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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Day 155. 

All of a sudden, our beloved leader has fallen love with our depleted military and our stupid generals.  That is what he has said about our military for almost 2 years now.  Suddenly, the military isn’t so depleted that he can’t use it as a toy, and our generals are all really smart and “outstanding”.

But, that also leads us to potential “big time” trouble as trump would say.  Now that he has fallen love with our military, the next possible target would be North Korea.  And, that is where the big time trouble would be.

North Korea is not Syria.  North Korea is not Iraq.  North Korea already has nuclear weapons.  And, they have a child version of trump as their beloved leader who has killed his own family members because he thought they were a threat to his power.

That means that all of the talk about “taking care of North Korea” that trump has been uttering is even more dangerous.  We have a carrier group near the peninsula.  What if their child killer decides to make a preemptive strike against that group with nuclear weapons?  We have thousands of our sailors in harm’s way like we haven’t since the cold war ended.

And a preemptive strike if North Korea should test nuclear bomb places the entire peninsula in danger.  Ever since the Korean war ended with its cease-fire, we have treaded carefully there.  The leaders of that country have been belligerent for years.  They continuously bluster about how great their military is and how wonderful they are.  They tell their people that means they would win any war against the south and the U.S.

North Korea has one of the largest standing armies in the world.  They are willing and many of the hard-liners are eager to fight.  Yes, it is most likely that a war in Korea would result in a win for us and our allies, but at what cost?

Is it worth starting a war because of the behavior of North Korea?  You must remember, Seoul is just 35 miles from the North Korean border.  There are about 20 million people who live in and around Seoul.  That means the city is in range of North Korea’s massive artillery. That means even using conventional weapons, the North could kill millions of South Koreans.

Don’t forget our forces stationed in South Korea either or the American business people who live and work in Seoul.  On top of that, South Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world.  If there is a war, the country would be devastated and need to rebuild again costing billions of dollars.

Every year the U.S. and South Korea holds exercises in the country.  One of the objectives is to determine what would happen if a war did break out on the peninsula.  All of the exercises so far has shown there is no good option for a war.

Something does need to be done about getting North Korea to get rid of their nuclear weapons.  But, is war the answer?  It may come to that point.  But are we there yet?  For the first time, China is starting to put pressure on North Korea where it hurts.  North Korea gets most of their money from selling coal to China.  China just sent back all of their coal shipments and told North Korea to keep them.

China is not looking forward to a war in Korea either.  Assuming that the U.S. and its allies would eventually win such a war, do you really think that China wants a border with a unified Korea that is backed by the U.S. with possibly U.S. troops on its border?  Which means, would China decide to send troops in if North Korea is on the brink of defeat as they did in the 1950s?

Then we have the agreement with South Korea.  In that agreement we are not supposed to use any military force against North Korea without consulting South Korea first.  The people in South Korea are getting very nervous as tensions on the peninsula rise.

Even if we do consult with South Korea, what if they say they don’t want the U.S. to use a preemptive attack on the North?  Do we ignore our ally and do it anyway?  Will our beloved leader play chicken with the lives of millions of our ally’s people?

And, what about Japan?  Japan is already in reach of North Korea’s missiles.  What happens if the North decides to attack Japan as well?  There is no doubt that Japan will retaliate, and we will have no choice but support our ally there as well.

Finally, what about our own Congress?  Any attack against North Korea would be considered an act of war against a foreign country.  Only Congress has the authority to declare such action.  So, an unannounced preemptive attack by the administration against North Korea would be unConstitutional.

So I hope beloved leader is consulting with the leaders of Congress right now and letting them know what he is planning on doing.  Otherwise, he will break the law if he goes ahead with a preemptive strike.

But, more than that, we need to look at and understand what other enemies might do if we attack North Korea.  What might Russia do?  What might Iran do?  Will Russia take a preemptive strike against North Korea as a sign they can go ahead and invade Ukraine?  Maybe Iran will decide it is a good time to invade Iraq to take over that country?

Maybe Iran would think it is a good time to actually attack Israel.  What then?  That could totally destabilize the mid-east.  Then we would be looking at war across the board.

Handling North Korea is not the same as bullying your political opponents.  It is not the same as sending missiles into Syria after telling the Russians and Syrians to leave the area.  It isn’t the same as dropping a huge bomb on ISIS.

We are talking about striking a country that has a large and competent army.  We are talking about striking a country with a leader even more unstable than our leader.  We are talking about a real war with potentially tens of millions of people being killed.

All of the talking heads, especially on the right are talking about how trump is learning on job and getting better.  I wrote yesterday I don’t agree with that analysis.  I still don’t.  We will get a real understanding what trump has learned and whether or not he has any idea of what his job is when we see how he handles North Korea.

If he continues with his “gut” and makes a rash decision concerning this situation, it cold spell disaster for the Korean peninsula and for the world.  If it is true that trump only listens to and does what the last person he speaks to says, we better hope a sane person is that last one.

This weekend Christians are celebrating Easter. Jews are celebrating Passover.  North Korea is celebrating the 105th birthday of the country’s founder.  The first two celebrations are celebrations of peace.  The third is a celebration of dictatorship.  The third could be the only one worth watching.  Will North Korea simply hold their parade and go home, or will they do something like test another nuclear weapon, launch test missiles, or launch a preemptive attack on our carrier group or South Korea?

The first two scenarios would be bad, but not something to start a war over.  The last two would mean war.  And, how trump reacts to one of the first two scenarios could also mean war.  We can only hope that cooler saner heads prevail.  Unfortunately, the actions so far from these two leaders don’t give us too much confidence.

We can only watch and wait.  Despite all of the stupidity in the world over the last 70 years, this is the closest we have come to worldwide disaster since the Cuban Missile Crisis.  We averted that disaster because there were two leaders who understood the consequences.  Both leaders were able to overrule their hawkish military leaders.  Does trump have the guts to say no to his Generals like Kennedy did?  Will he even order them to get clearance from him before launching any attack against North Korea?

This issue is way beyond politics or trying to look and talk tough.  This is a situation that could lead to life and death for millions of people.  This is when real leaders stand up and resist primal instincts to simply attack.  Rational thought needs to be used.  That is where our problem is.  We haven’t seen a lot of rational thought from trump so far.  If he really is learning his job, now is the time to show that he has learned to rationally think.

 

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Day 149. 

In the last twenty-four hours we have heard lots of people talking about how “presidential” the attack on Syria was.  Pundits are falling all over themselves congratulating trump for his “presidential stand” against the dictator in Syria.  You are even hearing how the bromance between trump and putin has ended because of the attack.

I don’t agree with either of those assessments.  I know that just because you use the most powerful military in the world to blow some shit up does not make you presidential if that is all you have.  And, so far, trump has shown us that is all he has.

What everyone is missing is that we have bombed and blown shit up in Syria for a while now.  President Obama sent in bombs more than once in Syria, but he was attacking ISIS not the Syrian government.  When he requested authorization from congress, something he should have done, to attack Syria after the chemical attack in 2013 with basically the same target and plan as this one, he was rejected by the same Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell who claim that now it is being “presidential” because their lackey bombed Syria without asking them to stick their necks out on the issue like Obama did.

And, for all of you “pure constitutionalists” out there, Obama followed the Constitution in getting approval from Congress to launch an attack on a sovereign nation.  Beloved leader did not seek approval which means he did not follow the Constitution.  Which also means he used “executive overreach” to launch his attack.

Yesterday I asked, what next?  We still don’t know what is being planned next, if anything.  We hear that if Assad uses chemical weapons again, he will be attacked again.  But that is all.

Additionally, we don’t know how much damage was actually done.  It was reported yesterday that Syrian planes were taking off from the airfield that was attacked less than 24 hours later.  They were flying attack missions against the same area of Syria that they chemically attacked earlier in the week.  So, it would appear the attack, in Mitch McConnell’s own words, was a “pinprick”.

But, even more importantly, we need to know, and we have a right to know, just what beloved leader plans to do next.  He has officially dragged us into the civil war in Syria.  Bombing ISIS as Obama did was one thing, bombing Syrian forces is another.  Since we have now more or less picked sides for the whole world to see, what will he do next?

Just a couple of weeks ago we were told by the empty suit, Rex Tillerson, that who runs Syria is up to the Syrian people.  Things changed Thursday night when trump attacked that leader directly.  So, are we now fighting on the side of the rebels and are we going to try to oust Assad?  Are we going to increase air strikes against not only ISIS but the Syrian military as well?

If we manage to oust Assad, what then?  Who will run Syria?  Will Russia have a say in who is the new leader?  What happens if Syria becomes another Iraq?  Will we continue the western policy of putting together countries without regard to what the population is and what they want?  Or, will we consider splitting up the country so each ethic or religious sect gets their own country?

If we are going to expand our presence in Syria, does that mean ground troops?  If there are ground troops, how will that affect things with Russia and Iran who already have troops in the country?  Will we decide to split up the country under American, Russian and Iranian zones like we did Berlin after World War II?

That would mean that each of the three countries would be forced to keep their troops in Syria for a very long time.  Are we willing to do that?  If we do, what does that mean to the rest of the middle-east?  What if Iran demands the zone bordering on Israel?  More importantly, what will Turkey say about that?  Would we need to include a zone for them?

Syria is a mess.  The civil war has been raging for six years.  A lot of the country is in total ruins.  Even if we find a peaceful solution to this mess, how does Syria recover economically?  How does Syria recover from this horrible situation?  Who will be responsible to help rebuild the country?  Will we even consider helping them, or hide back in trump’s “America First” slogan?

Beloved leader has put himself in a real mess as far as I am concerned.  The problem is he has no clue how to get out of it.  We are facing lots of problems and we don’t have the people in place to handle all of these problems and offer proper solutions to them.

As we have talked, the State Department and the Department of Defense are horribly undermanned because trump hasn’t even named anyone to fill the empty desks that smart people who could analyze and help solve these problems usually fill.  Thursday night trump officially became a war president.  And, he is ill prepared to be a war president.

Finally, trump claimed he launched the attack because of the heart wrenching videos of the victims of that horrible chemical attack.  The very same people who have been hoping to come to the U.S. to get away from the war and be saved from becoming victims of future attacks.  If he was so moved, why is he still banning refugees from coming here?  That just shows me he really isn’t “moved” by those videos, he just used them as an excuse to blow up some shit for some good press for a change.

As you can see, just blowing shit up does not make one presidential.  Having a plan, knowing what you will do next, and be able to explain those two things to the American People make you presidential.  I am afraid we will be waiting for hell to freeze over before trump becomes presidential in any meaningful way.

Remember his “secret plan” to defeat ISIS?  We still haven’t seen that plan either on paper or in action.  That tells me he has no plan to follow-up his attack on Syria with.

The major reason Iraq is such a mess goes back to George W. Bush and his neo-con VP Dick Cheney.  They launched an attack on Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein without a plan to follow once that happened.  As a result, there has been 14 years of civil war in that country, too.

If trump thinks that blowing shit up is being presidential, what can we expect when he looks at North Korea?  Will he decide to blow shit up there too without a real plan for follow-up action?

Sorry folks, but without thinking things through beforehand and having a real plan for what to do, blowing shit up is political not presidential.  We need a president not a continuous political candidate at this critical time in the world.  Problem is trump only wants to be a continuous political candidate.  He has shown no real interest in becoming a real president.

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 82. 

Another day of ignorance has ended in the usual ignorant manner we are getting used to.  That is a real unfortunate reality in our country today.  Chaos reigns and stupidity is rampant.  The only question is what is next?

Yesterday, the Acting Attorney General for the United States of America said that she would not defend the executive order on immigration by our beloved leader.  Within hours she was fired.

Later last night, the acting Director of Immigration was demoted back to deputy director and another person was named as the acting Director of Immigration.  There was no reason given for this move, but the statement made it clear why it happened.

The man named as Acting Director had held the position in ICE that enforced the law and was the one responsible to tracking down and deporting undocumented immigrants.  Since trump has promised to deport 11 million people, you can bet it will start pretty soon now.

There is also a report that during the transition period, this executive order was already being worked on.  The problem is that it is further reported that senior staff members of Congress supposedly secretly worked on the ban and then signed a non-disclosure agreement with trump.

I have heard that Mattis would be the adult in the room when it comes to policy from the White House.  Yet, there he was standing right behind trump and applauding the signing of this horrible executive order.  I don’t find that as being much of a grown up in the room.

To be fair, it has since been reported that he was unaware of exactly what was in the order and is now angry.  So, why has he kept quiet about the order and not show the spine that Sally Yates showed in defying the order?

I have lost a lot of respect for Mattis over this simple case.  He should be yelling at the top of his lungs.  His beloved leader has just made the lives of several hundred if not thousands of Iraqi citizens who have helped our troops in jeopardy, and trump doesn’t seem to give a shit about that fact.  The old general should know better.

Finally, there are about 100 diplomats in the State Department that disagree with trump’s order as well.  In the State Department, there is something called the Dissent Channel.  Under this policy, State Department workers can formally dissent about various issues.

Part of this policy is that no retaliation can be taken against those signing the dissent memo.  It works this way.  If people in the State Department are against any issue or policy, they can write a memo to the Secretary of State expressing their dissent.  They all sign the memo and the Secretary of State has 90 days to respond to them.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department said:

The Dissent Channel is a longstanding official vehicle for State Department employees to convey alternative views and perspectives on policy issues.  This is an important process that the Acting Secretary, and the Department as a whole, value and respect. It allows State employees to express divergent policy views candidly and privately to senior leadership.

Unfortunately, trump doesn’t seem to feel the same way.  In his press briefing Sean Spicer was asked about this dissent memo.  He said: “They should either get with the program, or they can go.”

I am not going to argue that trump didn’t have the authority to fire Sally Yates.  He has the authority.  However I am questioning why he fired her.  Was it because he is trying to “keep us safe” or because he considered her defiance and opinions about the order as a personal betrayal.  To me it is clear that it was the latter.

I will say this as clearly as possible.  When we take the oath of office we are swearing to defend the Constitution, not our beloved leader.  It was the responsibility of Yates to voice her concern when she felt something was not legal.  Even in the military we have an out from the oath if we know that an order given to us is illegal.  The oath says we will “follow all legal orders from those appointed over us.”  That means, if we believe that an order is illegal, we don’t have to obey it.

Sally Yates did what she believed was right.  She did not see the order as being legal, and therefore said she and her department would not defend it.  She was open and honest in her beliefs.  But, trump doesn’t want anyone who is open and honest.  He wants obedience.

The White House could have called her and tried to speak to her and “convince” her the order was legal.  They could have listened to her objections and come to some kind of compromise that would have served both sides.  But, no, they did not want to speak to her.  She had the spine to defy our beloved leader and she had to go immediately.

Spicer said that she had “betrayed” the Department of Justice.  If you disagree with the beloved leader, you are betraying your department not doing your job.  Their full statement says it all:

Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.

It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.

Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons.

If you want to hear the real irony in all of this, when Ms. Yates went through her hearings when she took her office as Deputy, none other than Jeff Sessions asked if she understood that sometimes she will have to say “no” to the president if she disagrees.  The person who trump is relying on to help him ban all immigrants told the person he just fired that she was right in defying him because of her legal beliefs.

There is a lot of talk about whether this order is legal or not.  In my opinion it is illegal.  The fact that he banned “travel and refugees” from certain countries is not by itself illegal.  However, when he announced that “Syrian Christians would be given quick exemptions” things changed.

When Rudy Giuliano opened his mouth and admitted that he helped work out a plan to ban Muslims without making it look like they were banning Muslims, things changed.  This order contains a hidden “religious test” on who gets in and who does not.  Religious tests are unconstitutional.

Additionally this executive order does not make America safer.  It actually makes us less safe than we were last Friday morning.  In case you have forgotten, the main ally we have in our fight against ISIS is, wait for it, IRAQ.

So, it naturally makes perfect sense that we ban Iraqis from immigrating to our country.  After all, they are the ones losing lives in the fight against ISIS in Mosul.  We just told our main ally in our fight against ISIS that we are happy they are dying to help us, but don’t count on being able to come here and live in peace.  You are not welcome.

What is our beloved leader going to do if Iraq should tell our armed forced to get the hell out of their country?  Is he going to break international law and defy them and even send in more troops?  How is that all going to make us safer?  It will only help ISIS recruit more terrorists than this stupid order is already doing.

The other day I called trump an incompetent fascist.  His actions since that post has proven me right.  Personal loyalty to him is the only quality you need to work in his administration and government.  How long will it be before he demands everyone take an oath of loyalty to him?  He has already floated the idea of non-disclosure forms that everyone in the government should sign so he can keep everything secret from the public.

Ultimately the courts will decide if the ban is legal or not.  The problem is even if the court says it is illegal, will trump and his administration defy the court?  It has been reported that Customs Agents at Dulles Airport defied an already existing order to allow those detained to speak to lawyers.  There are even reports that Customs Agents forced immigrants to sign away their visas and even green cards before deporting them.

But don’t worry, this is just the second week of his administration.  I am sure we will see a whole lot more incompetence and stupidity in the coming days.  Don’t forget, the real internal battle hasn’t started yet.  It will begin in earnest when he announces his nominee for the Supreme Court.

If that nominee is a right-wing radical, which he probably will be, and Democrats fight it, they will be accused of obstructing the president for political reasons.  They will claim that Democrats should not be allowed to fight the nomination because after all, the president has a right to nominate whom he wants and the Senate should just go along.  Just like Republicans did when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland a year ago.

I could say the fun is just beginning.  However, the consequences of all of this is way too serious to call it fun.  The great businessman who now wants to be our beloved leader is showing his incompetence every day.

But, don’t worry, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 80. 

In the last two days trump has proven that one word describes him better than anything else.  His actions have shown a total lack of competence in anything except feeding his own ego.

The sudden ban on Muslims from seven Muslim countries and making it retroactive shows his incompetence.  He never thought about what his actions were going to do.  The ban even included people with Green Cards, meaning they are legally living in the U.S. and not on any visas.  Green Cards are the first step towards citizenship.

There were cases of women who are green card holders being detained and threatened with deportation while traveling with their children who are U.S. citizens because they were born here to U.S. Legal Residents.  And, of course we have to look at that 80-year-old woman who wanted to visit her grandchildren in the U.S. and was detained.  Clearly she is a horrible terrorist looking to kill us all in our beds.

This ban is unconscionable to begin with, but it is very obvious that no one even considered thinking about what it would mean.  Many of the people who were detained at the Airports were actually in the air before trump signed his obnoxious executive order.  They were traveling on visas that were approved by the State Department before the order was given.

Finally last night, several judges put a temporary stay on the deportation of these people.  They even ordered that people with Green Cards had a right to speak with their attorney.  Yet, the Department of Homeland Security through the Customs and Border Patrol refused to allow lawyers to see their clients for at least four hours.  They defied the court orders.  Which in itself is illegal.

We also have to take into consideration that none of the seven countries that are on this ban list have had any of its citizens create a terrorist attack on our shores.  NONE.  However, some other countries that have had their citizens commit terrorist attacks in our country are not on the list.  Especially Saudi Arabia which was where 15 of the 9/11 terrorists came from, not to mention most of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden.

Why would this be?  Maybe it is because trump does business in those countries.  Although the project was cancelled in December, trump tried to get buildings built in Saudi Arabia.  Maybe their not being on the list has to do with wanting to leave the door open for business in the future.

Here is a question for our moronic president.  What are we supposed to tell the thousands of Muslims who are bravely serving our country in uniform in places like Iraq and Afghanistan?  How can you expect them to keep serving when you are blocking their relatives from entering our country?

Then yesterday trump signed another executive order to prove his incompetence.  He ordered a change in the make-up of the National Security Council which is supposed to bring all intelligence heads together to share information and set policy for security of our country.

That was something that was determined to be needed after 9/11 and we have tried desperately to share information between agencies ever since.  Yet, trump decided that people like the head of the Department of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff don’t need to be in the policy meetings, “unless it involves their expertise”.

But, guess who gets a permanent seat on the National Security Council?  Stephen Bannon.  That’s right, the white supremacist and democracy hating Chief Policy Advisor of donald trump gets a permanent seat at the table.  The expertise of the Director of National Intelligence isn’t necessary, but this pig is apparently vital.

And, if you read the executive order issuing the ban on Muslims coming into the country, you will find two sets of fingerprints on it.  One is Jeff Sessions who trump wants to make our Attorney General and the other is Stephen Bannon.

Sessions has railed for decades about the “dangers of allowing immigration” into the U.S.  He especially hates the idea that Muslims can actually get in.  He has been waging a war on Islam for as long as I can remember.  Then we have Bannon who believes in white supremacy and gave it a voice on his Breitbart Blog.  They call it Breitbart News, but you won’t find any real news on the site.

Don’t forget, it is also Bannon who thinks that Putin is just they type of leader we need in the U.S.  Why bother with all those pesky elections when the “leader” can claim victory regardless of what the vote count actually is.  He has admitted that his goal is to totally tear down our government.  The only thing that can replace our democracy is a dictatorship.

And, what does our Republican Party have to say about all of this?  Nothing!  They have been remarkably silent, except Paul Ryan who seems to think it is perfectly fine to discriminate against immigrants just because they are Muslim.

Every day trump is in office, he manages to display his incompetence with another tweet, executive order or sentence out of his mouth.  He has surrounded himself with people who could easily be called anti-American and anti-democracy and he doesn’t care what damage he does to the country.

The positive side is that the people are fighting back.  When the ban went into effect and it was announced that people were being detained, thousands of people showed up at the airports to protest this idiocy.

At the various airports, hundreds of lawyers showed up to volunteer to represent those being detained pro bono.  As I said earlier, the only way we will be able to save our country from this tyrant is to take to the streets and let our feelings known.

We have to keep fighting.  We have to keep yelling.  We have to keep telling trump he is an idiot and we don’t want him as our president.  We have no other choice.  We cannot allow trump to destroy our country.

We are seeing trump commit government terrorism on his own people.  And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 78.

The year was 1939.  Hitler was in power in Germany and World War II was on the horizon.  Hitler’s Jewish Problem scenario was well underway already.  In this country, two things happened that turned out to be the wrong decision.  First was a bill introduced in Congress to allow several hundred Jewish children to be brought to the U.S. as refugees.  That bill was voted down.  The second was the St. Louis incident.

The St. Louis incident was not over St. Louis, MO. it was about a ship called the St. Louis with 908 Jewish Germans looking for refuge in the west from Nazi Germany.  Later the ship was renamed the shipped of the damned.

The original destination of the St. Louis was Cuba.  These Jews were fleeing Germany.  They were refugees looking to stay alive.  When the ship arrived in Cuba, the Cuban government refused to allow them to disembark.  They told them they were not welcome in Cuba.

The ship then set sail for the U.S.  However, the U.S. also told them they were not welcomed.  They even had a Coast Guard ship follow the St. Louis to ensure it did not enter U.S. waters.

Finally, Canada said they were not welcome there either.  So, the St. Louis had no where else to go.  It was a ship with no destination.  It eventually had to return to Germany.  Over one-quarter of the 908 passengers who were on that ship seeking refuge from Nazi atrocities were murdered in the camps.

At the end of the war, the entire world was shown the horrible conditions of the concentration camps and the millions of people who were systematically murdered by the Nazi Regime.  The world felt shame because they refused to help the Jews in Germany when they begged for help, like the people on the St. Louis.

The U.S. actually took another look at our policies about refugees.  And, since then, we have been more open to accepting refugees from around the world.  Even still, the vetting process to gain refugee status is extremely tough.  It takes several agencies and anywhere between 19 and 36 months before a refugee is cleared to enter the country.

Things were going pretty well for a long time.  Now, we have a president who doesn’t think so because we are allowing too many Muslims into the country with refugee status.  He doesn’t think the U.S. should allow Muslims to seek refuge in our country, and sure as hell not be given that status.

So, today, which is also Holocaust Remembrance Day, our stupid president placed a ban on refugees from seven Muslim countries.  Those countries are Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.  He said this is being done to keep out radical Islam terrorists and mentioned 9/11.

Only, none of these countries have had any connection with 9/11 or any of the terrorist attacks or attempted attacks in our country since then.  Most of the people who committed terrorist attacks in our country came from Saudi Arabia.  Egypt, Lebanon and of course the U.S. are the other countries where terrorists came from to attack us.

Syria is the most blocked country.  The ban on Syrian refugees is undetermined at this point.  The order places a 120-day suspension of the entire U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and a 90-day ban on all entry to the United States from countries with terrorism concerns.

He also mentioned that we are going to begin using “extreme vetting”.  He never says just what extreme vetting is.  We already have the strictest vetting process in the world, so what else does he want to add?

Of course, just to be sure everyone understands just what this ban really means, he also said he would give special treatment to Christian Syrian refugees.  In other words this ban is simply a religious ban and nothing more.

Our country has seen this type of stupidity before.  If you look back in our history you will discover that at one point Jews were banned from immigrating here.  Catholics were banned from immigrating here.  And other religions were banned from immigrating here as well.

To make matters even worse, there are hundreds of people in Iraq and Afghanistan who were expecting Visas to enter the U.S. that will now not get them.  These people have helped our service members in their fights against terrorists and the Taliban.

They acted as translators and were promised visas to the U.S. for their help and their safety.  Now, our president has potentially signed their death warrants.  How nice of him.  Ask the service members who worked with these people how they feel about this ban.

We have a president and a Republican Party that claim to stand for “Christian Values”.  This order says they are liars.  This is no way this ban can be called “Christian Values”.  Christians in Syria and other areas in the mid east are persecuted.  However, the vast majority of people being killed and “beheaded” by ISIS and other terrorists in the region are Muslims!

Assad and Putin have mercilessly bombed civilian populations in Syrian cities and killed thousand of people including children.  Children are starving to death in refugee camps and Syrian cities because aid cannot get to them.

And, now our president says they cannot come here because they are Muslims.  He says they are not our problem and we don’t want them here.  He says that we do not follow the Christian Values he and his party claim.

Nearly half of the Syrian population have been displaced by the civil war.  All they want is somewhere they can go to be safe and raise their family.  Only, our president says he doesn’t care about them.

Our European allies are not too thrilled with this order either.  It puts them in the crosshairs for refugees now especially since they don’t have the U.S. to turn to.  The United States Of America has now told Muslims the same thing they told the Jews before World War II.  Our president has told them to “fuck off and die”.

Additionally, he has just handed terrorists the recruiting tool they most wanted and need the most.  They can now point to this ban and claim that America is waging war on Islam and not on terrorists.  Way to go mr. president!  With enemies like you, ISIS doesn’t need friends.

He has said that our values do not mean the same for them as it does for Christians.  He has said the our values do not mean the same for people of color.  He has imposed religious tests in order to get into our country.

If you are a Christian and accept this ban, you are guilty of just as much hate as trump is.  You have no values, no conscience, no morality, no compassion, and no soul.  You are part of trump’s evil empire.

Is it any wonder people like me have turned away from your Christianity?  Is it any wonder anyone would even consider following such a heartless religion?  This is a national shame and trump and his Christian followers more than anyone other group is guilty of bringing this shame upon our country.

If you agree with this ban, I guess it is time to tell you the same thing Bannon said:  “You should just shut up”!

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