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Day 105. 

I think it is time to discuss the Republican lie about “states rights”.  According to Republicans, especially conservatives, that whatever they want as law should be “up to the states to decide”.

This came up again yesterday when trump rolled-back the transgender rule for schools about which bathroom and shower they should be allowed to use.  The order said that children should be allowed to use the bathroom and shower based on their actual gender and not what is necessarily on the birth certificate.

Yesterday, after months of saying he supports LGBT rights, he rescinded this rule.  there is some confusion over the order in that of all people Betsy DeVos was originally against the order.  Sessions reportedly pressured her because he needed the Education Department to back it.  It was also reported that trump pressured her as well, and in the end she caved.

We knew this was coming because the day before, Sessions’ Justice Department told the courts they would no longer support the rule in the courts.  Then, in typical fashion, they all said “this is something better left to the states to decide”.

I have always found it dangerous the way Republicans use “states rights” so selectively.  This stupidity goes back a long way.  We had a Civil War over the issue of slavery.  Yet, today, the south still says that it was fought over “states rights”.  Only, the only “states rights” that they fought over was the right to keep slaves.

So, even if you buy their lie about it fought over “states rights” they still lost the war.  Yet, conservatives and especially today’s Republican Party keep trotting out the “states rights” claim for anything they don’t agree with.

However, the only things that seem to fall under “states rights” are laws that affect the civil rights of people across the country.  This same cry of “states rights” was the crux to the Jim Crow laws that discriminated against African-Americans for so many years.

Other topics that seem to fall under their “states rights” cry are things that affect all people, but may hurt profits of certain businesses.  Like clean air and water.

To name just a few, here are some of the things that Republicans want the states to decide.  Jim Crow Laws, Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion Rights, Bathroom Rights for Transgenders, Voting Rights, Clean Air Regulations, Clean Water Regulations.

These are just some of the issues covered by their lie.  If you look at all of these issues you will discover that the laws affect all parts of the country, not just a particular state.

The Jim Crow laws were so strict, that an African-Americans who were riding on a train from the north in was forced to leave the coach they were sitting in and go to sit in the “colored coach” when the train crossed into a southern state.  That even included service members during World War Two.

Same-sex marriage is another one that affects everyone.  If a gay couple in New York get married and need to move to another state that does not recognize same-sex marriages because of their job, they could lose their married status for taxes and health coverage.

Abortion rights is really convoluted.  Under Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court that women have a constitutional right to have a  “safe and legal abortion”.  Republican controlled states hate that idea.  They want to change the law in their states, claiming “states rights”.

The other oddity in this is that these same Republicans say that the ACA put the government between you and your doctor and that is the biggest reason it needs to be repealed.  Yet they are very willing to get between a woman and her doctor if comes to abortion or birth control.

They also cry about “religious beliefs” and say it is okay to discriminate against same-sex couples trying to get married based on the business’ “religious beliefs.  Yet they want to deny “religious beliefs” for women who want an abortion whose “religious beliefs” disagree with their viewpoint on the issue.

Many states have passed what they call Photo ID laws.  In order to vote, you need to show a Photo ID.  However, in order to make sure that only the right people have Photo IDs, they do some odd things.  They close all of the DMV offices in certain areas that are mostly populated by African-Americans and Latinos.  They reduce the number of early voting stations to one in heavily African-American and Latino areas while opening more polls in less populated areas but are mostly white.

Here in the Soviet State of North Carolina, they actually did research on the types of Photo IDs that minorities usually have.  Then they said those photo IDs were not acceptable.  The courts caught them on that issue and said they acted with “surgical precision” to restrict minority voting rights.

Our current Head of the EPA says that only states should have the right to pass clean air and water regulations.  He says that only states know what effect these regulations have on “business”.  He doesn’t seem to think that the dirty air from his state will drift over other states.  That isn’t his problem.

On the other hand, they won’t cry “states rights” if a law goes against what they want.  Just look at the gun rights issues.  When a state, like Maryland, passes a law banning assault weapons and large capacity ammo, these same “states rights” liars run to court calling the law “unconstitutional”.

Under the Constitution, the states do have rights.  However, the same Constitution says that the Federal Laws supersede state laws.  Meaning if the Federal government passes a civil rights law, the states cannot ignore it under the guise of “states rights”.

We are a nation.  Yes, it is made up of several states.  And, the states have a right to determine most of their laws.  However, since we are a “nation” we cannot have 50 different laws dealing with simple human and civil rights.  As a nation, we need to ensure that all citizens regardless of their zip code have the same human and civil rights.

We must protect our minorities from the excesses of the majority.  We must make sure that civil rights don’t end just because a couple or person is required or chooses to move from one state to another.  We cannot live in a country where one state can pollute the air of their neighbors.  We cannot live in a country where one state can pollute the drinking water of another state.

The unfortunate thing about this is that “states rights” has become code words for “legal discrimination”.  It has no other meaning the way Republicans try using it.  The only time you hear them cry “states rights” is when they pass a law that makes discrimination legal in their state.

Civil rights are protected under our Constitution.  Sates do not have the right to change those rights in their state.  They do not have the right to legally discriminate against any minority group.

Rescinding this order will allow more bullying in schools.  It will allow more attacks against LGBT students.  It will make our schools less safe.  And, it targets children the most.  And, it is all in the name of “states rights” not in the name of “civil rights”.  To use trump’s own words, the first time that a transgender student is attacked in a bathroom or locker room, you can place the blame and the blood at trump’s door.

It is the primary responsibility of the president to protect people and their rights.  It is especially his responsibility to protect our children.  He has just failed “bigly” under the false claim of “states rights”.

Disgusting!

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 103. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

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Day 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 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 77.

As each day goes by we are starting to live more in the new German Democratic Republic (GDR) which was really communist East Germany during the cold war.  The real question is about this stupid Berlin Wall.  Is it really intended to keep “them” out or is it really intended to keep “us” in?

We need to ask these questions because every day something new is coming out of trump’s mouth that increases “crackdowns” not only on undocumented immigrants but on the rest of us as well.

A leaked copy of an upcoming executive order is showing that his Muslim ban is gong to start really soon.  I know he and his lackeys are saying it is only a ban against people from certain countries, but all of the countries are Muslim majority countries and the ban includes language to allow non-Muslims in even from these same countries.  That means no matter what you want to say, it is a Muslim ban.

Yesterday he signed his wall order.  He is so obsessed with his Berlin Wall that he is going to break his promise and make us pay for it.  No matter how many times he is asked about his promise to have Mexico pay for it, his answers change every time he is asked.

This order also says that “sanctuary cities” will lose their Federal funding if they don’t stop.  So, just hat exactly is a “sanctuary city”?  A sanctuary city is nothing more than not turning in undocumented immigrants to federal authorities just because they get a ticket.

All of the cities will turn over undocumented immigrants who commit serious crimes for deportation.  However, since they also need undocumented immigrants to call the police when needed, they won’t turn them over if they don’t commit serious crimes.

The trump administration is trying to make it sound like they are deliberately harboring serious criminals.  That is not true.  The trump administration says they want to deport all of the undocumented immigrants who are criminals and have criminal records.  Only, they don’t define what a criminal record is.

Do they consider a speeding ticket as having a criminal record?  Do they consider driving a vehicle with a busted tail light a criminal record?  In reality, they are crimes, so they must be including them in their criminal record definition.

There have been right-wing wackos on all kinds of social media saying that police officers who don’t help deport undocumented immigrants every time they stop one for a minor traffic violation is violating their oath to defend the Constitution.  No, they are not.  Local police take an oath to uphold the laws of the city, county or state they will be serving.  Only Federal Employees swear to uphold the Constitution.

Besides, why is so offensive if a police officer does not turn over a law-abiding undocumented citizen but it is heroic for a Sheriff in some red-state county stating he would “arrest any federal law enforcement official who tried to enforce legally passed gun control laws”?  The only difference is the first is doing his job correctly and protecting the people who live in his city, and the other is following right-wing nut jobs idea of guns for every white Christian no matter what the criminal record says.

Then we found out yesterday that trump has decided that the EPA cannot put out any scientific information without his political staff reviewing it.  He is openly stating that censorship of anything he personally doesn’t like will be the rule under his administration.  Yeah, like some nut job like Spicer or Bannon know anything about science.

He has threatened to “send in the feds” if the crime problem in Chicago doesn’t decrease soon.  Only, Chicago per capita is not leading the nation in murders.  It actually ranks 18th.  Besides, what does “send in the feds” mean?  Is he going to send in more FBI Agents?  Is he going to send in the National Guard?  Or, is he going to send in Army?

In order to send in any “feds” he will have to declare a state of emergency and/or martial law.  If he feels he can do so over murder rates, what will stop him from doing the same thing to other localities?  What will he decide constitutes “enough is enough” that will trigger his sending in the “feds”?  Will we see troops on the streets of so-called “sanctuary cities” to round up those damned “illegals”?  Anything will become possible.

Then we have that ridiculous claim by trump about those “illegals” and “dead” people all voting for Hillary Clinton and that is why he lost the popular vote in the election.  There is no evidence for his claim, so he is planning to have a “major investigation into the matter” to prove he is correct.

In an interview on ABC he even went so far as to say that he “knows everyone who voted twice voted for the other side and he got no votes there”.  Funny we already have proof that is a lie.  A lady admitted during the early voting period that she voted for trump twice and is facing charges for that crime.  Plus, three people close to trump including his own daughter and Bannon are registered in two states.  I am sure they voted twice for Hillary Clinton.  Bannon apparently got ruffled and he cancelled his Florida registration – yesterday!

Most of the pundits are claiming that this is just a scam to help pass more voter restriction laws.  They are partially correct.  But, this goes far beyond just voter restriction laws.  It goes to the heart of his real plan.  Control the population.

Once his bogus “investigation” gets completed, he will announce with all the pomp and circumstance possible that he was right and that therefore we need more control to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  He will announce his big plan for us to be required to carry a National Identification Card.  He will probably claim that you need your National ID to vote.

But, don’t be surprised when the National ID card includes things like “sexual orientation” or “religion” or “handicaps” or a host of other labels.  Then since we as a nation have a tendency to move around a lot, we will need to keep the voter records straight, so you will probably see permission papers to move from one state to another.

The argument will be that way the government can purge you from one state’s voter records so you can’t vote in two different states.  Additionally, you will be required to submit death certificates to the voter registration office when a family member dies.

This “investigation” is needed by trump so he can “prove” that he was right and that he is the most popular person who ever lived on the Planet Earth.  In order to make his dream of establishing an authoritarian government, he needs to be able to show how popular he is so the people won’t revolt against his idea and Republicans will go along with him.

Don’t think this is all too outlandish even for trump.  These ideas have been floated from time-to-time in our country before.  The idea of a National ID card has been around for at least 40 years.  The first time I heard of it was under the Nixon Administration, and far right-wing nuts have proposed it periodically ever since.

The State of Arizona tried to begin the process when they passed their “papers please” law.  The courts overturned that law, but it is still in the wings waiting to be reintroduced.  What will happen if trump gets an ultra-conservative to the Court and he starts his own “papers please” law at the federal level?  Do you really think it will be overturned?

So far, he hasn’t ordered any rights to be denied.  But, if he signs the executive order on immigration he will get the ball rolling.  Prohibiting immigration based on religion is unconstitutional.  Once that ball rolls along, what will be next?

We have been watching a president who disregards the law.  Has serious ethical problems.  And, lies out of his ass every time he opens his mouth.  Just what country are we living in?

I know that his hard-core supporters are all loving these moves.  They want to kick out or at least separate from the rest of society everyone who isn’t white and/or Christian anyway.  We are just in the starting blocks.

 

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Day 76.

There have been a lot of words and terms used to describe donald trump.  I have come to the conclusion that all of them are probably correct, except things like honest, believable, and humane.  In the first week of his presidency, he has started a war with the press, he has decided that only he can decide what is “true” and what isn’t, what information from the government can be made public, how to screw first-time home buyers, how to take away health care coverage from the poor and how to line his own pockets.

Yesterday, he very openly did something you have never seen before.  He sat in the Oval Office and signed an executive order that was intended to make himself more money.  He signed an executive order that will help push forward the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipelines.  Problem is he owns stock in the company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline and that company’s stock went up right after he signed the order.

Yes, his team had originally said that he had sold off his stock in June.  But, the statements from Spicer during a press briefing indicates he has not sold off the stocks.  Nor, has there been any paperwork filed to show he has sold the stock.  In the briefing Spicer said that a few thousand dollars is not at the top of the list of a man who has made billions.  So, the idea he sold the stock was a lie.  Gee, how about that?

There has always been the worry about conflict of interest, but this is living proof that it does exist and will continue to exist as long as he refuses to properly divest himself from his businesses.

He claims that these two projects will create tens of thousands of jobs.  The fact is that combining both projects, there will be about 20,000 jobs created for a period of one year.  Once the project is completed, there will be about 65 permanent jobs between the two pipelines.

And, the oil that is going to be piped down these two lines, especially the Keystone XL pipeline is not intended for the U.S. market.  It is intended to be shipped overseas.  That will not help our economy or help our energy independence, it will only help the profits from which trump will personally benefit.

Instead of these meaningless projects, if trump really wanted to create jobs and help our manufacturing and our citizens he would instead order a change over from fossil fuel to clean energy.  By doing that, he would create an estimated 15 million jobs that would last at least 20 years.

Plus the permanent jobs number would remain in the millions because these systems would have to be maintained.  Wind turbines need constant maintenance.  Solar panels need constant cleaning and periodic replacement.  Tidal generators require constant maintenance.

Additionally, since the source of this new electricity would be free, the cost of our energy bills would be drastically reduced.  Meaning without any “border taxes” our manufacturing would see a possible boom because their energy costs would plummet.  But, apparently trump doesn’t own any stock in clean energy companies, so he isn’t interested in making the change.

He has issued orders that federal workers cannot discuss any business in emails, twitter, phone calls, or any other form of communications, including to members of Congress.  In essence, he has placed a gag order on all federal workers.

He has frozen all contracts and grants with the EPA and told the agency to remove its climate change page from its website.  When the Parks Administration tweeted about carbon dioxide in the air, he made them take it down immediately.  He is doing everything to ensure that the only thing the people of America get from their government is only what he wants them to get.  In an email that did get out, one agency was told that these forms of communications “could find its way to the press” and therefore no one can use them in an official capacity.

He is continuing his rantings about “illegals” voting in the last election.  This moron is so obsessed with himself that he cannot graciously accept victory.  He continues to be hurt by the fact that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.  His “alternative facts” on that it is because 3 – 5 million votes were cast by “illegals”.

Of course he offers no proof.  Now, he is calling for a massive investigation into this fantasy of his simply because Alex Jones of InfoWars told him it was true.  We have a real conspiracy theorist sitting in the White House.  Even Spicer screwed up during the press briefing about this issue.  He was asked several times about it and he offered his “proof” by citing a Pew Paper on the issue.

He claims that Pew wrote that 14 percent of votes cast in our elections were cast illegally.  That is a total and flat-out lie.  14 Percent of votes cast?  As a matter of fact, Pew wrote after this last election that there were no indications of voter fraud.  Not one Attorney General or head of the Election Board in any state reported any voter fraud like trump is claiming.

Besides, if there was this massive voter fraud, what makes everyone think it was intended to help Democrats?  In the early stages of the election I found 3 cases of voter fraud being investigated by states.  All were helping Republicans.  Two by filling out “incomplete” mail-in ballots and one case of a woman who admitted to voting for trump twice.

Maybe we should let him do his investigation.  But, if it is discovered that he was the recipient of that massive voter fraud, I bet he announces nothing was found.  No, this is all cover for his desire to issue National ID cards and “papers” to control us and our movements.

He has hinted that today will be “a great day for national security”.  He supposedly is going to sign two more of those Republican claimed unconstitutional executive orders.  The first is to stop immigration from mostly Muslim counties.  Especially Syria.  It is reported that six other nations will be added to the list.  Those countries include Iraq which has a lot of people who helped us during the war and was promised immigration here for their help.  If this ban goes in, they will be at risk of losing their lives because of this clown.  That will not make our troops happy.

Furthermore, any ban on Muslims will help our enemies recruit more people into their cause.  The leader of ISIS before the elections said, “I pray that Allah hand America to trump”.  He will be able to tell the Muslim world that trump has declared war on Islam, not on terrorism.  Which also means he is putting us in the crosshairs for another serious terrorist attack on our shores.

The second order is supposed to be about his Berlin Wall on the Mexican border.  He has hinted that he will order the wall to be built.  Of course, we will be paying for the wall, not Mexico.  I am still wondering how many gun towers will be placed along the wall to shoot anyone trying to get over it.  He hasn’t said anything about that yet.

We now have the beginning of our authoritarian government forming.  First, you lie, lie, lie.  Then you put a gag order on everyone who works for the government to control information coming out of it.  Then you line your pockets with executive orders that do nothing to help the economy.  Then you openly discriminate against Muslims simply because you don’t like them.  Then you build a Berlin Wall along one of our borders.

If all of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, you are right.  We saw this “big league” in Germany in the 1930s.  The only difference is that Muslims and Mexicans have replaced Jews as the enemy of our “pure race”.

I really wish I didn’t have to make comparisons to the Nazi’s, but it is difficult not to do so with trump’s actions.  In Germany there were gag orders on the entire government.  There was self-dealing by Hitler making him extremely wealthy.  There were lies after lies after lies.  Then there was the Jew who was blamed for everything wrong with Germany.  The parallels are just too close to ignore them.

I am sure that trump lovers will believe these actions are exactly what the country needs. However, I am also sure that the rest of the country is beginning to become somewhat fearful of our future.  And we need to be fearful with trump at the head of our government.

The simple fact is that trump cannot install his authoritarian government without Republican’s help.  But, as we have discussed before, they are laying the foundation in several states around the country.  So, I don’t foresee any help from the spineless Republican members of Congress.  Just look at McCain, Graham, and Rubio.  They all said they have “serious reservations” about Tillerson’s Russian ties to be named as Secretary of State, but they all voted for him anyway.  So, we obviously can’t trust them anymore than we can trump.

It is up to the people to stop this madman from putting in place his authoritarian government.  It begins now.  It begins by mobilizing and making sure Republicans suffer historic losses in the 2018 elections.  And no, it is not too early to start.

In the meantime, we need to flood our Senators and Representatives with negative calls, emails, tweets, and letters to tell them to stop these insane and mostly unconstitutional actions by their leader.  We need to keep score on which ones help us stop this lunatic and the ones who support him.  Then, we need to target the enablers in 2018.

If we are not prepared to fight back, we will lose our freedoms, our democracy and our country.  Do not let the shirts keep marching along.

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