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Ooops…A Brief Moment of Truth

August 4, 2017

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Being semi-retired, as I am, allows me certain indulgences that are not afforded most of the voting public. I am able to maintain a fairly constant vigil on the constant and repetitive drumbeat of the news, searching for a glimmer of hope that this scourge to our national intelligence, “The Oval Orifice,” Donald Trump, will soon end his lunatic reign.

As anyone who watches cable news knows, every story is repeated over and over, analyzed and reanalyzed by multiple panels all expounding the same conclusions. But every now and then, new information surfaces that takes a mindful wakefulness to recognize its fleeting appearance. Gotcha!

Such was the case the other day as Alisyn Camerota once again interviewed Dan Stein (often referred to as a “nativist bigot”) representing the Federation for American Integration Reform, FAIR. Suddenly, there it was, the threat and the fear revealed for the first time.  In that brief moment, the opportunity was lost for follow up, as Alisyn remained focused on her line of questioning and moved past the nugget that Dan Stein had laid at her feet, “The Democratic Party now relies on immigration for its future electoral support.”  To put it plainly, the GOP believes that immigration reform will determine whether it can maintain its current political stranglehold.  As always, it’s not about you and me.  It’s about them.  This was a lost opportunity that should be further explored.  It boldly colors the battle lines of GOP immigration reform with intentions of strictly partisan self service. Immigration reform like Gerrymandering, policy and law, are often just a means to stay in office under the control of the ruling party.

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A Vision For The Future

August 3, 2017

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Fast Forward eight years.  Millions of people have lost their health insurance and hundreds of thousands are dying prematurely of heart disease, diabetes and cancer with uninsurable pre-conditions, causing bankruptcies and foreclosures. 33% of Americans are homeless. Not able to get contraception and abortions through Planned Parenthood, welfare rolls are flooded with young mothers and their newborns. Jails are bursting with minor drug offenders serving long minimum sentences and the police continue to shoot first and ask questions later.  Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides and forest fires plague the country in record numbers and the coral reefs are dead.  Seafood is no longer available and, as water is in ever shorter supply, agriculture is suffering.  Florida and California lack the immigrants to harvest the orchards and fields, so fruits and vegetables are in short supply and prices are escalating out of control. Germany is the world leader, followed by Russia, then China, Great Britain, France, Canada and Israel. North Korea and Iran are nuclear powers.  The US gets foreign aid from Saudi Arabia. Sean Hannity is the secretary for the new Department of Emotional Reaction (DER).

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is retired and now teaching a college level course in political communications through the Poli-sci department of Trump University.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

“Good morning class.  As you all know I am Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I served as President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary temporarily before “resigning.” In that brief period of time, I managed the fake news for the Whitehouse on a daily basis through needless press conferences. It was my job to support the many lies, bad behavior, childish responses, temper tantrums, ethical breaches, immoral conduct, financial crimes, reprehensible policies, looney ideas, treasonous actions and The President’s inflated ego by responding to thoughtful questions regarding policy with meaningless answers. This was easily accomplished in one of several standardized ways I will outline now before going into further detail.

Your first response should always be, “The President is very busy running the country and we have not had time to sit down and discuss that issue.  I’ll get back to you.”

The fallback position should be, “That’s currently under consideration and I’ll have to get back to you.”

With persistent questioning regarding an uncomfortable subject, the necessary response is to attack the press thusly, “Why is it that y’all are fixated on undermining the President, when you should be reporting on his many accomplishments?

Another effective response is, “Asked and answered.  Next Question.”

When the facts become undeniable you must resort to historical precedent by citing the alleged misconduct of previous administrations and political opponents as justification for your boss’s inappropriate action. “They got a pass, why haven’t you reported on that?”

In defending the unique liabilities and morally deficiency of your boss, the proper response is, “The American people knew what they were getting when they voted for him.”

As a last resort, you can always do as Steven Miller did when he responded to a question asked by Jim Acosta of CNN. Attack the individual of the press personally. Create a false narrative of your interpretation of their values to support the conclusions you wish to impose on them. Make it about them, not about you.

It’s simple stuff really.

Now as you all know, since that time, The Whitehouse has auditioned several new practices to control press briefings, finally settling on the current system of iPress, our interactive system that streamlines the process. iPress was developed in cooperation with the Russian Heritage Institute for Cyber-Democracy, making it possible for the press to have access to the same answers available in a live conference, at any time of the day or night.  Members of the press are now able to go online and submit their questions to get one of our standardized responses in a downloadable “Siri” like voice that can be played on the news, as well as images and clips of our glorious leader bragging to hapless supporters.

Thank You, and if there are any questions, I’ll have to get back to you.”

 

 

 

 

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The A Dog

July 29, 2017

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Whether you live in a nice suburban home, or on a rural farm, or an urban townhouse, you have been worried about your security lately.  You’ve been watching the news and are realizing that the chaos and confusion is at your doorstep and you want to protect yourself against invasion by criminal and violent elements.  What do you do?

You’re a dog lover, so you get a dog, and then another and another.  You now have five in all.  At first you bought a pit bull, thinking that would make you safe, but the pit bull attacked everybody, even you, and you learned too soon that you were liable for all the damages.

You then added a Chihuahua so that it’s barking would alert you to an invader, but the Chihuahua barked incessantly and it drove you and all your neighbors crazy. So you got another dog, a calmer dog to keep it company, thinking it would end the barking, but that didn’t work either.  Now all the dogs were barking.  Finally, in desperation you got a couple puppies, thinking if you raised them and trained them you could resolve your security issues. But the puppies pissed all over the floor and you had to mop it up.

After several incidents were reported by the neighbors to the police, an investigation was launched.  You protested that they were just dogs and doing what was natural for dogs. After all, they were bought and paid for by you and you had a right to own them. But that didn’t seem to matter to the neighbors who had been bitten. So you began a letter writing campaign to the editor of the local paper disparaging the neighbors while attacking the police chief and the investigation.

Unfortunately for you, dogs are pack animals. They follow the pack and are led by the A dog. That should be you.  You will be the A dog unless you give that position up to another more forceful dog. Feeding a dog first before you feed yourself is one way of telling that dog that he is the A dog and you will find yourself serving the dog not the other way around as it should be.

 

 

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Scaramouche, Scaramouche!

July 24, 2017

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Let’s see if we can all somehow come together and agree to follow some simple data to a logical conclusion.

Yesterday, as Kellyanne Conway utters yet another verbal avalanche of the same tired manure, she continues to assert that the media should stop reporting on Russia and focus on all the fruitless intentions of our flacid President.  Meanwhile Mooch, as he likes to be called, Scaramucci by name, Trump’s new wizard of a communication director, a chameleon if ever there was one, erases all his previous tweets deriding Trump and contrary to Conway’s plea, issues a statement throwing the media back into the coverage of all things Russia.

Mooch is far too innocent sounding a name for this Machiavellian actor.  No, Scaramucci suits him well.  It’s like the name of the Italian clown known to modern audiences through “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Scaramouche, a cowardly buffoon, whose name means “skirmish” or a “minor fight.”   Contrary to the claims of Kellyanne Conway, Scaramucci, in keeping the Russia story alive, states that Trump still doubts that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Why would he say such a thing, except that Trump has directed him to say it. So, let’s try to understand what would motivate Trump to keep “Russia” alive and not focus on his so-called achievements in office, of which there are truly none that can be directly attributed to any action on his part.

First, we need to understand that there are only two possibilities.  One is that Trump really doubts that Russia meddled in the election.  The other is that Trump knows that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.  He would know this one of two ways. If he participated in it, he would know or if he was told by his advisors, which he most certainly was, he would know.

Now if we assume that all that is said about Trump by his surrogates is true, then we must believe that he is a person of vast intelligence and business acumen.  Therefore, in the face of all his advisors, 17 national intelligence agencies and the entirety of both houses of Congress who all say otherwise, Trump would be standing alone in an unsupported belief that Russia may still be innocent of the charges. Only the most gullible fool would believe Trump is telling the truth. It would be easy for him to accept the counsel of his advisors and admit that Russia meddled.  So, one has to ask why would he go against the torrent of information available?  The news media cuts him far too much slack when they assert that it’s just simply ego, that Trump does not want the credibility of his win diminished.  None dare to introduce the other possibility, that he was part of it, for fear that it substantiates Trump’s claim that the news media is biased against him, yet it remains a distinct possibility.

But what if Trump knew it to be true.  Let’s assume for a moment that Trump colluded with the Russians, well then for sure he would be saying the very same thing, that he doubts that they influenced the election by meddling, because he is as guilty as they are.  He would do everything possible to stop the investigation because he knows it will inevitably lead back to him, and realizing that, he would prepare to issue pardons for all the guilty parties, including himself and his co-conspirators, all who stand to profit through the manipulation of policy by his office.

Follow every tweet, every utterance, every speech, every action and they all support this line of reasoning.  Nothing runs contrary to this conclusion except that we live in a new age where nothing matters. Trump writes tweets, speaks in interviews, can be seen on tape at rallies, says one thing then another and puts forth falsehoods that contradict any and all audible or visible evidence, all recorded, all indisputable, all meaningless and yet all thrive in his cesspool of lies, because none of it matters to his 40% base. As smartphones and dashboard cams and the news media coverage can attest to, unlawful deaths of African Americans at the hand of the police are rampant all over this country. As police wrangle their way through the courts to defy conviction, none are punished.  None are guilty.  The rules allow it because nothing matters anymore. In this environment, the one that began with the assassination of JFK and ran through the lies of Nixon, Reagan and Bush, continuing through to President Clinton getting blow jobs from an intern in the oval office, nothing of any consequence has been done after the millions spent to uncover wrongdoing, the only consequence being that we, the American people, understand that the rules are made to protect those who make them.  Trump knows this all too well and will certainly get off scot-free after lining his pockets with our money. We would all do well to remember the fable of the scorpion and the frog. It’s long past due time to change the rules.

A bright note yesterday was announced when Wisconsin’s challenge to redistricting in their state was accepted by the Supreme Court.  Let’s see if Judge Gorsuch will play by the old rules or is willing to rewrite them to be fair and equitable.  Will he do the job that Trump sent him there to do or will he work in service to the American people?

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Swiss Cheese Legislation

July 3, 2017

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Frankly, nothing Donald Trump does should come as a surprise anymore.  In the midst of strong criticism regarding his tweet war on the press, He chooses to retweet a doctored video of a wrestling event where, in true fake-wrestling-event-manufactured action, Trump pummels the WWF president, Vince McMahon.  If that weren’t bad enough, foolish and embarrassing enough for a head of state, commander in chief and world leader, the CNN logo has been tracked over Vince McMahon’s face to give the illusion that Trump is viciously attacking CNN.  The meaning is not lost on anyone and it betrays Trump’s childish emotions that he takes such delight in retweeting this sort of trash.

In the midst of all the attention being given to Trump tweets, the Republican legislative agenda remains riddled with holes like a wedge of Swiss cheese, pretty solidly defined but you can see right through it. These mealy-mouthed, morally-righteous, family-valued protectors of the 1% that call themselves conservative Republicans all cower in the shadow of Trump, sellouts to a stolen victory, trapped by Trump, who even today cannot steamroller a viable bill through congress that will satisfy the needs of their constituents who will be taking to the polls a year from now.

Just as it seems that here may be no integrity left in Congress, up steps Ben Sasses to surprise us all.  Ben is articulate and intelligent and for the most part makes a lot of sense.  Even if his philosophy is staunchly conservative, I like the guy. Let’s hope he doesn’t become just another sellout, because he may just be the one who can turn the Republican party away from their current madness and towards a more sustainable solution to the needs of the American middle class and working poor.

But alas, his conclusions are often flawed, such as his position on Healthcare which is repeal and later replace. A repeal will leave millions of Americans with no insurance at all and give leverage to the insurance industry to determine the kind of insurance they would like us to have. “Demonize, colonize and privatize” should be the Republican National party motto.  Can’t we see through this too?

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The Roosters Come Home To Crow

July 1, 2017

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July 1 2017

Today, as Carl Bernstein adds his powerful voice to Anna Navarro and others opposing the Trump presidency in ever stronger terms, calling his time in office a “malignant presidency,” Kellyanne Conway offers a pitiful and utterly meaningless defense by saying that she endorses Trump’s “ability” to make tweets.  C’mon, Kellyanne, you can do better than that. Everyone has the ability to tweet.  Are you so savvy that you know his supporters will buy into this shallow offering or is it that you have such disdain for the other 70% of us that you disrespect our intelligence so easily?

And now as the Whitehouse announces that Trump will meet with Putin in a “sideline” meeting while at the G20, what are we to expect? What happens when two liars meet in private is anybody’s guess and I’m sure will remain so. There will be no press allowed in and I’m quite sure there will be no transcript.  Each will emerge with their own version of the agenda and a result of their discussion favorable to their cause.  Even if Trump includes members of his staff, can their observations be trusted?  Only by inclusion of parties with opposing views and objectives can we be certain that the important work of this nation by its president can be verified.

This is a sad situation of Trump’s own creation, a lifetime pattern of lying and bullying backed up by the worthless approvals of sycophant surrogates and political hypocrites who have sold out their principles for perceived political gain as they, and the boy who cried wolf, watch the roosters come home to crow.

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Motivations, Morality & Manners

June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017

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I have refrained from blogging for quite a while because I have felt that I did not have much to add to the discourse on events regarding all things Trump.  It would seem that the many facts that are available are being reported and the analysis and dissection of these daily events is generally adequate.

But the last few days have occupied the media with reports on Donald Trump’s tweets regarding Morning Joe’s co-hosts and particularly, Mika. A lot of criticism is being leveled at Trump by all sides of the political spectrum as well as the media, but while accurate, they all overlook one key point, most simple.

Last night Anderson 360 hosted 4 pundits, all of which came from both parties equally. The fourth, that most pathetic of predictable, political pundits, a shitbag, Trumpite mouthpiece, who I am quite sure was selected because he’s the only person shameless enough to lie in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, thus providing CNN the illusion of being “fair & balanced,” plausible deniability, as if the truth were not sufficient to ward off all the negative tweets that will be hurled at the network, was Jeffrey Lord.

Arguments made against Trump’s tweet were:

  1. That it was his sexist, misogynistic behavior and language, part of his continued disrespect for women. All true.
  2. Categorized as un-presidential. Again true.
  3. Are a detrimental diversion from the necessary work of passing legislation and running the country. True once more.
  4. It’s a national embarrassment. How true, how true!
  5. It’s a bad example for our children. Duh!

Arguments made by Lord to support Trump’s tweet are as follows:

  1. He’s being attacked and he’s a counterpuncher so it’s permitted.
  2. The attacks are motivated by his opponents in the media.
  3. The attacks are motivated by the Democrats.
  4. He was voted into the office & voters knew what they were getting.
  5. He’s inexperienced at being president and he’s still learning.
  6. Other presidents have done bad things as well and they got a “free pass.”

Anna Navarro was one of the three other pundits speaking against Lord.  I applaud what could be categorized as her “hot-blooded, Latino rant” but I fear that fuels stereotyping and diminishes her genuine passion, moral certainty and courage to speak out most loudly in protest against Trump’s perpetual display of disgraceful behavior.  I used to feel the same contempt for Anna when she was in Lord’s position of supporting the unsupportable actions of the politicians she spun for.  But now, she is becoming a celebrated example of a woman who has found her voice and speaks her mind in a direct and honest appeal for a righteous cause and as so, has earned my respect. The Anderson 360 rant followed a similar diatribe on “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer.

For those interested in seeing the rants I have provided the following YouTube links, one for the interview with Wolf Blitzer and the other for the Anderson 360 rant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBHOtcMlod4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07wSNah4O_I

No arguments can be made against the logic of the criticism of Trump’s tweets or his behavior at large, but all arguments miss the key point and that is that this type of behavior is just plain wrong.  It’s wrong being used against men or women and it’s wrong for anybody, be they a small child, a mature adult or a president. It is wrong under any and all circumstances.  We would not tolerate it from our children and we should not tolerate it from Donald Trump.

Regarding the arguments for support, let’s consider them one by one.

The counterpuncher argument.

Did your mother ever say something to you like this: “Just because Eddie put his hand in the fire, does not mean that you should too.”  The bad behavior or example of one person does not excuse another to behave the same way or worse.  It’s a variant of “fight fire with fire” or an “eye for an eye,” the ultimate conclusion to these scenarios is a world barren of trees populated with one-eyed persons.

Motivation arguments.

Motivation is irrelevant.  Take for example a murder trial.  The prosecutor is motivated by a desire for advancement, the defense attorney by financial gain. Neither is motivated by the truth upon which guilt or innocence may be determined. A murderer is a murderer regardless of the motivations of others to convict or exonerate him. All that matters are the facts.

The “He was elected president and we knew who we were getting” argument.

Let’s say we had knowingly elected a convicted felon, would that excuse all similar future crimes during his tenure in office?

The “He’s still learning” argument.

If he were pissing his pants, would we say he was still being potty-trained? Good manners are not something to be learned at age 71.

The “other Presidents” argument.

Back to Mom again, “just because Jimmy did something wrong, does not give you the right to do the same thing.”  A bad example is a bad example and should not be used as an excuse to continue with bad behavior. You don’t get the right to continue doing wrong things just because you perceive that Jimmy went unpunished for his wrong doing.

Think about out before you go the polls to vote again in 2018.  Are we to govern or are we to wallow in lame excuses covering for incompetence?