Do you have what the white nationalists call Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)? The ever present depression caused by having the mentally ill guy in the White House? Do you suffer daily anxiety wondering if your fellow citizens are really stupid or racist enough to vote the conman back into office?
I feel your pain. But we all need a break. My solution?
A national movement to make Tuesdays free of anything Trump.
Trump Free Tuesdays.
While Fox news drones a constant approval of the idiot other networks, like CNN and MSNBC beat a drum of disapproval. Either way Trump wins. It’s Trump. Trump. Trump. 24/7.
No matter if you think he is god’s own gift to America or a two bit conman drowning in self-pity. Matters not. He makes for “good press”. So, he wins. The old marketer’s saying: There is no such thing as bad publicity.
This constant barrage of tweets, photo ops, tough guy talk and all around bullshit will have an effect on your psyche. Time to take break.
God created the heaven, Earth, day and night, all the animals and the entire universe in 6 days. On the 7th day she realized she had unintentionally created Donald Trump. (Something to do with a slip up when creating a snake and a slug) So, even god took a break. She rested. She cried. Then rested.
So, let’s turn off Donald Trump on Tuesdays. If the news comes on and mentions his name. Mute it. Or don’t turn on the news at all. If you are on twitter, don’t tweet. If your friends post an article about him on Fakebook. Ignore it. If you see a “Trump 2020” flag flying your area (Yep, I see them) keep your eyes on the road.
Give yourself and your psyche a break. Take Tuesday off. And remember, Trump is one of god’s creations. Forgive her. We all make mistakes. When you are god you make whoppers!
Of course, nothing hurts the mentally ill guy more than being ignored. He demands to be noticed. He wants to be in your head. So, let’s take back Tuesdays and make that day Trump free. A day we can enjoy. A day to imagine what it was like BC (before conman). A day to see only the brighter side of life.
When I taught high school, like almost all high school teachers, I needed to supplement my income. Like many teachers I volunteered to coach a variety of sports. I say “volunteered” because often the hourly wage was pretty minimal. But, still, it helped pay the bills.
One of the key ideas I tried to impart to the kids was that we all make mistakes. You will hit the rim and miss the shot. You will take a third strike instead of swinging the bat. You will commit a foul in the penalty area. You will simply do the wrong thing. Sometimes physically. Sometimes mentally.
Micheal Jordan, perhaps the best basketball player ever to walk onto a court, missed about 50% of his shots. He seemed to make the shot at the crucial time, but he missed plenty as well. He failed half the time.
I saw the major icon of soccer, the great Pele, in person in Rochester, New York in the 1970s. He was playing for the New York Cosmos. Pele had his shot stopped by the Rochester Lancers keeper on the modified penalty kick. He walked up to the keeper and shook his hand.
Bottom line. Everyone fails sometimes. The point is not the failure, but what happens next.
I tried to impress on my teams that they needed to forget, immediately forget, any mistake they had made. Forget about it. Then go on and do what you are supposed to do. Get back on track. We can analyze later. In the middle of the game is no time to feel bad or become dislodged from the task at hand.
Maria Jones (not her real name) was my best goal scorer. On Tuesday she missed a penalty kick that would have tied the match. We lost. As fate would have it, on Friday, the next match, we were again awarded a penalty kick. The team looked over to the bench. Who should take the kick? I yelled out that Maria should. She put it in the back of the net and we won the game (I think we won 2 that year). I knew her mental state. I knew that she was able to forget about it and get the job done.
Which brings us to May 25, month number 5 of the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of people have screwed up. Made mistakes. Done the wrong thing. Governor Cuomo waited too long to institute stay at home orders. Lives were lost. Mayor DeBlasio of New York city was even slower to respond. The Trump administration was unprepared and waited way too long to close borders. And coordinate a national response.
We could go on and on and second guess what SHOULD have happened. A recent study shows that over 30,000 lives could have been saved if the USA had just acted one week earlier to shut down non-essential services. Mistakes were made. Mistakes are always made.
As Judge Judy says: Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
It matters not. What does matter is the now. What are we doing now? It’s never too late to act. The game is hardly over.
We need a national response. We need states to coordinate. We have Texas and Florida and Georgia and California all going their own way. The team, which should be working together, is breaking apart. Where is the coach?We need national, enforceable guidelines for essential and non-essential services. We need help for the 40,000,000 plus unemployed. We need testing. The lack of focus is causing us to make the same mistakes again. And again.
We need to move on. Ignore what happened in January of March or early May. Where are we now? Where do we need to go. What comes next? What’s the plan?
Mr. Trump, you missed the penalty kick. But the game is not over. Place the ball carefully on the penalty spot. Take a deep breath. You missed it last time. Forget about it. Step up and blast it into the back of the net.
When Bill Clinton was running for president against George Bush 1 the economy was not in great shape. Now Clinton and Bush had divergent ideas about the role of government, voting rights, social issues, etc. But Clinton’s key adviser told him to minimize those issues.
He had one phrase that he reminded Clinton of every day.
“It’s the Economy, Stupid”.
Talk about the economy. The failure of the Reagan-Bush supply side economics. Emphasize the economy. The economy. The economy.
It was good advice. Clinton won and by the end of his second term the US was actually paying DOWN the national debt. That ended, of course, when the Supreme Court told Florida to stop counting votes and installed Bush 2 as POTUS. He went right back to supply side and, well, you know the rest.
Now, we are engaged in a real crisis, not just an economic downturn. In fact, The MIPOTUS (Mentally Ill President of the United States) inherited the best economy since the end of World War 2. The crisis we face is a pandemic, not an economic crash.
Our current person in charge (I cannot force myself to call him a “leader”) has spent the last 3 months concerned about one thing and one thing only. The economy. No, I take that back. He has been concerned with the Stock Market. Period. Which is part of the economy, but hardly the entire economy. He has identified himself as the man behind the Obama boom he inherited. As the man who created a great economy from nothing. A legend in his own mind.
To such an extent that he and his sycophants have all but ignored the pandemic. We can easily go back to his various statements about how it was a hoax or a plot or was being overblown by the “fake news”. As long as the stock market looked good, he was unconcerned.
February . We have it under control. It will disappear. It will be like a miracle.
Now, due to the inaction and hubris of those in charge, we see the economy on the verge of a major shutdown. It is temporary, of course, because it is caused by a medical emergency, not an economic one.
But still, every chance he gets, the man in the bubble talks about how we had the greatest economy on Earth, until this pandemic hit. There will be plenty of time to dissect all the incompetency and corruption that has led us to this point. And there is plenty.
But what needs to be done now (actually 2 months ago) is an honest, open explanation of what the government is actually doing to help the states and cities fight this war. Instead of vague comments about how he is doing a great job, perhaps listing specific, reliable actions he is taking at the national level would help ease some of the fear. Of course, the problem is that the federal government is doing very little. The anti-big government mentality still holds sway. Let the states worry about it, not our problem.
To Mr. Trump and his cadre of ass kissers: It’s not the economy, stupid.
It’s a pandemic. It’s a national emergency. If you cannot handle it perhaps now is the time to announce you will not seek re-election. Then, perhaps, you can sit quietly in Mar-a-Lago and let the experts take over. The “best of your ability” is not good enough. It’s killing people.
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.
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?
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?
An old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. And so it goes. We FINALLY get down to the truth about why Mr Trump called back his ambassador to the Ukraine.
If you recall, Ambassador Yovanovitch was a long time diplomat. She had been appointed by GW Bush to various posts, some rather dangerous. She had been appointed by Obama to the Ukraine post, an area of her singular expertise. She was appointed by Trump and scheduled to remain until the middle of 2020 at the request of Secretary of State Pompeo.
Then, abruptly, she was called home by Trump. No reason. No explanation. No admonishment for misbehavior. Just called home. The one person in the Ukraine who knew more about the corrupt players and how to help the new president deal with them. Called home.
The reason for her recall has been a well guarded secret. What did the president know about her? What devious behavior had she been involved in? How was she undermining US anti-corruption efforts? Always a gentleman, Mr Trump refuse to tell us what she had done wrong.
In an interview on Fox and Friends, Mr trump finally explained why he fired her and brought her back to Washington. He had heard that Ambassador Yovanovitch had REFUSED to put up a portrait of Mr Trump in the Ukraine Embassy!!! According to Mr Trump she refused to put his photo on her wall!! Next to her Hulk Hogan poster.
Now, the fact is that the Ukraine Embassy DID put up Mr Trump’s official portrait as soon as they received it. Problem was that the White House, not one for details, neglected to have an official portrait taken and sent out until almost a full year after his election. Details.
Now to some it may seem like a far fetched reason to fire an ambassador. Kind of petty? Firing an ambassador to a major ally because of a rumor about a photo? Well, Rudy said that Lev told him that Igor heard from Vlad that Marie never even put your picture on the wall!! And she never lit a candle in front of it! That’s what people say. What people say. What people say.
Was that the REAL reason for a massive change in leadership in a country being invaded by Putin? An ally we need badly? A place where US presence and stability is essential?
I say: Yes. If nothing else, Mr Trump has shown the ability to redefine pettiness and childishness to a new level. And just the rumor of anyone not kowtowing to his fantasies and ego would certainly be enough cause for firing.
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.
If you are a logical person or a reasonable person Mr Trump may be hard to understand. His decisions, the way he treats people, his lies, his tweets may all seem the rantings of a loon.
After 3 years of campaigning and watching him on the stage I have come to some understanding of why he makes the kinds of decisions he makes. While on the surface they make no sense, if you can put yourself in his mind (and there is plenty of room) you may be able to make sense of him.
I was trained as an anthropologist, which is important. What an anthropologist tries to do is understand people who think in ways that are quite different from what we might consider “normal” in our society.
For example, the Yanomami (or Yanamamo) have a ritual they perform when someone dies. They cremate the body and mix the ashes of the deceased into a “stew”. The family then passes around the stew and everyone takes a drink. On the surface this is pretty disgusting and makes no sense.
However, to the Yanomami this action shows the highest regard for the dead. The dead become part of the living.The dead person becomes one with those who are still alive. It is the ultimate spiritual and physical connection. Odd behavior to us, but completely “normal” under their belief system.
So, when we look at Trump’s decisions we should not assume he holds the same values, beliefs, life experiences, etc. as a normal American. We should instead, an an anthropologist, try to understand his motives and beliefs by his actions. We should assume nothing, but rather look for a pattern of behavior to better understand the motives of that behavior.
For example, Trump is obsessed with destroying the ACA, also called Obamacare. Now, this program provides health insurance to millions of Americans. When the GOP tried to destroy it the outrage was so great that they could not do so. People like it. It guarantees health insurance for the working poor and supports the private insurance industry. Yet, Mr Trump insists he wants it ended, with no plan to help the 20-40,000,000 Americans who would lose insurance if he succeeds.
A logical person might ask: Why? Why try to destroy a popular program that is working? Now, if a better alternative was offered there might be a reasonable discussion. But there is no alternative offered, just the end of Obamacare.
Combine this with his other illogical actions concerning the border wall. His call for an investigation of Smollett, the black guy in Chicago, his history of discrimination against African-Americans in housing, etc. and a clear picture emerges.
He is a racist. Anything Obama did, no matter how helpful to the citizens, he is intent on undoing. While he criticizes black Americans and calls for all kinds of “investigations”, he never criticizes white supremacists or calls for investigations of police who kill blacks.
If you look at Mr Trump’s decisions and take the view that he is a racist, they all make perfect sense. His attacks on the people of Puerto Rico , Mexicans, ripping brown children from their parents, saying he wants more folks from Norway, etc. The overall , inevitable controlling factor, from the point of view of an anthropologist, is that this man makes policy decisions based on skin color.
Another area where Mr Trump’s decisions seem incomprehensible is his relationships with various foreign leaders. While he “loves” Kim Jung Un and respects Putin, he criticizes the leaders of democracies.
Why would an American president humiliate himself before Putin. Why kowtow to the dictator of Saudi Arabia? Why talk about his love relationship with Kim Jung Un? All three of these men are vile dictators who murder their political opponents. They kill newsmen. They destroy all critics. All three have raided the wealth of their own people and live like kings while so many in their countries have nothing.
What is the underlying attraction these men have as far as Trump is concerned? What is it about his value system that makes them attractive to him?
The conclusion I have reached is not that they “have anything on him”, like “compromat”. Rather, he admires brutality and physical strength. He sees the way these men “control” their populations with terror and he admires that. He sees that as a positive value. Leaders who are feared and bowed down to. Above questioning.
Why has he gone through so many cabinet members and advisers? He needs “yes men” around him. People who will tell him he is the greatest thing on Earth. Sycophants. Anyone who would disagree with him is put in his place or fired. No opinions other than that the the supreme leader can be allowed.
So, any decisions he makes must be unquestioned. He values complete loyalty to him and a disregard for any legal or normative structures. He losses the battle for the wall, so he simply says he will violate the law and build it anyway. If his political opponents disagree they should be destroyed. The free press must be destroyed, as well. There can be no exchange of ideas, only capitulation. In his world view that is the way a “great leader” acts.
Now, I am not justifying Mr Trump’s actions. Only trying to make sense of them. He does have guiding principles, even though he is probably not even cognizant of them himself.
He believes in strong man rule and the inherent superiority of light skinned people. If you keep in mind those 2 principles all of his actions, tweets, speeches, violations of the law and norms make sense.
It also helps one understand that so many Americans share that world view. After all, Mr Trump has plenty of support. You will never understand Mr Trump unless you understand that fact as well. He is not alone in his core beliefs. Admiration for authoritarian rule and racism. A lethal combination.
Liberals have always put a high premium on reason and logic. We believe that when confronted with evidence and facts, people will inevitably accept the sensible solutions. We think that “if only” these folks would seriously think about and analyze the social situation they would come to a reasonable conclusion. Like we do.
The second liberal lie.
Definition of “Reason” :the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.
Let’s take the claim, repeated over and over, that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. While liberals and moderates dismissed this as the nonsense that it is, many on the right wing continue, even today, to believe this obvious lie.
Donald Trump, elected president, for 6 years continued to make this claim. It was a claim designed to delegitimize the first black president of the US. Plain and simple. It is a claim that was based on nothing more than someone’s unsubstantiated fantasy.
But, surveys showed that more than half of the GOP electorate continued to believe this claim. A claim made with no reliable evidence. A claim so obviously unreasonable and false that it hardly needed denying.
Liberals think that people will look at facts and evidence, use their logic and come to reasonable conclusions. So let’s look at the “evidence” of Barack Obama’s birth.
When Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, 2 different newspapers had birth announcements. Two newspapers. Two announcements. A logical person would ask the question: Why would 2 newspapers in Hawaii print a birth announcement of a child born in Kenya by claiming this baby was born in Hawaii? Why would a hospital in Hawaii provide false information to newspapers concerning the birth of a child at the hospital? A reasonable person would ask what could be the possible motivation for a hospital and two newspapers to falsely claim a baby was born in Hawaii?
Now, the “birthers”, including Donald Trump, claim that they have proof that Obama was born in Kenya because a woman claiming to be Obama’s grandmother said she SAW his birth. This was based on an audiotape which purported to be an interview with Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother.
So, a reasonable person would make sure the old lady WAS Obama’s grandmother, listen to the tape, and make a reasonable conclusion. Let us assume the old lady on the audiotape was Obama’s grandmother. So, we listen to the tape. Understand that we do not know what the grandmother says, since she does not speak English. So, we have a translator who is a middle man.
On one part of the tape the translator seems to say that YES, this old lady claims she was at the BIRTH of her famous grandson. And this is where the “birthers” cut off the tape. This is the basis for their claim. An old lady who does not speak English says, according to a translator, that she SAW Barack being born. As the audiotape continues the interviewer asks her to repeat her answer to the question. He wants to get it clearly on tape that Obama was born in Kenya.
But then we see a problem. When the translator continues to talk to the old lady it quickly becomes evident that something was lost in translation. Yes, the grandmother proudly states, Barack Obama IS her grandson. But NO, she did not SEE his birth because he was not born in Kenya. She is clear. The translator is clear. This old lady, whether Obama’s grandmother or not, did NOT see Barack Obama born in Kenya.
But wait. There is more. What about the birth certificate? Now, Hawaii does provide COPIES of birth certificates. If you need one, you pay for one. I presume it is the same in most states. I have a COPY of my birth certificate from a hospital in Chicago. I don’t have the ORIGINAL. Why not? Because ORIGINAL documents are not provided. Why not? Because they are ORIGINALS. They are kept in government archives. No one is given an ORIGINAL, not even the President of the United States.. But the “birthers” made a big deal out the fact that Obama did not release his ORIGINAL birth certificate. He could not. He never had it. But Hawaii DID release PHOTOCOPIES of the original. And they even allowed reporters to view the original birth certificate in the Hawaiian archives.
A logical, reasonable person would then look at these pieces of evidence and conclude that a baby named Barack Hussein Obama was born to a US citizen mother in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. A logical person would have no alternative but to conclude as much.
We can apply the same logic to climate change deniers, voter fraud claims, 9/11 conspiracy theories, Sasquatch sightings, aliens abductions, groundwater contamination by fracking and a multitude of other claims. Are any of these claims valid? Liberals think we should should look at evidence, use logic and draw reasonable conclusions.
But, as the acceptance of false ideas demonstrates, millions of Americans reject logic and evidence as a tool for analyzing data. They simply choose to believe what they want to believe and reject evidence to the contrary.
Liberals need to come to grips with the fact that millions of our fellow citizens have no desire or ability to use logic or reason. No inclination to accept evidence. When we argue from facts and evidence, our conclusions fall on deaf ears. The thought processes of many is similar to those who sought to ferret out witches in the Middle Ages. If the accused floats, she is a witch and must be burned at the stake. If the accused sinks and drowns, well, I guess she was not a witch after all. You simply cannot argue with that “logic”
Liberals need to understand that reason, logic and evidence are irrelevant to many. They simply cannot be reasoned with.
President Trump had an hour long speech explaining why he was calling for a national emergency on the US -Mexico border. While it did not have any new data or information, it was a stunner. He talked about …well… everything except the border.
Now some of the leftist socialist communists criticized his speech. Just because he talked about China. How great the economy is. How he singlehandedly ended the Korea nuke threat. How popular he is. How he will win the election in 2020. How so many women are tied up and gagged and brought over the border where there is no wall. How the people love him. How he listens to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. How, now that he has declared a national emergency he will be going to play golf at Mar-A-Lago.
The leftist communists criticized him because he did not really make a case for the declaration and instead talked about other stuff.
So, I did some research into other national emergencies and how the presidents in the past handled them. I discovered that Mr Trump is indeed no different from other presidents in this regard. I give you two examples.
Abe Lincoln, April 19, 1861.
“My fellow Americans. As you know, I am the tallest president ever. Taller than Washington. So far my administration has been fantastic. The best. Just last week Momma has bought new curtains for the White House. Nice satin ones.
I took a long trip to get here. All the way from Illinois. I call it “Illinoise” because of all the talk back home. Good joke. Nice train ride. Me and Momma had a great train ride. I got to sit with the engineer and make that horn thing sound. Tooot..Tooot. I can’t do it as good as Tab. Well.
Anyhoo. Here’s the deal. A bunch of rebels have attacked Fort Sumter so I am signing a national emergency thingy and blockading the ports of the rebel states. Just sayin.
Do you like my new hat. It makes me look even taller, don’t you think? I wanted a red one but Mamma said I should go black. So I did. I tend to do what the little lady wants. Ha ha ha. Now I am off to Virginia to play some bowls on the new bowling green we just built.”
Then there was the FDR national emergency of December , 1941. I found this transcript in the archives.
“My fellow Americans. As you know, I won the last election in a landslide. God the people do love me. Did you all see the inaugural parade. Fantastic. Lots of bands. Now some people say I am in a wheelchair.
Fake news.I can stand up as well as any man. In fact, when I stand I am the tallest president ever. Taller than Lincoln. By far. Notice how I got us out of the Great Depression? Anybody. And now you all have Social Security. Best system ever.
I do not have a girlfriend. That is a lie. Fake news.
By the way. Yesterday the Japanese made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. A day that will live in infamy. So, we need to declare war on the Japanese and the Germans.
Have any of you even seen the new Bentley that I ride in? I mean, talk about a smooth ride. Wow. I am going to take a few days off for a nice ride in the beautiful New Jersey countryside. Beautiful New Jersey, is that an oxymoron or what? See you all later.”
So, those who minimize the national emergency speech of President Trump. Take that. A little history lesson for the communists who criticize our man.
Guy at the end of the Bar ( GAEOB): (slightly slurring his speech) What a bunch of BS. I paid for my friken drinks. Dammit. One more thing. Didj all see the Bears game?
No one responds.
GAEOB : Stupid coach. He calls a running play on 2nd and one. How’s stupid is dat? He don’t know nuttin. I am smarter than all dem coaches. Pass da ball. Always pass da ball.
Tom (somewhat sober patron sitting at the bar): Yah, but they made the first down and won the game, didn’t they?
GAEOB: Bunch of baloney. I know more than dem coaches. Smarter than all of em. And anudder thing. Build the dam wall. Keep out the Mexicans and the terrorists. A nice big beautiful wall. Dat’s what I say. I got a fence in my yard. You don’t see no terrorists in my yard.
Bartender: Almost closing time, buddy.
GAEOB: Tell ya anudder thing. Those damn Chinese. Don’t talk to me about the Chinese. They cheat. I say, bomb em. Put up tariffs. That’ll teach em.
Tom: But that just makes the things we buy more expensive for us.
GAEOB: Bull- looney. I say don’t buy the Chinese stuff. I never buy Chinese food. Just don’t buy the stuff. I say, shop at Walmart and the Dollar Store. That’ll teach em. Watch em start crawling to us . On their knees. That’ll show the Chinese. And the Japs, too. I say only buy American food. Period. Stop buying chopsticks.
Bartender: OK, bud, you got 5 minutes.
GAEOB: Then there is ISIS. We defeated ISIS. ALL over. All dead. Just like we defeated Iran.
Tom: ISIS is still around. Tens of thousands of them. All over the Middle East and Africa.
GAEOB: Fake news. ISIS is gone. Done. I wiped them out. Another thing. No global warming. No icecaps melting. All fake news. I know more than the scientists. You wanna win a war. Call on me. I know more than the generals.
Tom: Uh… the scientists, highly educated, have studied these problems for years. And the generals have years of training, education and experience. You know more than them.
GAEOB: Bet your hooters I do. Smarter than all of them. They don’t know nuttin. And all dem darkies on welfare. I say make em work. Nobody gets somethin for nuttin. I know. Tired of all the freeloaders. I get my disability check every month. And my Social Security check. You don’t see me freeloading.
Bartender: OK. Time’s up, old timer. Time to go. the bar is closed.
GAEOB: And anudder thing. The women love me. Love it when I grab em. I am the best, I tell you, the best. I never even met Cohen. Who is Manafort? No Trump Tower. No Trump Tower. Fake. All fake. No collusion! Lock Her Up. Mexico will pay….Lock Her Up!!!
Bartender (on the phone): Yep…uh huh…he got out again…PLEASE send the Secret Service over and tell them to keep a closer tab on this guy. While we are talking tabs…he owes me for 2 years…what…sue me? He’s bankrupt again? I should just charge it to the Treasury?
Alec Trebeck: Welcome back to Jeopardy. We have two categories still open. Our contestants are locked in a 3 way tie, with no one having answered a question correctly yet. So, ladies will go first. Sarah Huckabee Sanders you can pick.
Chuck Grassley: Is it my turn?
Alec: No, Senator, it is Sarah’s turn.
Trent Gowdy: I think we need to investigate that further.
Alec: No, Trent. OK. Sarah, we have 2 categories left. They are: The Answer Is Trump and The Trump Organizations. So, Sarah?
Sarah: I will take The Answer is Trump for 200.
Alec: He said he could grab pussy anytime he wanted because he was famous. Buzzz. Sarah?
Sarah: Who was Hillary Clinton?
Alec: No…no. Who is Donald Trump? Sarah, you still have the choice.
Sarah: The Answer Is Trump for 400.
Alec: He instructed Cohen to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off women he had sex with while his wife was pregnant. Buzzz. Trent Gowdy.
Trent: What is Benghazi?
Alec: No…no..The answer is: Who is Donald Trump? Please pay attention to the category. Ok, Sarah?
Sarah: I’ll take Trump Organizations for 200.
Alec: This organization took millions of dollars from donors but never spent any of it on charities. Buzzz. Trent.
Trent: What is Benghazi?
Alec: No..no…Buzzz. Senator Grassley.
Alec: no…no…The answer was : What was the Trump Foundation? Ok. Sarah?
Sarah: Trump Organizations for 400 Alec,
Alec: This real estate business actually was started by Trump’s grandfather, who made his money literally on the backs of women. He ran a whore house. Buzzz. Sarah.
Sarah: Who was the National Football League?
Alec: No…Buzzz. Grassley?
Grassley: Who refused to kneel for the National Anthem?
Alec: No..The answer is : What was The Trump Foundation? Sarah?
Sarah: The Answer Is Trump for 600.
Alec: OK. PLEASE remember the category. Buzzzz. Grassley?
Grassley: World War 2?
Alec: no…please wait for the question. This president and his associates are currently being investigated for criminal activities 15 times…no..16 times..no..17 times and counting. Buzzzz. Trent.
Trent: What is Benghazi?
Alec:.No…no…The question is: Who is Donald Trump? Please keep in mind the category. Sarah, your turn still.
Sarah: I’ll try Trump Organizations for 600 Alec.
Alec: This organization ran casinos that went bankrupt even though it is nearly impossible to lose money running a casino. Buzzz. Grassley?
Grassley: When do we eat? They said we would eat. Somebody told me we would be eating here.
Alec: No..sorry..Buzzz. Sarah?
Sarah: Where is Las Vegas?,Alec.
Alec: No. The answer is: What is the Trump Organization. Sarah?
Sarah: Trump Is The Answer for 800.
(DING DING DING)
Alec: The Daily Double. So, Sarah, how much do you want to risk. You now have no money so you can risk up to 1600.
Sarah: I will risk 7 dollars Alec.
Alec: OK. This Florida university was sued and had to pay its students $25,000,000 for damages due to fraud. For defrauding students. Sarah?
Sarah: uhhh…What ..is…..Harvard University?
Alec: No…no..Buzzzz. Grassley, you can’t answer this one.
Grassley: Well, I know this one. What is the University of Alabama?
Alec: No..no.. The answer: What is Trump University? Sarah, you are still up.
Sarah: I’ll take Trump Organizations for 1000 Alec.
Alec: Ok. PLEASE, PLEASE remember the category is TRUMP organizations. This man ran a real estate business that US banks refused to lend money to, so he went to Russia to get financing. Buzzz. Trent.
Trent: What is Benghazi? …no…no… Who was Hillary Clinton?
Alec: No..no…The answer is: Who is Donald Trump. Sarah?
Sarah: I’ll take The Answer Is Trump for 1000.
Alec: OK. This 2016 presidential candidate was trying to make a deal with Putin to build a tower in Moscow while he was running for president. In 2016. Buzzz. Grassley.
Grassley: Who was Abe Lincoln? He ran for president, didn’t he?
Alec: No..no..The answer is: Who is Donald Trump? Sarah, thankfully we have the last question. PLEASE remember the category. Trump Is the Answer for 800. This man was given given over $ 400,000,000 by his father and still managed to go bankrupt 4 times. Buzzz. Sarah?
Sarah: What is Fake news?
Trent (yelling): BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI !!!
Grassley: Who is Senator Grassley?
Alec: OK OK. So, we will now go to final jeopardy. Since no one has any money we will alter the rules. If anyone gets the final answer correct you will win $100.
The final jeopardy category is: President Trump. The final Jeopardy answer is: This man’s daughter, Ivanka, son, Donald and son-in-law Jared will soon be indicted by Robert Mueller. Please write your answer in the form of a question.
(one minute later)
Alec: Ok, Sarah, show us your answer…. ” Who is Donald Duck?”..no…Senator Grassley?…”When do we eat?”…uh..no…Trent Gowdy?…” When will we investigate Benghazi?”..sorry…OK since we have no winners we will determine today’s champion by playing paper , rock and scissors.
(After 7 rounds of paper, rock and scissors produce no winner, Alec goes home)
I am basically a pacifist. Well, a conditional pacifist. I think the best way to keep the peace in this day and age is to have a strong military. To act as a deterrent to dictators like Putin and Kim . But not to use the military for political stunts. Like border patrol.
So, I do not glorify the military. I see it as a necessary arm of government, much like the EPA or Social Security. Also, keep this in mind. Although some claim that the US military is underfunded, the fact is that the US spends quite a bit on national defense.
For example, in 2017 the US spent $610,000,000,000 (That’s billion). The next 6 countries, in order, spent: China ($228 billion), Saudi Arabia ($70 billion), Russia ($66 billion) , India ($64 billion), France ($58 billion). In other words, the US spends MORE than the next 7 or 8 nations combined. Just some perspective.
Once a year (actually more often than that) we take time out to honor the dead veterans from past wars and honor the current veterans. Speeches are made. Wreaths are laid. Songs are sung. Flags are waved.
On Veteran’s Day in particular. The most important day for remembering. A day that even the most avowed pacifists recognize as a day to say “Thank you” to veterans. Thank you , Dan, my reluctant veteran friend. Thank you, Bob and Rich, the two gay married veterans who live down the street. Thank you Sean and would be veteran Connor, both stationed overseas. Thank you to my deceased father in law, Bill. And on and on and on.
But President Trump did not honor the veterans this weekend. While all the leaders of Europe marched in Paris, France to honor the millions who died in the “War to End All Wars”, Mr Trump and Mr Putin decided not to show up. While other members of the administration drove to the American cemetery outside of Paris, Mr Trump decided not attend, the excuse being it was raining.
Every president places a wreath at Arlington on Veteran’s Day to honor the Americans who have died in wars. It is a 10 minute drive from the White House. For two years in succession Mr Trump has failed to do so.
Mr Trump, who had a doctor’s excuse to get him out of the Vietnam War, has not been present to honor veterans. They are not high on his list of priorities. The man who used a bogus doctor’s excuse of “heel spurs” to avoid service. The man who castigated John McCain for being captured and held captive and tortured. The man who said he knows more about military strategy than the generals.
Not showing up.
Perhaps that is the best way for him to honor the veterans. Not showing up.
In 2016 the folks who voted for Donald Trump got what they wanted. Donald Trump. The Republican party took control of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the White House and the Supreme Court.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican party have been able to name 2 new justices to the Supreme Court. These justices will help determine the laws for the next 30 years. They will likely overturn a woman’s right to choose. They will likely continue to support voter suppression laws. As promised.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican Party have passed a $1,500,000,000,000 tax cut, with $1,200,000,000,000 of that going to the top 1%. As promised.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican Party have done much to gut the Affordable Care Act and cut spending on social programs. They have gutted environmental protections. Sold public land to gas and oil and timber leases for corporate profit. Built the pipeline. Added billions to the military. As promised.
Since the election Mr Trump and the Republican Party have dropped out of the Global Warming agreements, dropped out of the US-Asian trade agreements, imposed tariffs on China and Europe and in general done everything possible to destroy international treaties and cooperation. As promised.
So, why are they so mad? Why are they so unhappy? Why are the Trump supporters still chanting “Lock Her Up”? Why are they frightened all the time? Why do they fear 5 year old Honduran girls? Why so much hate? Why so much whining and complaining?
They wanted a conman, a xenophobe and a racist. They got it. They wanted a political party that suppressed the votes of minorities and that redefined American as “white”, not “diverse”. They got it. They wanted a political party that put profits ahead of people. They got it.
So why the whining? The Republican Party and Donald Trump have had complete control of the political process for 2 years and have accomplished almost everything they wanted. So, why the whining?
There is nothing they cannot make a law about. So, why the whining?
Never in US history have so many “winners” turned into so many “whiners”.
It would be interesting to find out why the folks who won the last election are so miserable.
Mr Trump has faced a lot of criticism for saying that there was no Russian interference in our election when the facts say otherwise. So, according to a news article today:
“…Speaking from the White House, Trump said that after reviewing a transcript of the press conference he realized that “in a key sentence I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’”
“Just to repeat it, I said the word would instead of wouldn’t,” Trump said, referring to his answer at the press conference, in response to a question about whether Russia had tried to influence the American election: “All I can do is ask the question — my people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump had said, in a remark that stunned listeners and provoked outrage, even from many Republicans….”
Whew. Glad he cleared that up. But just to keep the record straight his spokesman who was thrown out of a restaurant on “All You Can Eat” night had an impromptu news conference to further clarify.
Yes, Sarah Huckster Sanders brought in select members of the press to explain some of Mr Trump’s past remarks. Luckily, being a favorite of the White House, I was called in to observe. It went like this.
Huckster: OK. Sit down and shut up.Thank you. We need to clarify a few comments made by the best president ever. Some of the fake news outlets have misreported his remarks in the past and I am here to set the record straight.
Let’s see. OK. When the best president met with Kim Jong -un he made a slight slip of the tongue. Mr Trump stated that Kim had promised to give up all his nuclear weapons and that Americans can now sleep easily. On reviewing the transcript what the best president meant to say was that Kim had NOT agreed to give up his nukes and that citizens should NOT sleep easily. This was a minor correction in the official statement.
I am sure the FAILING New York Times will make a big deal out of that little word.
Also, immediately after the best inauguration ever Mr Trump stated that the crowds paying homage to him were the biggest ever. The FAKE NEWS jumped all over that one. They showed pictures of the Negro’s inauguration and tried to make the best president ever look like a liar. What he meant to say was that the crowds were NOT the biggest ever. A simple vocal error, but the FAKE NEWS tried to make him seem like a liar. Awful.
Talking about Obama. Mr Trump is quoted as saying that the Negro was born in Africa, even though his birth certificate shows he was born in Hawaii. Mr Trump MEANT to say the Obama was NOT born in Africa. But, the failing Washington Post made a BIG DEAL out of a little word. Anything to oppose the best president ever.
Ok. Well. One more. There was a phony tape called the Access Hollywood tape. Mr Trump allegedly says he can just grab a woman by the pussy and he kisses women whenever he wants. I can tell you from personal experience that the president has never tried to grab me or kiss me. At least not when Hope Hicks was living with him in the White House. At any rate, what Mr Trump MEANT to say in that tape was that he would NOT grab a woman by the pussy and he would NOT kiss a woman even if she looked like Ivanka. Of course, the FAKE NEWS made a big deal out of this simple misunderstanding.
Ok. OK. One more slight misunderstanding. During the campaign the best candidate ever encouraged his supporters to make a chant. “Lock Her Up. Lock Her Up”. On reviewing a number of tapes, the best president ever realizes that this was not what he meant to say. He left out a word . A small word which I am sure the FAILING MSNBC will not report on that correction. He was thinking “Don’t Lock Her Up, Don’t Lock Her Up”. A slip of the tongue. So, we have cleared that up.
Just to clarify further. In his wedding vows Mr Trump ALLEGEDLY said he would “love, honor and obey” his Russian wife..oh, what is she? Slovakian? Slovenian? Croatian? anyway, his foreign wife, Melanie. What he mean to say (and this is ONLY for Melanie’s lawyers ears) what he meant to say is that he would NOT “love, honor and obey”. Just to clarify.
So, in the future let us hope the FAKE NEWS stops reporting EXACTLY what President Trump actually says. Instead, show some class and report what he should have said or could have said.
I couldn’t have been more clear to you about what the best president ever says. When he says he didn’t mean to say what he said he said it should be clear that he didn’t say what you think he said even though he said it.
So, stop reporting on his WORDS. That is just not fair. Report on what he thinks he maybe should have said if he had not said what he said.
My Congressman, Tom Reed (NY-23) issued this statement on twitter:
“Russia is not our friend, and I have no doubt they have, and are trying to, meddle in our elections. However, there is no evidence of collusion with any American, and it is time for the Mueller probe to come to a close. By completing the investigation, we will restore our faith in our democratic electoral process.”
Since the statement seems contradictory to me , I called Tom’s Washington DC office (202-225-3161) and asked for clarification. I talked to a very polite young man who really could not answer my questions, but tried. Usually referring me back to the statement.
First, I congratulated Reed for breaking with Mr. Trump and admitting that the Russians were involved in subverting our election. That, on the surface, is a big step. After all, Mr Trump still denies any Russian involvement. He said he takes Putin’s word for it.
Now, Since Reed was Mr Trump’s campaign manager in this part of NY I would not expect him to openly call Trump a liar. That would take courage. However, he does walk the fine line of stating the obvious. Russia interfered with our elections.
When I asked , point blank: Does Reed think Trump is wrong by calling this a witch hunt?, the response was that Reed stood by his statement. A statement that avoids mentioning Trump.
I pointed out that Reed wants to shut down the Mueller probe. But the young man insisted that Reed SUPPORTS the Mueller probe. I referred him to the statement and he did not see a contradiction in supporting the probe and shutting it down.
Following up, I thought the only logical reason for this would be that Reed KNOWS that Mueller will find no further evidence, hence there is no need to investigate. Reed must KNOW that no Americans were involved in any connections with Russians . He must be privy to the inside information only Mueller has! So, I asked if Reed had some special knowledge about the investigation and what Mueller knows. There was no answer to this query.
So, Tom Reed SUPPORTS the Mueller probe, but wants it ENDED immediately. He does not know what other evidence Mueller has but wants the investigation shut down. Tom wants to shut down an investigation into possible criminal activity before the investigators have collected or released all the facts and evidence. How can you claim to support an investigation while calling for it be stopped?
In my way of thinking, this is doublespeak.
Can’t have it both ways, Tom. Either you stand with law enforcement or you don’t. What ever happened to the party of “law and order” ?
Donald Trump is visiting Vladimir Putin this week. One on one. No one taking notes (except the KGB who will be recording every word). Some folks are critical of Trump for visiting one of the world’s worst dictators. A man who kills journalists and jails political opponents. Uses poisons to kill enemies. But, to be fair. It has been over a year now since Putin elected Trump. Time for a performance review.
I may be wrong, but I expect the interview will go something like this.
Putin: Welcome my brother. Have a seat.
Trump: Thank you, Mr Putin. So kind of you to see me in person.
Putin: Well. Time for your performance review. Let me take out my KGB checklist.
Trump: KGB? What does that stand for? Is it like the GOP?
Putin. Yes. It is almost exactly like the GOP. Except more honest. Now. item #1: Does the subject understand what his role is ? Answer: Yes. He is aware of who he works for.
Trump: Yes, sir. My role is president . I am the most powerful man on earth.I have many hotels and golf courses. I also have….
Putin (interrupting) Yes. Yes. Item #2: Has the subject sought to undermine western alliances? I would give you a big Y-E-S on that one, Donald. You have done a fine job of trying to destroy the European Union and NATO. Hate NATO. NATO has to go.
Trump: NATO has to go. NATO is bad. What is NATO? Is it a kind of soft drink, like Diet Cola? If it is Diet Cola then I say we keep it. If not, don’t keep it. That’s what people say. Also, did you know….
Putin (interrupting). Yes. Yes. Whatever. Onward to Item #3: Has the subject tried to destabilize international trade agreements? I give you an A- on that one. You have done a good job of destroying US exports by your trade war. Keep it up. Job well done.
Trump: Thank you, sir. I did my best. Did you like the way I claimed Canada had a trade surplus. WOW. That punk Trudeau did not know what to say. And how about those European tariffs. HA. Those smarty pants gay lovers really got burned . And another thing, I….
Putin (interrupting, and very testy). YES.. Yes already. (in Russian to his KGB comrades: Will this useful idiot ever shut up about himself?). One last item. #4: Has the subject perfected the BIG LIE technique? I would give you an A plus plus for that one. I used to think Stalin was the master of the BIG LIE, but you, my little Donald, have outdone them all. So many to choose from. Each one bigger than the previous.
Trump: I do my best. I think I am the best with words, don’t you. I use those words you gave me. I use them over and over. Words like: “Lock Her Up” and “Muslim” and “M13” and “communist Democrats” and “Sleep easy, North Korea has no more nukes” and….
Putin: (interrupting again): Yes. Well, comrade. You have used all the words I gave you. You did a good job. Just keep repeating all those words. I have a new list for you for this year. Better words. Just keep tweeting the words I give you.
Trump: Can I use my own words, sometimes? Maybe just once or twice? I know the best words.
Putin: Well….no…not a good idea. Just stick to words we give you. They are working with your base. Simple words. Meaningless words. Easy to remember words. Our new words will be: Mueller is fired. Mueller is a crook. Repeat Donald.
Trump: Mueller is…uh….what was it again?
Putin: Mueller is fired. Mueller is a crook. Repeat.
Trump: Mueller is on fire. Mueller wrote a book. Repeat Donald.
Putin: Oh god. Here. It is on paper. Can you read? Oh. Sorry. I forgot. We will send you a recording. Try to memorize.
Trump: Thank you sir. Did I pass? Did I get a good grade? I got a real good grade at Trump University.
Putin: Yes, Donald. You passed this year’s review. You may go now. Please. JUST GO.
Donald waddles out of the room.
Trump turns to the KGB agents behind the two way mirror. “I told you we should have picked Sarah Palin. At least she can remember her lines.”
I called my Congressman, (NY-23rd) Tom Reed’s office last week and complained vociferously about his cowardly statement about the young children being separated from their mothers at the US border. The statement from his website, June 19, 2018:
“We care about these children being separated from their parents. These kids are unfortunate bystanders to a long-standing epidemic of weak border security and outdated laws. Congress must act in this week’s immigration reform bill to change the law so that children are not ripped from their parents’ arms, but provided a fair and compassionate solution to this heart-wrenching issue.”
I suggested to Reed’s assistant that this statement was weak and inaccurate (well, ok, I think I called Reed a “pussy”). At any rate, Mr Reed sent me a response by email (I assume it was a form letter sent out to his constituents and not a personal response). In this latest mailing he says, in part:
“…On June 27, 2018 I voted in support of the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 that would end this practice of separation, and would allow children to be held with their parents in family facilities. Congress must pass legislation to solve this crisis at our southern border. Current law and court settlements require that children not be held in the same detention centers that adults are held in while they await court proceedings. This means that, under current law, the children of parents who are waiting on legal proceedings cannot be held with their parents. We must work together to fix our immigration system and close the loopholes that allow tragedies like this to take place….”
(Bold face mine).
So. Let’s dissect this.
According to Reed the separation of children and their parents at the border is required by law. He cites no law. He cites no section of any law. He cites nothing. He simply echoes the lies tweeted by Donald Trump. Which is no surprise, since Reed was an early supporter and campaign organizer for Trump in NY.
Why does he not cite any specific law? And a fact check tells us why. According to independent fact checker website Snopes:
“…There is no federal law that stipulates that children and parents be separated at the border, no matter how families entered the United States. An increase in child detainees separated from parents stemmed directly from a change in enforcement policy repeatedly announced by Sessions in April and May 2018, under which adults (with or without children) are criminally prosecuted for attempting to enter the United States:…
“…However, neither the 1997 Flores settlement nor a 2008 human trafficking law cited in that release in any way stipulated that the government separate children from their parents:…
“…A cluster of rumors about the controversial separation of families at the border held that the policy came before the Trump administration, either stemming from a 1997 “law” or purported policies of previous administrations. Those claims were false. No federal law required or suggested the family separation policy announced by Attorney General Sessions in several sets of remarks during April and May 2018....”
So, while Tom Reed and President Trump claim that the ripping of children from their parents is a problem of the law, that is simply not the case. It is an executive decision made by the President. He chose to implement this nasty policy. And Tom Reed chooses to give him cover.
Tom acts as though this horrible situation is just, uh, well, the law. Which it isn’t. President Clinton did not do this. Bush did not do this. Obama did not do this. Why not? Because it is not the law. It is a very repulsive executive decision.
Final point. Just this week President Trump relented and ended the policy . Or at least he said so. Did Trump violate the law ?
Well, Tom, if this was a law mandated by Congress how can Trump unilaterally just change it? A question I intend to ask next week when I call again.
Reed is one of those Trump politicians who talks the very moderate talk on TV. He is pushing his “brand” as one of the “Problem Solvers”. Then he votes against families, the poor, workers, SNAP and health care.
Now, he double talks about who created the mess of the toddlers from the border who, in his words , “…are …ripped from their parents’ hands…”
Fake News. Wow. So much fake news. No collusion. None . Zero. No Russian contacts. Never met Russians. Never heard of Putin. Comey is a crook. Fake Comey book. Fake Pruitt spending. Why not travel first class? Wow. All fake news. Flynn? Who is Flynn? Never met him. All fake. Manafort? Never heard of him. Everything is fake. Fake. Lock her up. Lock her up. Horrible Hillary. Cohen. Who is Michael Cohen? I don’t know him. All fake.
Fantastic. My administration has been the most fantastic ever. I did more in the first year than any other president. Ever. People love me. People say I am fantastic. Many people.
FBI. Most corrupt organization in Earth. Believe me. Awful. They break down doors. False charges. Lock them up.
Fifth. Take the fifth. Only criminals take the fifth. The mob takes the fifth. …Cohen took the fifth? I may have to take the fifth? A wonderful part of the Constitution. Love the fifth. Best fifth ever.
Florida. Great state. Everyone says so. Mar-A-Lago is the best golf course. Magnificent golf. Love Florida. Many billionaires in Florida.
Flynn. Great man. Fantastic patriot. Not a criminal. He pleaded guilty? …oh…I hardly know him. Never met him. Flynn who?
Fox News. Tremendous . Fantastic. Awesome. Believe me, Fox is true journalism. Always tell the truth. Unlike the failing New York Times. Great people at Fox. I know them. Super people. The best people. Only the truth. Fair and balanced!!
Franken. Al Frankenstein. Liberal. Communist. Sex abuser. Horrible. If I did half of what he did the liberals would be calling for impeachment. Awful man. Very disrespectful to women. I respect women. I love women. Some of my favorite people are women. Like Ivanka. Tremendous woman! Fantastic.
Election. I won the election. Fair and square. Biggest total vote in US history. Most electoral votes ever. Amazing. Wow.
Election Fraud. Cooked Hillary had election fraud. Over 20 million illegals voted for Hillary. Fake news won’t cover election fraud. My election fraud panel will prove it….What? They didn’t find election fraud? They disbanded? Fake election fraud panel.
Energy. Coal. Best energy out there. Amazing. And oil. No limit to oil. So much it will last a billion billion years. Believe me, that’s a long time. We need more drilling for energy. the best drilling.
Enormous. Bigly. A lot. A whole bunch. Like “I have a enormous buildings.”
Erdogan. Big election. People love him. He won. Great leader. Strong leader. Like Putin. I like him. Locked up his opponents. Good job. Lock them up!
Evidence. Fake. Fake. Fake. No evidence of collusion. Mueller probe is fake. Donnie Junior did nothing wrong. I know. I was there. Putin and me and Russia did nothing wrong. I know. I was there. Terrible what the fake FBI did to Cohen. Great man. No evidence. Maybe a pardon?
Evolution. Fake . Do I look like I came from a orangutan?
Daniels, Stormy. Never heard of her. Fake news. Never had sex with her. Do I look like I need to hire a hooker? Look at me. Fantastic physique. Never paid for it. Women want me. Never had sex with Stormy. Stormy who?
Darkies. Proper term for “those people”. You know who I mean. Nasty. Criminals. Welfare fraud. MAGA.
Dave Dennison. Every smart businessman has an alias. Why sign my own name when I can pretend to be someone who doesn’t exist? Not illegal. Very honest. Other names I “may” have used? John Miller. John Barron.
Deal maker. I am the best deal maker EVER. Read the Art of the Deal. Amazing book. Fantastic ideas. I made a deal with Mexico to pay for the wall. Believe me. I made a deal with China, forced them to end all tariffs. Ended Obamacare. I am the best deal maker ever! Don’t take my word for it, it is what many people say!
Democrats. Traitors. Hate America. Belong in jail. Lock them up. Can’t we do something about them?
Dirtbag. All my opponents.
Donald. That’s ME. WOW. Best president ever. Best name. Best brand.
In 1949 Mao Zedong and the communists took over China. They instituted communist policies . In response the US cut off all relations with the People’s Republic of China for many years. Mao was a dictator. Harsh. Ruthless. The US would have nothing to do with him. He was an enemy.
Then, in 1972 , Richard Nixon did what was necessary. Mao did what his subordinates did not want him to do. Nixon visited China, met with Mao and started the opening up of trade and cultural relationships. The rightwing in China and the US were outraged by this betrayal of ideals. They wanted conflict, not reproachment.
The world did not end. The US was not defeated. In fact, over time, China has become a major world player and dominant economic force. A major trading partner with the US.
In 1986 the Russian leader, Gorbachev, met with the US leader, Ronald Reagan. Gorbachev had opened up Russia and the Russian people to the possibilities of democracy. Perestroika and glasnost . Reagan, a fervent anti-communists, saw an opportunity to cooperate on arms control. Both men signed the arms reduction deal which helped defuse the 40 years of hostility and tension between the two superpowers. Both men were criticized as “weak” by hardliners at home.
While Russia has fallen back into a dictatorship, the arms deals have held. Billions that could have been wasted by both nations on military spending has been saved. Not to say that both countries still spend way too much on the military. More than either needs for its defense. It was a bold, unpopular move for Reagan and Gorbachev to make.
But Reagan took a step toward an enemy and helped change the world.
Vietnam was a communist nation. The US fought a long war before ultimately admitting defeat. The hatred of many toward the North Vietnamese (and to some extent the South Vietnamese) was overwhelming. They were ruthless. They were despicable. The hatred of Americans by the millions of Vietnamese who had family killed by the “invaders” was also overwhelming.
In 1994, almost 20 years after the US left Vietnam, Bill Clinton lifted the trade embargo. Once again US companies could do business in Vietnam. Vietnam could be brought fully into the world trading system. Trade between the two nations now has reached billions of dollars a year. Former enemies have become trading partners.
Which brings us to Kim Jung -Un. The dictator of North Korea. Yesterday Mr Kim called for talks with his neighbor, South Korea. And South Korea responded positively. Both sides see no reason for increased hostility and increased fear. The president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has asked the US to postpone joint military operations as a gesture of good will. He wants to open up talks with his enemy to the north.
Would it not be nice if North and South Korea opened up more and more trade relations? Would it not be nice if these two nations could tone down the rhetoric and begin more cultural and economic interactions? Hasn’t history taught us that even the most hated enemies can, over time, become trading partners? And once nations forge strong trade partnerships they both have a stake in keeping the peace and developing economically.
Nixon taught us that. Reagan taught us that. Clinton taught us that. Have we learned?
Let us hope that the US encourages this new interaction between the 2 Koreas. Or at least does not do anything to undermine the possibility of peace. Then, 20 years from now the people of North and South Korea may be able to freely visit each other and take advantage of increased trade and wealth.
If the US just lets it happen. Sometmes just doing nothing is enough.