So, $600,000,000,000 (that’s $600 billion) has gone missing. Well, not really missing. Somebody has it. That’s the money that was earmarked for small businesses to help them get through the covid-19 pandemic.
The money Congress appropriated. Legal. Now, in order to get some of this money a business had to fill out an application. An application which made it clear that this money was not given in secret. No right to privacy. After all, its the taxpayers money you are getting.
Then something strange happened. My good friend, Stephen Mnuchin , Secretary of the Treasury, has decided the American people do not have the right to know what happened to those $600,000,000,000. (That’s billion).It’s secret. Hush. Hush money?
So, I called Steve and asked him about it.
Me: Hello Steve, how’s the trophy wife?
Steve: HA HA , you wish. She’s fine.
Me: What about this $600 billion dollars you gave away. Where did it go?
Steve: None of your business. Top secret. Private. No one needs to know. Trust me. It has all gone to a good cause.. or two.
Me: But shouldn’t the taxpayers know how their money is being spent? You know, oversight? Transparency?
Steve: Joe, Joe, Joe. You crack me up. I am the Secretary of the Treasury. It’s MY money, you silly guy…. (end of conversation)..
So, I say to myself, you know. Steve has the right idea. I think (and this is where I always get into trouble) I might try this in my own house. Not being as frugal as my better half, I have absolutely no savings. But, lucky spouse that I am, Betsy has a few bucks tucked away.
Being a rather charming and eloquent guy, I convinced Betsy to “loan” me $3,000 from her savings. She, of course, wanted to know why I needed the cash. I assured her that there are MANY things that need to be done around the house. And I was planning on putting the money to good use. It is probable that visions of painting rooms, fixing gutters and rewiring the basement flittered through her imagination. Who was I to dismiss such fantasies?
Anyhow. A week later.
Betsy: So, what have you bought with the money I gave you?
Me: Essentials. Things we needed. And I provided. I’m a provider.
Betsy: What, specifically.
Me: All kinds of good things. Things to make our household great again. Things you would approve of. Wonderful things.
Betsy: Look, Buster. I want specifics. What did you spend my 3,000 bucks on? And it better be good.
Me: Well, as my good friend Stephen Mnuchin says, you really don’t need to know. I consider it private . Let’s call it proprietary information. Need to know basis. None of your business, my dear. You are out of the loop, darling…… (end of conversation)…
An hour later, after I had time to staunch the bleeding in my nose and the ice pack on my left eye had melted, I hobbled out to the car. With tears in my eyes I drove back to Golfer’s World and reluctantly returned the $3,000 set of golf clubs and accoutrements.
As I was leaving the store I saw Steve and his wife exiting Alfredo’s Luxury Furs. Now, to be precise it was not his first wife, Kathyrn. Or his second wife, Heather. No. It was his third wife, Louise. And she was sporting a very fine Ocelot skin jacket. They made a very attractive couple.
Me: Hey, Steve, I was just wondering where…. (he interrupted, raising his hand)…
I live in the country in western New York about 5 miles from a small town. There has been some controversy over the Facebook pages for this town. It got so bad that the mayor and others set up a new Facebook page.
What seems to happen on Facebook is that people get progressively ruder and ruder. Folks who would give you the shirt off their backs turn into folks who would shoot you in the back. People who would gladly buy you a drink turn into folks who would poison your coffee. Now why is that?
As in all things, I have my theories. Not original by any means.
One idea is the fact that Facebook is largely anonymous. But that’s not really the case here. Most folks use their real names (I think). I use mine. So, anonymity cannot be the reason.
Another idea is that communication is much more than words. But Facebook, except for the lame emojis, is all words. Words. And not spoken words, but written words. Now, psychologists will tell us that 70-93% of all communication is “non-verbal”. That is, body language. Voice inflection. What a person looks like. Tone of voice. Etc. (Although that number has been challenged as too high by some researchers).
So, if that is true it would mean that the written word is only 30% of what is being communicated. The rest you have to figure out. This may be where the problem rests.
My friends know that I tend to be sarcastic (Tend?) So, when I SPEAK my tone will tell them that. Even when I write my blog or posts people who know me know that I may be ironic or intentionally dramatic. Hyperbolic. Not totally serious. But, someone who only reads the words I write may come away with an entirely different perception. They don’t get the humor. No subtlety.
I mean, just today someone responded to one of my rather feeble attempts at sarcastic humor by calling me (or I should say, “writing to me”) a “fu…ing idiot.”
To be clear. I am not now, nor ever have, claimed I am NOT a “fu…ing idiot.” I could very well be a “fu…ing idiot.” God knows, if you took a poll of the people who know me best, the results may be conclusive in a way that I would not prefer. But whether I am or am not a “fu….ing idiot” is not the point.
The point is that IN PERSON I doubt that anyone would call me a “fu…ing idiot” right to my face. At least not until they got to know me. On Facebook and other discussion sites people often make assumptions beyond the words. And base their responses on preconceived notions, based on , well, “baseless” assumptions.
I will be the first to admit that I am not immune. As a liberal who believes in the necessity of social programs I have a particular point of view. I start from a place based on my own life experiences and analysis of the systems within which we live. I try to use research and information from good sources.
For example, when I worked as a poll watcher I worked with Republicans. We have very different ideas about government, society and the role of government in that society. Yet, we were able to be pleasant, even joking, with each other for a day at the polls. As human beings, face to face, we did not devolve into name-calling “fu…ing idiots”.
Yet, when I get on some of these posts I morph . Dr Jeckel and Mr Hyde. Or is it Heckel and Jeckel? I confuse the two. Reading someone else’s post can immediately put me into antagonistic mode. Arguments ensue. When that happens I notice that each side tries to cherry-pick a point or two that they see as the weakness in the other’s position. A little information is a dangerous thing. Taking a word or brief quote or statistic out of context can be a sword, but not a very useful one. Unless the only goal is to stab.
And that sometimes devolves into insults, open or veiled. Now, I don’t mind if someone IMPLIES that I am stupid. Or uninformed. As long as they can demonstrate they have evidence from a legitimate source to educate me. And as long as they are open to my evidence to the contrary.
This is where a breakdown occurs. A matter of sources. When people are getting their “information” from biased or questionable sources it means communication of other viewpoints becomes near impossible. I admit my main sources of information are the old stand bys. The New York Times. The Washington Post. The New Yorker. The Atlantic. Why these? Because all these sources have strong reputations for properly vetting information before they print it. That doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. But it means that as sources go you can be assured that there was no rush to print. And you can assume multiple sources for stories.
I had an online argument with a lady who simply said that she would not read the New York Times since they were not trustworthy. OK. Then we really can’t talk, because there is no common ground of evidence to discuss. (I want to make a distinction between the NY Times news and the NY Times EDITORIAL board. The editorial board tends to be liberal, no doubt. But the editorial board has no influence on the news sections).
So, can we discuss important issues on Facebook in a civil manner? I don’t know. But I do know that Facebook has a handy feature called “blocking”. I have blocked a couple people recently. Not because I disagree with them. Not because I don’t like their ideas. Not because they are always wrong and I am always right. I blocked them because they personally attacked me and one called me a “fu…ing idiot”.
And calling me a “fu…ing idiot” is reserved for family and friends.
I admit I did not know that the US had at least 10 military bases dedicated to traitors. 10 bases paid for by taxpayers of the USA dedicated to men who fought to destroy the USA. Learn something new every day.
Part 1. The list of LOSERS:
Beauregard … he was a Confederate leader who, after the war called for equal rights for blacks. That made him unique among the former Confederates honored by forts.
Benning… he wrote a speech explaining that the reason for the secession was to preserve slavery.
Bragg… known as the worst commander on either side of the war.
Gordon… known as one of the probable founders of the KKK in Georgia.
AP Hill… suffered from VD. Demanded to be buried standing up.
Hood… spoke about the “invincibility ” of the Confederate military.
Lee… opposed giving blacks the vote after the war.
Pickett.. his charge into union lines goes down as one of the stupidest military maneuvers in US history. A charge he watched from the safety of the rear.
Polk… an ordained bishop. Injured when the massive cannon named after his wife “Lady Polk” exploded when tested.
Rucker… only major commander who managed to get captured by the enemy.
Part 2. Mr Trump objects to renaming these forts after loyal American generals and soldiers. Men and women who fought in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Plenty of American soldiers who covered themselves with honor fighting for the USA, not against it.
Since Mr Trump seems enamored of America’s enemies who we have defeated over the years, I suggest we rename some of the other forts to honor those who fought against the ideas of freedom for all.
Rename West Point (NY) to Fort Benedict Arnold.
Rename Fort Grant (AZ) to Fort Adolph Hitler.
Rename Fort Nathan Hale (CT) to Fort Himmler.
Rename Fort Sherman (ID) to Fort Ho Chi Minh.
Rename Fort Sheridan (IL) to Fort Putin.
Rename Fort Defiance (KS) to Fort Saddam Hussein.
Rename Fort Sullivan (ME) to Fort bin Laden.
Rename Fort McHenry (MD) to Fort Goebbels.
Rename Fort Revere (MA) to Fort Kim Jung Un
And, of course, Rename Fort Washington (NH) to Fort Donald J Trump
I was watching an interview with Joe Biden on MSNBC last night. Also, on the show was the Georgian Democrat, Stacy Abrams. There seems to be a push by some on the left to make her Biden’s vice presidential candidate. That, in my opinion, would be a massive mistake. She is a nice enough lady but lacks the experience and recognition that Biden needs in a running mate.
So, I got to thinking. Always a unique and dangerous activity.
Want to watch Rush Limbaugh’s massive cranium blown apart like a giant pumpkin after a meeting with a shotgun blast?
How would you like to see Sean Hannity whining and crying (well, that’s nothing new) like a 3 year old as his noggin develops nodules and the bile spills out?
How about seeing the three Fox and Friends taking turns running in circles and jumping up and down like Mexican jumping beans (ILLEGAL Mexican jumping beans) while their noodles wilt like ice cubes in the sun.
Picture Lindsey Graham pouting, shouting, pounding, sounding, kazooming and glooming while his cranium is crushed like an anvil dropping on Wiley Coyote . Like that picture?
How about sitting back in your easy chair watching the Tweeter-in-Chief’s “biggest brain in the world” implode, explode, overload and miggletoad like a rotting tomato in the claws and jaws of a hungry squirrel ? Totally obliterated. OUCH.
Want to see that? Want to see unbridled panic? Want to see a political party and news network brought to it’s knees slobbering and babbling about a series of non sequitor non sequitors?
Easy. Joe Biden should select Michelle Obama as his running mate.
In a poll in 2018, Michelle Obama placed second among voters as the person they would want to see as the Democratic nominee. Only Joe Biden did better. Yes, even though she was not running and had no intention of running she placed better than Sanders, Harris, Warren, Booker…you name them.
In poll after poll, national and international, Michelle Obama is rated as either near the top or the most popular woman. Most respected. Classiest.
Imagine a campaign in which Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and Barack Obama are all in the Democratic limelight. Imagine the right wing misery to see one of the most popular former presidents and one of the most popular females in the US joining forces with Biden to win the election. Imagine how much excitement would be generated by this combination.
Imagine Michelle Obama, an advocate of decency and women’s rights, going up against Pence, Trump’s wooden soldier. Discussing voting rights, women’s rights, health care and general competency. She would have him for lunch. As a salad. Easy on the French dressing.
Obama -Biden won in 2012 and 2016. Biden-Obama can win, and I think win easily, in 2020. The Trump team knows it. There is no one they fear more than the Obamas, Barack and Michelle. The models for what a president and first family SHOULD be. (The reason for the Obamagate fantasy is precisely because they fear Barack and Michelle so much)
What a contrast that would be. Biden-Obama vs. Trump-Pence. What a contrast in the area of decency. Competency. Empathy. Experience. But best of all….
Just imagine the fun of watching the exploding heads on the right wing. KABOOM!
“A new report claims President Trump and members of his coronavirus task force are pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to modify its coronavirus death-toll methodology in a way that could lead to fewer deaths being counted.
The report from The Daily Beast Wednesday cited five anonymous administration officials working on the federal government’s response to the pandemic. The outlet reports Trump has privately questioned the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, which topped 80,000 this week, and suggested they may be incorrect or inflated by the current methodology. ”
Over the past weeks we see members of the “real news” (right wing ) questioning the reporting of Covid-19 deaths. On one hand, most experts are convinced that the numbers, as reported are low. Probably a lot more than the 85,000 reported deaths. People have died at home or people died before the the virus deaths were being counted. Nebraska has solved this problem by refusing to release the actual numbers of deaths. A truly Trumpian solution.
But the Trump position is that the numbers of deaths have been inflated. Trump’s political opponents have been using the death numbers to make him look bad. Many of these people who are reported as victims of Covid-19 are actually victims of other illnesses. It’s all a plot !
Based on this new interpretation of data it is time to look at other statistics and see if they have also been misinterpreted by the so-called experts. To investigate this I called my good friend Barney Flopbottom. Barney is a self-educated statistician who has never been tainted by a college education. He does have a degree in Statistical Science from Trump University. It cost him $25,000. But Barney says it was money well spent. Where else can you get a degree without attending a class?
So, I called Barney to discuss the nature of statistical data.
Me: Hi ,Barney, how you doing?
Barney: Well, I have a temperature of 105 and have been coughing up blood for 3 days. But those are just numbers. I’m ok.
Me: So, Barney, you have said in the past that gun death statistics, put out by the federal government, are wrong. Can you explain?
Barney: Well, not only are they wrong, they do not exist. We have no gun deaths in the US.Never did, never will. Same is true of the coronavirus. No one has died form the virus. Zero.
Me: Well, what about the murders of little children at Sandy Hook, or the shootings at Columbine or the Las Vegas shootings?
Barney: What about them? None of these were caused by guns. It is a hoax. A Democratic hoax. A libtard hoax.
Me: Well, we saw pictures of the deaths. We saw the children being murdered. In fact about 30,000-35,000 Americans die each years from gun violence. That means since the terror attacks on 9/11, over 600,000 American men, women and children are now dead because they have been shot with a gun.
Barney: HA! What a bunch of nonsense. Just like the fake numbers of Covid-19 deaths. The fact is , not a single man, woman or child has been killed by a gun or by the virus. It’s all fake news. Put out by people who hate Trump.
Me: Are you saying that 600,000 Americans were not killed by guns? Or 85,000 Americans have not been killed by the virus?
Barney: Exactly. Let me explain. Let’s say you were a 7 year old at Sandy Hook. going to school. Happy to be with your friends and teachers. A sweet little 7 year old. Now, some guy comes in with an AR-15 and shoots a bunch of kids and one or maybe 17 of the bullets hits you. Did the gun kill you? NO Did the bullet kill you? NO. What happens is this. The bullet enters, let’s say, your little beating heart. Now, the heart stops pumping blood so you die. It was the HEART that killed you, not the bullet. Or if the bullet hits your brain it is the brain damage that kills you, not the bullet!
Same with the coronavirus. The virus does not kill anyone. Use grandma as an example. Let’s say the virus enters grandma’s lungs and she stops breathing. It is the ABSENCE of air in the lungs that kills grandma. So, stop blaming guns and the virus. Stop blaming Trump.
Me: So all the data on coronavirus deaths is wrong?
Barney: Amen. We need to redo all the statistics. Not a single death of the 85,000 has been caused by the virus. The cause of death should be: “Lung disease” or “heart failure” or “unknown” or “act of God”. It’s all a plot to make Trump look bad. Time for the CDC to put out new, accurate numbers. ZERO.
Me: Well, Barney, I have to admit. It is hard to argue with that type of logic. I guess the numbers are all wrong. So, does this mean, what I think it means? We need to go back and change some of our historical misconceptions? For example, does this mean that the Holocaust deniers are all correct? That the Nazis did not kill 6,000,000 people?
Barney: Yep. Exactly. We need to rewrite the history books. The Nazis did not kill millions of Jews. That is just another example of fake news. It was a lack of food that killed some of them. Starvation. For others it was because they were breathing Zyklon B gas. Lung failure. Others died from exposure to the cold. Hypothermia. Isn’t it time we stopped trying to make Hitler look bad?
We hear from the right wing media and our mentally ill president that the country must “reopen”. The shutdown of the states must end. Based on that we see hair-brained gun toting “patriots” take to the Michigan capital because their “freedoms” have been taken away. We see protests in other states because people are asked to wear masks or do social distancing. Open up America !!
On my planet, called Earth, there has never been a “shutdown”of America. There has been a “Stay at Home Please” order by New York and other states. Stay at home except for essential travel. But not a complete shutdown. Not even close.
You want to see a “shutdown’? I refer you to the Warsaw Ghetto. Or the London blitz. Or the concentration camps of Pol Pot. Those were shutdowns.
Since early March life has changed drastically. But we have never been deprived of essential services. Only the extras. we have never been completely “shutdown” as some might suggest.
We go to Aldis once every couple weeks and stock up on groceries. We wear our masks and Aldis practices social distancing in their store. We buy 2 weeks worth of food and go on our merry way. No shutdown.
This week I had to have my snow tires taken off and summer tires put on my car, along with an oil change. Made an appointment. Wore my mask, as did MOST, but not all of the dealership personnel. No shutdown.
Next week I am taking another car in for the annual state mandated inspection. No shutdown.
The local grocer is open. As is the liquor store. Garbage pick up continues. No shutdown.
When we are too lazy to cook Luigis pizza and the Main Moon restaurants are open for take outs. No shutdown.
Need a prescription filled or some Pepcid AC? The Naples pharmacy is open. No shutdown.
If the weather ever warms up I can golf. As long as I maintain social distancing. When I golf alone I notice my scores improve. No one to correct memory . No shutdown.
Next month my annual urology appointment with Dr. Joseph is going to be by phone. OK, I admit having a large finger stuck up my ass may be the highlight of my year, but I can do that myself at home. So, nothing missed there. No shutdown.
And even many non-essentials are readily available, delivered efficiently by our Postal Service, which for some reason, the GOP is trying to destroy. No shutdown.
So, what IS shutdown? Nail salons. Tattoo parlors. Seating in restaurants. Bars. Gun shops. Beaches. And parades. No Memorial Day parades. And sporting events. And visiting relatives in nursing homes.
All essential and many non-essential services are and always have been available.
So, why the whining? Because I am supposed to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of Covid-19? Because my “freedom” to sit at the end of the bar and drunkenly philosophize about the liberals trying to take away my freedom has been curtailed? Because I can’t add another AR-15 to my collection of manly toys? Because I need a new “Live Free or Die” tattoo?
Much of our economy, it seems, is based on non-essentials. On extras. Toys.
Feed a three year old and she is happy. Wash her. Take care of her and she will be healthy. But take away her favorite toy and she will whine and cry and blubber.
Welcome to the “shutdown” in America. A few children can’t have their toys. WAAAAHHHH.
I coached baseball, basketball , softball and soccer for many years. Mostly at the high school level. Every sport has a rule book. Very precise rules. Except soccer, which has more flexible “laws”. At any rate, the rules are written and you play by the rules.
That is what I tried to impress on my players. Know the rules. Play by the rules. If you break the rules, take the penalty. That is just sports.
But I also emphasized to them that there are actually two sets of rules. There are the rule book rules and then there are the actual rules. The second set of rules is more important. That set of rules changes for every contest. That second set of rules depends on the umpire or referee. The men and women who are interpreting the rules. Making decisions. Making the calls.
A good player will try to figure out how the ref is calling the game. If the umpire is calling low pitches “strikes” and high pitches “balls”, then your pitcher should keep it low. If the soccer ref is allowing a few elbows to fly now and then and some pushing, well, loosen up those elbows. If the basketball ref is calling every ticky-tack foul, stop ticky-tacking. In other words, play the rules, but also play the ref.
I recall umpiring a middle school baseball game between two competing schools. Now, middle school pitchers can often not be too accurate. And middle school age coaches want their players to hit the ball and play the game, not sit around and wait for walks. So, before the game I told both coaches that today was going to be a big strike zone. If the ball was near the plate its going to be a strike. Better be swinging the bat. They both concurred. Both were happy. As long as the rules were evenly enforced.
Which brings me to Mike Bloomberg.
Many Democrats are angry and frustrated that this billionaire has been spending like a drunken sailor on leave . (No offense, Dan). He is a real self-made billionaire (unlike the IMPOTUS) and has plenty to spend. Some say he is worth $60 billion. The 14th richest man in the world.
Some candidates are suggesting he is trying to buy the Democratic nomination . (DUH). They say he has an unfair advantage (DUH. DUH). They say they don’t want a billionaire stealing the nomination. Can’t say that I blame them. After all, they have been working for years to get this job and he just plunks down a pile of cash and he is in the race.
Well, we will know more about Bloomberg once he gets on stage and has to answer some questions. Another rich guy, Tom Steyer, got on the stage and, in my opinion, stunk it up. He showed that having money does not translate into being astute or knowledgeable. We will see how Bloomberg does.
But no matter how he does, the Dems had better understand the rules of the game. Not as they WANT the rules to be, but what the real rules are. And in the US elections money talks. And big money talks big. Money is part of the rules.
No matter what “laws” exist concerning campaign funding, the bottom line is that the Federal Election commission has virtually no enforcement ability. Imagine a football ref who could call a foul but could not enforce a penalty. That is the system under which we live.
Also, Citizens United has made the case that money equals speech. Logically, the more money you have, the more speech you have. So Bloomberg has the biggest mouth in America. Trump is the biggest gasbag, for sure. But Trump’s “wealth” is dwarfed by Mike’s. Minor league.
Back to the rules. The GOP has made it clear that they want no rules. Russian interference? No problem. Ukraine extortion? OK with them. Unregulated cash from (fill in the blanks) is okey-dokey. Those are the REAL rules.
The Trump campaign will flood the TV and internet and Facebook and Twitter with misinformation. Lies. Vulgarity. Coded messages (or not coded) supporting racism, misogyny and xenophobia. The Trump hate machine will be in full force. The gloves are off.
So, the Dems better bring some brass knuckles to the fight. Bloomberg can flood the media, as he has been doing. He has the money and personality to play by the real rules. Nothing to be scared of. He’s a wealthy billionaire plutocrat, but he’s OUR plutocrat. Embrace him. Welcome him. We need him.
We may not like these rules. We may not want these rules. But we better play by these rules. The real rules. Otherwise it will be four or MORE years of attacks on the separation of powers. If we don’t win this election it may very well be the LAST election. If that’s the case we may see the end of democracy. No matter what the written rules say.
So, don’t be afraid of Bloomberg. For too long the Dems have been playing it by the book. Time to throw the book out the window and play to win. Play by the rules.
As the three people who read my blog know, I am pretty good at predicting things. I predicted that Jeb Bush would win the presidency in 2016, that Medicare for all would be enacted and that all Republican gun owners would turn in their weapons as a show of support for children murdered every day in America. OK, so maybe no so good. HOWEVER, here is part of my end of the year prediction from December , 2017, when the GOP controlled both houses…
“Finally. Congress votes itself a 50% pay raise for a “job well done”. The legislative branch passed a total of three bills. They were: 1. “The Amazing Trump is the Best President Ever” bill awarding the Trump Medal of MAGA to the best person in America. This year’s recipient? Donald Trump. 2. “The FBI Traitor” law. Which labels all members of the FBI, former and current, official “enemies of the people” and subject to immediate permanent detention and prosecution for doing “bad stuff”. Mueller is the first to be perp walked. 3. “Congressional Vacation Act” which allows Congress to take a vacation for a period including January 2 through December 30, with pay and expenses for fact finding travel. Mr Trump signed all three bills and praised Congress for their services… which will no longer be necessary.”
I was watching the pundits on Morning Joe this morning talking about the demise of the Democratic Party because of the APP problems in counting the Iowa Democratic caucus votes. Their main theme was the incompetency of the Democratic Party. And by extension any Democratic administration. Okey Dokey.
This was similar to another Democratic government run debacle with the roll out of the Affordable Care Act. We all remember how Obama and the Dems screwed that up. Big government at its worse. Except.
Except both the ACA roll out and the Iowa caucus problems were not caused by “big government” at all. Both were major technical problems made by private contractors, not the government. In a nation where the prevailing narrative remains that business is more efficient than government, we see the opposite. It is the private contractors that screw things up. Regularly.
Now, let’s look at really BIG government, the Social Security administration and Veterans administration. These are the government folks who send out your Social Security and Veterans benefit checks. And have been doing so for decades. Ever miss a payment? Ever have a check bounce. Ever have a failure to deliver? I rest my case.
But, back to the pundits who are already predicting the end of the Democratic Party. It is February 4, 2020. Between now and Election day there will be at least 10 new things that will once again give the pundits something new to predict. And they will be just as certain of themselves and just as wrong as they always are. As a self-made pundit, here are my 10 new things.
1. One of the Democratic candidates will be physically assaulted, by weapon or by fist. And she will punch back.
2. A major US corporation will file for bankruptcy. And be given tax dollars as compensation.
3. Kim Jung Un will announce that he has a nuclear weapon and the ability to reach the US with it. Also announces a contract for new Trump Tower in Pyongyang.
4. Donald Trump, Jr will announce the best trade deal ever with China, and the details will be forthcoming. The details never come forth.
5. A number of global warming catastrophes around the globe will prompt the UN to hold a global warming summit, which the US will refuse to support.
6. The GNP will continue to hover around 2.3% but no one knows what that means. Although 76% of the population is certain it has something to do with the Super Bowl.
7. Photos will emerge of Mike Pence leaving a room with a woman. She looks scared. So does he.
8. Israel will announce that they accept the Kushner peace plan which allows Palestinians to look at their former homes on the West Bank during Ramadan. For 2 minutes.
9. Mike Bloomberg will buy North Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas, giving him enough votes to win the election. He complains that he has used up all his pocket change for the week.
10. Vlad Putin will make a surprise appearance at the Republican convention and will graciously accept the nomination for president by acclimation of the party. Why not eliminate the middle man? Vlad will then appoint Ivanka Trump as his running mate.
So, those are my predictions. And after each event the pundits will all-knowingly tell us what it means. Again.
I know what you are thinking. Most of these are WAY OUT THERE and probably not going to happen. But number 10 is just obvious.
In 2017 he was accused, and later convicted, of shoplifting. The prosecution claims he had hidden some dog toys … yes, DOG TOYS … in his girlfriend’s purse. Then they left the store without paying.
Well, they did have SOME evidence against him, to be sure. They never actually found the toys in his girlfriend’s purse. BUT. They had a video of him going to the car and bringing his girlfriend’s purse into the store. They had some empty dog toy shelves. Stuff like that.
To be clear, they didn’t catch him in the act. It was only a day later when some store employers noticed some empty packaging in the dog toy department that they investigated. Sure enough, the Sherlock-type sleuths discovered that his girlfriend had absconded with $ 186 worth of dog toys!
Some of you who do not own pets may wonder how anyone could stuff $186 worth of dog toys into a purse unnoticed. I mean, that sounds like a lot of Fido fun. Loads of doggy diversions. Now, those of you WITH pets might have a different view. I mean, where can you get a purse load of dog toys for ONLY $186? Must have been in the discount bin. Give me the address of that store. But I digress.
So, despite his pleas of innocence (his girlfriend took complete responsibility, the sweet thing) he was convicted and sentenced. To 2 to 23 months in jail. For pilfering dog toys. Well, I said he was convicted of shoplifting, but not exactly. Since he, himself, never stole any dog toys he was actually convicted of “conspiracy to commit retail theft”. YIKES. That’s sounds a lot worse than shoplifting. A conspiracy.
So poor Benjamin was convicted. But that was then. This is now.
After watching hours and hours of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump from his prison cell, Benjamin had second thoughts. The first thought was this. Being forced to watch hours and hours of the impeachment trial may be grounds for release on a “cruel and unusual punishment” claim.
Second, he wanted a new trial with Lamar Alexander as foreman of the jury.
You see, Lamar Alexander has stated, in writing, publicly that “yes”, the House managers did present a convincing case. In fact, according to Lamar, he is convinced that president Trump DID solicit (extort) the Ukrainian government to try to force them to present an announcement of an investigation into the Bidens. He had seen enough, but it was not enough to convict.
So Senator Alexander does not need any more proof. Trump is a criminal. The facts are clear. Undisputed. But, since Trump is a criminal Lamar has decided NOT to vote to remove him from office. Or to seek any more evidence which might even further prove the case already proven by the House managers. Because, after all, if we convicted criminals what would be next? Slippery slope.
Lamar’s statement: “…There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence.’ There is no need to consider further the frivolous second article of impeachment that would remove the president for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers.
“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate….”
When Benjamin saw this he leaped for joy. That is exactly the point he was trying to make. Just because he was found to have committed a crime does not mean he should be found GUILTY of committing a crime. Just because he was involved in a conspiracy, and that was proven by the prosecution, does not justify a GUILTY verdict. It was not really a crime, it was just “inappropriate” for him to conspire to shoplift. And, if we are to uphold what Senator Alexander calls “the principle of equal justice under the law” shouldn’t Benjamin go free?
Benjamin wants Senator Alexander on his jury. And Dershowitz as his lawyer. Mr Forsythe is hoping to call Donald Trump, Jr as his character witness. If he can afford the fee.
There is a new sheriff in town. His name is Lamar. His concept of the law: Some crimes are just not punishable. It all depends on who commits them.
Watching Alan Dershowitz make his arguments for presidential power was certainly mind numbing. Now, I can understand why Trump would have Dershowitz on his team. He has a long history of effectively defending people who might have otherwise been convicted based solely on evidence. OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein, Claus von Bulow and others. Also, his connections with Fox “news” and his connections with the same sex ring that Trump and Clinton seemed to be part of what made him a good choice.
Nevertheless, despite his person flaws and general lack of integrity aside, let’s look at his arguments. Remember, no other Constitutional scholar was willing to sit on the president’s team. Not even Jonathon Turley who the Republicans brought in to testify to the House inquiry. So, Alan stands alone as the expert on the Constitution for Trump.
His basic argument has been this.
If the president did something illegal, but he did it for good reasons, then that is not impeachable.
Furthermore, if the president THINKS that his own re-election is in the public interest, anything he does to secure his own re-election is not impeachable. As long as the president believes his re-election is what is best for the country he may take any actions to assure that re-election and , according to Dershowitz, that would not be an abuse of power.
Here are his own words: “Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest and, mostly, you’re right — your election is in the public interest,” Dershowitz said. “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.“
I taught European history for many years when it was part of the old New York State curriculum. Since then European history has been subsumed into a more comprehensive Global Studies curriculum.
Back in the day we spent a bit of time on the French Revolution and the historical basis for that event. The long term developments leading to the Revolution are rooted in the old monarchical system. In the 17th century there was a power struggle in France.
On one hand we had the monarch and on the other the nobles. The majority (98%) of the people could just pound sand. They really did not count.
In order to centralize his power Louis XIV decided that he needed to move against the nobles . Now, the power of the nobles was in the great city of Paris (Washington, DC). To eliminate that power center Louis decided to build a new power center, near the small village outside of Paris. A day’s ride from Paris. So he built Versailles (Mar -a – Lago). There he could control the nobles.
I have been to Versailles. It is mind boggling in both size and luxury. Especially when you consider it was built in the 17th century. A short train ride from Paris today, but in Louis’s time it was isolated from Paris. If a noble wanted to be part of the power structure he had to travel to Versailles. He had to genuflect to Louis. And so Louis was able to slowly bring the nobles under his control.
Most famously a quote attributed to Louis (whether he said it or not, he certainly acted as though he did) was : L’etat C’est Moi. I am the state.
What does that mean? There is no distinction between the interests of the state and the interest of the king. There is no division between what is good for the king and what is good for the state. I am the state. What is good for Mr Trump is, by definition good for the United States.
Now, if we accept this argument, then the following logically follows.
In November of 2020 Mr Trump believes that the election of his opponent is not in the best interests of the nation. However, he honestly believes that his own election is in the best interests of the nation. That being the case, on election night, the results are in.
Mr Trump’s opponent has won. But wait. The election of his opponent is not in the best interests of the nation. So, Mr Trump simply invalidates the election.
He asks Attorney General Barr offer his legal opinion and Mr Barr concurs. It is within the power of the president to annul the election because there is nothing in the Constitution that specifically states a president CANNOT nullify an election.
But wait, Congress can step and overturn the decision. No. According to the legal opinion of the Justice Department the president has unlimited power, as long as he is acting in what he (and he alone) considers is best for the country. The Congress cannot review any decision made by the president. He is above the law. The imperial presidency.
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump started last week. The House managers presented a very thorough case. Now it is the time for the defenders of the president to speak. Fair enough.
So, what should they say? Well, let’s look at what the House has presented and see how they can respond.
The House case focuses first on the withholding of aid to Ukraine and the withholding of a meeting in the Oval Office with the president of the Ukraine. Both are important to the Ukraine for what should be obvious reasons. Ukraine is partially occupied and is at war with Putin’s Russia. Not to belabor the point but again. Ukraine is partially occupied and at war with Putin’s Russia.
So, the Ukraine desperately needs military help. Which the Congress and the president have given them.They also just as desperately need Putin to understand that the US stands with Ukraine against his illegal occupation and aggression. So, both the military and political aid are essential.
It is a fact that the Department of Defense was ready to start to distribute the military aid to Ukraine on June 18, 2019. From the DOD website:
The DOD does not release any military aid unless a thorough review has been done to make sure the country is meeting the requirements for fighting corruption, insuring human rights, etc.
So, for the president’s Defense Team. The first point they need to address is why the military aid was withheld. What information came to light between June 18 and the hold on the aid? There may be legitimate reasons for withholding aid, if so, what were they? And why was the very process for withholding aid taken out of the usual channels and handed over to a political appointee, rather than a career official?
Along the same lines, the defense may argue that the president can unilaterally withhold aid for any reason. In fact, the aid was held up 9 different times, with no explanation. However, the Government Accounting Office relayed a decision that what Trump did was break the law. A law that requires him to notify Congress with reasons for any hold up in aid:
“In the summer of 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld from obligation funds appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD) for security assistance to Ukraine. In order to withhold the funds, OMB issued a series of nine apportionment schedules with footnotes that made all unobligated balances unavailable for obligation. Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA….”
So, the president or his staff broke the law. Period. His defense team needs to explain that and justify the hold on military aid. Why did the president think it was essential to break the law? Perhaps he had good reason.Legal reasons. What were they? And why was Congress never notified?
Furthermore, since aid was eventually released they need to answer another question. What happened to make the president change his mind and lift the hold? What new evidence emerged? Did he discover it was illegal or was there a change in Ukraine? What specific reason was there for all of a sudden releasing most of the aid?
The second charge on impeachment brought by the House managers was the obstruction of Congress. Now, it is pretty obvious that Congress was obstructed since the president refused to provide and documents or witnesses to help in the investigation. The question is, was that obstruction legal?
On Saturday the president’s team argued that the entire impeachment proceeding was illegal. So, since the proceeding was illegal they had no requirement to cooperate. Of course, this argument does have a major hole.
The position presupposes that the executive branch alone can decide for the House of Representatives what it can and cannot investigate. In other words, although the Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment to the House, the executive branch can overrule that power. The position falls flat on two levels. First, it disregards the specific language of the Constitution.
Article 1, Section 2: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Of course it makes no sense legally or logically for the object of an impeachment or investigation to have the power to end an impeachment or investigation.
Along the same lines the president’s defense claimed that the House violated their own rules, so therefore the very impeachment itself is illegal. Yet, here we are. The Senate, controlled by Mitch McConnell, recognized the legality of impeachment. The Supreme Court, along with Chief Justice Roberts, recognizes the legality of the impeachment. We are having a trial precisely because the House acted legally. So, once again we have the president, alone, making claims that no other branch of government agrees with.
Now, it is legal for the president to, in certain circumstances, invoke “executive privilege”. However, invoking that privilege means the president has to make a case, before a court, that the documents or testimony being withheld is being done for legitimate national security concerns. So far, Mr Trump has made no such claim.
His lawyers, however, have taken the position that he can claim executive privilege without making a formal claim of executive privilege. In their words, he can hide anything he wants for any reason he wants. In other words, the chief executive is supreme and cannot be investigated or impeached. Trump has taken this position publicly:
“…Trump was giving a speech at a Turning Point USA conference, where he predictably veered off into a tirade about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and how, as president, Trump could’ve stopped it.
“I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump said. “But I don’t even talk about that because they did a report and there was no obstruction.”…”
“…During a pre-taped one-on-one interview with ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulos, Trump argued that “a lot of great lawyers” agree that Article 2 of the Constitution means that the President can’t obstruct justice.
“So a president can’t obstruct justice?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“A president can run the country,” Trump responded. “And that’s what happened, George. I run the country and I run it well.”
“When the President does it, it’s not illegal?” Stephanopoulos asked….”
“I’m just saying a president under Article 2–it’s very strong, read it,” Trump said. “Do you have Article 2? Read it.”
(To be clear, executive privilege is not mentioned in the Constitution)
So, the president’s defense team will have to find a justification that he has refused to cooperate with Congress. While they may rightly point to very specific instances where other president’s have attempted (successfully or unsuccessfully) to invoke “executive privilege”, they will have to justify an unbridled power of the president to hide all his actions and documents.
Now, will the defense team address these issues raised by the House managers? Will they respond to the facts and evidence in the charges? Will they talk about how the Democrats have hated Trump from day one? Will they talk about Adam Schiff? Will they talk about the Mueller Report being a hoax? Will they claim the entire procedure is a “witch hunt”? Or will they talk about how corrupt the Biden’s are? Benghazi Redux?
In other words, will they address the points the Hose manager have made, or will they deflect ? Isn’t the answer obvious?
My good friend Bobo the Clown was indicted for murder.
The prosecutor had a video of Bobo walking into the bank. Shots were heard. Bobo left the bank with big bag.
The police were called. One bank teller was dead on the floor. Shot three times. In addition thousands of dollars were missing from the bank.
Bobo was arrested. He plead not guilty.
Bobo’s lawyer said it was a witch hunt. The police hated clowns. They were singling out Bobo because he was a clown.
So, the evidence was clear. But wait. just before the trial began 3 witnesses came forward. They all knew Bobo. They all said they saw Bobo with a gun and a bag of money. One of them even drove Bobo’s getaway car. A clown car.
Now, Bobo’s lawyer claims that these witnesses should not be allowed to testify. They are too late. They should have come forward earlier.
As it happens, the chairman of the jury, Moscow Mitch, agrees. Moscow Mitch , in addition to being chairman of the jury is a long time clown friend of Bobo. In addition Moscow Mitch decides what evidence can be presented at the trial. They go back a long way. He doesn’t want to hear anything else.
A Republican congressman made this statement during the debate on the impeachment of Donald Trump.
“Before you take this historic vote today, one week before Christmas, keep this in mind,” Loudermilk exclaimed. “When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers.”
“During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats afforded this president in this process,” he concluded…..
And so it goes. The finest man ever to don the robes of the presidency of the US has been impeached. Unfairly. Crucified. Beaten. Handed a crown of thorns. Just like Jesus.
Some may claim that the comparisons between Jesus and Trump are unfair. After all, the Christ guy never won the popular vote in an election. Other than that, the parallels in the lives of these two men…er, gods…is pretty telling.
Until recently we knew little about Jesus outside of the gospels, but a recent discovery of scrolls in a cave in Israel has shed more light on the life of the Chosen One. (I mean Jesus). The actual trial transcript of the trial of Jesus has now emerged.
The title of the document: The Roman Empire versus Jesu bin Joseph, AD 31. It is a blockbuster.
The transcript outlines how Jesus sent his lawyer, Matthew the younger, to Sumeria to dig up dirt on John the Baptist. In return, Jesus implied he would send some magic loaves and fishes to help the King of Sumeria deal with the famine. He was explicit, however, that there was no “quid pro quo”. (Since people back then spoke Latin they actually knew what what meant.)
Lawyer Matthew also paid off Mary Magdelane to keep her mouth shut about her “contacts” with the Chosen One. Twenty five silver coins and a jar of holy water, turned into a mild chablis. That did the trick.
At the trial Jesus refused to let any of his disciples testify. He invoked the highest executive privilege. He claimed that God the Father himself refused to allow any testimony. In fact, he claimed that God the Father Himself wrote a legal opinion that Jesus could not be indicted. Even if he used his slingshot and killed a Samaritan on the road to Jerusalem. Above the law.
Now, the prosecutors claimed that Jesus had defiled the temple by throwing out the money changers, a clear case of assault and battery. And obvious socialism. He worked on the Sabbath, which was against union rules. He turned water into wine and served it to minors. He even gave end of life care to Lazarus, and never left an invoice.
Worst of all, he gave out free food and free health care to the poor. And some of the poor were illegal immigrants from Egypt. Not even Roman citizens. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Jerusalem was not happy. They were losing plenty of denarii on their prescription rider charges.
Since the transcript is incomplete we will never know how the trial turned out. But, I suspect with a jury foreman like Mitch McConnell it was an easy acquittal.
Like Jesus before him, let us hope that Mr Trump, the new son of the GOP gods, has the same fate as the first Jesus. If so, it would be a miracle.
If only Jeffrey Dahmer were still alive. His unjust conviction and sentencing would certainly be overturned. All he needed was a defense team led by Jim Jordan, Congressman from Ohio and Devin Nunes from California.
For those who may not know, Mr Dahmer was convicted of a number of crimes. Murder. Sexual assault. Rape. Necrophilia. But if he had the Republican defense team, and more importantly a Republican jury, he would be a free man today.
The arguments for his conviction would have been something like this. Evidence of his murder of Steven Hicks consisted of dental evidence, buried in Dahmer’s yard. Evidence of his attempted murder of Tracy Edward’s by his own testimony (the only victim able to escape). The 57 gallon drum of chemicals in his bed room. And, to quote Wikipedia……
“A more detailed search of the apartment, conducted by the Criminal Investigation Bureau, revealed a total of four severed heads in Dahmer’s kitchen. A total of seven skulls—some painted, some bleached—were found in Dahmer’s bedroom and inside a closet. In addition, investigators discovered collected blood drippings upon a tray at the bottom of Dahmer’s refrigerator, plus two human hearts and a portion of arm muscle, each wrapped inside plastic bags upon the shelves. In Dahmer’s freezer, investigators discovered an entire torso, plus a bag of human organs and flesh stuck to the ice at the bottom.
Elsewhere in Apartment 213, investigators discovered two entire skeletons, a pair of severed hands, two severed and preserved penises, a mummified scalp and, in the 57-gallon drum, three further dismembered torsos dissolving in the acid solution. A total of 74 Polaroid pictures detailing the dismemberment of Dahmer’s victims were found. In reference to the recovery of body parts and artifacts at 924 North 25th Street, the chief medical examiner later stated: “It was more like dismantling someone’s museum than an actual crime scene.”
In addition, Dahmer confessed to numerous other murders and crimes, as well.
If this seems like an open and shut case I am afraid you have not seen the Republican defense team at work. So, let’s see what happens when Dahmer calls Jim Jordan to the rescue!!
Mr Jordan: This case is all about hate. Hatred for Jeffrey Dahmer. As soon as the police identified him as a potential murderer they have gone out of their way to convict him. Outrageous! A massive hoax with no fact. All hearsay. The facts twisted to fit their hatred of Dahmer and his kind.
Jordan continues: Let us see what the police actually have presented. All they have presented are numerous skulls and body parts. Were those body parts and skulls found in Dahmer’s apartment? Yes. So what? Does that prove anything? The only answer is : NO! Is it possible that someone else sneaked into Dahmer’s apartment and planted that evidence? Just like the OJ frame up? Furthermore, did the police have a search warrant to search for 7 skulls ? NO. they did not. So that evidence should be thrown out of court.
Jordan continues: Now, the prosecution will claim that Dahmer confessed to these crimes when he was caught. But those are only his WORDS. Are we going to convict a man based on his OWN WORDS? My god, what a railroad job. Just because he was able to identify the skulls and tell the police what happened, does that make him guilty? No. Never.
Jordan: Now regarding the so-called “evidence” of the polaroid photos of dismembered bodies. Yes, these were found in Dahmer’s desk. But should they be used as evidence of a crime? Definitely not. These were his PERSONAL photos taken for his own enjoyment. They fall under executive privilege. He classified them as top secret. So no one has the right to look at them. Period. This privilege is perfect. No one except Dahmer and his lawyers are allowed to see them. Hoax. Hoax. Illegal!!
Jordan: Now, I ask the jury to use their common sense. If Dahmer had killed all these people and used acid to remove the skin from their skulls would he have kept that acid in a 57 gallon tank in his bedroom? If he had buried the bodies would it not be because he wanted to give these strangers a Christian burial? If he did take photos of mutilated corpses are they not his private property and no one else’s business.
Jordan: This entire case is based on just two pillars. Circumstantial evidence and Dahmer’s own words. No one, absolutely no one, says they witnessed Dahmer kill, mutilate or rape anyone. The prosecution has not been able to produce a single witness to the actual crime. There is no DIRECT testimony. NO DIRECT evidence, only his admission and the skulls. And the 57 gallon tank. And the body parts in the frig. And the blood. No DIRECT evidence. For that reason, you must acquit.
The Republican jury deliberates for 15 minutes and the returns smiling with a verdict.
Judge: Will the clerk read the verdict?
Clerk: We, the Republican jury find Mr Dahmer NOT GUILTY on all counts…… PS. We also think you should “Lock Her Up”.
At the defense table, high fives all around. Dahmer, in his excitement , invites Jim Jordan to join him for “dinner”. Jordan scampers way quickly and yells back: “Not a chance”.
Chris Wallace, of Fox News, interviewed Senator Kennedy of Louisiana during his Sunday morning talk show. Wallace was very specific. He pointed out that the entire Intelligence apparatus of the US government concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. And Ukraine did not.
He pointed out that any Ukrainian interference claims had been debunked. He was clear.
Kennedy responded that he did not know. He said it COULD have been Ukrainians, but no one knows. Could have been.
When Wallace pointed out that there was NO EVIDENCE to support that claim, Kennedy responded (trying to be clever, I think), the the “absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence”. Just because there is no evidence a crime has been committed does not mean a crime has NOT been committed. Just because there is no evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election does not mean Ukraine did NOT interfere in the 2016 election.
Now, it is hard. No, It take that back. It is IMPOSSIBLE to argue with that line of reasoning. What isn’t there isn’t there but that doesn’t mean it might not be there.
Senator Kennedy got me thinking. Always a dangerous situation. So, let’s take a look back at other moments in history and revisit them.
The Holocaust. No one, well, there are a few, claims the Holocaust did not occur. But did it? Some people say it didn’t. And even if it did occur, who was behind it? There is evidence that the Nazis and other Germans were responsible. But could it have been someone else?
In the 1930s there was a tribe in Kenya called the “Kikuyu”. Never did the Kikuyu issue a statement of support for Jews. NEVER. We know that in later years the Kikuyu rose up and fought the British who had colonized Kenya. It was called the “Mau Mau” uprising. Is it possible that the Kikuyu were anti-Semitic? There is no evidence contradicting that idea. So, it is POSSIBLE that the Kikuyu, not the Nazis, were actually responsible for the death camps. They hated whites. Jews are white. The Kikuyu were violent. The camps were violent. The “absence of evidence ” should not stop us from pointing out the obvious: The Kikuyu COULD have run the death camps.
The US Civil War. From 1861-1865 the US was engaged in a great civil war. No one denies that fact. But who was really responsible and why was it fought? There are a few ideas and some that have supporting evidence. Was it to protect the institution of slavery? Evidence for that. Was it to break up the union? Evidence of that. Was it to maintain states rights? Evidence of that.
However, is there something else at play? Perhaps. Keep in mind, I have NO EVIDENCE that the following happened. Nevertheless. Follow me.
Baseball was just becoming popular in the 1860s. A few teams were starting up, playing teams from other towns. But how could baseball grow into a national past time? The baseball team owners needed a war. This would divide the nation and make people more loyal to their own towns, hence their own teams. (Even today, some misguided fools support the Detroit Tigers!)
So, the team owners got together and hired some southerners to attack Fort Sumter. They hired Jeff Davis, Robert E Lee, Jeb Stuart and others to go to war with the north. It is POSSIBLE that even A. Lincoln was in on the plot. I have NO EVIDENCE but it is said by some that he owned the rights to the Chicago White Sox. WHITE !!! Racism!!!
So, was Abe Lincoln the person who started the Civil War for his own personal profit? I have NO EVIDENCE of this. But Like Senator Kennedy said: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
The DNC Ukraine Connection in 2016. Now we get to the juicy one. What was the connection between the Ukrainian government and the DNC server hack. The US intelligence services have investigated and found NO EVIDENCE. So what?
According to GOP sources, here is what happened. The DNC paid Cloudstrike to hack the DNC computers. So , they paid to have themselves hacked. Now , a reasonable person may ask why they would do that? Easy.
The DNC had their own computers hacked and damaging emails released by Wikileaks because they wanted to undermine the Trump campaign. The DNC wanted Trump to be elected so they could then IMPEACH him ! A clever ploy.
To hide their plot the DNC shipped their server to the Ukraine. And kept it hidden. You may ask why they just didn’t dump it into the Atlantic Ocean. Silly people. If they dumped it there would be NO EVIDENCE that they hacked themselves. By hacking themselves and blaming it on Putin they could then undermine the Trump administration. Simple. Of course, there is no evidence of this, but recall.
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. Which leads me to my final example. Or fact. Or whatever.
Is Senator Kennedy a child molester? I want to be very clear about this. I am not accusing Senator Kennedy of being a child molester. There is NO EVIDENCE that he is a child molester. No one, to my knowledge has ever accused him of being a child molester.
Kennedy is a male. An old white male. We know that some old white males are child molesters. That is indisputable. Also, Kennedy would undoubtedly DENY he is a child molester. But isn’t that EXACTLY what a child molester would do? Do I have EVIDENCE? No, but then has the FBI ever investigated him for child molestation? I don’t know. Perhaps the entire Fox interview given by Kennedy was designed to throw the FBI off the trail. To hide his crimes. Who knows? Could be.
Remember that Kennedy himself has said: “Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence“. Right?
This year, for the first time, I became an Election Inspector.
Now, in NY in order to be an Election Inspector you have to take a 4 hour class . This class covers the proper way to sign in voters. How to ask for additional information if the voter is not in the book. How to offer affidavit ballots (used to be called provisional ballots). And a myriad of other things.
The training includes using the voting machine and helping folks, if they need help, in placing the ballots in the machine.
Then, you must take and pass a test on all this stuff.
I worked from 5 AM to 1:30 PM, only half a day. Most inspectors work the entire day , which lasts 17 hours.
In NY inspectors are appointed by the political parties, with the two top parties working the polls. That would be the Democrats and Republicans. I am a Democrat. At all times you must have both parties present, hopefully in equal numbers.
Now I live in deep Republican country. If fact, in these local elections most offices do not even have a Democrat running. And the 2 or 3 that were running for county offices lost. Badly. One bright spot was the coroner.
The county coroner position was won by a Democrat! How did that happen?. Well, the GOP candidate forgot to file his petitions. His party was not happy with him. I doubt that the cadavers are too concerned.
Since the district I was working in had very few voters trickling in, we all had a lot of time to socialize. The GOP chairman in charge of this precinct happened to go to the same college, Michigan State University, as I did… but a few years later. We all chatted together, Dems and Repubs, telling jokes, swapping stories and helping each other figure our how to solve problems with ballots, etc.
You see, one of the rules in NY is that as an inspector you are not allowed to talk politics.
I have to say that I liked most of the people I met. Well, I liked ALL of the Republicans but there was one Democrat that rubbed me the wrong way. They were all so…HUMAN.
Did they really vote for Trump? Did they really support his racist policies? Do they think that Dems are communist and hate America?
I don’t know. But these folks seemed normal enough. Why on Earth would they vote for the GOP? I suppose they had the same thoughts about me. How could this guy, who seems decent enough, vote for the Dems?
It used to be like this in Congress. The Dems and GOP had different philosophies but did not go after each other personally. They treated each other like human beings, not caricatures. They fought the battle of ideas, not character assassination. What happened?
I will never agree with or accept the philosophy of the Republican party, no doubt. However. It will be hard. But the next time I see Jim Jordan or Mitch McConnell or even Donald Trump I will try to remind myself: My God, They’re Human.
No quid pro quo. So goes the latest talking point in the pretzel logic of the GOP. Let’s start at the beginning.
First, Trump did nothing wrong. Some crazy whistleblower without any first hand knowledge of the phone call to Zelensky reported it.
Hearsay. The whistleblower never heard the call, so he or she could not know what was on the call. So, nothing to see here.
Then we learned that the Inspector General looked at the case. He did some investigating, as he is supposed to. And he found that there was some substance to the whistleblower complaint.
But Mr Trump did nothing wrong, so he released the perfect transcript of the call. Well, not exactly the transcript, but a partial transcript with some parts missing. But it was perfect. See. Just another plot by the Dems to get Trump.
Then we read the partial transcript and OOPS. In it Mr Trump is clearly asking for a “favor” from Zelensky. The “favor”, it turns out , is to investigate “corruption” And he specifically mentions the Bidens.
No problem, says the Trump supporters. He never specifically tied any conditions to this request. Just asking and not getting what you want is not a crime. Trump never did anything to coerce the Ukraine.
Next, we learn that there was a months long attempt by Giuliani to get Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. And Sondland was involved. And Pence was involved. And Pompeo was involved. And Perry. And Volker. And Lev. And Igor. An entire parallel universe trying their hardest to get the Ukrainians to make up stuff about the Bidens. IF they wanted the military aid they deserved.
But then… it is learned that the military aid to the Ukraine was put on hold. Ukraine, in the middle of a border war with Putin. Ukraine, which badly needs military help and Congress voted to help. And the Pentagon is ready to deliver. Then a hold is placed on the aid. By the White House. No one knows why. But, no problem. As Kelly Anne Conway says: Just a coincidence!
So, no quid pro quo.
Now quid pro quo usually means that I will give you something and then you give me something. These “somethings” have value. And they are “somethings” I would not normally get. “Somethings” I may not even deserve.
So, does Ukraine get “something” they did not deserve? Nope. Eventually, after the whistleblower complaint became public, Mr Trump released the military aid. But this was aid they DESERVED. It was not a “quid pro quo” because it already supposed to go to the Ukraine.
Trump did not offer the Ukraine anything new of value. They already had a right, under the law, to the military aid. Did I mention they were fighting Putin? So any weapons Trump sent to the Ukraine might be used to kill Russian soldiers or lackeys. Putin was not happy.
So, there was no quid pro quo. The GOP is correct.
What we are seeing is a perfect phone call and a perfect set up. For extortion. Trump tried to EXTORT the government of Ukraine by withholding much needed military aid. Aid they had a right to . To force them to publicly state they were investigating the Bidens. Now, Ukraine did not need to investigate the Bidens, which would be a waste of time. No. Just announce, on TV, that you are investigating the Bidens.
Just give Mr Trump a political TV ad so he can call the Bidens crooks. Don’t worry about finding anything, the announcement is enough.Then Fox “news” can spend every day talking about the criminal Bidens. Every hour. Every minute.
Do it OR ELSE. OR ELSE you don’t get your military aid. You don’t get the photo op with the US president. Do it OR ELSE you will lose even more countrymen to the Putin invasion. 13,000 casualties already.
That is not a quid pro quo. It is extortion.
Extortion:the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.
So we now have the entire Republican party standing behind a man who has used extortion on an ally who is trying to survive the attacks by Putin. The GOP saying it seems ok to them. Extort an ally? Is that wrong? Is that an impeachable offense? Undermining the 2020 election? Is that wrong?
The stench of the GOP grows daily. Extortion is not a problem. What next? Perhaps an open murder on 5th Avenue?
If anyone thinks the overt corruption of Donald Trump , his family and supporters will cost him the election in 2020, I give you the following lyrics. A Mary Wells hit. Also available on Youtube…
“There’s nothing you could say
To tear me away from my guy
There’s nothing you could do
‘Cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy
I’m stickin’ to my guy like a stamp to a letter
Like the birds of a feather
We stick together
I’m telling you from the start
I can’t be torn apart from my guy
There’s nothing you can do
Could make me untrue to my guy (my guy)
There’s nothing you could buy
Could make me tell a lie to my guy (my guy)
I gave my guy my word of honor
To be faithful and I’m gonna
You best be believing
I won’t be deceiving my guy
As a matter of opinion I think he’s tops
My opinion is he’s the cream of the crop
As a matter of taste to be exact
He’s my ideal as a matter of fact
And no muscle bound man could take my hand from my guy (my guy)
No handsome face could ever take the place of my guy (my guy)
He may not be a movie star
But when it comes to bein’ happy we are
There’s not a man today
Who could take me away from my guy
And no muscle bound man could take my hand from my guy (my guy)
And no handsome face could ever take the place of my guy (my guy)
He may not be a movie star
But when it comes to bein’ happy we are
There’s not a man today
Who could take me away from my guy
There’s not a man today
Who could take me away from my guy
There’s not a man today
Who could take me away from my guy
There’s not a man today”
There is nothing you can say that will tear the Trumpsters away from their guy.
No amount of corruption will cause disruption to their guy.
The 3 years of constant attacks on the “Deep State” and “Lugenpresse” have reaped dividends. Up is down. Wrong is right. Ukraine is Russia. Putin is George Washington.
When Donald Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose support we thought he was wrong. He wasn’t .
I could list his lawbreaking as outlined in the Mueller Report. His life of racism and xenophobia. No matter.
His failure to pay contractors and his fraudulent “university”. Nothing I can say…..
I just saw a poll that says Trump is leading Elizabeth Warren in Michigan, North Carolina and other battleground states. Could 2 candidates be more different in values, integrity, life story and public service? Nothing you can do, that would make me untrue….
In their opinion Trump is the “cream of the crop.”
In truth, there is just no hope for some people. Like the blind adolescent who worships “her man”. Are we doomed to 4 more years of “my guy”? The battleground states, not the American people, will make that decision.
Look. Another SHINY thing to look at. Don’t look here, look there.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with my good buddy Bill Barr, the president’s lawyer. Er. I mean. The Attorney General of the US. The head of the Department of Justice.
I was curious about the new investigation into the old investigation into the Russian influence in the 2106 election to help Trump get elected.
Me: Hello , Billy boy. How’s it hanging.
Billy Barr: Hanging good. Lookin’ like we are on our way to put some folks in jail. Finally. Lock Her Up!
Me: So, what exactly are you investigating?
Billy: We are going after the fake Russian influence stories. Fake news. We intend to show that the Russians did not influence the election and that those who said so were criminals.
Me: Does that include the 2 year long Mueller probe and report?
Billy: As I said at the time, the Mueller Report completely exonerated the president. It showed there was no Russian collusion. No collusion. No collusion.
Me: So, if the Mueller Report exonerated Mr Trump, why are you investigating Russia again?
Belly: Let me be clear. No collusion. The Mueller Report was very clear . No collusion. So, for that reason we must investigate to find out why some people said there was collusion. Simple. No collusion.
Me: Ok. So, now you are investigating why the Mueller Report found no collusion. I thought the Mueller Report found at least 13 Russian agents involved in using the internet to influence the election in favor of Trump.
Billy: No. No No. You have it all wrong. Mueller found no evidence of any wrongdoing. And anyway, it would have been the DNC and the Ukraine, probably Biden and Obama, who were behind the anti-Hillary dirty tricks. Obvious.
Me: So, if you say Mueller found there was no collusion or wrongdoing (not true, by the way), what are you investigating? If nothing wrong happened, what are you looking at?
Billy: CRIMES. Always looking at crimes. Possible crimes. We are investigating crimes.
Me: Well, specifically, what are the crimes you are investigating. I mean, when you investigate something you must have some idea or evidence that a crime was committed. So, what is the crime?
Billy: Wrong again. We have some information that a crime may have been committed. Who committed the crime? We will see. What was the crime? We don’t know yet. We need to find out if anyone committed a crime and then prosecute it. We have an idea that a crime was committed.
Me: So, you have a whistle blower who has accused someone of a possible crime?
Billy: Exactly. We have a whistle blower. Maybe . Maybe not. Who knows?
Me: Who is the whistle blower? What has he or she charged?
Billy: Oh no you don’t. We do not let anyone know who the whistle blower is. Top secret. Just like the fake Dems in the fake impeachment hearings. They won’t tell us the name of the whistle blower.
Me: OK. But the whistle blower you are talking about presented a written statement of exactly what he thought had happened based on his contacts. So, can we see the charges , in writing , of your whistle blower?
Billy: No. Top secret. Not only will we not divulge the name of the whistleblower, and I am not saying we have one. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. We will also keep secret any criminal charges. After all, if you charge someone with a crime then they can deny it.
Me: So, you are investigating a crime but you don’t know what the crime was or who committed the crime? And anyone accused of the crime does not have the right to know what they are being accused of?
Billy: Exactly. Now you have finally figured it out. We will find the crime and when we find it we will share it with Fox and Friends. Then we will find out who committed the crime. This will completely exonerate the president from the charges that the Mueller Report already exonerated him from.
Me: Do you have any possible criminals in mind? I mean, anyone who is the focus of this new investigation into the investigation?
Billy: Let me just say this. SHE is in BIG trouble. Oh, yes. Lock Her UP. Also, there is a “person of color” who we are looking at. If I said his name you would recognize it. Lock Him Up. Lots of FBI and CIA agents who are members of the deep state. They will be spending some time in the barrel.
Me: Sounds like you already have your conclusions before you even investigate.
Billy: Well, why investigate a crime if there is no crime. We are investigating criminal activity to find criminal activity. Deep state. Lock Her Up. The president is above the law. Lynching. Lynching. Lynching….
Me: Ok, Billy. Let’s leave it there. Now, what about all the evidence that Trump withheld aid to the Ukraine and you refused to even investigate the whistle blower complaint? And is it a very odd coincidence that your new investigation just happened to be publicized what Mr Trump is going to be impeached?
In 2016 many of Bernie’s supporters , loyal to the end, failed to come out to support Hillary Clinton. The result was a victory for Donald Trump. Just a few thousand more votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, etc. and we would not be saddled with this boil on the ass of America called Donald Trump.
The Bernie narrative went like this. Bernie was cheated out of the Democratic nomination by the “establishment”. This “establishment ” was controlled by Hillary and using her nefarious methods cheated Bernie (and his fanatic supporters) from winning the nomination he deserved.
Now, this plot had two tentacles.
First, the Clinton “super delegates” gave the nomination to Clinton even though Bernie had won the vote of the Democratic rank and file. The sneaky, corrupt Clinton machine stole the election from the people!
Except…according to the final analysis by “FiveThirtyEight” an independent analysis site, Clinton won the Democratic popular vote with 55% of the total. A full 12% higher than the Bernie vote. Yes, Bernie got 43% of the Democratic vote. He lost. Fair and square. So, the first tentacle of the plot is cut off by the facts.
But that still leaves the 2nd part of the Clinton tentacle. Bernie voters were simply prevented from voting! Voter suppression!!! Well, there is some truth to this. But it has nothing to do with the Clinton plot.
In New York, for example, many Bernie voters went to the polls and were told, “Sorry, you can’t vote in the Democrat primary”. Why did that happen? The answer is simple. They weren’t REGISTERED as Democrats. DUH. Since New York is a “closed” primary state, only Democrats are allowed to vote in the Democratic Party primary. Is that unfair? (In fact, Trump’s own children and lawyer could not vote in the GOP primary because they were not registered Republicans)
This fact has led the Bernie folks to spread the false narrative somehow the Clintons plotted to keep Bernie supporters from voting. No. Ignorance of the law or simply NOT BEING DEMOCRATS kept Bernie supporters from voting in the New York primary.
The claim that the Democratic establishment “rigged” the primary vote was part of the Bernie narrative and continued into the Democratic Convention:
“.…Sanders withheld his endorsement of Clinton until the middle of July, and his delegates to the convention devoted much of their energy to vigorously protesting the proceedings. The booing from the audience was so loud that speakers either struggled through their remarks or stopped to plead with the delegates…...”
This played into the GOP narrative of the “corrupt” Clintons and probably led to many Bernie voters either voting for Jill Stein (Green Party) or simply staying home and not voting at all.
Now, Bernie is old. He just had a heart attack. He is, above all, an egomaniac.
Bernie wants to have it both ways. He wants to be an “independent” but wants the nomination for the Democratic Party. For example, in 2016, he did register as a Democrat for purposes of seeking the nomination. But, he also registered for his 2018 Senate campaign as an “independent”. He did the same thing this election cycle. He has registered as a “Democrat” for purposes of running for president, but has already filed as a candidate for the 2024 Senate race as an “independent”. Having some cake and eating it, too.
To my way of thinking this is rather Trumpian. Big ego. Play the system. Being a “Democrat” when it suits him, being an “independent” when it suits him. Smells of egomania.
Bernie will not get out of the race. Like Donald Trump, he has a cult of followers. “Feel the Bern”. With so many legitimate Democrats in the race who need every vote from liberals and moderates, it is a shame to see this man continue down ego-trip lane. It is very possible that he might, once again, hand Trump the presidency.
The Dems may feel the Bern a second time. As long as it massages Bernie’s ego, he could care less.
The cat is out of the bag. The conspiracy has been exposed. The real TRUTH is finally being told.
I don’t mean the Mueller Report. That report made it clear that the Trump campaign worked with the Russian government to disrupt the 2016 election. Mueller concluded that Russia (which means Putin) worked very hard with fake news to make Donald Trump president. And it worked. It is all laid out in detail.
The Mueller Report also gave us a detailed account of how Donald Trump tried to end the investigation and obstructed justice. Point by point. Very clear and obvious.
That’s not the cat that is out of the bag.
I am referring to the NEW evidence that ties Joe Biden and the Clinton campaign and the dirty tricks of the Ukrainians in attempting to get Trump impeached.
The story is now clear. Rudy Giuliani, one of our true American heroes, has pretty much exposed the “Deep State” and the attempt to initiate a “coup d’etat” against the best president ever.
So, here is is. Now, some of this may seem a bit “far fetched” but any intelligent person can certainly connect the dots.
It starts with the FBI. Now, there are approximately 35,000 FBI employees. Out of these 35,000 employers, 2 were able to completely control the direction of the organization. Peter Strok and Lisa Page did not like Donald Trump. Which is an outrage. So they wrote a few emails about Trump and how dangerous he is to democracy. And how he should be opposed. Connect the dots.
These emails set into motion the most secret conspiracy in the history of the world. Because two FBI agents did not like Trump, the entire organization tried (unsuccessfully) to destroy him.
The FBI is an intelligence agency. But so is the CIA. Notice the connection? BOTH are INTELLIGENCE agencies!!! Connect the dots.
The CIA reported that the Russians were trying to influence the 2016 election. Now we know that was false. Vlad Putin is ON THE RECORD as saying that Russia was not involved in the 2016 election. So Mueller was WRONG. Russia had nothing to do with the election. But no one in the Ukraine has ever made the claim that THEY were not involved. Connect the dots.
It was actually the Ukraine that was interfering with the election. Notice that Russia and the Ukraine have a COMMON BORDER. You can actually cross the border from Russia into Ukraine!!! And, we know that both nations have highways and cars! Connect the dots.
So, why did the Ukraine help Clinton? Because of Joe Biden. Biden has a son. Biden’s son did business in the UKRAINE. Biden=Ukraine!!! Why would the SON of a Democrat be doing business in a foreign country? The reason is obvious. CORRUPTION!! Connect the dots.
So, Biden, who PRETENDED to be Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the 2016 primary campaign was actually working behind the scenes to help Clinton get elected with the help of the Ukraine. At the same time Joe Biden’s son was laying the foundation for the Trump impeachment ! It is obvious ! Connect the dots.
So, how did the Ukraine pull this off? Well, by using COMPUTERS! A lot of people do not know this, but there are COMPUTERS in the Ukraine. And COMPUTERS were used to interfere with the 2016 election. Not just any computers. But computers that are actually connected to the INTERNET!!! Connect the dots.
But, Hillary Clinton’s server was also connected to the internet. So, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were working together with the Ukrainians. It is obvious. All three , Biden, Clinton and the Ukraine, all had computers. And all were CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET!! A coincidence? Connect the dots.
Which brings us to Barack Obama. Obama was president of the USA during the last election. We now know that Obama was also CONNECTED to the INTERNET with computers in the White House. And who else is connected to the White House? The CIA !!! Connect the dots.
Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, the Ukrainians AND Barack Obama all had internet connections. At the same time!! During the 2016 election. And all of them wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected president. Need I say more? Connect the dots.
Which brings us to Rick Perry. Rick Perry is in the Trump cabinet. But it was Rick Perry that FORCED Donald Trump to call the president of the Ukraine and hold up military aid. Trump did not want to do this. But Perry forced him to do it!! Perry is from Texas. Texas is a state that has gone Republican in the last few elections. But Joe Biden wants to be president and so he wants to win Texas. And Perry is the FORMER GOVERNOR of Texas. The plot thickens. Rick Perry also has a computer which (we now know) is CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET!!! Connect the dots.
Only a fool cannot see the awful conspiracy by the FBI, CIA, the Ukrainians, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rick Perry to destroy the duly elected president of the USA. The best president ever. Connect the dots.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. As Rudy Giuliani reports more and more facts, this conspiracy will get bigger and bigger. I have heard that before this is over a number of folks will be implicated. Remember these names: Oprah Winfrey, Ronald McDonald, Mahatma Gandhi, Tom Brady and Tom Cruise! Don’t be a fool. It’s obvious. Connect the dots.
A new poll came out from Monmouth University this week. It reported that 40% of Republicans believe that Mr Trump , in his call to the President of the Ukraine, asked for help in finding dirt on Biden. That means that 60% of Republicans do not believe that Trump asked about Biden. 60%
This is from the WHITE HOUSE release of the transcript of the call:
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”
So, the White House says that Trump referred to Biden in the call. And asked for an investigation.
The Whistleblower, supported by the Inspector General, was concerned that Trump was making a deal to help himself in 2020 by pressuring the Ukraine to “investigate” the Bidens.
From the Whistleblower complaint:
“…Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:
initiate or continue an investigation2 into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;….”
A number of members of Trump’s staff evidently told this to the whistleblower, which cause d him to blow the whistle in the first place.
Various news outlets have been reporting on the story, including the exact words of the transcript.
So, everyone right up through the White House says that, yes, Trump asked the president of the Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. I mean, it is there in black and white.
Yet, despite this, 60% of Republicans do not believe that Trump said what he said. Hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless.
The American Century is over. As the 20th century turned into the 21st century there was an effort to turn the new century into one completely dominated by the United States corporations. This attempt was spearheaded by a right wing organization called The Project for the New American Century.
This “project” was started in the 1990s by conservative “intellectual” William Kristol and other hardliners. Mostly “chickenhawks” who love the idea of using military force on other parts of the world while eschewing any participation in any wars themselves. Other key figures in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) were the members of the Bush family, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others.
When the Supreme Court ended the vote count in Florida in 2000 and gave GW Bush the presidency it allowed this group to come to power. Recall the when GW Bush was searching for a running mate in 2000 his family chose Dick Cheney to lead the search for the “best man” for the job. Cheney ended up choosing himself. Rumsfeld, another member of the PNAC then was appointed Secretary of Defense.
In this context the attack on 9/11 occurred. In power was a group of people who firmly believed that the US should lead the world , not by example or as a haven for democracy, but as a belligerent military force. So, although Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, the PNAC goal was to capture the oil fields and control that major resource.
So, in direct violation of international law and the Security Council of the UN, the US invaded Iraq. The catastrophe that followed lead to the destabilization of the Middle East, emergence of ISIS and a continued crisis that we see even playing out today.
The “New American Century” had turned out to be short lived. And a bust.
The second half of the 20th century was certainly dominated by the US. Not just by US military power, but by the exporting of American values. Democracy replaced colonialism as an organizing force in much of the world. JFK’s Peace Corps was probably the most effective propaganda tool for democracy. Americans were seen as decent, good people. Rich, spoiled, but with a conscience and eager to help. Those days are gone.
Any moral or ethical superiority that may have existed (even if only illusory) has long gone. We now live in a new world.
The USA has lost not only it’s moral ascendancy, but has become largely irrelevant to much of the world. We are no longer a place to look to for leadership. We are a place to sell stuff. And Americans, no matter how much they complain, are flush with wealth compared to most of the rest of the world.
Donald Trump did not cause this. But he has accelerated the trend. It is a good development, in my mind, the the US no longer dominates the world economy. But the desire to “go it alone” as Trump has done, has eliminated much of the influence for good the US has had in the past. Isolationism and excessive nationalism lead to WW1 . And WW2.
Rejection of international agreements and institutions did not begin with Trump. I recall Mr Reagan attacking the UN and suggesting it could sail away into the sunset across the Atlantic. Geography aside, that sentiment became the mantra of the GOP and the right wing in the 1980s. And continues even today. It is based on an ignorance of history and an arrogance of power.
But in the 21st century the ideas of the 20th no longer hold. At least not in the rest of the world. Russia has re-emerged as a czarist regime after a brief fling with democracy. China is aggressively spreading its influence into every continent. The sleeping giant Napoleon had warned us about has awoken. The European Union, abandoned by the US and attacked by Putin, is strengthening itself in response. India is on the move. Saudi Arabia and Israel are both arming at alarming rates,poised for the inevitable conflict.
The US is no longer the awesome force it once was. That was an inevitable process. But the US has become a side show. An observer of global problems, no longer a participant in solving them. The 21st century was never going to be an American Century. Trump had nothing to do with those global realities.
But, by removing the US from international agreements and international solutions, the Trump folks are contributing to the inevitable catastrophe of extreme nationalism. Any student of history knows where extreme nationalism leads. The US has become the world’s gun dealer. Leadership without a national conscience. Without a plan for a positive world.
Without US positive engagement in global organizations the 21st century could very well become the Century of Chaos and Totalitarianism. While the US may sit on the sidelines, it will not be able to avoid the effects. The tsunami will not be stopped by a wall.
OK. So, in El Paso, Texas a white supremacist used a military style weapon to kill 20 people and send more to the hospital. In Dayton, Ohio only 9 were killed by a gunman. So, what day is? Another day in America.
At this point we don’t know much about the Dayton shooter. But odds are that the El Paso guy drove for about 8 hours for the express purpose of protecting the fatherland from the Hispanic invasion. Have no clue as to where he got the idea that there was some invasion. Who could have inspired such blind hatred? Where did he get this from?
And, as usual, members of the Democratic (aka Socialist) Party called for stricter controls on guns. In fact, they passed a background check bill in the House which now sits on Moscow Mitch’s In box…also called the “waste basket”. The Dems have this odd idea that if nutcases could not get their hands on weapons of mass destruction there would be fewer mass shootings. Fewer children murdered in cold blood. What kind of logic is that?
And, as usual the members of Trump’s GOP have offered their thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims. Ted Cruz. Moscow Mitch. Donald himself. The entire crew is really broken up over this one. They are very sad. Sad. Very sad.
But the GOP has a problem. Over 100 mass killings already this year. How do you keep your sadness fresh? How do you keep track of the devastation of human life while maintaining your support for domestic terrorists? How do you maintain the facade of concern? Not an easy task.
Which is why I am here. To help. Like usual.
I am offering the GOP members of Congress a simple template for grief. Even they should be able to fill in the blanks. Or have a staff member do it. Just fill in the blanks, print and you are ready for the camera. Roll em.
” My fellow Americans. I recoil in horror at the senseless murders of (fill in a number) our fellow Americans. The sacred place (fill in name of school church, synagogue, mosque or mall) has been forever blackened by this evil deed. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas (fill in a different state if appropriate, although you can figure it is probably Texas). My wife (add name of wife, not girlfriend, be careful here)and I both kneel and pray to God for the victims and first responders. Today (fill in date) will forever be a black day in US history. We must combat this evil by prosecuting the offender to full extent of the law. That will make the families of the dead (fill in men, women and or children) feel much better about their loss. Let us hope we never have to go through such a traumatic event again. May God bless you and God bless the NRA.”
It has been 900 days. And the stench gets worse and worse.
In my area, which is rural, sometimes it stinks. At certain times of the year farmers spread manure. Nowadays it is liquid manure.
The smell is awful. It is a stench unlike any other. It is foul. Disgusting.
Of course, after a while you get used to it. It still reeks. But your nose has adapted. Your nostrils have decided that their fate is to be accepted. Whatever will be, will be.
Your senses become are first offended. Then numbed. The smell lingers. But it becomes second nature.
So it is with the Trump administration. The stench of corruption smacks you in the nose. Then lingers. Then you adjust. Maybe it isn’t so bad? But , in the background the odor lingers. Permanently.
How many cabinet members have resigned in disgrace? How many campaign members have been convicted or plead guilty to crimes? How many family members tweet stupidity on a daily basis?
The stench has become “business as usual”. It is white noise.
The latest, of course, is the Epstein stench. A friend of Trump. Like so many of Trump’s associates and friends, Trump now says: Who? Did I know this guy? A lot of people knew this guy. I never liked him. Not a fan.
And the stench of Acosta. And Dershowitz. And Hannity. And O’Reilly. (Wanna guess what all these men have in common?).
Trump claims he is draining “the swamp”. Maybe.
But he is creating a cesspool. And the stench, while unbearable, has no signs of abating. If anything, after 900 days of this putrid administration, it just keeps getting worse and worse.
Even farmers know when to stop spreading manure. Trump is no farmer.