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.
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.

Day 29, 01 Year Trumpland: The Great Divide

The division between those who support Lil' Donald and those who do not tragically continues to widen. Indeed, it's become a chasm. I wish had an answer, but I feel like I might just be screaming into the chasm as well, with only an echo coming back. But I haven't entirely lost hope...but it's not the hope of blindness I observed today. Let's look at the divide...

MSNBC conducted an interview today with a Midwestern man from De Beque, Iowa. This long time Democratic town flipped for Lil' Donald. They asked John, who works in manufacturing and is a Union member, why he voted for Lil' Donald. The voter said he was nearing retirement, thought a businessman would be helpful, their investments haven't gotten a high return. He hopes a "return" to a capitalistic system [when was American not capitalistic?] would boost the value of those investments. Indeed, he voted for Lil' Donald because he is motivated by fear. Even the Russian stories don't change the faith he has in Lil' Donald. He called media exploitative, and he prefers to listen to Lil' Donald instead.

Today Lil' Donald spoke in Melbourne, Florida before a crowd of 9,000 people who gathered starting at 4 in the morning to hear him. The lines extended around the entire boundary of the airport. People started lining up at 4 in the morning to see their president. Indeed, watching this event, listening to hours of commentary afterward, it wasn't until today,when my partner told me about an article he seen, that I learned the crowd was 40% less than his September 2016 campaign. 15,000 attended in September 2016 and some were turned away. This time it was 9,000. Reports kept talking about tickets being sold out, so it was difficult for me to recognize that it was a smaller crowd. Sadly, this will become part of the alternative facts world and become spun into a narrative of massive attendance and spoken of all next week like it was a revolution.

As people lined up all day, they brought their signs. Every bully needs an enemy, and Lil' Donald's speeches have persuaded his followers that all news outlets lie. Signs like Very Fake News and protesting news stations like CNN were everywhere. Transforming news into "fake news" was brilliant because Lil' Donald can then become the sole controller of news by speaking directly to the people. His populist, nationalist approach transforms people into followers and true believers. And a juxtaposition of "us" and "them". Ironically, they create the fake news and then believe it.

Back to the rally. Lil' Donald made his grand entrance on Air Force one to the cheering of the masses. Understand, using Air Force one is a problem. Lil' Donald had promised two days before not to use it for a prop at a rally. He travels in Air Force One, so I'm not sure how to approach that. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but it looks like a prop here:

Lil' Donald has a history of using air plane hangers as theatrical venues. Regarding the use of Air Force One for the rally, Washington Post says:
Trump would enter into a legal and ethical gray zone, as the president is not allowed to use government resources for political campaigns. The president is allowed to travel on Air Force One to campaign events — actually, he's required to do so and doesn't have the option of flying commercial.
So Air Force One will lend credence to the rallies over the next 4 years, like it or not.

The crowds were impressive at the rally:

Profoundly Christian music played, calculated to please the Evangelicals and yet it is commonly known that Lil' Donald is not a man of faith. He neither attends church, or has a working knowledge of the bible. By the way. See the signs in the background "Blacks for Trump 2020"? These folks are members of separatist group founded by Yahweh ben Yahweh. He was "convicted of conspiring to murder white people as an initiation rite". Their website is: These guys are scary, but so are all conspiracy theory driven lunatics. Which seem to flock to Lil' Donald all the way to the White House.

Anyway, he played the Battle Hymn of the Republic as a marshal Christian anthem, when it is actually the great abolitionist anthem from the northern side of the Civil War. Talk about creating a great divide. A point possibly lost in irony on southerns present today. For the full speech, see below:

It was fascinating to see Melania lead the crowd in the Lord's prayer. The whole thing was obviously carefully crafted to please his extreme right Christian fan base. In sharp contrast, signs were waved about the Fake Media and Hillary for Prison. Indeed, Lil' Donald seemed pleased by the latter stopping to read it and acknowledge it's bearer. In fact, newscasters stated no one was allowed to bring in their own signs, but that they were provided. Looks like a sea of home made signs anyway:

Lil' Donald opened his speech in a very nationalist and populist vein. He called the listeners hard working Americans, patriots, his friends. He stated he wanted to be among "his people". Given that he's never punched a clock a day in his life on a factory floor, let his tiny hands touch less than gold in his bathroom, or known hunger or poverty, the hypocrisy is a bit thick. 

From this he spring boarded immediately, without transition, into an attack on the media, his ongoing obsession. Although he certainly used the media when he attacked President Obama or called on Russia to find Hillary's email. The following is from this diatribe: 
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. 
Lil' Donald's audience is suspicious of the educated and hold no understanding or respect of research or scientific proof. Indeed, through Lil' Donald's carefully crafted speech, it is American to disbelieve those who lay claim to research or verified sources. By claiming that the news uses fake sources, a claim that his followers wallow in, Lil' Donald places the news and the press in the impossible position of having to prove a negative, because the fan base starts with disbelief of any source purely because it is the news and Lil' Donald said so. Furthermore, Lil' Donald's nationalism and populism deny the possibility of non-partisan or bipartisanship, his followers cannot conceive of unbiased bipartisan or non-partisan facts. If it does not fit their world view, it has to be wrong. Bipartisanship is an impossibility. Hence the requirement of an "us" or "them" world in which there must always be an enemy. This is what his speech today is carefully crafted to create under the guise of a campaign speech.

Buzzfeed asked Lil' Donald supporters today about their news consumption. Folks answer with the following:
Supporters told BuzzFeed News their media consumption has changed during the campaign, and others said they get their news from right-leaning outlets, Facebook, and Russia Today, a Kremlin-backed news outlet.
I assume they are readers of Breitbart, and then going to RT because Breitbart does. It is a dangerous trend when Americans trust Russia Today before their own mainstream media and a strong indication that state sponsored media, such as that which Lil' Donald would control, would be considered welcome. In other words, reading Russia Today which is controlled by Putin and allegedly "the truth" acclimates these fans to the idea they only the get the truth from Lil' Donald. So when he shuts down mainstream media, these fans will cheer because the state sponsored media will get the "truth" out there. Lil' Donald cautioned:
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. 
 Lil' Donald, who has no respect for scholarship or context or history has completely screwed up Thomas Jefferson's intent. If you would like to read the quote in context, click here. In essence, Jefferson was writing a letter to a friend and apparently answered a question regarding the role of American newspapers in the perceptions of the common man.

In context, however, Jefferson speaks of the press publishing facts as valuable, equates suppression of the press as equivalent to the damage done by lying, and that the truth would find few subscribers, a truth entirely substantiated by Lil Donald's fact resistant loyal fan base. Indeed, here's what Jefferson truly thought about the role of government and the news:
...and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.
The need of a free and independent press was well understood by our founding fathers, hence the first amendment. The alternative is a dictatorship as Senator John McCain warns:

And yet Trump rebrands the press as fake news:
We are not going to let the fake news tell us what to do, how to live, or what to believe. We are free and independent people and we will make our own choices.
In this simple statement, Lil' Donald has created an alternative universe. In Trumpland, fracking, mining coal, and dumping waste proves we are free to act as we choose without responsibility or foresight or concern for successive generations to come. In Trumpland, we don't have to live with differences of faith, of color, or anybody different from"us". In Trumpland, it is American to chose alternative news. In Trumpland, we believe what we what to choose to believe, regardless of facts, scientific evidence, or educational requirements. In Trumpland, we are free of academia, dissenting views, and legislation that limits our control.

Moreover, some followers are over the top. Gene Huber, from Boynton Beach, Florida often talks about Lil' Donald on social media. Apparently, Lil' Donald watched the tv on the way to the rally in Air Force One, and saw Gene. When he saw Gene in front of him, he invited the fan onto the stage, much to the consternation of the Secret Service:

In the interview after the rally, Gene had a story for the reporter. Frighteningly, Gene has a 6 foot cardboard cut out that look like Trump in his living room and salutes it every day.

Image result for raw story gene huber trump

May I point out the obvious and say this is nuts. And, more importantly, signifies the cult following that the would be dictator is creating. Lil' Donald said there was a terrorist attack in Sweeden the previous night as part of this speech. Wrong. There was not. But this audience, including Gene, believe it. Indeed, people like Gene are looking for a Mesiah. Someone to save them from the world that feel so radically difficult them from.

While Lil' Donald continued to widen the division within America today, the division between America and the rest of the world became extremely apparent today as well. While Lil' Donald's speech drew the attention of domestic news media and the citizens of our country, the rest of the world was watching VP Pence:

On the street a reporter asked Pence's stance on NATO and he indicated his position is the same as the president's. Make no mistake about it. Russia is becoming a growing threat to the nations of Europe. They already carved off Crimea, and everyone watches the boarder wondering who is next. Lil' Donald initially scorned NATO and seemed to want to want an ally in Russia. However, instead of reassuring our allies, Pence created more concern:
Instead, he left some of his European allies confused and alarmed, angry at being chastised for failing to pull their weight in the defense alliance, and concerned that too little attention is being paid to the future of the European Union.
Think about this one. VP Pence spoke to NATO, chastising them for not carrying enough of the financial costs of NATO. He had General Mattis with him, but no National Security Adviser because Michael Flynn was sacked. And where the hell was Rex Tillerson, our Secretary of State? Why wasn't he there?

As the divide widens between Trump supporters and everyone else, between America and the rest of the world, we are all at risk. United we stand, Divided we fall. And I weep for George Huber. In the end, his Messiah will betray him, as he will us all.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Day 28, 01 Year, Trumpland: Divided We Fall

Rachel Maddow has recapped the threats to the free press a number of times, but I'm going to summerize what she had to say tonight. Please understand, the threat to the free press is real. If you don't want the state sponsored equivalent of RT in Russia, pay attention.

Hulk Hogan was caught in bed with someone else's wife and reported on GAWKER in 2012. GAWKER had a rich, vindictive, billionaire enemy by the name of  Peter Theil paid for the lawyer who represented Hogan. The point was not the $140 million verdict. The lawsuit was structured to put the newspaper out of business. And it worked. It disappeared the publication when GAWKER went bankrupt. It only took $10,000 in lawyer fee for the win.

Last year Peter Theil spoke at the Republican National Convention on behalf of Lil' Donald. He helped staff the new administration and organize tech meetings for the tech community and Lil' Donald. Moreover, he gave Lil' Donald a noteworthy gift: his lawyer Charles Harter, who is now representing the First Lady of the United States. The blogger and the newspaper The Daily Mail issued retractions and apologies to Melania. The blogger settled. She personally showed up in a routine scheduling conference to show she was serious about the lawsuit.

Lil' Donald's attack on mainstream media, as well as the elevation of Christian conservative blogs in the White House press room, is alarming. Today, after that crazy 78 minute attack level press conference, Lil' Donald tweeted this;
Originally the word "sick" was at the end. The original tweet was deleted, and this is the retweet.

The White House has started giving press credentials in the White House briefing room to "random, pro-Trump blogs" as reported by Maddow. Indeed,  Lil' Donald is waging war on the press. Jared Kushner summoned a Time Warner executive to complain about political coverage on CNN. Remember CNN has a pending merger with AT&T and, during the campaign, Lil' Donald said it would never be approved because he doesn't like their commentary. Or how about how White House correspondent April Ryan was treated during the briefing yesterday? It makes Saturday night live look tame.

But what happens when Lil' Donald starts making mainstream news disappear? Make no mistake about it. Lil' Donald is consolidating power, preparing to dismantle various cabinets like the EPA, and discrediting media. And have you wondered about all of these members of Congress that are refusing to meet with constituency? Maybe they know why it will be unnecessary to their reelection?

Once Lil' Donald controls the dissemination of news, we won't know the truth. Worse, he said in yesterday's press conference that he's only representing the interests of Republican people. He has no obligation, to his mind, of all citizens. The words for this is either you are for me or you are against me. He's thinking that these highly gerrymandered districts, in order for these representatives to win their next election, must be on side side. It won't be long, if Lil' Donald has his way, that will live in Trumpland for real.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 27,01 Year Trumpland: Sound and Fury

Did you hear about today's press conference at the White House? It was the epitome of a sound and fury, signifying nothing.

He got his wish. He got another cover on Time. His response is that this
administration is running like a "fine tuned machine." Snort, I say. 
First, as a therapist I want to teach Lil' Donald how to make "I statements" because "you people" is so offensive. But let's be honest. Insults are the point. If he can create a world of "you people" then everything "you people" say becomes suspect, fake news. Consequently, when you say that I've done something wrong, "we" all know "you people" lie. Here's an example:
“Here’s the problem: The public, they read newspapers, they see television, but they don’t know if it’s true or false, because they’re not involved ... I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved, so I know when you’re telling the truth and when you’re not.”
He's been involved in what all of his life? Certainly not the study of economics if he had to Mike Flynn at 3:00 AM to find out which is better, a strong dollar or a weak dollar. Certainly not politics as he has never held an office. Certainly not finance given his record of bankruptcies and determination to bankrupt this nation on a wall. Certainly not public speaking since he cannot stay on topic or stop attacking people verbally. Or speak above the level of a sixth grade education. Certainly not constitutional law as he has no clue as to how write legislation or make sure his executive orders are well written. Certainly not the language arts as he can't spell check his way out of a paper bag.

Indeed, (please forgive me, Dillon Thomas), Lil' Donald only seems to "rage, rage, against the dying of the light." Perhaps he'd do better to sit down and shut up till he has something presidential to say.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Day 26, 01 Year, Trumpland: Square Circles

It was a day of square circles in Washington:
  • Lil' Donald blaming the media for the fall of Michael Flynn
  • Lil' Donald changed the narrative of decades of policy toward Israel
  • Lil' Donald answered a question about the anti-Semitism rising in the US by talking about his electoral college victory
All this, in a matter of moments as he stood next to Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu's jaw dropped. The Prime Minister actually finished the answer to the question regarding anti-Semitism. It's just embarrassing. Meanwhile, Jarred Kushner smirked from the front row.

Tonight The Wall Street Journal said the
"U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter."
The article cites deep distrust of the President, mostly over the Russia allegations. I think he would make all evidence, if he could.

Meanwhile, Lil' Donald left his Vice President in the dark for two weeks despite knowing he'd put his credibility on the line over Michael Flynn. He looks the other way regarding KellyAnne Conway (who, according to MSNBC is "booking herself on television shows for her own agenda and bailiwick"). Oh, never mind that Lil' Donald blamed the media for his loss of trust in Flynn, but previously Sean Spicer alluded to other incidents of a lack of trust. That's now a square circle in Trumpland.

Meanwhile the Russians buzzed our ship up close. We have surveillance by Russia 30 miles off the coast of Delaware, as I wrote about last night. Not to mention the cruise missile having been fired. Also, understand, as reported on MSNBC, our allies in Europe have been investigating the links between Russia and Lil' Donald since August. Indeed, the radical changes in US policy, determined by Lil' Donald, is not in our best interest. The world is becoming convinced that Lil' Donald has been compromised. Guess the honeymoon is over.

Flynn is now known to have regular, frequent contacts with Russian intelligence during the campaign. Meanwhile, Russia was manipulating our election. Huh. We have lots of square circles.

Don't forget Jeff Sessions was a part of Trump's campaign and looking the other way made him Attorney General. And he's already refused to recuse himself in case of investigation. Further, Paul Ryan and Mitchy Boy have sabotaged any investigation. Don't know why that sabotage benefits Ryan, but Mitchy Boy has a wife sitting on the cabinet. 

BTW. Do you really believe Pence didn't have a clue this was going on? Really? Want a square circle?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Day 25, 01 Year: Trumpland: Corruption Continues

Meanwhile, Lil' Donald and Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence committee, have identified their concern regarding "illegal leaking" as the thing they're most worried about, yet Lil' Donald vowed to stop the secrecy and elitism  in Washington. Let's be honest. They are just pissed that the leaks narked out General Flynn and Lil' Donald's own culpability. The leaking doesn't create a story; it reveals it," according Chris Matthews. I agree. Indeed, if they can focus on the leaks, they can avoid attention on their own behavior.

Lindsay Graham pointed out that is ridiculous to think Flynn established this cordial relationship with Russia without Lil' Donald knowing what he's doing. The double standard that is going on is crazy. Jason Chevez, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued 70 subpoena after it was determined that there was no criminal activity going on with Clinton's email servers. We know that with the DNC leaks, Russia affected the results of the election. Flynn was on the phone talking about sanctions. We have enough evidence of a relationship between this administration and Russia. We need an investigation now.

Mitchy Boy wants to look at these connections between Russia and this administration in the Intelligence Committee in the Senate so he can keep everything quiet. Maybe look the other way. Hmmm.... His wife was amply rewarded with an appointment.

Russia is making it clear, since Lil' Donald went off script this weekend and said that he stands behind Japan 100%, that they are not happy. They have positioned a spy submarine off the coast of Delaware. They carried out flights near a Navy warship.  Now they have launched a ground launched missile, which violates treaty. So how long until Russia releases WickiLeaks on Lil' Donald? It should have been careful who got he got in bed with. Putin's a jealous lover and this bromance maybe in trouble.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 24, 01 Year, Trumpland: Miller Time

“First of all, 72 individuals, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, have been implicated in terroristic activity in the United States who hail from those seven nations, point one.” — White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Feb. 12, 2017

Steven Miller also stated unequivocally that Lil' Donald's authority on the ban "will not be questioned." Too bad, because many of us are. A lot. Stephen Miller has stated there have been 72 individuals implicated. Really? Because Washington Post very carefully analyzed this claim, breaking it down to people and charges and gave Mr Miller 3 Pinocchios out of a possible 4. Meaning that if you squint hard, there's a smidgen of accuracy and a lot of lying going on. Mr Miller needs to get his facts straight. Indeed, it's another blatant example of this administration's attempting to manipulate facts to suit the Trumpian Universe.

So let's talk about another Trumpian Alternative Fact. Miller also repeated Lil' Donald claims that voter fraud occurred because thousands were bused in from Massachusetts on Election Day to New Hampshire to vote for Hillary. But Miller gave absolutely no proof. Nevertheless, he earned a tweeted "Good job!" from Lil' Donald. Newsday also address the question of illegal immigrants voting:
Miller's claim about an "astonishing" number of non-citizens who are registered to vote is based on a study that has been disputed in academia and misrepresented in the political arena.
For those who want to wade through the article at Washington Post that discusses where Lil' Donald gets his "proof" click here. Frankly, he picks sources according to who agrees with him. He sends people on his administration onto the stage of television and enjoys the drama it creates. If we look at voter fraud, we don't look at what he is really doing. And voter fraud allows Lil' Donald a narrative that saves his over inflated ego.

At the end of the day, all we can do is watch what this administration does, not what they say. And always remember the stunning number of unethical choices Lil' Donald already has publicly made such as the lack of tax returns, blaming voter fraud for the loss of the popular vote, and claiming to be such a supporter of business women but not putting them equally on his cabinet as our Canadian neighbor does. Oh, don't forget the money he is earning from being president on his business and investments because he doesn't follow the same rules as everyone else to prevent ethical violations. There is your best predictor.

Indeed, when we take a step back, the truth is that we can debunk, and we can chase details, and they can throw out half truths and alternative facts, and and they can take refuge that conflicts of interest does not apply the president, and we talk about the emoluments clause *wink, wink*, but when the dust settles, these all individuals who care nothing about ethics. They care nothing about government or the people of the United States. They are there for their own power, greed, lust and self-aggrandizement any way they can get it. They do not care who they treat with or what they do to achieve not a government, but their own selfish means.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Day 23, 01 Year, Trumpland: Trumpian Dinner and a Show

An hour before dinner the call comes. While Lil' Donald polishes his hair, North Korea test fired a ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan. Despite receiving this news, the show must go on. Rather than a private dinner, Lil' Donald takes the Prime Minster of Japan to dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Lil' Donald loves making these grand entrances as patrons with huge checkbooks get a few moments with "THE PRESIDENT".

Sitting on the terrace, eating their salads, Donald took the call from his "mobile phone in the middle of the table" about a missile that was SHOT AN HOUR BEFORE. (Insert voice of outrage here.) WHAT!? The president of the United States and the Japanese Prime Minister ate iceberg lettuce and took a call on a cell phone concerning national security in the middle of a private dining room while other patrons looked on and waiters came and went at the table?!!!!

Conducting national security in a public setting.

Imagine the conversation in the kitchen as the waiter announces the latest to the chief. Where the fuck is the line for confidentiality? Diners enjoy the drama as they lean in to hear the conversation. Lil' Donald and his guests crowd together over the paperwork and phone calls to Tokyo and Washington.CNN reports:
Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo.
It was so dark on the patio that the moonlight and candles weren't enough to read, but the light from cell phones seemed to help. Seriously.

But wait! There's more! The entertainment for Mar-a-Lago patrons doesn't end here. A wedding was underway in the ballroom. Lil' Donald can't resist the limelight and attention. After mentioning seeing the wedding party on the lawn earlier in the day, here's the telling statement: "They've been members of this club for a long time," Trump said of the newlyweds. "They've paid me a fortune."

Day 22, 01 Year, Trumpland: Going up in Flames

I took a day off from the news yesterday, so let this one count for yesterday. Grrr. I got up this morning and was faced with the lies. So here we go.

Fricken, ficus, fudge!

OK, so I have lily white skin and have not previously understood ICE policy or the long history of their role to break up families, arrest illegals, etc before it ever became a news bite. As a matter of fact, the step-brother who has not spoken to me in 18 years was customs in the drug interdiction unit. It was not specifically his job to deport people (although in the 7 years he served after being in the Army, I have no doubt he did his share). He grew his hair to ass, got multiple tattoos and a bad-ass bike to go undercover to stop drugs from crossing the border. The only other thing I know about it is that he got shot 7 times, the last time by his own agency, and got out due to the corruption.

On to today's news.

Stephen Miller, Senior Policy Advisor to the President on Meet the Press this morning:
If people don't like the immigration laws of the United States, they can reform them. Our emphasis is on deporting and removing criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety. And I just want to say this. There's been a lot of coverage in the news about the effects of these enforcement actions on people who are here illegally. And that's an issue that people are free to discuss. But what's more important, and should be discussed more is the lives that being saved, Chuck. The American lives that being saved because we're taking enforcement action.
Lil' Donald weighed in with this on Twitter:

And this:

Never mind ICE claims the raids were planned before the refuge ban (a little fact checking here). But Lil' Donald wants you to know that immigration crack down is "keeping campaign promise". Understand, President Obama was nicknamed Deporter in Chief. According to ABC news last fall:
Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who "self-deported" or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

President Obama directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to focus on criminals, not families, during his November 2014 executive action on immigration.
According to their website, "ICE has continued to increase its focus on identifying, arresting, and removing convicted criminals in prisons and jails, and also at-large arrests in the interior." 
In fiscal year 2015, 91 percent of people removed from inside the U.S. were previously convicted of a crime. 
The administration made the first priority "threats to national security, border security, and public safety." That includes gang members, convicted felons or charged with "aggravated felony" and anyone apprehended at the border trying to enter the country illegally.
OK, I am not going to argue the damage we are doing to American families, depriving American children of their mother, or repeat the horrors a friend who lives in border town recounts of dead children on a soccer field following a round up, or any of the other horrific things ICE had done in the name of law.That's an argument of another day.

Here's what Obama had to say about who they wanted to target:
Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day," Obama said in November 2014 when announcing his executive action on immigration.
Understand, these families who lost their mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have been caught up in a political game of  smoke and mirrors. Presidents have always targeted illegal immigrants and have been sensitive to refugees. Lil' Donald has created a myth that he is standing up for the law when no one else has. It is nonsense. Mr Obama was a constitutional lawyer. As a matter of fact, Bill Clinton was lawyer and both men attempted to stand up for our constitution.

Lil' Donald wants power, and is using this issue to keep his base aflame. He even brought up the fact he is keeping his campaign promise. He knows that if he ever looses that fiery support from his rabid fan base, he's going up in flames.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Day 21, 01 Year Trumpland: Corruption

Anyone with a professional license knows the deal. In grad school you begin the process of sitting through long classes on ethics. Even very good teachers struggle to keep the attention of students. So when you get your much coveted professional license, you still sit through at least six hours of an ethics class every two years. Too bad the president, his cabinet, and even Capitol Hill doesn't have the same requirement.

Yesterday, KellyAnne Conway, Counselor to the president, had the audacity to plug Ivanka Trump's products after the president had already complained via Twitter when Nordstom pulled her things from the shelf because they aren't selling. Sean Spicer stated, during the White House briefing, that KellyAnne had been "counseled." Today Fox News followed up on the story. KellyAnne assured the reporter that the president, her boss, backs her 100%. Understand, KellyAnne knows that if the president backs her 100%, nothing will happen to her. Nevertheless, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Government Ethics for violation of federal law and ethics standards. The government, and all government spokespersons, are supposed to represent all the people, not just the daughter of the president. KellyAnne's words were: "I'm going to give it a free commercial here. Go buy it today."

In a 2:00 AM vote, Tom Price owns biotech stock which is conflict of interest. He bought this stock while he proposed legislation that increased his personal financial gain. It is his ethical responsibility to serve patient and public interest first over the interest of a company or one individual. This is only the tip of the iceberg for the Trump cabinet.

Even more troubling, General Michael Flynn spoke to Russia about the sanctions that Russia was about to receive from the Obama administration. Think about that one. They have no established that he intended to convey a promise to take action after the president took office. Therefore, they have not established that the general has broken the law. Nevertheless, we have a horrible ethical question.

Let's be honest. The corruption begins with the president. He has refused to separate his business promotion and political interests. He has refused to reveal his tax return because he doesn't want the public to see his financial ties. The travel ban conveniently names countries where he does not have financial ties. And while he campaigned on making products in America, he and his daughter manufacture their products overseas. Indeed, the Ivanka Trump line is manufactured in China.

As a licensed professional, I would have been in front of an ethics board and likely lost my license for these kinds of violations. In Washington, we are calling it alternative facts, or the new normal.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 20, Year 01 Trumpland: Bullying

It enrages me to see a man elected to office make personal attacks via Twitter. If Lil' Donald has an issue with someone, he should be saying to them in person. He's nothing but a bully.

Businesses are not safe from Tweet storms. The Washington Post reported in December that: "Shares of stock in aircraft manufacturer Boeing fell nearly $2 a share before markets opened on Tuesday," following this tweet from Lil' Donald:
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
Realize that wasn't the whole story. Lil' Donald talked big about saving money during his campaign as he compared his plane to Air Force One, and called the presidential a "step-down." I suspect the facets aren't gold plated. However, according to WaPo:
Once Trump received a Secret Service detail, the agency paid $1.6 million for its agents to travel with him -- money that went to TAG Air, a company owned by Trump.
Turns out Trump's tweet was a tantrum:
As it turns out, though, the Trump tweet may not have been unprompted. CNN's Jake Tapper noted on Twitter that shortly before the tweet (which was posted at 8:52 a.m. Eastern) the Chicago Tribune posted an article quoting the company's CEO, Dennis Muilenberg. (The comments were made at a speech on Friday, not in an interview with the Tribune, as this article originally indicated.)
Yesterday's attack on Nordstrom didn't affect their profits, however. Likely due to boycotts of Ivanka's products, sales are down and Nordstrom announced they were no longer carrying her products. Given the conflict of interest, I applaud that decision. Lil' Donald was offended, and attacked Norstrom on twitter:
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
Neiman Marcus recently stopped selling Ivanka's products on its website. While products are still in the store, TJMaxx has removed all special promotions signs. So more businesses are pushing back.

Last week he attacked Chuck Schumer for "fake tears." Today he's attacked Richard Blumenthal, who made his mistake public in 2010 and apologized, because he didn't like what the senator said about the supreme court pick.

States are also attempting to push back. We all know about battles with immigration and sanctuary cities. Now South Carolina has refused to pay for cleaning up Lil' Donald's mess. He had a shady deal with his son to take over a company that requires environmental clean up, claimed he didn't know the person who created the problem, and requested SC to foot the bill.

Lil' Donald's wife isn't any better. The first lady hasn't taken her battles to twitter, but to court:
Melania, filed a libel lawsuit that described her “multiyear term” as “one of the most photographed women in the world” — an apparent reference to her status as a candidate’s wife and now first lady — as a lucrative business opportunity. And Mr. Spicer, the White House spokesman, has urged people to visit the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which opened late last year.
Holy shit is it ever going to be a long four years.