaking into the Democratic offices in the Watergate were called the “plumbers”.  Their original goal was to “plug all of the leaks coming out of the White House and other agencies”.  Remember where that got us?

As our adversaries are testing us, like North Korea, Iran and of course Russia, our beloved leader is way too busy trying to consolidate his power over us than dealing with real threats.  He overlooks things of importance and instead fixates on trivial matters that are of his own making.

There have been leaks in our government for as long as we have had a government.  That is almost unavoidable.  The only thing I watch for is if any real “classified” information is released to the public.  That would be illegal and the leaker should be punished.

But, having someone in your administration break the law and be exposed for it is not the same.  If the trump administration wasn’t so secretive, and more transparent, leaks wouldn’t matter that much.  As a matter of fact, leaks wouldn’t even exist.  But when you wrap yourself in secrecy and expect no one to notice what you are doing, leaks are inevitable.

During the campaign, trump “loved” leaks.  As long as they only happened to Clinton.  Now that he is in charge and operating like a dictator, he hates leaks and calls them “illegal”.  Dictators always use double standards.  If something helps them, great.  If the same something hurts them “get the bastards”.

We don’t know just how deep the new “plumbers” will go.  We don’t know just how much they are going to politically purge our intelligence agencies.  We only know that trump had declared war on our intelligence communities and he seems surprised that they aren’t going down without a fight.

The New York Times and the Washington Post seem to be emerging as the “police” on trump’s actions.  That is what an independent press is supposed to do.  They are supposed to investigate and report their findings to the American People.  I say – keep up the good work.

Let us be clear about one thing.  Flynn was apparently caught trying to undermine our government’s policies before he took office.  He was apparently caught trying to appease the Russians by telling them that things would get better and the sanctions would be removed after trump took office.  He apparently lied about the phone calls even to the Vice President Elect.  Then Pence took to the airways to tell the American the lies that Flynn told him.  Then the White House was informed just days after the inauguration about the lies.  It took trump three weeks to ask for Flynn’s resignation, all the while keeping the information from his Vice President.

The American People were told by the administration that Flynn was fired because of an “erosion of trust’ between him and the president.  Now, that very president who claimed he couldn’t “trust” Flynn is blaming the press and leaks for a “political assassination” of Flynn whom he called “a great guy”, the same person just a couple of days ago the president said was “untrustworthy”.

Either Flynn became so untrustworthy that he could no longer work in his position of trust, or he was a victim.  You cannot have it both ways.  Besides, please explain to me how if what he did was not “wrong” or “illegal” did he feel the need to lie about it.

The answer to this is real simple.  This isn’t about Flynn or anything else.  This is all about trump and his ego.  By hiring an untrustworthy person, it casts doubts about his “great leadership”.

We have heard over and over about how this was such a hard thing for trump to do.  Asking for Flynn’s resignation because of his loyalty to those who work or support him.  That is bullshit.  If someone around him casts a bad light on trump, they are gone.  It is that simple.  He will hold off if he thinks it will die down, but he is very willing to throw someone to the dogs to save himself and his ego.

Then, after the scapegoat has been sent out-of-town, he will launch into a tirade on those that exposed his incompetence and the incompetence of those around him.

We have a president who has lived his life based on causing severe distress on others.  He has been richly rewarded rather than being punished over his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy.  Those are not good traits to have when you are supposed to be the leader of the free world.

Only time will tell if “The Plumbers II” will be successful or if it will end in disaster like the prequel did for Nixon.  We can only hope that if it ends in disaster it will not bring down the American People, too.

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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Day 90. 

Another day, another mess.  Yesterday we saw some things that were expected and some things that were not expected.  We expected the most unqualified person ever to be nominated to a cabinet position get confirmed.  We saw VP Pence do his beloved leader’s bidding by casting the deciding vote for DeVos as Secretary of Education.

We saw Sen. Elizabeth Warren censored in the Senate for a debate over Sessions nomination for Attorney General.  Her crime was that she read a letter from Loretta Scott King about Sessions that she wrote in 1996 when Sessions was denied confirmation to a Judge position.

According to McConnell, that letter apparently was impugning Sessions by Warren and he asked that she be shut up.  The “impugning” words were not even Warren’s.  They were the words of Loretta Scott King.  McConnell must believe that a letter that is part of the congressional record already from a dead person has no merit.  So, he shut up Sen. Warren.

We saw trump’s bogus list of terrorist attacks that were “under-covered” by the media.  The list came straight from InfoWars.  When Kellyanne Conway was asked why trump hasn’t said anything about the murders by a white supremacist at a Mosque in Ottawa, she answered:  “he doesn’t tweet about everything”.  Especially when it is a white person attacking Muslims.

Additionally, Sean Spicer has been hawking the Atlanta Terrorist Attack to help justify the ban.  Only problem is that there has never been an Atlanta Terrorist Attack, just like there was never a Bowling Green massacre.

Then we have our beloved leader lying to a group of Sheriffs about the murder rate.  He called it the highest in 47 years, which is a bare-faced lie.  The murder rate in our country is really very low.  As a matter of fact, it is lower than when Saint Ronald Reagan was President in the 1980s.

But, as I said these were pretty much expected incidents.  Republicans will do anything to make sure the most racist Attorney General we have had in a very long time is approved.  We knew that the imbecile but very generous donor to Republican Senators got confirmed.  And we knew that trump would open his mouth which means a lie is inevitable.

Here is the unexpected part that no one is talking about.  Yesterday and over the weekend, our beloved leader told his newly appointed Secretary of State and newly appointed Secretary of Homeland Security they are both incompetent.

It began with his tweets and ended with his words.  He said that because of the stay on his ban “some really bad people are going to rush to this country so they can kill Americans”.  That means one of two things.  Either trump does not understand the visa program of our country, or he believes that his two newly appointed Secretaries and their entire staffs are incompetent.

If someone wants to come to our country, with some exceptions, they need a visa.  The exceptions are for people from certain countries like members of the EU and Canada, Mexico and some others.  If you live in one of those countries and want to visit us for vacation, you don’t need a visa.

However, the rest of the world does need a visa.  Including every single country listed on trump’s Muslim travel ban.  That means if a person in say Iran who wants to visit the U.S. who has not already been vetted and holds a visa must go through the vetting process before getting a visa for the visit.  Even if it is for just a few days.

And, since that person is coming from an area of the world that already requires “extreme vetting”, that will take a very long time to get the visa.  So, I ask how can a terrorist suddenly decide to “rush” to our country before the ban is put back in place, if it ever is?

Is our beloved leader saying that you don’t need a visa to visit our country?  Is our beloved leader saying that neither the State Department nor Homeland Security nor the host of other agencies involved in vetting are competent?  Just what is our beloved leader saying?

We keep hearing from him that we need “extreme vetting” for immigrants and refugees.  He has never defined exactly what “extreme vetting” is.  He has never said what we are already doing is bad and what is good.  He has never said what parts of our current vetting process needs fixing.

It takes at least 18 months and up to 36 months for a refugee to get vetted to the point where access to our country is granted.  From what I have heard from people outside the country, it can take at least a year to get a temporary visa just to come here on vacation.  I don’t know, it sounds pretty extreme to me.

Since trump is a world traveler, I am sure he understands visa requirements.  That means his complaint about all those “bad people” rushing to our shores is because his department heads are incompetent.  Why else would he say such things?

This whole mess amounts to one thing.  I do not believe that the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security are incompetent.  Nor do I believe for one minute that the staffs at those two departments are incompetent.  What I do believe is that trump is using his rhetoric as another scare tactic in order to ban Muslims from coming her at all.

I believe that these seven countries were just trial balloons to determine the public’s stomach for discrimination.  I also believe that more countries will be added as time goes by.  I further believe that if trump does not have any business dealings in your Muslim country, you will end up on the ban list as well.

But, the outcry from the general public was way too unexpected by trump and his team of haters.  They suddenly realized that the American People as a whole are not racist or anti-Muslim.  The found out that the American People are fair and honest and charitable people.  They found out that Americans are open to helping the oppressed.

That means the fear meter needs to be ratcheted up.  That means more lies and more scare tactics must be used even if it throws members of your own administration under the bus for the sake of raising fear.

Raising that fear even means making up terrorist attacks that never happened like the Bowling Green massacre and then complain that they were never covered.  Or, using a made up terrorist attack asking “what do we say to the families affected by the terrorist attack in Atlanta?”  Hey, fear is fear and that is all that counts in trump’s world.

I don’t know how the courts will rule on the ban.  I don’t know if the appeals court will keep the stay in place, cancel it, or modify it in some way.  All I know is that trump will not stop his hate and fear campaign.  He intends to follow Bannon’s advice and ban all Muslims from the country.  It is just a matter of time and a matter of how.

The one thing we can take from this incident is that trump is willing to blame everyone and anyone for his mistakes and his wrong-doings.  Even his newly appointed Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security.

Why would anyone want to work for this maniac?  Our beloved leader’s definition of “loyalty” is to keep you mouth shut when you are in his crosshairs.  Both of these Secretaries seem to have learned that lesson very early in their terms.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 88.

This weekend did not provide any relief to the trump maniacal behavior.  He continues to show just how much of an autocrat he intends to be.  There were almost too many stupid comments to know where to begin.

Of course, he just had to attack personally, the judge who placed a temporary ban on his immigration order.  He called him a “so-called judge” and went on to say that there are going to be “really bad dudes pouring into the country” because of the stay.  That must be because our State Department and other agencies don’t know how to conduct proper vetting before issuing Visas.

Then an appeals court refused to give immediate ruling to stop the stay.  During the arguments in the original case in Washington, trump’s lawyers basically told the judge to “stay out of it” and that he didn’t have any authority to even rule on the order because it involved “national security”.

The Washington State lawyer called that comment frightening, which it was.  If the courts say that such an order cannot be challenged, they will open the door for everything to fall under the category of “national security”.  For example, trump could then order a “registry” for all Muslims under the category and “national security” and no one could challenge that order.

In other words, the Judiciary Branch of the government would be toothless and become irrelevant, which is what dictators want.  They could even say that red-headed people were not allowed into the country because of “national security”.  Where would it end?

Then, trump has another problem or rather two problems with Russia.  The first problem comes because when he called Iran the #1 Terrorist state, Russia disagreed with him.  As I mentioned in an early post, Russia is probably Iran’s best ally.  Why would they be willing to go along with trump?  Or, do they think that trump will eventually go along with them?

Then during an interview with Bill O’Reilly yesterday before the Super Bowl, trump was asked about Putting being a murderer.  And, how could he support such a person.  Trump defended Putin even to go so far as saying “we have a lot of murders too.  Do you really think America is so innocent?”

We are talking here about a leader of a country who has murdered opponents.  He murdered his biggest opponent just 100 yards from the Kremlin.  He tried to poison that person’s second in command, who actually lives in New Jersey, and when they failed, they tried again just the other day.  His status is unknown at this time.

Putin has been accused of murdering opponent reporters as well as political opponents.  Does trump actually know this or does he care?  Is this the type of government trump wants our country to have?  With his and his administration’s rants against our press, it makes you wonder just what is in store for us.

As a result of the interview with Fox News, Putin is now demanding that Fox News apologize to him for the question.  What will trump do if his propaganda arm refuses to apologize and Putin takes exception to that lack of apology?  Will trump order his propaganda arm to apologize or support his backers at Fox News.

While even members of his Republican Politburo are backing away from that defense of Putin, his VP is offering wonderful praise for trump’s honesty about wanting to work with Russia and Putin and his personal attacks on a judge who ruled against him.

Our beloved leader now claims that all of the polls conducted in this country that say he is unpopular or any of his policies are unpopular, they are all fake.  The only polls that are accurate are the ones that say he is just wonderful.

His “alternative fats” master has been out and about spreading lies about incidents that never happened.  Kellyanne Conway talked about that Bowling Green Massacre which never happened.  Then when everyone jumped at her lie, she started crying about all the “haters” who are picking on her.  Maybe if she learned to tell the truth instead of continuously lying through her pearly white teeth, she might discover that people wouldn’t “pick on her”.

On another note, trump probably won’t turn against Fox News.  What you may not know is that one of the ads for the Super Bowl was censored by Fox.   Fox considered the ad originally to be aired by 84 Lumber to be too “controversial” and told them to tone it down or it couldn’t be aired.

The ad was basically against the Berlin Wall on the southern border.  In the original ad, there was a picture of an actually wall that was stopping a mother and small girl from entering the country to join the girls’ father.  Only, someone and put a double door in the wall that you only needed to push to open.

But during the game, you never saw the wall and you never saw the door that was put into it.  It stopped at a barbed wire fence and then showed a web site you could go to so you could see “the rest of the commercial”.

Then there were the “boycott” campaigns against Budweiser because their ad showed someone telling Augustus Busch to “go back to where you came from”.  Then there is the “boycott” campaign against Coca Cola because their ad was inclusive and included non-white people and non-English words in the song being sung.

I was laughing an awful lot this morning.  I read so many reports about the so-called “patriotic” half-time show by Lady Gaga.  They never noticed all of the subtle jabs at trump and his policies.  Nor did they notice the pro-LGBT agenda inside the show.  All of the trump supporters completely missed all of that.  Just shows that bubble watching makes you dumber than you think.

Finally we have the Propaganda Minister, Sean Spicer criticizing Saturday Night Live for their portrayal of him.  He said it was “mean-spirited” and they should dial it back a bit.  Sounds like he borrowed one of trump’s tweets about the show when they criticize him, which is every week.

Yes, it was another stupid weekend from a stupid man trying to pretend he knows how to be a president.  After two weeks of screwing over the middle-class with his cancelling the decreasing mortgage insurance for first-time homebuyers and stripping the protections people had from their retirement accounts being used by brokers just to make money for themselves, he delved in other more dangerous ideas.

He challenged a federal judge’s right to rule on an order as to whether or not it is constitutional.  He challenged the court’s right to even rule an anything he does.  He keeps attacking our press in order to eliminate all opposition.  He defended a murdering foreign leader.

He also went on a rampage about the attacker at the Louvre in France, but has remained silent on the murder of Muslims in their Mosque in Ottawa, Canada and the Mosque that was burned to the ground in Texas.

We are starting week three of trump’s so-called presidency.  We can only imagine what is in store for us this week.  I am sure it won’t be pretty.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 85. 

We are facing a lot of problems with our new president.  We are also facing a new president who believes that he was elected to be our dictator.  He has bullied our closest allies and sent loving kisses to our biggest adversary.

The main problem is that too much of our media is letting him get away with his “alternative facts” and seem to be afraid to challenge him and his supporters when they openly lie to the American people.

We have had several judges put stays on the executive order enforcing the Muslim Ban.  Yet, there are reports coming out of airports that Customs officials are secretly defying these lawful orders.  There are reports that people are continuing to be detained in violation of court orders.

We have lawyers at the airports saying openly that Customs is still not allowing them to speak to the detainees until after they have been released.  That is also a violation of several of these court orders.  Yet, the American people isn’t hearing about these contempt of court incidents because they at not getting the press they deserve.

Virginia has asked a court to force Customs to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for disobeying the court orders.  Customs has not upheld the LA court order stating that people in foreign airports cannot be kept from boarding planes.  The airport security at those airports are still blocking them from getting on planes to the U.S. claiming they are “following CBP orders”.  Meaning CBP is again disregarding the court order.

It is extremely difficult to find out just how many detainees there are because CPB won’t provide anyone that information.  It has gotten so bad, that even someone with a diplomatic passport, and was the former Prime Minister of Norway, was rounded up at the airport the other day because some Customs official saw a stamp from Iran 3 years ago.

Kjell Magne Bondevik the former Prime Minister of Norway said that when he landed at Dulles Airport, he was put in a room with Muslims from the Middle-east and told to wait.  After 40 minutes, he was questioned about his stamp that said he visited Iran in 2014.

His passport clearly states that he is a “former Prime Minister of Norway” and it is clearly marked as a diplomatic passport.  Take note that this happened on Tuesday.  Days after all of the court orders placing a stay on the executive order were issued.  In case you are wondering, he came to this country to attend yesterday’s “Prayer Breakfast” that trump attended.  How diplomatic of the trump administration.

The most egregious act of spreading “alternative facts” came last night on Hardball with Chris Matthews.  I don’t understand why, but Chris Matthews seems to fall all over himself trying not to upset Kellyanne Conway.  That was very apparent last night.

Conway appeared on Matthews show about the Presidency and Power which was part of his college tour.  When discussing the Muslim Ban, Conway offered this up as an excuse why t was so necessary.

I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.  Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.

She is right.  The American People would have learned about it for the first time last night, and this massacre was never covered simply because IT NEVER HAPPENED!  With that huge lie just sitting there screaming to be hit out of the park, Matthews let it slide and did not confront Ms. Liar with any facts.  Mr. Hardball wilted again.

The facts about this are simple.  Two Iraqi refugees were living in Bowling Green, KY when ABC News heard rumors about their activities in Iraq.  They wrote about those rumors.  That prompted the FBI to look into the matter.

They found the two’s fingerprints on IEDs that were used in attacks against our troops in Iraq.  They were also found to be sending money to Al Qaeda in Iraq to help them get more IEDs to attack troops in Iraq.

The two were indicted and convicted of crimes and are now in jail.  There was never a massacre in Bowling Green that wasn’t covered by the media.  This morning Conway tweeted that she meant to say “two terrorists living in Bowling Green” which is another lie.  She clearly stated that we didn’t know about this horrible massacre because it wasn’t covered by that awful press.

Secondly, there was no six month ban on Iraqis after that incident in 2011.  President Obama ordered a review of the vetting process of Iraqi citizens before they were allowed to immigrate here.  He DID NOT PLACE A BAN on Iraqi immigration like Conway and trump want you to believe.

They are also saying that the seven countries were named as terrorist sponsors by the Obama administration so even they knew the dangers.  What the Obama administration said was that with terrorism in those countries and the civil wars raging in most of those countries, they considered them dangerous.  As a result, they issued travel warnings to Americans traveling to those countries.

Conway used this argument last night too, and Matthews let it drop without any pushback.  The sharpest question last night came from a student.  She asked that if Christians from the seven counties were being allowed exemptions to the ban, doesn’t that place a religious test on people, and isn’t religious tests unconstitutional?  The trump supporter on the panel hid his head and would not speak up in defense.

Again, Matthews did not bring that up as a major point and try to get an explanation about it.  Nor, during his interview with Conway did he bring up a similar question.  He simply allowed her to put out her “alternative facts”.

Chris Matthews tries to act like he is a tough customer who won’t let people get away with not answering his questions.  Sometimes he does a good job at it.  However, recently he seems to be reluctant to keep that same “Hardball” technique he claims to use all of the time.  That is a problem.

If people like Matthews who calls his show “Hardball” won’t use hardball questions and challenge lies when they come up, how can we expect other reporters to do it.

As a result, the media has wilted under the pressure of the trump administration.  We have a president who spreads lies as if they were facts.  He insults our friends and allies all the while blowing kisses to Vladimir Putin.  He makes awkward and veiled threats against countries which is extremely dangerous.  He even has former Prime Ministers from allied countries held and questioned even when traveling on Diplomatic Passports.

And, the press lets him get away with it more and more.  Instead of headlining these dangers to our democracy, they headline his feud with Schwarzenegger about ratings on the Apprentice.  I guess that isn’t too controversial for our “investigative reporters”.

I hate to paint the press with broad strokes like this.  There are a handful of real reporters out there, but they are too few and too far apart, and they don’t the coverage they deserve.

Our beloved leader and his surrogates are leading us down the primrose path towards authoritarian government and our illustrious media is letting him get away with it.

To steal and change the words of a Simon and Garfunkel song “Where have you gone Edward R. Murrow?  Our lonely nations turns its lonely eyes to you.”  Will anyone in the national press with the high visibility show the guts and integrity of Edward R. Murrow or will they continue to bow down to our new dictator?

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 84.

Those are the words that best describes our new president.  Not to mention ignorant and clownish.  This evaluation comes from a few things that has taken place over the weekend and yesterday.  Besides the Muslim Ban he imposed, trump has made a complete ass of himself on three other occasions.

One came when he had another phone call with the President of Mexico,.  It was reported that trump told him that if he doesn’t “take care of his bad hombres, maybe the US would go down there to take care of them”.

What a brazenly stupid thing to say.  Our president is threatening another country’s president with an invasion to “deal with their bad hombres”?  The meaning was clear since he had also added that the Mexican military “was scared of those bad hombres, but ours isn’t”.

Then there was the phone call with the Australian Prime Minister.  Please take note that in all of the conflicts and wars we have fought since the start of World War II, Australia has been the one country that has fought by our side.  They have been our staunchest ally.

Yet, trump doesn’t care about those facts.  The talk centered around the agreement we have with Australia.  There are about 3000 immigrants being held in a camp by Australia.  Our country has agreed to take in 1250 of those immigrants “after they have been properly vetted.”

Our president doesn’t like that plan at all.  He told PM Turnbull “I don’t want these people”.  He even kept saying the number was 2000 instead of the 1250 that was agreed to.  He did say that it was “my intention” to honor the agreement.  Of course that leaves wiggle room for him to back out.

According to reports, when Turnbull tried to turn to other topics, trump said “this is the worst phone call yet” and ended the one hour call after 25 minutes.  To show what a real diplomat does in such situations, when Turnbull was asked about the call, all he said was:  “These conversations are conducted candidly, frankly, privately.  If you see reports of them, I’m not going to add to them.”

The worst came yesterday.  During a press briefing, Spicer brought out Michael Flynn who said that Iran was a bad player.  He ended his part of the briefing by saying:  “we are officially putting Iran on notice” for what he called a provocation.

This all came about because Iran on Saturday test fired a medium range ballistic missile.  The administration said it was a violation of the Nuclear Deal which trump hates, and a violation of a UN resolution.  Additionally, Houthi militants, who are Iran backed, launched an attack on a Saudi naval vessel off the coast of Yemen.

So, we have now “put Iran on notice”.  But, no one said what that notice means.  We have heard things like more sanctions, which trump and his new Secretary of State don’t think are worth placing since they only hurt American businesses, to military intervention and just about anything in between.

I think it might be wise if someone in trump’s bubble of ignorance remind the beloved leader that Iran has two main allies.  The first in China and the second is Russia.  You know, trump’s good buddy Putin is a full on backer of Iran.

If Russia and China had not backed the nuclear deal with Iran, it would never have been concluded.  Yet, trump and his bubble of idiots are threatening their ally.  Does anyone in the White House think anything through?  Or, more importantly do any of them have a brain cell that is alive?

Three U.S. officials briefed reporters on the matter.  They said:

We are in the process of evaluating the strategic options and the framework for how we want to approach these issues.  We do not want to be premature or rash or take any action that would foreclose options or unnecessarily contribute to a negative response.

Our beloved leader ran his campaign crying about foreign wars like the one in Iraq, but now he is apparently looking to start one with Iran.  And, don’t think that is out of the question either.

As late as November 2015 his Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, said that it was inevitable that we would be in a war with China over the South China Sea and that our major enemy was Islam and we would be in another serious shooting war in the Middle-East.

This is the same man who trump illegally named as a permanent member of the National Security Council.  Yes, I said illegally named to the Council.  But, only Congress can stop it.

According to Title 50 of the U.S. Code, Section of 3012, which established the National Security Council, it “shall be composed of” the president; the vice president; the secretaries of state, defense, and energy; and “the secretaries and undersecretaries of other executive departments and of the military departments, when appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at his pleasure”.

As you can see there is no mention of a Chief Strategist being on the Council.  In other words, if trump wants his chief strategist on the Council, the Senate would have to “advise and consent” the selection.  Meaning they would have to approve it.

Yes, there is a lot of talk about President Obama’s people “sitting in some of the meetings”, but they sat in the back with the aides of the members and were not “permanent members” of the Council.  Plus, they kept their mouths shut and did not help make policy.  There is a huge difference no matter how you cut the semantics.

With all of this going on, it is very easy to see that a war with Iran is very possible.  And, if that happens, what makes anyone think that China and Russia will sit it out?

Plus, I find it very coincidental that at the same time Russian backed rebels in the Ukraine have renewed fighting in violation of the ceasefire.  If I were someone like Alex Jones at InfoWars, I might suggest that trump promised his lover Putin the Ukraine and Georgia if he gave us Iran.  I’m not saying that because I don’t know and don’t make false accusations like Alex Jones or trump.

Yet, even if that were true, that doesn’t stop China from getting involved.  But, with Bannon saying we will “inevitably” be at war with China within the next 10 years, they probably don’t care if China tries to help Iran.

This just shows us that the belief that trump is totally unqualified to be our president is factual.  He has tried to bully our Congress to get his way.  He starts fights with our allies and friends. He makes threats against countries like Iran.  He has a “chief strategist” who seems to believe that wars are fun and you shouldn’t pass up on a good one.  Especially if it can be classified as another Crusades against the barbarian Muslims whom he hates above all.

The current administration is extreme, bellicose, reckless, and very dangerous.  In just the last five days trump has insulted one of our closest allies, threatened to invade another country in Mexico, and “put Iran on notice” without any definition of exactly what that means.

The scary part is that the two people who were classified as the “grown ups in the room”, the two Generals at DOD and DHS have been remarkably silent.  Which tells me we have no “grown ups in the room”.  It seems like “Mad Dog” Mattis is nothing but a whimpering puppy.

There is good news about all of this though.  Gas prices will go up.  Since Iran admitted the test, oil prices went up $1 per barrel.  That will surely make Exxon/Mobile really happy.  Guess how much better it will be with Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Just think, this has all happened in the first 12 days of trump’s administration.  It makes you wonder if the world will survive the first 100 days.  The resistance must continue.  We cannot get tired of resisting this madman.  Otherwise we will all lose.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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