Saturday, January 27, 2018

When Does Partisanship Cross the Line into Treason? We're There.

I doubt if anyone could detest Donald Trump more than I do but I save my harshest judgment for the Republicans.

I think they have moved from being a solid, reliable party that could be depended upon to defend the norms and traditions of our system and the rule of law to morph into a party so hungry for power that there was no norm they wouldn't smash, no tradition they wouldn't trash and no law they wouldn't crash.

I personally think it began with Clinton. The Republicans were willing to throw our government into total disarray in their lust to bring down a Democrat president. After months of investigation, Clinton's impeachment came down to the low crime and misdemeanor of a blow job. In the end, they didn't convict him but their vengeance called for the next best thing - publishing the entire salacious scandal on the internet. They had to settle for humiliation.

The Bush years were relatively calm for the Republicans but then came Obama and their partisanship ramped up to derangement levels. They would approve nothing Obama wanted, even things they had pushed for before, like the Individual Mandate and Cap and Trade. They vowed to make him a one-term president no matter what that took. They engaged in governing by crisis - shutdowns and sequesters and near-defaults on our debt (which resulted in our credit rating being downgraded).

They paraded as fiscal conservatives but they passed huge tax breaks without paying for them (they were supposed to pay for themselves but, of course, they didn't. And they put two wars on our credit card so that the deficit soared.

The Hastert Rule which stated that it was never enough for a majority of Congress to approve legislation, it had to be a majority of the majority - in other words, a majority of Republicans - became their norm. And during all that time in Afghanistan and Iraq, they refused to do their jobs by debating and renewing the authorization for war. They wanted to leave Obama hanging out on his own so if it turned bad (which it did), they could say it was all the president's fault.

They did things which had never been done before like holding a Supreme Court vacancy open for 14 months so they could claim it for themselves.

And then came the Donald and things went from bad to disastrous. They know their president is a corrupt con man but they rubber stamp everything he does. They know that he colluded with the Russians and obstructed justice but instead of taking it seriously, they keep coming up with faux-scandals that turn out to be nothing to try to muddy the waters so that if and when Trump is found guilty, they can say it was all a "witch hunt".

Their congressional investigations are a farce. Devin Nunes pulls a ridiculous stunt like pretending he was bringing the White House information about the illegal unmasking of Trump officials when he actually got what information he had (which had no legitimacy) from the White House. Nunes then recused himself from the investigation - but not really. Instead he was working behind the scenes the entire time.

The Republicans and their cohorts in the conservative media have worked tirelessly to undermine the Justice Department, the F.B.I., the Intelligence agencies, our previously most trustworthy defenders against terrorism. They have claimed there was a secret group in the F.B.I. plotting to take down Trump, which was a joke. They released memos from an F.B.I. agent and F.B.I. lawyer criticizing Trump but not the ones equally as critical of Hillary, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, et al.

Now Nunes claims to have a memo (which he wrote himself) that he's threatened to reveal to other Republicans though not to the F.B.I. or Justice Department (because they can't be trusted, you know) despite the warning from these agencies that publicizing classified information could be dangerous to our national security. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, continues to let this rogue congressman run wild.

They have not raised a finger to thwart the Russians from interfering in the 2018 election although we positively know what all Putin did in 2016.

This goes beyond malfeasance and steps across the line into treason.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Did You Know.....?


* Almost all the members of the National Parks Advisory Board quit this week (we don't know exactly because it is still in flux at this time). In the year since Donald Trump made Ryan Zinke the Interior Secretary, he has never met with them one time although the administration wants to remove land from National Parks, something no other president has ever done.

* When a government official like Kevin McCarthy flies to Mar-a-Lago to have dinner with Donald Trump, the taxpayers pay for Mr McCarthy's plane trip and pays Trump for his food and room, even though they were both coming back to Washington the next day. We're generous-hearted souls, aren't we?

* The Trump administration is lightening the regulations on payday lenders - this was after the group had its conference at Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.. Connected?

* The Trump administration is opening mining and drilling off all America's coastlines....except for Florida. Guess Trump doesn't want a drilling rig off the coast of Mar-a-Lago, huh?

* Many of OSHA's inspectors have quit or been fired and they aren't being replaced. Good luck to you if your employer decides to forego some of their safety policies.

* The Trump EPA is approving chemicals that were rejected by previous administrations as too dangerous.

*There were at least 19 Trump administrations transition/administration officials involved meetings with Putin's government. No administration as ever been as heavily involved in Russia. Suspicious?

* Republicans are now arguing that Trump, in an immigration meeting, didn't call Haiti and Africans nations shitholes but shithouses. Can someone explain the difference to me?

* It has been determined that the big winners in the Republican tax plan will be the big banks - yes, the very same ones that brought us to the brink of bankruptcy with their greedy, dishonest ways.

The Trump administration rescinded the regulation that mandated that investment bankers have to make decisions with the best interests of their clients at heart.

More jobs were created in the U.S. in each of the last six years of the Obama presidency than in 2017.

I could literally go on in this same vein forever but did you notice what these "did you knows" have in common? Not one of them is for the benefit of the middle class.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

America's Dear Leader


Well, we stumbled into 2018. So far, it feels pretty much like 2017. On the morning of December 31, 2017, the temperature read minus 9 degrees. By this morning of January 1, 2018, it had dropped to minus 11 degrees. Trump tweeted a New Year's Tweet that was as ungracious as usual. You'd have thought after the flamboyant New Year's Eve gala at Mar-a-Lago that featured bigwigs and red carpets and furs and jewels and any number of exotic dishes, he might have been filled with good will and passed on getting a New Year's dig in on his enemies but nope, he couldn't resist. There isn't a morsel of grace in his soul.

It's taken me two years but I finally realized why I detest Donald Trump so much: it's because of the pleasure he takes in playing the humiliation game. I've always thought humiliating someone is the worst thing you can do to them. Human beings can bear up under pain but not being stripped of their pride and dignity. I remember when the photos of Abu Ghraib were released. They literally made me sick. Leading prisoners around on all fours by means of collars and leashes. Rubbing them with human feces. Making them wear diapers. Making them stand on narrow boxes with electrodes around their testicles so they'd get a shock if they lost their balance. I was stunned that Americans would stoop that low.

I might be able to hurt someone if I was angry enough at whatever they had done but I couldn't humiliate them because humiliating a human (or hell, an animal, for that matter) humiliates you too. It shows what a pathetic human being you are. Humiliation happens when some being has more power than another and enjoys taking advantage of the situation by forcing the other to submit to moral indignities.

And I have come to the conclusion that it is this very quality about Donald Trump that so many of his acolytes love. It must make them feel superior when he labels black football players thugs and Mexicans  rapists and murderers and Muslims  terrorists. They crowed when he showed his contempt for women like Megyn Kelly and Elizabeth Warren. They howled when he labeled Hillary crooked and nasty. They cackled at his demeaning nicknames for his opponents - Little Marco and Lying Ted and Low Energy Jeb.

And yet, except for the women, he has a way of making people eat shit and act like they like it. Every one of those opponents came back to kneel before the throne before the election was over. Everyone who comes in contact with Trump is diminished. Mike Pence has elevated obsequiousness into an art form. I expect to see him tug his forelock at any minute. Even courageous men, respected men, admired men, four-star generals seem to leave their pride at the door when they enter his domain. It is painful to watch.

The Republican Party has degraded itself to stay in his good graces. I hope that tax cut for which they sold their souls is worth it. Even some of the ones who appeared to have some guts faltered before his threats in the end.

Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others7:48 AM - Jan 2, 2018

This is one of Trump's first tweets of the New Year. He sounds like a raging paranoid instead of a president! First, what he states isn't true but we are used to his lying by now. Second, no American president that I know of wanted to imprison his opponent and his predecessor. That's Banana Republic behavior. And third, "Deep State Justice Department"? Seriously. It is his Justice Department. 

I have written about the website, The Deplorables, several times. They are the hard-core Trumpies. They absolutely hero worship their leader. And they have this same penchant for shaming and debasing anyone who disagree with them. Many of their posts are absolutely vile and those are the ones that get the most likes. They are one with their hero. 

I'm 72 years old. I worked in politics for much of my life, for both Republicans and Democrats. I've worked for law enforcement, the judicial system, in taverns, offices and factories. I certainly never considered myself naive but I admit it, I am despairing about what my country has come to under this detestable man and his fawning sycophants..