Category Archives: Politics

Has The Donald Gone Bye-Bye?

The question must be asked.  Has the President of the United States gone completely loco?   His reckless and seemingly mentally unbalanced statements appear to be getting worse.

Within the past couple of days, Donald J. Trump, has taken the world to the brink of a nuclear confrontation, threatening millions of lives by taunting the boy-man leader in North Korea.  From the safety and comfort of his country club in New Jersey, he has called the Governor of little Guam, our island territory in Kim’s nuclear crosshairs, assuring him “We’re behind you one-thousand percent!”   Really?   Never would have guessed.  Thing is, it was totally avoidable.

So was his idiotic statement thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man who can do no wrong in Trump’s eyes, for expelling more than seven-hundred American diplomats from Russia.   Trump said that was just fine with him because expelling all those diplomats would save the U.S. a pile of money.

The Americans who have been expelled from Russia are career diplomats, who will be reassigned and not fired, so there’s no money to be saved.   Beyond that, our President has just praised a foreign adversary for kicking the United States in the teeth.   He can come back later and say he didn’t mean it but the fact is he said it and he’s the President, and his words carry weight.   Beyond that, it’s one more example of Putin being able to do no wrong in the eyes of Donald Trump.

What does Putin have on Trump?   Is Trump being blackmailed by the Russians?   Is it possible that Trump’s creeping authoritarianism, now challenging even his own party, could be guided by a foreign power?   Can he claim he’s just delivering on his promise to “drain the swamp?”  At times it feels like there’s an evil brilliance behind Donald’s actions that exceeds his abilities.

And now comes the creme de la creme of bizarro statements with Donald’s threat to invade the sovereign nation of Venezuela.    When I first heard it I laughed.  I stopped laughing as the frightening realization hit me that Trump might finally have gone completely off his nut.   What next?   Sending the 101st Airborne into the woods around Chappaqa, in search of Hillary’s emails?

Whatever Mr. Trump’s problem is, it appears to be getting worse.  It no longer matters whether Trump is acting to create a diversion or if he’s truly delusional.  Neither is acceptable.   The Republicans must act now to put a stop to this madness.

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LATE ADD – HE’S DONE IT AGAIN – The piece above was written before the Neo-Nazi / White Nationalist automobile attack on counter protesters in Charlottesville, VA, which Trump tried to explain away by saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”    Unacceptable rubbish.

When it comes to Nazis, there are only two sides, fascism and freedom.  Many of us lost loved ones who fought to keep the world free of Nazis in World War II.  Trump is obviously trying to pacify those in his base who are white, racist, Nazi or KKK.     Unpresidential, Un-American and totally unacceptable.

His Next Tantrum Could Kill Millions

We bounce merrily along,  ignoring the fact that what we’ve done in the past has failed to work, even when presented with our latest crises, the terrible “Opioid Epidemic” and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.   Many of our alleged leaders react with nonsense, or fail to react at all, hiding behind the marble columns in DC, doing nothing and hoping no one will notice.

How much worse can Opioids be than the tons of Cocaine that were poured into our inner cities in the eighties to circumvent the Congress and provide funding to the Contras?  Were she alive, would cute and perky little Nancy Reagan again be telling us all to “just say no?”

Or is this a different sort of problem, because so many white people are impacted along with poor blacks in the inner-cities, where the war on drugs was an abject failure, turning our streets into free-fire zones while the potential for a real solution, decriminalizing drugs and treating it as a medical rather than a legal problem, continued to be all but ignored.   It’s just so much easier albeit more costly, to keep throwing people in jail.

As for North Korea, an armistace was signed in July of 1953.   A pause in the fighting, and that’s where it’s been for more than sixty years.  Now, suddenly, we’re all supposed to lose sleep because the boy-man Donald Trump has decided to pin Kim Jong-un’s ears to the wall?

Diplomacy was working.  At the UN, we finally had both China and Russia in our corner, which might have led to a real solution with Kim and North Korea.   It would have taken some time, but we might actually have reached a point where, like China, North Korea could have been included rather than excluded from the economic ties that bind our family of nations.

Instead of taking the opportunity the UN provided, Trump slammed the door shut on a peaceful resolution by pushing Kim to the brink of nuclear war.   It’s difficult to determine whose judgment is more flawed, Kim or Donald, who now, apparently, is being mostly advised by military men, whose training leans toward fighting and winning wars, not the fine art of diplomacy.

Trump is also, apparently, influenced by his base, made up largely of white, non-college educated and aging white men, who feel angry for being left behind and seem to only understand someone who is one of their own.   Another aging angry white guy, who wants to kick somebody’s ass.   I often thought Barack Obama, acted too much like a debate team captain, but hey, threatening nuclear war against a frightened kid with a really bad haircut and nukes is no answer either.

Beyond that, it’s doubtful Donald Trump has the strength or courage to actually kick anyone’s ass.  But he puts on a good show for his base.  Problem is that this time the show,  featuring Trump’s big mouth, could get millions of people killed.

Kim, is like a child holding a roomful of adults hostage with a loaded shotgun.  The last thing you should do is enrage the child to the point that he throws a fit and pulls the trigger.   Trump can’t seem to understand this.   Maybe he doesn’t know there are 300-thousand Americans in South Korea.  Perhaps he doesn’t understand that he’s playing with their lives and the lives of more than 50-million South Koreans as well?  Maybe it just doesn’t register?

The nation needs to take a collective breath, step back and think, rather then just recoiling in fear at Trump’s next outrageous, insane utterance about Kim or Opioids.   We need to ask ourselves what we as a people can actually do to fix these problems and then demand that our leaders get it done.

There are solutions.   Federal and state governments can come up with a workable plan to treat drug abuse like the medical problem it is.   The money saved from housing people in private jails on non-violent drug charges should more than pay for the effort.

For their part, the Republicans, and I know this will be difficult, but the Republicans must begin impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump.   Or they can continue wondering just how unhinged his mind actually is, while they wait for the bombs to fall.  If not in North Korea, then somewhere else.  If nuclear war is the result and millions are killed, it will be on their heads.  The Republican Party.

“Just say no,” doesn’t work.  It never did.   Many of the problems resulting from that failed policy are still with us.  The war on drugs failed miserably.  Sending out a potentially demented president to conduct a war of words with a nuclear armed lunatic boy-man, is equally flawed.  Real solutions are out there,  but our leaders must have the courage to act.  Sliding one way and then the other to protect their own selfish best interest as they continue to ignore the real needs and security of the nation is not acceptable.

The childish cry of “Just say no,” doesn’t work.  Never did.  It’s time to think like adults and come up with some workable solutions.

A Clueless Trump – A Leaderless Nation

It’s so reassuring to be repeatedly told by the Trump Administration that they’re “keeping all their options open” and that “nothing is off the table.” What a load.  Still, far better to hear that than some White House wonk telling us, “We have no policies because we have no real idea of what the hell we’re doing from one day to the next.”

Knowing the State Departments is rejecting funding to combat Russian propaganda (that would be actual fake news), because it might upset the Russians, and that  some are probably laying bets on how long General Kelly will last as Donald’s alleged Chief of Staff, does nothing to quiet the storm.

What a big, bright, beautiful vision for the future. This can’t continue.  The Republicans are gonna have to stop it.  Stop the Russians and their golden boy in the Oval Office, that is,  if there are any Republican patriots left.   Oh wait, did I really write that?  Silly me.   They have already repeatedly proven themselves to be beyond any ability whatsoever to put country ahead of party and personal aggrandizement – with the possible exception of this last vote on the Affordable Care Act.    Whether the vote was a McCain inspired aberration or a new beginning remains to be seen.

FOP Needs To Do Right By Its Members

Now that Donald Trump has tried to poison the minds of Boy Scouts at their Jamboree and in another instance openly encouraged police to use excessive force, isn’t it time for the Fraternal Order of Police, the “FOP” to withdraw their endorsement of Mr. Trump?

Donald Trump has opened the door for FOP leadership to do the right thing by getting in line with other law enforcement leaders who are speaking out against the President’s appeal for police officers to get “rough” with those taken into custody.

The FOP’s leadership made a mistake and it’s time for them to deal with it. Their more than 300,000 members deserve nothing less.   There are a lot of good cops out on the streets trying to do their jobs as best they can from one day to the next.  It’s just plain wrong to paint them all with the same broad brush of Trumpist extremism. With its support for Donald Trump the FOP is not only making its membership look bad, it is also potentially creating ill-will with the community at large.  Police work is difficult enough without mixed-signals.

Mr. Trump, Leave The Boy Scouts Alone

Following Trump’s asinine and dangerous rant at the Boy Scout Jamboree, a thought popped into my head. The simple truth is that the United States is like one great big store. We live in the store. We own it. It’s like we live in an apartment above our great big store. The people we hired to manage our store are doing an unacceptable job. Simply put, it is time to bring in new managers who can get our business back on track.

Our Chief Executive should not be on the campaign trail six months after his inauguration filling our Boy Scouts full of self-serving, nonsensical political propaganda. What other figure on the world stage has ever sunk so low as to demand not loyalty to the country but personal loyalty to him from the nation’s youth?  Anybody come to mind?  My disgust for Donald J. Trump has hit a new low.

As with all potentially sociopathic personalities, we have reached a point where it no longer matters whether Mr. Trump does what he does intentionally or whether he might be delusional.   The Congress must do its duty, fulfill its obligation to the people, and begin impeachment proceedings immediately.  Anything less will be negligence and will land directly on the Republican Party, which currently controls both houses of the Congress.

Ron Olsen
Former Member
Boy Scouts of America

Whispers From Beyond

Myrtle Swenson-Stinton and daughter Ramona, circa 1935

I wake up some mornings with messages in my head.   Sometimes, they’re from people who are long gone, like my Swedish Grandmother from Minnesota.

It might be attributed to having awakened in the middle of a dream, or, for those of a more spiritual bent, a message from beyond the grave.  I can’t tell you what it is.  It just happens.  Sometimes, as with this most recent incident, it’s comforting.

My Grandmother, Myrtle Carolina Swenson-Stinton, was born in Minneapolis along with two sisters and four brothers.  Her father, Lars Swenson, was an immigrant, who got to the U.S. by serving as a a bond servant.   He had no money, and selling himself into servitude was apparently the only means he had of getting to America. Eventually,  after working off his debt, he learned the upholstery business and opened a furniture store in Minneapolis.

At some point in the process, he saw a photo of the woman who would be my Great Grandmother, Johanna.  He asked for her hand and she agreed.  He sent to Sweden for her, she arrived and they produced seven kids, my Grandmother Myrtle, among them.

It couldn’t have been easy.  In the few photos I have my Great Grandmother looks weary, as though she’s been beaten up by life, even though my Great Grandfather apparently died a wealthy man so he probably could have afforded to get her some help with that big family.

Non of this has anything to do with the message from my Grandmother.  Or maybe it does.   She too, led a relatively difficult life and it is perhaps helpful to occasionally remind ourselves that we don’t come from weak people.

I remember wash day, when my Grandmother would feed the bedclothes into an ancient washing machine down in the basement.   It was open on the top and she’d sprinkle in a little soap powder and then push the sheets down into the tub.  After the rotor had sufficiently beaten the sheets for a few minutes, she lifted them out  soaking wet and fed them into a wringer attached to the top of the machine.   She would then turn the wringer by hand as she fed the sheets into the contraption.  Once they had been wrung out she’d repeat the process with clean water to rinse out the soap.  I swear to God, it was barely a step above taking everything down to the river and beating it on the rocks, which, in fact, might have been an easier alternative.

Myrtle Swenson – Stinton, was a tall, slender woman, with an iron will and the disposition of a Minnesota Methodist.    There was no smoking, drinking or swearing in her house or on her property.   She was habitually neat and clean and I will forever remember those big white sheets drying on the line in her backyard, waving in the Minnesota breeze until they were freshly dried and fit for her family. While she rarely complained about anything or had a bad word to say about anybody,  this morning I awoke knowing exactly what she’d say about our current state of political affairs.

“It’ll all come out in the wash” she’d say.   Maybe she did say it, as it was the first thing in my head when my eyes opened?   Again, I have no idea where these things come from, but it was and is a comforting thought, so I’m not complaining.

One thing I do know for certain is that my Grandmother, a good Minnesota Methodist,  would never, ever,  tell a lie.   It’s nice to have someone you can count on, isn’t it?

Wanted: A Little Truth Telling

The most victimized by “fake news,” are those who most loudly decry its very existence. They fall prey to it because they don’t have the critical thinking skills needed to identify what it is and to recognize where it’s coming from – that it is being produced by the very same people and organizations they loudly support on the far-right.

Among these purveyors of political propaganda perhaps the most noteworthy is Donald J. Trump, who continues to stand the media on its head by declaring real news to be fake and vice-versa.

And now, rising to yet a new level of deceit, it appears there are those who are going to great lengths to design “leads” on fake news stories.  It’s a kind of reverse “phishing”  technique aimed at the legitimate media, attempting to get real news organizations hooked on a phony story by planting bogus information so that once the story comes out the alt-right can point its crooked finger at the legitimate media while screaming, “See we told you so!  Fake News!”   

It appears the legitimate media’s Queen of intellectual power and credibility, Rachel Maddow, was a recent target of this technique.

As “The Hill” reports – “MSNBC host Rachel Maddow warned other media outlets on Thursday that she believes she was provided forged National Security Agency documents alleging collusion between a Trump campaign official and Russia’s efforts to influence last year’s presidential election.

“I feel like I need to send this up like a flare for other news organizations in particular,” Maddow said on her program Thursday night.”

So Maddow and her producers didn’t fall for it.   They didn’t get sucked into the vortex of what appeared to be a big story based upon what appeared to be an official document.  Good for them.  As she pointed out on her show, one wonders who else has taken the bait, or might?   One wonders if Dan Rather’s producer at CBS and ultimately Rather himself,  might not have been victims of this same tactic?

There are those who might say a media organization will have only itself to blame if it fails to properly check out the information it’s using prior to airing or publishing a story.  And they’d be right.  However, if those planting the fake story are really good at what they’re doing,  if they have unlimited backing from some…oh, let’s call it an “evil empire”…. then it’s a good bet that eventually they will be able to hook somebody with their scheme.   Maybe as big a fish as Dan Rather or Rachel Maddow?

With the President of the United States acting as Finger Pointer in Chief,  firing off repeated allegations of “fake news” and even suggesting the law should be changed to make it easier to file a lawsuit against the media,  our political and media environments are growing stranger by the hour.   Every tweet, holds the potential for a new horror, like the latest from Donald Trump Jr.,  showing Donald Trump in a fighter jet shooting down another jet labeled “CNN.”   This is not funny or clever, it is unacceptable behavior that could lead to a member of the press being seriously injured or killed.

Much of this feels like one of those spy novels set in the 60’s, where the KGB was out to get us using anything that worked, be it disinformation, misinformation, blackmail, and probably a few other spy tricks most of us had never thought of, like hacking an American election or buying off highly-placed elected American officials?  The principle difference, of course, is that in the 60’s, it was the U.S. Government and the American press that were aligned against the Russians.   Now it’s Trump and the Russians, who appear to be aligned against the American press.

Against this backdrop Mr. Trump meets with Vladimir Putin, the President of the United States,  still under the influence of what appears to be continued denial with regard to Russian hacking as he agrees to set the hacking issue aside so that they can move forward with their relationship?

Question is, move forward with what?   Is the totalitarian Putin going to stop murdering journalists, jailing opposition politicians, invading neighboring countries, supporting a bloodthirsty dictator in Syria even while he promises a partial ceasefire?    And Donald Trump, the President of the United States, gives the appearance of being just one more useful idiot as he looks the other way in tacit approval of all that Putin stands for.

According to Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the two sides came away from their two-hour meeting during the G20 Summit, with an agreement to hold further talks,  “regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process.”  It’s important to understand the insanity of believing the United States can work with the Russians on preventing future hacking incidents, when it’s the Russians who are doing the hacking but refuse to admit that it’s taking place.   And this apparently, is the “deal” Trump got from Putin.  It’s laughable.

Whose best interests does Trump have in mind?  Ours, or Putin and his Russian oligarchs?   And where do Trump’s business interests fit in?   Perhaps even more troubling is the question of whether this President has the intellectual capacity to sort it all out,  whether he may be suffering from one or more disabilities that preclude the possibility of rational thought?  More than one observer has commented that his personality appears to have been impacted since entering the political process, some saying he is changed man.  In addition, his physical well being remains suspect, as we have  yet to see anything approaching a comprehensive medical report on his 71 year-old physique.

Is the partial ceasefire real, or nothing but disinformation?   A lie that will turn to dust in a few weeks, after Trump has used it as red meat for his base, ostensibly proving that his relationship with Putin has some value after all, while the fact that Mr. Putin is believed to have directed the hacking of an American election will be nothing but an afterthought?  Just another bit of fake news.  Another Trumpian deflection,  targeting an American public who increasingly look like lambs to the slaughter as the Kremlin chalks up one more victory in its ongoing assault on Liberal Democracy.

Raqqa Who?

CNN is running an “exclusive” with their reporter going inside Raqqa, as the attack on ISIS continues. At this point in the exercise, how many Americans do you suppose even care? How many do you suppose have any idea where Raqqa is, or have any genuine concern at all for U.S. troops in combat zones in the Middle East or North Africa, so long as they aren’t impacted by another attack on U.S. soil?

Has the “backdoor draft” put an end to any real connectivity with troops in harm’s way?  What is our policy, our long-term plan with regard to the Middle East and North Africa?  Do we even have one?  Isn’t that the real story they should be covering, as opposed to this unending military police action with no end-game in sight while government officials heap praise on a Military-Industrial Complex that continues raking in billions from endless warfare?

Has the nightmare Eisenhower warned us of come to pass while a largely non-watchdog media refuses to recognize reality?   Can you point to Raqqa on a map or provide a description of its military significance?   Didn’t think so.   And most of us won’t give a damn unless there’s another attack on U.S. soil generating the fear and anger necessary to do whatever it takes militarily to solve the problem, ignoring the fact that in all likelihood the only real solution is political and not military.

A Little Time Away From The Political Madness

 

A friend, someone I hold in high regard, sent me a comment some weeks ago, complaining that “Trump is bad enough,” but to also read my political rants he said,  was just too much.  I thought about it and decided he’s right.  So I’ll be staying away from the pundits hashing and re-hashing the horribly depressing scene in D.C. for a while and focusing my energies on a book project I started several years ago but set aside when the move out of California began eating up my time.

That said, out of habit I landed on a discussion this morning relative to Russia, the United States, Hassad and Syria.   And it struck me.   We still have no end game in the Middle East, to the point that it’s not even on anybody’s radar anymore.  And that’s crazy.  Almost as crazy as having no policy for our involvement in the Middle East and North Africa, with an alleged President who has appointed his young and inexperienced son-in-law as the nation’s ad-hoc Secretary of State, while the real Secretary, Rex Tillerson, has been relegated to some bizarre backburner position while he waits for the chaos to settle.

No policy for our foreign involvement, a State Department that’s being treated as an unnecessary appendage by a White House and a government both of which have no end game under discussion, just the continuation of the apparent ongoing aimlessness of throwing more money and military personnel at a problem requiring a political rather than a military solution.

We need a stronger rather than a weaker State Department.  A President whose personality issues aren’t a daily concern would also be nice.   And that will be my last political posting for a while.

Simply put, I can’t take it anymore.   The insanity is exhausting.  Waiting for our elected leaders to reclaim the government and the nation is infuriating.

Going back to my book about O.J. Simpson, American jurisprudence and Journalism.   Having participated in the “slow-speed chase” and then covering both the criminal and civil trials, I am just now at a point of being able to overcome the extreme weight of having been obsessed with the case for nearly three years to the point of never wanting to get near it again.

 

Does This Stupid Ballgame Really Matter?

The shooting was a terrible thing but somebody needs to tell these people in Congress and the network pundits that beyond the beltway nobody gives a damn about their stupid baseball game.  I would hazard a guess that before the shooting, nobody outside of this current gang of D.C. insiders even knew the game existed.   Because it was irrelevant.

Real people,  those not blessed by holding elective office, are too busy worrying about healthcare costs, mortgage payments, the cost of college, the soaring cost of food and trying to understand all the added “fees” on their bank statements and cable bills.

This one silly game, with members of Congress prancing about in their little uniforms might raise some money for charity,  which some might think is justification for its existence, but there are more than 20-million Americans worried about losing their healthcare, thousands of others deployed overseas in endless wars and an ongoing issue with terrorism.   There’s also the small matter of being hacked by the Russians and a President who remains under investigation for possible collusion.

Cancel your stupid game.   Those of you who think it represents some imaginary symbolism of the left and right being able to come together, get real.  Once you’ve passed a balanced budget, brought the troops home, enacted universal healthcare, passed meaningful campaign finance reform, sensible gun control legislation and seen to caring for our very young and our elderly, then maybe you can go out and play.  Until then, get back to work and fix this mess.

 

Who The Hell Are We, Anyway?

The shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, was sad.   So are extremists who will now use the tragedy for their own mealy, disgusting, political purposes. There’s some level headed thinking to be had as well.

A couple of recent tweets are on point.   One comes from Republican political commentator Ana Navarro, who tweeted, “Shooting of Cong. by left-wing extremist as condemnable as slaughtering of heroes in OR by right-wing extremist. American on American hate.”  

The other was tweeted out by University of Minnesota Professor of Law and former attorney for the Bush Administration,  Richard Painter, who wrote, “A left wing nut with a gun is as dangerous as a right wing nut with a gun. But mental health coverage is harder for him to get than a gun?”

Those tweets shouldn’t make anybody angry.  They should make us think.

One thought that keeps running through my mind is that when compromise is impossible conflict is inevitable.  It would appear that we need to try and understand why compromise has become a thing of the past.  Why legislators who used to put country first, now care only for stringent business and party-line interests as party leaders worry more about special interest groups than for the concerns of the majority?

Do you suppose that business and government interests being allowed to pump truckloads of cash into our political process might have something to do with it?

Beyond that, why, with the election of President Obama, did the Republican Party become “The Party of No?”  Could racism and greed be factors and can we possibly get past our current divisions without first understanding who we are?  Is there no middle ground between the “general welfare” mentioned in the preamble to our Constitution and free trade Neocon Capitalism which ignores the general welfare of the many while providing great wealth to the few?

Are we condemned forever to repeat these idiotic boom and bust economic cycles that tear us to pieces?   Is there no resolution?

Who the hell are we, and how did we get to a point that a man from Illinois felt he had no viable alternative except to grab an assault rifle, drive to Virginia and open fire?     Can we be honest enough with ourselves and with one another to get past this?

 

The Democrats Are Gonna Blow It Again

Just watched the Sunday morning shows and I got that same old sinking feeling.  The Democrats are gonna blow it again.

I’m disgusted to the point of wanting to switch from the Democratic Party back to being an Independent, a political preference I held for many years before moving back to Maryland, which has an antiquated closed primary – meaning you must declare for a party if you want to vote for their candidate.  So I had to become a Democrat to vote for Bernie in the last election.   Closed primaries.  What nonsense.   In the end it only discourages people from taking part in the political process.   But back to the matter at hand. The dysfunctional self-immolating Democrats.

One of the highest compliments I was ever paid came from a colleague who said, “If I’m ever in an alley fight, I’d trust you to cover my back.”   The Democratic Party is currently in the alley fight of their lives.   Not only are they terrible fighters, they can’t even cover their colleague’s backs by getting on the same page.

Meantime, their opponents are on the same page, fully funded, well organized and ruthless, using a deadly political schematic developed over many years and with only one goal.  Winning.  The Republicans are out for political blood while the Dems are once again coming off like a debating society, filled with book-learning but with no street smarts at all.

First comes Chuck Schumer of New York,  that smiling gentleman of the Senate, sounding more like a member of a Harvard debate club than the loyal opposition.  He sounds like Barack Obama all over again, not a street fighter, but polite, measured and trying so hard to be civil.  It didn’t work for Obama and it won’t work for Schumer and the Democrats now.  The Republicans are uncompromising.  They are going to steal his lunch money, kick him to the ground and then laugh about it over cigars and congnac.

Nice and civil does not work with these cutthroats.  You have got to go over their heads and take your political truth about Trump directly to the people.

At least Nancy Pelosi had the gaul to issue the opinion that Donald Trump is unfit for the Presidency,  which is pretty obvious to anybody whose been paying attention.   Well, good for her, considering what the Republicans would be doing to Hillary, were she in the White House instead of Trump.  My God, they’d be dreaming up all kinds of insane allegations against Mrs. Clinton, before sending their followers into the streets screaming for her blood.  Or at least her incarceration.  It would be the nonsense of her emails and Benghazi and Vince Foster all over again.   And so, Minority Leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, stating the obvious, at least made me feel a little bit better.   Good for her.   At least it was something.  Something more than I’ve come to expect.

And then came Dianne Feinstein.  Democratic war-horse of California, who incredibly refused to back Pelosi’s play in calling Trump unfit.  She isn’t ready to “go that far” she said.  Well, when will she be ready?   When the Republican machine has spent its billions to recapture the House and Senate and Russia’s best friend on the world stage, Donald J. Trump, is on his way to winning a second term as President?

Think it can’t happen?   This is the country that elected George W. Bush twice and then followed up with Trump, the delusional man-child from New York.  A man who, by his own admissions and actions, seems to prefer dictators and autocrats to democratically elected leaders.   This guy is clearly dangerous.

And what are the Democrats doing?   They are in a street fight with an outlaw gang that cares nothing for rules and regulations or what’s best for the country.   Backed by billionaire investors, their only rule is doing whatever they must to win.   They continue to be as uncompromising as they were as the “party of no” when, for more than seven years, President Obama kept making the same mistake, over and over again.  He kept trying to compromise with a party that has no interest in a compromising on anything.  Their only interest is in winning and kicking their opposition to the ground in the process.

With Schumer, Pelosi and Feinstein, we are getting more of the same old Democratic Party line.  It did not work for Obama and it didn’t work for Hillary when both she and Michelle Obama tried to take the high ground proclaiming, “When they go low, we go high!”    It bombed and so did Mrs. Clinton.  And now the party that couldn’t win a political street fight in the past refuses to change its losing ways, putting politeness and civility ahead of bare  knuckles politics.

They need to turn the reigns of their party over to Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren, the tough twosome from the good old DFL up in Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken,  Ted Lieu from California and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and then get the hell out of the way.   This current post-Wasserman Schultz leadership has nothing to offer other than more of the same, a formula that failed in the past and will fail in the future.  The Dems need to get back to being Democrats rather than neo-Liberals like Pelosi, Schumer and Feinstein who come off more like moderate Republicans than the true progressives their party once represented and needs to get back to representing once again.

Blessed Relief

The madness, horror, greed, obfuscation, ignorance and lies as hack politicians pretending to be leaders brush up against treason as they continue putting party ahead of country by making excuses for a president who clearly must be impeached asap provides a massive cud for the pundits to chew on.  It no longer matters why Donald Trump is so bad at the job.  All that matters is that he cannot do the job.  He is totally inept to the point of being a danger to the country and the world, and he must be gotten rid of.   Kicked to the curb ceremoniously or unceremoniously, so long as it’s legal.

In Britain, it’s more of the same, as the masses awaken and pressure from both young and old builds to force Theresa May to step aside as PM. Both May and Trump may have been (probably were) assisted by the great Russian propaganda machine, but what remains of Trump’s base is either totally uninformed or simply will not examine and accept facts.

What facts?

-Jared Kushner,  the young son-in-law that Trump put in charge of the nation’s affairs both domestic and foreign,  has publicly admitted that prior to the election the Trump organization was being kept afloat by an infusion of cash from the Russians, which is undoubtedly why DJT has repeatedly refused to release his tax records.

-Trump was surrounded by a cabal of Russian-influenced advisers during his campaign and early days in office.

-Intel reports indicate that in addition to hacking the American political machine the Russians were actively involved in supporting Britain’s exit from the EU, meaning, they were in all probability supporting Theresa May and Donald Trump.  With or without collusion.

-The Russians in the form of Putin and his oligarchs,  see the United States and the U.K., two of the world’s great democracies (our freedom), as the enemy, and yet, it could be many months or even years before this unholy mess is resolved by a Republican dominated Congress, that refuses to put country first.

-We got here by way of Wall Street and its oligarchic greed, pushing reasonable regulations aside, driving the world into a threatened economic collapse resulting in the billionaires and millionaires demanding not increased taxes to support society but a decrease in their taxes and “austerity” programs,  forcing millions of average Americans and Brits to give until it hurt, even though most of them had no more to give as millions of jobs were off-shored to feed the greed – an austerity that opened the door for the Russian supported “Brexit” in Europe and the collapse of American reason which ushered in the age of Trump as millions of desperate Americans decided that anything would be better than more of the same.

Well, it wasn’t.  Putin and his fascist oligarch buddies played us all for a bunch of suckers in what is turning into one of the worst downers of all time.

Can’t take it anymore.

Now watching The Peanuts Movie.

Blessed relief.

Up To Our Eyeballs In Russians

Day after day he keeps grinding away.  The Russian stooge in the oval office is now talking about dropping out of the Paris climate deal, making the once great United States one of only three nations rejecting the agreement to do something rational about climate change.   The other two would be Syria and Nicaragua, proving once again that the Donald knows nothing about being judged by the company he keeps.  Or he is forcing us to keep.

The big orange boob is also talking about once again slamming the door on Cuba, even though it is even now only partially open.   Why make the world a safer place when you can crank up decade’s old hatreds and tensions?   Why does Trump seem to feed off of chaos, confusion and conflict?   Is it because his daddy wouldn’t let him have a puppy?

That would be and should be enough for one day, but the man who would be king is also blubbering about letting a nest of Russian spies return to the country.  Remember the spies?  The bunch who were operating out of one location in New York and another in a big house on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, before President Obama kicked them out of the country after warning Putin to stop attacking America’s cyber-infrastructure?  Remember any of that?

Donald Trump, in his ongoing “Russia can do no wrong” campaign, is talking about letting them back in.   Russian spies.  And why not? These could be some of the same guys who are advising Trump on how to use phrases like “witch hunt” when attempting to deflect the truth about the influence Russia holds over his tiny mind.  The same Russian operatives who left no fingerprints when they saw to it that Trump was surrounded by advisers who were and may remain in contact with their Russian handlers.

All of it is so very clever, targeting a country, a former democracy, that is ultra-sensitive to the call of a “witch hunt” following the horrible experience with Joe McCarthy in the 50’s and his right-hand-man and attorney Roy Cohn.  A closeted gay man who prosecuted other gays.  He also is said to have been Donald Trump’s mentor, the guy who taught him all those nasty tricks he used to get elected.  So maybe it’s not the Russians at all.   Maybe they just fell into a good thing, with a candidate who had been groomed to be their “useful idiot.”   Their stooge in the White House.

And so Donald has been surrounded by advisers with known ties to the Russians as he talks about letting Russian spies back into the country while the Democrats are calling for Jared Kushner to lose his top secret security clearance.

They shouldn’t just be “calling” for it, it should be a demand, and they should be taking it over the heads of the Administration and his Republican wonk supporters in the House and Senate.  They should be taking it directly to the American people.  The majority out there who don’t support Donald Trump and fear for the future of the nation.

To what degree have the Trumps and Kushners been dependent upon  Russian money keeping their business interests afloat over the years?   To what degree are they in no position to say no to the Russians now?

Each day you think it can’t get any worse.  And then it does, leaving some of us with a hollow feeling in our stomachs from the thought that treason may be afoot in the land but nobody is willing to talk about it much less put a stop to it?

No, dear friends, the talk, on the other hand, is about letting the Russian spies back in.   Imagine that.  Can’t be happening.  Not here.

America’s Problem: Alien Mind Control Or Something Else?

A recent poll indicates that 45% of all American voters approve of the job Donald Trump is doing. They couldn’t all have suddenly awakened from a coma, not all of them, so alien mind control has to be the answer. The space guys are beaming in on us.  Some of us, anyway.   Or it could be the Russians. Perhaps all those loonies in the park with tinfoil on their heads were getting it right.

Who are these people?  How can there be such a vast difference of opinion, or is this about something other than politics?   Something that runs much deeper?   Something that has remained unresolved for more than a hundred years?

Eighty percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump.  His base, if there is any truth to the pictures on tv and in the papers,  is nearly all white.

Trump, to anyone who has been paying the least little bit of attention beyond FOX and right-wing radio, is horribly incompetent, vastly overrated by the right, and a danger to the nation and the world.   He needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible. And yet, 45% of the American electorate approves of the job he’s doing as he fails to deliver on campaign promises while alienating our friends and allies as he befriends our long-time enemies, cozying-up to dictators, oligarchs and autocrats.

That same poll indicates that 43% of the American electorate thinks Trump should be impeached.  Now.  And yet, there is inexplicably, that 45% job approval rating.   For a man who, by all appearances, opposes Democracy and favors Fascism.

What’s really going on here?  Are we big enough to admit that it could be something other than politics?   Something that runs much deeper and has been around much longer than the past couple of election cycles?   Something that is so abhorrent and dangerous that most pundits fear letting the words “white nationalism” leave their lips?