Archive for the ‘Sour Grapes/Pouting/Whining’ Category

Day 180. 

Everyone who has followed me knows that I have not been a cheerleader for James Comey.  His actions during the campaign were not proper.  He overstepped his role and basically interfered with the election especially with his October 28 letter.  He has also shown what I consider deplorable behavior many times since and before that infamous letter.

I am not really shedding any tears because he was fired.  I am very concerned over the process and the timing of this firing.  As they say, timing is everything.  And the timing of this firing is very suspicious.  And the reason for his firing is also very suspicious.  And, that is the problem facing us today.

It is said that the fifth step in establishing an authoritarian government is to control the national police.  The FBI is our national police, and now trump fired the person who was leading the investigation into his campaign’s activities and possible collusion with Russia in hacking the election.  Which means he will name the new Director of the FBI and it is anyone’s guess who that may be.

Let’s look at a few things that make this ring so suspicious.  First, Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing said that he was recusing himself from anything to do with the Hillary Clinton email investigation.  Later he said that he was recusing himself from anything to do with the Russia investigation as well.

James Comey announced to the House Intelligence Committee holding hearings on the Russia Hacking that the FBI began a counter intelligence investigation into the trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia back in July of last year.

Two days ago, Sally Yates in an open hearing in the Senate gave her version of what she said to the White House counsel about Mike Flynn being compromised and that the administration should take action.  Action that took another 18 days.

Yesterday, it was announced that Federal Prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Later in the day, trump fired Comey.  As an excuse for firing Comey, trump showed us a memo from Rob Rosenstein talking about the horrible way Comey handled the Clinton Investigation.  I find that totally ridiculous.  You have to remember, it was trump who was applauding Comey for his handling of that investigation during the campaign.  He even called Comey “very brave” for sending the letter on Oct. 28.

Then in the letter he sent to Comey telling him he was being fired “even though you told me three times that I am not being investigated”.  Why the hell would he put that statement in a firing letter?  Is he trying to blow more smoke into the Russia investigation?  It also said that he was being fired according to the recommendation of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Which brings us to another “conflict” in the whole process.  Jeff Sessions was supposed to have recused himself from both the Clinton investigation and the Russia investigation.  So, how is he making a recommendation to fire the very man who heads up both investigations?  Especially when it was the Clinton investigation that was supposedly the reason for Comey’s firing.

A lot of people are trying to compare this firing to the Watergate Scandal.  I am holding off on that comparison, for now.  It will depend on who trump names to replace Comey.  It will also depend on what effect this firing will have on the FBI’s ongoing Russian investigation.

The trump administration has been trying to claim the Russia Investigation is a hoax.  They tried very hard yesterday to slander Sally Yates for being political in her assessment of Mike Flynn.  In a very bizarre statement Spicer said they didn’t do anything about Flynn for over a week because it was “reported that Sally Yates was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton”.  Say What?

According to Yates, she told the White House Counsel that he could see all of the classified material the DOJ had about Flynn showing he was compromised.  Yeah that is rally being “political”.  It took another two weeks before anything was done about Flynn and only after it was released in the press that the White House had been warned by Yates.

Spicer also said that Yates’ refusal to fight for the first Muslim Ban was proof that she was a political opponent.  Only, she made that decision three days after she first told the White House about Flynn.  Which means that this administration has decided that anyone who works in the government who was appointed by the Obama administration is not trustworthy.  They are very willing to slander a 37 year career professional who has served the government under several administrations, both Republican and Democrat.

Since they obviously considered Yates a political opponent, was she really fired because of the first Muslim Ban?  Or, was she fired because she had the temerity to tell the White House that one of their own was possibly compromised by the Russians?  I don’t know the true reason, but I do know the Muslim Ban thing gave them cover to fire her.

You have to look at both reasons for her firing in light of the Comey firing.  Comey went from a hero of trump’s to being fired over something that happened almost a year ago.  And, also as the FBI investigation seems to be getting closer to the White House.

To show just how “brave” this decision was, the letter firing Comey was hand delivered to the FBI building by trump’s bodyguard.  And, Comey was in Los Angeles speaking to FBI employees at the time.  He learned about his firing on television.  Our cowardly beloved leader didn’t even have the guts to tell Comey to his face that he was firing him.  As usual, he hid in the shadows.  The man is a total coward!

If this was the only firing concerning someone involved with the Russia investigation, we could give trump a break here.  But, it would appear that everyone involved in the investigation who says anything negative about trump or his cronies, seems to come to a sticky end of their career.  That should raise red flags across the country.

But, this isn’t the only example of trump and his administration trying to control the press and the citizens using law enforcement.  We have the case of a woman who was convicted of a “crime” because she laughed out loud at the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions.  She was convicted of “disturbing a Senate hearing”.  She laughed when Sessions tried to tell the hearing about his wonderful civil rights record.

Then yesterday, a journalist was arrested in West Virginia for yelling questions to Tom Price and Kellyanne Conway about pre-existing conditions in the Americans Without Health Care act.  Apparently, that was too much for Price and the man was arrested.  In the complaint it was said that Heyman “was aggressively breaching” Secret Service protection for Price and Conway and “was causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price.”

The arrest took place in a public space in the capital building.  And, Valerie Woody, who was on the scene with the West Virginia Citizen Action Group, said Heyman was simply trying to get Price’s attention as his entourage moved quickly through the capital building.

“I saw nothing in his behavior, I heard nothing that indicated any kind of aggressive behavior or anything like that.  Just simple, you know, trying to get somebody’s attention and ask them a question. It seems to me there was no violation of anyone’s space, or physicality, other than the arrest itself.”

These are all signs of an attempt to control the narrative through intimidation.  That is not the behavior of a president administration, it is the behavior of a strongman.

We need to have a reasonable explanation for just why trump decided to fire Comey when he did.  If he really believed that Comey should have been fired over the Clinton scandal, then Comey should have been fired months ago.  But, the timing says he wasn’t really fired over the Clinton investigation.  That was simply a ruse to hide behind.  It would appear that Comey was getting too close to trump’s White House in his investigation over the Russia hacking.

I really believe that Mr. Incompetent thought that he could change the narrative and get Democrats on his side by firing Comey and putting a damper on the Russia investigation.  The problem is that he has now placed a huge spotlight on the investigation and simply made it much easier for people to ask more questions about his and his administrations behavior about the investigation.

You have to know that you screwed up when the Nixon Library trolls you by saying “even Nixon didn’t fire the FBI Director”.  As I said at the time, Comey screwed up in his handling of the Clinton investigation.  I even thought he should seriously consider resigning.  But he did not resign, and the Obama administration did not consider firing him over the problem.  They realized that the FBI is supposed to be free from political influence.

If we are to have a real “checks and balance” in our government we need an independent FBI to investigate problems and potential crimes regardless of who is in the White House.  This firing tells me that trump does not believe that premise of an open and free democracy.  He believes that if someone is “not on my team” and dares to investigate my team he needs to be fired.

The firing of Comey is a double-edged sword.  On one hand, he probably did need to be fired.  Yet, under the circumstances and the so-called “reason” he was fired is problematic.  Especially when you consider the Russia investigation.

From my chair, I think this was a complete political move on the part of trump.  I also believe that it was a blatant attempt to try to make the investigation go away.  And, that is the problem.  I am sure I am not the only one who believes that either.

This situation needs to be looked at very critically.  It is not a Democrat or Republican thing.  It is not a left or right thing.  It is about the true balance of power and checks and balances in our government.  In other words, it is about the very fabric of our democracy.  It is also a sign just how fragile our way of government is.  If we do not remain vigilant, we can easily lose our democracy to a totalitarian government.

Only once in the history of the FBI was the director fired.  That was during Bill Clinton’s administration.  The difference was that the fired director was guilty of corruption and misuse of government funds.  He was caught using the government jet for personal reasons, and used government money to build a fence around his house.  There is a real cloud of suspicion surrounding the firing of the second director.

The final question in all of this is just who would be willing to accept the position of FBI Director after all of this?  Would anyone who is a true professional law enforcement person and non-political really want to take on the job knowing if the investigation gets closer to trump and his team he would probably also be fired?  Or, is trump going to appoint another “yes” man who will do everything to quash the investigation?

Only time will tell on that question.  But, I am not holding my breath about which he will pick.  Especially since Jeff Sessions will be the one making the recommendation.  I fear this is going to get worse before it gets better.  If the shit hits the fan, trump will have no one to blame but himself.

And, the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 99.


Yesterday we discovered that the trump administration is “running like a finely tuned machine”.  If trump really believes that to be true, might I suggest he find another machine to replace the one he has?

I don’t even know how to discuss or talk about his “thing” that took place yesterday.  He and his staff are calling it a “press conference” but I admit I haven’t seen any press conference like it.  What I saw was the old “blame game” from trump for his miserable failures so far in his term as president.

Everything that has gone wrong is not his fault.  The Muslim Ban didn’t get blown to pieces because it was poorly writer and violated several clauses in the Constitution,.  No, it was because the Judiciary is incompetent.

Michael Flynn wasn’t let go because he was a liar whom even the president decided he couldn’t trust.  No, it was all the media’s fault for printing those leaks about him.  He is a “wonderful guy”.  Despite the fact that trump can’t trust him enough to keep him on the job.

Nor did he mention anything about the report that Flynn lied to the FBI about his sanction talks with Russia, which is a felony.  Not that Sessions would let him go to trial for his crime.  Come on trump supporters say it:  “Lock him Up!”

He claims to have “accomplished so much in his first month”.  But, he really hasn’t accomplished anything that will help anyone but his buddies.  Let’s take a look at his “wonderful accomplishments”.

His first “wonderful accomplishment” was raising the mortgage insurance rates on millions of first-time home buyers by $500 per year.  That will really help the insurance companies, but do nothing to help average people who want to own their own home.

Another “wonderful accomplishment” was stripping away protections of people with retirement accounts.  He is now allowing brokers not to have to get approval and explain any switches in their portfolio so the brokers can make changes not based on the benefit of the owner of the portfolio, but rather on their commission.  Great for brokers, lousy for portfolio owners.

The next “wonderful accomplishment” was the elimination of the regulation that required energy companies to disclose their overseas investments, profits, and even bribes to governments to get the contract.  Again, wonderful for the energy companies.  Lousy for the American people and will produce absolutely ZERO jobs.

Then we have the “wonderful accomplishment” that takes away the requirement that Social Security report to the national background check database anyone who is so severely mentally impaired they cannot take care of their own personal business like cashing their Social Security Check.  That way, these people will be able to purchase any firearm they want.  Great for gun manufacturers and the NRA.  Lousy for public safety.

Yesterday, he signed another “wonderful accomplishment” with a bunch of coal miners behind him.  This “wonderful accomplishment” will make it much easier, for that matter perfectly legal, for the coal companies to dump their waste in streams and rivers.  Again, something wonderful for the coal companies, but lousy for those same miners behind the president who will see their drinking water polluted by the company they work for without anything stopping it from happening.  Did trump tell those miners that part of what he was signing?

Then there was that “wonderful accomplishment” called a “Travel Ban”.   This thinly disguised Muslim Ban was struck down in the courts.  Not one court as trump wants you to believe, but several courts all around the country.  This ban caused chaos at airports all across the nation because Customs had never been told it was coming and how they were supposed to handle the people affected.  Many of those affected were actually mid-air when it went into effect and didn’t even know they weren’t going to be allowed in.

Yet, yesterday trump claimed that the roll out of the ban went “so smoothly”.  I would hate to see what trump calls chaotic.  And, during the press conference, trump repeatedly said they would beat the stay in court.  All the while his own Justice Department was telling the ninth circuit of appeals to hold off on more hearings.  They said trump would rescind the order and write a new one in the near future.  Showing that in the trump White House the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.  As trump would say, Sad!

Yesterday, trump was asked a couple of times about the rise in anti-Semitic activities in the country since his election.  He went on to say how he won the election by such a huge margin and that he was not anti-Semitic.  He never said anything about what he would do to stop this rise in anti-Semitic actions.

One of the questioners even premised his question by stating” Our community does not believe you are anti-Semitic” but what are you going to do about the rise in anti-Semitic activity?  Again trump went off on a tantrum about how he is not anti-Semitic.  When the questioner tried to bring him back to the point, he told him to be quiet and kept ranting about how wonderful he was.

This is the second day in a row that trump ducked this issue.  Anti-Semitism actions have risen dramatically since he was elected.  Just in the last two weeks there have been over 48 bomb threats to synagogues and Jewish centers.  That number doubles to over 90 since he was inaugurated.

Is trump ducking the question and issue because he knows it is his supporters who are guilty of these activities?  Is he that afraid that he would lose about half of his “base supporters” if he tells them to “knock it off”.  Since he has a Jewish son-in-law, a Jewish daughter, and Jewish grandchildren, that can be the only answer.  But what does that say to his Jewish family members and why aren’t they saying anything?

Yesterday, several career State Department workers were fired.  They were told that their services were no longer needed.  The people laid off were the department that coordinates between the Sec of State and the various departments.  And, when Netanyahu was visiting, no one from the State Department sat in on the meeting between him and trump.  As a matter of fact, the Under-secretary was scheduled to sit in but the White House staff shut him out.

The Hispanic Congressional Caucus had requested a meeting with ICE officials to discuss the “round ups” taking place.  When the meeting was granted, the Caucus that requested the meeting was shut out.  As usual, the Republicans changed the rules and said it had to be “bipartisan” and the only member of the Caucus let in was their chair person.

But, remember all of these “failures” of diplomacy, ethics, and decorum are not trump’s or the Republicans fault.  It is the fault of the “leakers” and the “media”.  If we didn’t have leakers trump could do whatever he wanted and no one would know.  If it wasn’t for the media, he wouldn’t get caught trying to set up his little dictatorship.

What we saw yesterday was the president of the United States of America stand in front of the American people and whine, complain, and bitch about being “treated unfairly” because he is incompetent.  If he wants praise, why doesn’t he DO SOMETHING for the American people instead of his donor class.  Maybe then someone will say nice things about him.

Yesterday’s press conference was nothing more than a rallying cry to his base to get them fired up to reelect him in 2020.  That is what the “rally” in Florida tomorrow is all about.  Instead of concentrating on doing his job and making life better for ALL Americans, he is starting his 2020 campaign.

I hate to say this, but trump is making Richard Nixon look like an honest upstanding fellow.

And, the shirts keep marching along!

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Day 98. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 74.

If this past weekend is any indication of what we can expect from trump and his administration, forgive the language, but we are fucked!  I mean, the stupidity of this administration to really believe that they can say whatever they want and the whole world will believe it is amazing.

It began with trump’s shameful performance at the CIA where he complained about coverage of his inauguration and he said how we should have broken international law by “stealing” Iraq’s oil.

Then we have his Justice Administration giving the green light to him hiring his son-in-law to his administration in contrast to the anti-nepotism law.  Funny how the law means so much until a Republican breaks it.

Then we have two separate “executive orders” which trump and Republicans claim are “unconstitutional when President Obama” used them.  The first was so confusing that no one really understands what it means.  Priebus called it reducing financial burden of Obamacare order.

The second was eliminating the reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums for first time home buyers.  That was intended to help first time home buyers afford their insurance premiums.  The mortgage insurance covers the home if something happens and the homebuyers can’t make their payments for any number of reasons.  So, he is costing these people $500 per year.  You know, the same people he claims he is going to help.  Some help.

Then his Justice Department decided that they wanted a judge to delay hearings in the suite against the Texas Voter suppression law, which is the strictest in the country.  Arguments were supposed to take place tomorrow.

Then as a final act of, I don’t even know what to call it, Sean Spicer showed up in the Press Briefing Room, one and a half hours later than announced, and virtually scolded the press for not praising trump, especially his inauguration.  As Spicer put it, “this inauguration was the most watched inauguration ever, period!”  Except it wasn’t and there is photographic evidence to prove it.  Plus Nielsen said that 30.8 million people watched on television.

That is far below President Obama’s first inauguration which came in at around 39 million viewers and the 43 million people who watched Reagan’s first inauguration.  Spicer also gave a fairytale story about a journalist who tweeted that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office.  He further claimed that the journalist gave a weak excuse for his tweet when he discovered that it was false.

On the contrary, the journalist did make the original tweet.  However, as soon as he noticed he had made an error, he tweeted again apologizing to everyone for his mistake.  To make matters worse for Spicer, he tweeted back “apology accepted”.  That all happened 24 hours before Spicer’s rant in the briefing room.

Yesterday, trying to defend these blatant lies, Kellyanne Conway whose title should not be “counselor to the President” but rather “chief confuser of the facts for the President” said that Spicer was simply using “alternative facts”.

The Sunday Morning talk shows fought back.  When one pointed out that “alternatives facts” are not facts they are falsehoods, Conway quickly tried to change the topic.  She even threatened the media on air by saying the administration may “rethink [its] relationship with the press if the media continues to criticize Spicer”.

Even Chris Wallace on Fox News was against these alternative facts.  He said Trump had made statements that were “flat wrong” and that there needed to be discussion about “the president’s honesty.”   He went on to say:  “I was there on the Mall. … I am telling you, there were huge empty areas.”

Wallace also challenged Priebus on the comment made at the CIA that trump did not have a grudge or feud with the intelligence community.  It was all made up by the media.  He said:  “It’s not the media, it’s what he was saying”.

At that point Priebus changed the topic and complained about the dossier that was leaked.  Even though the intelligence community was not the source of that leak.

Finally, Conway also announced that the promise to “release my tax returns after the audit is complete” by trump was a complete lie.  She now says that he will not release his tax returns because people didn’t care.  She forgot to mention that there is a petition on whitehouse.gov demanding he release his tax returns and it has over 100,000 signatures on it.  Sounds like a lot of people really “do care”.

What this really boils down to is what Hitler called the “Big Lie”.  In his world the more you tell a lie, the more people will believe it to be fact.  We have also seen this kind of nonsense in George Orwell’s book 1984.  In that world, the government changed the facts by changing history.  They would actually go back and change stories in newspapers to coincide with today’s happenings.

In the first 72 hours of his administration, trump has managed to tell more lies than most Presidents tell in an entire four-year term.  He is setting the stage for falsehoods to become the norm for our country.

I have to tell you, when Spicer went into his rant, I had flashbacks to newsreels of the past showing Joseph Goebbels ranting in front of German Press back in the 20s and 30s.  Is that what we can expect from this administration?

In the next 30 days, according to trump’s administration, we can expect a slew of those “unconstitutional executive orders” being signed by the new “law and order” president.  I know, that sounds like a conflict, but trump is well-known for his conflicts.

It was once said that you can lie your way into power, but once you try to govern the truth eventually gets its boots on and runs you over.  We can only hope that the truth gets its boots on real quick this year.




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Day 54

In 2008 we saw the Abramoff scandal.  During the unraveling of his scam, several members of Congress got caught up on the corruption.  As a result, and trying to keep scandal from the halls of Congress, Nancy Pelosi got the House to approve the Office of Congressional Ethics.  This was an independent organization responsible to investigate all corruption and ethics complaints.

After the investigation, the OCE would then turn the investigation over to the House Ethics Committee.  The Committee would then hold any investigation they deemed necessary based on the primary investigation of the OCE.

The OCE was independent of politics and partisanship.  It investigated both Republicans and Democrats who were accused of possible corrupt behavior or at least bad ethical behavior.  It actually seemed to work the way it was.

Then Donald Trump showed up and won the presidential election.  He promised to “drain the swamp”.  which would indicate that he would favor such a group as the OCE to make sure everything was on the up-and-up.

Republicans in the House have echoed that slogan about “draining the swamp” so everything looked good, right?  Well, no.  I don’t know what swamp Republicans are planning to “drain”, but is sure isn’t in the House of Representatives.

In typical Republican fashion, they held a meeting last night on the eve of the 115th Congress starting to vote out the OCE.  You read that correctly, they voted to basically kill the OCE.  Now Republicans will tell you that they did not kill the OCE, they simply changed it.

So you can decide for yourself if I am right or not.  First, the OCE has been given a new name.  It will now be called Office of Congressional Complaint Review.  Secondly, it will no longer be “independent” but rather be placed under the thumb of the House Ethics Committee.

Finally, the new group would no longer be able to release information to the public, employ anyone “for a position involving communications with the public,” or directly contact law enforcement without approval. It would also be prohibited from investigating anonymous complaints.

Here is what started this mess.  Republicans say the “changes” were necessary because , how unfair, someone could actually make a complaint anonymously out of fear of reprisals.

And we all know that all anonymous complaints are false as Rep. Paul Gosar  (R-AZ), who was once investigated by the OCE said: “Now you can’t make a false accusation.  Now you can answer back to the people that make accusations against you. This has been flawed from the very get-go.

The real point is that Republicans want to hold ethics and corruption complaints in secret, just like last nights vote was held in secret and used anonymous votes to pass the new rule.  What they are really afraid of is the public finding out if any of them are involved in ethics or corruption cases.

We need to understand that the Ethics Committee has been extremely lax on enforcing ethics rules in the past.  It is well-known for giving a slap on the wrist for violations if anything at all.  The OCE was supposed to help clean this up.  Yet, the final decision was up the Ethics Committee.  Only, the OCE report was made public so anyone involved in possible corruption was known to the public.  That is called “transparency”.

That seems to be the one word that Republicans hate the most.  Transparency means we actually know what they are up to.  It means we can actually make intelligent decisions about our elected officials.  Yet, in a secret ballot in the middle of the night, Republicans killed the only independent investigative body that worked on keeping ethic and anti-corruption behavior out of the House.

This killing of the OCE was added to rules that the House will vote on this morning.  It was added late without any input from anyone but Republicans who hate it.

Daniel Schuman, the policy director of the activist organization Demand Progress said it best”

With today’s action  —  taken behind closed doors and with no opportunity for public debate  —  the House now rolls back the clock to an era of corruption and decay. We will all be the worse for it.

Nancy Pelosi said:

Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions. Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.

As I said, The Office of Congressional Ethics was established in early 2008 after a number of scandals ― including the Jack Abramoff controversy of exchanging gifts and donations for votes.  The OCE issues public reports of potential wrongdoing with a recommendation to the Ethics Committee on whether to investigate further. This system has allowed the public a view into some investigations that the Ethics Committee later says are not worthy of reprimand.  Which is common from a panel that often operates on a partisan doctrine of mutually assured destruction.

Maybe the fact that Donald Trump has said he is going to “drain the swamp” and then nominated Wall Street billionaires to be in his cabinet gave the House the sense that he really didn’t mean it.  At least in the House of Representatives, the Republicans are not interested in draining the swamp or keeping corruption and ethics investigations transparent.

The night before the new Congress is sworn into office, while practically no one was watching, Republicans have decided that they don’t need any stinking Office of Congressional Ethics making sure they behave properly.  Ironically, these Republicans are mostly worried about anonymous complaints and call them witch-hunts.  An odd choice of words from a Party that has been on a witch-hunt against Democrats for years, especially Hillary Clinton.

Isn’t it funny that anonymous complaints against Clinton are gospel and anonymous complaints about unethical behavior by members of the Hose are witch-hunts?

Maybe since Trump claims that he cannot have any conflict of interests as President according to the Law, the House Republicans think they should have the same immunity?  Both are lies of course, but since when has that stopped Republicans from instituting their sick agenda.  Yesterday I said we need to keep our eyes on Congress even more than on Trump.  Here is your proof.

Secrecy will be the hallmark of this Republican Congress.  Something that a democracy cannot allow to happen.  Keep watching, the worst is still to come.


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A lot of Trump supporters are all upset because Trump yesterday said he won’t pursue putting his opponent Hillary Clinton in jail.  Many of his supporters are voicing huge disappointment over that announcement.

However, if you really want to know the truth, that is probably the least egregious broken promise on the horizon.  The rest of his broken promises will affect you, your parents, your grand parents, and the country as a whole.

Remember when Trump said that he wants to make sure the working class has a chance to get a head?  That he is going to bring back millions of jobs?  And, that he will make sure that people get a pay raise?

Trump announced a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.  People are licking their chops of getting one of those millions of jobs surely headed their way.  Only, it isn’t an infrastructure plan, it is a tax cut for construction companies.  This plan will create no new jobs.

The way it works is that companies can “invest” in construction jobs on the infrastructure, and then get a tax cut to recover up to 84 percent of the money.  Republicans are claiming this is a huge “jobs” bill.  Only, there is no requirement that any “new jobs” be created.

In fact, there is nothing that says that our roads are to be rebuilt under this plan.  What it really does is ensure that roads that would turn out as Toll Roads and Bridges that turn out as Toll Bridges might get built, but the rest of our roads and bridges will fall by the wayside.  The only way to rebuild our infrastructure is for the government to invest in rebuilding it.  Not waiting for some “company” to see an opportunity to make money off of tolls and take advantage of the tax breaks they would get.

Last May the Department of Labor issued an order dealing with overtime.  Today, if you make over $23,000 and are listed as a manager, assistant manager, or supervisor, the company can force you to work more than 40 hour weeks without paying you any overtime.

The new rule which is supposed to start on Dec 1 makes that threshold about $47,000.  Of course Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce went nuts, as usual.  It means that about 4 million people would have to be paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours in a week.

23 Republican controlled states sued over the new rule.  Yesterday a judge in, where else, Texas put a temporary stay on the rule.  Additionally, the Republican controlled House has a bill ready to go to overturn this rule.  They don’t want the American people getting any kind of raise because that means it cuts into the profits of their donor class.  Trump has said he is in favor of this repeal.

So, “I will rebuild our infrastructure” and “help the working people”.  Promise broken.  No new jobs will come from his “plan” nor any overtime for the workers who make more than about $23,000 per year.

Remember when Trump said that Social Security would not be touched?  Well, the Republicans in the house already have a privatization plan ready to be introduced as soon as the new Congress takes office.  That means Social Security will be touched.

Remember when Trump said that Social Security would not be cut?  Well, the “experts” on his transition team are already floating the idea to cut Social Security benefits.  They believe that you always balance the budget on the backs of the needy and elderly.  So, “Social Security won’t be touched”.  Promise broken.

Remember when Trump said that Medicare would not be touched?  Well, once again, Republicans in the House are ready to roll out their privatization plan for Medicare.  Under this plan, seniors would be given a “voucher” for a certain amount of money and told to go on the open market and buy their own insurance.  Trump supports this idea.  He now says that “Medicare should be modernized” which means privatized.

There are several problems with this “plan”.  First, they aren’t saying if the “voucher” would cover the entire cost of the insurance they would need.  Second, there are no provisions for these vouchers to be automatically raised each year with the cost of insurance premiums.  Third, there are no requirements about how much “out-of-pocket” money seniors would have to pay out.  Fourth, there are no protections to keep prescription drug costs down for seniors either.

Then there is the idea that they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  That means the provision of protecting people with “preexisting conditions” will go away as well.  How many seniors do you know that do not have “preexisting conditions?”  Which means they will either be denied coverage, or forced to pay far more than the “voucher” promised by Paul Ryan and his gang.  So, “I won’t touch Medicare”.  Promise broken.

Remember when Trump said he would place his companies in a “blind trust”?  Or, rather would let his children run them?  Well, there is no sign yet of that happening.  As a matter of fact, it appears that he is trying to curry favors with foreign leaders already.

When speaking with Farage, a leader of a British Party, he talked about stopping the wind farm electrical sites, especially next to his golf course in Scotland.  He even admitted that he brought that up.

Then we have Ivanka in a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister.  There was no reason for her to be there except that she heads up the company’s foreign purchase department.  There is a report, denied by both parties involved, where Trump asked the head of the Argentine government to help him get the right permits to build his building there.

Trump took time out from putting together his cabinet to hold a meeting with his business partners from India.  He has basically shown no interest in divesting himself from any of his business interests.  Yesterday, he said “the law is on my side.  There cannot be a conflict of interest if it involves the President.”

That sounds an awful lot like Richard Nixon saying “if the President does it, it is not against the law.”  Remember what that led to?

So, “I will not be interested in my businesses”.  Promise broken.

The real problem with the last broken promise is that we may never know just how far his conflict of interest goes when dealing with foreign countries.  We still don’t know which government-owned banks he owes money to or how much money.

In one sense he is right.  There is nothing that says he must remove himself from his businesses.  Yet, there is the “emolument” clause that discusses conflict of interest and “receiving payments” from foreign countries as an expressed impeachment offense.

There are a lot of disappointments still to come from Donald Trump for his supporters.  The question is will they recognize that they were lied to and taken advantage of by a snake oil salesman, or will they continue their blind obedience to him?

His appointments so far and string of broken promises are not something that makes us confident in his Presidency.  He promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington.  Yet, his actions so far haven’t done anything to “drain the swamp” but rather make it deeper than before the election.

He is showing everyone that his campaign was exactly what we thought it was.  A series of falsehoods, lies, fantasies, and fraud just to get elected.  He is not interested in governing our country.  He is only interested in enriching himself by using the Office of the President to enhance his businesses.

If you voted for Trump because of what he promised you, you better get ready to be sorely disappointed.  To keep your promises you must have integrity.  Trump has proven throughout his 70 years on this planet he can’t spell the word much less live by it.  I predict there will be a lot of whining and complaining about Trump very soon.  And, it will be from his supporters.


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The election for Governor of the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina is still in flux.  According to the state’s web site Roy Cooper, the Democrat, leads Chairman Pat by over 6000 votes.  Yesterday was the deadline for the counties to certify their vote tallies.

But, don’t expect Chairman Pat to concede anytime soon.  See, he believes that there was too much voter fraud that is keeping him from winning the election.  His side is complaining that dead people have voted, and that felons have voted.  Apparently, all of the dead people and felons voted for the Democrat and none for Chairman Pat.

Chairman Pat’s people claim that there are potentially “thousands” of votes cast under an absentee voter fraud scheme.  They claim the election is being stolen from Chairman Pat.

There is one problem with Chairman Pat’s argument.  All of the Election Boards in the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina are controlled by his party.  In other words, Chairman Pat is arguing that his own party is stealing the election from him.

“It is unfortunate to see that rather than accepting the results, Pat McCrory is going to go down by besmirching Republican election officials (and) by impugning voters,” Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Cooper campaign, said in a call with reporters on Friday.

North Carolina had passed one of the strictest voter suppression laws in the country.  That law was struck down by the courts.  So, the state decided to purge thousands of voters from the rolls about 3 weeks before the election.  The court said they had to reinstate those voters.

The reason those voters were purged was not because of anything the state discovered by itself.  No, a conservative group sent out mailers to thousands of voters in mostly African-American communities.  If the mailer was returned, they demanded the voters be purged from the rolls.  However, often times they were returned because the group put a bad address on the mailer.

After the voter suppression law was struck down, the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina Republican Party sent out a memo to the election boards throughout the state telling them to set up the early voting period on a “partisan” basis.

In Greensboro, a large African-American city, the early polling places were cut from around 80 to 1.  The party chairman even bragged that their voter suppression efforts paid off during the early voting period because fewer African-Americans voted than in 2012.

On election day, polling places in heavily populated African-American areas of Durham suddenly had a glitch early in the morning.  They were closed for two hours because of this “glitch” and people couldn’t vote before they went to work.  Then the party fought an effort to keep those polling places open after the normal closing times so the people turned away in the morning could vote after work.  They eventually settled on a few staying open for one and a half hours and the rest for a half hour.

I think you can see the irony of Chairman Pat complaining about “voter fraud” being the cause of his losing the election.  Voter suppression is as serious a crime as voter fraud, at least to me.  Yet, he wants us to feel sorry for him because his efforts to win by voter suppression failed and he is the apparent loser.

As a result, he is now blaming his own party officials for not doing their job properly.  If they had stuck to his strict policies, he could not possibly lose the election in a state that is not happy with him.  HB2 was his downfall.  His homophobic law passed by his Politburo has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Or, maybe it is because you raised taxes on the poor and the elderly so you could give tax exemptions for your rich buddies to purchase private jets and yachts.  As a result of your so-called tax cuts, everyone else’s taxes went up a lot.  Including retired people living on Social Security.

Maybe Chairman Pat, that is why you are the apparent loser.  Maybe that is why the people of the state decided not to go along with living in the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina anymore.  Maybe we want to live in a real democratic state instead.

Hopefully, the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina is an example for the rest of the country.  You can vote out the dictator who does everything to suppress the vote of his opposition.  It just takes work and dedication.

We won’t have the end of this election anytime soon, though.  Chairman Pat will be allowed to “demand” a recount if the election results are not more than 10,000 votes.  And, you can bet that Chairman Pat will do everything he can to drag this out for as long as he can.

Hopefully when this is all over, Chairman Pat, you will be the phrase your hero Donald Trump likes to use a “big time loser”.

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