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
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:
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?
To quote Corey “Loopy” Lewandowski, “womp! womp!” Seems like Melania has more clout in the White House than anyone could have guessed. Trump, with great fanfare and hostage DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at his side, signs an executive order to reverse the policy that wasn’t (a policy, that is) to stop separating mothers (or fathers) from their children.
You’ve seen the videos and heard the crying of small children for their mothers or fathers. You know that there are three or four detention centers for children of “tender age”–with varying descriptors of that age might be. Like everything the Trump administration does, chaos rules. We know he likes it like that.
The chaos means that there are children still in one internment camp or another (location currently unknown for many, if not most, parents). Meanwhile, some of those parents have already been deported back to Honduras, Guatemala or elsewhere! The chaos means that toddlers, children with disabilities and even infants will be emotionally scarred. Listen to what the pediatric psychologists have to say about that. Then there’s the parents–undergoing enormous psychic trauma as well, with the enormity magnified with the knowledge of an adult.
Eventually, the whole process may be stopped completely–with intervention by Congress and the courts. Will the families be reunited? Will many–or any, receive asylum? Whether they are ever reunited or not, the families will have been harmed by the actions of Trump, Jeff Sessions, Kirstjen Nielsen and others. Harm that was reasonably foreseeable. Harm to people with the zone of the action. Harm that at best was negligent, but arguably was intentional–all the better to play on the political stage and prove to Trump’s base how much he wants to stop the “infestation” of America.
Legally speaking, what cause of action do those actions and harms lead to? Depending on what plaintiff’s lawyers allege and can get a court to agree: Either intentional infliction of emotional distress or negligent infliction of emotional distress. Those are torts, civil actions like the defamation case Summer Zervos is suing Trump for.
Cases for the infliction of emotional distress will be countless. I don’t know whether they might be combined into a class action (not too likely, in my opinion). The only question is how quickly will they be initiated and in court. Ihave no doubt, there are lawyers out there making preparations RIGHT NOW for suing Trump, et al. Only massive damages will fund the aggregate costs of therapy that those families will need.
Make no mistake about it–the financial damages in individual cases of this particular emotional distress are likely to be substantial. In the aggregate, for all those affected, the damages could be astronomical. Amounts so large that the total might drain whatever “wealth” Trump might still have after all the other suits currently pending. We can hope the emotional distress suits successfully proceed and Trump has one more bankruptcy–the biggest one of all!
In the midst of the “Zero Tolerance” concentration camp horrors, how can one find any humor–even if it’s biting satire? It takes a mind like mine. Feel free to retweet this if you like; I don’t tweet myself–it’s too risky a proposition given what I might foolishly say.
So long ago, there was Vietnam and Watergate. Experiences that profoundly altered the trajectory of my life. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, I couldn’t just go to college to find that day job to backstop my goal of being a writer. Instead, I embarked on a quest to reclaim my ideals and find a way to make the world a better place.
I despised Nixon as I never had any man before (well, perhaps not including the M. Sgt who was the bane of my Vietnam tour existence). Not only that, I felt cheated of my future. In the end, it all worked out for the best. The 20th century Candide found the faith and practice that has ensured his happiness and his fortune (not just financial–but health as well). You can read all about that in Waiting for Westmoreland, my memoir.
Nixon’s malevolence pales in comparison to Trump’s. Now I have another disruption to my existence. I am sorely tempted to spend days and nights railing about Trump’s cruelty, his narcissism, his misplaced belief in his own competence, his pride in his own ignorance, his assaults on the rule of law, his racism, his rapturous adulation of despots and disdain for democracy. I could go on and on. Instead, I’ll offer just one token image of contempt. This post is not simply another polemic about politics generally and Trump specifically. Read on after this faux Vogue cover.
Those of faiths other than my own Buddhism, might say “this too shall pass.” For me, as with Vietnam and Nixon, it will do much more than that. I won’t be diverted from my writing of fiction. I won’t be diverted from enjoying the fruits of my labors enjoying travel and other retirement pastimes. I’ve cited these words of Nichiren here on Views before, in relation to optimism:
After Vietnam and Watergate, the American people accomplished great things. Laws were enacted to prevent the worst excesses of Richard Nixon. Decades later, there are those who forgot them. George W. Bush talked of “compassionate conservatism.” It turned out to be just as much of an oxymoron as could be expected. Now America has the party of Trump–a cult of personality that formerly was called the GOP. What will result after Trump? What great good will follow?
After the great evil–the lies and deceit, the children sent to concentration camps, the corruption of “all the best (sleaziest, stupidest, most incompetent, most criminal) people hired to staff the Trump administration–here is some of what will happen:
People will go to jail (many people–you’ve seen the list before)
People (Trump, et al) will wind up with much less wealth than they claim to have)–it’s possible the Trump Organization will be dissolved (one could hope;karma is a serious thing)
Laws will be passed to rein in an imperial presidency–excessive executive powers will be curtailed
The justice system will be restored
The GOP and its foolish followers will find a new path or splinter into new parties that won’t be of consequence for years to come
America’s diminished role in world affairs and the world economy will eventually improve–but never to the point that it occupied prior to Trump
Identity politics will be recognized for the positive and pragmatic response to the policies of elitism, racism, neofacism, White nationalism and the many other failures of both Trump and the GOP as it now exists
And then we’ll do it all over again. As someone has said, history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. We must relearn and overcome again the mistakes made before. It’s all part of the human existence. But from 2025 to 2060 or so, America and the world will be a better place–in my opinion. What will you do to make a difference? Don’t stand idly by or be too disturbed by the ugliness of today in Trumpistan. Engage with others with compassion and concern. Have hope. Don’t let this simply pass–make something good of it!
We did it before, in a multi-part series (you candownload it here). It’s time for some fresh writing tips–mostly from the web. Like what?
Here’s one tip, from Stephen King: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
There’s many more–like why “writing rules usually don’t work but guidelines do.” Why not to take crappy first drafts too seriously. “Micro-plotting” and other valuable info for current and would-be writers.
You can’t be much of a writer if you aren’t also a reader. Politics, religion, classic works–you name it, I have read it. So here’s an eclectic mix of books I think you should know about. You may or may not agree with my take on all of them, but they all contribute in one way or another to how I look at the world and how I myself write.
After much consideration, we find that we cannot do justice to multiple topics in a quarterly edition while meeting our novel publication schedule. Accordingly, our next issue and those following will be an annual. Look for the next one in the spring of 2019. Well before then, all of our sites will be SSL secure (https) AND fully compliant with GDPR so they will be available around the world (except for well-known hacker havens).
We have some doozies this issue, from serious to surprising: from cloud security and web-connected appliance privacy to the unexpected way we rid ourselves of fat. Like making your Dropbox account more secure, beware of the “smart toaster,” and the unlikely way your body rids itself of the fact you consume. You’ll be amused and enlightened by these.
I wholeheartedly support the efforts of the European Union member countries to actively enforce requirements to protect the privacy of the citizens within those countries.Unfortunately, the challenges of making changes to my websites is more than I am willing to take on at this time, while working to overcome some health challenges.
I run no ads, do no direct sales, collect no personal data other than names, email addresses and websites and then only for comments on posts or for subscribing to posts. I share them with no one, nor do I sell them. Until such time as VERY SIMPLE plugins andhopefully changes to WordPress itself to address GDPRare available I won’t be making those changes required to comply with it.
To protect myself from liability, this site will no longer be available within those countries known to be within the European Union as of May 25, 2018. Sometime this year, I will make an effort to join Facebook and will accelerate posts to Google Plus in an effort to publicize works in progress and new book releases. Once the process of compliance becomes simpler, this site should again be available to EU countries.
If you, somehow manage to connect with this site after May 25 and your IP is within the EU, please send me a comment identifying your country so that I can block access to it. I will appreciate your effort to protect me from enforcement actions.
I’ve been tired during the day for quite a while. Tired enough to take naps. Tired enough to have difficulty focusing and concentrating on creative tasks–like working on blog posts, short stories, articles for my quarterly web magazine and–most importantly, a novel.
It couldn’t be sleep apnea, despite the snoring that causes my wife to sleep with ear plugs. I didn’t want to have to use a CPAP device. It must be metabolic or hormonal. Hypoglycemia maybe. Adrenal glands not working right. Side effects from prescription drugs.
So I went off statins last year without any beneficial effect–but my cholesterol went way back up. I’m back on the statin.
All the lab tests were normal at my most recent annual visit last week. All values were within appropriate ranges.
But my ophthalmologist said I appeared to have glaucoma–damage to the optic nerve reducing peripheral vision in one quadrant of one eye. That, despite my eye pressure being normal. He said I might have low night-time blood pressure OR sleep apnea. Huh? Yes, it turns out that the oxygen shortage caused by obstructive sleep apnea is associated with glaucoma. He referred me to a sleep study doctor.
Sure enough, a sleep study confirmed that I have severe sleep apnea. Bad enough to need not only a CPAP device but supplemental oxygen while I sleep. Thankfully, the oxygen doesn’t have to come from a bottle or tank but a concentrator. Unfortunately, that machine is the size of carry-on luggage and a lot noisier than the CPAP. But it does have a 15-foot tube that means it doesn’t have to be next to my head.
The first night wasn’t that bad. The local supplier of the equipment and the doctor assured me that in a few weeks I would both become accustomed to the machines and–most importantly, would find myself alert and focused again.
If you have any inkling you might have sleep apnea, don’t put off testing. You could find yourself falling asleep at the wheel. You could find yourself with vision problems. You could also put yourself at a higher risk of heart problems or a stroke.Yes, it’s more of a problem for men, but women aren’t immune. If your spouse says you snore–take it as a clue. If you’re tired during the day after what you thought was a full night’s sleep, don’t ignore it and hope it’s something else.
Soon, I hope, I’ll be posting more stuff and making progress on the novel that I have promised to get out this fall. That will be a tough nut to crack, but I’m going to do it somehow.
The “Witch Hunt” is getting too close for comfort. Will investigators find the remodeled and expanded broom closet?
Will the true name of the Coven Caucus (publicly known as the Freedom Caucus) be revealed?
What of the Politburo Caucus?
Given Trump’s spelling challenges, did he confuse a Nobel Peace Prize with a Piece Prize?
What about those 49 questions that nonsecular Sekulow came up with from the meeting with Mueller’s team? How about this paraphrase of a popular Stephen Stills song:
Forty-nine answers, all in a row
All of them fake ones, all of them lies
OK, enough funny business, let’s get serious with some synopses of the whole Trump miasma (the short version). Bullet points with indents, based on early campaign analyses up through the present and on to the future predictions of potential outcomes.
Trump never expected (or really wanted) to be President
He expected to make money up the wazoo from the enhanced visibility
He especially wanted to expand business in Russia
He hoped for a new TV gig too
When he unexpectedly won, he didn’t know WTF to do or who to hire or appoint to positions he knew nothing about–so America wound up with idiots, incompetents, criminals and all of the above
Putin (Russia) really wanted to disrupt the American democratic polity
Putin hated Hillary and really wanted to harm her–whether she got elected or not
Putin pegged Trump as a useful idiot for Putin’s plans
Once Trump got the nomination, Putin got serious and offered help through social media, the Wikileaks releases, etc.
Trump, his family and friends eagerly accepted (if not actively sought out) the help Putin could offer
“Back-channels” via Kushner, Erik Prince, et al
Roger Stone and Assange, etc.
Meetings, meetings and more meetings
Mueller’s team leaks nothing but the White House and the Congress leaks continually. As Fox Mulder would say, “the truth is out there”
The truth, as evidenced by the leaks, is that the Trump campaign and later the administration, regularly conspire(d) with Russian actors to affect the election and to cover it up
The truth is that countless Trump family members and associates are guilty of acts that might border on treason
Formerly “rule of law,” “law and order,” and pro law enforcement “Republic Party” (see Democrat party epithet) members are now sycophantically attacked the FBI, Justice Department, et al on behalf of Trump. So much so that some could be called Russo-Publicans–or perhaps the Politburo Caucus
Should Rod Rosenstein be impeached for not revealing internal investigative files to the GOP? No!
Assuming Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, et al survive the midterms, THEY should all be impeached in 2019 and indicted for leaking classified documents, obstruction of justice and more.
So what will the political landscape look like this time in 2019? Who will be indicted, convicted or impeached?
Let’s assume the Mueller probe and report are completed
Let’s assume the Democrats win a large majority in the House
Let’s assume the Democrats hold their own in the Senate
Then this may happen:
Trump will be impeached
Trump may be indicted
Many other members of the Trump campaign team and/or administration members will be indicted
Eventually, RICO charges will be filed against the Trump Organization–with the bulk of its assets seized by the US Government and the entity dissolved (this will take several years at a minimum)
Trump may suffer a debilitating nervous breakdown and/or medical incident such as a stroke or cardiac event causing him to leave office in advance of an impeachment trial in the Senate
Mike Pence will assume the Presidency and will either pardon Trump or not
If he pardon’s Trump, he will be soundly defeated in 2020, if he runs
If he doesn’t pardon Trump, he will be primaried by the GOP base and will either lose or be so damaged in the process that a Democrat will win in 2020
Manafort, Stone, Kushner, Cohen and others will be among the convicted. At least three of them will flip on Trump–all of which will ensure a bad outcome for the Fake President.
Yes, it’s time for the monthly rant about America’s Fake President and the sycophants who support him. Hereinafter, we’ll just refer to him as Comrade Trump.While he calls today for the death penalty for drug dealers, he neglects to note that treason also carries a death penalty. In truth, of course, it’s unlikely that his efforts on behalf of Vladimir Putin would rise to a level qualifying for that penalty if convicted. Meanwhile, the behavior of the “Russo-Publicans” in Congress may not be as treasonous as Trump’s offenses but some may be serious criminal offenses. Under the speech and debate clause, they may be safe from slander charges for what they said about Comey, et al.
Who are the Russo-Publicans?We call them thatbecause they don’t care that the Russians intervened in the 2016 election–OR that the Russians plan on meddling in the 2018 mid-terms. All they care about is protecting their boy–Comrade Trump. Maybethe Russians even have something on them too.
Devin “Numbnuts” Nunes is one of them. Jim “Shouter” Jordan is another. Matt Gaetz is one more. There are way too many others to mention–but you know who they are. Then there’s Trump TV (AKA Fox News/Fox and Friends) with Sean Hannity heading up the cheerleading squad of anti-FBI ranters.
Will Comrade Trump find someone who will fire Mueller? It won’t be Rosenstein. Sessions can’t. If Mueller is fired, will the Russo-Publicans care enough to do anything about it? Here’s some of what might happen if Comrade Trump does succeed in getting rid of Mueller and the Russo-Publicans do nothing.
The Mueller team, which has been watertight up until now, will spring a leak—with some members revealing details of the criminal offenses it has found among Trumpistan party members
The American populace will take to the streets in numbers vastly exceeding the Women’s March of January 2017
The 2018 Mid-Term Elections will not be a wave—it will be a tsunami.That will afford Democrats an opportunity to impeach Trump and begin investigations of those members of the Russo-Publicans that survive the election. That could result in expulsion from Congress for some and/or criminal prosecution.
But let’s say Comrade Trump doesn’t manage to rid himself of Mueller and the probe,then we can expect more indictments. First will come the hacking, cybercrimes, money laundering and other financial offenses and—the collusion (legally known as conspiracy) that Comrade Trump and Trump TV (AKA, Fox News) has insisted didn’t happen.
Obstruction charges will come last, but relatively quickly on the heels of the other indictments.
So, who will Mueller indict and who will Trump pardon?
Here’s my prediction of some who will be indicted (the most likely in my opinion):
Fuzzy Bear, Foxy Bear and Guccifer 2.0 (and probably many other Russians who can be identified)
Wikileaks and Julian Assange (who better hope that the current government of Ecuador never changes to one that doesn’t like him)
Cambridge Analytica—and perhaps Brad Parscale
Roger “Zippy” Stone (think of the polka dot clown suit and hair strands tied in a bow)
Ivanka? Probably not
Steve Bannon? Not too likely
Jeff Sessions? Nah
Devin Nunes—should be but won’t be
What about pardons? We all know Trump demands loyalty from everyone but gives it to none. But he might pardon son-in-law Kushner.
Two other reasons to pardon someone:
To avoid them testifying against him
Because Putin demands it
It’s too late for Flynn and the rest who have cooperated with Mueller; their testimony is admissible regardless of pardons. Here’s my pardon predictions:
Russian oligarchs but not lower level people
Manafort–not too likely; he better cut a deal
Will Pence pardon Comrade Trump once he is booted out of office? Pence is between a rock and a hard place.
If he doesn’t pardon him, the Russo-Publicans and the rabid base voters won’t support Pence for the 2020 election
If he does pardon him, Pence won’t stand a chance with the rest of the American voters in 2020 (see what happened to Gerry Ford after his pardon of Richard Nixon)
Bonus material for March
Stormy Daniels!!!! What’s the prenup look like for Melania?
What will Stormy tell the World that she and Donald did? Must be juicier than salacious stuff in the Steele dossier for all the efforts to hush her up