A Tale Of Two Evil People — Part II

Senator John McCain died last Saturday, August 25th.  I already wrote a tribute, sans politics, but today I let other voices speak of their thoughts on Senator McCain.  Every former living president offered a tribute …

“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means.” – President Barack Obama, 25 August 2018

“Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.” – President George W. Bush, 25 August 2018

“Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day.  He frequently put partisanship aside to do what he thought was best for the country, and was never afraid to break the mold if it was the right thing to do.  I will always be especially grateful for his leadership in our successful efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam.” – President Bill Clinton & Secretary Hillary Clinton, 25 August 2018

“John McCain was a patriot of the highest order, a public servant of the rarest courage. Few sacrificed more for, or contributed more to, the welfare of his fellow citizens – and indeed freedom loving peoples around the world.” — President George HW Bush

And across the globe, world leaders memorialized Senator McCain …

“John McCain was a great statesman, who embodied the idea of service over self.” – UK Prime Minister Theresa May

“He embodied everything that we respect and value and love about our American friends.” – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

“Senator John McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions.” – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of John McCain, a great American patriot and a great supporter of Israel. I will always treasure the constant friendship he showed to the people of Israel and to me personally.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“John McCain was led by the firm conviction that the sense of all political work lies in service to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. His death is a loss to all those who share this conviction.” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel

“The world has lost a great defender of liberty. RIP Senator John McCain. Prayers and love to your family.” – Former British Prime Minister David Cameron

“Senator John McCain had an illustrious military and public service career and was admired across the spectrum of US politics as a man of integrity and a champion of civility.” – Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

McCain-Germany

Seen in Germany …

And there were many, many more … but the one that was missing speaks volumes about the monster in the Oval Office, Donald Trump.  He said not a single word about Senator McCain, though he did interrupt his rant about “Crooked Hillary” long enough to offer pseudo condolences to the family:

“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” – Donald J. Trump

Not a single word about John McCain, not a single word of praise or compassion. But even that is not the worst.  The worst was yet to come.  Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John Kelly and other aides in the administration wrote a statement, praising McCain for both his military service and service to his country as a long-term member of Congress.  The statement also referred to him as a ‘hero’, which is appropriate and true.

But Trump refused to allow the statement to be issued, instead insisting that his brief, vacuous Tweet (see above) would serve as the official statement from the administration.  This, my friends, is unacceptable.  This is NOT the way we expect the president to behave!!!  It is the way we expect a five-year-old child who didn’t get his way, who has to be the center of attention to behave.

Other White House officials, instead, released their own statements in tribute to Senator McCain. By Sunday afternoon, the vice president, secretary of state, homeland security secretary, defense secretary, national security adviser, White House press secretary, counselor to the president, education secretary, interior secretary and others had posted statements lauding Senator McCain.

Although President Obama ordered flags to fly at half-mast for five days after the death of Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009, Trump ordered the flags returned to full staff this morning.  The flag at the Capitol Building remains at half-mast. A few days ago, I used this quote:  “Those who want respect, give respect”. Need I say more?

Author Stephen King summed it up nicely, I think …

“John McCain: American patriot, war hero. Donald Trump: Draft-dodging weasel.”

Former Presidents and World leaders are paying tribute to John McCain today, but the son-of-a-bitch who calls himself “president” cannot be bothered, and not only that, but he won’t allow anybody else to, either.  Every person in this nation should be crying tears of shame that we have no person of conscience, no person with an ounce of humility or compassion in the highest office of the nation.  I hang my head in shame and sorrow.

A Tale Of Two Evil People — Part I

Let me start off by saying that this is a rant.  I am beyond infuriated as I write this post, and while I generally believe it is better to be well-modulated and rise above the throng, there is a time when white-hot rage needs an outlet.  This is one such time.  I initially intended this to be a single post, but it went past the limits of what I consider optimal length, so I broke it into two parts.  This is Part I, and Part II will follow later this afternoon.

Two stories came to my attention last night, as I was trying to find fun things for my Jolly Monday post (at which I failed miserably).  Both stories concern the late John McCain, and I think you will agree that he deserved much better than this.


An ugly person, inside and out …

Conservatives Rally Together At Annual CPAC Gathering

The Face of Evil — Kelli Ward

Take a look at that face, folks, for that is the face of ugly.  That is the face of evil.  That is a face I hope never to see sitting in the U.S. Senate.  Allow me to introduce Ms. Kelli Ward of Arizona, a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake.  This is not the first time Ms. Ward has tripped across my radar, but it is the first time that prodded my mind with a hot poker. In July 2017, when John McCain first announced that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, Ms. Ward made the following public statement:

“I hope that Senator McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they’re going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible. So that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward… We can’t have until the 2018 election, waiting around to accomplish the Trump agenda, to secure the border and stop illegal immigration and repeal Obamacare and fix the economy and fix the veterans administration, all those things need to be done and we can’t be at a standstill while we wait for John McCain to determine what he’s going to do.” [Emphasis added]

She said she hoped that Arizona’s governor would consider appointing her to fill McCain’s seat. But on Friday, it got even better …

Last Friday, Senator John McCain’s family announced that he would stop treatment for his brain cancer, due to the aggressive nature of the cancer and McCain’s advanced age, 81.  He would, as we now know, die the very next day.  However, Ms. Kelli Ward took McCain’s announcement on Friday as an attempt on McCain’s part to undermine her senatorial campaign!  His timing was inconvenient for her!  A staffer, apparently with Ward’s knowledge and consent, tweeted the following …

“I wonder if it were just a coincidence that Sen McCain released his statement on the kickoff day of Kelli Ward’s bus tour or if it was a plan to take media attention off her campaign. I’m not saying it was on purpose but it’s quite interesting.”

And Ward herself chimed in with …

“I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that they hope is negative to me.”

Yo, bitch … life does not revolve around you!!!  This man has been suffering from this devastating illness for more than a year, and you expected him to coordinate his death with you, so that it would not interfere with your campaign???  What rock did you crawl out from under???

I hope that Arizonans have a heart, a conscience, and respect for the man who has represented the State of Arizona in Congress since 1983 and will cast their votes anywhere but for Ms. Ward.  Her words are unconscionable and show a lack of empathy on a par with that of Donald Trump.

How can people be so unkind, so uncaring, so self-centered?  Stay tuned for the next installment …

An Ego Trip …

The people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 did so based on certain things that they believed in, that they believed would make their lives better, and he promised to fulfill their wishes.  One of those things was a smaller government that provided fewer services.  The reasoning was that if the government shrunk, had fewer employees and provided fewer services, money would be saved and taxes could be lowered, thus putting more money in the pockets of the working class.

However, theory and reality are often not quite the same, and the reality here is that Trump has cut services to the poor and disadvantaged, he has cut taxes for the wealthy, but the working class is no better off than they were before, and in fact have less now than they had before.  Why?  There are a number of reasons, including massive amounts of waste by Trump’s cabinet and by Trump himself, the tax cuts were only to the wealthy, Trump’s tariffs are causing prices to rise, and this …

Trump Military Parade To Cost Taxpayers Nearly $100M

What a colossal and foolish waste of our money!!!

This ego trip was initially, we were told, to cost a mere $12 million.  That would have fed 2,307 average families for a full year, but hey … Trump’s ego is far more important than feeding hungry kids, right?  But now, the estimated cost, $92 million, could have fed 17,692 average families for a full year!  How do we justify this?  What is the purpose of this ‘military parade’?  The answers are that we cannot possibly justify it and the only purpose is to stroke the ego of the megalomaniac in the Oval Office.

The parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 10th, and is to start at the U.S. Capitol and end at the White House where, undoubtedly, the 5,000-7,000 troops who are marching will be expected to salute Trump.  Now, not only is the parade costing an exorbitant amount of money up front, but there is a likelihood that there will be ‘after-the-fact’ costs to repair Pennsylvania Avenue.  Initially, General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that no tanks would be included in the parade, for they would cause “damage to local infrastructure”.  But now, because Trump wants them, eight tanks will make their way to the White House on a street that taxpayers will then be required to repair.

Now, how did this all come about?  Well, remember last July when Trump happened to be in France during their annual Bastille Day celebration?  As a part of the festivities, there was a military parade, and Trump, exactly like the child who, upon seeing his friends new toy, then insists that his parents buy the same toy for him, decided that he must also have a military parade.  And so, during a meeting at the Pentagon on January 18th, Trump ordered just such a parade for himself.  The Washington Post got wind of it and published the story, after which the White House issued a statement that said Trump “has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”  Hello?  First, very few, if any Americans will travel to DC to watch this costly display of foolishness. Second … show our appreciation to whom and for what???  Are we supposed to be appreciative to Trump for destroying our environment, our schools, our reputation, and our very nation?  I think not.

Trump originally intended the parade to be on July 4th, Independence Day, but apparently it couldn’t be pulled together quite that soon, so he settled for the November date, which is one day before Veteran’s Day and also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  What Trump fails to realize … or simply doesn’t care … is that the Bastille Day parade in France is a long-standing tradition, dating back to 1880!  And, France’s Bastille Day parade is a celebration of citizen’s rights, not military might. The U.S. has no such tradition, nor do we need one.

The U.S. has not held a major military parade in Washington since 1991 to mark the end of Operation Desert Storm. That parade reportedly cost approximately $8 million and was paid for with about $3 million in government funds and the rest with private donations.  Trump’s parade, all $92 million, would be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Our economy is on the verge of a downturn, due largely to some very poor decisions on the part of Donald Trump and his minions.  The average wage earner has not seen an increase in his or her real wages in years, and in fact, today’s real wages have dropped to 1974 levels (more about this in a future post).  Trump takes credit for a lot that is not his due, and is spending our money willy-nilly on such foolishness as a parade to show American’s gratitude to him, when we should be showing him the back door!  This is nothing but yet another ego trip for Donald Trump at a huge cost to We The People.

Note to Readers:  This evening, a couple of hours after this post was published, it was announced that the parade has been postponed until 2019!  Perhaps sometimes our voices are heard?

Stupidest Idea Ever …

It sounds more like something out of a Buck Rogers comic book than a serious proposal.  Yesterday, Mike Pence outlined Donald Trump’s plan to establish a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the U.S. military.  My initial thought?  Trump claims that we must cut back on healthcare, food, and shelter for the poor and underprivileged, that we can no longer afford programs that benefit people and the environment, but we can afford a completely useless, unpopular, pointless ‘gas-guzzler’?

“The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation.”  Oh pleeeease … spare me the dramatics!!!

He called for Congress to allocate an additional $8 billion for space security systems over the next five years.  Again … we cannot afford to help provide health care for the nation’s low income families, but we can spend a bloody $8 billion on this crap?

Fortunately, neither Trump nor Pence can simply snap their fingers and make it happen.  This will need the approval of Congress, and it is a very contentious proposal, unpopular with many.  In addition, Secretary of Defense Mattis was against the idea, saying he did not want to add “additional organizational and administrative tail” to the military.  Of course, since then he has come ‘round to Trump’s way of thinking, most likely in order to keep his job.  Integrity, anyone?  Yesterday, Mattis said that space “is becoming a contested war-fighting domain, and we have to adapt to that reality.”  Seriously?  Have any of you guys seen spaceships filled with aliens in the night sky, waiting to attack the mother ship?

Proponents of a Space Force argue that the Air Force does not pay enough attention to outer space. What is more, they say, Russia and China are developing anti-satellite weapons that could pose a threat to American satellites.  Guess what, folks … they need to be paying more attention to the fact that Russia already has the capability of shutting down large portions of our electrical grid with the click of a mouse, which would effectively bring the nation to its knees.  What if we work on the problems that we know exist, and leave the Star Wars games for Hollywood to deal with?

Retired astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, who flew four shuttle missions, called the space force a “dumb idea” that would duplicate work already done by the air force.  BINGO!

But wait!!!  It gets even better!!!  The most important first step, y’know, is to select … A LOGO!!!  And guess who will be selecting the logo?  Trump’s supporters.  Yep, not all the people who will be paying their hard-earned tax dollars to support this utter nonsense.  Oh no, friends … you and I have no say in the choice of this logo.  Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Pascale, has emailed supporters asking them to vote for one of six space force logos to commemorate the “huge announcement”.  This is the biggest load of you-know-what that Trump has come up with yet!logo-1The ‘supporters’ have been given the above six logos to choose from.  Personally, I think they all look stupid, but then I am already biased against the entire thing anyway. Most have spaceships, though one has an odd yellow shape that some on Twitter have suggested is an homage to the president’s hair.  Twitter users have been having a ball with this.twitter-1

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twitter-3If this ridiculous money-waster of an idea actually passes Congress and becomes reality, there is no doubt that whichever logo is chosen will show up on hats, t-shirts, and perhaps even men’s underwear and it will all be available for a small donation to Donald Trump’s campaign fund!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Now, I’ve done my venting and I do have something serious to say about this.  We have a heck of a lot of troubles right here on planet earth.  There may well be potential future threats to satellites in space … I am not a scientist, so I cannot say.  But even if there are, they are not of the same immediate concern as a multitude of problems right here that absolutely must be dealt with if this planet is to remain habitable for human life.  Think about it … if we continue on our rapid path of polluting our air, water and soil, the satellites in space, whether ours, China’s or Russia’s, will not matter, for there will be nobody left breathing on earth to worry about it.  Donald Trump is not only failing to address climate change, but is intentionally reversing the protections that were in place and attempting to stop states from enforcing their own environmental regulations.  It is almost as if he fully intends to make sure that the next generation has to walk about wearing oxygen masks, and the generation after that will be confined in plastic bubbles.  We don’t need to worry about what is going on in outer space … we need to take care of our own home and the people who live on it first.

We owe it to our children, their children, and all future generations around the globe, not just in the U.S., to protect our environment.  When we have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, soil that is safe to grow chemical-free food, when everybody in this nation has affordable health care and enough food to eat, then let the little boys in Washington play with their space toys.  Not now, not in 2020, not anytime in the foreseeable future.

A Dirty Game

There have been cases where a house or other structure became so infested with vermin that it was not salvageable and had to be razed, then re-built.  That may well be the case with the federal government of the United States.  As the craziness that defines the current administration multiplies exponentially, breeding evil offshoots like the dame of all conspiracy groups, QAnon, the damage and infestation seems irreparable by any means short of “kill it and let’s start over”.

Donald Trump has, yet again, decided that he is perfectly willing to shut down the government until he gets his way … a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.  And it appears that his followers support him 100% in this!  Here are the questions I would like to ask of any who support this irresponsible notion:

  • What good do you believe will be accomplished by spending billions of dollars to build that wall?
  • Why do you feel personally threatened by immigrants?
  • Has an immigrant from South or Central America, or even Mexico, ever threatened you personally, or a member of your family?
  • Do you know any immigrants?
  • Are you willing to have money come from your paycheck to finance “the wall”, especially after you were initially told it wouldn’t cost you a penny … that Mexico was going to pay for it?
  • Would you prefer to pay for the wall than to improve our education system, or provide healthcare and food for needy children?

Our government, folks, is badly broken.  The idea behind having three separate branches of government was that no one branch could dominate, no one person or political party could have absolute control of the decision-making process.  But that system of ‘checks and balances’ is no longer functioning as it was intended.  Why?

There are a variety of reasons, but I believe the main one at this juncture is that we have elected a president who sees the entire nation as his very own personal kingdom.  He believes his power is, or at least should be, absolute.  He does not see himself as a president, at least not by the definition as spelled out in the Constitution, but rather as a dictator.  Under ideal circumstances, Congress would be applying the brakes to many of his bad moves, but we have a Congress divided strictly along party lines and in the pockets of wealthy, greedy corporations, men and women who are completely unwilling to work together in the spirit of compromise for the betterment of the people who live here and pay the taxes that fund their salaries.  In other words, loyalty to the political party has superseded dedication to the people who live here. And the political party is loyal only to their wealthy, greedy donors.

The threat of a government shutdown is one that Trump has used at least twice before and personally, I find it both tiresome and juvenile.  It is a bullying tactic.  Congress could, if only they would, override any veto of a budget without wall funding, but the damn republicans in Congress are too afraid of Trump and his minions to do the right thing.  They are too afraid of Trump to work for us, the very people who elected them to serve in the House and Senate.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about labels, and cautioned that judging an entire group based on the actions of only some is wrong.  But at this point, it seems that we can safely conclude every republican in Congress is in the pocket of big corporations and lobbying groups, for there are only 2 or 3 who have voted against what Trump wanted, and those only a few times.  The NRA, Exxon, General Motors, Murray Energy Corporation and many others are the ones who control the votes of the republicans in Congress.

Now, if you doubt that Trump’s threat to shut down the government is not done in the spirit of game-playing, consider this:

Donald Trump says he remains “a little bit torn” about whether it would be better to shut down the government before or after the midterm elections in an effort to secure funding for his long-promised border wall.

Trump said Thursday at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, that while many in the party disagree, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personality Sean Hannity share his belief that a fall shutdown would be politically advantageous for Republicans in the midterms.

Trump says that he’s “a little torn myself” but that he “would personally prefer before.” He adds, “Whether it’s before or after, we’re either getting it or we’re closing down government.”  – The Washington Post, 02 August 2018

Whoa!  Many in the party disagree … in truth, the majority of the country disagrees, but hold the presses, because as long as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity agree, it must be the right thing, eh?  It’s all a big game to him, folks.  A game where the only thing that matters is that Donald Trump wins, and the rest of us are naught but pawns being pushed around on the board.  Thing is, unlike Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, this is real life and the stakes are real lives.

Our government is broken, my friends, and the only means we have to try to put it back together is to make a clean sweep and take the trash out in November.

The Rich Get Richer …

In a recent tweet, Donald Trump claimed, “I will keep fighting for the American people!”  Donald is not particularly literate, and thus his words often need some translation.  In this case, the translation only requires the addition of a single word:  wealthy.  “I will keep fighting for the wealthy American people!”  And by default, the rest of us can go to hell.  If you’ve been awake for the past 18 months and kept your eye on the ball, this will come as no surprise.  The 40% or so who still think Donald Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread will, no doubt, continue to ignore the writing on the wall.

You will remember that last year Congress passed a tax bill that included tax cuts for the wealthy, but did very little for the average wage earner.  And the wealthy were happy, for they heard the ‘ka-ching’ of still more money hitting their bank accounts, so they donated some of that money to republican candidates so the republican candidates could buy more air time on national television to stay in office and ultimately give those wealthy people even more advantages.  It’s a vicious circle.

But apparently the glow of their tax cuts wore off, and now they want even more.  And guess what?  Trump and his minions want to give it to them!  Now, members of Congress are cognizant of the fact that there is an election in less than 100 days, and they don’t want to rock any boats right now by giving the wealthy more money, for they understand that the rest of us also get to vote on November 6th.  So, Trump & Co have found a way to do their reverse Robin Hood act without the blessings of Congress, and certainly without the blessings of We The People!

From The Washington Post

The Treasury Department is considering a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans through a change that would not need approval from Congress, officials said, a move that would follow a package of tax cuts last year that also benefited the super-rich.

The agency is studying whether to allow investment income, known as capital gains, to be adjusted for inflation in a way that shields more of it from taxation. Most capital gains are paid by wealthier Americans, who disproportionately hold large portfolios of investments.

A brief explanation of capital gains …

When you sell stock, you likely realize either a capital gain or loss, which is the difference between the amount for which you sold it and the amount you initially paid for it.  If you paid $1,000 for 25 shares of XYZ stock in the year 2000, and you just sold it for $900, you have a capital loss of $100.  Conversely, if you sold that same stock for $1,100, you have a capital gain of $100 which is subject to income taxes.

MnuchinBut what Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury Department, is suggesting is that the basis, or what you paid for that stock, should be adjusted for inflation in the calculation of capital gains.  Thus, it could be argued that the $1,000 you paid in 2000, adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $1,100, thus wiping out your capital gain and BINGO — you now owe no taxes on that gain!  Now, when you consider that for the wealthy those capital gains may be in the millions of dollars, well you can only imagine how much they would save in taxes.  You and I won’t benefit more than a few dollars, if that, but people like Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, and a host of others, stand to save hundreds of thousands in taxes.

The wealthiest 1% of American households own 40% of the country’s wealth.  That share is higher than it has been at any point since at least 1962, according to a study by economist Edward N. Wolff.  Meanwhile, you and I struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table, keep the 10-year-old car running for another year, and cut corners wherever we can.

Trump’s policies and the December donor tax cuts have already plunged the nation into deeper debt and increased the deficit.  This move further reduces the income without doing a single thing to reduce expenses.  And it can all be done without Congressional approval.  If you ever had any doubt whether Trump had the good of the nation and its people in mind, this should convince you.

Oh … and would you be interested in knowing Steve Mnuchin’s net worth?  $400 million.  Personally, if this is what Donald Trump means when he says he will “keep fighting for Americans”, I wish he would just stop fighting.  The wealthy, under Trump, are having a field day, but eventually, as those of us whose brains have not been replaced with dollar signs know, eventually the party comes to an end.  Debts come due and there are very real consequences when there is no money in the treasury to pay those debts.  And what about the rising poverty rates in this nation?  How do you explain to a poor person that you are cutting their food stamps because the rich people are paying less taxes and, well, sorry but there just isn’t enough money for you to feed your children?

That “great economy”, that rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that he keeps bragging about?  Guess what, folks … it doesn’t mean a damn thing for the average citizen in the U.S.  Sure, unemployment is low, but wages haven’t risen.  Many lower income people still have to work 2 or even 3 jobs just to buy food and keep a roof over their heads!  But by all means, let us make the wealthy even wealthier.

Alternative Facts …

In the beginning … way back on January 20, 2017 … we were first introduced to a concept that would be the foundation for the Trump presidency:  Alternative Facts.  It first came about because the crowd at the inauguration was significantly smaller than that at Barack Obama’s first inauguration, eight years earlier.  Then-press secretary Sean Spicer, however, on orders from Trump, claimed that the crowd was the largest ever seen at any presidential inauguration.  The following Sunday on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked Kellyanne Conway why Spicer made that claim, saying, “It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office on day one.”  Kellyanne’s response was …todd-conway.png

“Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You’re saying it’s a falsehood and they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

Todd shot back …

“Alternative facts? Look, alternative facts are not facts, they’re falsehoods. What was the motive to have this ridiculous litigation of crowd size?”

And Kellyanne took offense …

“Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That’s not your job. Chuck, I mean, if we’re going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms, I think that we’re going to have to rethink our relationship here.”

And thus began the Era of Alternative Facts.  Not a single day has gone by since that we have not been subjected to alternative facts, aka lies, from the administration, usually from Trump himself.  But this past week has been the crowning gem of alternative facts.  Let us look at a couple.

alt-facts-4Just yesterday, Trump was speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Missouri, and made this utterly ludicrous statement:

“Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”

Say what???alt-facts-2

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. And if all others accepted the lie, which the party imposed, if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became the truth.”  – George Orwell, 1984

Ever since his disastrous, from my point of view, summit in Helsinki just over a week ago, Trump has had a great deal of trouble deciding whether he believes that Putin interfered in our 2016 election, and whether Putin is primed to interfere in our mid-terms this November.  He has changed his tune so many times that my head was spinning like the little girl on The Exorcist, so I finally just stopped even paying attention.  Bottom line is he knows damn good and well that Putin did everything he could to ensure that Hillary Clinton would not win in 2016.  It wasn’t that he liked Trump better, but he was afraid of Hillary, and he figured he could manipulate Trump.  But yesterday, Trump topped even his own record for ignorance.

“I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”

Tough on Russia?  When???  He’s on a short leash held by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has refused to speak a single critical word against Putin, and he’s tough???bullshitIf anybody believes a single word of that, I’ve got this lovely bridge in Brooklyn that I’ll sell cheap.  Just last week he told a reporter he doesn’t think Russia is still targeting the US and publicly doubting Russian interference on multiple occasions.

alt-facts-3A few days ago, in my spam folder I found an email from Trump.  Well, actually it was from a computer program authorized to solicit funds on behalf of Trump.  I have unsubscribed to this blasphemy so many times that I finally gave up.  Anyway, he talked about his favourite topic these days, the “witch hunt” and reminded me what a great job he is doing, then, right before asking for a campaign donation, he referred to himself as my “favourite president”.  After I returned from the bathroom being sick, I deleted the email.  Another very alternative fact.

I could understand his use of smoke & mirrors, gaslighting, lies, lies and more lies … er, excuse me – alternative facts – at this point, for he is deeply entangled in a web of lies & secrecy that Robert Mueller is close to exposing, and Trump is running scared.  Hence his threat to “shut down” the investigation. But … he started out lying on day #1!!!  Congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell make really sorry excuses for him, as if he were naught but a recalcitrant child.  But he is not a child … he is a 72-year-old man who by hook and by crook managed to land the highest office in the nation.

We laugh and joke about the term ‘alternative facts’, but the reality is that these lies are no joking matter, for they carry very real consequences for our country.  Why?  Because some 40% of the people in the nation believe them.  Trump could not care less what the rest of us think, so long as he can convince his base that we are the enemy.  But Trump tells his base, “Do not get your news from CNN, the New York Times, or The Washington Post.  Do not listen to the liberals, for they are only out to get us.  Believe only what I tell you to believe.”  And that is what they do.  Therein lies the danger.

trump-pinocchioTrump is a buffoon, an ignorant, under-educated fool.  But he holds the power and if there is one thing he seems to have a knack for, it is keeping his base hypnotized and believing that he is the answer to whatever problems they perceive.  Or rather, whatever problems he has told them they have.

There is no such thing as alternative facts.  Facts are irrefutable and not subject to interpretation.  Fact:  Trump’s inauguration crowd couldn’t hold a candle to Obama’s.  Fact:  Vladimir Putin admitted that he wanted Trump to win in 2016.  Fact:  Trump refused to hold Putin accountable for the election interference when the two met in Helsinki.  Fact:  Many from Trump’s campaign have already either pled guilty or been indicted for their dealings with Russia during the campaign.  Fact:  Trump has damaged our relationship with our allies.  Fact:  Trump’s tariffs will hurt U.S. citizens far more than they will help bring new jobs.  Fact:  Trump has chipped away at ACA to the point that we will all see a rise in health care costs, and millions will be unable to afford healthcare at all.  I have many more facts, but I shall stop here, for you get the picture, right?

The 40% who still love him because he tells them to are in for a very rude awakening. As I told a friend last night, I would like to say they will be getting what they deserve, but for the fact that the rest of us will suffer as well. This, even though we have spent the past year-and-a-half fighting tooth and nail, while the 40% sat in front of their television watching Fox News and scarfing down Lays potato chips and ice cream.  Bah humbug.

TREASON!

I just love starting Monday in a haze of white-hot fury.  The Washington Post headline reads:

Putin Again Denies Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election; Trump Calls Probe a ‘Disaster for Our Country’

It comes as no surprise that Putin denies interference … nobody with half a brain thought he would admit it, but no matter, for there is more than ample hard fact-based evidence that he did.  But for Trump to call the investigation a “disaster for our country”???  NO … NO NO NO NO NO!  The investigation is essential and the only thing that gives us hope we might get rid of the real disaster: Trump himself!  I am in a white hot fury over his asininity!

Putin:  … Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs.

Trump:  There was no collusion. I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign.bullshitNow what, exactly, do these two donkeys expect us to do at this point?  Do they expect that we will all say, “Oh, well, that solves it then.  Let’s stop the Mueller investigation and all other investigations and let Trump get on with his plan for mass destruction of the U.S.”

Somebody needs to take that ugly red tie and wrap it around his neck a few more times and pull tightly!

Trump:  Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed, as of about four hours ago.

Why, Donnie?  What changed?  Did you offer him the keys to the Capitol and the White House?  Did you promise to change the name of the country to the United States of Russia?  And what did he offer you?  A lifetime sitting in the Oval Office with no need for another election ever? 

Frankly, if this isn’t a wake-up call to both Congress and Trump’s supporters, then we know that they have all been lobotomized.

Trump:  I think the probe has been a disaster for our country. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe.

Well-respected former Director of the CIA, John Brennan, had this to say:

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

I repeat that question:  Where are you???  Some republicans in Congress absolutely must wake up and step up to the plate, for now there can be no doubt … not a shred of doubt … that Donald Trump is Putin’s asset.  There can be no doubt that deals have been made for our country to blindly support Russia’s agenda, whatever that agenda may be.  I can only wonder, with Trump’s past Russian connections, how many years this plan has been in the making?

Trump:  Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems know how to do is resist and obstruct! This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country — but at some point, it will heal!

The “hatred and dissension” in our country did not begin with Trump, but he has escalated it by a thousand percent, and continues to do so every time his fingers hit the keys on his twittering machine.  Donald Trump cannot heal the rift … the gulf … in this country, for he is the cause of it.  And no, folks, the media is NOT the enemy of the people … Donald Trump is the enemy of the people!  His state-media, Fox News is the enemy of the people, for they spread his lies and further widen the great divide.

I make no apologies, as I normally would, for this rant, for it is time We The People – all the people, including those who have been wearing blinders and earplugs for nearly 18 months now – wake up and see what is right under our very noses!  Donald Trump has no love for this country nor for its people.  He loves two things:  money and power.  And Vladimir Putin is promising him both.  Russia is not our friend and the free press is not our enemy.  There can no longer be any illusion that Trump can be reined in and eventually become the president of the people.  His goals are not ours.  The only solution, if we wish to continue as a relatively free nation, is to get Donald Trump out of the White House as quickly as possible.

The “president” is a Son-of-a-Bitch

Let’s start with a simple question:  If you are invited to visit a friend, and your own house is in a shambles, dirty because you haven’t cleaned it in months, are you likely to harshly criticize your friend’s housekeeping skills when her house if nearly immaculate?  And to do so publicly, announcing to the neighborhood at large?  I think not.  Why? Because you are sensible, kind and truthful.

Who does Donald Trump think he is?  He was, though only by the minority and not the majority, elected to be the president of the United States.  He was not elected Prime Minister of the UK.  He was not elected President of NATO.  He was only elected to be the president (no caps) of what is fast becoming the most despised nation on the face of the earth.

I won’t even bother addressing just now his abhorrent performance – yes, that is what all his public appearances are, performances – at NATO on Wednesday and early Thursday, but will skip right on to his epic failure in the UK yesterday afternoon.

Donald Trump decided to give an interview to one media outlet in the UK, The Sun. First off, guess who owns The Sun?  None other than Rupert Murdoch, the very same Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, among others.  It is considered Britain’s most right-wing newspaper, or actually more of a tabloid.

The SunThe interview had been done on Wednesday in Brussels, and was strategically scheduled to be published during Trump’s first evening in London.  There can be no doubt … no doubt at all that it was an attempt to add insult to injury as Ms. May is struggling to maintain her position in light of the opposition to the soft Brexit deal she announced earlier this week.  Trump also praised May’s antagonist, Boris Johnson, and alluded to him as a future Prime Minister, further indicating his attempt to influence the fate of Ms. May’s government.

A few of his most obnoxious remarks from the interview (and of course I could not resist adding my own commentary):

“I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”  (And why should she listen to the words of a dishonest ‘man’?)

“The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one people voted on.” (He didn’t even know what Brexit was in early 2016!)

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal.”  (A mind is a terrible thing to waste)

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London. I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?”  (You’re finally getting the message — they don’t want you, Bozo!)

On London Mayor Sadiq Khan: “Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism. I think he has done a bad job on crime, if you look, all of the horrible things going on there, with all of the crime that is being brought in.”  (Not your place to judge, Donnie boy — you don’t even understand your own job, so don’t try to tell someone else how to do theirs)

“I have a lot of respect for Boris [Johnson]. He obviously likes me and says very good things about me. I was very saddened to see he was leaving government, and I hope he goes back in at some point. I think he is a great representative for your country. I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes.” (Just proves that Johnson is a lousy judge of character)

Last month, Trump very rudely and using false pretenses offended Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the disastrous G7 summit where Trump should have been put outside with the canines, based on his behaviour.  And this month, he has gone beyond simply insulting the Prime Minister of the UK, but has attempted to undermine the job she is working hard to do.

Trump-May.jpg

What the heck is Melania wearing — the curtains???

Although I did not vote for Trump and have never supported him in any way, I still feel I owe all my UK friends a humble apology.  Please forgive us, our nation, for being too stupid to see what an ignominious jackass our so-called president is and allowing him to remain in office.  I’m sorry.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who I actually defended recently, saying that she didn’t deserve the public embarrassment she was subjected to when she was asked to leave a restaurant, went above and beyond her usual dog-and-pony show lies:

“The President likes and respects Prime Minister May very much. As he said in his interview with the Sun she ‘is a very good person’ and he ‘never said anything bad about her.’”

Bullpoop.

His behaviour and his interview with The Sun were abominable.  Extremely unprofessional, un-presidential, crass, rude and whatever other adjective you can think of to insert.  Make no mistake — this is a serious diplomatic blunder for the U.S., and one that will likely have long-reaching ramifications for both the U.S. and the UK.  I do not see how it can possibly fail to erode the relations between our two nations.  Donald Trump has absolutely no right to interfere in the negotiations between the UK and EU regarding Brexit.  It is not his fight.

It is worth noting that Trump is not capable of taking care of his own house, is doing a terrible job at home, and yet here he is trying to tell all of NATO what they must do, and now trying to tell the Prime Minister of the UK how she should do her job!  As I said in the beginning, the United States is well on the way to becoming the most despised nation on the earth.  All because of one ‘man’.  Well no, wait, actually the blame must be shared by 62,985,115 others.  The 62,984,828 who voted for him, and the 287 republicans in Congress (51 in the Senate and 236 in the House of Representatives) who have been slavishly licking his boots every day since 20 January 2017.  Thank you all for making our nation the worst it has been since 1865.  Each and every one of you deserve what’s coming your way.  Sadly, the other 265,134,207 of us in the U.S. do not deserve the abomination you have unleashed on us, and the rest of the world does not either!

Define “Generous” Please …

My jaw literally (well, okay, figuratively) dropped to the floor this morning when I saw this headline:

HHS Secretary: Separating Immigrant Families Is ‘One of the Great Acts of American Generosity’

Say what???

The separation of children from their parents at the southern border can be defined by only two words:  a fiasco, and chaos.  ‘Generosity’ is definitely the antithesis of what this nation has done to those families seeking a safe haven.  A federal judge ordered all children under the age of five to be reunited with their parents by July 10th  — yesterday.  However, some 84 of the 101 or 102 children under five remain separated from their families in detention centers, aka concentration camps.  How is this ‘generous’?

“We have nothing to hide about how we operate these facilities.” That was Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night, referring to what he calls the juvenile and “tender age” facilities in which many of the separated children are currently being detained. It seems strange to me that if they have nothing to hide, they have barred media outlets and public figures from filming or visiting. And then he went on to say …

“It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids.” 

I call FOUL!!!  There is no generosity involved in taking a young child, a toddler, from its mother’s arms and putting it in an abandoned Wal-Mart store, surrounded by wire and strange faces!  And why is he referring to them as ‘unaccompanied’?  A two-year-old child does not just wander across the border on his own.  These children were accompanied by their parents!!!  Three thousand – 3,000 – children were accompanied by their parents, then taken away to detention centers, scared, alone, and not knowing why they are no longer with their parents.  And Mr. Azar calls this ‘generous’?  Perhaps his definition of the word is different than mine.  Or perhaps he is in the wrong job, for his agency is titled “Health and Human Services”, and there is nothing … not one thing … humanitarian about what is happening to these children!

HHS and ICE have so royally mucked up this entire fiasco that they deserve to be placed in these detention centers themselves.  First, they have lost track of some 20% of the parents who were either released in the U.S. or deported back to their homelands – without their children.  Second, they are claiming that 27 of the children under 5 will not be reunited because the parents have ‘criminal records’, yet we are not told what crimes they are accused of.  Perhaps nothing more than a speeding ticket or jaywalking in some cases.  We don’t know … we just don’t know.  And frankly, I no longer trust our government to provide us with actual facts, for thus far we have been spoon-fed the b.s. that they want us to believe and I do not buy a single word of it.

The delay in reuniting the children, we are told, is because HHS is conducting DNA testing on children and parents in order to ensure the right kids go to the right families.  I see this more as a delaying tactic than a genuine concern for the children’s safety and welfare.  Part of the reason for the DNA requirement, according to officials, is that the documents proving parentage were initially taken from the parents at the border, and those documents have since been lost!  They cannot keep up with the parents, they cannot keep up with the paperwork … what next?  And now we are told that at least four of the mothers have been told they must pay the cost for the DNA testing before getting their children back!  These mothers do not have $700 – $800 in their pockets!

There are many people in this administration who must bear the guilt of this fiasco, but at the end of the day, it all falls squarely in the lap of Donald Trump.  Separating these children from their parents was a political move, making the children pawns in Trump’s game.  The process was hastily thrown together with little or no thought to record-keeping and eventual reunification.  These children and their parents are human beings, yet they have been treated as … objects, for lack of a better word.  And now, to add insult to injury, Alex Azar has the unmitigated gall to call what we are doing ‘generous’?  I don’t think so, Alex … no sir, I do not see generosity anywhere in this equation.