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?

Go Ahead And Yell, You’ll Feel Better

While watching a panel of the usual suspects on CNN’s “Situation Room,” I heard something that made me, once again, yell at the tv.  I’ve been doing a lot of that recently.

This time, one of the regulars, an alleged expert on the law (presuming these people are vetted before being allowed on camera),  was talking about Trump’s personal attorney refusing to comply with a request for documents issued by a congressional committee.  “Well, there’s really nothing they can do,” she said.  “They could hold him in contempt of congress,” she continued,  “But there’s really nothing they can do.”

What?  WHAT?  Yes there is something they can do.  You just said it (I thought to myself, pounding my head against the wall).  They can send out a subpoena and then throw his ass in jail for up to a year for contempt of congress if he fails to comply.  A YEAR IN JAIL.  As well as the impact non-compliance might have on his law practice.  You just said that and then you came back and totally contradicted yourself.

Is this the best we can do?  Really?   Why does one get the feeling that some of the pundits are still afraid of telling it like it is and in the process end up acting like apologists for Trump and the madness he represents which only helps to normalize insane behavior.   And that is really, really bad for us all.

Reality.  It’s a good thing.  Can we get rid of these worried weenies, both on-camera and presumably in management, who think the truth needs to be balanced out by the exaggerations and outright lies of surrogates?

Not that any of this matters.   This is one of those no-win situations where everyone blames the media., and then when things thoroughly melt down, those who were bitching about too much coverage will proclaim out loud that the coverage was inadequate, as they complain, “Why didn’t anybody tell us about this?   “Where was the media?”

The media was there, dummy.  You just weren’t paying attention. You  haven’t picked up a newspaper or a book in years have you?  You were probably relying on only one perverted, slanted source on television because they were telling you what you wanted to hear as opposed to the best available version of the truth, which is one hell of an accomplishment with Donald J. Trump in Office.

Ignorance is a dangerous thing.   If you can’t figure things out and you can’t see your way clear to do anything to help others then at the very least try not to do or say anything that hurts anybody.

Beyond that it’s probably okay to go ahead and yell at the tv.   Nobody gets hurt and you’ll feel better.

Trump Turns America Into A Joke

“Stupid is as stupid does.”  So true, so true.

The world according to Trump has gotten to a point where it’s beyond shocking or outrageous.   It’s now gotten to the point of being so stumblebum stupid that it’s humorous, and perhaps because of that, more dangerous than ever.

It’s difficult to notice your country being taken away while doubled over with laughter.  “You hire a clown and you get a circus.”   I don’t know who coined that one, but it’s a goodie.  And with Trump, it’s true.

Yesterday one of the pundits was talking about Donald’s son-in-law approaching the Russians with the request that the Trump Administration (or elements of it) be allowed to use Russian diplomatic facilities (the Russian Embassy in DC?) to open a secure back-channel to the Kremlin.

This is beyond crazy.  This is idiotic.  As a former CIA operative put it, “What were they going to send the Russians?  The nuclear codes?…the presidential daily briefing?”   It was also noted that Jared Kushner, is apparently deep in debt and that he might be looking for a Russian bailout.   Or who knows?   It could be another in a series of Russian bailouts for the family Trump?   We still haven’t seen those tax records.   I mean all the records, not the sanitized dribs and drabs King Donald wants us to see.

Reports of the “back-channel” espionage move coming from the President’s closest adviser, coupled with Donald selling us out to the Sunni Arabs while turning his back on the Shiites and NATO like a petulant child was too much.  Somewhere between the sword dance in Riyadh and reports of the back-channel initiative in D.C. I broke out laughing.  The circus is in town and like it or not, ringmaster Donald is making all of us here in the United States look like a bunch of boobs.

How could we have elected this guy?  We didn’t.   Only nine percent of the electorate voted in the primary to send Hillary and Donald to the general election.   Nine percent.  Most of us didn’t want either candidate, but at the same time, most of us were too lazy or just plain negligent to first pay attention to what was going on and then get up and go out to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens of these United States by voting in the primary.   All you guys who didn’t vote, you did this to us and to the world, which now looks on in horror wondering what the American ringmaster will call down next.

There’s the question of whether our two-party system is still even viable, but that’s another column.   As is the need to make it easier and not more difficult to vote.

Trump has taken sides with the Sunnis against the Shiites in the Middle East, and he doesn’t even know where the Middle East is.  Most of his base of supporters, for that matter, probably have no idea who the Sunnis and Shiites are, or what role they play in all of this.   Trump admitted his ignorance when he talked about having been in the Middle East upon his arrival in Israel.

The man clearly has personality issues.  Beyond that, he is just plain ignorant.

Before now, the U.S. was on the periphery of a holy war that’s more than a thousand years old.  Now, thanks to Donald J. Trump, we are in the middle of the dispute, which has no end in sight.

There was also the shoving incident at NATO, where the President of the United States looked like a spoiled pre-teen bully, shoving the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way so that he, the mighty golden-domed Donald, could be at the front of the group for what appeared to be a photo-op.  This was perhaps, eclipsed only by Trump’s giving away the location of two nuclear submarines to the current dictator of the Philippines,  a man who advocates for common citizens to run out into the streets and opening fire on anyone they suspect of being a drug dealer (much easier than divorce?), only hours before being scolded by the Brits, who were understandably twisted out of shape about an intelligence leak coming from the U.S. regarding the suicide bombing in Manchester.

And of course his criticism of the “bad” Germans.   Those “bad, very bad” people who employ 33,000 Americans at their auto facilities on U.S. soil and who, at America’s calling,  sent their troops to serve in Afghanistan, as part of the U.S. led coalition.

The Donald seems intent upon doing all he can to pass the mantle of the leader of the free world over to Angela Merkle.

It was at some point during this unending nightmare that the great golden-domed idiot also congratulated congressional candidate Greg Gianforte on his win in Montana, saying nothing about the man body-slamming and then pounding a reporter for The Guardian newspaper a day before the election.  What did the reporter do to deserve the pummeling which sent him to the ER?   He asked the candidate for his position on a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office.  Oh yeah, that’ll get you hammered every time.

One wonders if members of congress aren’t brushing up on their self-defense moves, now that Greg “The Fist” Gianforte, a man with a proven uncontrollable temper,  is headed for D.C.

Oh, he’ll probably be just fine, so long as he doesn’t get any questions about the Congressional Budget Office.  I mean, it’s not like politics is intertwined with funding, or anything.

And so, I couldn’t take it any longer and I just broke out laughing. Better than crying, I guess.  Although we may all be doing some of that as well, if the Republicans don’t grow a pair and vote for impeachment sooner instead of later.   Kushner’s reported request for a back-channel to the Kremlin out of a Russian property should be the last straw on the back of a camel barely standing under the weight of what appears to be criminal activity that threatens the nation.

Come on, people.  Trump has turned the country into an international joke.  A man who is the embodiment of a cross between Chauncey Gardner and Forrest Gump is making us all look like idiots.

Special Submission: A Moderate Speaks Out



God help us. The too exhausted to tweet tour will soon come to an end. The deluded fat man from New York will return to learn that his lies are being uncovered.   That his budget is dead, the promise of cheaper and better healthcare is in a shambles, the air conditioning jobs he promised are being eliminated and a Republican candidate has thrown a reporter to the ground while screaming “Get the hell out of here,” much to the delight of what’s left of his geriatric, white nationalist, evangelical base – many of whom remain smacked-out on prescription meds – except for the coal miners who have finally figured it out and are now marching on the Capitol, shovels and picks in hand, while Paul Ryan,  his blue eyes deer-in-the-headlights wide, assumes the fetal position in a dark corner deep in the earth somewhere below the Rayburn Building.

There, in the cold, damp air,  reminiscent of the root-cellars back home in Wisconsin, the truth will finally land home like a shot put in a bowl of warm oatmeal.  It can’t be fixed.  This thing, this partially Russian-engineered Trump thing, isn’t going to work.

There are only two possibilities.  Either he knew what was going on and proceeded anyway, or he was serving their needs as a “useful idiot.”   Either way, at this point there’s no way to cover all the lies, hide all the nonsense – not with the fat man, still heady from the Saudi sword dance while dreaming of better times with golden showers, coming home.   None of it is going to work – no matter how much they smile or how many new lies they tell, the nose candy will eventually run out and their grand and greedy plan to extract all the cash from the people they pretended to lead will come to an end.

There will be nothing left but the Russian-loving fat man, his incessant tweets and the horrible crushing reality of what is.   Multiple investigations turning tyranny on its ugly head, concluding with the possibility of jail time as adults resume control of the Federal Government, with a special prosecutor and maybe an independent committee at he tip of the spear.

The sun will shine once again, casting a bright and hope-filled light on our Constitution and the wisdom of the founders in providing us with three co-equal branches of government.  A system of checks and balances that by the grace of God will prove to be too powerful for even the fat man from New York and his Russian backers to overcome.

The man who would be king will have been defeated, and we the people will again sleep peacefully in our beds.

Respectfully submitted,

F. Z. Mumfort,  American Moderate

Trump, Wahhabism And The Art Of The Deal

Did you catch the coverage of DJT and his newest best buddies the Saudis, at the Islamic “Counter-Terrorism Center?”  I might have missed something, but all I saw was a whole lot of Arab men (no women allowed) sitting at computers doing God knows what. Purifying the local Internet based upon Islamic law with a foundation in ultra-conservative Wahhabism, probably.   It might be easier to just call it what it is.  Good old fashioned censorship.

This highlights the contradictory thinking America continues struggling with when it comes to the Arabs.  It is also at the heart of the battle the ruling House of Saud is having with so much of its populace, which privately continues to support ISIS and other terrorist factions.   The House of Saud and their King, put on their best face when Trump comes to visit, but have to continually worry about facing an uprising should that face prove to be too progressive, setting the extremist Wahhabist’s hair on fire.

Watching the video come in I had two thoughts.  The first, was that there were no women working at the “Center.”   How are they supposed to get there when they can’t leave the house without their husband’s permission and they aren’t permitted to drive?  The second, was that the whole place would be emptied out once Trump and the Americans left the premises.

There’s a whole big cultural thing going on here, you see, and one has to wonder the degree to which Donald J. Trump and his advisers might be clueless.   It’s a geopolitical mistake western leaders have continued to make bigly since at least the end of World War I, when they carved up the Middle East with borders the Arabs and other indigenous peoples failed to recognize, and it’s getting really, really old.  Pretty sure there’s nothing about the Sunnis and the Shia and their centuries old differences in “The Art of the Deal.”   It’s not the kind of thing Donald would have picked up while doing his research watching “Fox and Friends,” the only media outlet he seems to approve of.

To date, everything he’s done on his trip  appears to be building polarization between the two branches of Islam, which can only lead to greater conflict rather than peace.

Then there’s the Administration’s aversion to our free press.

In Riyadh, Rex Tillerson again turned his back on American journalists, as they were kept out of a news conference Tillerson held with Saudi foreign minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.   In the past, the Trump Administration had barred only select media outlets from attending press conferences at the White House while allowing only one reporter to accompany Tillerson on his trip to Japan.   Now they appear to be slamming the door on all the American media, while only the Saudi press is allowed through the door in Riyadh and the Russians hold sway in the Oval Office.   Remember the Russian press being allowed into the Oval Office while our guys were kept out when Donald met with the Russians?   And then the Russians turned around and bitch-slapped Donald, by releasing all those photos of the Prez grinning broadly with two enemy agents complicit in hacking the U.S. election in 2016?

A pattern seems to be developing, indicating the Donald favoring strong-man Kings and dictators, while having serious problems with the blessings of democracy and a free press.  And now there are issues with mere handshakes.

Remember Donald not wanting to shake Angela Merkle’s hand?” Well, he’s taken that several steps further in Israel,  where Bebe Netanyahu, reportedly had to order his entire cabinet to attend a welcoming ceremony for the Trumps, after cabinet members were told the American President had no interest in shaking their hands.

Hope Donald knows that praying at the “Wailing Wall” doesn’t mean that he should literally wail, as his entourage moves on to Israel.   Then again, who really cares?  The man just did a one-eighty with the Saudis who he earlier blamed for the attacks of 9-11.  Now he appears to be doing all he can to fire up war with Iran.  He has no credibility left.  Chaos, confusion and ill-will seem to follow him wherever he goes.  A little wailing might actually do him some good.

Trump Falls Into Saudi’s Open Arms – Turning His Back On Iran

It feels as though a blanket of calm has been spread over the country with Trump and his Russian-connected cabal out of the daily mix.

The President of the United States has taken his overseas road show to Saudi Arabia, where his first act was taking part in a sword dance, with our President standing in a line of Saudis, clad in their traditional robes and headgear, all waving swords in the air.  Very dignified.   When the Saudis come to visit the U.S., maybe Trump can stage a western gunfight with everybody clad in styles from the old west and shooting blanks at one another with six-guns.   Silly as it might be, we’ll still be a century or so ahead of the Saudis backward civilization.

While it’s doubtful the Arabs will be kind enough to keep him, one wonders at the damage he may be doing, signing agreements like a customs agent stamping out passports.   One wonders to what degree he might be selling us out.

CBS reports the arms deal with the Saudis is worth “$110-billion effective immediately and as much as $350 billion over ten years.”

There are those who fear DJT has already been purchased by the Russians, and now he’s accepting 40-billion from the Arabs to re-build America’s infrastructure and in what looks like a “sweetner” to the deal,  another 100-million from the Saudis and the UAE,  for a fund for women entrepreneurs in the Middle East, proposed by Ivanka Trump.  Women entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia?  Really?

Remember when the twin towers came crashing down?   Remember what may have been Rudy Giuliani’s finest moment as Mayor of New York (perhaps the finest moment of his life), when he told the Saudis to go to hell after they offered him 100-million in blood money just days after the attack?

One wonders what’s really going on with the Saudis, what the long-term impact will be after they set up production lines for weapons of war with America’s help.  One wonders whether this has been thought through.  One wonders if the Saudi blood money for 9-11 has finally been accepted and whether this new agreement to help the Arabs build their own weaponry could be the final nail in the coffin of any hope of establishing a relationship with Iran that can lead to peace rather than war.

One wonders as to the degree to which the Saudis, who face serious internal conflict, will be willing to take a lead in the fight against ISIS and terrorism in general, shutting down their madrassas and cutting the flow of private Saudi money to ISIS.   One wonders if that’s even possible considering the scope of this centuries old Sunni-Shia conflict.  One wonders if Donald Trump fully understands any of this, or if he’s under the impression that this is just another development deal.  Just another casino.

Oh wait, the American president is now speaking about “conquering extremism.”   He’s telling this to the Saudis who practice beheadings as an integral part of their Islamic justice system?   He’s preaching the evils of “inflexible idiology” to the Saudis, who prohibit women from driving cars, participating in sports or “showing off their beauty?”   A country where women are stoned to death for adultry?   Does he know where he is and who he is talking to, an auditorium with only three women visible in the audience and all three are Americans, including his wife and daughter?

Perhaps Trump will cut a groundbreaking deal marking a turn in the war on terrorism, or maybe we’d have been better off had he stayed in the U.S.

The Re-Education Of America

Americans need to be re-educated to the fact that there are still solid, objective news outlets like the New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, CBS and PBS. These are not left-wing news outlets, they are legitimate mainstream news operations that do their best to lean neither left nor right and can be depended upon for fairness and objectivity – or as Carl Bernstein calls it, “The best available version of the truth.”

Overseas, the BBC, France24 and Euronews also practice traditional journalism and can be accessed on the Internet. France24 is available on YouTube. In the US market, thankfully, CBS News appears intent upon returning to its former status at the very top of the broadcast journalism food chain.   A position it held for many years, until profits trumped public service.   

Across the country there is excellent reportage being done on a daily basis by journalists who do what they do primarily because it matters.   Wherever you live, there are broadcast and print journalists working daily to bring you not infotainment, but actual news. They are working in service to our democracy.   They should be commended for that service just as we commend our military.

It is too often forgotten that freedom is dependent upon both the sword and the quill.   It is not unreasonable to advocate re-directing some of our massive military budget over to public broadcasting and investigative reporting at the nation’s remaining great newspapers.

There was no question of the traditional news outlets veracity, until biased, right-wing outlets like FOX News came along and declared their slanted version of the news to be the only correct version available. This nonsense poisoned the minds of millions of Americans, who were attracted to a slanted, entertainment-based version of the news they wanted to hear, rather than real, objective news that made them uncomfortable because it forced them to think. And so entertainment programming disguised as news drew millions of viewers to outlets like FOX and right-wing talk radio. The country was forever changed because of it.

The time is long past to re-educate Americans that real news outlets are still available, and that there is a difference between news broadcasts and entertainment programming designed not to ferret out the truth but to come up with a formula to garner the greatest profit possible, even if that means putting a biased show on the air disguised as legitimate news or writing a headline that reflects more fiction than fact.

Its’ time for America to regain a sense of pride in its Journalism. I’m not sure how to get it done, I just know that somehow we have got to do it – because right now, a great many Americans think fake news is real and real news is fake – and that my friends, is a formula for disaster.

Just Another Wall Of Lies

Misdirection through deception with a wall of lies.  It’s all been done before.

The communists in the former Soviet Union put up the Berlin Wall in 1961.   They did it, they said, to protect their people from the “fascist” capitalists, with their corrupt judiciary and propaganda promoted by a free press on the other side.

In 2017, the American people are being told another wall is needed and that the free press is putting out “fake news,” while a court system that rules against the Trump Administration has to be ethnically biased.

Anger, is the only reasonable response to fascism.   It is a frightening thought that our representatives in Washington D.C., may not be angry enough to stop Donald Trump by any legal means possible before he replaces this current interim FBI Director with someone who will shut down the investigation into the Trump Administration’s relationship to the Russians.

Don’t be fooled.  It’s not the people on the other side of the wall that we should fear.   It’s those who advocate building the wall, shutting down the free press and intimidating the judiciary in an attempt to bring Democracy to its knees.

The Self-Indictment Of Donald J. Trump

So Donald J. Trump not only fired the FBI Director who was leading an investigation into whether Trump and (or) his Administration colluded with the Russians to alter the outcome of an election,  he has also admitted on national television that he fired James Comey,  specifically because of that same investigation and then threatened, via tweet, that Comey had better hope no one  recorded a recent meeting between the two.

In Trump’s own words,  “But regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey……..And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said: ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.’”  -Donald J. Trump

Since that statement and the threat that a recording may exist, the Supreme Court and Richard Nixon, have kept popping into my head.

Mr. Trump, apparently has no knowledge that in July of 1974, the Supreme Court ordered Richard Nixon to release tapes proving that he and H.R. Haldeman conspired to obstruct an investigation by the FBI.

After that,  rather than going through impeachment in the House and a trial in the Senate, Richard Nixon, resigned.  And now Donald J. Trump, has admitted to doing the same thing.   He has admitted to obstructing an investigation by the FBI.  And he did it on national television.

The only thing standing between the American people and justice, by way of removing Donald J. Trump from office, is the Republican Party.   How much more will it take before these heretofore spineless Republicans put country before their party?   They now have both a legal and an ethical obligation to kick Trump to the curb. Legal, because of the obvious violation by way of his admission that he obstructed justice, and ethical, because of the man’s questionable personality issues highlighted by repeated self-contradiction and outright lies.

If a recording, taped, digital or otherwise, of Mr. Trump’s private conversation with Mr. Comey does exist, then the Senate, the House and the FBI, should take steps to acquire said recording as quickly as possible.   The destruction of said recording (evidence) could lead to another obstruction of justice charge.

If you have no background on the Watergate break-in and subsequent investigation you should consider reading the book, “All the President’s Men” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.   It’s also available on DVD.

Fascism By Any Other Name…

And now comes a new flurry of tweets from Trump including a thinly-veiled threat against now private citizen James Comey and an intellectually feeble defense of his Administration’s continued inaccuracies.

Tweet: “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

Tweet: “..Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

Tweet: “As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!….”

This president is like a gunfighter with dust in his eyes, thoughtlessly blasting away at anything that moves. Apart from the damage being done to our democracy by a man who exhibits no credibility whatsoever, there is the danger that eventually he will hit something or somebody, potentially putting us all in harm’s way.

Something else that should be of interest is an interview aired by Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now!”   Goodman, interviewed New York University Professor of History and Italian Studies, Ruth Ben-Ghiat.   Professor Ben-Ghiat, is working on a book entitled, “Strongmen:  From Mussolini to Trump.”

Here is some of what Professor Ben-Ghiat, had to say-

“Trump doesn’t care too much about the GOP. It got him to power, it gave him the nomination, but it’s just a vehicle for him. So, that’s part of it.

The other thing is, a senior—a former senior intelligence official said that the Comey—the way that he fired Comey was “like an execution,” in quotes. And, you know, the method, and he did it—Trump is a—he’s a proponent of the doctrine of surprise. And this was a kind of threat to the FBI, to the American public, which is consistent with the kind of dangerous persona he has had. And I want to remind everyone that in January 2016, when he was on the campaign trail, he said, “I could stand on 5th Avenue and shoot someone and wouldn’t lose any followers.” This was, for me, a turning point. It meant that he was giving us a message that he considered himself to be above the law. And he was testing the GOP, which is what authoritarians do. They test, on their way up and once they’re in power, to see how much they can get away with. And the GOP rewarded him with the nomination. So he feels emboldened, now he’s in power, to do exactly this kind of thing.   

…….The thing about authoritarians today—and we can look at what’s happening in Turkey and elsewhere, and even in Russia—you don’t need to have a dictatorship in the classic sense to accomplish your goals. You can intimidate people. You can try and control the press. You can attack the judiciary, the media, the institutions, hollowing them out, without having to ban parties in the traditional fascist manner.” -Ruth Ben-Ghiat on “Democracy Now!”

The End Of The Imperial Trump Presidency

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director, Jim Comey, signals the beginning of the end for the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

It confirms the belief that Trump and his Administration are willing to do almost anything to hinder the FBI investigation into “Russiagate,”  leading to the obvious conclusion that the Administration has been colluding with elements of the Russian Government.   Beyond that, Trump and Jeff Sessions are obviously using Dep. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as a foil with regard to Sessions having to recuse himself from the Russiagate investigation.

An independent commission and special prosecutor need to be named as soon as possible to take this entire matter out of the hands of the politicians who are proving themselves incapable of handling this situation.   Trump will now nominate what Jeffrey Toobin so correctly labeled as a “stooge” to assume the role vacated by James Comey at the Bureau.  The FBI will no longer be able to carry this investigation forward with any credibility.

The White House, in the person of Donald   J. Trump,  has fired James Comey for something he said ten months ago.   This makes no sense except as an indication as to how desperate Trump is to make the FBI investigation into Russiagate go away.

It’s also possible that Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States and therefore the most powerful person in the world, has no ability to reason things through, but only to watch television and react on a moments notice with either satisfaction or extreme anger, lashing out with caustic and sometimes inane tweets or now a letter of termination.

It was another desperate move by a desperate demagogue who had already fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, immediately after she alerted the White House that National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was in a position whereby he could be blackmailed by the Russians.  A demagogue who had just announced that he is sending more troops into Afghanistan.  Why?  Because he thinks we can do what the UK and the Russians could not do?  Or because ramping up a losing effort in Afghanistan would be a wonderful diversion from his Administration’s ties to the Russians after similar efforts against Kim Jong-un on the Korean Peninsula and with sending fifty-nine cruise missiles to bomb an abandoned air base in Syria had failed.

Come on.  Wake up America.  We’re being conned by someone whose actions appear at times to be beyond the reach of reason.   The result is not what’s best for America.   The result is chaos.

Chris Matthews calls what happened, “A little whiff of fascism.”  Possibly.  Or maybe something more.


Freedom Under Attack On Multiple Fronts

Business Insider is reporting that a branch of the FDA has been told to switch the television monitors in their building from CNN to FOX, per a request from the White House.

A thought:  Those who decry “fake news” the most, are the same folks who think fake news is real and real news is fake.   And we did it to ourselves.  Mostly.  But who really knows?  The Russians have got to be delighted.

Also, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, is looking into possibly of going after Stephen Colbert, for his alleged “obscene” attacks on President Trump.   Mr. Pai, is a Republican who was appointed by President Obama per a recommendation from Mitch McConnell.    One can only assume that Mr. Obama made this appointment back when he was still delusional and believing he could work with members of the Republican Party.

Hey, Ajit, you have a law degree, right?   Don’t you know that political speech is protected by the First Amendment?  Trump apparently has no idea, but you should.   You should also know about that Larry Flynt thing at the Supreme Court a few years back that set an iron-clad precedent regarding the protections offered political satire?   And you’re going after Colbert?  Maybe?   Are you kidding?  Or is this just harassment to make the big blond boss over in the White House feel good?

And finally, on this eve of the election in France, it appears someone (Russians?  Do ya think?) are doing to the French moderate candidate for president, Emmanuel Macron,  exactly what they did to Hillary Clinton.   They are apparently hacking his presidential campaign emails.   Not that it matters, but if Macron loses the election it could mean losing the European Union, a real coup for the oligarchs,  following the “Brexit” thing which also may have been partially engineered by the Russians who would like nothing better than to have the forces of Democracy pulled apart and scattered to the four corners, giving more power to fascists like Vladimir Putin.

All that’s needed now is for FBI Director Jim Comey to make a public statement linking  Macron with Anthony Weiner, even though the linkage is irrelevant.   Except that it will help throw the election to the candidate the Russians prefer.

Where the hell are the good guys?

Lord, have mercy.