Saturday, June 30, 2018

....Or Maybe Both

                                                

I have watched my country teeter on the abyss for several years. Of course, Trump couldn't do it alone. It took the Republicans to pave the way of destroying our democracy for him to bring it to this point. It began when they impeached Clinton for partisan reasons. It went on when they stated their goal of obstructing Obama on everything he tried to do including government shutdowns, threats to default on our debt, threats to push us over a fiscal cliff, sequesters. We were almost ready for Trump by the time Mitch McConnell refused to give Obama's Supreme Court nominee a hearing and instead held up the confirmation process for a year. It continued when they spent years and millions of dollars to try to undermine Hillary (which they successfully did although they found zip in the end) and now they are in a hurry to complete the Mueller investigation - go figure). .

So then we get Trump with a little help from his friends and even not-so-much his friends - James Comey and Vladimir Putin. In the time since, the Republicans have changed their minds on everything they always said they believed in. The national debt is soaring. Forget free trade - now they love tariffs. Any attempt to cooperate on a comprehensive immigration bill is dead on arrival.In fact, any attempt to cooperate with the other side on anything is extinct.

And it has been the same with evangelical Christians. Jesus? Who's that? Remember how they once said "character counts"?  Forget that nonsense, that was only when it was the other guy. Now they love them some amoral, vile, filthy-mouthed cheater. Both the lilly-livered Republicans and the hypocritical Christians have been conned and they probably know it. I believe they have willingly traded integrity for power.

That power will have been immensely consolidated if Trump gets to choose a Supreme Court justice and I don't see how the Dems can stop him. Ironically, this justice will probably end up voting on issues that arise from the Russian investigation and do you think Trump isn't intensely aware of that? (Pardons anyone?) How about that not confirming a justice during election years. Oh, no, now we discover that only applies to presidential election years. The people's voices don't count in mid-term elections.

There are lots of things that disturb me deeply about Trump. How he is withdrawing us from our previous leadership positin in the world, for instance (which is to Russia and China's benefit). How he takes us out of negotiated agreements with no replacement plan whatsoever - the Paris Accords, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Human Rights Commission, the Iran Agreement. Possibly NAFTA will be next. He just leaves them hanging out there with no solution in sight.  His penchant for a trade war which he says can be easily won though history tells us that not only aren't they easy to win, they can't be won at all. Meanwhile, Harley Davidson moves part of its work over seas, GM lays off, Our soybean farms are losing money. A nail factory in Missouri shuts down an assembly line for lack of parts...and on and on. And the Trump Cult eats it up. This is their idea of Making America Great Again. I despise the cruelty of our Zero Tolerance immigration policy and well, just the viciousness and deceit of this administration generally. I stress about the environmental rollbacks that will send us back to acid rain and polluted air and dirty water and despoiling national parks and shrinking national monuments. I hate his corruption, nepotism and the way he uses the White House as a gravy train that pours money directly into the Trump coffers. For example, he shouldn't even have anything to do with Trump International Hotel as there is a regulation that government property isn't to be leased to government officials. Trump brushes off these nit-picky little rules as if they don't apply to him and he must be right.

But one thing worries me more than all the others. New Congresspeople and presidents can be voted in. Executive orders can be overturned. Laws can change. Even Supreme Court rulings can be overruled in time (that is probably about to happen with Roe V Wade and gay marriage).

No, it is virtually turning us over to the Russians that I'm most afraid of. Republicans used to hate Russia too but that is another thing they've changed their minds about. They dismiss the Mueller investigation - and in fact, do everything they can to trash Mueller, Rosenstein and Wray - none of them angry Democrats. Republicans all and appointed by Trump himself. They demand unconstitutional access into evidence from an on-going investigation. They threaten to impeach Rosenstein if he doesn't comply with their ridiculous orders.

From the beginning, it was pretty clear that Trump was in bed with Russia. So many in his campaign met with Russian officials and lied about it. They changed the Republican platform to please Putin. Michael Flynn was tweeting a Russian oligarch during Trump's Inaugural Address. Many high-up Russians got tickets to the inauguration as well as the private dinners held afterwards. Trump's son, son-in-law and campaign manager met with Russians in Trump tower to get dirt on Hillary, then lied about what they discussed (with Trump himself writing the false narrative). The Russians visit the Oval Office after Trump is elected and he tells them that he fired Comey and now the Russian problem is off his mind. Incidentally, he also divulges classified information we'd received from Israel. And Russian press only at this meeting only, no Americans. Jared Kushner talks to Russian about setting up a back channel with Russia in their embassy so our intelligence can't listen in.

Mueller has so far gotten 20 indictments, 5 guilty pleas, a former Trump campaign manager in jail but the Republicans pooh-pooh it all. They impugn the honesty and honor of the very foundations of our democracy- the Department of Justice, the legal system, the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies.

Trump has to be be pushed to enforce the sanctions Congress imposed almost unanimously on Russia (back when Republicans still had a shred of loyalty to their country).

He meets with Putin privately - no Americans. We always have to find out about interactions between the U.S. and Russia through their media. We get the transcripts of their calls from Russia - even Fox isn't told!

Trump turns on our allies and wants to let Russia back into the G7. He is probably going to pull us out of NATO. He actually offers better trade deals to countries (i.e. France) if they leave the European union. These are all things Putin wants badly.

So why is Trump engaging in this treasonous behavior? I can only think of two reasons: 1) Russia is blackmailing him. This could very well be. Back when American banks refused to lend him any money because he was such a deadbeat businessman, Russian banks came to his rescue so they probably know a lot about his various financial deals and entanglements. Or 2) he has been promised a gigantic pay-off when he's done being president.

Pick your poison.








Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sickening to Watch

                                              

I liked Barack Obama. I thought he was an excellent president. Did I agree with him 100 percent of the time? No. Did I ever criticize him? Yes and you can go back into my blogs and see for yourself if you doubt me. Did I accept every word he said as the gospel on par with the Sermon on the Mount? Of course not. I have my heroes but I don't worship any of them (no, not even Hillary Clinton).


But this is how Trump's supporters see him - as just one step away from a God. They believe the most fantastical things if he tells them it is so. I had two people on Facebook just today tell me, they still believe Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim. They still say "lock her up" without a smidgen of evidence against her of any criminal wrong-doing - and its not like the Republicans weren't searching every nook and cranny trying to find anything they could hang their hats on.

Yet, they totally dismiss the Mueller Investigation as a witch hunt despite reams of evidence, 20 indictments, five guilty pleas and a jailed former campaign manager. They shrug it all off as meaning nothing.

Trump can lie and lie and all you have to do to know it is watch his limited press availabilities on the White House lawn (he doesn't do real press conferences). He says one thing one day and the exact opposite the next and then watch his fans shift in a great wave to whatever he said most recently, never doubting his ever-changing statements.

This is the very definition of a cult - unquestioning loyalty and obedience. Trump says he envies Kim Jung Un because his people stand and wave when they see him. Ah, wouldn't it be nice to be a dictator?

Because Donald loves him some autocrats. The worst they treat their people, the better he likes them - Kim, Putin, Duterte, Xi. They're tough, don't you know. Meanwhile, our allies for the last 70 years are two-faced weaklings. Piss on Britain, France, Canada, Germany, the E.U., NATO. In the words of a Trump administration official, our new national motto is: "we're America, Bitch."

And our latest inhumane Trump policy to be ashamed of - snatching immigrant children out of the arms of their parents and putting them in detention centers, the latest of which will be a tent city in the 100 degree southern Texas heat. It was bad enough when Arpaio did it to adults but children?

Meanwhile, Republicans won't take him on. They are too frightened of his tweets. They might lose their cushy jobs if they criticize him! Anyway, they sold their souls for a Supreme Court Justice long ago. And evidently, the evangelicals can overlook a policy that would have made Jesus cry because they evidently want power more than salvation.

And then Trump bald-faced lies about his new policy, saying that it is the Democrats who initiated it, which it absolutely false.

But all he had to do it say for for it to become true to his brainwashed followers.

Trump is a cruel, corrupt person. You only had to watch the debates and see what fun he had demeaning his opponents to understand that we've seen it even more every day of presidency. Oddly, this is what the Trumpies love most about him. He mean and racist and anti-woman and he gives them permission to be the same. They know longer have to be "politically correct". They can say nigger if they want to....and many of them do.

It is really sickening to watch what has happened to our country under Trump and his robots..




Friday, June 8, 2018

Trump's Walls

                                                    

Donald Trump campaigned on the idea of a "big, beautiful wall". It was supposed to be a wall between Mexico and the U.S. That wall may or may not ever happen but he definitely has been engaged in wall building ever since he moved into the White House.

Unfortunately, the walls he's been so busily constructing are between different groups of Americans. He's built walls between whites and African-Americans, between whites and Latinos, between whites and Muslims, between men and women, between gays and straights, between conservatives and liberals. We are now divided into our own tribal groups and the obstacles between us are so high and so thick that we can't see through or around them.

Trump rules by fear and he, his followers believe, is the only one who can save us.

This president has divided us from our most trusted agencies of government - the F.B.I., the Justice Department, the Intelligence agencies. None of them can be relied upon to do the right thing anymore. They are all part of the nonsensical deep state. The administration trashes Robert Mueller, James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, all of whom have spent their lives in honored public service. All the judges who signed off on FISA court warrants are are guilty of deceit. John McCain was a traitor but it doesn't matter because he is almost dead anyway.

The Mueller investigation is a "witch hunt" although it has so far resulted in the indictments of 20 people and guilty pleas from five more for collusion/obstruction/or coordination with Russia.

Trump has divided us from our friends. He is at the G7 Summit in Canada as I write this. We are riven from our most staunch allies - Britain, France, Germany, Canada. Meanwhile, he believes Russia should be allowed back into the G7 (that used to be the G8) although Russia was ejected for invading Crimea and that hasn't changed). He also has worked a deal with China to save their giant telecommunications company though they were sanctioned for engaging in espionage against us. What is that all about?

Trump has deliberately built a wall between Americans and their most admired sports heroes even though he knows good and well that taking a knee never had anything to do with the national anthem or honoring our flag and soldiers.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has torn down some walls too. The once-unscalable wall between truth and lies is all but gone. So is the wall between corruption and the Rule of Law. Anything goes in Trump World and you only have to look at Head of the EPA, ScottPruitt, with his dozen ethics investigations, for the perfect example.

I have watched the gutless Republicans and my conservative friends disappear down the rabbit hole of conspiracy, following their president. It started with Obama not being an American and it has gone on from there. No matter what he says, they buy into it even though most of it is sheer lunacy. Obama was an American Christian. There is no witch hunt. There is no "deep state".

I have no idea how this will end but I don't think it will be in a good way for our democracy.