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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Day 96. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

 

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Day 95. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 92. 

The beginning to the end of our daunting national problem is at hand.  Republicans approved Tom Price to be the next head of the Health and Human Services Department.  This proves their determination to correct something very wrong in the country.  They have known for the last seven years what the real problem facing our country really is.  And, it is way out of control.  Too many people in our country have health care insurance.

Think about it, our uninsured rate has fallen to about 10 percent.  What the hell is going on here?  How can the richest country in the world actually believe they should not lead the developed world in having the highest uninsured rate in the world?

But, you don’t have to worry anymore about this dismal problem that is dragging down our society.  Republicans are on a mission to fix this terrible problem.  They have approved an unethical, inside trading doctor to be our next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The first thing to help alleviate this problem will be to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Forget that the majority of the people don’t want it repealed, Price and his cronies know it cannot continue or we won’t be able to raise the uninsured rate and obviously the American People aren’t really paying attention to this dire problem.

If you have a preexisting condition, don’t worry, they are going to make sure you have “access” to “high risk pools” that will cover you and it will only cost you about 2 to 3 times as much as you pay now.  Price loves this idea and put it in his plan that he wrote in 2015.

Of course we will rescind the mandates so women’s health care is taken away.  Who cares if a woman has health care that only affects them?  Why should the rest of us care if they have the right coverage.  If they want things like birth control, they should pay through their nose for it.  Hello, everyone knows that just being a woman means you have a pre-existing condition.  They are only women and who cares what they thing?  They should just shut up and listen to their husbands.  If they don’t have a husband, they are obviously losers.

Then we will make sure insurance companies don’t waste money covering those abominable “gays”.  Unless they are willing to go through “conversion therapy”.  We all know they are an abomination, so why should we cover their health care?

Another thing that will be cut or eliminated to help the problem is Medicaid.  Too many people are taking advantage of Medicaid in order to have health care insurance.  There were some brave, bold, and wonderful states like Texas who fought against expanding this give away.  And, they are the shining city on the hill to show just how to keep your uninsured rate the highest in the country.

Needless to say Price and the rest of the Republicans believe that is the perfect model that all states should follow.  That way we can reduce the number of people insured without having to do very much.  But, that will be just the start.

In order to really make an impact, you have to give states “block grants” to spend on Medicaid as they see fit.  If they decide not to spend it on health care for the poor, even better.  That way the uninsured rate will really go up.

Then of course, we have to do something about those useless, mooching, takers – the old people.  How dare they expect that all of the taxes they paid for their Medicare coverage actually give them that coverage?  Who the hell do they think they are – Andrew By God Jackson?

These lazy old people who didn’t become rich in their lifetimes really hurt the uninsured rate.  They actually believe that they have a right to live longer and enjoy their retirement.  They actually believe the society should actually “take care” of their sorry asses.  Well, Price and Republicans have the fix.  After all, they don’t do anything useful anymore like working for minimum wage for 40 years so the CEOs can make billions off their labor.

They are going to tell the old farts that they will only get a voucher when they are eligible for Medicare.  Of course the voucher won’t cover the full cost of their insurance.  Of course their out-of-pocket costs will go up.  What do they expect?  They are old and have pre-existing conditions.  They really belong in the high risk pool with the highest premiums.

Just think of it.  If we can cut off as many old people from their insurance, they will die off faster and we won’t have as much of a problem with that other give away, Social Security.  If we can get rid of that useless give away, we can really save more money for bigger tax cuts to the rich.

Just think of the huge tax breaks for the rich we can give if we can do away with Medicaid and Medicare.  They are the only people who count.  Especially those rich ones who give Republicans insider trader information to further enrich themselves and huge secret donations to their campaigns so they can keep getting elected.

So, under Price we can expect our uninsured rate problem to be repaired.  First we will repeal the Affordable Care act and that will mean at least 18 million people will lose their health care insurance.  Then we will block grant Medicaid and ensure that even more millions lose their health care.  Then we will voucherize Medicare and that will mean all those old bastards will lose their insurance too.

If Price and Republicans do their job correctly, we should be able to take that measly 10 percent of uninsured Americans and raise it back up to 20 to 30 percent where it belongs.  Hell, if we do this right maybe we can break the magical 50 percent mark.  How great would that be?

So, you see, there is no reason to worry.  Republicans and Price will make sure we lead the world again.  They will make sure that only wealthy people have health insurance.  We don’t need “death panels” we only need to take away peoples’ health care and they will die naturally.

See, we are on the threshold of a brave new world that can only happen in America.  What a country!

 

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Day 83.

A lot of things happened again yesterday, and not many of them were good for the country.  The biggest news should have been the nominee for the Supreme Court.  Neil Gorsuch was named as the nominee.  There will be plenty of time to get into this pick, but I am not going to say a lot today.  I need to review his record more before making serious comments.

However, from what I have researched so far, if you like the idea of a religious state, and allowing discrimination against anyone who does not share your narrow views of religion, you will love Gorsuch.  Some people are calling him Scalia 2.0.  But, at first glance he is even worse than Scalia when it comes to civil liberties for every citizen.

As I said, we will have more on Gorsuch as time goes on.  I need more research on his record so I am going to take my time on this matter.  Though I will say that since the only real “vetting” of him was from the right-wing Federalists, it doesn’t look good if you love all of our freedoms.

There was other news that we cannot stop looking just because trump nominated someone for SCOTUS.  The nomination was supposed to take place tomorrow, but his weekend was so bad with his unconstitutional executive order, he needed to change the subject and hope we wouldn’t notice the rest of the shit happening.

The Dissent Chain memo at the State Department now has about 1,000 signatures on it.  It was first reported that 100 employees were going to sign it, but that number rose significantly and more people are reportedly eager to sign it as well.

That will place all of these people in trump’s crosshairs.  They are risking their careers to show dissent against the immigration order.  Yes, it is true that in State, this dissent channel is supposed to “protect” employees who express dissent, but with trump and his henchmen in charge, there is nothing to stop him from trying to “get them”.

Then we have the problem of the nominations for HHS and Treasury.  Yesterday, the Democrats on the finance Committee boycotted the hearing that was supposed to vote on these two nominations.  They boycotted because the day before, reports and evidence said that both Price and Mnuchin lied to the committee in their hearings.

Democrats wanted them to be recalled to explain their lies.  Republicans hated the idea and did nothing except complain about Democrats using the same tactics they used in 2013 in a hearing for the EPA Secretary.  Oh, yeah, Republicans boycotted a hearing trying to get their way.

Only Democrats did not do what Republicans did today.  In an effort to show their support for their dictator in waiting, Republicans changed the rules for the committee that said they didn’t need any Democrats to attend to form a quorum.

As a result of this rule change, both were approved by Republicans on the committee by a 14 – 0 vote.  Republicans have no problem that nominees for their dictator lied to the committee.  That just shows Republican values, I guess.

Also yesterday, Betsy DeVos was approved by her committee to be voted on in the Senate to tear apart our public education system.  It was a total party-line vote and we can see the end of public education in the works.

The actions taken by Republicans on these three nominations show clearly that Republicans do not give a shit about the American people or what they want.  There is more pushback on these three nominees than any others with the possible exception of Jeff Sessions.

DeVos is totally unqualified to head up the Department of Education, and the other two were caught is bare-faced lies to the committee.  Yet, Republicans don’t care about qualifications or honesty.  They only care about pleasing their beloved leader.

This is the exact type of behavior we expect from a dictatorship.  If you can’t get what you want quickly through the normal rules, change them and do whatever you want anyway.  Democrats wanted more information on these two liars, and Republicans did not even talk to them about how to resolve the situation.

Yes, it is true that they would have probably been approved by the committee anyway, but the American People have a right to know if the people being placed in positions of authority in our government have even an ounce of integrity.

Republicans don’t seem to believe the same thing.  They seem to believe that if the nominee is appointed by a Republican, nothing else is required.  This also shows just how much and how quickly Senate Republicans are willing to change decorum and integrity of the Senate.  They only care about power, and now that they have a little bit of it, they are going to ram through whatever they want, the American people and our democracy be damned.

If you take a look at the SCOTUS nominee, what is going to keep McConnell from changing the 60 vote threshold for this nominee to be approved?  The filibuster is a tool that allows the minority to have a say in governing.  Without the filibuster, the majority can ram through anything without any problem.  That is true regardless of which party is in control.

The nominee for SCOTUS is far more serious than even the Appeals Courts judges.  SCOTUS is the final court.  There is no appeal to a Supreme Court decision.  If you claim to really love the Constitution, then you should be more in favor of centrist judges who will look at each law individually not ideologues who will make their mind up before the case is even heard.

The filibuster and the 60-vote threshold on SCOTUS nominees are intended to help make that possible.  They are intended to help keep the court independent of ideologues who want to dominate the rest of the country with their views.

The real frightening part of the rules change in the Finance Committee is that Republicans have shown that they only care about their agenda.  They are willing to destroy the very fabric of our government just to please their beloved leader.

Republicans have been very quiet about the executive order banning Muslims, except to say it “wasn’t rolled out very well.”  They have been very quiet about spending billions of dollars building our Berlin Wall on the Mexican border.  They have been quick to complain that Democrats have used some of the very tactics they used in their hatred of President Obama to “obstruct” him at every turn.

They have shown with their action in the Finance Committee they are not interested in cooperation with the other party.  They are not interested in bi-partisanship between the two parties.  They are not interested in what is good for America.  They are only interested in their authority and their power grab.

What they don’t understand is that once trump gets his dictatorial powers, they will also become “surplus to requirements”.  Our president came into office with the clear intent to establish an authoritarian government with him having all of the power.  Republicans in Congress are more than happy to give him exactly what he wants.

I am not even sure that the upcoming battle over the nominee to SCOTUS is even worth fighting.  If trump doesn’t like what the court says, he isn’t likely to follow it anyway.  That became clear over the weekend when courts across the country said detainees at airports were supposed to be allowed to speak to lawyers and CBP refused to let them anyway.

The administration has said over and over that trump won because many people wanted change.  That is true.  But, I don’t think the majority of Americans thought that change meant destroying our democracy.  They are beginning to discover that is what their votes will get them.  The real question is when and if trump voters will realize their mistake and join the resistance to his authoritarian desire?

Until they do, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 78.

If you were wondering who is in charge of the White House, after yesterday you must still be wondering.  Besides that, I am wondering if the entire White House staff have a combined IQ of about 15.

Yesterday was a perfect example of just what we are in for during the next 4 years.  Chaos, stupidity, and danger.  There was so much going on it is hard to actually write about it.  But, let’s try.  However, I will leave the big part for last.

Did you know that there are two famous people in England with very similar names?  One is Theresa May.  The other is Teresa May,.  According to a White House briefing memo, the White House is expecting Teresa May to visit today.

Only, they are not expecting Teresa May today, they are expecting Theresa May.  If you wonder what the difference is, Theresa May is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.  Teresa May is an English porn star.

Now, this may sound silly to even discuss this issue, but it displays that no one in the White House even proofs these memos before being put out.  They don’t seem to get it that what they say and write is seen by the entire world and is a reflection on our country.  It is true that once the error was pointed out to them, they changed it, but that is not the point.  The point is they are sloppy and don’t seem to care.  Let’s hope trump doesn’t confuse the two today and try to kiss May on the lips.

Then, we have a former transition member confess that trump and his administration is planning to severely cut the EPA staff and budget.  The one agency we have that is responsible to insure our clean air and water is the first to be cut because trump doesn’t believe we need clean air and water if it hurts fossil fuel companies profits.  Additionally, even though he and his children were signatories on a letter from several famous people and business people a few years back explaining how horrible climate change would be to the country and the planet, he now doesn’t believe it is real.

Then there is the issues of his executive orders.  Did you know that he never ran these orders past anybody but his staff?  Meaning that he got no guidance from members of congress, congressional staff who specialize in helping draft these orders, or any expert in law.  Meaning, these executive orders may have a slew of problems and may even be unconstitutional because of how poorly they are written.  I mean, I have read some of them and they are more confusing than anything I have ever read.  Lots of words and very little meaning.

Finally we have the Berlin Wall and the example of the “great negotiator” in action.  We have been told over and over and over until we are sick of hearing it, that trump is the greatest negotiator we have ever seen.  All I can say about that is hahahahahahahaha.

One of the first orders he signed was to start building his Berlin Wall.  And, true to form he has stuck to his plan to make Mexico pay for it.  Only Mexico says they won’t pay for it.  And, when the President of Mexico sad so, trump tweeted that if that was their attitude maybe the meeting between their President and him should be delayed.

Then the President of Mexico said he told the trump team that he was cancelling the meeting and he was not coming.  Basically, he told trump to take his wall and shove it up his ass along with the bill.  In typical trump lying fashion, trump then tweeted that it was a “mutual cancelling” of the meeting.

Later on a flight from Philadelphia where trump met with his version of his politburo, his Press Secretary told the press on the plane that we would place a 20 percent import tax on everything coming in from Mexico to pay for the wall.

Then, a couple of hours later, they backtracked on that idea and Spicer said it was only one of several options they were considering.  Later in the West Wing, trump was ambushed by a reporter asking “what about that 20 percent”.  He actually seemed surprised and asked “what 20 percent”?

Our great negotiator has been ranting about taxing imports, especially from Mexico for years as his plan to make companies return to the U.S. from Mexico.  Which proves that he doesn’t know a damn thing about business.

Let me be as clear about this as I can.  Besides breaking an international treaty, imposing import taxes on products coming into the country WILL NOT HURT THE COMPANY.  IT WILL HURT YOU AND OUR ECONOMY!

Let me use cars as an example.  Every single car made in the U.S. by our three big auto makers get parts from every part of the world.  So, let us say that some parts come from Mexico.  When trump places his import tax on imports from Mexico, those part prices will increase.  Therefore, the price for that nice shiny new car will also increase.  The automaker will not pay the tax, you will pay the tax.

That goes for everything you buy.  When you go to WalMart to purchase your cheap clothes made in Mexico, they will cost more.  When you buy your new television it will cost more.  The companies that make the products won’t give a shit either.  They are not going to come running back to the U.S. because they won’t be losing any money with the import taxes, you will.

Then, when you stop buying things because the price keeps going up with the trade war he will unleash, they will start laying off American workers not overseas workers.  See, they pay less in overseas markets for labor than in the U.S. so they will cut the top earners, not the low earners.

As one business analyst said on television the other day, car manufacturers like making cars in Canada because they don’t have to provide health insurance to their workers because of Canada’s Universal Health Car plan.  So what makes you think any import taxes will make companies run to us?  They won’t, they will just cut U.S. jobs and we will face another recession.

That is what the Great Negotiator is going to unleash on his own country.  But, he doesn’t care because it won’t affect him.  And, he is not interested you.  Only, he will find out that you don’t like him very much anymore.

This is what happens when a president decides to tweet his negotiations instead of listening to experts who know what to do and how to handle problems like this.  Then again, since almost all of the top career civil servants in the State Department are either resigning or being fired by trump, there aren’t any real experts for him to listen to.

The purge going on at the State Department is astounding.  He is forcing out some of the best and most experienced foreign policy experts we have.  He isn’t going to have any seasoned foreign policy experts left.  These are non-partisan experts who have served our country for decades in some cases, and he doesn’t want them around.  But, Stalin was Bannon’s hero, so it is no wonder that such purges are taking place under trump.

The irony is that his chief strategist, Steve Bannon told the press yesterday to “just shut up”.  He even went so far as to call them “opposition”.  Very Stalinesque.  It is trump who should “just shut up and listen” to someone other than the brainless Bannon.

All I can say is when the shit hits the fan Americans will begin to hurt again.  And, you won’t have a clear thinker like Barak Obama to bail us out again.  We will see things go from bad to worse to worst.  And all the while, trump, his family, his cronies, the Republican Politburo, and the top 1 percenters will be laughing all the way to their Swiss Bank Accounts.  Our banks will collapse and we will lose even more.

If trump goes through with his so-called economic plan, we all face another economic collapse.  This time probably leading to a full on depression with over 25 percent unemployment.  But, don’t worry, the Republican Politburo will surely cut unemployment insurance to help “save” the budget deficits.

And, it will all start because the “greatest negotiator in the universe” failed miserably with one of our closest allies in Mexico.  As Bugs Bunny would say:  “What a moroon”.

 

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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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