Tag Archives: Trump

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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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.”

 

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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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