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Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Category

Day 127. 

All I can say is this has been one week from hell.  First we have the Americans Without Health Insurance Act, then we have the budget for the rich, and then we have trump still claiming “my wires were tapped” by the former President even though everyone including the heads of two congressional committees have said there is no evidence that it happened.  But, don’t worry, the reason is because Obama apparently had the British tap his wires so there won’t be any evidence.  Something the British claim is patently false.

One of the beneficiaries of the massive cuts to federal agencies, Rex Tillerson from the State Department, said that the cuts were okay with him because “we won’t be in as many shooting wars” anymore.  What?  The very next day he told North Korea that “we aren’t taking any options off the table, including military options, if they don’t comply” and denuclearize.

Does this clown have ant idea what his job is supposed to be?  It is the job of the Secretary of State to help keep us out of shooting wars, not get us into them.  He is supposed get our allies to support us and to even get our adversaries to help stop North Korea.  In other words, he should be talking to China to help us get rid of the nuclear weapons in North Korea rather than threatening war that China will not look favorably on since they border North Korea.

China is the only real ally North Korea has.  If we can get them to do something, then we won’t have to go to war.  But, trump administration is more interested in flexing muscle than in keeping the peace.  Remember Seoul, the capital of South Korea is only 30 miles from the border.  And, North Korea has it lined up in their sights of artillery.  There are only 20 million people living in Seoul, but what the hell, they are just “foreigners” and not white ones either.

Then we have trump’s budget director Mick Mulveney trying to justify all of the budget cuts with absolute stupidity.  For instance he claims cutting off all funds to Meals on Wheels is justified because, “it hasn’t shown it has worked”.  In other words, “do those old farts really need to eat?”

He also claimed that the wipe-out of the Public Broadcasting Corporation is “good for the single mom who has two kids.  She shouldn’t pay for that program anymore”.  Only, that is the best place for her children to get educational television that is also entertaining.

On the other hand, it is perfectly fine for that single mom who has two kids to lose her health insurance so Mulveney and his kind can get a huge tax cut.  It is perfectly fine for her to pay more in taxes so the rich get even deeper cuts.

You can see where this is taking us.  The rich matter.  Everyone else does not.  It is okay to take people off their health care if the rich get the benefit.  It is wrong to pay for good educational television since the rich needs to kick in also.  Just so long as you claim that you are being “nice to that single mom”.

There is not a singe item in the budget cuts proposed that will have a negative affect on the rich.  But, every proposed cut will have a negative affect on everyone else.

That single mom must pay for the Berlin Wall on the southern border that won’t do anything to secure our borders.  But she is being saved from paying for something that she actually uses and probably needs.  See how wonderful and nice this administration is to this poor lady?

As far as Meals on Wheels go, it is reported that the programs helps keep people out of nursing homes.  What is the benefit of that?  Only about one-third of the Medicaid budget for each state.  But, we apparently don’t have to worry about that either.  With the proposed Medicaid cuts, there won’t be any money to put these old people into nursing homes either.

This is what the administration wants to do.  Health Care, cut it.  Workplace Safety, cut it.  Diplomacy, cut it.  Meals on Wheels, eliminate it.  Public educational television, eliminate it.  Environmental Protection, cut it.  Climate change research, eliminate it.  Health Science research, cut it.  Weather forecasting, cut it.

You can see the pattern.  When trump said he wanted to “drain the swamp” what he really meant was that he would bring in a bunch of billionaires to pass budgets and laws that make life better for themselves.  Screw the rest of us.  What he has done so far proves that he is keeping his campaign promise.  He is screwing us really good.  Hope you like it.

Maybe he is beginning a new phase of eugenics.  Maybe he is making a mockery of the old adage of “only the strong survive” and making it “only the rich survive”.  Maybe he is just trying to cull the surplus population.

I am sorry, but our beloved leader is on a definite mission.  That mission has nothing with America being exceptional or even normal.  That mission is to make sure the rich get richer, non-whites are kept out, and the rest of us struggle to survive.

Today our beloved leader will meet with the Leader of the Free World, Angela Merkel.  Doesn’t is sound weird that we will meet with the leader of the free world instead of the way it used to be?  But, that is what trump has given us.

But don’t worry.  Things will definitely get better.  Congress just passed a law that will allow veterans who suffer mental health problems to buy guns easier.  Since only 20 vets commit suicide per day, so let’s give people who should not have guns because they are a danger to themselves to add to the numbers.  How’s that for culling the surplus population and helping our vets with their health problems?

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

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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 97. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 96. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

 

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Day 95. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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The election is over.  Donald Trump has pulled out a victory.  There are a lot of people wringing their hands over this election and wondering how the pollsters got it so wrong.  Only, they really didn’t get it all that wrong.  It was close.  3 percent, which is what they said Clinton was leading by is within the margin of error.  So the outcome wasn’t all that much of a surprise to me.

Besides, if you have closely watched politics for the last 30 or 40 years like I have, you knew this day was coming.  It was just a matter of time.  The current crop of Republicans have nurtured this fear and hate among Americans for that long and now they have what they wanted along.

The real winner was hate and fear.  Donald Trump played those two up big time and it radiated with the trolls enough to give him a sound base.  Plus, Clinton was a flawed candidate, so the formula was there for this “upset”.

Hillary Clinton is far more qualified to be President than Donald Trump will ever be.  However, she is also a terrible campaigner.  There were plenty of times I scratched my head and wondered just what the hell she was thinking.

All of that doesn’t matter anymore.  Donald Trump is the President Elect and on January 20, 2017 he will take the oath of office.  Though I doubt that he will take that oat with any seriousness.

I am not a fortune-teller.  I keep telling my kids I had to work for a living because I was honest and I failed mind reading school.  However, there are some things that can be looked at as being real possibilities.

For one, if you remember Richard Nixon and remember just how much of a sleaze he was or if you remember his using his office to “punish” his political opponents, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Donald Trump will be worse than Richard Nixon when it comes to payback.  If I were Paul Ryan right now, I would be watching my back really close.  I imagine that he will be the number one hit on Trump’s list.  His cool endorsement of Trump will not be forgotten, especially when the new Congress takes over in January and the speakership is up for grabs.

Some other things that seem to be certainties.  Over 20 million people will lose their health insurance.  Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Benefits will be privatized.  Medicaid will be doled out in block grants meaning that states won’t all use the money for what it s intended and therefore even more people will be without health insurance.

The last time the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House it resulted in the biggest economic meltdown since the great depression.  With Dodd/Frank surely being repealed, we will be on course for another meltdown.

Our planet will be allowed to slowly heat up and die.  If you are planning to leave that nice beach house in Florida to your kids, forget about it.  By the time they inherit it will be under water.  But as long as oil companies keep getting richer, that is all that matters.

Muslims will be in the firing line.  Donald Trump said they should not be allowed in the country.  That means refugees will have another target on their back with the possibility of being thrown out.  And, Muslim citizens should expect to be “monitored” by the new Administration since they are all terrorists, or at least terrorist sympathizers.

Those criminal immigrants will all be deported.  Well, most of them.  I am sure he won’t deport his criminal immigrant wife.  She violated immigration laws and lied on her citizenship papers.  Those are felonies.  That makes her a felon, but I am sure he won’t deport her, unless he is looking for a quick divorce.

By the time the next off-year election in two years happens, you won’t have to worry about those photo ID laws that restrict votes.  In order to make sure that you belong here, you will have to have some kind of proof.  Since you may not be expected to carry around your birth certificate with you all of the time, you will most likely have to get national papers to prove your citizenship.  So, you will just have to show them when you vote.  You will also have to show them every time you get pulled over for speeding.

If you were a Trump supporter and expect to get that great paying job he promised, I am afraid you will be disappointed.  It isn’t coming anytime soon.  As a matter of fact, I would be surprised if the Federal Minimum Wage wasn’t eliminated entirely under his administration.  So if you get a new job, it will probably be at around $5.00 per hour, if you are lucky.  Remember it was Trump that said “a low minimum wage is not bad for our country.”

The deficit and debt are both going to balloon out of control.  You cannot promise huge tax cuts reducing revenues and then spend more money on defense.  The math just doesn’t add up.  If we are running a deficit now, and we cut taxes, and then increase defense spending, the deficits will go higher not lower.

These are just some things I believe we can look forward to under a Trump administration.  There will be others as well that won’t be good.  The Supreme Court will either be so conservative it won’t matter what laws are passed, or he will figure out a way to do away with it entirely.  He will find several people in Congress that will go along with the second part very easily.

During this campaign Donald Trump made a lot of stupid promises that will probably never happen.  I seriously doubt he is going to build that stupid wall.  However, he can harm the country in a lot of ways that most people don’t even think about.

His closest ally, Steve Bannon in an interview several years ago said he admired Lenin.  Not because of his communist beliefs, but because he totally tore apart the government.  He went on to say that is what he wants to do to our government.  He didn’t say what he would replace it with, but one can only imagine he wants an authoritarian government.

The one true lie that the right-wing extremists have been saying for years is that liberals or progressives want to run you lives.  Liberals or progressives do want control over the financial markets to protect consumers and our economy.  They do want social safety nets like Welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance.

However, that is it.  Liberals or progressives do not want to tell you how to live your life or what you should believe in or who you can love or who you can marry.  They simply want civil rights for every citizen including minorities.

It is conservatives that want to tell you all of those things.  They want to tell you that you don’t have a right to vote unless they say so.  They want to tell you that you cannot marry the person you love if they disapprove.  They want to tell you what religion is correct and proper and that is the rules you must live by.

They want to define who a citizen is.  Birthright is something they would love to see go away in some forms at least.  They want to tell you how to live minute by minute.  If you object, you are a pervert or commie and need to be locked up.

Donald Trump is the epitome of that belief system.  That is why the right-wing extremists are so overjoyed with his victory.  They believe their White Christian male dominated paradise is just around the corner.

I am not Donald Trump.  I won’t argue against the legitimacy of his election.  I won’t start rumors that he was really born in Moscow which is why he loves Putin so much.  He won the election and he will be our next President.

However, I won’t call myself his “loyal” opposition.  I will simply call myself his opposition.  I will fight him every chance I get.  When he or his party try to pass something I believe is wrong for the country, I will speak out.

I believe that Donald Trump is the most dangerous unstable person this country has ever elected to be our President.  I only hope that he is so terrible in his first two years his opposition will be able to take back control of the Congress.  That is assuming we still have an opposition party by then.

All anyone can do is hold your breath and hope he doesn’t blow up the world too quickly or ruin our country beyond repair.  Both of those ideas are not out of the realm of possibility with Trump at the top.

I served my country in uniform for 20 years.  I will continue to serve my country by voicing my opinion about what I believe is right and wrong.  I will continue to be that voice crying out in the wilderness.  Maybe, just maybe, the American people will listen to me and people like me and realize what a dunce they just elected to be President.

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I will admit that tonight’s debate between the two VPs was a bit better than I thought it would be.  However, it wasn’t anything to write home about either.  Both men had good points and both men had bad points.  Both interrupted each other, and Kaine interrupted more than Pence.

As I sat and watched, my wife blurted out, “why doesn’t Pence answer any of the questions he is asked?”  My wife is not a political wonk like I am.  She listens when it is election time, but doesn’t necessarily follow politics every day.  Still, even she noticed that Pence had a penchant of not answering the questions he was asked.

I was about to give an answer when she blurted out “is it because he is a Republican?  They never seem to answer questions on any show or at any debate.”  I think that pretty sums up an amateurs view of the debate.

When it came to appearance, I have to give the edge to Pence.  He seemed a bit calmer than Kaine.  At times I thought Kaine was on way too much coffee or those energy drinks filled with caffeine.

There was way to much talking over each other and the moderator all night.  It made it difficult to even hear what they were saying.  It did calm down a bit as the night went on, but it was a problem for me all night.

There are two things about Pence that needs to be pointed out.  The first point is that Pence kept saying “he never said that” or “I never said that” when the whole world knows they did say that.

For example, Pence said that “unquestionably Putin has been a better leader for his country than Obama has been for our country”.  That is on tape and Pence tried to distance himself from his own quote.

The one time that Pence made a good hit was when he brought up the “basket of deplorables” comment made by Clinton.  Unfortunately, Kaine was able to answer with the fact that Clinton apologized for the comments.  Then he asked if Trump has ever apologized for any of his insulting comments.  Pence never answered.

The most disturbing thing to me was when Pence was talking about Syria and “safe zone” protection and what to do about Aleppo.  He made a comment that we should be willing to face down Russia “militarily”.  That is scary.  Is he suggesting that we start World War III over Syria?

The other blunder to me was when he was asked what he would do if North Korea fired a missile at the United States.  He said the “first thing is to rebuild our military”.  Isn’t it a bit late to “rebuild our military” after a missile is fired at us?  He either was too intent on sticking to his talking points or he didn’t understand the question.

The simple fact that Pence kept saying “he never said that” will give the Clinton camp plenty of clips for upcoming ads.  They will be able to go after both Pence and Trump with this issue.

The second point is that Pence did not “defend” Donald Trump all that much.  There were a lot of times when he needed to defend Trump he deflected the question and went on to something else.

This is supposed to be Trump’s running mate and his right hand man.  Yet, he refused to show total loyalty to his top of the ticket candidate.  There were times I thought he was actually interviewing with the right-wing of the party for a future run as President rather than trying to help win this election.

The moderator was absolutely terrible.  Not in the way she asked the questions or tried to keep control which was difficult at best, but rather in the haphazard way the questions were asked.  It was almost like she was using an alphabetic list of questions rather than trying to tie everything together.

For example there was a lot of discussion about Russia and then later in the debate, she finally actually asked a question about Russia.  That should have come up when the candidates brought up Russia and not wait for it to hit the alphabetic list.

The poor “ranking” of asking questions aided to the disjointed manner of the debate.  There was no cohesion and no rhythm to the questioning which made things worse.

I came to the conclusion that neither candidate was too interested in the Independent Voter.  Both candidates seemed to be trying to ramp up their bases.  I think that could have been because neither believed that a whole lot of people was going to be watching.

Many of the issues I wanted to see brought up were never brought up.  For example, Pence is one of the staunchest anti-LGBT people in the country but Kaine never hit him on that issue.  Too much was left out and that is a real shame.

My overall opinion is that stylishly Pence won the debate.  However, on content Kaine won the debate.  In the end, Clinton’s campaign will get more points out of the debate to hit Trump with than the other way around.  That could be the real deciding fact.

The next Presidential debate is Sunday.  Problem is that over the weekend Hurricane Matthew is due to hit the southeast all the way up to Virginia.  Unfortunately for the candidates, that story will dominate the headlines more than the campaign.

With that in mind, it is to the benefit of the one leading when the hurricane hits.  But maybe we will get lucky and the hurricane will stay off shore more and not affect the country very much.

To me this was more of a draw than anyone winning.  Regardless of what you think, I don’t see this debate moving the needle very much.  Now we have to wait and see if Trump can put his foot in his mouth again and subtract any thought that Pence won.

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