America In The Eyes Of The World – A Guest Post by Gary Metcalfe

Today I am happy to present the second guest post in response to my plea for friends outside the U.S. to give us their insight about how they view the U.S. today.  This one is by Gary Metcalfe, who blogs as bereavedandbeingasingleparent, or as I call him, Bereaved Dad.  Thank you, Gary, for taking the time and effort to write this illuminating piece!


IS YORKSHIRE CLOSER TO WASHINGTON OR PARIS

Geography doesn’t really come easily to a simple Yorkshire chap like myself. I’m lucky to find my way round the house never mind circumnavigate the globe.  But distance wise I am pretty sure we are closer to France than America. It has always puzzled me if I should call America – America or is it the USA? Let’s go for America. So, although we are physically closer to France, in terms of relationships are we closer to Washington or Paris?

This is such a difficult question given the fact that my own country has clearly gone barking mad. So badly divided over Brexit. Increasingly violent and seeing the worrying rise of extremism. Less tolerant. Without any effective leadership. Obsessed with the cult of personality over substance. A country with ever widening inequalities. Happy to criticise others yet reluctant to cooperate or make any meaningful international contribution.  Occasionally sending a few war planes into the Middle East does not really count as a constructive policy.

To be fair if Washington and Paris had any sense they would distance themselves from the UK. I suspect the leaders in Europe secretly can’t wait to get rid of us. When I worked for the NHS I went to a conference and the Secretary of State for Health started slagging off our European partners. He held up a European Competition Framework and complained that it was 300 pages long and was a clear sign of European bureaucracy gone mad. Unfortunately, he failed to mention that the vast majority of the bureaucracy in that document had been inserted at the request of the U.K. to protect our own interests. That document will be much slimmer when we have left.

Although we talk as if we are European we have historically seen our closest ally as America. America is often portrayed as vibrant, modern, yes a bit brash but also so very inclusive. Yes, we have seen things which make us shake our heads. The obsession with guns … what is all that about. Wouldn’t an obsession with something like Tea or Old Car Restoration be an awful lot safer for your kids. But still we could trust America. Then Obama came along and suddenly our closest ally became a real beacon of hope.

In 2011 the American President said a few simple words that resonated (he had a brilliant talent for that):

“We should do everything we can to ensure this country lives up to our children’s expectations”

 The words came at such a tragic time for the American People, but Obama was the leader we all wished we had. Intelligent, caring, passionate and someone who understood he had obligations to the upcoming generations. That’s a great look for country and certainly a friend we can work with.  Then the hope appeared to fade, stagnated by a divided country. Principles had to be compromised.  But still America was a trusted partner. Someone we could turn to when we fell out with Europe.

 Then we all got trumped.

 When Trump received his nomination it never really sunk in. We knew of him. A billionaire, a golfer, luxury hotel owner, someone who appeared in Home Alone 2 and the winner of the WWE Battle of the Billionaires with Vince McMahon – didn’t get his head shaved. That was it.

We didn’t focus on him too much as obviously Hillary would win, as obviously the UK would vote to stay in Europe. Then even after he won he wasn’t taken that seriously. He won’t last long, people started placing bets on how long he would be President. Most people seemed to think anywhere between 6 months to 1 week. But he stayed.

For the first period of his presidency it appeared from the U.K. that if you just ignored his frequent twitter rants then things would be ok. He hadn’t blown anything up. Apart from the noise nothing seemed to be happening. Yes, the revolving door approach to presidential appointments seemed vaguely amusing. Moving the White House engine room to a golf course (as clearly a golf course is where a President can do his best work) was not really a surprise. In fact, all we really heard was how much time he spent playing golf.  But slowly the news of the what trumping really meant started to filter across the pond.

  • Apparently dangerous links with Russia and certain Middle East tyrannies existed. But we couldn’t lecture on this as we have equally close links with Saudi Arabia.

  • The Paul Manafort saga (too confusing to really follow as we only heard about snippets of the story) but it clearly implied incompetence or something more sinister. Whatever the underlying cause it’s not a great example to the world of American Ethics.

  • The handling of the Puerto Rico natural disaster was just really insensitive, self-centred and despicable.

  • The apparent haste to fall out with your historic partners like Canada, France and Germany. But you have found a new buddy in North Korea.

  • He bizarrely started to openly condemn his own Intelligence Agencies and the FBI. Yet he didn’t seem as willing to condemn the Extreme Right operating in his own country.

  • The Complete disregard for international climate change commitments. It really felt like he was saying ‘stuff you’ to the world and future generations. Maybe he thinks it’s not my problem as I will be gone by the time the world burns. Contrast that with Obama’s approach. Monumentally stupid or colossally selfish.

  • Favouring the interest of the NRA over child safety. Seriously arming teachers….

  • Attacks on the Free Press and attempts to stifle debate. These are particularly worrying as some of our politicians are clearly starting to copy Trumps strategy. What happened to the Leader of the Free World role.

  • That Wall. That Magic Wall which will solve all of America’s problems. The Wall which is so precious that it’s worth freezing Government for. That must be some Wall. But the sight of a modern Leader seemingly taking personal delight at the shutdown. Probably thinks it makes him look like a big man. We are talking about people’s lives here being sacrificed for a few bricks.  Kids are dying on the border. Oh, I forgot they are just migrants. Are the golf courses still open?

To the vast majority in our country your President appears to be at best a misguided clown at worst a dangerously unbalanced self-obsessed bully. Either are not a good look for a leader and certainly not as a leader who we are trying to forge a partnership with. Many in our country feel that Trump has gone too far. That we should be distancing ourselves from him. But our PM is desperate, she sees an American trade deal (regardless of how bad it is) as a way of saving her job. So, unless we get a new government it’s going to happen.

Where does that leave us across the pond. Rapidly burning our bridges with Europe. Yet looking on at America with increasing consternation and alarm. At a time when we should be embracing closer links with Washington we see a dangerous superpower. Potentially a threat. Yes, a threat. And yet. And yet. As our country careens out of control into a world with few friends, our government views Trump as someone we might be able to quickly do business with. He clearly hates Europe as much as our Brexiteers. But at what cost. Is an unbalanced trade deal really worth further opening up our beloved National Health Service to Trump’s golfing buddies. Are we really that tainted as a country that we are prepared to sacrifice our moral principles for the price of a document which Trump could declare void at any stage.

So back to the big question. Are we closer to Washington or Paris? The answer is sadly neither.Text dividers

A Guest Post by David M. Prosser …

Yesterday, I put out a plea for some of my friends and readers who live outside the U.S. to write a guest post for this blog about how they view the United States as it stands today.  I’m calling my project simply ‘Coexist’, for despite thousands of miles and oceans between us, we really are neighbors in todays global world, and as such, we need to find a way to understand, to coexist.  We rely on each other for trade, for security, and perhaps most importantly, for cultural understanding.  The U.S. has not been a very good neighbor of late, and most of us are well aware that our standing in the world is greatly diminished.  We know from the media how the leaders of other nations view us, but I want to know how the people of those nations, our friends and neighbors, view us, both as a nation and as people.  The first person to respond to my plea was my dear friend, David Prosser of North Wales in the UK, and today I am publishing his guest post.  Thank you so very much, David, for your time and effort, and for sharing your thoughts.


In answer to my friend Jill Dennison’s call, I am writing to give an opinion from abroad as to how Trump, and more importantly America are viewed these days.

It’s important to note that back in 2016 the American elections were the cause of more interest than usual because a woman was attempting to get to the White House and this time in her own right and not as the wife of a candidate. Would we see the President and her First Man? To be honest most of us gave little or no credence to Donald Trump as the nomination of the Republicans. This was the man who started the rumour that President Obama was not American born. Probably the vilest man in America. As the campaign wore on he started with a chant of ‘Lock her up’ against Hilary Clinton which seemed to overshadow any of her policies, but even so, he couldn’t win. When he had neo Nazis at his events, or KKK and could describe them in glowing terms you knew he couldn’t win. The American people had more sense.

He won, after the electoral college gave him their votes. The popular vote was for Hilary Clinton showing that Americans could vote for both a black man and now a woman to be President. But the electoral College votes were enough to overturn expectations. The worrying thing is that here was a man who had waffled his way through an election on an  unwarranted chant against an opponent and a call for a wall to be built between Mexico and the United States which Mexico would be funding. Most of us never took that as a promise made and thought Mexico would be surprised at Trump’s cheek. It appears they were and they quickly made it clear that no funding for a wall would be coming from Mexico. Trump is a fanaticist who just opens his mouth and lets any stray thought slip out.

We’ve all been following Mr Mueller’s efforts to find the truth behind the election and some of Trump’s mutterings. Within my own little group expectations are that we’ll find that Trump is heavily in hock to Russian banks and that he’s accepted a degree of help from his friend President Putin at manipulating the election. Certainly Russia spent an awful lot of money on the Social sites to bolster Trump’s campaign.

In the two years since he was elected Trump seems to have emasculated the US and turned it into either a laughing stock or a nonentity on the world stage. Trump has single-handedly removed America away from Europe and has canceled America’s promises from the Paris Accord regarding global warming. It amazes us that Trump seems to have declared friendship for the World’s greatest Dictators and have OK’d it for the States to become racist again. It appears the last 50 years have been wiped out and he black people are to be treated as inferior beings again. The worst thing is it looks like this was a feeling kept in the background just waiting to come out again. It’s also OK to want to deny immigration. A country built on immigrants now says ‘No More’ and attempts to block any Moslems from entering the country except Saudi Arabia which though it funds terrorism including the planes hitting the twin towers can do no wrong in Trump’s eyes. It’s still a major surprise here that despite the rubbish that Trump spouts, much of it deliberate lies, that approx 40% of the US continue to support him. At this rate he’ll sell America to the highest bidder before his term ends and retire to some isolated island where he and all his money can happily retire. The family can stay behind and face Mueller’s findings.

Know this, that most of the UK feels for you and wishes you were Trump free. The best we can say for now is Good Luck.Text dividers

Thank you again, David!  And thank you for the Good Luck wishes … after tomorrow night we may need them more than ever!  Now come on, dear friends!  I need a few more volunteers!  I promise it’ll be fun!  

 

Shoot The Messenger???

The news on the street … well, okay, on the internet … is that the Freedom Caucus of the House of Representatives has prepared paperwork to propose impeachment proceedings against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Apparently, in light of his indictments against 12 Russians in the Robert Mueller investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election, the House Freedom Caucus has decided to shoot the messenger rather than try to understand what happened two years ago.  Now, in preparation for this post, I did some research into the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) and the Tea Party movement and I turned over some facts that I found very interesting.

The Tea Party movement began almost immediately following Barack Obama’s first presidential inauguration (in January 2009) when his administration announced plans to give financial aid to bankrupt homeowners.  It is notable that this was one of the first things Trump reversed via executive order after he took office.  The driving force behind the movement was none other than David H. Koch of Koch brothers fame.  But here’s the really interesting thing … one of the things the party stands firmly in favour of is a reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit.  The tax bill of December 2017 ensured the exact opposite of both of these goals!  Both debt and deficit have been increased and are projected to be ‘bigly’ increased over the coming decade.

Left to right:  Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Mick Mulvaney

The House Freedom Caucus was founded by none other than current Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Mick Mulvaney, and is currently chaired by Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, consists of the following members:

Justin Amash Michigan
Joe Barton Texas
Andy Biggs Arizona
Rod Blum Iowa
Dave Brat Virginia
Mo Brooks Alabama
Ken Buck Colorado
Ted Budd North Carolina
Warren Davidson Ohio
Ron DeSantis Florida
Scott DesJarlais Tennessee
Jeff Duncan South Carolina
Matt Gaetz Florida
Tom Garrett Jr. Virginia]
Louie Gohmert Texas
Paul Gosar Arizona
Morgan Griffith Virginia
Andy Harris Maryland
Jody Hice Georgia
Jim Jordan Ohio
Raúl Labrador Idaho
Mark Meadows North Carolina
Alex Mooney West Virginia
Gary Palmer Alabama
Steve Pearce New Mexico
Scott Perry Pennsylvania
Bill Posey Florida
Mark Sanford South Carolina
David Schweikert Arizona
Randy Weber Texas
Ted Yoho Florida

These 31 men are the most radically conservative in the U.S. Congress, and they have been preparing the impeachment documents against Mr. Rosenstein since April, it is said.  Their focus on Rosenstein is explained by the fact that it is he to whom Robert Mueller reports on the status and results of the ongoing investigation into the election of 2016.  Initially, the investigation was to determine the extent to which Russia had interfered in the election and who was involved.  The investigation quickly expanded, however, as various members of the Trump campaign, and even some of his family members were found to have involvement.  The HFC is apparently feeling threatened by the mounting evidence and intends to shut the investigation down, one way or another.

The House Freedom Caucus has only 31 members, and 31 is not a majority in a House comprised of 435 members.  It would require the support of 187 additional members to pass, and that seems somewhat unlikely.  But then … there are an awful lot of boot-lickers these days who seem willing to sell their souls to support and protect the worst president in the history of the U.S.

Rosenstein, for his part, deserves a standing ovation.  He has stood his ground and been the voice of reason, perhaps the only voice of reason in this past week.  Here is a small part of his speech … you can read the full speech here if you are interested.

“We do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings. Most anonymous leaks are not from the government officials who are actually conducting these investigations. We follow the rule of law, which means that we follow procedures, and we reserve judgment. We complete our investigations, and we evaluate all of the relevant evidence before we reach any conclusion. That is how the American people expect their Department of Justice to operate, and that is how our department is going to operate.

The indictment was returned today because prosecutors determined that the evidence was sufficient to present these allegations to a federal grand jury. Our analysis is based solely on the facts, the law, and Department of Justice policies. I briefed President Trump about these allegations earlier this week. The president is fully aware of the department’s actions today.

There will always be adversaries who seek to exacerbate our divisions and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us. So long as we are united in our commitment to the values enshrined in the Constitution, they will not succeed. A partisan warfare fueled by modern technology does not fairly reflect the grace, dignity, and unity of the American people. The blame for election interference belongs to the criminals who commit election interference. We need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable, and we need to keep moving forward to preserve our values, protect against future interference, and defend America.”

In addition to the data theft, hacked emails and computers of key people in the DNC, it has been determined that the Russians were responsible for hacking the website of a state election board and stealing information about 500,000 voters.  A half-million of us private citizens had our personal information stolen as part of a giant scheme to rig the election in favour of Donald Trump, and the republicans are mad at Rod Rosenstein???

I am going to be emailing my representatives tomorrow to inform them in no uncertain terms that I will break their kneecaps not stand silently by and allow this ridiculously blatant attempt to cover up a massive crime against the citizens of this nation!  I stand by Mr. Robert Mueller and Mr. Rod Rosenstein – possibly the only two men in Washington that have a conscience and are trying to do the right thing for the people of the U.S.

The Puppeteer

Disclaimer:  The story you are about to read is fiction, a product of the bouncing mind of Filosofa, and to the best of my knowledge, none of the following conversations took place, though similar ones may or may not have.

The exact date is unimportant, but it was sometime around mid-2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin was enjoying a nice supper with two of his closest advisors.  They were discussing Barack Obama and the United States, supposedly an ally, but not acting very much like one, in Putin’s view. seperatorFRANCE-RUSSIA-US-POLITICS-DIPLOMACYPutin:  America’s interference in Iraq and Libya have led to regime changes that give our people ideas.  I do not like it!  The United States needs to stay on its own side of the globe and President Obama needs to tend to his business at home and stop meddling in our business.  Imposing sanctions for what he considers to be human rights violations!  Pah! Я бы удар его задницу!!!

Advisor #1:  Well, Obama has only two more years, and then there will be a new president.  I hear that clown that has some television show in America where he goes around firing people and screaming “You’re fired!!!” is thinking about entering the race.

Putin:  Really?  You mean that … oh, what is his name … Chump?

Advisor #2:  I believe it is Trump … Donald Trump.

Putin:  Oh yes, that’s it!  Both of you, work on a dossier … I want to know everything there is to know about this man, his businesses, his family, his connections, even down to what brand of toilet tissue he buys!  I’m getting a seed of an idea …  Have that dossier on my desk no later than Monday morning!seperatorThe following Monday, Putin meets again with his advisors after reading the information they provided earlier that day.

advisorsPutin: Excellent information!  I just got off the phone with Sergey Kislyak, and he is going to schedule a meeting with this Donald Chump later this week.  From what I have read in your reports, the man is not only an egomaniac, but not a very bright one!  He spends more time in bankruptcy court than he does managing his businesses, he has had as many failures as successes.  He is also a liar and a cheat, according to everyone who has ever done business with him, including his own ex-wife!  Perfect … absolutely perfect for what I have in mind!

Advisor #2: And what exactly is it that you have in mind, sir?  The man, after all, is a bumbling fool whose own ego matters more to him than anything else.

Putin:  Exactly!!!  He is as pliable as clay, and his ego is his Achilles heel.  My plan, you ask?  My plan is to make certain that Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States!

Advisor #1:  Brilliant, Mr. President!

Advisor #2:  Brilliant, Mr. President!

Putin:  By dangling shiny objects in front of him and at the same time, stroking his massive ego, he will become our puppet.  Those sanctions that Obama has imposed will disappear, and Mr. Trump will do our bidding!

Advisor #2:  But Mr. President, if you don’t mind my asking, how do you plan to ensure this Mr. Trump is elected?  American elections are very democratic.

Putin:  The details I will leave to the two of you.  You may utilize any staff and any other resources you may need, but it is your job for the next two years to ensure that the election in November 2016 goes to the fool with the bad hair.  Once you have carried out your mission, I will be able to control the puppet we have placed in the White House in Washington D.C.

putin puppeteerseperatorIt is now 02 March 2016.  A lot has happened in the nine months since Trump announced his candidacy, and Putin is once again having a nice dinner at the famed Mari Vanna restaurant with his two advisors.

Putin:  Tonight, we celebrate, yes?  Our Chump has taken the bait and I don’t know how you’ve done it, but the fool just won 7 of the 11 states that vote on Super Tuesday!  You will see a little something extra in your pay stockings this week!

Advisor #1:  Thank you, Mr. President.  It hasn’t been easy, for Trump seems to wish to bring about his own downfall on a near-daily basis!  He offends literally everyone with his crassness and disrespect for all.

Advisor #2:  We have paid agitators at all his rallies, and that has helped, for once they start chanting “Lock her up!”, he re-focuses on his diatribe against Ms. Clinton and we are able to bring him back on track.

Putin:  You’ve done well, but the hardest part is still ahead of us, and that is getting enough votes.  How is the advertising campaign coming?

Advisor #1:  We have set up accounts all over social media, and it is successful beyond our wildest imaginings!  People are actually believing nearly everything we tell them!  I never knew how pliable, how gullible, the American people are!

Putin:  Well you must understand this … they are greedy to a fault.  If you tell them that they are so underpaid, that they deserve so much better, and that Trump is the answer, that he will make them wealthy, they will believe it because they want to believe it.  They want it to be so.  And the hacking of the voting machines?

Advisor #2:  That is not coming quite as well, sir.  The security is excellent, and of the 21 states whose machines we have attempted to breach, only two have been minimally successful, Illinois and Arizona.  We have our best cyber-techs on it, and have even hired assistance from, believe it or not, Silicon Valley!  As well, of course, as the Swiss.

Putin:  Okay, it is clear that we will not have as much impact as we would like in that area, but don’t give up!  We must focus, then, on making sure the people are convinced that Ms. Clinton, whom is actually quite nice, but far too smart, is seen as a criminal with much to hide, and that Mr. Chump, er, Trump, is seen as the one who will make all their dreams come true.  Have you been successful in making contact within the Trump camp?

Assistant #1:  Yes sir, that has been quite successful, and we are told that Trump’s grown children play a major part in his campaign, and even better, that they are no more intelligent than Trump himself, so we are hoping to soon be able to make direct contact with one or possibly two of them.

Putin:  And you have been acquiring the information to use as blackmail if needs be, yes?

Assistant #2:  Of course, sir.  Once elected, he will do our bidding in the areas that concern us, as we will have him ‘by the short hairs’, as they say in the U.S.  In other areas, we will leave him to his own devices.

Putin:  Perfect!  I am well pleased by your work and I think we will be celebrating on the ninth of November!

seperatorRussia's President Putin holds a glass during a ceremony of receiving diplomatic credentials from foreign ambassadors at the Kremlin in MoscowThere were many more meetings over the course of the next nine months, but let us fast forward to November 9th, at 9:00 a.m. Moscow time, 1:00 a.m. in Washington D.C.  Putin and his advisors are once again meeting, and when the advisors arrive, Putin has a huge bottle of champagne waiting.

Putin:  Well, gentlemen, we did it!  We have pulled off the biggest heist in the history of mankind!  We literally stole an election!  There is still much work to be done, however you both must take a vacation for two weeks and recharge, for we now embark on the next phase.

Advisor #1:  {groans}  Yes sir, thank you very much President Putin.

Advisor #2:  {groans}  And what, sir, is the next phase, if I am permitted to ask?

Putin:  Chaos.  We must create so much chaos within the two parties and among the people, in the halls of Congress, that they cannot agree with each other on virtually anything!

Advisor #2:  And might I ask the goal of this chaos campaign?

Putin:  To keep the people of the United States from coming together, discussing ideas, and perhaps figuring out that Donald Trump is a crass fool who cannot fulfill his promises to them, and had no intention of doing so anyway.  It wouldn’t be hard to figure out if they simply stopped screaming at each other and talked, so we must keep the chaos at a high level, keep them biting and snarling at each other, and give the Chump free reign, for he will inadvertently play along with our plan!  {sips champagne}  And now, gentlemen, I must make some calls, if you will excuse me?  Enjoy your vacations!

happy putinseperator

Sleep well tonight, my friends.

Former US Top Spy Calls President A Russian Asset/ Mueller’s Possession Of Trump’s Emails

With so many facets to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump/Russian ties, interference in our election last year, and collusion with Russia by Trump & Co., it is nearly impossible to keep up. Our friend Gronda, however, has done a great job in bringing us up to date on the latest, and I couldn’t have said it better than she, so please take a few minutes to read her excellent post. Thank you, Gronda, for all your research and hard work … this is excellent information!

Gronda Morin

It has been my hypothesis that the republican President Donald J. Trump has indeed been a Russian asset before he ever set foot in the White House. The reason that the FBI’S Special Counsel Robert Mueller III has been delving into the president’s past financial history, is that his financial holdings have been inextricably intertwined with Russian financing for decades so that his business could thrive during some financially troubling times. Because the president had a history of filing for bankruptcies in the early 1990s, he had trouble garnering the financing he required through US banking institutions for his numerous projects, but it was Russian monies that came to his rescue.

Being beholden to Russian financing to where there is outstanding debt is similar to being beholden to the Mafia for loans. They both expect a return on their investment. This is the crux of the probe which helps in…

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Another Shoe Drops In Trump-Russia Probe (President Dictated Son’s 6/9/16 Meeting Response)

I have often thought that Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, and the latest news is more proof, as if we needed more, of this. I will ask my dear blogger-friend Gronda to tell you … the rest of the story. Many thanks, Gronda, for this excellent post and for allowing me to share it!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of trump and trump jr TRUMP JR./ TRUMP

This is the latest news in the Trump-Russian saga…

On July 31, 2017, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Phillip Rucker and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer.

Excerpts:

“On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril. ”

“The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF TRUMP ON AIR FORCE ONE

“But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed. Flying home from Germany…

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The Last Laugh …

If I were Hillary Clinton, I would be laughing and feeling pretty darned good right about now!  Sure, she won the election but lost the presidency, most likely due to some high-level hijinx.  But Donald Trump has paid her the highest compliment she may ever receive, though I doubt he realizes it yet.  How so, you ask?

For the entire six months Trump has been in office, he has not let up on his criticisms of his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.  Almost weekly there is some new empty threat or meaningless accusation from his tiny-twitter-fingers.  He simply cannot let it go, cannot seem to get her out of his small mind.  All of which tells me one thing …

Donald Trump, the man with an ego the size of Manhattan Island, feels very insecure and very threatened by Hillary Clinton.  There is simply no other possible explanation.  He won the electoral vote and thereby is now sitting with his pudgy butt in the chair in the Oval Office, yet he is still bashing Hillary Clinton, a woman who can do him no harm now and who probably only wishes she could put the ugly memory behind her.

February 15th“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”

March 20th“What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians? Also, is it true that the DNC would not let the FBI in to look?”

March 27th“Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech…. …money to Bill, the Hillary Russian “reset,” praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!”

March 28th“Why doesn’t Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton – sale of Uranium?”

April 3rd“Did Hillary Clinton ever apologize for receiving the answers to the debate? Just asking!” and “Was the brother of John Podesta paid big money to get the sanctions on Russia lifted? Did Hillary know?”

May 31st – “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.”

June 9th“How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up–and where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted?”

June 25th“Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!”

July 12th“Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!”

July 16th“HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”

There’s more, but you get the picture.  Donald Trump has a very unhealthy obsession for Hillary Clinton that can only stem from feeling insecure and threatened. It would be funny, were he not supposed to be focusing on the things we pay him to do, like running the country. It would be funny … if he were a 16-year-old kid who lost his best marble in a game against a girl.  It would be funny if it did not speak volumes about the mentality of the man who has the nuclear codes at his tiny fingertips.

Although there is evidence to the contrary, Trump continues to claim that “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”.  Then in March, Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, or as Trump himself refers to it, the Voter Fraud Committee. As per my July 1 post, the commission attempted to jeopardize our voting rights by requesting private information on every voter, but the majority of the states refused to comply.  The commission held its first meeting yesterday, during which vice-chariman of he committee, Kris Kobach said that due to voter fraud, “we may never know” if Hillary won the popular vote or not.  It is apparent that this commission was established, at least in part, to attempt to legitimize Trump’s unsupported claim of voter fraud, though Kobach claims otherwise.

In elections past, the losing candidate congratulates the winning candidate, then goes home to lick his/her wounds.  The winning candidate then spends his time preparing for the job ahead, learning from people already in office, reading and studying.  Then on January 20th, that winning candidate assumes the heavy responsibility that is the office of president.  His days and sometimes nights are occupied with decisions, foreign policy, budgets, policy-making, learning the ropes, etc.  But in the case of Donald Trump, he eschewed the learning process, partly because he did not understand what he was being told, and partly because he already thought he knew everything.  Then once in office, rather than knuckling down to the task ahead, he chose to spend his time ruminating on two people:  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  His own insecurities are costing this nation in ways we may never fully understand.  But to return to my initial point, if I were Hillary Clinton, I would be laughing long and loud, for even eight months after the election, he is still afraid of her!

 

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Confirmation Of President’s Goal To Lift Sanctions Against Russia ASAP

These days I am finding it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to keep up with the investigation into Russia’s interference with last year’s election, the key players, who said what and when, and how the tangled web all fits together. As if that weren’t enough, there is, as I always believed, evidence that Trump intended all along to lift the sanctions against Russia in exchange for Putin handing him the election. In addition to my other writing, I just throw my hands up and sigh. But not my friend Gronda … she gets down to business and digs … and then I smile, for she has just saved me HOURS of reading, researching and writing. So today, I share with you, dear readers, Gronda Morin’s excellent summation of the latest ins-and-outs in the plan of the administration to lift the sanctions against Russia. So much is going on behind the scenes, and Gronda has dug it all up for us. This is the “Who’s Who” of the matter, so please take a few minutes to read and absorb. Thank you Gronda, for all your hard work, spot-on research, and as always, for your permission to share.

Gronda Morin

Image result for PHOTOS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP/ REX TILLERSON WITH RUSSIANS AT WHITE HOUSE

Any reader who has been following this blog knows that I have been alleging that I am convinced that the republican President Donald Trump and his close surrogates’ goal have been to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia by the USA and G7 European countries as part of NATO from 2014-2017.

The republican President Donald Trump along with his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are currently (May-June 2017) hard at work to attain their goal of lifting sanctions against Russia which were enacted against it by US and G7 European countries as part of NATO because of Russia’s 2014 unprovoked invasion of Crimea, Ukraine. This is why Russia is no longer part of what was the G8 conference.

Image result for PHOTOS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP/ REX TILLERSON WITH RUSSIANS AT WHITE HOUSE LAVROV/ TELLERSON

But now in June 2017,  there is confirmation, that the White House had been taking actions to have the sanctions against Russia lifted as soon as they moved into the…

View original post 1,429 more words

Voter Suppression – 2016

vra-1The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment (1870) to the Constitution of the United States. The act significantly widened the franchise and is considered among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history.

In 2013, the Supreme Court declared that voter discrimination was no longer a problem and effectively struck down the only portion of the act designed to stop discrimination before it affects an election. The court let stand the provisions of the act that allow lawsuits after a discriminatory law takes effect, but unfortunately, the United States has learned the hard way that there is no satisfactory cure for discrimination after an election occurs.

vra-2Under the 1965 law, jurisdictions with a history of discrimination had to submit changes in voting practices to the Justice Department for review. But in 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down the trigger used to determine which jurisdictions would be subject to preclearance, effectively removing this safeguard. In 2015, U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, and U.S. Representative John Conyers introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015 which would apply preclearance evenly among all 50 states. Under the new law, any state or jurisdiction that demonstrates a consistent pattern of discriminatory voting practices would be subject to preclearance. When the discrimination stops, the jurisdiction would automatically be freed from the requirement. This bill offers a modern and thoughtful response to voter discrimination that ensures the minimal possible federal interference in state elections. Unfortunately, despite the legislation having more than 100 co-sponsors, Congress still has not acted on it.

vra-3Which brings us to today, less than a week from election day, and in seven southern states alone, some 868 polling locations have been eliminated, thus ensuring that in the areas where polling places were closed, voters will have longer distances to travel and longer lines to stand in.  Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa County (coincidentally home to controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio) slashed the number of available polling places from 200 to 60, calling it a “cost-effective” move. In the March primary, this county saw voters waiting in line for 5 hours, many turning away rather than wait, and some polling places ran out of ballots.  There was, in Maricopa County, approximately 1 polling place for every 21,000 voters.

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# of polling locations closed in 7 southern states = 868

More than a few times in the past year, I have stated my belief that when it comes to civil rights we are moving backward rather than forward.  The fact that 868 polling places closed in a mere 7 states, all southern states, seems to validate my belief.  It isn’t just in the south, either.  Rhode Island cut 66% of its polling places, as did some counties in Indiana where hundreds of voters were turned away after the polls closed.

In March 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law one of the most restrictive Voter ID laws on the books.  Republicans praised the bill as a measure to prevent voter fraud, while Democrats accused them of trying to disenfranchise minority, elderly and urban voters. Three months later, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai was caught on videotape saying, “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: done.”

This year in North Carolina, GOP leaders launched a meticulous and coordinated effort to deter black voters, who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. The law, created and passed entirely by white legislators, evoked the state’s ugly history of blocking African Americans from voting. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the 4th Circuit recognized the legislature’s discriminatory intent and struck down the law. Republican Governor Pat McCrory tried to appeal, but the Supreme Court refused to stay the lower court’s order, thus the law will not be in effect for this year’s election. Score one for justice!

Federal courts have also struck down new voting restrictions in Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Dakota. In all cases, the laws were enacted by Republican legislatures and governors. And in all cases, discriminatory impact on minority voters is at issue.  What’s next … literacy tests?  Poll taxes?  This whole thing reminds me of trying to blow out those trick candles that keep re-lighting themselves on a birthday cake … you think you’ve blown out all the candles, then another starts burning again, then another.  Just when we thought we had fairness and justice for all in voting rights, fires keep popping up, trying to deprive U.S. citizens of their Constitutional right! 

Federal Judge James Peterson, who struck down a series of voting restrictions in Wisconsin this year, wrote: “The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities. To put it bluntly, Wisconsin’s strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease.”.

We elect people to represent us in our counties, our states, and in Washington.  We elect these public servants with the expectation that they will be fair and honest and do the best job they can to represent all the people of the United States, not just people with light skin or European ancestry! All these attempts by the GOP to keep African-Americans from voting this year indicate one thing:  Republicans do not have faith that their candidates can win an honest election. To disenfranchise African-Americans, Hispanics, and other groups simply to win is an abomination! Are we, as a nation, truly willing to reverse the strides in equality, gains in the democratic process, that were made more than 50 years ago?  If we are, then perhaps we deserve what we get. Think about it.

Stop The Presses … The Election Is Over … Try Again Next Year … President Obama Will Stay In Office For Another Year!

comeyIt does not matter how you do it, just so long as you do it.  It does not matter that your motives are not pure, nor that your methodology is dishonest, just so long as you succeed.  This, apparently, is the motto of the Trump campaign.  In the news today, in reference to FBI Director James Comey’s letter of 28 October, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, claims that “I think my father-in-law forced their hand in this. And I think if he had not put that pressure on, I don’t even know if we would be seeing this happening right now. I just think she’s had a big problem on her hands, and this is going to be, you know, the nail in the coffin as far as I’m concerned”

If, in the next eight days, it can be proven that Trump had any part in the fiasco that was started by James Comey’s letter, or if it can be proven that he had prior knowledge of the letter, then his claims that the election is ‘rigged’ certainly become true, only with him as ‘the rigger’, not the ‘riggee’.  As such, here is my proposal.

obama.jpgI suggest there is no other option than to throw out this election before November 8th and start over.  Each party will have the option to stick with their current candidate, or start over with the primary process.  The election should be held in one year, on November 7th, 2017.  Meanwhile, President Obama will retain the position of President of the United States, which will at least provide some stability to this nation still reeling under the onslaught of ugliness that has been heaped upon us by Trump.

Elections for the Senate and the House should not be postponed, but should proceed as planned on November 8th.  Thus, with a Democratic majority in the Senate, President Obama should be able to nominate and the senate confirm a Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

trump-as-clownIn order to maintain the schedule, whomever is elected president in 2017 will serve only a three-year term, and the next election will be held in November 2020 as planned.  Some will decry that this is an aberration, but really … hasn’t this entire election process been an aberration?  It has been nothing more than a three-ring circus with Trump playing the role of head clown, Clinton the tight-rope walker.

During the coming year, under this plan, certain changes in federal election law will be drafted and passed.  Here are my suggestions:

  • Citizens United will be suspended for the duration of this election.
    • Contributions by corporations and lobbying groups will be limited to an amount as yet to be determined.
  • There will be only two presidential debates and the following rules apply:
    • The only discussions will apply to issues pre-determined by the moderator or CPD.
    • Time limits for speaking will be strictly observed. Any candidate who talks over the one speaking or the moderator will have his/her microphone turned off immediately.
    • Debates will not be broadcast live, but will be broadcast a full hour later, in order to provide real-time fact-checking.
    • There will be no tolerance of slurs, mud-slinging, or personal criticism between the two candidates. 3 violations of this rule will result in the end of the debate.
    • There will be no audience.
    • The two independent candidates ranking highest in the aggregate of polls will be allowed to participate in the debates.
  • Attack ads will be strictly forbidden, either in print, television, or online. Advertisements will be allowed only to promote the ideas and qualifications of the candidate purchasing the ad. Any violations will result in hefty fines and potentially the loss of public media rights.
  • The release of a minimum of ten years’ tax returns is mandatory for all candidates. No exceptions.
  • The trial of any candidate facing felony charges will be moved up on the court docket such that all trials will be heard and decided prior to May 31st, 2017.  If a verdict of ‘guilty’ is returned, that candidate is immediately disqualified from the race.
  • Rallies will maintain civility. Incitements to riot, people sent to disrupt rallies, or calls for violence will result in severe penalties for the guilty candidate.  Hate speech will not be permitted at rallies, and violations will result in the termination of the rally.  Legitimate mainstream media cannot be barred from any candidate’s public events.

While I would like to add rules for the media, I cannot in all good conscience, as it would violate the 1st Amendment right to a free press.  I would, however, hope that the media has learned a valuable lesson from this year and would use their conscience, rather than their financial goals, as a guideline to responsible reporting.

Well, I think these rules would lead to a much more peaceful and informative  election process next year.  Gone would be most of the stresses that are causing those of us with consciences and functioning brains to be on the brink of a nervous breakdown.  Voters would have an opportunity to learn what each candidate actually stands for or against, to hear their platforms and ideologies.  Civility would reign in the entire process.  The more I think about it, the more I like my idea.