Tag Archives: donald trump

Bellowing, Bloviating And Blathering

Did you see it, or perhaps I should say, can you remember any of it with your eyes still burning from all that smoke in the air? It was in the headlines less than a week ago, but is mostly forgotten, hidden behind the Trump Administration’s giant smoke machine.

The latest cloud of nonsense from Trump, is another possibly bogus treatment for Covid-19. First it was the possibility of injecting sanitizers into the body or flooding the body with some kind of magic light. Then came hydroxychloroquine. The doctors gave that one a big thumbs-down. This time it’s the “emergency authorization of convalescent plasma” to attack the virus. Donald Trump, a man with no medical training, has assured the public that it will work. He has made this assurance before medical trials have been completed. So he has no real idea whether it will work. Medical experts apparently don’t either, which is why actual doctors haven’t broadly recommended it.

It may not work, at least not to the degree that Trump wants us to believe, but it’s sending out another giant plume of smoke, one more huge deflective dust-up for the general public to try and deal with, at least those who are still paying attention after being worn thin with exhaustion from Trump’s misinformation and disinformation.

It almost feels like something the Russian KGB would have put together during the cold war, doesn’t it?

Trying to sort out just one piece of Trump’s PR putrification is enough to throw the public completely off track, which is what has happened since, less than a week ago, NBC News reported that “The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee made criminal referrals of Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince and Sam Clovis to federal prosecutors in 2019,…” Just days after the story broke, former Trump advisor, Steve Bannon, was taken into custody from a yacht off the coast of Maine. So what about the others? Principally, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr.? Will they be arrested next?

It’s all very close to home for Donald Trump, with “criminal referrals” being recommended by top Intel Committee Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. Wikipedia, says a criminal referral, is “a notice to a prosecutory body, recommending criminal investigation or prosecution of one or more entities for crimes which fall into that body’s jurisdiction.”

They went after Bannon, so what about Don Jr. and Jared Kushner? Will they be deemed immune from prosecution by William Barr’s Justice Department? Will Steve Bannon, be the temporary sacrificial goat, out on bail until and if he’s escorted to jail only to be issued a presidential pardon?

All we really need to know is that Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intel Committee think there is enough evidence of collusion with the Rusians in the 2016 election, to recommend a criminal investigation into Bannon, Kushner and Trump Jr. Obviously, they think there is something there, something that might lead to criminal convictions.

All we need to know is that Donald John Trump broke the law, grossly violating the emoluments clause, when he asked Russia to help him defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. He is a criminal.

All we need to know is no matter how despicable Jeffrey Epstein might have been, his possibly being denied due process is a threat to us all. The very fact that we now must wonder if suicide actually was his cause of death is troubling enough, with implications that reach even into the British Royal Family.

All we need to know is that almost every angry accusation that comes from the Trump family or their minions, is a projection of themselves. We can feel the uncertainty of those who live in Turkey, Russia, North Korea and Belarus, as Donald Trump does all he can to turn our system into a totalitarian state. His need for control unfettered by the advise and consent of the Congress is transparent. History will likely judge this Republican controlled Senate to be traitorous in their refusal to conduct adequate oversight of the Trump White House.

One can only pity the mainstream press in this era of Trump. All they need to do to be condemned for being slanted in favor of the left is to tell the truth. And so they are condemned for doing their jobs. The urge to be less than objective to avoid attacks from the massive and well organized echo chamber of the right has to be nearly overwhelming. Attacks from politicians are to be expected, but never before, at least not in recent times, has the normalization of the abnormal been so prevalent, has the promotion of abject lies as the truth become so normalized, as to drive the acceptability of a totalitarian thug who exhibits “co-morbid” mental issues.

Beyond the traditional news media and its struggle to deal with this current madness, a bigger question might be whether we are at a point where a madman (or woman) with a Twitter account can control the direction of the country?

But back to our premise of trying to remember what is and isn’t real in the chaos-strewn world of Donald J. Trump – with his latest new miracle cure for Covid and TikTok suing the Administration over Trump’s threatened ban. With the Republican Party announcing that they will have no platform for the upcoming convention, that their only platform will be to back their golden boy. With Trump’s Niece, Psychologist, Dr. Mary Trump, writing a tell-all book alleging Donald exhibits psychological “co-morbidity” and then releasing audio of Donald’s sister, who happens to be a retired federal judge, corroborating some of the claims laid out in the book? Or Donald’s completely bogus threat to send law enforcement officials to oversee the upcoming election, something he has no power to do? Did I mention the apparently intentional crippling of the USPS in what appears to be an overt act of voter suppression while sending anonymous federal “police” out into our streets to detain peaceful protesters? And now, topping it all off, Trump mainstay and misinformation guru Kellyanne Conway, the woman who coined the unforgettable term “alternative facts” is quitting her job with the White House. Apparently we aren’t alone in reaching the point of exhaustion.

How long before Kellyanne shows up on Fox? Does former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, have audio or maybe even video of the “golden showers” incident with Donald Trump he has admitted to witnessing in Las Vegas? But mostly, how is America supposed to focus on the Senate Intel Committee’s recommendation of a criminal investigation of Donald J. Trump’s eldest son and son-in-law? Like that doesn’t matter? That was huge folks, a monster story, while much of this other stuff is just noise. But it’s the noise, the smoke, that obscures all else, and it’s gonna get worse. The closer the election the more Trump and his evil minions will ratchet their giant smoke machine into high-gear, bellowing, bloviating and blathering to the max to the very last minute in an effort to obscure the truth, hide the facts, hoodwink the American public and hijack an election while somewhere deep within the bowels of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, smiles.

Complications In The Age Of Covid

Oh Lord, the plague is upon us. But can Covid possibly screw things up any worse than it already has? Of course it can. And maybe it will. Bad enough that we humans, who crave social contact, are now forced to see all other humans as vector-carrying threats.

Bring out the dead.

More than anything, most of us love getting together with others. Which will now kill us. Or so we’re told. Either way, a smart person will play the odds and put some distance between himself and other people. So there’s that. There’s also this new thing I feel when I go out and see someone not wearing a mask, or wearing a mask without covering their nose. It really pisses me off. It really does, almost as much as Donald Trump, refusing to wear one at all. Anywhere. I’ve run out of adjectives to define his consistently declining despicability. Or those who refuse to see it. All we can do is wait for his next new low. It’s what he lives for and it’s coming. Bet on it. It’s one of the few things we can all still depend upon, which means we all need to keep one eye on D.C. and another on L.A.

It was four or five months ago that a friend in Los Angeles sent word that he was waiting in a long line at Costco. When I asked why the line was so long, he responded that for some reason, half of L.A. had decided to load up on toilet paper and bottled water. It made no sense. I still don’t understand it, except that Covid-19, or maybe fear of the unknown, causes people to do some very strange things. And that Angelenos, were a good two weeks ahead of the rest of us.

I suppose the bug might have invaded trees, severely limiting the timber industry, thereby causing a toilet paper shortage? From there, airborne virus that it is, Covid might have somehow invaded the water supply, contaminating that as well, which would put washing one’s hands to keep one safe to the test.

From the start, stocking up on toilet paper and bottled water made no sense whatsoever, with the possible exception of promoting the bottom lines at the toilet paper and bottled water companies, which makes me wonder what we’re doing now. Except for folks over in Bangkok, Thailand, where, according to a piece in the New York Times, Bangkokians are offering food and drink to certain spirits, in return for the spirits keeping them safe. Might be worth a try?

Here in the medically logic-strapped but greed-possessed United States, it appears that wearing masks, washing hands regularly and social distancing are what definitely does work against Covid. Keeping your immune system in good shape might be a good idea, as well. So why are states like Texas, Florida and Alabama opening everything back up even though our national Covid curve is high and staying there? Wouldn’t it be wiser to wait for the curve to at least start falling before we throw away our masks and head to the beach or the nearest Trump for President rally, to become an ignorant, screaming cog in the next Covid super-spreader event? What exactly is wrong with Donald? The entire thinking world wants to know. The tac being taken by the liberal Northeast, makes far more sense.

My sister just returned to Vermont from Arizona. She wants to go down to Massachusetts to visit her mother, but she can’t. Not for two weeks. That’s how long Massachusetts is forcing here to remain in quarantine up in Vermont, before crossing the border. Then, after she gets into Massachusetts, she can’t go back to Vermont for two weeks, for the same reason. The quarantine thing.

She’s thinking about heading out to Martha’s Vineyard to wait it all out from a distance. I was thinking that it might be fun for my wife and me to drive up and join her. Thing is, getting there, normally a day’s drive, would probably take us two to three months because of all the quarantined states. That said, the fight against Covid does seem to be working here in the northeast, which is far more than can be said for the southern super-spreader mostly former slave states, which either don’t get it or simply do not care, apparently seeing all the additional death as the cost of doing business.

But that’s life in Donald Trump’s America in this age of Covid. Love him or hate him, he is our Commander in Chief. Our big wheel. The man. El Patron. Our great orange thud, leaving us with no national strategy to deal with a very deadly bug.

As for me, I’m awaiting word from L.A., to find out what’s coming next. If the lines start forming up at Costco again, I’m buying all the toilet paper I can get my hands on. Will also, probably, begin leaving offerings to Thai divinity Kaman Thong, out on the patio. It’s something to consider.

(Another) Oversight Official Fired By Trump

Donald Trump is in a firing mood again and once again he’s pointed his magic “you’re outta here” wand at oversight, giving the boot to State Department Inspector General, Steve Linick. It’s being reported that Linick, may have been looking into allegations of wrongdoing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is the fourth internal agency federal oversight official to be fired by Trump in the past three months.

It’s only a matter of time before the same happens to Drs. Fauci and Brix. Could happen in two or three weeks, or maybe in the fall. Trump might keep them both hanging around just in case the virus comes roaring back in time for the election and he needs a couple of medical fall guys to blame. “Fall guys,” get it? You had to know the good doctors days with the Trump Administration were numbered when both showed up wearing masks at yesterday’s White House news conference, exhibiting both intelligence and competency. Can’t have that.

Trump never wears a mask. Wouldn’t be manly. It would send the wrong message to his following of gun-toting goofballs. Those same guys who keep showing up at the state house in Lansing, Michigan. Who the hell are they? Gun rights advocates? Don’t they understand that they’re a living billboard for the elimination of civilian ownership of assault weapons? Don’t they get that? Of course not. Or they wouldn’t be supporting opening things back up regardless of the consequences.

Consequences never matter, until they jump up and bite you in the ass. Or destroy your lungs. Or fill the air with lead in Vegas.

Anyway, Fauci and Brix are outta there. You heard it here first. Just a matter of time. Donald can’t handle anybody who is smarter than he is or who might be in possession of a conscience, which is why he keeps firing pretty much everybody he hires.

Maybe Drs. Fauci and Brix will join forces with another of Donald Trump’s many victims, Dr. Rick Bright, and open a practice somewhere. With their qualifications and backgrounds they could make a fortune consulting for the federal government.

Thank God Al Franken Is Back On The Air

Gotta get this down in writing before the devastation of the daily news-stream once again causes my brain to put up a wall to all incoming information as part of the intellectual prophylaxis that’s become a part of my new normal.

John McCain and Al Franken, were our nation’s political saving grace. One is now dead and the other was kicked to the curb. Republicans should be flogged for their rejection of McCain and their resulting dive into Fascism and Democrats, for what they did to Franken, cutting off their overly-PC collective nose to spite their overly-PC collective face.

These are things to consider, as the nation approaches 50,000 dead from the Cronavirus. A bug that might have been at least partially stopped, saving thousands of lives, had safety mechanisms put in place by the Bush and Obama Administrations been left where they were instead of being defunded by Donald J. Trump and his fascist friends with their crash and burn philosophy of non-governance. That is to say, the Bannon process, whereby you disassemble government, for, of and by the people, by defunding government, for, of and by the people, leaving the door wide open for corporate raiders and other fascist vultures to swoop in, compromising, cornering and coercing nearly everything in sight.

If you don’t want to pay taxes to support a federal or state government, then don’t complain when those same governments can doing nothing for you in a time of crisis. Which is precisely where we are.

How much of the $2.2-trillion bailout went to the very wealthy, who are in no need of a bailout, while Trump and his minions insist upon no oversight of the bailout process? According to Politico, the package contained “a $500 billion bailout fund for big businesses and a $170 billion tax break for real estate investors like the president. ”

In a very real sense, the tragedy of Covid-19 is a friend to the fascist greedheads who care only for themselves, led by a narcissist in the Oval Office who is now recommending that his medical advisors look into the possibility of injecting household disinfectant as a possible treatment for the virus while he, with his typical Roy Cohen-type diversionary nonsense, blames immigrants and Iran.

This is beyond stupid, it’s nuts. It no longer matters whether Trump actually understands what he’s doing or whether he is, as the Russians like to say, a “useful idiot.” Either way, the damage has been done. Anybody who isn’t awake enough to understand this yet has got to be in an intellectual coma. Why is anybody out there still supporting this Republican Party? Is it because their only news source is a single cable channel serving as Donald Trump’s private pipeline of belligerent blather? Or is it because the party is represented almost entirely by white men? Is that it? Fear born from racism with a healthy dose of sexism? What else can it be? These Republicans have given up on nearly every conservative economic principle ever conceived, so it can’t be that.

Kudos, to MSNBC, for bringing Al Franken back as a guest commentator. Intellectually vibrant free-thinkers like Franken, are part of the solution as we approach 50,000 deaths.

Currently, there are 49,963 and counting, adding to what will surely be the legacy of Donald J. Trump. The idiot man-child who slipped through an electoral college which failed the nation miserably, to support our enemies, betray our allies and generally just muck things up.

Quarantine Dreams

The imposition of self-quarantine can do strange things to the brain. Like bringing on really bad dreams after spending one’s waking hours thinking about the very real implications of what’s going on, beyond the ineptitude of one man who is out of his depth and apparently determined to take us all down with him as he sinks ever deeper into oblivion. Not that that’s not bad enough, in and of itself.

The hardest part may be the helplessness, the feeling that there’s no way out, like seeing a train wreck coming with no way to stop it. Sort of. We had our chance, didn’t we? But Mitch McConnell and the other Republicans in the Senate, pretended everything was alright and took a pass. So here we all are. Waiting for the train to come and hoping it passes us by. Hoping we’re among the lucky ones with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Not the loud barking, dry cough, that could spell out death. If not now, then maybe during a possible resurgence in the Fall?

Horrible, isn’t it? Have you seen the pictures of hundreds of people returning to the beach in Florida, despite a mountain of evidence proving the one thing we can be certain that works against Covid-19 is people avoiding other people?

Just this morning I found myself thinking once again about the four horsemen, wondering if this is nature’s response to centuries of waste and ruin being heaped upon the planet by an unappreciative species, many of whom seem to believe that what’s here is ours to plunder with no consideration given to any possible payback, or just what form that payback might take. Just grab as much as you can with no regard for the consequences, leaving the mess for those who follow. Those who survive.

What matters more? The tens of thousands who need not die, or getting through this with a robust economy? Where should the focus be and who will be held accountable for repeated bad decisions? Death isn’t half as bad if you die while wealthy? Did you hear the latest? That Daffy Duck has just been appointed Secretary of Lunacy and is under consideration to replace Mike Pence as VP?

It’s probably that kind of thinking, the kind I can’t control, that’s brought back the dreams. Workplace dreams that haunt me even in retirement. Last night I was in a factory, like an aircraft hanger, but it wasn’t a factory at all, it was a radio station. I was new to the job and a co-worker was showing me the equipment just prior to my going on the air. Then he left, but there was no real equipment at all, just a pile of metal boxes and nuts and bolts and assorted metal bits instead of tape players or turntables. I pushed bolts into a metal box, but nothing happened. I slammed my fist down into the pile of junk with no result. No music. Nothing. Through it all, I kept talking, not wanting to surrender to a DJ’s worst fear of all, something we used to call “dead air,” meaning nothing was going out over the airwaves. I was alone, and helpless.

I had barely gotten through that one, which got me out of bed and sent me to the kitchen for a pill when another nightmare stuck. This time it was on the TV side, with me as a reporter, assigned to cover a Daryl Gates news conference back in L.A.. But my photographer couldn’t be found and when he was found he was mad as hell at me for disturbing his lunch, which included the biggest piece of cake I’ve ever seen one person attempt to eat. So, I was going though all kinds of anguish with this guy who was throwing a fit, trying to get him to pick up his camera and follow me to the news conference. When he finally consented, after endless pleading and prodding on my part, Gates, was a block away and on his way into a building. The other TV crews were packing up their gear and leaving. It was over. We had missed it and I had no story.

My quarantine partner, my wife, thinks it’s all about being helpless. Both the dreams were surely expressions of helplessness and why not? Why wouldn’t my subconscious be dealing with exactly that? Isn’t that where we are? Absolutely and totally helpless to do anything at all other than wait for November, hoping we’ll be able to put an end to this madness at the polls? And even then, what will our new normal be? A return to sanity or ongoing cries from a mad billionaire for his gun-carrying, science-denier followers to rise up in some unthinkable reenactment of the Civil War – as he takes the nation down with him in his last big bankruptcy, his final act of self-defeat?

And for this, he expects our gratitude. A fine madness, indeed.

While we wait this out, and unless somebody does something (25th Amendment?), this perpetual helplessness threatens to drive those among us who are still capable of cognition absolutely crazy.

The Year Of The Rat – How Bad Can It Possibly Be?

Don’t worry too much about Donald Trump and this current Republican dominated Senate enabling an American dictatorship. It’s more important to look upon those things that really matter. Issues of real substance, like whether a giant rodent sees his shadow and whether we’ll be bailed out by the Year of the Rat.

Punxsutawney Phil put in his annual appearance at Gobbler’s Knob, apparently whispering in the ear of a member of the local business association that Spring will come early. You know it’s for real, because the man the groundhog whispered to was wearing a top hat. Just like Abe Lincoln.

Now there’s something good. Something nice. Something we can all get behind, because it’s something we can all understand. Like twenty-two over-developed men repeatedly bashing into one-another with all their God-given power on a grassy field while spectators scream their approval and feign their concern should one of the combatants be carried from the field after being repeatedly knocked bloody and senseless. Or two guys getting in a ring or a cage and beating the snot out of one-another.

Our recreational preferences say so much about how far we’ve come, don’t they?

The groundhog, really nothing but a big ugly rat without a tail, had no shadow this year and so Spring, they say (or the big rat says), will be arriving early. Isn’t that wonderful? Who doesn’t want an early Spring, other than shareholders at the power company who want to keep our furnaces burning as long as possible. You got a problem with that? What are you, some kinda Capitalism-hating Commie?

If the groundhog isn’t good enough for you, the Chinese Calendar tells us that this is the Year of the Rat. Being that China started things off with the Coronavirus, I’m not putting too much stock in getting any kind of a positive break from the rat.

But none of that really matters. Spring is coming early. We know this to be a fact, because a groundhog and not a rat, whispered it into the ear of some guy at Gobbler’s Knob. So everything is just ducky. Even though it’s a lie. What’s important is that it’s understandable. Something we can all support without thinking too much.

Don’t worry about any of the rest of that stuff people have been popping pills to try and forget. Stuff like democracy, self-determination or why the Russians seem to own the current occupant of the Oval Office, and whether we will be able to conduct a real election in November.

Groundhogs and rats aside, if you’re into signs, here’s one for you. I was down at the National Archives in D.C. yesterday and the the Declaration of Independence has nearly faded away. You can’t even make out the signatures, so maybe they were never really there? Maybe it’s all just a story made up by a bunch of evil liberal revisionist Trump-hating pinkos.

But don’t let any of that bother you, either. Thanks to Mitch McConnell and his Republicans, we now have someone who will be making all our decisions for us. An American dictator. A man who is above the law. So just let it go. Forget it and pass me another beer. The game is on and it’s something I can understand. Like Spring coming early.

A Nation Divided

The attacks came on September 11, 2001, killing nearly three-thousand people in New York City, at the Pentagon and in a field near Shanksville, PA. The nation’s airports were closed while public officials tried to sort out what was going on.

A few days later flights resumed and I was sent to Los Angeles International Airport to cover it for KTLA. On a spot of grass, just beyond the fence around the airport’s perimeter, I spotted a lone man holding a flag. Thinking it might be a story, we drove over to his location. He told me he had been there for several hours, wanting to be there to welcome the first flights back into Los Angeles. He had been there all morning. He had rigged up the flag in short-order with a pole he had in his garage when it was announced that the FAA was reopening the nation’s airspace. As we drove away he was still there waving his flag as airliners continued coming in.

I’ll never forget that man with his flag, our flag, who did what he did for no reason other than patriotism. And now, with a show-trial in the Senate and a nation divided, it appears we may once again be in for the fight of our lives. It feels as though we are facing a very real threat to Democracy and that there just won’t be any easy way out.

Recently a friend posted a picture on Facebook, a painting of George Washington, showing humility, faith and courage as he kneeled in the snow to pray at Valley Forge. The odds he faced were insurmountable. However, to borrow from the late Eric Sevareid, “This country was not founded by wimps.”

Don’t give up on us just yet. Remember that man with the flag. He had no reason for doing what he did other than he thought it was the right thing to do. The American thing to do. So he did it.

Time For John Roberts To Take The Reigns

So Trump incriminated himself by releasing a transcript of a phone call wherein he laid out that he would withhold military aid to Ukraine unless the Ukraine would open a fake investigation into the Bidens. That’s Article I.

Trump has also repeatedly obstructed the Congress by refusing to honor subpoenas for documents and directing others who work for the White House, to not honor congressional subpoenas. And they’re arguing about witnesses? They don’t need no stinkin’ witnesses.

Trump is guilty as hell. He’s incriminated himself of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and has been indicted by the House of Representatives. It’s over. Take the vote and get it over with. Let the Republicans incriminate themselves by voting to acquit an obviously guilty president. All this other stuff is just muddying the waters and confusing people.

The Constitution lays it out quite plainly when it directs, “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”

To preside: 1 : to exercise guidance, direction, or control 2 : to occupy the place of authority : direct or regulate proceedings as chief officer -Merriam Webster

Mr. Chief Justice, our country is at stake. Please do your duty and take control. This is supposed to be a trial, not a sham proceeding designed to accommodate a president who would be dictator.

Things I’m Hearing

A couple of reasonable questions: Why are the harmful and even deadly effects of vaping being felt here in the U.S., but apparently not in Europe? Are the Europeans immune?

Should we all listen more carefully when Donald Trump says “that’s what I’m hearing,” because he may in fact be hearing things that no one else can hear? In his head? That would be a problem. Do his aides in the White House have to worry about what he might be hearing from one moment to the next?

And finally, where did all the killer bees go? Not long ago we were threatened by an invasion of killer bees from the south. The horror. The horror. Did NAFTA take care of that? Might the hazards of vaping eventually go the way of the killer bees? Inquiring minds want to know. That’s what I’m hearing.

Trump Again Manages To Astonish, Abandoning A Peace Deal With The Taliban

Just when one thinks there is nothing more Donald Trump can possibly do to further amaze and astonish, he again tops himself.

The BBC is reporting that Trump’s pulling the U.S. out of peace talks with the Taliban had nothing to do with the death of a U.S. solider in Afghanistan. No, they say it had more to do with the Taliban’s refusal to take a trip to Camp David, purely to provide Trump with a bigger public relations splash, as a deal had already been reached at the table in Qatar, and the Taliban wanted to sign it. Instead, with a peace treaty at his fingertips, Donald Trump pulled out of the talks because he wanted the signing to take place at Camp David, presumably because he wanted to give the appearance that only he had the skill to get it done.

If anyone on the Republican side has had any reservations at all about continuing to support this president, then with this, those reservations should be fully erased. This president is not well. Agreeing to peace with the Taliban and ending a 20 year war would have been a monumental accomplishment, giving his party and his reelection bid a tremendous boost, with or without a meeting at Camp David. In fact, in refusing to take the trip before signing the deal, the Taliban were inadvertently doing him a favor, as the politics of the situation would probably have left Trump and his party in a weaker position had the Camp David meeting taken place.

Republicans should take heed of what conservatives in the U.K. are doing in response to the madness of Boris Johnson. They are leaving their party, or being ejected from it, in far greater numbers than the few Republicans who have abandoned their party here in the U.S. In other words, British conservatives have the strength and conscience to put the good of their country above their party and their own financial self-interest. Something most American conservatives have not seen fit to do. Their silence makes them implicit with the inexplicable mentality and failures of Donald Trump, who once again appears to be making decisions with all the maturity of a petulant child.

The “walkback” from the Trumpists on this one should be massive.

He did what, now?

Can it be true that Donald invited the Taliban to come to Camp David and then changed his mind? My God, this idiot would have asked Hitler over for tea. Or asked Russian agents into the oval office. Or for a summit with Korea’s Mr. Kim. Oh wait, he actually did those last two, didn’t he?

When each day brings a new and incomprehensible act or pronouncement it feels increasingly like we’re going code blue, a situation made worse by the Republican Party threatening to cancel primaries in an effort to prop up Putin’s puppet for yet another term. History, will see these people as flirting with or perhaps committing treason. And 44% of registered Republicans approve?

No wonder Biden blew out an eyeball at the town hall.

Wag The Dog To Win The Election?

British intelligence says there is no “increased threat” from Iran. Nevertheless, the Trump Administration has a carrier task-force backed up by heavy bombers headed for the Persian Gulf and is reportedly considering sending in more than 100-thousand troops. Trump has also ordered the evacuation of all non-essential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in nearby Iraq.

The Republicans haven’t wagged the dog this hard since the W. Bush Administration was finding yellow cake in Niger and aluminum centrifuge tubes all over Iraq.

How many times are we going to fall for this same ploy? How many times are we going to let the Republicans take the country to war to win an election? How many times have you speculated that we would have been better off leaving Saddam in place, which would have meant no ISIS? Was Saddam that much worse than Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has imprisoned journalists, judges, and pretty much anybody who opposes his regime while he continues his war against our allies the Kurds?

It’s easy to forget that Saddam had our implicit support when he went to war with Iran, and that he would still be holding the Iranians in check had the Untied States not demonized him before invading his sovereign nation in the name of regime change. Sure, Saddam was a nasty guy, but preventing the formation of ISIS and holding Iran in check while eliminating the need for a massive deployment of U.S. troops is no small matter.

What George W. Bush said about “democratizing” all the of Middle East popped into my head the other day. One wonders how many in the current administration continue to believe that’s a good idea? How many there are who think that leaving our troops permanently scattered across the Middle East and North Africa at the U.S. taxpayers expense is a viable option? Presidential adviser John Bolton, is a known supporter of regime change in Iran. In simple terms, Bolton thinks it would be a good idea to invade another sovereign nation to overthrow another sitting government.

We never used to even contemplate doing that kind of thing unless a nation-state or other entity presented a clear and present danger to us or threatened a country with whom we had a mutual defense agreement. It just wasn’t what America did. We were better than that. Apparently that ended with Vietnam, another country we invaded based upon an apparent lie. More than 58,000 Americans died in that one. Sadly, documents and tapes in the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library prove that Johnson had both the South and the North Vietnamese ready to sign a peace treaty, but that the deal died when Richard Nixon’s campaign convinced the South Vietnamese that it would be to their advantage to keep the war going until after Nixon was elected. It would be years later before a disgusted American public became so disenchanted with the unending war that they took to the streets and demanded that the military-industrial complex disengage.

When did the very idea of peace become unreachable while ongoing war feels like the norm? Something we simply cannot avoid? Do you suppose the profitability of war factors into any of this?

Which do you prefer? Educating our kids and giving the country a national healthcare program, or killing strangers on foreign soil? Why isn’t that even discussed? When did the very concept of peace become not just unfashionable, but un-American?

An “exit strategy” to pull our people out of the Middle-East and North Africa, has been all but forgotten, as has an actual long-term game plan for why we are still there. Also nearly forgotten is the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the need for national healthcare, the overwhelming need for campaign finance reform along with real immigration reform and the role the Russians played in rigging our last election.

War with Iran, might very well ensure our national lapse in memory continues long enough to get Donald Trump re-elected. Until then, the chaos this one man has created continues to provide Republicans with excellent cover to continue putting the self-interest of a relative few above the national interest of the many.

Our real enemies appear to be the Russians, who, our intelligence services tell us, continue plotting ways to rig our next election, and the Saudis, who have never stopped spreading a worldwide campaign of anti-American hatred. All the while, Donald Trump, in his infinite wisdom, is laying the groundwork for another war. The ultimate diversion heading into 2020.

Has Our “Constitutional Crisis” Arrived?

Turned on CNN International this morning to hear their guest, a law professor, stating that the United States is now in the midst of “a constitutional crisis.” This, following the Attorney General of the United States, William Barr, allegedly the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, refusing to show up for questioning before the House Judiciary Committee which is trying to get to the bottom of what was redacted from the Muller Report and whether Mr. Barr has greater interest in being the Attorney General of the United States or a personal attorney for Donald J. Trump, doing all he can to give Mr. Trump cover from his obvious collusion with the Russians, followed by his equally obvious obstruction of justice, outlined in the Mueller Report. A report which, Mr. Barr now admits, he has not read and did not read, prior to telling the American people that it clears Donald Trump of any wrong doing. That is to say, no collusion and no obstruction of justice.

We now know, of course, following Barr’s appearance before a Senate committee on Wednesday, that Mr. Mueller complained in writing to Mr. Barr, that he had mischaracterized the contents of the report to the American people. When his complaint was ignored, Mueller, complained again. Barr, apparently did not care, as he went before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said he had a conversation with Muller and that Muller’s chief complaint was not that Barr had mischaracterized the report’s contents, but that the media was getting it all wrong.

It’s the White House playbook. When caught in a lie, blame the media. If that doesn’t work, blame Hillary Clinton. The folks back home will buy it every time. They don’t read, so all that really matters is what they hear, first from FOX or Rush, and then from one-another.

Ostensibly, William Barr, is refusing to show up for questioning because he doesn’t like the format House Democrats are going to use of bringing in an outside attorney to help with the questioning. Republicans say the Dems are out of line in trying to use this technique, even though it is the same form of questioning the Republicans insisted upon when questioning Christine Blasey Ford.

The Republicans are famous for their “do as I say and not as I do” moves. When you have a constituency that doesn’t read and reacts from emotion rather than intellect, it works every time.

Beyond that, and just to clear up any confusion, the Judiciary Committee is charged with overseeing the Federal Courts and Federal law enforcement agencies, like Mr. Barr and the FBI. So in a very real sense (as opposed to “alternative facts”), Barr, is answerable to the Committee. His refusal to show up for a committee hearing is not unlike telling one’s boss to “go stuff it.”

So here we are. If the law professor is correct, and I think she probably is, Donald J. Trump, and his water-carrying Attorney General, have brought us to the brink of becoming a full-blown banana republic. The United States of America, where tens of thousands have gone into into battle to die or be wounded to protect our way of life, our Democracy, and now a spoiled man-child from New York, a man who may have mental health issues, is being allowed to bring it all to the brink?

When you enter the military, you raise your right hand and take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” Trump seems to have no concept of what that means. He is talking and acting like a monarch, because he is being allowed to talk and act like one. He apparently has no idea that the Congress is co-equal to the Executive.

It’s a problem which, at this point, only the Republicans with their majority in the Senate, can fix. However, to fix it, they will have to put country ahead of their party and the polls. So far they have refused, and in their intransigence and unending support for this President who would be king, they have shown themselves to be traitors to the cause of American Democracy.

They are turning their backs on each and every young American who has taken an oath to “support and defend” the Constitution. A document this current Republican Party has no interest in defending. If they did, they would be joining the growing chorus of those who refuse to stand by and watch our great nation being turned into something resembling a third-world country being run by a tyrant who is beyond the reach of the law and without accountability for his words and actions. A man who has delivered us into a constitutional crisis. He is Vladimir Putin’s fondest desire.

Whether Trump understands what he’s doing is no longer relevant. He is doing it. That, is all that really matters. Have you seen what’s happening in Venezuela right now? Don’t think it can’t happen here.

Just Another Day In Trump’s America

Not sure what’s up with Facebook, but I can’t get into it right now, so I’ll pour out my angst here. Maybe it’s the Russians? Speaking of which-

Donald J.Trump’s former campaign manager and known associate of certain Russian operatives, Paul Manafort (who signed onto Trump’s campaign for gratis), has just been handed a 16-count indictment by the State of New York relating to allegations of fraudulent business practices. The move by New York prosecutors came moments after he was sentenced to a total of 7-1/2 years in jail by the feds. The federal sentences are pardonable by President Trump, convictions that might result from the state charges, will not be.

Also today, President Trump announced that the federal government is grounding all Boeing 737 Max-8 and 737 Max-9 aircraft. The move by the U.S. was announced only after nearly every other developed country in the world had grounded the aircraft over safety concerns following two crashes. Canada, grounded the aircraft just a short while before the announcement by Trump. Aviation experts say it was unusual for the President to make this announcement rather that the Secretary of Transportation or the FAA. CNN reports that Trump is a long-time supporter of Boeing and that his former Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is now on the board at Boeing.

Finally, but not least interesting, is the ongoing conversation about the fairness of the application process at U.S. colleges and universities following the “shocking” announcement by the FBI that some families, including a couple of Hollywood celebs, were allegedly paying off the right people to get their kids into prestigious institutions of higher learning. Seriously? Was everyone asleep in years gone by as wealthy families funneled millions upon millions of dollars into their favorite colleges or universities prior to those same families kids being admitted whether they deserved it or not? Are you all kidding? Not everyone can be like Donald J. Trump, who was admitted to Wharton because of his self-admitted genius.

Just another day in Trump’s America.

Who Will Make It Stop?

With the current partial shutdown and Trump’s obvious affinity for the Russians, my thinking keeps returning to Steve Bannon’s vow to push forward with the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

At what point does “deconstruction” cross over into destruction?

Coupled with the chaos of Brexit, we should all be wondering not whether, but the degree to which both the U.S. and the British are being played by the Russians. Only our law enforcement and intelligence agencies can protect us, but Donald Trump continues bloviating against them as well as our traditional allies and NATO. Why? Surely, you can’t think he came up with all of this himself?

It is to Russia’s advantage to split up the EU, and to throw the U.S. Government into chaos while America pulls her troops out of Syria with Donald Trump spouting ridiculous revisionist history with regard to the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, an act nearly as repulsive as his sycophantic display in Helsinki.

Is this really so difficult to understand? Are there any Republicans left who care more for the long-term good of the nation, the survival of our American democracy, than for their own short-term political advantage?

To what degree are they willing to continue selling us out? How much farther will this political charade be permitted to go before Mitch McConnell allows a bill to be introduced on the floor of the Senate that reclaims congressional oversight of the executive? Surely the fact that McConnell’s wife and brother-in-law are both employed by Trump, wouldn’t have any influence with regard to his responsibilities as Senate Majority Leader?