It is a sign of the times that I cackle with glee upon hearing Republican Senator Ben Sasse say of Trump’s latest round of executive orders …
“The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop.”
Way to go, Ben!!!
Earlier today, I wrote about these executive orders and “presidential” memorandums, but I failed to comment on the venue in which Trump put his scrawl to paper to sign these dictums. Typically, he signs such things in the Oval Office with smiling sycophants gathered ‘round for the photo op, but this time, he chose to take his little show to his luxury golf club in New Jersey. Well-heeled members gathered with wine but without much social-distancing or mask wearing in the ornate ballroom to cheer his action … an action that is, as Senator Sasse said, ‘unconstitutional slop’. But, what’s new, right?
In other news … yet another mass shooting, this one in Southeast Washington D.C. As of this writing, at least 21 people were shot, a 17-year-old is dead, and a police officer is fighting for her life in the hospital.
From The Washington Post …
“D.C. police said at least three shooters opened fire from different locations at the gathering in the 3300 block of Dubois Place, in the city’s Greenway neighborhood, at about 12:30 a.m. Victims scattered over several blocks, creating a sprawling crime scene. Police found about 170 bullet casings.
Sunday’s shootings came three weeks after nine people were shot in front of a restaurant on 14th Street in Columbia Heights in Northwest. That shooting on the afternoon of July 19 left one of the victims dead.
More than 115 people have been slain in the District this year, a 17 percent increase over this time in 2019, which ended the year with a decade high. Those killed include an 11-year-old boy shot at a stop-the-violence cookout on the Fourth of July and a 71-year-old shot while protecting her granddaughter.
Remember that surge in gun sales I told you about in the early days of the pandemic? No surprise, then, that those guns are being put to use, is it? Trump claimed to be so concerned about Portland that he felt the need to send militia in to harass citizens and terrorize the city … maybe he should be looking to clean up his own backyard first.
If you want to keep your job in the Trump administration, you must be willing and able to lie, lie, and then lie some more. This is why the men and women of good conscience have left the administration and what remains is the dregs. One area in which this is most glaringly obvious is the intelligence community where Dan Coats, former Director of National Intelligence, was fired last year for refusing to cover up the fact that Russia did and continues to wreak havoc in our elections.
Since that time, numerous officials have come and gone, and the intelligence community as a whole is in danger of becoming a Trump parrot. I would like to direct your attention to a piece published yesterday in the New York Times Magazine about Trump’s attempts to politicize intelligence — in particular by preventing the intelligence community from speaking honestly about Russian attacks on our elections. It is a lengthy and chilling article, but one I think is imperative to read and comprehend. An excerpt …
“The options faced by the intelligence community during Trump’s presidency have been stark: avoid infuriating the president but compromise the agencies’ ostensible independence, or assert that independence and find yourself replaced with a more sycophantic alternative.”
Since day #1, Trump has attempted to deny Russia’s assistance in his 2016 election, even though there has been incontrovertible evidence. Today, with the 2020 election less than three months away, Russia is even harder at work, has more at stake. According to William Evanina, a career law enforcement official who was chosen by Trump as director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, in a statement issued on Friday …
“Russia continues to spread disinformation in the U.S. that is designed to undermine confidence in our democratic process and denigrate what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’ in America. Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden … some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television … pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption — including through publicizing leaked phone calls — to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party.”
November’s election is our last, best hope for maintaining or regaining some semblance of a democratic nation. Donald Trump cannot win honestly, so as is his modus operandi, he will lie, cheat and steal to maintain his power. This does not come as a surprise, except, perhaps, in knowing the lengths he has already gone to in order to strip our intelligence communities of their ability to do their job to protect the people of this nation. I hope you will take a few minutes to read this chilling article.