Archive for the ‘Things That Suck’ Category

Day 91. 

This evening the ninth circuit court of appeals said no to our beloved leader.  They said that the government did not show any imminent harm if the stay on his Muslim Ban were not lifted.  But, it went way beyond just that.  It went into civics 101 lessons to our beloved leader.  Though I doubt that he will read the lesson plan or act on it.

The first argument that the government tried top use was that the court had no right to review an order that was based on national security.  The court answered that by saying:

There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.

he court also said that the Trump administration pointed to “no evidence” showing a need for the executive order.  During the argument segment the other day, the court was almost pleading with the government to give any evidence that there was a good reason for this ban on these seven countries.  The government did not give any evidence.

Even if the evidence was classified, there is no reason that the court should not have been given that evidence because there are rules for the court to seal the evidence and not allow it to become public.  This kind of action has happened more times than I can count.

That argument came up when the government asserted that the courts do not have any classified information that could affect the case.  As the court pointed out, rightly, in their ruling that was not a good reason because there was nothing that prevented the government to show the court any such evidence.  A government lawyer should have know that simple fact.

So the court said that the government could not show a reason for this particular travel ban based on evidence.  In essence they were questioning the government why these seven countries and not others were in this ban.  I read that as saying there has to be a “need” to place a ban like this in place, and the government couldn’t show one.

The one argument that the government tried to use was so stupid, even I as a non-lawyer would never try to use it.  They argued that the portion of the ban that kept out “legal residents with green cards” should not be considered because the counsel to the President said in a memo that would not be enforced.

The reason I said it was “like really stupid” is that portion of the order is still in the executive order.  Even the court said basically the same thing.  They told the government that the order had not been changed, and with the changing interpretations of the order since it was signed, the court could not be sure that it would not be enforced once the government got its way.

These are only a few lessons the court tried to give our beloved leader and his administration.  Of course trump wasn’t pleased.  He tweeted almost immediately after the ruling:  “See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake.”  Of course to show his displeasure he tweeted in all caps to show he was yelling at the court.

This ruling does not kill the ban.  It merely keeps the stay holding it in limbo in place.  The administration now has to decide who to handle the next step.  They could run to the Supreme Court to try to get the stay overruled, but there is no guaranty they will get what they want.  They could ask the full Ninth Circuit of Appeals to rehear the case.  Or, it go just go ahead and go back to the District Court and try the case on its merits.

Some are saying that trump could swallow his pride, fat chance, and pull the executive order and rewrite it to pass constitutional muster.  The problem with that is there is already too much out there in print and on tape that basically says it was intended to be a Muslim ban which is unconstitutional.

One final step he can take is to sit down with members of congress from both sides of the aisle and come up with a bi-partisan plan to really make our country safe.  But, don’t hold your breath on that either.  He is more interested in “winning” and getting his way instead of doing what is best for the country.  He is acting more like a stupid “super jock” and this is just kind of sick game.

In another effort to put down the judicial system he called the ruling “political”.  The only thing political about this ban was the simple fact that he blew it because he was more interested in feeding his base more red meat against Muslims than in actually doing something reasonable.

The order did not go through the normal channels to make sure it was constitutional.  They did not use any legal expertise to write the order.  They allowed political strategists to overrule legal experts in the wording.

It was a total disaster from the beginning and it should never have been signed or implemented.  This is what you get when a power hungry moron tries to put his name in the headlines.

Then again, what do you expect when the White House staff is only about 10 percent full.  The staff usually has about 400 people working to help the president.  Today there are about 40.  There are reports of nothing but empty desks in the West Wing.  He has no one to ask for advice that knows anything because he hasn’t hired them yet.

All of this chaos is starting to show just how bad things really are.  There is a new PPP Poll coming out that gives very low favorability rating to our beloved leader. If I remember it correctly over 50 percent believe this ban was intended to be a ban on Muslims.  Over 60 percent said they do not want a Muslim Ban.

We have had presidents who were very very good.  We have had presidents who were very good.  We have had presidents who have been average.  We have had presidents who were very bad.  And we had some presidents who were very very bad.

The problem we are facing with this president is that he is exceeding the very very bad presidents with such poor performance and we are only three weeks into his presidency.  Some might argue that it can only get better.  But, the evidence of his past performances is that it is more likely to get even worse.  That puts our country in a very bad place.

My personal opinion is that trump does not respect the law.  He does not respect the other branches of government.  He does not respect the constitution.  He does not respect our democracy.  He does not respect the American People.  He only is interested in donald trump and no one else.  He wants total power, and he will keep doing what he has been doing in order to try to get that power.

It just shows that the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 91. 

I will admit, it is hard to keep up with all of the stupidity and lies of the current administration.  I decided that maybe it is time for something else than trying to cover everything.  So, believe it or not I decided to pick the War On Nordstrom’s that the trump family seems to want to wage.

I decided to choose this topic today, not because of any family business or because of Ivanka.  I really don’t care about Ivanka or her fashion line.  Personally I don’t like it, but then I am an old man and I  have more basic tastes.

I chose it because this is a perfect example of the conflict of interest that trump and his family have placed on us.  It also shows that even his closest advisors don’t know the law and if they do know the law are very willing to break it.

This all started because Nordstrom decided that Ivanka’s clothing line are not meeting their sales expectations.  According to the store, if a line falls into the bottom 10 percent of their sales, they drop the line an bring in new lines.  Ivanka’s line fell into that 10 percent of the bottom of sales so they decided not to carry the line for this season.

Well, trump being trump that didn’t sit well with our beloved leader.  He almost immediately sent out a tweet on his personal account, then had it retweeted on his @POTUS account.  That makes it officiall government business and must be saved under the Presidential Records law.

His tweet read:

My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing.  Terrible.

If trump and his administration would have left it at that, it might not have become the firestorm it has.  But, here is the president of the United States using his position and his office to blast an American owned company for not carrying his daughter’s product line.  Some would call that using “unfair business practices” in order to drive personal gain.  That is illegal in many states.  It is also unethical behavior for a president in any case.

But, it got even worse.  Later in the day, the propaganda minister, Sean Spicer held his daily briefing.  He was asked about this, and went way off the rails and said the decision by Nordstrom amounted to “an attack on trump’s daughter”.  He said of the incident:

When companies take out their concern about [trump’s] actions or his executive orders on members of his family, he has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities.

For someone to take out their concern with his polices on a family member of his is just not acceptable.

Excuse me, but since when is poor sales numbers an attack on trump’s policies?  So, we now have a president using “unfair business practices” to pump up his own finances.  I say that because we still don’t know how much of Ivanka’s company is owned by the president.  We don’t know that because he refuses to release his tax returns to become transparent to the American People.

Then we have the propaganda minister blasting an American owned company and stating that they were personally attacking Ivanka because they don’t like trump’s policies.  Of course he offered no evidence that was the reason for their decision.  But, what the hell, facts are not necessary for accusations to be thrown around by this administration.

Then, to throw gasoline on the fire, Kellyanne Conway got into the act today as well.  She said on Fox this morning that everyone should go out and “buy Ivanka’s products”.

I know, it sounds like a harmless commercial.  Only, it is not a harmless commercial and it is a violation of Federal Law.  People who work for the government are not allowed by law to endorse any products.  Especially when speaking during official government business.

I am personally aware of this law since I served and I had to watch out what I said when talking about equipment I used.  Brand Names were not allowed to be used because even using a brand name could be inferred to be an endorsement.  Conway openly and eagerly endorsed a brand name in an official capacity and she violated Federal Law.

Now you may be thinking what does it matter?  Well that is a fair question.  But, I would ask you to look up President Harry Truman.  Truman’s daughter was in a concert.  A critic called the performance anything but terrific.  Truman was incensed and wrote a letter to that critic telling him how stupid and lousy he was.  The Republicans and the press went nuts over the letter.

So you should also be asking where is the Republican backlash abut this incident of unethical behavior and what does this say about the motives of our president.  Is he really interested in making our country better or is he only interested in making his and his family’s profits greater?  We have a right to know which it is.

These conflicts don’t end with Ivanka’s fashion line either.  Another story you have never heard of took place in South Carolina.  There is an abandoned building there that has a lot of rusting chemical barrels and needs to be cleaned up.  This mess was the result of a company that was failing and needed to be bailed out.  Our beloved leader bought out that company a few years ago to save it.

The South Carolina Law about cleaning up toxic sites says that a new owner does not have to pay for the cleanup.  So, trump asked the state to clean up the mess since he was the new owner.  He wants to redevelop the property.

The other night the state department for making such decisions said no.  They said that trump and his company are responsible to clean up the mess.  See there is another part of the law that says you cannot cheat the state if you had a connection with the previous owner in any way.

So, why would trump be responsible for the clean up costs?  Because the previous owner was Donald J. Trump, Jr.  Meaning trump had a connection with the “previous owner”.

Because our beloved leader refuses to even do what he said he would do and step away from his business operations, even states like South Carolina are being placed in a position where they are being forced to make decisions that directly affects our president’s bottom line.

There are a lot of other examples like the Secret Service being forced to lease space in Trump Tower and now the DOD needs space there as well.  So, the Federal government is helping trump make more money.

As you can see, these simple examples shows that our beloved leader and his administration do not care about conflicts of interest.  They do not care about ethics.  They do not care if they break the law.  They do not care about optics.  They only care about making the president richer.

If they thought they could get way with it, I am sure they would put out a postage stamp with trump’s face on it and then charge the post office a royalty for every stamp they sell.  Only, they would eliminate all other stamps for at least a time to increase profits for trump.

And, the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 90. 

Today the Senate approved Jefferson Sessions as the next Attorney General.  I was against his nomination, and I am definitely against his approval.  In my opinion, Jeff Sessions is a bigoted man who does not care about any minorities.  He is even considered the most anti-immigrant Senator by his peers.  He was refused an appointment as a Federal Judge because of his racist past, and while in the Senate he has done nothing to change that record.

Just in the past few years he voted against the ending of torture.  He was one of about 5 Senators that voted against the bill that said the U.S. would never engage in torture.  When the Voting Rights Bill was gutted by the Scalia led Supreme Court, he said it was “a great day for the south”.

Lastly, he voted against the renewal of the Violence Against Women’s Act.  He gave a very scary reason for his denial of the bill.  The renewal bill included a section that allowed Native American Tribal Courts to conduct trials of violence against Native American women even if they were victims of non Native Americans.  In other word Sessions does not believe that Native American Tribal Courts have any right to prosecute white people.

Now, if you think none of this matters, let me tell you about two terrorist crimes that have not found the headlines, but Jeff Sessions might be required to prosecute in the future.  They are also appropriate since trump wants to ban Muslims from seven countries from coming to our country but is ignoring white supremacist and Radical Christian Terrorists in our country..

The first took place in 2012.  And, as it happens it took place in Bowling Green, OH.  But, it wasn’t a massacre because the FBI who Sessions will be responsible for stopped it before it happened.

In that case, a federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR–15 assault rifles, an AR–10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been aiming to carry out a wide assortment of killings.

In case you may be wondering why you haven’t heard a bunch about this it is because the suspect was a white supremacist named Richard Schmidt.  Schmidt came to the attention of the federal government almost by accident. He had been suspected of trading in counterfeit NFL jerseys and while searching his home and store for those fake goods, the FB discovered the vast arsenal.  There was a secret room attached to his shop that “contained nothing but rifles, ammunition, body armor, his writings and a cot” wrote prosecutors in a court document.

Schmidt had spent years in the Army as an active-duty soldier and a reservist. His military service ended in 1989 when he got into a fight and shot three people, killing one of them, a man named Anthony Torres. As a result, Schmidt spent 13 years in prison on a manslaughter conviction and was legally barred from owning firearms.

The FBI believed from his writings that he was associated with the National Alliance.  Which is a long-standing white supremacist organization that was founded by the writer of the Turner Diaries which Timothy McVeigh said was his inspiration for the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The prosecution presented into evidence Schmidt’s planned targets, such as African-Americans and Jews. They’d found a list with the names and addresses of those to be assassinated, including the leaders of NAACP chapters in Michigan and Ohio.

Yet the judge said prosecutors had failed to adequately establish that he was a political terrorist and sentenced him to six years in prison.  He is due to be released sometime next year.

The second case is actually taking place right now.  In this case, a radical religious cleric who allegedly planned to kill Americans of another religion to “prove his commitment to god”.  Of course you haven’t heard about this one either because this radical religious cleric is a white Christian and not a Muslim.  He was planning to kill Muslims.  His name is Robert Doggart.

This case was brought because undercover FBI agents allege that Doggart was plotting to travel to upstate New York to kill Muslims there using explosives, an M-4 assault rifle and even a machete to cut the infidels to shreds. The FBI’s investigation also found that Doggart viewed himself as a religious “warrior” who wanted to kill Muslims to show to his commitment to his Christian God. Doggart even boasted that the attack on the Muslims “will be cruel. And we will burn down their buildings [Referring to their mosque and school.]… and if anybody attempts to harm us in any way… we will take them down.”

I did write about this some time ago when it first came to light.  I had hoped that it might make the media before or at least at the time of his trial, but that has not happened.

Of course there have been other cases you have never heard about.  In December white supremacist Glendon Scott Crawford was sentenced to 30 years to life for trying to build a radioactive weapon to kill Muslim Americans. Crawford served in the Navy and is a member of the Ku Klux Klan.  He was an electrical engineer and carried out extensive research on his radiation dispersal device designed to target a Muslim community.

And in September three men known as “The Crusaders”—as in the Christian crusaders—were arrested for plotting to kill Muslim refugees in Kansas.  According to the FBI, the three had been engaged in surveillance of the apartment complex where primarily Somalian Muslim refugees lived. The FBI also noted that the three spoke of dipping their bullets in pig’s blood before shooting the Muslims—which was reminiscent of a Trump’s campaign stump speech when he wrongly claimed that General Pershing had done the same when fighting in the Philippines.

These are all very real and recent episodes of domestic terrorism conducted by white supremacists and Radical Christian Terrorists.  Why hasn’t our beloved leader made mention of any of these horrific incidents?  Why isn’t he calling for wiping out Radical Christian Terrorists?  Is it because these people are all white?

Additionally why, if the report from Reuters is correct is the Department of Homeland Security planning to retool its Countering Violent Extremism Program to focus solely on Islamic radicals. Why are they planning to rename it “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” and according to government sources “would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States?”

Which brings back full circle to Jefferson Sessions, our new Attorney General.  If you look at his record, can you honestly say that any of these cases would even be brought to trial by the FBI?  Can you really believe that Sessions would even allow the FBI to even investigate these domestic white supremacist and radical Christian Terrorists?  I find it impossible to believe he would.

This is a man who supposedly joked “I thought the KKK was okay until I found out some of them smoked pot after their meetings”.  What we don’t know is what part of this so-called joke is the funny part?  The part he says the KKK was okay, or the part about smoking pot?  Due to his ardent opposition to pot, I would suggest it is the latter.

Our beloved leader wants us to be terrified of Muslims.  He wants to wage a cultural war against Islam all the while he is willing to turn his back on the white supremacists and Radical Christian Terrorists who live among us and have killed more Americans since 9/11 than any other groups including Extremist Muslims.

This is the reason he was willing to nominate Jefferson Sessions to be our Attorney General.  He needed someone who approves of his plan to go after Muslims and let the domestic terrorists have their run at our people.

This whole mess is just another step in the trail of trump to undo our democracy, our constitution and our country.  And it is just beginning.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 90. 

Another day, another mess.  Yesterday we saw some things that were expected and some things that were not expected.  We expected the most unqualified person ever to be nominated to a cabinet position get confirmed.  We saw VP Pence do his beloved leader’s bidding by casting the deciding vote for DeVos as Secretary of Education.

We saw Sen. Elizabeth Warren censored in the Senate for a debate over Sessions nomination for Attorney General.  Her crime was that she read a letter from Loretta Scott King about Sessions that she wrote in 1996 when Sessions was denied confirmation to a Judge position.

According to McConnell, that letter apparently was impugning Sessions by Warren and he asked that she be shut up.  The “impugning” words were not even Warren’s.  They were the words of Loretta Scott King.  McConnell must believe that a letter that is part of the congressional record already from a dead person has no merit.  So, he shut up Sen. Warren.

We saw trump’s bogus list of terrorist attacks that were “under-covered” by the media.  The list came straight from InfoWars.  When Kellyanne Conway was asked why trump hasn’t said anything about the murders by a white supremacist at a Mosque in Ottawa, she answered:  “he doesn’t tweet about everything”.  Especially when it is a white person attacking Muslims.

Additionally, Sean Spicer has been hawking the Atlanta Terrorist Attack to help justify the ban.  Only problem is that there has never been an Atlanta Terrorist Attack, just like there was never a Bowling Green massacre.

Then we have our beloved leader lying to a group of Sheriffs about the murder rate.  He called it the highest in 47 years, which is a bare-faced lie.  The murder rate in our country is really very low.  As a matter of fact, it is lower than when Saint Ronald Reagan was President in the 1980s.

But, as I said these were pretty much expected incidents.  Republicans will do anything to make sure the most racist Attorney General we have had in a very long time is approved.  We knew that the imbecile but very generous donor to Republican Senators got confirmed.  And we knew that trump would open his mouth which means a lie is inevitable.

Here is the unexpected part that no one is talking about.  Yesterday and over the weekend, our beloved leader told his newly appointed Secretary of State and newly appointed Secretary of Homeland Security they are both incompetent.

It began with his tweets and ended with his words.  He said that because of the stay on his ban “some really bad people are going to rush to this country so they can kill Americans”.  That means one of two things.  Either trump does not understand the visa program of our country, or he believes that his two newly appointed Secretaries and their entire staffs are incompetent.

If someone wants to come to our country, with some exceptions, they need a visa.  The exceptions are for people from certain countries like members of the EU and Canada, Mexico and some others.  If you live in one of those countries and want to visit us for vacation, you don’t need a visa.

However, the rest of the world does need a visa.  Including every single country listed on trump’s Muslim travel ban.  That means if a person in say Iran who wants to visit the U.S. who has not already been vetted and holds a visa must go through the vetting process before getting a visa for the visit.  Even if it is for just a few days.

And, since that person is coming from an area of the world that already requires “extreme vetting”, that will take a very long time to get the visa.  So, I ask how can a terrorist suddenly decide to “rush” to our country before the ban is put back in place, if it ever is?

Is our beloved leader saying that you don’t need a visa to visit our country?  Is our beloved leader saying that neither the State Department nor Homeland Security nor the host of other agencies involved in vetting are competent?  Just what is our beloved leader saying?

We keep hearing from him that we need “extreme vetting” for immigrants and refugees.  He has never defined exactly what “extreme vetting” is.  He has never said what we are already doing is bad and what is good.  He has never said what parts of our current vetting process needs fixing.

It takes at least 18 months and up to 36 months for a refugee to get vetted to the point where access to our country is granted.  From what I have heard from people outside the country, it can take at least a year to get a temporary visa just to come here on vacation.  I don’t know, it sounds pretty extreme to me.

Since trump is a world traveler, I am sure he understands visa requirements.  That means his complaint about all those “bad people” rushing to our shores is because his department heads are incompetent.  Why else would he say such things?

This whole mess amounts to one thing.  I do not believe that the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security are incompetent.  Nor do I believe for one minute that the staffs at those two departments are incompetent.  What I do believe is that trump is using his rhetoric as another scare tactic in order to ban Muslims from coming her at all.

I believe that these seven countries were just trial balloons to determine the public’s stomach for discrimination.  I also believe that more countries will be added as time goes by.  I further believe that if trump does not have any business dealings in your Muslim country, you will end up on the ban list as well.

But, the outcry from the general public was way too unexpected by trump and his team of haters.  They suddenly realized that the American People as a whole are not racist or anti-Muslim.  The found out that the American People are fair and honest and charitable people.  They found out that Americans are open to helping the oppressed.

That means the fear meter needs to be ratcheted up.  That means more lies and more scare tactics must be used even if it throws members of your own administration under the bus for the sake of raising fear.

Raising that fear even means making up terrorist attacks that never happened like the Bowling Green massacre and then complain that they were never covered.  Or, using a made up terrorist attack asking “what do we say to the families affected by the terrorist attack in Atlanta?”  Hey, fear is fear and that is all that counts in trump’s world.

I don’t know how the courts will rule on the ban.  I don’t know if the appeals court will keep the stay in place, cancel it, or modify it in some way.  All I know is that trump will not stop his hate and fear campaign.  He intends to follow Bannon’s advice and ban all Muslims from the country.  It is just a matter of time and a matter of how.

The one thing we can take from this incident is that trump is willing to blame everyone and anyone for his mistakes and his wrong-doings.  Even his newly appointed Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security.

Why would anyone want to work for this maniac?  Our beloved leader’s definition of “loyalty” is to keep you mouth shut when you are in his crosshairs.  Both of these Secretaries seem to have learned that lesson very early in their terms.

And, the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 89. 

Today the Muslim ban executive order will get a hearing in an appeals court.  This hearing isn’t really about whether or not it is legal or unconstitutional, it is about whether or not it should remain on hold until the legality of it is determined.

Also, Betsy Devos will get her vote to head up the one Department she has absolutely no qualifications to head, the Education Department, other than giving over $200 million to Republican lawmakers in the past.  It looks like she will get her nomination approved because Mike Pence will have to cast the “tie breaker” vote and he won’t go against his beloved leader.

After his rambling incoherent speech yesterday at CentCom, the administration put out a list of terrorist attacks that were never covered by the media to prove they are “hiding” things.  The list includes many of the hugely covered attacks, and the best part is the list originated on that bastion of integrity and news reports InfoWars.

It also turns out that every attack that is listed on the list has been covered.  Maybe not a headline buster because of their location or number of people, but I read something about everyone of them.

Speaking of not being reported.  There is a story that none of the major media outlets are talking about.  This one story shows exactly just how unqualified trump’s intelligence advisors really are.  It shows them to be totally amateurish at best, and too interested in Russia News media at worst.

Since you have probably not heard about this one, let me give you a little background.  When the old Soviet Union broke up, a country known as Belarus became independent again.  They have a President named Alexander Lukashenko.  Actually, he is more of a dictator than a president, but anyway.

He has been in power since 1996 which is when Russia and Belarus settled on their border agreement.  That border was basically open between the two countries.  However, when the U.S. placed sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine invasion, Putin announced that Russia would not accept any food from the U.S.

He even ran a media campaign showing how they were burning and running food over with tanks.  That included his outrage about Belarus accepting food from the U.S. so he went in and took it for his media campaign too.

A few years ago, Putin approached Lukashenko with the idea of establishing a Russian Military base inside Belarus.  Lukashenko refused and said he did not want Russian Troops inside his country.

That prompted Putin to use Sputnik, a state-run media outlet, to ramp up pressure on Lukashenko.  Sputnik ran a story that Belarus was “begging Russia for Arms and Men to ward off an upcoming invasion of Belarus from Poland”.  If you don’t know where Belarus is it is a landlocked country wedged in between Poland and Russia, with Lithuania and Latvia to the north and Ukraine to the south.

You also need to know that when the Leninist took over Russia, Belarus was also known as White Russia.  That is where the civil war between the Red Russians and White Russians basically began.  Belarus acts as a “buffer” between Poland and Russia.

As you probably know from history, Poland is very afraid of Russia.  The two countries have had very difficult times between them and it was also in Poland where the breakup of the old Soviet Union began.

Late last year the U.S. began sending troops into Eastern Poland complete with tanks because of the Russian incursions on NATO countries.  Eastern Europe are mostly NATO members now, and we were showing Russia that we would uphold our NATO alliance against them.

Now things have gotten even a bit worse.  Lukashenko decided that he wanted more western visitors to his country.  So, he announced that people from 80 countries including the EU and the U.S. will no longer be required to have a visa for any visit up to five days.

You read that right.  If you were wanting to visit Belarus and you are going to stay for no more than five days, you won’t need a visa to visit the country.  Needless to say, Putin’s head exploded.  The last thing he wants is to have any EU or U.S. citizens wandering around his border with Belarus.

Almost immediately after the visa order was announced, Putin announced that he was going to “militarize” the border with Belarus.  Barbed wiring went up, and Russian soldiers were questioning everyone at the border.

As a result, Belarus’ leader Lukashenko is upset by the Russian Moves.  As the Financial Times reported:

Russia and Belarus share a border under a 1996 deal that set up a commonwealth known as the Union State. But Russian border guards this week set-up checkpoints at crossings into Belarus in response to Mr Lukashenko’s decision to introduce five-day visa waivers for citizens of 79 countries, including the US and EU member states.

“These tensions are happening because people in Russia are concerned that Belarus will move towards the west,” Mr Lukashenko said at an annual press conference in Minsk, the capital.

“As president I’m not supposed to play games or show my hand, because there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that you don’t see or hear and don’t need to know,” he added.

The comments by Mr. Lukashenko, often described as Europe’s last dictator, highlighted growing tensions between Moscow and Minsk over Belarus’s balancing act between east and west.

So, that is the background.  And, I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with trump.  Well, it goes like this.  All the while this was going on, Russia has broken the ease-fire in Ukraine.  Their surrogates have attacked a Ukraine city in Eastern Ukraine.  You would think that trump and his advisors would be concerned about this and want more intelligence on the matter.

But, you would be wrong.  The Associated Press reported the other day that trump senior aides aren’t too interested in Ukraine.  Julie Pace the Associated Press’ correspondent to the White House tweeted on February 4:

Also eyebrow raising: senior aides requesting info on Polish incursions into Belarus, which don’t appear to exist

That is right ladies and gentlemen.  The trump White House is looking for information that relates to Polish incursions into Belarus which has never happened!  I wonder exactly where these aides got their information?  There has been no story or any reports from any media anywhere in the world talking about Polish incursions into Belarus except in Sputnik, Russia’s state-run media.

According to the Associate Press:

“According to one U.S. official, national security aides have sought information about Polish incursions in Belarus, an eyebrow-raising request because little evidence of such activities appears to exist. Poland is among the Eastern European nations worried about Trump’s friendlier tone on Russia.”

Here we go folks.  We have U.S. troops located inside Eastern Poland to help protect that ally from Putin and his aggression.  And, our current administration wants information on Russian made up information about Poland’s incursion into Belarus.

The odd thing is that Lukashenko has never said a thing about being worried about Poland invading his country.  He has never said a thing about any incursions from Poland into Belarus.  Lukashenko dos not want Russian bases inside his country, and is not “begging” Putin to save him from that military juggernaut Poland.

I mean, why would Poland or any other Eastern European NATO ally be afraid that trump won’t honor the alliance?  He only called it out of date and that he might only defend those members who have “paid their fair share”.  So, Poland is very nervous about Putin and Russia and I don’t blame them.

But instead of worrying about and talking about the Ukraine and the problems Putin has caused there, they are looking for non-existent information about a non-existent issue.

So, like me you might be asking “what the hell is going on in the White House?”  Just who ordered this inquiry about information concerning the non-existent Polish incursions into Belarus?

But, the other questions you should be asking is just who does the trump administration really represent?  Are they just stupid pawns of Putin, or are they actively cooperating with Putin so he can rebuild his “empire” like the old Soviet Union?

The first shows their incompetence and the second would show treasonous activity.  I don’t like either option.  One will get us into more wars and the second will destroy our country.

Serial liar Kellyanne Conway once said not to listen to trump’s words, but watch his actions and listen to what is in his heart.  She may be right.  This issue shows exactly where trump’s heart is.  And, it isn’t with the United States Of America, it is with Putin and his Russia.

This also shows that if you just listen to trump’s bombastic outbursts you will miss the real goal behind the curtain.  We have a fake person sitting in the Oval Office.  He needs to be watched very closely or else we all lose.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 88.

This weekend did not provide any relief to the trump maniacal behavior.  He continues to show just how much of an autocrat he intends to be.  There were almost too many stupid comments to know where to begin.

Of course, he just had to attack personally, the judge who placed a temporary ban on his immigration order.  He called him a “so-called judge” and went on to say that there are going to be “really bad dudes pouring into the country” because of the stay.  That must be because our State Department and other agencies don’t know how to conduct proper vetting before issuing Visas.

Then an appeals court refused to give immediate ruling to stop the stay.  During the arguments in the original case in Washington, trump’s lawyers basically told the judge to “stay out of it” and that he didn’t have any authority to even rule on the order because it involved “national security”.

The Washington State lawyer called that comment frightening, which it was.  If the courts say that such an order cannot be challenged, they will open the door for everything to fall under the category of “national security”.  For example, trump could then order a “registry” for all Muslims under the category and “national security” and no one could challenge that order.

In other words, the Judiciary Branch of the government would be toothless and become irrelevant, which is what dictators want.  They could even say that red-headed people were not allowed into the country because of “national security”.  Where would it end?

Then, trump has another problem or rather two problems with Russia.  The first problem comes because when he called Iran the #1 Terrorist state, Russia disagreed with him.  As I mentioned in an early post, Russia is probably Iran’s best ally.  Why would they be willing to go along with trump?  Or, do they think that trump will eventually go along with them?

Then during an interview with Bill O’Reilly yesterday before the Super Bowl, trump was asked about Putting being a murderer.  And, how could he support such a person.  Trump defended Putin even to go so far as saying “we have a lot of murders too.  Do you really think America is so innocent?”

We are talking here about a leader of a country who has murdered opponents.  He murdered his biggest opponent just 100 yards from the Kremlin.  He tried to poison that person’s second in command, who actually lives in New Jersey, and when they failed, they tried again just the other day.  His status is unknown at this time.

Putin has been accused of murdering opponent reporters as well as political opponents.  Does trump actually know this or does he care?  Is this the type of government trump wants our country to have?  With his and his administration’s rants against our press, it makes you wonder just what is in store for us.

As a result of the interview with Fox News, Putin is now demanding that Fox News apologize to him for the question.  What will trump do if his propaganda arm refuses to apologize and Putin takes exception to that lack of apology?  Will trump order his propaganda arm to apologize or support his backers at Fox News.

While even members of his Republican Politburo are backing away from that defense of Putin, his VP is offering wonderful praise for trump’s honesty about wanting to work with Russia and Putin and his personal attacks on a judge who ruled against him.

Our beloved leader now claims that all of the polls conducted in this country that say he is unpopular or any of his policies are unpopular, they are all fake.  The only polls that are accurate are the ones that say he is just wonderful.

His “alternative fats” master has been out and about spreading lies about incidents that never happened.  Kellyanne Conway talked about that Bowling Green Massacre which never happened.  Then when everyone jumped at her lie, she started crying about all the “haters” who are picking on her.  Maybe if she learned to tell the truth instead of continuously lying through her pearly white teeth, she might discover that people wouldn’t “pick on her”.

On another note, trump probably won’t turn against Fox News.  What you may not know is that one of the ads for the Super Bowl was censored by Fox.   Fox considered the ad originally to be aired by 84 Lumber to be too “controversial” and told them to tone it down or it couldn’t be aired.

The ad was basically against the Berlin Wall on the southern border.  In the original ad, there was a picture of an actually wall that was stopping a mother and small girl from entering the country to join the girls’ father.  Only, someone and put a double door in the wall that you only needed to push to open.

But during the game, you never saw the wall and you never saw the door that was put into it.  It stopped at a barbed wire fence and then showed a web site you could go to so you could see “the rest of the commercial”.

Then there were the “boycott” campaigns against Budweiser because their ad showed someone telling Augustus Busch to “go back to where you came from”.  Then there is the “boycott” campaign against Coca Cola because their ad was inclusive and included non-white people and non-English words in the song being sung.

I was laughing an awful lot this morning.  I read so many reports about the so-called “patriotic” half-time show by Lady Gaga.  They never noticed all of the subtle jabs at trump and his policies.  Nor did they notice the pro-LGBT agenda inside the show.  All of the trump supporters completely missed all of that.  Just shows that bubble watching makes you dumber than you think.

Finally we have the Propaganda Minister, Sean Spicer criticizing Saturday Night Live for their portrayal of him.  He said it was “mean-spirited” and they should dial it back a bit.  Sounds like he borrowed one of trump’s tweets about the show when they criticize him, which is every week.

Yes, it was another stupid weekend from a stupid man trying to pretend he knows how to be a president.  After two weeks of screwing over the middle-class with his cancelling the decreasing mortgage insurance for first-time homebuyers and stripping the protections people had from their retirement accounts being used by brokers just to make money for themselves, he delved in other more dangerous ideas.

He challenged a federal judge’s right to rule on an order as to whether or not it is constitutional.  He challenged the court’s right to even rule an anything he does.  He keeps attacking our press in order to eliminate all opposition.  He defended a murdering foreign leader.

He also went on a rampage about the attacker at the Louvre in France, but has remained silent on the murder of Muslims in their Mosque in Ottawa, Canada and the Mosque that was burned to the ground in Texas.

We are starting week three of trump’s so-called presidency.  We can only imagine what is in store for us this week.  I am sure it won’t be pretty.

And, the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 86. 

I am not a conservative, but I am a veteran.  Even still, I am not going to set my hair on fire and start yelling about the Yemen raid like it was another Benghazi.  However, as a veteran, there are some things coming out that need to be discussed and should give you pause about our new so-called Commander in Chief.

Unlike most people, I fully understand the risks and dangers that go into pulling off a raid such as this one.  I fully understand that we service members volunteer for our jobs, and we take them very seriously.  We are willing to place our lives on the line for the benefit of our fellow citizens and our country.

Like everyone else, I do not know all of the facts that went into this raid and what planning went into it.  I do know that even with the best laid plans, things can go wrong.  So, unlike conservatives, I will not “judge” if the raid should have been done, or if more should have been done.  I don’t Monday Morning Quarterback things like this.

With all of that said, there is something that needs to be discussed.  Just how was the final decision made and who participated in that decision?  That can be the deciding factor as to whether or not this raid should have happened and what it tells us about the temperament and decision-making process of our president.

We also need to look at the “alternative facts” being put out by the White House in regards to this raid.  The biggest alternative fact to date turns out to be from the propaganda minister Sean Spicer.  In a press briefing he said that this plan had been approved “so easily” On January 6 by all the under secretaries and forwarded to President Obama.  The only reason it did not move forward sooner was that it required a no moon night and that would only be after trump took office.

On the face of that statement, it looks as though everything went according to plan.  Only, what was said is being brought into question by Colin Kahl who was Vice President Joe Biden’s Intelligence Advisor and was at the meeting on January 6.

Last night Kahl said that the raid in Yemen was “never discussed”.  He said it was never brought up and never even talked about.  That completely contravenes Spicer’s comments about how it was so “easily” approved.  That brings up even more questions.

Since the raid, leaks from the military have criticized the raid and basically said “everything that could go wrong went wrong.”  I don’t normally put a lot of stock in leaks from people after the fact, but in this case, coupled with the apparent lie given by Spicer, it does make me wonder if these leaks have some merit.

It has also been reported that there was insufficient intelligence on the ground and therefore, the SEALS landed in a very heavily defended compound complete with snipers, land mines, and heavily armed defenders.  They were caught completely by surprise.

To put it bluntly US military officials told Reuters:

“Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support, or adequate backup preparations.  As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced Al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger-than-expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.”

If what was said in that quote was true, there is no other way to put this.  The raid was a complete fuck up.  That may be because of how it was approved and who was in attendance for the approval.

Again, I don’t know for sure since I was not there, but reports say that trump made his decision over dinner.  The people who were at dinner with the president supposedly were Secretary of Defense Mattis, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner.  There may have been others, but again, with the secrecy in the trump White House, we just don’t know.

It was nice that Mattis was there.  But, come on now – Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner?  Last I heard Kushner wasn’t going to get any security clearance.  But, even if he does have security clearance, that does not mean he should have access to JSOC operations.  There are different levels of security clearances.

My other question is where in the White House did this dinner take place?  From reports it was not held in the Situation Room.  I ask this because if they were discussing classified information, they should have been in what is call a Secure Classified Information Facility (SCIF).  These are rooms that the sound of speaking cannot leak out.  I don’t know how many SCIFs are in the White House, but I am sure the dining room isn’t one of them.

If Mattis was present, then at the very least he should have insisted that the “dinner” take place in a SCIF if this operation was being discussed.  If he didn’t then he is guilty of gross negligence.  If he did and was ignored, he should have left the meeting.

From all reports, this raid went south right from the start.  That happens and I am not criticizing that.  However, if all the reports are correct, then we must wonder just who is in charge of things like this.  It makes me wonder if our new president has any clue about the magnitude of his decisions in something like this.

Let me be clear.  I am not saying the raid should not have taken place.  I am not saying that the military did not plan it properly.  However, I am questioning the full consideration, or lack thereof, of our president before making the final call.  Missions like this one are real.  Real people are placing their lives on the line in the mission.  We deserve a president who is not going to shoot from the hip and take advice from people who should not even be involved in the process.

I know you will say that Bannon is part of the NSC and has a right to be in the discussion.   I will counter with my statement from the other day that he was illegally appointed and should not be allowed to sit in the meetings until he is formally approved by the Senate.  In either case, what was Jared Kushner doing there?

As with most if not all classified missions we probably will not know all of the details of what happened.  We probably won’t know exactly what went wrong and what went right.  All we know is that one SEAL and one 8-year-old girl was killed in the operation and several others were injured and wounded.

I am not as interested in what happened in Yemen as I am in how the decision was made to carry out the operation.  If the reports of who was at the dinner when the call was made is true, and if it is also true that there was insufficient intelligence to make the decision clearer, then we all need to ask why our president ordered the operation.

When carrying out raids like this, there is always risk and service members understand those risks.  But, if the decision was made “on the fly” so to speak, that presents another problem.  It means our president made an uninformed decision that caused several deaths, including one of our SEALS.

To me, that is inexcusable and a complete dereliction of duty.  We can only hope that the truth will eventually come out, and before trump sends more people to die.

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