Tag Archives: Trump

It’s Fourth of July–with Trump in the White House

Fourth of July treats

Fireworks. A day at the beach or another family get together. Beer, hotdogs or burgers. Time to relax and celebrate America’s freedom. But there’s a pall over the festivities this year. At least for the majority of Americans who disapprove and worry about the man who would be king Tiberius Trump, rather than president.

Is our independence secure? One can’t be certain, perhaps even doubtful with the so-called president currently occupying the oval office. There have been  good presidents and bad presidents. But never one so oddly out-of-place and so dangerously unqualified. You know his faults, let’s not list them again. Let’s just consider a couple of events, one historical, one fictional which could threaten the survival of America as we know it. Then we’ll consider the current reality we’re facing–the scariest thing of all.

Were Trump alive during the American Revolution, would he have sided with King George against the Continental Congress? “A fine fellow,” Trump might say. One that instead of considering an enemy, he would prefer to establish a better relationship with. Much like Vladimir Putin.

What would Trump do if he were facing the aliens that threatened not just America but world annihilation in the movie Independence Day? Would he tweet, “FAKE news!” Or perhaps he’d claim it a plot by the Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, to threaten his presidency. Most likely, he’d cower in the sub-basement of the White House or retreat to the bunker at Mount Weather. There he might call BFF Putin and implore him for advice. After all, Trump doesn’t trust any of his senior advisers—especially the intelligence agency heads nor the military.

What might Putin say to him? If I were as rude as Stephen Colbert, I might suggest that Putin would tell him, (assuming there were a video teleconference transmission):

“Get off your knees, Donald! This isn’t a stall in a Kremlin men’s room!”

But that would be crude, wouldn’t it. But I don’t have to worry about FCC complaints or sponsors objecting. I’m just a blogger who, while not seriously suggesting Trump’s sexual misadventures might include glory holes, doesn’t reject them out of hand as a possibility either.

So what then of America’s independence?  it’s well established that Russian agents, at the direction of Putin, meddled in America’s 2016 election. “Meddle,” of course, is a singularly understated word for what went on. They hacked into DNC servers and published stolen messages via WikiLeaks. They used bots and trolls to publish fake news disparaging the Clinton campaign. They hacked into voter registration records of at least 21 states (and possibly 39). So what is Trump’s response?  Denials that it even happened. It’s all a hoax—especially that anyone associated with his campaign had anything to do with making this happen. Other than that, nothingexcept for his voter fraud commission. NOTE: as of July 4th, 44 of 50 states have resisted the commission’s request for much of the information requested.

The commission was created in part to prove his ridiculous claim of millions of illegal votes that cost him the popular vote. It also would offer better tools for suppressing  undesirable votes from minorities and Democrats. Moreover, his administration offers no assistance or warnings to the election officials across America on how to harden their record keeping systems against intrusion in the upcoming 2018 election.  We’ll return to that in just a bit.

On Friday, July 7th, Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit. What will they talk about? Syria? Iran? Or maybe lifting or at least lightening the sanctions imposed by former President Obama on Russia? Will there be an opportunity for them to meet alone (Trump is unlikely to speak Russian, but Putin does have some fluency in English!) Trump has dissed a substantial percentage of American allies. He has dissed American war heroes. He calls American media his enemy. But he has never ONCE said anything bad about Putin. He has also lavished praise on strong men throughout the world.

Trump, as we all know, wishes he were unencumbered by limitations on his power by the other two branches of government—Congress and the judiciary. He could also do without media scrutiny. He has had some success at curtailing the media; not so much the other branches of government. But what if he could get an even more compliant Congress? That’s where Putin, the voter fraud commission and the disinterest in protecting against Russian hacking of voter records—perhaps even voting machines themselves.

Could Trump be the reincarnation of Benedict Arnold? Angered at what he perceived to be a lack of recognition and rewards (lack of promotions, etc.) Arnold conspired with the British during the Revolutionary War and gave his name as a simple synonym for traitor. Trump is particularly incensed at the opposition of the media and the lack of recognition of what he sees as his own virtues and successes (few and far between, and as minimal, as they are). So, will Trump succumb to flattery by Putin to make Russia Great Again? Perhaps he already has. Perhaps he has been corrupted financially or otherwise to do Putin’s bidding. One could easily assume so, given Trump’s behavior toward Putin and Russia. So, decades from now, we could be talking of Traitor Trump and Benedict Arnold might be a forgotten figure of history.

Let’s hope not. Now is the time for America to celebrate its independence—and resist surrendering it to Donald Trump and inferentially, Russia. Here’s what Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter had to say yesterday in Our #FakeHero president is an insult to our Founders .

The role of the citizenry — to express approval or disapproval at the ballot box — includes making sure that suffrage is not selectively and unfairly denied by restrictive voter-ID laws or partisan purges of the voter rolls.

Congress must assert its powers of oversight. . . Trump has deepened the swamp, not drained it; and Congress has a duty to sort through the muck.

Congress must also let Trump know, in no uncertain terms, . . . that firing Mueller would automatically be considered grounds for impeachment.

The Fourth of July is no day for despair. It’s a day to remember that our system, though vulnerable to a charlatan such as Trump, is robust and resilient. Eventually he will be tossed or voted out. And the star-spangled banner yet will wave.

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The Greedy Old Plutocrats (AKA GOP) and Alan Dishwasher

Putingate never stops, does it? It’s kept me from the bulk of this post until now. I promise to catch up on Kushner, et al next time. For now, it’s mostly about the reverse Robin Hood policies of the GOP and Trump. But scroll to the end for a brief legal analysis of the potential senility of Alan Dershowitz, hereinafter Alan Dishwasher–his sophistry and that of all the Trump surrogates on CNN is what has vaulted MSNBC well past CNN in the cable news ratings.

Here’s the nutshell before the bullet points: The GOP could stand for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.    AKA Party of Scrooge, whose members are affectionately known generically as “Ebenezers.”

Mocking Paul Ryan's Scrooge-like cheapness

 

  • CBO score says 23 million will lose health coverage over 10 years
  • Young, healthy people will pay less
  • Older, sicker and disabled will pay more–LOTS more
  • Big savings ($836 BILLION) will come from cuts to Medicaid
  • Smaller savings ($276 BILLION) will come from cuts in premium subsidies
  • Wealthy/high income individuals/couples will get HUGE tax breaks (rob from the poor and give to the rich)

At a National Review interview with Rich Lowery, Paul Ryan recalled a college kegger Lowery put on. Here’s what Ryan said about Medicaid and other Federal programs for the poor.

“We’ve been dreaming of this [capping Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,”

[W]hen asked by Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”

What then of the Trump budget, released in more detail Wednesday? It cuts MANY Federal “safety net” programs. Including making even larger cuts to Medicaid. It also double counts a $2 trillion savings and posits an extraordinarily unlikely 3% growth rate (the GDP). It’s much worse than the AHCA. So much so that no less than John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it’s “dead on arrival.”   Other Republicans, as well as Democrats, had similar reactions. Too much bad to even bullet here. Instead, let’s just consider more reasons why “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron and the GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party but is really the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” Paul Ryan, unlike Trump and his progeny is only worth a few million–but others have far more.  Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director said about some of Trump’s draconian budget cuts. This comes from the same Vanity Fair piece above.

“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” in cutting Meals on Wheels (food delivered to homebound seniors) funding. Rather than being hard-hearted, he said, “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He was referring, of course, to the compassion showed to taxpayers who pay for the program.

Then there’s Ben Carson (aren’t you glad neither you, nor any friend or family member ever had surgery performed by him? That could have been disastrous given all the nutty things he’s said in the past two years!). Wednesday, Carson said in response to questions about the $6 billion cut in housing aid (he’s the HUD Director):

“[P]overty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”

 Ryan, Trump and many of the GOP are in agreement. Let me digress to mention my own childhood. Like many, I didn’t realize how poor we were until much later. My father died of cancer, after a long illness, when I was seven. My mother initially worked at a school cafeteria–with her 8th grade education (this was in the 50s). She had to stop due to crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Thereafter, she and I lived on Social Security spousal and dependent benefits–which were far from generous. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid existed then; they began in 1965. We had no health insurance. Doctors who formerly treated asthma and other problems stopped when the money stopped. Hospitals were required to offer treatment, but it was subpar. Things were tight enough that scavenging for bottles to return for deposit was a means that I undertook to supplement the meager money. Fortunately for me, by older brother and his wife took me in when my mother died around my 16th birthday.

So no, Ben, our poverty was NOT a state of mind you f—ing idiot. Nor is it for many others. Others who would suffer or simply die–without any number of Federal programs that the Greedy Old Plutocrats would like to cut for the benefit of the Trumps, the Kochs, the Adelson clan and other uber rich. 

On to Alan Dishwasher (what he’s now, possibly, best suited for). A couple nights ago, he opined on CNN that Jared Kushner’s lawyer should demand to know what crime it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to question him about. Otherwise, such inquiries could violate Kushner’s civil liberties. Let’s be clear, neither the media’s reference to Kushner being a “person of interest” or a “focus of investigation” are legal terms. They’re popular on crime procedurals on TV and on news media. In legal terms, the focus is on one of three categories–witness, subject of investigation or target. Since it’s been stated (up until yesterday’s news) that Kushner is neither a subject nor a target, that leaves him as a witness. If there’s a crime, it’s somebody else’s. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights for law enforcement, for example, to ask about a traffic accident, a burglary or an assault they witnessed.

Dishwasher also asserted that Mueller’s only focus is on prosecuting crime. Not so. Before anyone is charged with an offense, an investigation must be conducted. Only after an investigation determines a crime has been committed, will a prosecution potentially occur. Mueller is directing an investigation by the FBI–both into financial crimes and into espionage-related crimes by the FBI’s counterintelligence division. He has a broad mandate, because all the facts are NOT known as yet. There’s is plenty of suspicious activity–as former CIA Director John Brennan said in referring such things to the FBI before he left office.

Finally, Dishwasher said “collusion is not a crime.” BULLS**T! Being generous, we could call this sophistry. Yes, there is probably no statutory offense listed in the US Criminal Code (Title 18) titled “collusion.” Nonetheless, colluding with others to do a “pump and dump” stock scheme is a crime. Conspiring (colluding) with others to rob a bank, commit a terrorist act, etc., is a crime. With knowledge of an upcoming theft, colluding with the thieves to accept stolen merchandise is a crime.  Being an accessory after the fact is a crime. Aiding and abetting is a crime. Any or all of which can result from “collusion.” Hence, BULLS**T.  CNN should drop Dishwasher from their “expert” or analyst list–whatever legal reasoning he might once have possessed is not being demonstrated today.

To be clear–with respect to the Russian meddling with the US election of 2016, the “collusion” in question most certainly could entail any number of crimes. Just a few: conspiracy, accessory, espionage, treason, etc. All of which requires investigation to prove. Which brings back the “fairytale,” “FAKE NEWS” and other surrogate apologist protests about the investigation into the Trump campaign. There is “no evidence” of collusion BECAUSE the investigation is NOT OVER! Only the Red Queen of Lewis Carroll’s Alice adventures concludes guilt or innocence before hand. 

Again, MSNBC is cleaning CNN’s ratings clock because in their effort to provide balance by putting up Trump apologists, they are viewed as fools.

 

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Trump Says the Darnedest Things

It’s not just Trump, of course, it’s his cabinet officials and others from the administration who say wacky stuff. But it’s mainly him. I think I’ll turn this into a book later. But enough foreplay, let’s get to the funny stuff. Most of these are actual quotes from our so-called President. If we’ve added some fake news, we’ll let you know.

“Who knew health care was so complicated.”

“I loved my previous life, I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. [T]his is more work than my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

“I think we’ve done more than perhaps any president in the first 100 days.”

“Democrats are using that faux — or fake — Russia story in order to make themselves feel better for losing an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose.”

In the biggest oxymoron in American history, President Trump wants Americans to celebrate May 1 as Loyalty Day. He is now calling on the nation to observe the holiday to express loyalty to “individual liberties, to limited government, and to the inherent dignity of every human being,” according to a statement sent out by the White House. “The United States stands as the world’s leader in upholding the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice.

FAKE news follows [Accordingly, Trump will fire Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and Jeff Sessions. Then he himself will resign–that’s the only way to ensure the success of those values.]

“Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection.”

That statement came on Earth Day! FAKE news follows: Anonymous sources from the White House say Trump has tasked NASA to explore the best means to mine the green cheese covering the Earth’s moon. “It will create jobs in mining, transportation and the restaurant industry–great for the economy, trust me!” 

On April 29th, people who share the widespread belief in climate change, protested in Washington, DC. “Climate change is a hoax,” Trump has said. He wants America to burn more coal. Trump also proposes cutting the EPA budget by 1/3. That will sure protect the environment! Rigorous science too!

EPA has removed pages regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate change to reflect the ignorance of its new leader, Scott Pewwwit—who formerly raised a stink in Oklahoma. Here’s what the EPA flunky (er, spokesperson) J.P. Freire, had to say about it:   “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”  That includes changes prompted by Trump to allow dumping of toxic waste into streams. Also the elimination of regulations to limit stack emissions from coal-fired power plant. Doesn’t sound much like protecting the environment OR human health, does it?

Recently, in an interview by John Dickerson on Face the nation, Trump regaled the host about his knowledge of the Civil War and admiration for seventh President, Andrew Jackson.

“Why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening, with regard to the Civil War. He said, there’s no reason for this.”

We can assume Trump was absent during his American history classes in school–or perhaps it’s just another example of “alternative facts.” Consider what Chelsea Clinton (Bill and Hillary’s daughter had to say about it.

1 word answer: Slavery. Longer: When Andrew Jackson died in 1845 (16 yrs before the Civil War began), he owned 150 men, women and children. https://t.co/Icg6puG2JZ

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 1, 2017

Jackson, of course, also pushed the forced removal of 17,000 members of the Cherokee Nation from the east coast to Oklahoma—along what is known as the Trail of Tears. Great guy, huh? For more on Jackson, including how ignored Chief Justice John Marshall’s ruling that the law permitting the removal of the Cherokee was illegal, go here.

More FAKE news follows; [only bracketed text should be considered true]:

Trump has upped the ante for the wall. Given the medieval nature of a wall (think of the Great Wall of China), Trump now says he wants a moat as well—possibly with gators in many places. Beyond that, he is in discussion with designers for the use of burning oil for high crossing areas. He says of this option, “it will pass constitutional muster, believe me.” He has his success with the travel ban executive order to confirm his “legal opinion.”

[Trump is considering hiring Milwaukee Sheriff, David Clarke, for a Homeland Security Post.] Sources say Clarke will be responsible for ensuring that temperature controls in immigrant detention cells don’t work. Troublesome detainees will be denied medical care and in extreme cases, food or water.

Trump is touting his record number golf rounds played during his first 100 days in office as a major accomplishment. According to Trump, “No other President has played this many rounds in their first 100 days. Most didn’t play this many rounds during their first year—some during their entire term. Trust me, the balls in my bag have really had a workout.”

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry
Acknowledgements: See attribution links

More Trump Funnies

Trump’s first 100 days have almost arrived. What’s he accomplished? Not much. He was awarded four pinocchios by the Washington Post for his claim that “no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.”

Sources say Secret Service agents are wearing stilts and rubber boots. The White House BS is that deep. Click To Tweet

Where’s Waldo or have you seen this aircraft carrier? The USS Carl Vinson and several other vessels that accompany it were supposed to be off the coast of North Korea last week. At least according to our so-called Commander-in-Chief.

USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier

Sean Sriracha said it was steaming there. Defense Secretary Mattis said the strike group had cancelled plans to participate in joint training exercises near Australia. So it appears that one of the “adults in the room,” the Secretary of Defense–is as out of the loop and clueless as his boss, Donald Trump. We’re all in trouble when the guys who are supposed to know which end is up don’t know either. Maybe Mattis shouldn’t have got that waiver. Maybe he’s too old to be in this job. Perhaps his faculties have faded. We know Trump’s shortcomings.

But the thought of a preemptive strike on North Korea caused plenty of handwringing among national security and former military types now working as commentators/analysts. Seoul, just 30 miles from the DMZ separating it from North Korea, would likely be obliterated in response, they all say. But hey, our whacked White House visitor (he spends most of his time golfing in Mar-a-Lago and is supposed to be working in Washington) doesn’t know any better. But bellicose talk about Kim Jong Un works great as a deflection from discussion of his conflicts of interest and especially the Russiagate issues.

Speaking of deflection, let’s consider MOAB–the “Mother of All Bombs” dropped on ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan. Never before used in combat anywhere since it’s development in 2002, that managed to grab much attention on the news for its novelty. Was it militarily necessary to drop this very expensive device there? Did cooperative (Trump supporting) military commanders choose this one for its deflection aptitude? Could be.

Discussion about the Syrian strike has just about ended, although Fareed Zakaria (one of my favorites) unfortunately supported it and cautioned against “Trump Derangement Syndrome”–suggesting that there are many who automatically reject anything Trump does. I say unfortunately because this is one of the rare instances when Zakaria completely blew it.  See my take (as Fareed often prefaces where to find his most recent op-ed from the Washington Post) explaining how this symbolic shot amounted to much ado about nothing other than serving as a major deflection. Yes, many people besides Zakaria foolishly praised Trump’s response to Bashar Al Assad’s criminal chemical attack–but it’s hard to believe Trump cares much about Syrian children given his refugee ban. But it’s easy to believe he cares plenty about his self-image as a macho man. He also cares much about deflecting attention from his failures and discussion about Russian connections.

Speaking of Russian connections, no one (so far as I know) has paid much attention to this little nugget on how Trump policies have affected tourist visits to America. Possibly people concerned with politics and Russia missed it because it comes from the Washington Post’s Capital Business section. People around the world are canceling trips to the USA–with one exception. Guess from where? Here’s an excerpt from the WAPO piece.

Demand for flights to the United States has fallen in nearly every country since January, ­according to Hopper, a travel-booking app that analyzes more than 10 billion daily airfare price quotes to derive its data. Searches for U.S. flights from China and Iraq have dropped 40 percent since Trump’s inauguration, while demand in Ireland and New Zealand is down about 35 percent. (One exception: Russia, where searches for flights to the United States have surged 60 percent since January.)

Not to be too cynical/conspiratorial here, but if NSA is going to intercept Russian communications–what better way to avoid that than sending undercover FSB agents to America and meeting in person with Trump administration officials or associates? Makes you think, doesn’t it? Or it could just be more business conflicts–oligarchs or creditors of Trump. Ordinary tourists? I don’t think so!

Remember Alex Jones, of the Infowars conspiracy/fake news show/website? He’s somebody who has had Trump on his show. His claims are among those that Trump relies on or cites from time to time. Birds of a feather you might say. So it’s interesting to note what just came out in a divorce and child custody proceeding involving Jones. A psychiatric evaluation introduced in the case says that Jones is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Guess who else has been accused of having that problem (unofficially of course)? His buddy Trump. Here’s what the Daily Beast had to say in their report:

People diagnosed with NPD typically show traits including a lack of empathy, arrogance, and a propensity for grandiose fantasies. They are also frequently described as manipulative and demanding.

Sounds a lot like our so-called President, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, on the Ivanka conflict front, consider that China granted three trademarks on Ivanka brand products while she and Daddy Donald were dining with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Coincidence? Oh sure! Nothing to see here, the Chinese Foreign ministry says. They handle all applications equally, minister Lu Kang said. But an American trademark lawyer says the usual processing time is 18 months–her application was approved in half that time, 9 months. See this NPR reportFriends get fast-tracked it seems. China’s no currency manipulator after all. 

Incompetence and ignorance starts at the top at the Trump White House, as Sean Sriracha, the seldom seen (anymore) Kellyanne Corncob confirm. Then too, the rudeness percolates throughout. DHS Secretary John Kelly recently channeled his inner Steve Bannon in remarks at George Washington University.

“If lawmakers do not like the laws that we enforce, that we are charged to enforce, that we are sworn to enforce, then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws,” Kelly said. “Otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.” [emphasis added]

Of course, those laws don’t require deporting mothers of small children–mothers who have committed no crimes and whose children were born in the US. Those laws don’t require TSA agents to investigate whether pantyliners might be bombs. Those laws are also augmented by intolerant and vindictive attitudes expressed in the Trump travel ban. See also my previous item on how out of control Customs has become. Those aren’t legal issues–they’re training and behavior issues that coincide with a man in the White House that likes to refer to “haters,” when, like so many of his epithets, amounts to a projection. It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that former general Kelly shares Trump’s perspective–he works for the Hater-in-Chief.

Speaking of immigration issues, an interesting article in the Washington Post details the troubled history of the Trump family with immigration. Like using illegal immigrants on projects. Like using seasonal labor from foreign countries at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere. Then there’s his recent push to buy and hire American. Sort of falls under the parental shame adage, “do as I say, not as I do.” Import Chinese steel for building. Manufacture his products everywhere but in the US. For more details, read the Post article. Here’s just one snippet:

Businesses run and owned by Trump and his adult children have been certified to legally hire 1,371 foreign visa workers since 2001, a CNN analysis of visa records shows. In addition, Trump-branded real estate has raised at least $50 million in foreign investor money through a program that gives foreign investors access to green cards, according to the company that did the development of the real estate.

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The Hits Just Keep Coming–The Trump Funnies

So Donald Jr. says he’s not interested in running for office in 2018. Really? Despite the unlikely win his father had in 2016, he’s clearly more delusional than dear old dad if he thinks there’s a groundswell of voters anxious to see him in the New York Governor’s office (he’s not inclined toward the NYC Mayor job. Hahahahahaha!!!! Bozo runs in the family, it seems.

Is the dog fully wagged yet? Haven’t heard much about the investigation of the Trump campaign collusion with the Russian meddling in the US election in the last several days. Seems like the symbolic Syrian attack has done the trick. Speaking of tricks, here’s the deal with that:

  • Russia got a one-hour warning of the impending strike
  • That gave not only them, but the Syrians, ample time to move valuable jets and personnel away from the strikes
  • The Trump administration can’t get straight whether it was 20 aircraft, 20% of the aircraft in the area, 20% of the entire air force or something else that was destroyed
  • Most likely, it was 20 aging aircraft that were hit
  • No chemical weapon storage was hit
  • No reports of ANY Russian or Syrian casualties have emerged
  • In simple terms, the 59 Tomahawk missile strike was not highly successful militarily–or not a BFD
  • But it did cost the taxpayers, depending on what source you read, $75 to $90 million!
  • Oh, and the really funny thing–sources say that it was daughter Ivanka’s dismay at the videos of suffering children who brought it all to Daddy Donald’s attention–causing him to call for a response. Oh sure–or, wait, maybe that did play a part.

There you have it, the high cost of deflection. Great praise from hawks. Derision from pacifists and alt-right nationalists. And plenty of discussion suggesting it signified a departure from Trump/Russian convergence. Noteworthy: while Trump surrogates and administration officials have badmouthed the Russians, not one word against Russia has come from Donald himself. Got the clue?

Oh, did you hear about the uber spammer arrested in Spain at the FBI request? The US has an extradition treaty with Spain. The guy’s wife says it’s all about his work for Putin on the Trump campaign. Spammers can make as much as they want in Russia, so long as they do the work that the FSB, Putin, et al asks them to. Guess he’ll be spilling the beans for the right deal to the new special unit of the FBI created for investigating the Trump/Russian connection. (The unit will be headed by an experience counter-intelligence agent and will have as many as 20 people working out of the FBI HQ in Washington, DC). Pay no attention to the Syrian deflection. The investigation continues and the evidence is accumulating.

Sean Sriracha says even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on his own people. Oh yeah, he just gassed millions of them with Zyklon gas in the concentration camps–that doesn’t count. Maybe  the Trump team can hire Clarissa to explain it all to Sean so he doesn’t sound so cluelessly stupid when he does briefings.

Trump says Bill O’Really has done nothing wrong. 82 sponsors and counting think otherwise, costing Fox over an estimated $35 million in ad revenue. But hey, what’s a little sexual harassment in the workplace–or anywhere where a celebrity can grab a woman by the p. . .y?

Speaking of which, let’s lighten this up with a tune by that name from a man who never hesitated to include plenty of sexual commentary in his songs but still is a favorite of many–including myself. Humor excuses many such sins. But have no fear, Zappa’s Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has no lyrics–it’s 100% instrumental. For all you fellow guys, hear the pain and sorrow of harassment in the melody even as you listen to the guitar virtuoso.

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Acknowledgements: Zappa instrumental from Youtube

Special April First Edition of Views–Dedicated to Trump

Rex Tillerson has explained to disaffected State Department employees that his apparent first name is actually a title—the Latin term meaning King. That’s why, when they encounter him anywhere at the State Department, they must look down or away and never upon his countenance. They should speak only if spoken to. He has agreed to so-called President Trump’s demand to never wear a crown. Only Trump himself is permitted to do that–when Melania says so during role-playing games.

Devin Numbnuts has announced that he will step down from the House Intelligence Committee. He feels unappreciated by his boss, Donald Trump. His future ambition is to play the Goofy character at Disneyland. No word on whether Disney has an interest in hiring him.

Michael “Out Like” Flynn, has a story to tell about life at the White House. His proffer to investigators to grant him immunity from prosecution includes his observation of an undocumented housekeeper removing soiled rubber sheets from the President’s bedroom.

So-called President Trump has confirmed that one of daughter Ivanka’s major responsibilities in the West Wing will be to assist her father in locating his butt. It seems that he can’t find it with both hands.

People are saying that VP Mike Pence frequently expresses regrets at having accepted the role of being Trump’s second fiddle. Here’s what one source overheard at the VP Naval Observatory residence.

“Nobody knew how uncomplicated Trump’s mind is. I thought it was an act for the base. It’s not—that’s how clueless he really is. I’ll go down in history as the idiot-in-waiting. There’s probably not much chance he’ll take me up on my offer—resign now before all the testimony and investigations are concluded and I’ll promise to pardon you. He thinks too highly of himself—he’s too deluded, to do that.”

Roger Stone has revealed that he grew up in an adopted family that practiced infant head binding. Many had thought that a prefrontal  lobotomy was the reason for his sloping forehead or surmised that he might have more Neanderthal DNA than most modern humans. Not so, according to Stone. Just watch out for the club he keeps at his man cave.

Melania says she and Barron may just stay in New York. She’s had enough of political life, such as it is. No word on the future of the marriage.

Sources say, Vladimir Putin will give Trump the same Order of Friendship award Putin gave to Tillerson. If Trump makes it all the way through a full 4-year term, Putin will add a gold-cluster and forgive $500 million of Trump’s outstanding loans at Russian-owned banks. That will leave Trump on the hook for only $2 billion.

News flash: There are actually FIVE people in the Trump administration who have never met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, have no connection to Russian intelligence, owe no money to Russian banks and haven’t traveled to Moscow (in the last 5 years). Of the five, only three express a special affection for Trump BFF Vlad.

This IS the April Fools Day edition of Views from Eagle Peak–Your Source for Really Fake News. 

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Acknowledgements: Photos from the web, with modification

Trump Hits More Holes

Diagram of Trump ties to Russia
From Congressman Eric Swalwell’s website

Uh, that’s golf–not the ones he bragged about on the Access Hollywood tape. On the course nine times (every weekend) in seven weeks since the inaugural, Trump is on schedule to be getting in 267 rounds over a four-year term. Obama, who Trump complained of wasting too much time golfing, managed 333—over two four-year terms.  Of course it’s unlikely Trump will make it through a full-term. He’ll be impeached or otherwise removed from office long before then.

Known as a pathological liar, it shouldn’t be surprising that his word on a handshake isn’t worth much either. He fired Preet Bharara today, while on a golf course in Virginia, after asking him to stay on as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It also illustrates his lack of supposed business acumen (a farcical claim at best). Ask 46 US attorneys to resign–before even nominating, let alone confirming a single replacement. What happens to cases in progress? Ah, who cares. Same goes for the US State Department where most of the senior officials were let go–taking decades of institutional knowledge with them, without any replacements to step in.

So it’s clear enough that while Trump and his White House Wackos are concerned about the “Deep State,” where they’re taking the US is into Deep Sh-t. What comes from Trump’s White House is a shallow sewer of “alt-right” slime. It’s diseased water is filled with floating feces that have names–like Bannon, Gorka, Stephen Miller. They and their boss, the Golfer-in-Chief, revel in irrational and implausible  conspiracy theories while spewing hate in all directions.What comes from Trump's White House is a shallow sewer of alt-right slime Click To Tweet

How much meddling is Russia still exerting? What decisions and actions by Trump come at the behest of Vladimir Putin? Flynn lied. Sessions lied. Pence lied–when he said he’d never heard of Flynn working as an agent for Turkey despite receiving communications about personally addressed to him as head of the transition team. Each and every surrogate or spokesperson for Trump offers preposterous lies on a daily basis to the media. How many were in communication or actually met with the Russians and/or WikiLeaks and lied about it?

  • Paul Manafort
  • Roger Stone
  • Michael Flynn
  • Carter Page
  • Jeff Sessions
  • Jared Kushner

Why did Russian Oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev buy a Palm Beach mansion for $95 million in 2008, which Trump had purchased for $41 million? Trump made no improvements and never lived there. The mansion apparently has since been torn down. Why did Rybolovlev’s  plane land at the same airport in tiny Concord, NC, where Trump had a rally? Why did it follow to Charlotte, NC. Why was it in Las Vegas at the same time as Trump’s plane?  All of these “coincidences” were in 2017.  See the story at McClatchy.  Perhaps the money was a loan or a bribe from Putin? Perhaps the travel itineraries were for in-person information exchanges (whether with aides or the principals directly) that couldn’t be traced.

Political connections, business connections and much more between  the Trump empire and Russia. See US Congressman Eric Swalwell’s chart of the connections on this page.  Watch Rachel Maddow for regular updates on the mushrooming data showing how much has happened and consider what might still be happening–especially considering the hollowing out of the State Department, Putin’s buddy Rex Tillerson’s silence and shut-out of the media so far as Secretary of State. Most of all, consider Emperor Trump’s total avoidance of any commentary on the WikiLeaks dump of CIA tools. Perhaps he simply doesn’t care. Perhaps Roger Stone told him it was coming. Perhaps he’d like to see the US intelligence agencies fail.

Is it America First or Russia First? Will Trump be the first US president tried for treason? Will Pence pardon him like Gerald Ford did Nixon? Pence might get away with a pardon for violation of the emoluments clause or other financial misdeeds. No need for a pardon if Trump has a complete mental breakdown and must be removed from office.

Why are Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in such a rush to get the repeal and replacement (AKA, “repeal and wreck”) of the Affordable Care Act done? Could it be they fear how soon that Congress will be consumed with removing Trump from office and potentially staving off Putin’s takeover? It seems clear to me that this is the only rational reason for haste. Once the investigations get into full swing, Congress will have little time for any other productive work.

 

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US Customs Out of Control

Picture of Australian author Mem Fox
Mem Fox said she had never been spoken to with ‘such insolence’ by US Customs and Border Protection officers. Photo: AAP

Mosque attacks, Jewish cemeteries and now US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Alt-right racists and xenophobes were emboldened by the ascension of Trump. Now it appears that there are some CBP agents that have been emboldened as well. We all know that there is a psychological phenomenon of lower level government officials being granted investigatory and enforcement authority and having it go to their heads. It seems with Trump’s rhetoric, some CBP agents might as well be wearing Trump wigs and Make America Great Again baseball caps.

This needs to stop. The new chief of DHS, General Kelly, needs to make clear that enforcement of entry rules by CBP is fine–but overdoing it isn’t. In the past couple weeks, here’s just a few samples of what’s happened.

  • Muhammad Ali, Jr. (son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali) was questioned for two hours at Fort Lauderdale airport after returning from a trip to Jamaica with his mother. They asked him about the origin of his name and his religion. Perhaps the agent(s) were too young to know who his father was (he told them but that meant little to them). Obviously he’s not from one of the seven countries on Trump’s ridiculous travel ban.
  • Henry Rousso, a noted French Holocaust historian was detained for 10 hours at Houston International Airport. For a time, it seemed he would be deported. He too, is not from one of the seven countries and is, in fact, Jewish. He is associated with both Harvard and Columbia Universities. He has been coming to and from America for 30 years without incident. He was coming to America to present a lecture on “Writing in Dark Times,” at Texas A&M University. According to a CNN report,

    Rousso says an immigration officer told him he wasn’t “allowed to give a lecture and receive an honorarium” with his tourist visa. The US State Department allows foreign nationals to receive an honorarium under a tourist visa if they are a lecturer or a speaker and under certain guidelines, all of which Rousso met.

  • A Nigerian software engineer, Celestine Omin, was detained at JFK airport by CBP agents who reportedly asked questions intended to prove to their satisfaction that he really was a software engineer. Omin works for a startup tech firm, Andela, which recruits talent from Africa to assist American firms. He had a short-term visa allowing him to enter the US. See the story on Fortune/Tech.
  • Mem Fox, a celebrated children’s book author from Australia, was detained and questioned for two hours by CBP agents at LAX while enroute to address a conference in Milwaukee. She had been to the US 116 times but says she doesn’t plan on coming back. See the story here. She doesn’t look much like a terrorist in her picture, does she?
  • Juan Garcia Mosqueda, an Argentinian and owner of a New York art gallery, missed it’s opening after being detained at JFK for 14 hours and then sent back to Buenos Aires. The CNN story reports his claim that he was denied access to legal counsel, his bathroom visits were closely monitored and more. He is not a US citizen but has been a resident alien for ten years.
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Golfer-in-Chief or So-Called President?

After saying he would be working so hard (compared to Obama), our fake president is spending his third week in a row golfing in Florida. Nero fiddling as Rome burns comes to mind. It’s important that he goes–he needs that post-campaign rally to lift his spirits from the doldrums of defeat he’s been experiencing. So here’s the Eagle Peak version of fake news, or as Trump’s crowd would say, “alternative facts.” As always, most of what’s here is not CLAIMED AS TRUE, but you might find there’s a high level of probability that there are some truths here.

 

Forget George Washington and the cherry tree, here’s what Donald Trump said as a boy:

“I really think we should rent to those colored people dad,” a young Donald said to his father.

“Seriously?”

“I cannot tell the truth, no I don’t.”

Fred Trump replied, “Wonderful, Donny. You have a great future in real estate–you might even be president some day!”

'I cannot tell the truth,' young Donald said. 'Wonderful, son. You may be President one day,' said Fred Trump Click To Tweet

 

Major donors have paid thousands of people to attend Florida Trump rallies. Fake news from the Trump regime is that these alleged “supporters” paid to get in. Actually, they were paid to attend and act excited about seeing their anti-hero–Trump. That’s not to say there weren’t some deplorables there who really idolize the fake president, but they’re no longer enough to fill the halls they way they once did. He can’t get sufficient ego massaging at the White House, so he needs a rally every few weeks to top off his praise deficit.

Speaking of a praise deficit, people are saying that Trump has an ego-app on his phone. Before and after tweet storms, Trump has been observed asking his phone, “Who is the smartest man in America?” The phone replies, “You are Donald.” He might ask, “Who’s making America great again?” Or “Who’s America’s most popular president?” The phone app always the same way, “You are Donald.”

Some commentators have compared Trump’s statements to the “doublespeak” of the Orwell book, 1984. They’re not quite correct. In 1984, the term applies to a word that holds two meanings at the same time–as “war is peace.” Trumpspeak, on the other hand, refers to statements that always mean only the opposite of what they ordinarily would mean. Here are a few examples:

  • “I am really smart” actually means he is dumber than dirt
  • “Make America first,” means “Make Trump first”
  • “I am the least racist person you ever met” means he is very racist
  • “I won the biggest electoral college victory in history” means that he barely exceeded the number of votes needed to win
  • “My administration is running like a fine-tuned machine” means it’s running like a lawn mower that’s been in a shed for three years and has been restarted with gummy gas in the tank
  • “Make America Great Again” really means “Make me richer again”

 

side by side pictures of Michael Flynn and Donald Trump
“Lock them up! Lock them up! Lock them up!” The new and improved political chant 

Don’t miss out, whenever you are at a political event anywhere and the name Trump or Flynn comes up, get in the swing of things and chant along with others, “Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!” Recycle and reuse are catchwords of our age. So let’s revise the Trumpkin favorite of “Lock her up,” that Flynn and Trump himself, joined in shouting about Hillary Clinton.

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So It Begins, with Michael Flynn–Trump’s Ignominious Early Departure

Does any rational person really think that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn came up with his own talking points to Russian Ambassador Kisylak? Does anyone NOT think he discussed or got approval from Donald J. “Richard Milhous” Trump? Congress will demand that Flynn testify before their various committees. Will Flynn be a loyal soldier like G. Gordon Liddy–who refused to rat out Richard Nixon? Maybe, but maybe not. 

Trump and Nixon side by side
Donald Trump, Richard Nixon(Credit: AP/Reuters/Rick Wilking/Photo montage by Salon)

“What did the president know and when did he know it?” Déjà vu washes over American’s over 50. Odd, hearing newscasters who were not yet born or who were young children utter this phrase. A phrase that was said countless times on a daily basis 43 years ago. The Watergate investigation became America’s obsession in 1973, culminating in then President Richard Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974. [I watched it in the student lounge of Georgetown University Law Center as I began my law school classes. Then major news anchor John Chancellor said no one in America was celebrating this event—he couldn’t have been more mistaken. I have never since had such a high level of schadenfreude—but I expect Trump’s eventual departure to exceed it.] More than 30 White House cabinet members, Nixon staff members and associates went to jail. It all began with a break-in at the Watergate complex headquarters of the Democratic National Committee  in 1972. Those who went to jail included John Mitchell, Attorney General and chairman of Nixon’s reelection campaign. Others included senior White House officials like H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and John Erlichman.

Many have seen the similar personality flaws of Nixon and Trump, as well as contemplated the trajectory of a Trump presidency that very likely could follow Nixon’s second term. Enemies—the news media, Democrats, blacks and religious minorities; for Nixon it was Jews, for Trump it’s Muslims. Hubris is a common element. But Nixon had more paranoia with his megalomania; Trump has more narcissism with his self-aggrandizement. Nixon resigned in the face of certain impeachment and conviction. Will Trump face the same fate? Maybe. Or perhaps he’ll be out on a mental disability. It wasn’t the break-in that put so many Nixon associates in jail, it was the cover-up of it. Will it be the same with Trump? Could be the financial conflicts, Russia or any number of things. Flynn is just the first. More will likely follow, the longer Trump remains in office.

You didn’t have to be a Malcolm Nance, former Navy intelligence officer,  to see the Michael Flynn situation coming. All you had to do was observe Trump’s behavior toward Russian generally and Putin in particular. Here’s some of what I said in my fake news (mostly to insulate myself from legal liability by claiming my commentary was true).

My January 19 post included this satirical item:

“On behalf of Benedict Trump, National Security Adviser Michael “RT” Flynn, called the Russian Ambassador five times on December 29th.  He reportedly saidaccording to a leak of an NSA intercept authorized by a FISA warrant,

“Don’t worry about Obama’s sanctions and those diplomats expelled. Once Trump’s in the White House we’ll roll them back and you can bring back as many spies—I mean diplomats—as you want.”

“Thank you, Comrade Flynn,” the ambassador replied.”

Of course no FISA warrant was needed; it was a routine matter for US counterintelligence to monitor calls to and from people like Russian Ambassador Kisylak. How carelessly stupid did a career US intelligence official like Michael Flynn have to be to in fact tell the ambassador that Trump might remove or lessen sanctions? VERY stupid. For that reason alone he should have resigned. No one that stupid should be in the position of National Security Adviser to the President.

My December 31 post included this satirical item:

“More breaking news on the Russian Front (Putin and Trump, that is).  An anonymous source linked this NSA intercept of a recent call between Trump and Putin.

 “Hey, Vlad baby, thanks for that smart move with the sanctions. That will make it easier for me to remove them after I’m in the White House–soon to be the Trump House, hahaha.”

“Donny, don’t worry about the sanctions Obama imposed. We can handle them for a while. Wait a few months before you remove them all–and the other ones about Crimea and the Ukraine. If you act too quickly, you’ll have trouble with Congress.”

“Are you sure you can stand them, Vlad?”

“Absolutely, Donny boy. Just remember, we’re always here for you. If you do get in trouble–like being impeached for conflicts of interest with all your business dealings, you can move to Russia. We treat our oligarchs very, very well here. You can make as much money as you want without annoying laws and regulations hemming you in. You could finally become a billionaire for real!”

“How about a reality TV show on RT?

“Sure, no problem. But you’ll want more than that won’t you? Resorts, casinos, golf courses and more–right? Just get rid of those sanctions in a few months.”

“Right. OK, but if I’m going to dump those sanctions, I’ll need approval for several projects up front. Donald Jr., will be in touch about them.”

“Sure, we can do that. But be careful about calls like this. We can’t help you if you go too far and get charged with treason!”

“Hey, I’ll be President. No conflicts. I can do whatever I want. Say, you really didn’t do that hacking did you?”

“No, of course not! You trust Infofarce, the National Enquirer, WhiteBark and Sean Insanity don’t you?”

“Oh sure. That’s why I don’t bother with those stupid PDBs. I’m smarter than those intelligence agencies!”

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Acknowledgements: See photo attribution