Tag Archives: Trump

Banana Republicans or Keystone Konspirators

Well, they released the memo–what a dud! The Keystone Kops were an early 20th century comedic farce. Fox News, Breitbart, Jim Jordan, Paul Ryan and the star of the Keystone Konspirators–Devin “Oleg” Nunes (AKA, numbnuts), couldn’t even conspire sensibly after months of preparation!

As James Comey, former FBI director tweeted,

That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen.

Yes, months of preparation. The Konspirators have been attacking the Steele dossier for most of last year. They brought in Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS (that hired Steele) for 21 hours of testimony by House and Senate committees. Did that disprove any of the findings by Steele? NO! The research was initially funded by an unnamed REPUBLICAN (presidential primary?) opponent of Trump and only later by Democrats. The dossier, unlike the Konspirator’s memo, wasn’t a piece of fiction, it came from interviews with sources by Steele.

As you know by now, the memo alleged bias on Steele’s part–he was desperate that Trump lose. Why? As Glenn Simpson’s testimony revealed, it was because of what he found in his investigation–the amazing number of connections by Trump with Russian mafia, Russian officials and oligarchs, etc.

The memo stupidly alleges that the FISA warrant against Carter Page was based, if not exclusively, at least primarily on the dossier. No, it undoubtedly wasn’t–given that the FBI had been interested in Steele since 2013 when Russian agents attempted to recruit him–two of which fled when charges were filed in 2015 and one remained and was convicted.

The memo, even more stupidly, confirms that the entire counterintelligence investigation of the Russian intervention and the connection to the Trump campaign began in July of 2016. The FISA warrant against Carter Page came in October of 2016. Why in July? That’s when Australian intelligence officials alerted the US to George Papadopolous’s drunken comments to an Australian diplomat a few months later.

The memo, supposedly, is intended to serve as a pretext to fire Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General and Special Counsel Mueller’s boss. Rosenstein apparently signed off on one of the RENEWALS of the FISA warrant. Since Rosenstein wasn’t sworn in as DAG until April of 2017, he couldn’t have had anything to do with the original–only the SECOND renewal! The renewals are granted based not on the original application, but on what activity and evidence has been gleaned since.  Yes, a Keystone Konspiracy.

More revealing, is that MSNBC showed tape of an appearance by Carter Page himself from October 2017, during which he expressed gladness that Paul Ryan would be releasing information on the “FISA warrant” and the “dodgy dossier.” So this memo had been in the works for some time AND to the knowledge of Page! So it’s not all just Nunes in the Keystone Konspirator Kadre, it’s Paul Ryan too!

As John McCain tweeted about the Konspirator’s actions,

The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.

Both Steve Schmidt (Republican strategist) and Jonathon Alter (journalist and author) recently called those in the GOP attacking the FBI, the Justice Department and the US intelligence community “Banana Republicans.”  (The term was used in 2004 as a book title by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton).  An apt epithet–implying the creation of a banana republic–where a dictator controls law enforcement, the legislature and the news media. Trump isn’t quite there yet, but he’s trying and his Banana Republican friends are doing the best to make it happen.

James Comey also recently tweeted,

American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.

Senator Joe McCarthy was eventually censured by the US Senate and died in disgrace after a few years of claiming that Communists could be found everywhere in the US government. During the early to mid-fifties, McCarthy held a series of hearings on his claims, during the height of the Cold War. His chief counsel was Roy Cohn. Years, later, despite the association with McCarthy, Cohn became a fixer and power broker in New York City. He also became Donald Trump’s mentor and person attorney for some number of years in the 1970s and early 80s. Cohn did have his own legal problems and was disbarred in 1986, shortly before dying of AIDs.

In the spring of 2017, after AG  Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation, Trump reportedly called out, “Where’s my Roy Cohn.”  Trump learned at the hands of a master manipulator in fighting back hard when attacked. Perhaps we should read between the lines of Comey’s comments about McCarthy?

Eventually, we can hope that Trump and many current and former members of his administration will be indicted and spend time in jail. It’s entirely possible that some of the Keystone Konspirators and the Banana Republicans will join them. Quite likely in numbers exceeding the members of the Nixon administration in the aftermath of Watergate.

Money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy with foreign powers to subvert the American democracy are craven and reprehensible offenses. Perhaps “reprehensibles” should replace the Clinton term “deplorables” to describe Trump supporters–at least the ones that exert the power of office or media to destroy American institutions in support of Trump’s Banana Republic.

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Happy New Year! and Resolutions That Work

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great 2017 or at least survived it and look forward to a wonderful 2018.  😀 

Like the blog itself, this will be an eclectic post. Often, the posts here are about my thoughts or opinions–it is my blog after all.  😉 In 2018, we’ll try to reach out and involve others more. What are friends for after all?  😛

Here’s what’s in this New Year’s first post: 

  • A thank you to the friends I grew closer to and valued more, as well as some new ones who I discovered or who discovered me
  • Accomplishments we have made in 2017
  • A blessedly brief reminder of the most frequent topic here in 2017–Trump and the GOP (Greedy Old Plutocrats)
  • A very short synopsis of and link to a post about resolutions that has graced Views before–the point being to regard them as real as you want them to be and how to make them happen
  • My own goals and determinations for 2018–in other words, not what I wish for but what I will do [if you want to skip ahead, it’s at the end of this longish post]

Thank you

Getting more engaged with more fellow writers–a resolution that I didn’t make expressly clear in my own mind but succeeded at (somewhat) in 2017. So thank you to all that visited here or elsewhere among my blogs and websites. We helped one another this year. I will extend myself more in 2018. The value of that became evident to me as I launched The Fountain short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland.

So thank you to Debby Gies, Sally Cronin, Chris “The Story Reading Ape” Graham, Nicholas Rossis, June Randolph, Tina Frisco, Byron Edgington  and many more. For those I didn’t name, please don’t feel slighted; the memory isn’t what it used to be and time is running short to finish this. 🙄 Many of you launched new books this year as well. I will try harder next year to be of more help to you. I know the 80-20 prescription–I just need to follow it.  😉

2017 Revisited–i.e., mostly victories 

  • Lost more than 23% of body weight (nearly 60 pounds), substantially exceeding the goal I set
  • Exercised more consistently than ever
  • Unexpected bonus–the change in our eating habits that made weight loss possible also saved big bucks on the grocery bill!
  • As noted above, published a short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland
  • Made more connections with other writers
  • Made more sales of my books (thankfully, I’m retired and don’t need to sell books to meet expenses, hahahaha)
  • Gave away many more books than ever before, see above 😎
  • My wife and I made a trip back east to visit family and friends that we greatly enjoyed, while the traffic and human congestion reminded us why we don’t miss the DC suburbs
  • Victories were many and defeats few–most of the latter were minor home maintenance issues which themselves were covered by warranties (hurrah)

Trump and the GOP

Just do a search and you’ll find 30 or so posts on them, just last year with more in 2016. I will try to restrain myself to one per month in 2018. Let’s do the first one right now–very short.

  • Let’s make a new fairy tale for the 21st century–“The President Has No Sense.” Today, the GOP sycophants all praise the mindless Trump as if he has wisdom. We all know differently. His tweets reveal the truth.
  • David Rothkopf said this morning on MSNBC, “It’s not hyperbole to say Trump has lost it.” Not hyperbole, just mistaken. Trump couldn’t lose what he never had. How can anyone run a casino into bankruptcy?
  • Steve Bannon says the June Trump Tower meeting with Donald Junior et al, was “treasonous” and that Mueller will “crack him like an egg on national TV”. Quite possible.
  • Consider Junior’s own words, there are people “at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.” Exactly, people like himself, his father and other members of the White House–not to mention the members of Congress who want to destroy the FBI and other institutions. Trump and many his supporters in the GOP would rather America be like Russia.
  • Do you suppose Trump will throw “his own son” under the bus during the Mueller investigation? Take a close look at the jet black hair and the face on “junior.” Was there a sperm donor way back when? Junior somewhat resembles Ivana, but not his supposed father. May make a difference when the fecal matter hits the fan!
  • Did you happen to watch the Bill Murray classic “Scrooged” this holiday season? We did and couldn’t miss this line while Mr. Cross (Murray) found himself below a street grate with an ice-covered Herman (Michael J. Pollard)–“Where are we, Trump Tower?” This movie was released in 1988! Trump Tower opened five years before!
  • To paraphrase Ivanka, there’s a cold place in hell for people who rob from the poor to give to the rich–and saddle grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a massive deficit to pay for. They’re the Greedy Old Plutocrats who passed the “Tax Scam and Millionaire and Up Wealth Enhancement Act of 2017.”
  • Finally, who has the smaller hands and shorter fingers–Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump? We know the latter is worried about the size of his manhood by the tweet about nuclear buttons don’t we? Maybe there’s been more than one sperm donor along the way, eh?

Make Your Resolutions Come True

  • Don’t call them resolutions–call them determinations
  • Make an action plan to attain or achieve them
  • Execute the plan
  • Monitor your progress
  • Forgive yourself for occasional shortfalls
  • Never give up
  • Reread my Resolutions Revisited post from last January–I planned on losing 36 pounds–I got there by the end of July and kept on losing.

2018 Goals, Determinations, Plans

  • Reconnect with our daughter (a blindsided estrangement that happened late summer of 2017–at her instigation)
  • Lose 30 more pounds and tone up the muscles on a home gym
  • Connect with many more fellow writers and bloggers–to support them and gain wisdom from them; I’ll flesh out some target numbers of subscriptions, follows, etc. by February 1st to make this real
  • Make more effective use of Goodreads
  • Read at least 24 books and post reviews of them
  • Transition from LinkedIn to Facebook mid year and retain 500+ connections
  • Publish a novel, The Vacation, for the 2018 holiday season–at 35,000 words of a first draft I have a long ways to go!
  • Post less political stuff and more writing tips here–subject to the winds of change  🙄
  • Continue posting snippets of works in progress on John’s Writing
  • Continue publishing the Eagle Peak Quarterly
  • Take at least one great vacation, location TBD, and a few short excursions
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The Shameless Party Embraces the Worst American President

It’s been so long since I posted a political diatribe. Been too busy being positive and working on books, websites and more. We’re overdue! Even as I busy marketing books, I must return to the field of political battle.

Person of the Year, Time Magazine cover,  from Time.com

How apropos, how exquisite the timing of Time Magazine’s Person(s) of the Year Cover and Al Franken’s resignation. Franken noted the irony was not lost on him that a man who has bragged of his sexual assaults sits in the Oval Office while he, Franken, resigns for much lesser offenses. Still, Franken did resign and did recognize the gravity of the accusations against him. Time, of course, denied Trump’s assertion that he put them off in considering him for the Person of the Year. Fat chance, fatso.

The Greedy Old Plutocrats revisited (see this item on the GOP failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act).  The GOP derisively renamed the ACA as Obamacare  some years ago while the Dems accepted it as a compliment. Now, the Greedy Old Plutocrats  have passed a so-called Tax Reform Act that is a deficit buster which robs from the poor to give to the rich, donor class. They had no shame trying trying to kill people by destroying the ACA. Now they have no shame increasing the deficit and screwing the poor and middle class.

Of course, as some expert commentators point out and Paul Ryan has already apparently confessed, deficits are part of the plan to “starve the beast” as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said decades ago. By that process, the only GOP approved way of dealing with a ballooning budget shortfall is to cut entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. Don’t just screw the middle and lower classes once, keep screwing them!

The Grand Old Pedophiles also have no shame in fully supporting (with very few exceptions) the credibly accused child molester Roy Moore. Well he denied it after all—as did Donald Trump. In the alternate, Bizarro World of the GOP and Orange Top there is no shame for those who deny their misconduct (no matter the number of credible accusers) but all ignominy to those who admit sexual assaults or harassment. Faultless logic for those without a moral compass. Meanwhile, such behavior is OK for their evangelical supporters–so long as they deny it.

They may not support terrorism like ISIS or Al Qaeda, but the Evangelicals warp the tenets of Christian faith just as much as the Islamic terrorists distort the teachings of Islam. Peas in a pod. Pro-life but child molestation is OK. Hey, at least those girls weren’t aborted. Can’t have fun with them if they’re aborted, eh? If Jesus were walking the earth, you have to know he would cast them out of their mega churches faster than he did the moneychangers from the temples.

Ever hear of dry mouth or throat causing a slurring of speech? Me neither. Trump may have had a stroke. Maybe we’ll know after he gets that physical at Walter Reed—or not, if the results aren’t redacted. He doesn’t smoke or drink (so he says; are they pouring grape juice in those glasses he toasts with at diplomatic affairs?). But the only exercise he gets is getting in and out of the golf cart he rides in during those 900 rounds of golf he’s played this year. Then there’s those 3,000 calories a day of greasy fast food he consumes. Collectively this doesn’t lead to healthy arteries. Will impeachment, Mueller or a medical event get him out of office get him out of the White House first?

He must be slipping mentally though. Consider the look of adoration that Pence used to give him (it’s quite similar to the lusty look that Melania gave him at the inaugural ceremony. I won’t be crass enough to remark what physiological process might be ongoing given that look, but one could be excused at thinking she was thinking he’d “get lucky” that night. Now Pence has a more concerned look. Check Pence’s face in the background while Trump bloviates about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and slurs his speech. Pence has less love or admiration for Trump now. Or, just maybe, he’s just considering how Karen might want to change the drapes in the White House.

Indictments! Guilty pleas! The terror begins in what passes for Trump’s mind. What will Flynn say? What did he hear—plenty, no doubt. What will the financial documents reveal? What will happen with Junior (BTW: why does he appear so dark, Italian-looking—is he really Trump’s kid? What about Jared? Erik Prince and all the rest of the collusion cast of characters? Who will be going to jail? Too late to pardon Flynn–he’s already pleaded guilty and is cooperating!

Ah, but Trump buys Ty Cobb’s assurances that Mueller will conclude the investigation before year’s end and the nut job in the Oval Office will be exonerated. When that doesn’t happen, how high will the orange top blow? Oh, never mind. Sean Insanity, the rest of Trump TV (AKA Fox News) and the Reprehensible Republicans are already smearing Mueller, the entire FBI and everyone who attacks Trumpty Dumpty. Still, if Trump gets even more unhinged, smearing Mueller won’t matter.

Only once, in many decades of voting, did I ever vote for a Republican. I’m sorry I did, back in the 80s. I will never do so again in my remaining lifetime. Anyone who runs under that banner owns the behavior of the that party.

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Is the End Nigh for Trump?

Yes, today is another free download book promo day, but how about a few short Trump doozies to go with that download deal?

Basically, it’s more troubles for Trump. Let’s do Russia first and then what people are saying about him.

Trump hasn’t talked to Mitch McConnell since August 9th. The conversation ended in a shouting match over McConnell’s failure to protect Trump from the Russia investigation by Senate committees.  Sounds a lot like obstruction of justice (yes, it applies to Congressional committees too–not just the FBI, etc.) according to a US Attorney guest on Rachel Maddow’s show last night.

Meanwhile, Glenn Simpson,  head of Fusion GPS, the company that paid for the Christopher Steele research and dossier on Trump, talked to Chuck Grassley’s  Senate Judiciary Committee for TEN hours.  The dossier, salacious details and all, was published on BuzzFeed in January. Grassley, of course, was hoping to find bias and who paid for the research in a failed attempt to help Trump, people like Rachel Maddow claim.

At the same time, dossier man himself, Christopher Steele, has apparently been talking with the FBI. He reportedly provided sources for the info that went into the report.

There’s undoubtedly more, but let’s move on to all the people saying Trump is unfit for office or otherwise incompetent.

First, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doubts (privately) that Trump can save his presidency. 

Senate Foreign Relations leader Bob Corker says Trump hasn’t demonstrated he is competent to lead.

Don Lemon, CNN anchor, last night in coverage of the Trump campaign rally said this,

“Well, what do you say to that? I’m just going to speak from the heart here — what we have witnessed is a total eclipse of the facts,” Lemon began, adding: “He’s unhinged. It’s embarrassing.”

From the same CNN article, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the speech made him “really question his fitness for office.”

From the New York Times article about Trump and McConnell , comes this,

“The quickest way for him to get impeached is for Trump to knock off Jeff Flake and Dean Heller and be faced with a Democrat-led Senate,’ said Billy Piper, a lobbyist and former McConnell chief of staff.”

So, as we all know, Trump is his own worst enemy. The real Trump is the one that’s NOT reading from a teleprompter. What he says at a rally, in a tweet, is not just posturing or crowd pleasing bombast–it’s his real feelings. It reveals how clueless he is. How angry he is. How unable to keep from shooting himself in the foot saying and doing stupid things not in his own self-interest. So yes, as the number and volume of voices calling him out grow, the end grows nearer and nearer.

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The Trump Stain

The American Presidency will forever be stained by Donald Trump. We have had incompetent Presidents. We have had corrupt Presidents. We have had somewhat racist Presidents. We have never had all of the above in one man. Trump is not only dangerously incompetent, he now confirms and unreservedly validates the assumptions and charges of his deeply flawed moral character.

If the Republican party does not reject him, does not isolate him, they too will be stained. If those foolish people who accepted positions within his cabinet and the White House itself do not resign, they too will forever be stained. 

Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka are not responsible for Trump’s positions on race and religion–he is. They may refine his narratives. They may inspire and facilitate. But they don’t initiate his outbursts–that’s all him. They declaim against the “deep state,” all the while propounding their own “dope state”–or perhaps I should say “hate state.”

Former President Barack Obama recently shared a quote from Nelson Mandela that has become the most liked tweet in Twitter history:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion … People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love … For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” 

This tells us that there are a great many people who share Obama’s views of humanity–and reject Donald Trump’s perspective. Inferentially, we can conclude that Trump learned to hate from his father Fred, who was arrested during a KKK march in 1927.

Does Trump have RAHOWA tattooed across his buttocks where no one but Melania can see it? Perhaps he wears 88 brand Depends. There, we can’t have a post about Trump without some satire, despite the gravity of current events. 

America will survive. The sooner Trump is forced from office, the quicker it’s recovery and reascendence can begin. You can help this along by recognizing that friends don’t let friends tolerate Trump–let alone support him. Difficult as it may be, we all need to communicate with friends and family–especially those deluded ones that have no problems with Trump. We need to urge them to tell their friends and coworkers (yes, I know, we’re not supposed to talk politics at work but this is a special case) to pass along the need to quit if you work in the Trump administration. That you need to demand he be removed from office, as soon as possible.

All right, one more satirical interlude. Trump’s slogan is Make America Great Again. He wants to harken back to America’s more seriously racist and misogynistic past. Why not go back even further. Remember, this is humor. 

In Colonial America, miscreants might be placed in stocks. Shame meant something then and townsfolk could hurl insults, tomatoes or rotten fruit at them. That would be fitting for Trump, don’t you think? Of course the Secret Service wouldn’t allow that to happen to Trump–at least while in office. Besides, we’re too civilized now. But if it could happen after he’s out, maybe we could add tarring and feathering? For someone who lives in such a dark past, it seems fitting, doesn’t it? Alas, the courts wouldn’t permit such a thing. But Trump would most likely be fine with it–if it were done to someone else.

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Trump Is Crazier than Kim

Yes, it’s official–to me at least. That Trump is the scarier guy than Kim Jung Un. But before we get onto that topic, note that we’ll also be talking about the totally unrelated pardon proffer today. A proffer that may already have been made.

First, North Korea. Could Kim and Trump be brothers of another mother? They seem so much alike in the way they saturate the media with their bombastic excursions into idiotic promises of consequences. If it weren’t so serious, one could compare their rants to WWE, or whatever the wrestling consortium goes by today. What if, stop and think about it—Kim thinks Trump is crazy enough to do what he says he will? Is it possible that this might actually work to scare off Kim from shooting missiles or artillery at us or South Korea? Wouldn’t want to bet the lives of everyone on the Korean peninsula and nearby countries. Not to mention Guam, etc. Still, I believe it’s possible. If somebody ever does a remake of “The Shining,” perhaps Trumpy could play the lead nutjob.

The more cautious and sensible route seems invoking Article 25, Section 4, of the US Constitution to remove Trump for being unfit to perform the duties of President. While the section doesn’t spill out all the possible details, being not one or two—but several sandwiches short of a picnic ought to be enough to get him removed. We can at least hope that sane military officers would resist a preemptive strike on North Korea. But why take that chance? Let’s start the ball rolling to get Trump out and committed to an institution where he can get the help he needs.

Onto the pardon prospects. Manafort, following the FBI raid on his home, has new lawyers. One specializes in the kind of financial crimes he might be charged with. The other has escaped the attention of most commentators—other than Rachel Maddow. She noted the other night that Manafort now has a lawyer who managed to get a pardon of an ex-CIA official from George H. W. Bush for a crime that would have had him serving serious time for various felonies. Maddow didn’t speculate, but here’s my take:

Special Counsel Robert Muller wants to flip either Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort—maybe both. In exchange for implicating Trumpty Dumpty, they could get off with light sentences (or none) for the various serious offenses both will face accusations of. But rather than ANY sentence, why not make Trump an offer (through each other’s attorneys) that they won’t rat him out if makes a binding agreement to pardon them? Why else would Manafort have hired Richard Hibey—the lawyer who got Clair George the pardon from Bush? Trump has already been investigating the prospect of pardons. Likely with good reason.  

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Optimism

Over the past year, we’ve had much political commentary on Views from Eagle Peak. Some of it has been rather polemical. Some, seriously satirical. Some, more observational and some intentionally humorous in an effort to lighten the mood of those afflicted by our current situation. The objective is to create and retain a sense of optimism. We’ll skip the clichés that describe that in contemporary America and perhaps around the world.

As a Buddhist, I don’t shun observations about what I see as the reality of politics in America. With regard to optimism, a phrase from the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin you may have seen here before, reads:

“When great evil occurs, great good follows.”

It’s not a foregone conclusion that such should happen, but rather it is through the efforts of practitioners that it will. Thus, Nichiren goes on to say in this short missive (possibly an excerpt; the date and recipient are unknown):

“What could any of you have to lament? Even if you are not the Venerable Mahakashyapa, you should all perform a dance. Even if you are not Shariputra, you should leap up and dance. When Bodhisattva Superior Practices emerged from the earth, did he not emerge dancing?”

Hardly seems pessimistic, does it? But, have any of you felt like dancing amidst the chaos created by America’s White House occupant? Probably not, I suspect. Yet I find Nichiren’s words both convincing and encouraging that wonderful things will happen in time. This despite the evils of America’s so-called President. I am confident that the country and the world will not only survive but can thrive. But let’s be clear, it will take effort on the part of many. Consider what Daisaku Ikeda, president of the international Buddhist organization says about Buddhist optimism, in Buddhism Day by Day.

“Buddhist optimism is not the escapist optimism of those who throw up their hands and say, ‘Somehow or other things will work out.’ Rather it means clearly recognizing evil as evil and suffering as suffering and resolutely fighting to overcome it. It means believing in one’s ability and strength to struggle against any evil or any obstacle. It is to possess a fighting optimism.”

Whether you practice or believe in Buddhism as I do, the explanation and admonition of Daisaku Ikeda is valid for anyone. Pollyanna’s need not apply. Only those willing to work for the results they hope for will validate optimism.

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Acknowledgements: See attributions for block quotes

Game of Trumps

It’s been too long away from politics on this blog. So let’s get back to the truth that is so much stranger than fiction that it’s almost impossible to satirize. But I’m up to it! It’s mostly sardonic humor that follows. But never forget (I never do) the very real danger Donald Trump in the White House poses for the survival of America as a working democracy under a nation of laws.

Before we get into the stress-relieving humor, let’s go back more than 50 years to what things were like in the Army’s Basic Training program. A time when we had the Vietnam era draft. An incident I observed offers a guide to relieving America and the world of Donald Trump before it’s too late.

It came at Ft. Bliss in 1966. A First Sergeant (top NCO of the unit) continually ridiculed and berated one hapless trainee. Eventually the young man broke down and attacked the NCO with a broom. No harm, no punishment.  But it enabled the trainee to be discharged. It wasn’t pointless hazing on the NCO’s part. The superficially cruel episode may have saved the kid’s life. If he couldn’t handle this abuse, how might he respond in Vietnam?

How will our apprentice President react to a serious crisis? Based on his behavior so far, not sensibly. The news media, the resistance and all of us must keep the pressure on him now. Undoubtedly, the leaks will continue but Robert Mueller’s report may not come out until late in 2018 or after. In the meantime, we must pray for no crises or catastrophes, while we strive to induce a broom attack-like breakdown. A breakdown that will cause Trump to quit or be removed. Based on his lack of exercise and unhealthy diet, he might have a heart attack or stroke before then, notwithstanding his clean bill of health from his doctor of questionable medical skills.

America can survive Trump’s premature departure. A President Pence might implement socially, financially and environmentally terrible polices with the help of a Republican-led Congress. But the 2018 midterms and the 2020 elections could reverse them without disaster. Pence at least appears to be of sound mind. That can’t be said of Donald Trump. Both the US and the world are in peril with him in office. 

All right, it’s time to reduce our own stress. let’s warm up with a few one-liners. Then we’ll get on to detailed satire and finally, how the US and the world may be spared the risk of Trump, under America’s constitutional provisions.

Anthony Scaramucci couldn’t do the Fandango so Chief of Staff Kelly fired him..

Speaking of Scaramucci, people are saying his wife wants a divorce. She’s tired of helping him attempt that auto-erotic act he accused Steve Bannon of doing.

Intelligence intercepts have Kim Jong Un saying to a Beijing envoy “That guy Trump is nuts!” The Chinese envoy suggests Kim send Dennis Rodman to talk sense into Trump.

Speaking of nuts, Keith Schiller, head of Oval Office Operations has been tasked with removing rodents infesting the White House. Squirrels are after all the nuts inside the White House.

Anonymous but reliable sources say that Putin has shut down that back channel he and Trump agreed to at that G20 dinner meeting. Unconfirmed rumors say if Trump doesn’t pay up his debts, Putin will send Wikileaks all the details of what he has on America’s fake President.

White House insiders suggest that new Chief of Staff Kelly wants to rein in the next “Dear Leader” cabinet meeting but Trump may resist. He needs that sycophancy to keep his mood stable.

Ok, on with the serious satire. Just hit the continue reading button. Continue reading Game of Trumps

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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Acknowledgements: See link attribution to item by Eugen more...

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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