All posts by John Maberry

A writer, a lapsed lawyer, a former government employee, a father of two and a 30+ year (in this lifetime) Bodhisattva of the Earth. Author of Waiting for Westmoreland. A happy man and a funny guy.

Fear: Trump in the White House and 9/11

Cover of Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House I preordered  the Kindle version  of Woodward’s book, which notified me of delivery  to my account at 10:15 last night.  I guess Amazon is on Eastern Time; I’m in the Mountain Zone.

Is it a coincidence that Simon and Schuster released this book by Bob Woodward on 9/11, the anniversary of America’s worst attack since Pearl Harbor? I think not.

I have already posted three commentaries on the events of 9/11,  their personal connection to my family (2008, 2011 and 2014) and how my Buddhist faith applies. This will be my fourth post on the subject, in which I will explain my lack of coincidence comment and how times have changed–for the worse, politically. Some snippets from those prior posts will help explicate things. I’ll start with the 2014 post.

At the outset, I offer my profound sympathies to those who lost friends and loved ones to the actions of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist followers. . . .  While death comes to us all, it is  disturbing when it comes unnaturally at the hands of another. From my Buddhist perspective, this is a function of karma–the effects one receives as a result of causes one has made.

My wife, who worked as a civilian for the Department of the Army, had applied but failed to get a job at the Pentagon a few years before the 9/11 attack. Here’s an excerpt from the 2008 post.

The location of the section she applied for was at or near the point of the plane’s impact on 9/11. Several people in the section, including the person who did get the position, died in the attack that day. . . . Karma is a strange thing, which we cannot fathom or explain completely. . . . I empathize with those who lost loved ones on that day even as I feel great appreciation that my wife didn’t get a promotion that would have killed her.

The clip below comes from the 2011 post.  In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack, a bipartisan fervor swept the the nation, during which Democrats and Republicans united in support of efforts to care for survivors and rebuild. The unity and bipartisan cooperation lasted perhaps 18 months.

More than ever, we all need to remember the sacrifices of those who died on 9/11 and as a result of the aftermath. More than that, we need to rekindle the compassion and cooperation that briefly enveloped America.

Alas, for the last 15 years, division and derision have instead enveloped America. The 2016 election gave us Donald J. Trump–the most corrupt, ignorant, incompetent, racist and unfit person ever to occupy the White House. He did so only with the able assistance of Vladimir Putin’s agents, James Comey’s inappropriately ill-timed announcements about investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Clinton’s own inept campaign strategies–not to mention voters who stayed home. Then there’s the antiquated Electoral College. Continue reading Fear: Trump in the White House and 9/11

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Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

Brett Kavanaugh Withdraws His Nomination to US Supreme Court

WHAT?  Impossible you say! Well, stranger things have happened. Read on to see why it could happen.

Confirmation hearings begin today. Will any Republicans oppose him for fear of his taking any opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade? Will any vulnerable Democrats  up for reelection in November support him for fear of losing their office?

Basically, the question is can anyone stop this runaway train to another appointment by the Treasonous Trump. Here’s another option–let’s all encourage Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination.

Why would anyone, given the chance to be a Justice of the Supreme Court, abandon that opportunity? Most often, it comes from some discovered scandal heretofore unknown–a scandal that likely dooms the candidate. Put that aside, that’s not the gist of my argument. 

Trump, our so-called President, is currently a subject of a criminal investigation–an investigation that will demonstrate that he  won election through felonious means. It’s highly likely that Trump will be impeached within a few months after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Whether convicted in the Senate or not, unless pardoned by Vice-President Pence, Trump will likely be convicted of crimes that will put him behind bars. 

Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will be remembered  as the Justice appointed by an impeached and imprisoned President. If I were Kavanaugh, I’d get out now, before any votes on his nomination are taken.

Richard Nixon, he of Watergate infamy, appointed FOUR people to the Supreme Court–including Chief Justice Warren Burger. None, however, were appointed after the Watergate scandal.  So those Nixon appointees never faced the sort of guilt by association that Kavanaugh could.

NOTE: Stay tuned for more indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller–coming soon to your favorite news source.

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The Presidency Doesn’t Have to be about Wealth and Power

Once upon a time, America’s presidents were about serving the country with dignity and honesty. Only a handful, until recent years, found the White House a stepping stone to great wealth after leaving office. None, until now, found it a means to greater wealth while in office. But let’s not dwell on Trump; we get enough of him on the news every day and more than enough here.

Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford in the 1976 election for US President. Ford couldn’t overcome having pardoned Richard Nixon (take note, Mike Pence). Carter was a  one-term president as well, troubled by a fuel shortage (with long lines at gas pumps), an extended hostage crisis in Iran and other problems. He was far from America’s best president and Ronald Reagan beat him handily in the 1980 election. But Carter didn’t lie, cheat or steal while in office. Nor has he done so since.

It’s hard to argue with what he’s done since AND what he hasn’t done.  Carter finally yielded the management of the humanitarian Carter Center founded by him and his wife Roslyn to his grandson several years ago. (I’ve been a contributor for some decades). At 94, after recovering from brain surgery, Jimmy is still swinging a hammer, building homes as a member of Habitat for Humanity. For more about The Carter Center, check out their website

Carter is pictured at his house after teaching his 800th Sunday school lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church since leaving the White House. Every other Sunday morning, he teaches at Maranatha, on the edge of town, and people line up the night before to get a seat. The painting at right was done by Carter. Photo by Matt McClain for the Post

As a recent Washington Post article details, he didn’t seek wealth or power after the White House. He lives a simple life and contributes to society—not feathering his own nest. Here’s some excerpts from the WAPO feature. I encourage you to read the entire article; it will brighten your day. 🙂

The Democratic former president decided not to join corporate boards or give speeches for big money because, he says, he didn’t want to “capitalize financially on being in the White House.”

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said that Gerald Ford, Carter’s predecessor and close friend, was the first to fully take advantage of those high-paid post-presidential opportunities, but that “Carter did the opposite.”

The article highlights how much money successive presidents have raked in, contrasting that with Carter. What is life like when money is not a major objective? Here’s another excerpt.

Carter is the only president in the modern era to return full-time to the house he lived in before he entered politics — a two-bedroom rancher assessed at $167,000, less than the value of the armored Secret Service vehicles parked outside.

Ex-presidents often fly on private jets, sometimes lent by wealthy friends, but the Carters fly commercial. Stuckey says that on a recent flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Carter walked up and down the aisle greeting other passengers and taking selfies.

Carter did succeed at some things while in office, such as brokering a peace deal between Egypt and Israel, which garnered him a Nobel Peace Prize (somewhat belatedly) in 2002.  He also worked to normalize relations with China, following on the steps taken by former President Nixon. I will dare the wrath of the Post with a little more excerpted text.

Carter’s gait is a little unsteady these days, three years after a diagnosis of melanoma on his liver and brain. At a 2015 news conference to announce his illness, he seemed to be bidding a stoic farewell, saying he was “perfectly at ease with whatever comes.”

But now, after radiation and chemotherapy, Carter says he is cancer-free.

Clearly, Carter is not living on burgers, fries and diet sodas. The article describes his dinner at at a neighbor’s house and the half-mile walk home. As noted above, he’s still healthy and strong enough to swing a hammer. I’m a Buddhist, not a Christian, but I must salute the way Jimmy Carter lives as Jesus taught.

 

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Nixon Resigns on this day, 1974–Trump Next Year?

Thanks to a reminder on cable news last night, I realized that an anniversary had arrived–Nixon formally tendered his resignation at noon on the 9th of August, 1974. Facing certain impeachment (and a conviction in the Senate) he had no other choice.

I still have copies of the complete coverage by the Washington Post that day. I watched the news from the student lounge at GULC, early in my first year of law school. A school where Sam Dash, Chief Counsel of the Watergate Committee, served as an adjunct professor. I cheered at the coverage and scoffed at then prominent newsman John Chancellor’s pronouncement of the sad day for America and that no one was celebrating at this departure. How wrong an assessment! I wasn’t the only one rejoicing.

So many cabinet officials, so many staff and even his first Vice-President went to jail. Spiro Agnew was simply a grifter, like “all the best people criminals  hired by or appointed to the Trump administration. Nixon himself avoided jail, pardoned by his second Vice-President–Gerald Ford. That act assured that Ford would NOT be reelected after assuming office.

My prediction: many more members of the Trump administration will wind up behind bars than did those who worked for Nixon. But that’s a story for another day.

Here’s the scenario for Trump’s exit next year, based on my assessment of what will come of the Mueller investigation:

  • Indictments of Americans will come early in September for conspiracy and criminal acts associated with the Russian interference in the 2016 election (see my predictions about that earlier this year; I’m thinking of adding Bannon for his leadership at Cambridge Analytica and confirming Brad Parscale–NO family members or in-laws in September)
  • HOWEVER, Mueller will not issue a final report with recommendations to Congress in September or October mentioning Trump
  • Trump will NEVER sit down with Mueller voluntarily, NOR will Mueller issue a subpoena to Trump before the midterm elections (more below) ordering Trump’s appearance in front of the grand jury
  • Manafort will be convicted in his first trial, will plead guilty in the second one (scheduled for September) based on Trump’s promised (out of fear, not loyalty) pardon
  • The Democrats will take control of the House with a massive mandate in the midterms–the Senate is a possibility, but not highly likely
  • Depending on Trump’s actions, reactions and tweets after the indictments and the midterms, Mueller may issue a subpoena to Trump in mid-January–as the next Congress is seated
  • More likely, Mueller will NEVER issue a subpoena to Trump because Mueller gave Trump ample opportunity to appear voluntarily AND Mueller already has everything he needs for both conspiracy and obstruction without hearing from Trump
  • Not only that, but Trump will have become a target, not a subject of the investigation–meaning he shouldn’t appear before the grand jury
  • Mueller’s final report with recommendations will be issued after the midterms–I believe (perhaps hope is more accurate) this will be in mid-January, after the next Congress takes office
  • Mueller’s final actions will include additional indictments, naming Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator; he will cite Trump as having obstructed the investigation and participated in conspiring with the Russians
  • With no Russo-Publicans left to protect him in the House,Trump will be unable to tolerate the investigations which will ensue–investigations in the House (whether articles of impeachment are voted or not) which will undoubtedly include examination of his personal and business tax returns 
  •  He will resign by the summer of 2019–perhaps 45 years to the day, from Nixon’s resignation

 

 

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Is It Mueller Time Yet?

If not now, when! Well, it might take some more indictments. We can hope and pray that the conspiracy (NOT collusion, for non-lawyers) counts are forthcoming by September–avoiding the midterm hiatus.

Meanwhile, at one and the same time,  these TWO things happened.

  1. Trump says AG Sessions should end the probe
  2. His attorneys say Trump is still considering sitting down with Mueller for a Q & A

Seems a little dissonant, doesn’t it? Well, what else should we expect from Trumpworld. Here’s the tweet, from Wednesday, August 1, that you’ve all seen, or heard unless you live off the grid.

This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!

Various media reports attribute the tweet to receipt of Mueller’s recent offer to provide some written questions in advance of the live interview and a reduced number of questions in the latter. However, obstruction of justice would still be part of the meeting. Not good, says Rudy, No-No.

The second item comes from the NY Times, very close in time to the Mueller offer and Trump’s tweet. I, for one, usually assume the New York Times reporters know of what they speak. One might be forgiven for doubting their report—but from what we know about Trump’s ego and (very mistaken belief) that he is a great dealmaker, they are likely quite correct.

Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing, the people said. In effect, he believes he can convince the investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of his belief that their own inquiry is a “witch hunt.”  See the full Times story here.

Seriously? Trump is going to win over Mueller?

Of course, Trump IS narcissistic and delusional. He also  has this transitory memory about his own opinions–moment by moment. Remember when the sexist perspective about the changeability of women’s minds? Well, one might be excused from thinking that Trump must have some gender dysphoria (if the sexist perspective were true, instead of simply a male bias LOL).

Speaking of his “attorneys,” Giuliani is working for free—well, you get what you paid for the saying goes; Jay Sekulow may be a small step up in legal acumen from Michael Cohen (who graduated from Cooley Law School? , while Sekulow graduated from Mercer University, tied for 128th law school in the US, behind such big name universities as Mississippi, Idaho, Louisville, Montana, etc.)

But back to Mueller time. Fear and loathing are growing in the White House as trials, blowback from his behavior, bad economic moves and general incompetence is constantly reported on by all but Trump TV (AKA Fox News). Like what? Oh, you know, don’t you?

  • Blowing up the Iran deal because it was so bad and then saying he was available for a meeting with Iran’s President Rouhani—with no preconditions (of course, because HE could strike a better deal. LOLLLLLLLLL!
  • Meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un one on one AFTER blowing up the Iran deal—which famously led to Trump’s announcement that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat (except satellite photos show they are still working on their ICBMs)
  • Meeting with his boss, Vladimir Putin (one on one) for two hours or more and virtually genuflecting by words) to Putin (at the subsequent Helsinki press conference
  • The tariffs he has imposed are already costing jobs and substantial lost revenues to American workers and companies—but then Trump doesn’t really understand economics or international trade (too bad his daughter is Ivanka and not Clarissa)
  • Michael Cohen may spill the beans that Trump not only knew about but approved the June 2016 meeting with the Russians (can you say conspiracy?)
  • The zero tolerance policy that Americans and the world regard as extraordinarily cruel and barbaric
  • The Manafort trial–NO COLLUSION! Says Trump—of course not, this is the tax evasion and bank fraud case (all Rick Gates fault, Manafort lawyer’s opening sayswhat, Gates filed Manafort’s taxes, bought all those suits and the ostrich jacket for his boss, opened all those bank accounts in Cyprus in Manafort’s name? Seriously?)
  • That’s just SOME of the recent stuff—Mueller IS closing in and Trump is FREAKY FRAID!

So, which will come first—Mueller’s report recommending impeachment or the Ultimate Trump Tantrum? What might that be, you ask. Well, I’ll save that satirical prognostication for another post. Feel free to offer YOUR guesses. With Trump, anything may be possible—mooning America from the White House balcony, perhaps, as his end draws near. Yes, pun intended. Don’t expect Trump to go out smiling with the two handed victory wave from Marine One like Nixon did.

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Kafka, Zappa, Orwell, Vonnegut–what would they all say about Trump?

What we need is a latter-day Dali to paint Trump in his alternate universe. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words. The surrealist image of Comrade Trump could suffice.

He has gone more bonkers than ever before after the Helsinki debacle and resulting backlash.  Forget the deplorables meme, it’s only ignorables that continue to deny Trump is Putin’s Puppet after his sycophancy in Finland.

What did he and his boss agree to? No one knows–probably not Trump himself. Only his gut, perhaps–which is easily confused,  overfilled as it is with burgers, fries and KFC washed down with multiple diet sodas.

Did Putin decline that September White House visit? Or did Trump really listen to Ryan and McConnell–who likely told him they’d like not to have this lead-in to the midterms.

“Bonkers” Bolton says the event is off until after the Mueller “Witch Hunt” is over.  Pence probably won’t want to entertain Putin, do you think?

Putin said he DID favor Trump in the 2016 election and he DID direct staff to help that happen. With all the indictments of Russians corroborating that–the Witch Hunt epithet gets crazier every time a Trump or his flunkies say it.

After introducing the bill to impeach Rod Rosenstein, Jim Jordan says he wants to run for Speaker of the House. That hardly seems a likely outcome–unless they have one in the Duma. Especially if Putin is directing his people to work to get Democrats elected in the midterm. Wow–no more reality TV shows; Trump should shoot for a late night comedy gig after he’s thrown out of office.

Meanwhile, what should we call the “Freedom Caucus”? The Commie Caucus? The Russo-Publican Caucus?  The Emperor Trump Caucus?  Jordan will just have to wrestle with that–perhaps in the House locker room, eh?

A little bit late, Ivanka is folding her fashion tent so she can focus on her work in the White House. Seriously–ROFLLLLLLLLLL.

Melania says, through her spokesperson, she will watch whatever channel she wants (after hubby complained about her watching CNN on Air Force One).

Edvard Munch’s The Scream might capture the agony of parent’s and children separated by Trump’s “Zero Tolerance Policy”–which would be better termed a “Zero Humanity Policy.

More fun next week, as Manafort’s first trial starts. Maybe more Michael Cohen tapes too. Could he have a copy of that Moscow hotel room tape? Only Putin knows for sure–and he’s not talking until Trump starts misbehaving.

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Another Birthday–of a Different Sort

Forty-one years ago I formally committed to the Buddhist faith I practice today. I will confess I was somewhat less diligent at first than I am now. But events came along that offered the opportunity to deepen that faith–such as the threat of death from my prospective father-in-law. That came a more than two years later, enough time for me to soon conclude that the most appropriate response was to quickly get more serious about my practice.

I didn’t miss my morning or evening sutra recitation and related prayers for the next three years. I’ve only missed them on a few occasions since–maybe once or twice a decade due to illness or other special circumstance.

My book, Waiting for Westmoreland details more about the threat and how we overcame it–leading to the happiness of all parties concerned. The book also informs the reader how I learned that the way to make the world a better place was to reform myself. Until Buddhism, I had become a cynical idealist after my innocence was lost in Vietnam. Then my remaining illusions were shattered by Watergate.

Eventually, I realized that reforming America’s legal and political systems weren’t sufficient to cure the country’s ills. Still, politics has its place–when properly applied, humanistically. When it’s not, the results can be catastrophic for a nation. Corruption, racism, economic inequality are just a few of the problems. When you add in leaders who are incompetent, ignorant, suffering from personality flaws, quite possibly mental disabilities and worse, the nation is at peril.

The logline of this blog is “Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions.” That comes, in my belief, from my Buddhist faith and practice. But one doesn’t need to practice my faith to see Donald Trump for who he is. Anyone with the slightest awareness can see the wrecking ball he as taken to America. I won’t belabor those points previously posted here and covered on a daily basis by US and World media. I just want to focus on two points:

  • What must Putin have on Trump
  • GOP aiders and abettors to Trump’s treason

One can no longer conclude it’s simply Trump’s mental capacity and other lacks that are to blame for his fawning support of Putin. It’s not America First–it’s Putin or Russia First. As many commentators have said, what Trump said and did yesterday in Helsinki amount to treason. There’s no need to rehash the coverage.  Putin laughed off the very question of him having something on Trump or his family. So what could it be that not only keeps Trump from EVER speaking or tweeting a word critical of Putin and now, engaging in treasonous behavior? It must be much more than a “pee tape” Maybe:

  • An IOU for millions or even billions of rubles owed to Russian mobsters/oligarchs or recorded conversations confirming it–NAH, that’s not enough
  • An adult video of Melania–NAH, even if there were one, Trump really wouldn’t care
  • An audio (or even a video) recording of Trump grabbing a Miss Teen USA contestant by the p***y–no Putin couldn’t have that, even if it might have happened
  • Solid evidence of Trump having sex with a minor and Cohen fixed it with a payoff–not enough
  • What if the sex with a minor involved drugging her, like Cosby allegedly did–now we’re getting into serious stuff
  • Some other perverted sex which ended in serious injury or death to a possibly unwilling participant and Putin has proof–well that could be it, but that’s getting a little farfetched (but knowing Trump, maybe not)
  • The only way we’ll ever know is if Trump crosses Putin, which he apparently views as more dangerous than impeachment or jail–so whatever it is, it is REALLY bad

Here’s the irony the GOP aiders and abettors–Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are co-founders of the so-called “Freedom Caucus.” Like Trump and on his behalf, they attack Mueller, Rosenstein and the FBI. They ask for documents to help is defense against the “Witch Hunt” that is producing indictment after indictment proving Russian agents hacking and interfering in the 2016 election on the behalf of Trump. Rather than promoting freedom, they are tacitly, if not expressly, supporting Russia’s attacks on America. They should be impeached from Congress if they are not voted out and invited to join the Duma! (The lower house of the Russian Federal assembly). Perfect! They’re all US House members now. They can move to Russia in 2019; the next election for the Duma is 2021.

Along with them Louie “Goober” Gohmert, who has a brain the size of a peanut. Trey “Benghazi” Gowdy, who spent two years and millions of dollars trying to prove (without success) that Hillary  Clinton was responsible for the deaths in Libya. NO ONE was charged with anything as a result of Gowdy’s waste of time and money. The list could go on and on. Some, perhaps, are good people, as Trump might say about Mexicans.  For those, maybe just throwing them out of office might suffice; Gowdy, wisely isn’t running–he’s looking to become a model for those commercials looking for the scruffy man.

 

 

 

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The McConnell/Trump Supreme Court

The media is busy discussing the various prospective nominees. Little commentary remains about forcing McConnell to apply the same rule he invented after Justice Scalia’s passing –the people must speak, Obama can’t have a nominee. No waiting for Trump! Step right to the front of the line–we’ll put this confirmation on the fast track.

Nor is there substantial discussion of recusal. Recusal of a new justice appointed by Trump, of any decisions involving a subpoena of him in the Mueller investigation, whether he could be indicted or not, pardons of himself or others as obstruction of justice and . . .

Where is the media analysis about Supreme Court Justice recusal? A smattering is all that is heard. Forget questions about Roe v. Wade–we know that anyone on the Federalist list submitted to Trump will try to overturn it as soon as possible. So what questions should be asked?

  • Will you commit to recusing yourself from any decisions concerning subpoenas  to President Trump (and providentially–his administration) from Special Counsel Mueller?
  • Will you recuse yourself from any decisions on the presidential pardon authority?
  • Will you recuse yourself from decisions on ANY matter involving the Mueller investigation AND any indictments proceeding therefrom?

Democrats must NOT be doormats–cravenly confirming a Trump nominee after Mitch McConnell stole one seat on the Supreme Court from Obama. If any Trump nominee gets confirmed AND the Senate falls into Democratic control in 2019, here’s what should happen:

  • NO Trump nominees for appellate courts should be given a hearing
  • ONLY nominees for district courts who are not moderate or progressive should be confirmed
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Trump and Putin–on the 4th of July, Is America Still Independent?

On Saturday, June 30th, I attended my first rally in many years. Silver City  turned out maybe 250 people–it is a smaller town.  Named for the silver mined here a hundred years ago, it could now as easily refer to the hair color of many residents. Like me, most of the attendees were in their sixties and seventies years of age.

We weren’t reliving the era of the sixties and seventies, when we protested against the Vietnam War and celebrated with  a strong sense of schadenfreude, Nixon’s resignation concluding Watergate.  Most of us on Saturday, were reinventing those earlier days in a new era. The era of the first  American  President elected by Russia. Well, OK, he wasn’t literally voted in by Russia–but without their help he likely wouldn’t be in office today.

Yes, as Hillary claimed in a pre-election debate, Trump IS a puppet. Just look at the way he genuflects before Putin–castigating American allies, subverting the G-7, the EU, NATO, etc.

Soon, Trump will attend a NATO conference, during which he will more than likely insult America’s allies even more than he did at the G-7 meeting. Allies whose products he is placing tariffs and other trade barriers on that will cost American jobs, cost American farmers and other producers lots of lost sales and American consumers more money for all sorts of goods. But hey, a trade war is simple and easily won (WRONG!)

The Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed unanimously that the US intelligence community’s conclusions. Russia “meddled” in America’s 2016 presidential election in hopes of electing Donald Trump. Such a limp word, meddled, that hardly conveys the depth of Russian’s intervention and attack America’s democratic process.

Trump still fears to fully accept this fact publicly–“mustn’t anger Putin,” he thinks to himself.

How many Russian oligarchs, government officials, celebrities, etc., attended Trump’s inaugural events to celebrate our so-called President? Orders of magnitude more than in any other inaugural. Doesn’t that confirm his status as Russia’s puppet–an American President elected by Putin himself?

Following the NATO conference, Trump will meet in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin. Reports are that some of the face time will include one-on-one discussions with only the two “leaders” and their translators (at least this time Trump is supposed to have an American translator–unlike that other meeting). What do you suppose they will discuss? Here’s my guess:

  • Coordination of which candidates in the 2018 midterms that Trump wants Putin to slam via social media bots, etc., and which ones he wants Putin to support
  • Coordination on ruckuses to raise in advance of the midterms–immigration, racial animosity, attempts to split the various wings of the Democratic party
  • Possibly which Supreme Court nominee Putin would prefer–despite the fact that the meeting is on the 16th and Trump says he will announce his own choice on the 9th (watch for a change in that announcement)

It’s hard to imagine this America is the one the founding fathers created so many years ago. We revolted against a king and now there are those who appear sanguine in Trump’s escalation to a throne and are happy to hold a sycophant’s court to assist him.

The people at the rally I attended, like many of those in the modern era of resistance against the would-be-king, were discussing the pragmatic efforts they will be taking, like calling, visiting, and otherwise connecting with their elected officials. Marching in the street is NOT the sum total of their resistance. They will also be working for candidates that won’t be doormats for Trump. If you live in a America, consider whether fireworks and festivities should be the sum total of our celebration of independence. If it is, the days of democracy are numbered.

Here’s my take on making Trump’s campaign slogan a success:

The author wearing his newest shirt
Trump behind bars–a success!

 

 

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One Ape and Another?

Koko just passed away in her sleep at 46. She had a vocabulary of 2,000 words and communicated via sign language. A kind and gentle soul. Let’s consider an image of Koko and Donald Trump. You be the judge about who is the great ape and who is an animal. Who is kinder and gentler. Who has the bigger vocabulary. Who many people will honor Trump at his eventual passing? Fewer than those who will honor Koko, don’t you think?

National Geographic cover from 1985 featuring Koko, a gorilla, holding a kitten

TIme magazine cover from June 2018 showing a crying child and Donald Trump look down at her