Friday, August 18, 2017

Trumpland: Predicting Lil' Donald

Reading the books written about Lil' Donald, paying attention to the news, listening to Lil' Donald's words makes it painfully clear that we've elected a narcissistic psychopath, in lay terms. In the professional world, the diagnostics would be:

60.2 Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • A disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others that is manifested in childhood or early adolescence. (adapted from dsm-iv)
  • A personality disorder whose essential feature is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. The individual must be at least age 18 and must have a history of some symptoms of conduct disorder before age 15. (from dsm-iv, 1994)
  • Personality disorder characterized by conflict with others, low frustration tolerance, inadequate conscience development, and rejection of authority and discipline.
  • Personality disorder whose essential feature is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others through aggressive, antisocial behavior, without remorse or loyalty to anyone.

We also have F60.81 Narcissistic personality disorder

  • A disorder characterized by an enduring pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogant behavior together with an overwhelming need for admiration and a lack of empathy for (and even exploitation of) others.
  • Personality disorder characterized by excessive self-love, egocentrism, grandiosity, exhibitionism, excessive needs for attention, and sensitivity to criticism.
According to Joshua Green, in Devil's Bargain, when Lil' Donald started hanging with Bannon, he also took on Bannon's blue collar nationalism. Prior to that, however, Lil' Donald had one of the most popular shows on TV for ten years. The Apprentice built a national profile with minority audiences including Latinos and Blacks. It was popular with women. It drew from all different backgrounds. Minority people were presented as "striving, ambitious entrepreneurs" which was a major departure from how television and culture usually depicts minorities. It drew over 20 million viewers a week and "established his national image". Indeed, Lil' Donald's audience was viewed as "the most liberal of prime time television". Drawing this massive audience during prime time brought in major advertisers to the network, including Ford, McDonald's, Pepsi, Kellogg. Hollywood studios advertised their movies being released over the weekend. Demographic research showed Lil' Donald to be more popular with blacks and Latinos than with Caucasian audiences. With Caucasians, he was a celebrity that people loved to hate.

Ironically, he completely flipped when he decided to run for president. He purposefully sought out the audience that was most likely to take him to the White House. During the election campaign, Lil' Donald built a campaign of hate. Obama chose him as a target at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and Lil' Donald retaliated with birtherism which he only gave up two months before the election, turning on Obama's education instead. He turned on minorities by screaming about building a wall. He encouraged chants about "lock her up", thriving on the power of hate. He now has begun reshaping the justice system by planning to return to outdated policy, that doesn't work, to lock up more Blacks. The same can be said for addictions. The war on drugs has already failed once. He is actively working to support voter suppression in minority areas. He has shot down equal pay for women and is attacking their healthcare and control over reproductive rights. Let's be clear. He doesn't really support any of these things. Indeed, he also does not feel the opposite. He has no core beliefs. He doesn't support any thing except the pursuit of more money, more press, and more power.

Lil' Donald as manipulated and used 30% of America. He built a base of support that is centered clearly in those who feel disenfranchised. Mostly white males longing to restore their patriarchal power, to be head of the household bread earner, returning to father knows best, working in mines and on the lines in factories. Men who fear their loss of manhood and are angry. He attacked the people and changes that those men fear: illegal immigrants, women, and the press. He built his campaign on racial, gender, and political fury. Not because he was prejudiced, but because it appeals to his base. He knew who his audience was going to be, and shaped his campaign to suit. He shaped his policy to inspire, encourage and to enact fear.

Sadly, Lil' Donald could have built a campaign, and now an administration, on a forward looking view. He had the potential from his his TV show to do just that. Instead, he built it on Make America Great Again, which translates to encouraging anger over a lost way of life, and focusing on fear it could not be recreated. He appealed to a base who wanted factory jobs, doesn't care about emissions or destruction of our environment, wants to regain control over women, and desires to put minorities "back in their place". Lil' Donald has fed the fear and hatred in the GOP voters, using illegal immigration, Clinton emails, and false promises to reshape politics to make him wealthy and powerful. See the above diagnostics. Lil' Donald needs their hate and fear to feel powerful. Remember his promise that only he could fix government?

No other sitting president began shaping his reelection campaign the first day they took office. No other president began campaign rallies the first six months he was in office. Lil' Donald had done both. When his narcissism demands adoration, he goes before large audiences. He revels in their adoration. Lil' Donald was a bully as a child, and it has continued into adulthood. He has no regard for the rights of others. He can't even pay the people who work for him. He shows no empathy, not even to the mother of a daughter killed by violent white nationalists. He spends hours watching the news, tweeting, reading the folder of praise and adoration presented daily. He surrounds himself for adoring staffers and yes men. And he is spurred on by Steve Bannon, who is a skillful manipulator who is determined to reshape America in a populist, white nationalist nightmare.

Going forward, how do we predict Lil' Donald's actions? Always look for what feeds his needs. Lil' Donald is an empty shell. He has nothing that feeds his interior self. No morals. No values. So he gilds his home in gold and wears fancy suits, and attaches beautiful women to his arm, to give him a sense of worth. Consequently, there will never be enough money or power to satisfy him. And every attack, every criticism, every failure drives him wild. He will do anything to hold his position and power. Hence the refusal to give up tax returns. His disregard for political norms. His determination to profit from his office. This wildly dangerous to our country.

It is not likely that he will take us to war with Korea. It would be dangerous and costly right now. He would have to rally support for that war the same way he did for the wall. Certainly possible, but he needs time to do it. It is likely he will continue to feed his grassroots supports fear and anger. He will fan the fires, protect Confederate monuments he does not care about, make wild and contradictory pronouncements to keep our attention off Russia and on him. The closer the investigation gets to establishing money laundering and worse, the wilder the flames of anger and hate will rage in our country, fed by our president. Remember the statements about "my military"? He wasn't kidding. He knows that as commander in chief they will follow orders. And Eric Prince as a paid mercenaries ready for him as well. Lil' Donald has no intention of loosing control of the presidency.

I heard all the crazy conspiracy theories how Obama intended to stay in office. Ridiculous, as we have seen. And the theories underestimated how carefully Obama always abides by the rule of law. Lil' Donald has flagrantly violated the law his entire life. He is a wild card. And if we don't don't better predict and defeat his behavior, democracy will die at the hands of a narcissistic psychopath.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trumpian Overload

It only took 67 days for me to burn out. 67 days and I became so overwhelmed by the barrage of horrible actions by the president perpetrated on the American people, that I abandoned blogging. Given how many people stopped watching the news after the election and tried to return to ordinary lives, my own burn out does not surprise me. However,  before the election, I started watching four hours of news a night, and I haven't stopped. I just stopped writing.

I knew that when I started the blog that it would be bring me possible notice. I knew that it put me at risk of possible danger. Hell, I am a witch, gay, and a therapist that sees children. And I am married to a transgender guy so we are in the government records. I am at risk in the time of Trump anyway. So I decided that I had to speak up and speak out. Yep, all 67 blog entries. And I can't take it back. If I took take the blog down, the foot print will still remain.

So tonight I am back. Not to blog about the news, but to talk about my own feelings. I am watching accusations of fake news, attacks on civil rights, and threats of legal action on web hosts who refuse to turn over records to the Justice Department. I watch the President defend Natzis and his attacks on morality and decency. The Russian horror, the Paris Accords, Climate Change. The double dealing, the lies, the pockets being filled by the hard earned dollars of the American people. It's disgusting.

Step by step Steve Bannon and Donald Trump are eviscerating democracy. The folks who voted for them to "burn it down" are getting their wish. Democracy is shredded and tattered. The United States becomes more isolated from the rest of the world daily. Meanwhile, Lil' Donald eats double scoops of ice cream, grows fat on the toil of the people, and plays golf. Oh, and undermines the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Laws he swore to uphold.

For the record, health care is right for all, not a privilege.
Civil rights are exactly that. Equality for all.
It is wrong to grab women by the pussy.
It is wrong for a president to refuse to release his tax return.
It is wrong to charge for the privilege of a possible presidential sighting at your wedding, over dinner, or at the club.
It is wrong to side with KKK and Natzi.
It is wrong to shame the victim.
It is wrong to deny science.
There are a thousand other statements I could make. You get the picture.

I cleaned out my pantry this week. And restocked with water, chocolate, trail mix and canned chicken. Lil' Donald appears to have failed to learn the most valuable lesson of history -- that it repeats. None of us thought civil war could repeat. Perhaps we were wrong. Then there's Korea. Yeah.

I started this blog an hour ago. I walked away and this is the headline that appeared while I was in the kitchen from the New York Times: Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric.

I weep for the country my grandchildren will inherit.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day 67 Trumpland: An Act of War

The outrage pours out across the news, at least the liberal leaning news, that a foreign actor interfered with our core American principal of a free election. Pundants on MSNBC speak constantly of
Devin Nunes, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, who is under increasing pressure by both parties, questioning if he has any business investigating anything to do with the White House.

Despite these questions, Mr Nunes tries to downplay the importance of these questions, saying this this morning that "The investigation continues. We've had an investigation into Russia for many, many years." As if the committee he currently heads is just business as usual, and not investigaating the role of Russia in our elections, or even if Russia controls our current governmental leaders.

Reports asked if Mr Nunes if  he would recuse himself in this investigation, and he ignored the question. Pointedly. This following Devin Nunes going to the White House ground, according to CNN:
It has been something of a mystery, the whereabouts of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes on the day before his announcement that he saw information suggesting that communications of then-President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers may have been swept up in surveillance of other foreign nationals.
Running to the White House ground and the executive branch, while an investigation run by Mr Nunes of the executive branch, is at the very least, suspect. The nice thing about writing a blog rather the reporting the news is that I get to state the obvious. Not only should Mr Nunes recuse himself, but he should be prosecuted. He has not reported what he learned on that little field trip to the rest of the investigative committee. And covering for Lil' Donald makes him as guilty as the rest of them bedding the Russians.

Furthermore, why did Mr Nunes cancel the House Intelligence committee public hearing in which Sally Yates asked to give her testimony today? Indeed, last Friday when Mr Nunes cancelled that hearing, Ms Yates' lawyer sent a letter to the White House saying they were going to give information about potential opportunities for blackmail of Michael Flynn. There is no credibility in the House Investigation. None.

Let's restate what has happended. The House Intelligence Committee is investigating Russian interference in the US election. Part of that involves the White House. James Comey acknowledged they are investigating contact between Russians and the Trump campaign. Then Nunes goes to the White House grounds to review intelligence from an unnamed source not shared with either Democrats or Paul Ryan (speaker of the House), then announces that there is incidental collection of intelligence on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, which seems to lend credence to the Lil' Donald's claim that President Obama wire tapped him. FBI Director Comey and the NSA director had already put that issue to rest in a public hearing.

It is obvious to those of us leaning on our armchairs and pounding the arms, that the Russians did not begin their infiltration into our government last summer. Preparations for Russian manipulation of our elections has gone on for years. And we are going to find a number of dirty politicians, largely Republican, if investigations go to their conclusions.

Yesterday, Dick Chaney (Republican) said it is "No question" that Russia meddled in the US election, and it could be "an act of war." Understand, our government is now staffed with people who are the direction of a foreign country. That is a terrifying thought.

In the meantime, Lil' Donald needs to shut the fuck up. His tweets are not funny. Yesterday he claimed the Russian probe is a hoax and tried to once again use the Clintons to hid behind. His attempts to tweet storm this horrific situation away will fail miserably is only made worse by each 140 characters.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 59 Trumpland: Frayed around the Edges

Director of FBI James Comey was the "guest" of Congress today for five and half hours as he testified to possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The FBI has confirmed a counter intelligence investigation into the Russian attack of our election and possible coordination between Russia and the campaign. The investigation started mid July last year. Moreover, it seems that the Russians release the first round of stolen documents themselves. The documents were difficult to distill and navigate. The second round through Wicki had some sort of intermediary.

Let's make this clear. The president of the United States' campaign is under investigation for colluding with the Russian government. It was so serious, that President Obama, before leaving office, sowed the seeds of proof across 17 agencies to protect the information  from Lil' Donald, whose career is invested in making that information disappear.

There's another part of this testimony today that bears noting. The director of the FBI addressed Congress about a tweet. Let me repeat. A TWEET. It was sent at 6:30 in the morning likely after another night of no sleep, Lil' Donald tweeted "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This McCarthyism!" Mr Comey stated "I have no information that supports those tweets." He expanded that answer a bit, all a denial.

Ordinarily, Republicans in Congress will go to any length to defend the President. Not today. They couldn't defend this tweet, while, in another room, another committee was investigating Michael Flynn. In that committee, Republicans spent the entire time condemning the leaks and throwing out random names of former Obama administration officials. Not once did they ask why Lil' Donald did nothing for two weeks after Michael Flynn's lie came out. Let me say that again. They condemned the press for leaking the truth about Flynn, but didn't ask questions about his actions. They knew they couldn't actually defend Lil' Donald's tweets so they went on attack about the leaks

It may be too soon to say that the Trump presidency is unraveling. But we are only 59 days into this presidency, and Congress is investigating Russian ties in one room and tweets in another, all leading back to the unqualified, dangerous man who was elected leader of our nation. I think it's safe to say the edges of this administration are badly frayed, and I only pray it all comes apart quickly enough to save our Democracy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 52 Trumpland: Fakery

Without proof, Lil' Donald has made an accusation that President Obama wire tapped him at Trump Tower. Lil' Donald surrogates know full well he is full of s***, but their love of their new found prestige, power and paycheck allows them to override any ethical breaches on the part of the man in office. Yet their credibility has likewise become compromised in only a few short weeks.

Indeed, Morning Joe on MSNBC "absolutely will not" in their words have KellyAnne Conway on their show again. This is not cowardice, it's total disgust. MSNBC will no longer tolerate the ridiculous statements that come out of this woman's mouth, nor give her a platform for her lies. I totally agree with their position.

Conway made a fool out of herself attempting to stand up for Lil' Donald on The Bergen Record yesterday where she was asked about surveillance at Trump Tower. Note she was asked a specific question, which she admittedly answered with a much broader response:


"You can surveil someone through phone, tv or microwave," she says. But when cornered, this is what she had to say:


"I have no evidence and that has nothing to do with what the president said last week." Really? REALLY? And this is the counselor to the president. What the president (not my president) said last week was very clear:


Lil' Donald very clearly accused President Obama of placing a wire tap on his phones at Trump Tower. There it is, very clear, in black and white. But this is Lil' Donald, and in Trumpland, up is down.

The White was supposed to hand over any proof of this allegation of wire tapping today but there's no proof for what he said. The FBI director and the former director of National Intelligence have said it is not true. There is no proof. Lil' Donald lives in a fake reality where he thinks he can say anything he wants and there are no consequences. Worse, when Lil' Donald makes these statements, it's gospel to his support base.

By the way, Senator John McCain is not real patient with Lil' Donald's bad behavior. He called out Lil' Donald on taking the provision for weapons to Ukraine after being invaded by Russia taken out of the platform. He also believes President Obama deserves an apology from the false claims wire tapping of Trump Tower. Here's what he had to say this weekend:


There obviously will be no apology from Lil' Donald. He wants to humiliate and embarrass President Obama because he knows he doesn't deserve, and cannot fill, President Obama's shoes. So rather than doing the right thing, he sent Sean Spicer out to do his dirty work while he watched. So this afternoon Sean Spicer gave a press conference that should make him ashamed. The man should have resigned before saying these things:


In case you don't care to listen to this ridiculous farce, Spicer stated that when Lil' Donald said wire tap he didn't mean wire tap. "I think there's no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election," Spicer said. "The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities." Yeah. Right...This is the same man that a week ago said the tweet "speaks for itself" and refused to make any further comment.

We need to be thinking about why that is true and what are the possible consequences. Lil' Donald accused the previous president of a felony. Lil' Donald could have cleared this up with a phone call. He obviously had more to gain if he did not. The question is why?

Words have meaning. The voice of the president should be clear, measured, and calm in public. Otherwise, people with red buttons might misunderstand. Lil' Donald is absolutely unfit to be president. We have to accept that he is an idiot, and that the frequent walkbacks happen because our country foolishly elected him. Other countries do not. And Lil' Donald's tweets can get our country into a war. Men in our services can die because he is not a fit president.

Lil' Donald must be stopped.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 51 Trumpland: Saturday Night Massacre

Sorry for my online absence. My computer suddenly shut down while I was working and I had to ship it to California for repairs. It's been two weeks, and I posted a few times with my pad; that is, at best difficult. Then I cracked its screen at work and it only functions with a mouse. Touchscreens are awkward when that happens. Happily, I ordered an inexpensive Dell this week to get me through. When I receive my computer back, I'll have one for home and one at work.

In the meantime, we've missed a lot. Let's just look at a weekend crisis. One of many, likely, but this one really got my attention.

First a little history. (My thanks to AM Joy this morning for info; I'm just providing a synopsis here.) You recall that Lil' Donald fired his acting Attorney General Sally Yates following the travel ban disaster because she refused to enforce it. The media called it The Monday Night Massacre, recalling Watergate and the night of October 20, 1973 when the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General resigned in protests. They refused Richard Nixon's order to fire the Special Prosecutor looking into the Watergate break in. Those protests and Nixon's abolishing of the Special Prosecutor's office afterward became known as the Saturday Night Massacre.

Lil' Donald had already fired two dozen career and political appointees at the State Department. Last week, Lil' Donald loyalists made the rounds of cable TV calling for the purge of Obama appointees anywhere in government. Indeed, anything short of absolute loyalty to Lil' Donald, according to these loyalists, should be fired. Joy didn't mention it, but take a look at Youtube and you'll see Christian Conservative groups calling for a purge five weeks ago. Played right into Steven Bannon and Lil' Donald's power hungry hands. It's all nebulous right now, absolutely no proof, but I strongly suspect Bannon started sowing those seeds behind the scenes immediately after the election.

Fox News Sean Hannity started the outcry on Thursday in mainstream media. "For weeks we've been warning you about the deep state of the Obama held-over bureaucrats who are hell bent on destroying this President":



Now Lil' Donald has demanded the  resignation of every US attorney who was an appointee of the Obama Administration. It is not the first time a President has taken such action. Hannity argues leaks plague the administration and must be stopped. Rep Hunter called these patriots "seditious" because he believes they are trying to take this president down from the inside. He's right about the second half.

Congressman King on Friday on MSNBC also suggested a purge of "any staffer who previously worked for the Obama administration." He clarified his intent in the use of word purge: "I will use the word purge...I think that needs to happen. I think it's a descriptive word that fits well in the English language."

Saturday night Atty General Jeff Sessions demanded those resignations, "but one refused to go quietly." On Saturday night, Lil' Donald fired Preet Bharara. He's known for taking down corruption. In November Lil' Donald asked him to stay on. Sessions repeated that request a week ago. But now he's gone:


At the time he was forced out, Bharara was working on a number of significant cases:
  • Russian money laundering
  • Fox News
  • Turkish corruption scandal
  • Trump Tower was in his jurisdiction
  • Dinesh D'Souza, campaign finance fraud
  • Possible criminal tax investigation into Lil' Donald
People who are risking their careers and their futures for the sake of this country are not seditious, they are patriots who believe Lil' Donald's connections to Russia threaten this country on the deepest level.

Furthermore, Congress shows no sign of investigating Lil' Donald's violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Four days ago, NPR reports, ethics watchdogs requested U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to investigate. Noah  Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, which sued Trump in January wrote the following to Barara:
A failure by your office to investigate these reports and to take appropriate action will leave the nation exposed to foreign governments directly and indirectly providing payments and financial benefits to President Trump when those foreign governments may be seeking to influence Executive Branch policies and positions. This is precisely the kind of problem that the Founding Fathers acted to prevent by including the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution.
Lil' Donald likes chaos, unpredictability, and control. Indeed, chaos and unpredictability means no one has any control but himself. Make no mistake about this. He's gutting the CIA. Ambassadors have been fired. There's no one at home at the State Department. He's firing district attorneys who might slow his plans or reveal his past. Moreover, he has not appointed people to these leadership positions. Please don't underestimate these actions. They are intentional.

Ironically, it was Jerry Springer who was a guest on AM Joy this morning who voiced my own thoughts. Perhaps he is one of the few who can speak openly about what he sees. Perhaps it is his insight into drama, chaos and setups from the era of his show to say what the news people are hinting at. They are still responsible to producers wary of lawsuits and Lil' Donald's power. Springer is an old hand at tabloid dirty tricks and had the follow comments.

First, let me borrow again from AM Joy, to set this up. Lil' Donald believes the "fake news" is the enemy of the people. He prefers to get his news from sources like World Net Daily, the sight that was a proponent of the birth movement whose columnist Kirk Ellis who Lil' Donald hired to work in the labor department. The CEO of the National Enquirer is one of the few people known to be a friend of Lil' Donald. Newsmax is said by Lil' Donald to have "a track to his very good brain." Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Breitbart. Harvey Levin, founder of TMZ, was summoned to the White House for hour long tour that included a tour of the Lincoln bedroom. Joy pointed out Veterans groups not only didn't get the tours last week, but Lil' Donald didn't even show up.

Remember Lil' Donald isn't a ideologue. That title falls to Bannon. Now Springer. Who started out pointing out that Bannon wants to ...
delegitimize mainstream America. Bannon wants to do away with a multicultural America and the institutions that protect a multicultural America, other than the courts, are the free media, the press...The conflict, on the other hand, is that Trump can't exist unless his name is in print...Trump needs to see his name every single day. [Hence, tabloids-truncating here.] Bannon and Trump aren't on the same page. Bannon has a philosophical goal...to do away with a multicultural America. he wants America to be basically be Christian and white. So keep out the Mexicans. Keep out the Muslims, etc. The only left to make sure we keep a multicultural society are the courts and the media. And that's why they go after the courts and the media all the time...Therefore he goes to things he can control, that's the tabloid journalism or the twitter account. So Trump gets his drug and Bannon gets the goal of doing away with mainstream media.
The Bannon people and methodically dismantling the state. Get rid of the courts and the press, and you can do anything. Include become a dictatorship like Putin runs. There's a pattern to the chaos and destruction. When there seems to be no path, no reason, no logic? Follow the money to ultimate conclusion.

Dandelion Break: Last weekend

And a fresh breath. My doctor recently said I have pre-diabetes and high cholesterol. Since I already have high blood pressure, this is a problem. There's a simple solution, that began with my fitbit. I'm up to 10,000 steps a day.

I promised a dandelion break on the weekends. I'm posting a little late, but want to share my walk this evening:



From earlier in the day. I love spring flowers...even if it's a bit early this year.





And because we all need a cat in our life:




Sunday, March 5, 2017

Day 44 Trumpland: Disgraceful

President Obama's administration was totally free of scandal. His nickname was no drama Obama. Certainly, he is human and occassionally took the press to task, or grew impatient with ineptitude. Nevertheless, he set the bar for the behavior of a presient that all successors should aspire to. Which make Lil' Donald's recent tweets outragous, disrespectful, and disguesting. Indeed, there is absolutely no shred of proof for Lil' Donald's accusations:


As a family systems therapist, one of the things I've been professionally trained to do is look for patterns. Now let's be honest. You don't need my training to recognize Lil' Donald's patterns. As Jake Tapper called it on Meet the Press: "jaw dropping and completely unproven accusations." Any time Lil' Donald says something outragous, he wants you to look here so you don't look there, and see what he's done. Moreover, his accusations, the more outrageous the more telling, are always of the very sins that he has committed. So who has he been wire tapping?
The story continues in a White House statement: President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine wether the executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.
Just how stupid do they think the American public are? The Obama administration sowed the seeds of Lil' Donald's illegal behavior throughout 17 government bureaus in order to protect the information and guarantee he couldn't just make it disappear. Lil' Donald is starting to sweat as those who hold secrets that threaten out national security are starting come out. Those secrets are being "leaked" to get around an administration that wants to turn our government into a kleptocracy and Lil' Donald, the would-be dictator, is furious.

Furthermore, if the Feds wiretapped Lil' Donald, they must have obtained a FICA warrent first. Which means they had sufficient proof of wrong doing to obtain said warrant. Indeed, the BBC in January reported that the 
Justice Department sought a FISA warrent in June to intercept communications from two Russian banks suspected of facilitation donations to the Trump campaign. The judge reportedly rejected the warrant, as well as a narrower version sought in July. A new judge granted the order in mid-October.
 Morover, once again Lil' Donald's ignorance is showing. The order for a FISA warrent doesn't come from the executive branch, but from the courts. And courts operate independently. Furthermore, you can't tap the phone of a political candidate for political purposes. You can only tap the phones of a foreign power. And if that foreign power is speaking to an American, you better hang up, unless you have a warrent. Which is why Michael Flynn is likely under investigation. Without a warrent in place, he likely would still have his job.

Understand that Federal authorities cannot simply tap the phone of a political candidate on the 58th floor of Trump Tower. They have to be able to demonstrate not just probable cause, but also that the phone is undermining American interests. The obvious conclusion, that Lil' Donald has stupidly given away, is that his phone demonstrated a clear danger to American interests. And it's not Mr Obama who has a problem.




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day 42, O1 Year Trumpland: The Russian Connection

Today Jeff Sessions recused himself of any investigation into the Trump administration. It won't be enough to save himself. Or the Administration.



Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC spoke tonight of what a rotten lawyer Jeff Sessions is. Any good defense attorney would have cautioned him to release a written statement. Instead, Sessions chose to appear in front the press. He said "I don't recall," a great many times. But he also told an anecdote that demonstrated he remembered some things and there were staff witnesses. That staff likely took notes and the FBI will find the notes. He also described the Russian ambassador he met with as "gossipy."


Serge Kislyak has been the Russian Ambassador to the US since 2008. Jeff Sessions' news conference today placed his fate squarely in Kislyak's hands. If the Russians don't want Jeff Sessions to be the Attorney General, they have only to say, "Yes, of course we discussed the campaign." Sessions would then be job hunting. Or indicted. If Kislyak said they did not discuss the campaign, who would believe him beside Lil' Donald?

This was the statement Lil' Donald gave:
Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional. this whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election and now, they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt! 
"More accurately." Huh. Lil' Donald knows he perjured himself, too. And that said by the worst liar in political history.

So what the hell was the Russian Ambassador doing attending the Republican National Convention? Just how many people in the Republican Party have been compromised? At this point, is my belief we should look at FBI Comey, party leader Mitch McConnel, and likely many more.

Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn together met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign transition. According to CNN:
Kushner and Flynn sat down in December at Trump Tower with Sergey Kislyak, according to a senior administration official, who described it as an "introductory meeting" and "kind of an inconsequential hello."
Understand, there are more Russian connections. According to CNN:
Another national security adviser to the Trump campaign, J.D. Gordon, also disclosed Thursday that he had met with Kislyak, this time during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. That meeting was first reported by USA Today.
Gordon told CNN that along with national security advisers Carter Page and Walid Phares, Gordon stressed to the Russian envoy that he would like to improve relations with Russia.
Can we say six people that got Lil' Donald elected have connections to Russia? Holy Cats! I just don't have any more words tonight.

Day 41, 01 Year Trumpland: Bromance

No president has ever faced such wide spread investigations this early in their presidentcy as Lil' Donald. Seven investigations are looking at the link between Lil' Donald and President Putin. One General has already been fired, directly or indirectly, because of Russia. Lil' Donald has filled his cabinet with people connected to Russia. The truth alwasy has a way of leaking out. If you didn't watch Rachel Maddow tie Lil' Donald to Putin on her show last night, by way of Wilber Ross, watch this now:


Annoyed at a reporter about Russia in press briefing, Lil' Donald demanded, "How many times do I have to answer this question?" The answer is, until you tell the truth. President Obama was not blind to the Lil' Donald/Putin connection, and carefully saw to it that evidence was protected from the incoming administration, according to The New York Times. The White House spread the information among as many of the agencies as possible so Lil' Donald could not contain it, bury it, hide it in some way:

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence.

Last night House Republicans voted down attemts to advance debate on Trump-Russia allegations, according to The Washington Post. 

Putin did not want Hillary Clinton as president. Bill Clinton had furthered the protection of NATO closer to the Russian boarders. Many believe Russia didn't believe Lil' Donald would win so much as they wanted to delegitimize a Clinton presidency. Once again, I believe the news underestimates Russia. I firmly believe they intended to ellect Lil' Donald. Follow the money all the way to his trillionaire cabinet. 

Did you wonder why Jeff Sessions refused to recuse himself if Lil' donald were investigated. How about because he spoke to Russian ambassador during the president's campaign. According to the Washington Post, he did not disclose this fact during his confirmation hearing:
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.
In written and oral answers he never acknowledged Russian contact. He is now Attorney General. It is his job to uphold the laws of our land. Of course, Lil' Donald says he has total confidence in Jeff Sessions. Yep. Just like he did in Michael Flynn until he didn't. Indeed, Lil' Donald cabinet members be where. Every one of them is politically expendable if it makes him look better.

Richard Engel, investigative reporter in Russia states that following our presidential election, Russians celebrated with private parties and spoke about Lil' Donald everywhere. Public discussion has now ended. No more documentaries, headlines, speculation as to how Lil' Donald would benefit Russia. There was a "Trump band" playing rock and roll music. Then Putin suddenly told everyone to knock it off. The Kremlin denies it, but there is no further talk about Lil' Donald.

We need fair, independent hearings. We must get to bottom of the Lil' Donald/Putin contacts. And prosecute if necessary.




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day 40 01 Year, Trumpland: Hot Air

During the next three years, it will be called a State of the Union Address. The first address of a President's term, in simple called a Joint Address to Congress. Some are calling it the best speech of his political career. I am not one of them. It was another campaign speech long on promises and short on substance. And riddled with errors. Yes, the tone was improved. After 40 days in office, Lil' Donald managed both a presidential tone and mostly kept to the telpromptor. He doesn't get brownie points from me for simply doing the minimum his office requires.



Can every problem be fixed? In a Senate led by Mitchy'boy who refused to work for eight years because he didn't like President Obama? Where he broke the rules of engagment that made compromise possible? Probably not until we replace the folks who refuse to work or refuse to compromise in the House and Senate.

Let's redirect to Lil' Donald's own record. He's been in office 40 days. He finally gave an obligatory comment to hatecrime happening to our Jewish citizens. He should have done that from the beginning. His travel ban was incompetent. Lil' Donald's lies, and the lies by the White House spokespersons, are at best stupid, always unethical, and at worse dangerous. Alt-facts. That word alone is utterly unacceptable.

Lil' Donald plans to offer Congress a budget that will be dead on arrival. Demoncrats cannot, in principal, agree to his requests because they cannot support violations to human rights and the damage his direction leads our country into. The Republican Freedom Caucus is also not going to agree. There are extreme divisions in the Repubican party regarding the proposed boarder tax that make any budget almost impossible to pass. Welcome to Washington, Mr President. You should have picked up the player's manual on November 9 waiting for you at the front desk.

Lil' Donald talks about clean air, clean water and a trillion dollar in intrastructure spending while he dismantels the EPA and pushing through pipelines that threaten the drinking water of millions. Not to mention line the pockets of his trillionaire cronies and likely himself in some hidden corporation the American people do not know about. The tarriffs Lil' Donald proposes have nothing to do with bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. Those jobs belong to the robots. Job dislocation will continue with driverless cars and trucks. Soon accountants and other white color jobs will end. Taxing imports will not bring back the rust belt states. As Chuck Schumer says, it sounds like Lil' Donald favors the people but his actions favor special interests. And none of this adresses the wage earner who has seen no income growth in 25 years. 

On the way hand, Lil' Donald softened his tone toward immigration. He has suggesed there is a path to legal status for those without criminal backgrounds. However, he also has proposed VOICE, a taskforce called Victims of Immigation Crime Engagement. This is frightening to those who see this administration as encouraging hate crime. Certainly a small miniority of immigrants and illegal immiggrants have committed violent crimes. That 1% does not need it's own taskforce. 

After meeting with leaders of the healthcare industry, Lil' Donald made a comment the other day to the effect of "who knew health insurance is so complicated?" Everyone but Lil' Donald seems to have known it. Repeal and replace is a joke. But the threat to millions who have healthcare is a real and present danger not in anyway put to rest from this speech.

Lil' Donald bragged the markets brought $3 trillion in value since the election. Given the impressive state that President Obama left this country in, the rising stock markets are not surprising. Oh, and all the promise of deregulation and favoring business over the person. There has been no major volatility and there's low interest rates. That will change. What will happen when the markets crash?

Bernie Sanders spoke after the speech about the things Lil' Donald didn't say. Over half of Americans, including me, don't have anything saved for retirement but he didn't say anything about social security, Medicaid, or Medicare. Remember that during the campain he promised not to cut these programs. Indeed, he has promised a massive cut that threatens nursing home care of senior citizens and affecting healthcare of our children.

Sanders also warned that there was no mention of income equality. We have the largest gap between the wealthy and poor that we've had since the 1920s. As a result of Citizens United Federal Court decision, the protections of campain spening are gone. Lil' Donald's administration is working hard on voter suppression, making it harder for the young people, poor people, seniors and people of color to vote. While the scientific community warns of climate change, Lil' Donald promised increased dependence on fosil fuel. He did not address fixing a broken criminal justice system regarding how many people are incarcerated. He didn't discuss the need to lower the cost of college or make public colleges or universitites free or addressing the crisis of student debt.

Sanders also talked about draining the swamp into the Trump Administration. His cheif economic advisor was the former President of Golman Sacs who paid millions in fines for illegal activity. Lil' Donald also didn't mention reinstating the Glass Stegal Act.

Lil' Donald does not realize, it seems, that much of his legislation will take 60 votes to pass the Senate. If he doesn't want Democrats to stop him, he best start listening. All these grand plans are at risk of rejection by the divisions among Republicans and the Democrats. Moreover, if the Republicans can find consencus among themselves, his own party must sit down and compromise with the very Democrats they stonewalled for eight years. It seems to me that Lil' Donald is making a lot of promises he can't keep. Maybe he's just full of hot air.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Day 38, 01 Year Trumpland: We Never Win

Note, I started this blog over the weekend, and then didn't know where I wanted to go with it. Dates reflect when I started it. Today, Monday, was the president's address to the governors. It gave me the direction I needed for the comments here. So bear with the discontinuity.  I'm also working on my pad because the laptop stopped working Friday. I have no spell check. Sigh.

This morning, as I scrolled my email, I stumbled upon a Trump/Pence email. I am always annoyed by these, but glanced it over before going back and actually reading it. Here's the paragraph that most caught my eye:
You want a government that serves the people -- not the donors and not the special interests. You want a Government that keeps its promises. A great spirit of optimism is sweeping all across the country. It is a new day in America and President Donald Trump is making us proud again. 
As pundits guess what might be the content of Lil' Donald's first speech at the joint session of Congress on Tuesday, I suspect I know.
Lil' Donald's self-agrandizing behavior never relents.
This disparagement of the Obama administration, describing it as "a mess" and the implication that America not great before Lil' Donald took office continues. This email is also a prepartation for the Tuesday speech. Optimism might characterize his oligarachic appointees and blind followers like Gene Huber, but it does not characterize the people I know.

Today, Lil' Donald gave his speech before the governors, in which he said tomorrow he will be asking for a historic increase in defence spending:

...landmark event, and message to the world in these dangerous times, of America's strength, security and resolvve. We must ensure that our our courageous men and women have the tools they need to deter war, and when called upon to fight in our name and on do one thing, win. We have to win. We have to start winning wars again. I have to say when I was young and in high school and in college, everyyboy used to say we never lost a war. We never lost a war. You remember. Some of you are right thre with me and you rememer. America never lost and now we never win a war. We never win. And we don't fight to win. So we don't fight to win. So we got to win or don't fight it at all. but where we are, 17 years, almost 17 years of fighting in the Middle East--we're up. I was the chart the othere day. As of about a month ago, $6 trillion we've spent in the Middle East. $6 trillion. And I want to tell you that's just unacceptable. And went no whee. the Middle East is far worse than it was 16-17 years ago. There's not even a contest. so we've  spent $6 trillio, we have a hornet's nest, it's a mess, like you've never seen befoe, we're nowhere. So we're going to straighten it out. This defence spending increase will be offset and paid for by fnding greater savings and effenciencies across the federal governmet. We're going to do more with less. 
So the cuts so far seem planeed for State Department, non-defense programs and the EPA. Also, Lil' Donald has stated that he plans cuts to foreign aid.
Think about it. If they get rid of the three cabinets, including education, turning all of it back over to the states, you save money. Cut foreign aid. Then you advertise saving trillions which you pour into defense spending. Go back to your middle school history class. Wars are about economics.
And here's a frightening specuation - Lil' Donald goes to war in the Middle East to "win" and he breaks with law/tradition to stay in office forever because no one else can win. And his fat cat friends get fatter. The American public stays distracted by war, and the wealth pours into the pockets of the wealthy.

Democrats are not positioned to change this for four years. Yes, we have some elections in 2018 but not enough seats can change hands to sweep the changes out from under the Republicans yet. So it's up to the people. Unfortunately, most Democrats are so thin from the stollen election that they aren't looking. A dear friend said to me the other day "I read an article or two, and I can't look anymore". Most of my friends can't even talk politics with me for long before they change the subject. I don't know how my partner stands me at this point. I refuse to look away.

(Cindy's partner here - I also refuse to look away; so it's no problem!)

But sometimes we have to take a break. So I'm thinking of adding a Dandelion Resistance Day once a week to my blog. Pussy hats, inspiration, hope.

Meanwhile, here's a peek for now.

Outside those governmental halls there will be a rally sponsored by Move On. The rally is called, "Resitance Address: Defending American Values in a Time of Moral Crisis." Lil' Donald doesn't know it, but he has galvanized the Democratic party.


The Women's March has been followed by a multitude of other marches across this nation.   
                                                 

There is a Science March being planned for Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd.
Town Halls are blossoming everywhere like fairy mushroom rings - most Republican representatives are fleeing like goblins exposed to sunlight. Hilarious - and pointed - reactions are ensuing. Empty suits stood up on maniquins to represent the absent. "Missing Congressman" notices are appearing everywhere - even snuck onto milk labels in the grocery store, like the missing child notifications.  There's a political action for you!
People are becoming more savy and wily, becoming knowledgeable in how to contact their congress and senate critters, and how to speak fluently about issues and change.
In short, the debacle of Lil' Donald's election has woken a significant portion of the sleeping population of America from it's apathy and helplessness and infused them with fury and knowledge.
Lil' Donald, you have wakened a sleeping giant...and it will not willingly be turned back to slumber.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Day 36, 01 Year Trumpland: Attacks on the Press

The first amendment has been turned on it's head and manipulated by a man who has been elected president to further his agenda and actually repress free speech. Lil' Donald has declared war on the press. It's going to get ugly, folks.

I'm writing this on Saturday night because I could not bring myself to write it last night. I am aghast at Lil' Donald's behavior.  But then, what do you do with a narcissist. When  President Obama cracked a joke at Lil' Donald's expense he was not amused:


Most big boys laugh along and shrug it off. Lil' Donald took it personally. So today he announced he would not be attending the White House correspondent's dinner. Yet another purposeful insult directed at the press who refuse to look the other way from his ethical malfeasance:




Lil' Donald's behavior toward the press is that of a petulant child who stayed up too late. Unfortunatly, his behavior is interfering with the work of many reporters.

Until Lil' Donald started his campaign to destroy the media, I never thought much about the role of the press. I certainly had not understood, how outside the political processs, that their role of investigation keeps the dishonest a little more honest. And since Lil' Donald has no ethics, he also has no patience for "the fourth branch of government" - as the press is often unofficially named - who have the power to destroy him. Hence, he must destroy them first.

For the first time, yesterday correspondants were denied access to the White House briefing. Indeed, reporters who were not on the list of attendees were turned away. Those who were turned away included New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, CNN, BBC and The Guardian. The AP and Times Magazine refused to attend when they realized what was going on.

Right-wing favorites who were invited to the "gaggle" included Brietbart, The Washington Times, and On America Network.

No  organization has ever been denied access to the White House because the president didn't like what they said, until now. It's a dangerous precedent. I worry because many news organizations dismiss this attack as a smoke screen for the things this administration is doing. I agree. But I think there's also a deeper purpose.

A couple days ago Lil' Donald again went off about "fake news". He said the press should have to publish their sources, and the stories would dry up because there are no sources. Make no mistake about it. Patriots work in the various agencies. Their leaks are what gets the news to the pubic when those patriots are conerned for the well-being of our country. The reason courts don't even force journalists to reveal their sources is simple. Those sources risk their reputation, their jobs, even their lives by giving information to the press. Those leaks that Lil' Donald hates keep him from acting with impunity. But if he investigates and prosecutes those leaks; if he can control the press, then Lil' Donald and his merry band of ologarchs can gut this country's resources, bankrupt her coffers, and leave the rest of us to suffer. It's already happening.

Li'l Donald calls the media the lying press, the dishonest media.
So did someone else.
Hitler called the press the “L├╝genpresse"...the Lying Press.
Lil' Donald's followers literally have screamed the term “L├╝genpresse" at rallies, knowing full well where it came from.

And when Hitler came to power, almost his first act was to destoy the press, root and branch, murdering journalists, and ending the check and balence of a free press and freedom of speech.

Lil' Donald longs to do the same.
You can see it in his eyes.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Day 34 01 Year, Trumpland: Human Rights

Gay rights and trangender rights are human rights. The reason federal courts must protect human rights is that the majority will never protect the minority. Indeed, the majority, especially the Christian right majority, will make human rights illegal.

Case in point. In 1997 Indiana lawmakers revisited this issue by:
Revamping a law that makes furnishing false information on a marriage license a class D felony. Beginning July 1, 2014, a same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in the state of Indiana will be guilty of a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The new law also makes it a Class B Misdemeanor for a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer to perform a same-sex marriage, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Any clerk who issues a license to a same-sex couple would also be guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor.
Of course it was struck down, but want to know how people like me will loose their marriage?

This is NPR from yesterday: Trump Administration Rescinds Obama Rule On Transgender Students' Bathroom Use. Transgender students will be going to the bathroom of their assigned gender. Think about it for a moment. It's happened to my partner, who is FTM. One winter in heavy winter clothes, Cameron used the women's bathroom because it's the law. A woman screamed and ran out, fetching the police. Cameron had to show his license to prove he had a female body. This is wrong on so many levels. At least he's an adult who has a level head and handled the situation well. What's going to happen to the high school student who transitioned, has the hormones, and has to to use the female bathroom? Especially when the parents of those tender girls begin complaining?

Human rights are eroding, step by step. Ask the Jewish people. Ask the people of Muslim faith.

Now, here's how I can loose my marriage.

Let's say the Supreme Court hears an objection to gay marriage. Let's say it's struck down, referring us back to the states. South Carolina didn't have a form for two female bodied people to get married. They have one form for everyone. And it says male and female. Let's say South Carolina invalidates any license for people who lied about their birth genders. I loose my marriage.

If Rosa Parks had waited until white people gave her permission to sit at the front of the bus, she'd still be waiting. It was about human rights. She was right.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day 33, 01 Year Trumpland: America's Angry

As you, dear reader, are likely aware, I have been focused several times this month on the crazy juxtaposition of the right and left wings. We seem to glare across the country at each other, angry, suspicious and frustrated. I started listening to conservatives to find out just what the heck the Trump phenomena was and why they are such true believers. I suspect we'll be having this conversation for quite some time.

I found it reassuring when I saw this twitter posting a few minutes ago. In case you have trouble reading it, the original from Liberal Dream said, "To catch a glimpse inside the demented minds of the lunatic fringe." Professing Prof answered, "Wow. This is total paranoia. These people apparently believe anything Limbaugh or Hannity tells them. And anything they see on Fox State Media."

Just in case you didn't know, Rush Limbaugh appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He had this to say:
Wallace asked Limbaugh about his use of the term “deep state,” saying “that’s the notion that there’s an Obama shadow government embedded in the bureaucracy that is working against this new president. I think that some folks are gonna think that’s right on and some folks will think it’s awfully conspiratorial.”
“I think it works,” Limbaugh responded. “It’s the Democrat Party. It’s Hillary. It’s Obama. It’s all those people who just can’t accept that they lost.” 
 But if Liberals underestimated the Conservatives who supported Lil' Donald, the shoe is on the other foot. Yes, I'd like to be with Her. No, he's not my president. But that's a feeling and I live in reality. And regardless of who they voted for, there's a lot of people who now stand with me. There is an Indivisible group in every single Congressional group in the country. Sorry, that's not just liberal America. And it's not paid.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/02/20/not-my-presidents-day-rallies/98151790/
Indeed, Tom Cotton played smart at his Town Hall, saying he didn't care of audience members were paid, they all deserved to be heard. Lil' Donald should take note. He's attempted to delegitimize public protest. Lil' Donald has two twitter accounts, his personal one and Potus. He's tweeted 198 times in the last month from his personal one, and 73 from Potus. I find that very telling. It makes clear, in a simple number, the unprofessional nature of highest office holder.

Lil' Donald can argue all he wants that anyone who protests is being paid to do so, but he is dead wrong. This country is angry on a variety of issues. Just ask Tom Cotton or Mitchy-boy tonight.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 32, 01 Year, Trumpland: Vicious Attacks

I firmly believe that I have no right to soundly complain in my blog day after day without listening to both sides of issues. I listen to conservative talk radio on the way to and from work, 40 minutes each direction, at various times of day determined only by client schedules. I listen to The Answer, which means I'm subject to talk show hosts like Mike Gallagher and Larry Elder. I have to tell you, it truly underscores the different universes occupied by the right and left ends of politics. This morning Larry Gallagher attacked Greta van Susteren. Having heard her statement last night, I was startled by the talk show's vehemence. Here's what Greta had to say:


Greta calls for cool heads on both sides, despite the ugly press bashing Lil' Donald appears to delight in. Recall that last week, Lil' Donald ripped into the press at a press conference. He also tweeted the following:

Saturday, in Melbourne, FL, Lil' Donald again when on the attack:
I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news. The dishonest media which has published one false story after another with no sources, even though they pretend they have them, they make them up in many cases, they just don't want to report the truth and they've been calling us wrong now for two years. They don't get it. By they're starting to get it. I can tell you that. They've become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln and many of our greatest presidents fought with the media and called them out often times on their lies. When the media lies to people, I will never, ever let them get away with it. I will do whatever I can that. They don't get away with it.
To be honest, President Obama also racked up his share of complaints regarding the press. Here's what Breitbart (cringe: never thought I would bring myself to quote this blog) has an article entitled "11 Times Barack Obama Abused Press Freedom". Please know I have not fact checked this article. However, let's take it face value. This article accuses Obama of abusing the press, but it never accuses him of accusing anyone of being "fake news", or offering "alt-facts". Nor was he accused of any worse disrespect of a journalist outside this one example:
When a Major Garrett of CBS actually asked a tough question — about why the administration seemed not to be trying hard to free Americans held by Iran, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian — Obama scolded him: “Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better.”
President Obama rarely chastised anyone in the press individually. However, he obviously was frustrated with major in this example. Moreover, President Obama never indicted the media as a whole, nor questioned their integrity. Indeed, most presidents shied away from the press whereas Lil' Donald seems to thrive on media attention. And let me state the obvious. That comment in no way compares to the extreme abuse Lil' Donald throws at the press in the briefing room, on twitter or at his rally. Let me give one example from his rally:
They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda. In fact, Thomas Jefferson said, “nothing can be believed which is seen in a newspaper.” “Truth itself,” he said, “becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle,” that was June 14, my birthday, 1807. But despite all their lies, misrepresentations, and false stories, they could not defeat us in the primaries, and they could not defeat us in the general election, and we will continue to expose them for what they are, and most importantly, we will continue to win, win, win. 
Greta's a big girl, and she can surly handle criticism, whether it's deserved or not. Nevertheless, I was horrified to turn on the radio this morning and hear the horrific criticism leveled at her for calling on both sides to act like grown-ups and be responsible in what they say, whether it's the press or the president. Mike Gallager called Greta and those like her "nasty, vicious, lying scum doing everything they can to abandoning every pretense of objectivity to stop Donald Trump from governing." He went on to call MSNBC the enemy of the people. Holy cats! I've heard both sides become angry, frustrating, accusing. But that is a fowl and personal attack that is uncalled for. And it is that kind of name calling that continues to make reaching across the divide between liberal and conservative impossible. Much to the tragedy of both sides.
.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day 31, 01 Year: Trumpland: It Ain't True

The White House released a briefing today naming all of Lil' Donald's amazing accomplishments in the last 30 days. The people of Trumpland seem to think that if you say it, that makes it so.

Sorry, but just because they say it doesn't make it true.

According to Fox News, Lil' Donald is looking at the best Dow performance since 1909. Yeah, because he promises to take away regulation, to look out for business at the expense of the little guy (one executive order rescends the need to put the client's needs ahead of the business's needs), and promises tax cuts to millionaires. I don't think any of those things trickle down to Everyperson. Lowering corporate tax rate simply puts huge amounts of money in the pockets of CEOs. And if things like regulations and tax plans don't happen this year, the Dow is going down, down, down. The pros are warning about a massive market correction if those tax cuts don't come.

Realize that getting rid of Dodd-Frank opens the door to the kind of financial meltdown we saw before Obama took office. Allowing businesses to stop considering the customer's best interests is unethical and is estimated to cost "$17 billion a year in rip-off fees and bad advice".

The Progressive Common Dreams calls it this:
A day-by-day review of the Trump administration’s first month shows that virtually every day has been marked by a new, extraordinary grant of power to corporate interests and/or another development in Donald Trump’s get-rich-quick-scheme known as the American presidency, a Public Citizen report shows...
“One month into the Trump administration, and it’s clear that there has been a wholesale corporate takeover of the government,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “America has never seen anything like this, and it’s only the first month.”
Lil' Donald has ended the blocks to Keyestone and Dakota Access Pipelines. He is lifting regulations, for example, of disposal of wastewater in coal production and allowing to go to into streams.

Foreign policy ain't looking good, either. Withdrawal from TPP in sending trade to China. Coming trade wars with China and Mexico will drive American's cost up. Weaker support for NATO leaves allies questioning America's stance regarding Russia. On other hand, a Russian paper suggested the American romance with Russia is ending which leaves America with no friends at all. The Muslim ban gave excellent fodder to feed terrorist regimes.

Meanwhile, KellyAnne's banned from CNN for lying and she committed serious ethical breaches with no consequences. Sean Spicer lies regularly, or maybe the administration changes the story so quickly he can't keep up. The president reports fake terror attacks and conducts foreign and domestic policy by twitter. And seven investigations are ongoing to the Russian hacking of our election.

Free speech is leaving as Bannon tells the press to "keep its mouth shut". Today the Washington Post published an article by this title: Has the White House press office’s silence become a weapon in its war on the media? Previous administrations, not prepared to answer a media question, would respond with “the White House declined to comment” or “We’ll get right back to you.” This administration now simply does not respond at all. Given that the administration has declared the media "the enemy of the people" the silence is unsettling. Now the White House can chastise the media for not getting their facts right when they didn't even bother to respond. Holy Cats! That's a no winner.

Despite these obvious problems, the devotees of Lil' Donald remain true believers. Gene Huber (the audience member who was invited onstage at Melbourne Florida this weekend) on the Mike Galligar show today said: "Whatever comes out of his mouth is going to happen. He was already doing things in Mar-a-Lago while he was president elect. Obama was playing golf." Which part of that statement should I correct first?  The part about one President at a time that this president elect violated? Or the part about how much time Lil' Donald spends on the golf courses he owns and profits from? Or the fact he raised the prices of the membership at Mar-a-Lago to $200,00 after winning the election, thereby profiting from his office?

Michael called in on the same radio program saying, "I get my stuff from conservative radio. I turned my TV off nine years ago. I don't listen to none of that." Given that this same program went on to discourage higher education and equal pay for women, that statement is a bit foolish. Indeed, Michael might need to go take an English class.

True believers are convinced that Lil' Donald is truthful and honest. But here's what one said, according to the Washington Post:
“If he hadn’t gotten into office, 70,000 miners would have been put out of work,” Patricia Nana, a 42-year-old naturalized citizen from Cameroon. “I saw the ceremony where he signed that bill, giving them their jobs back, and he had miners with their hard hats and everything — you could see how happy they were.”
Washington Post corrected that sentiment:
The regulation actually would have cost relatively few mining jobs and would have created nearly as many new jobs on the regulatory side, according to a government report — an example of the frequent distance between Trump’s rhetoric, which many of his supporters wholeheartedly believe, and verifiable facts.
Just for the record. Remember how many times Lil' Donald criticized President Obama for his Hawaii trips? Next time you see Lil' Donald refer to his Winter White House, bear in mind that he and his family have spent $11.3 million traveling in one month. That is more than the Obama family spent in a year. And we paid for it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 30, 01 Year: Trumpland: Stuff to Worry About

Holy Cats! I don't even know how to create a cognizant blog about my thoughts today. So let's try a shot gun approach. It's all a mess today. Or maybe I am. Or both. I've also turned into a news junky since the election. So let me share the agony. 

1. Here's the headline: Trump Supporters Rally In Downtown Atlanta With Semi-Automatic Weapons.


Hey, wait, WHAT?! Yep. I read that right. While followers gathered to hear the great words of their leader yesterday, pro-Trump followers gathered in At"rally in downtown Atlanta armed with semi-automatic weapons." Of course the boys with the guns also provided their own security, carrying guns, of course. Keep an eye on these folks. They call themselves the Three Percenters.

2. Self induced crisis in the White House. Lil' Donald fired his National Security Adviser. The Labor Secretary nominee was forced to drop out due to reports of domestic violence regarding his ex-wife. Lil' Donald had to deal with reports of contact with Russian officials during his campaign. Congressional Republicans began to distance themselves from from the President and investigate his team's ties to Russia.And don't forgot Lil' Donald's disapproval rate topped out at 55% this week (thank you, Meet the Press for this short list today). ARG!

3. The President called the media the enemy. In his speech, Lil' Donald said: They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda. I find that statement chilling. Just what is "your agenda"?

4. At least seven Republican led investigative committees have started to investigate issues related to Russia, Michael Flynn, or the handling of classified information. Repeatedly pressed about these issues in his news conference, Lil' Donald refused to answer if anyone on his team anything to do with Russia. He also claimed he had no deals there, but his son bragged about Russian money. No, he has failed to complete any business deal in Russia. Yes, according to Vox, he has partnered with Russian investors to help with credit problems due to his bankruptcies. Hmm...may that's what led to his bromance with Putin?

5. The President of the US "does not have the moral authority and express the openness for a free press in other countries. A free press is being challengd in Turkey and Russia. With the President of the United States trying to delegitimize the American press does that not undercut his ability to spread freedom and advocate for press freedoms around the world?" (From Meet the Press). Reince Preibus was rather unconvincing in his response. (See my refutation of Lil' Donald's comments to this effect yesterday.)

6. "We don't have problems in the west wing," according to Preibus, and he wonders "what alternative universe they're reporting on". Huh. Talk about alternative realities. Mr  Preibus is full of it. The mess with the travel ban makes the problem clear.

7. John McCain states he's worried about the National Security Counselor because there has never been a political adviser as a permanent member (Steve Bannon-champion of the alt-right and a man who believes a war is coming). The duel role threatens the safety of our nation.

8. What role did Russia play in the 2016 election? And my thought, not spoken in the news, is who are the moles in the White House and Senate/House of Representatives?

9. The President believes the press is the enemy. The press helps preserve our liberties. The first thing dictators do, as McCain reminds us, is shut down the press.

10. Our government is in complete disarray. Of 696 jobs that require Senate confirmation to run our government, 692 remain vacant. The civil service has opted out because Lil' Donald has deeply offended them. The court system is blocking executive orders because they are poorly written illegal documents. And the intelligence community fears giving Lil' Donald information that might lead to war. Foreign officials are watching, and it makes them fear the US (Meet the Press).

11. On Tuesday, Leon Panetta told The New York Times: "I've never been so nervous is my lifetime about what may or may not happen in Washington...I don't know whether this White House is capable of responding in a thoughtful or careful way should a crisis erupt."

12. Speaking of crisis. Lil' Donald's statement yesterday about a terror attack in Sweden was completely false, like KellyAnne's Bowling Green Masacre and Sean Spicer's claim that Atlanta was attack by terror. These conspiracy theories are dangerous, not just because they demonize Muslims, but also because it endangers our foreign relationships. Sweden, by the way, was not amused:
13. Many believe North Korea's Kim Jong Un’s ordered the death of his half brother in Malaysia. They recently tested a ballistic missile. Pyongyang is highly unlikely to moderate his stance on a nuclear weapons program. This is a problem.

14. Can't figure out why someone would salute a cardboard cutout of Lil' Donald every day? The Cult of Trump in Melbourne, FL understands. My partner found an awesome article on Lil' Donald's cult appeal written last August. It's well worth the read. Here's a quote I found interesting:
That reality distortion field is in full force with Trump’s supporters. Despite his bankruptcies and spectacular business failings (Trump Vodka, anyone? No?), the notion that he’s a successful businessman who would bring the same acuity to running the country is one of the pillars of his campaign. And though nearly 80 percent of the things he says are outright lies, he manages to pin the blame on the “dishonest” and “biased” media. Many of his followers, already distrustful of mainstream news outlets, accept whatever rationalization he provides, no matter how outlandish.

I don't know about you, but I'm not sleeping well. Neither are a lot of people. In October 13, 2016, an APA Survey Reveals 2016 Presidential Election Source of Significant Stress for More Than Half of Americans. Since that article came out, the Washington Post had come out with one about concern for where our country is headed:
While Democrats surveyed were overwhelmingly more stressed about the election outcome than Republicans (72 percent to 26 percent), a majority of people from both parties, 59 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats, said they are stressed about the future of the country.
At least I'm not alone.