Guilty As Charged!!!

The ultimate betrayal …

Donald Trump is now, in my book, if not officially, guilty of genocide.  He was already guilty of treason, having conspired with a foreign nation not one, but twice, in order to influence a U.S. election and to benefit himself, thereby putting our nation in grave danger.  And now he is guilty of the likely murders of potentially thousands of Kurds … Kurds who have long been our allies!  There are estimated to be between 1.4 million and 2.7 million Kurdish people — human beings — in Syria whose lives, thanks to Donald F. Trump, are now in jeopardy, as Turkey begins to implement its plan for a ground invasion of northern Syria.

What happened?  Trump had a phone call with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey.  We all know these days about Trump’s phone calls to foreign leaders, right?  Whether or not he asked Erdoğan to help dig up dirt on his political opponents is not known, but what is known is what he promised Erdoğan.  Very soon after the Monday morning phone call, the United States began withdrawing American troops from Syria’s border with Turkey.  Erdoğan has made no secret of the fact that he wishes to kill the Kurds, and the only thing standing in his way were U.S. troops in northern Syria.  Trump promised to step aside and let Erdoğan have at it.  The Kurds are … were … our allies, people!!!  Great friends we have proven to be, yes?  What next, Donnie?  You gonna bomb the UK?  Perhaps you’d like to send troops to overthrow the government of Germany?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Not only did he betray an ally in the most horrific of ways, but he proved to the world, as if they didn’t already know, just how utterly stupid he is.  Take, for example, this tweet …

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”

First … what sort of bloomin’ eejit claims to have “great and unmatched wisdom”???  I really, really had to hold onto my hands to keep from throwing something when I read that.  And second, he has never obliterated the “Economy of Turkey”, unless he’s talking of the kind that make their way to the dining table on Thanksgiving!

One journalist, Richard Engel of NBC News, commented …

“’I, in my great and unmatched wisdom …?’  Who talks or writes like this?  The closest I can come up with was Qaddafi. Not Mubarak. Or Ben Ali. Or Assad, let alone any European leader.  Really can’t remember a current or recent example.”

Qaddafi.  Trump.  Two peas in a pod?

Surprisingly, even his republican cronies were aghast at his decision to stab our allies in the back.  EVEN MITCH MCCONNELL split with Trump on this issue, saying …

“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

Republican Senator Patrick Toomey from Pennsylvania rang in with …

“This betrayal of the Kurds will also severely harm our credibility as an ally the world over. President Trump should rethink this decision immediately.”

The bottom line is that Trump has made a disastrous decision on an issue of which he has zero understanding.  He does not have great and unmatched wisdom – he has the wisdom of a five-year-old.  He does not understand the Middle East at all.  And worst of all, he is once again pandering to an autocrat, just as he has in the past to Putin, Kim, Bolsonaro and others.  His actions yesterday will have dire consequences, at the very least for our allies, the Kurds, and quite possibly for the entire globe.

And speaking of betrayal …

Now, transitioning to another story here, Lindsey Graham, that ignoble Senator from South Carolina, also spoke against Trump’s foolhardiness in pulling our troops out of Syria at this moment, saying …

“By abandoning the Kurds we have sent the most dangerous signal possible — America is an unreliable ally and it’s just a matter of time before China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea act out in dangerous ways. No matter what President Trump is saying about his decision. It is EXACTLY what President Obama did in Iraq with even more disastrous consequences for our national security.”

Strong words for a republican senator, eh?  Taking the right side for once in his life, yes?  But wait … Senator Graham had something else to say on another topic …

Lindsey-Graham-2“Here’s what’s going to happen: if the whistleblowers’ allegations are turned into an impeachment article it’s imperative that the whistleblower be interviewed in public, under oath, and cross-examined. If that doesn’t happen in the House, I’ll make sure it happens in the Senate.”

This … this essentially amounts to signing a death warrant for the whistleblowers and would ensure that nobody … nobody … would ever again come forward with the sort of information that our government officials may be attempting to bury to suit their own purposes.

There are laws that protect those people who come forward with information that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within a private or public organization.  Is Lindsey Graham planning to break those laws?  Does he see himself, as Trump sees himself, as being above the law?  And, is this a threat that he hopes will keep the House from following through with the impeachment proceedings?  Impeachment proceedings that, I might add, are long overdue.

It seems to me that there are a heck of a lot of people within the Republican Party who wish to break down the very foundations of our government, and they don’t care how they do it.  Now, admittedly there are some less-than-stellar people in the Democratic Party as well, but … today, the republicans win the honour of being the biggest jackasses in the nation.


Note to readers:  Stay tuned for the next installment of ‘The Brexit Conundrum’ where we will hear Colette’s views at 3:00 p.m. EDT, 8:00 p.m. BST.

GASP!!! Have They Found A Conscience?

Are republican senators finally finding their consciences?  More likely they are worried about their own patooties next election, but either way, it is encouraging to see them standing up to Trump for a change. Two stories in this morning’s news give reason to hope that the blinders are coming off, that Senate republicans are beginning to remember that their allegiance is to We the People, not the madman in the Oval Office.


The first issue is the tariffs that Trump has threatened to impose on goods imported from Mexico – another of his bullying tactics to attempt to force another country to bend to his will.  The tariffs would crush Mexico’s economy, as 80% of their exports are to the U.S., and it would hurt the consumers in this nation as well, though Trump either does not understand, or more likely simply does not care.

Yesterday, two “administration officials” attended a lunch with the Senate during which the proposed tariffs were discussed.  A number of republican senators expressed their opposition …

“I think the administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval on another national emergency act, this time trying to implement tariffs. Tariffs are not real popular in the Republican conference.” – Senator Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

“I want you to take back that you didn’t hear a single ‘yes’ in this room.” – Senator Ted Cruz, Texas

“We’re holding a gun to our own heads.” – Senator John Cornyn, Texas

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio questioned the administration’s legal rationale for levying the tariffs, asking the officials to explain how it could use a law that has never been implemented to impose tariffs — the International Emergency Economic Powers Act — to, in fact, impose tariffs.  Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado told the officials that they need to stop with the tariffs.

When asked if he felt that the Senate could come up with a veto-proof majority to block the tariffs, Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said, “I sure do.  There’s just a weariness of tariffs as the only tool in the tool kit that gets used.”  Even Mitch McConnell had to admit …

“There is not much support in my conference for tariffs — that’s for sure.”

Only time will tell if the senators are willing to put their vote where their mouth is and stand up to the bully in the Oval Office.  Trump, on being told that there was little if any support in the Senate for his tariffs took his usual mafia-sounding spiel …

“Oh, I don’t think they will do that. I think if they did it’s foolish.”


Last month, Trump declared an emergency to bypass Congress and expedite billions of dollars in arms sales to various countries — including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the decision, saying …

“These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

At the time of the announcement, there was some bi-partisan support in Congress for blocking the sales, but the icing was spread on the cake yesterday when it was discovered that that Trump had allowed U.S. nuclear energy companies to share technology and other information with Saudi Arabia on October 18, 2018 — just 16 days after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul — and again February 18, 2019, less than a week after the House voted to end U.S. backing for the Saudi-led military effort in Yemen’s civil war.  Both the House and the Senate voted for the bill to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen, but Trump vetoed the bill, and neither chamber of Congress was able to come up with a 2/3 majority to override the veto.

As a result, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham are working together in an effort to block the 22 arms deals that would largely benefit Saudi Arabia, a move that seeks to quash the administration’s attempt to use emergency powers to circumvent congressional objections.  Given that Graham has long been one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders and has defended the indefensible on more than one occasion, this is certainly encouraging news.

There is also bi-partisan support for blocking the arms sales in the House of Representatives where it is said members are also considering re-writing the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 to impose tighter restrictions on the use of the “emergency authority” provision, tightening the loophole Trump used to justify the sale so it could only be used for “true emergencies”.

Again, time will tell whether the republicans in Congress are finally ready to re-assess their blind support of everything Trump demands and represent the people of this nation, or if they will once again fall prey to the bullying of the madman at the helm.

And The Winners Are …

I wrote a good bit about the republican’s tax cuts that would benefit mainly the wealthy back in 2017 when it was first passed into law.  Since then, I have only mentioned it in passing for the most part.  But today I would like to revisit the topic.  A lot of middle income wage earners are just now figuring out that it was not much more than a shell game whereby they saw a slight increase in their weekly pay, but at the end of the year, when it came time to file their taxes, they were left slack-jawed, wondering why, for the first time in decades, they owed money at year end.

If you have found yourself in that situation, take heart, for some people truly did receive a benefit from the 2017 tax cuts!  Companies like Amazon, Chevron, General Motors, Delta, Halliburton, and IBM paid NO income taxes for the year 2018!  Aren’t you happy?  Aren’t you dancing a jig?  According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), some 60 Fortune 500 corporations were highly profitable, yet paid no income tax, and in some cases even received rebates!

Take Netflix, for example.  The company earned $845 million, its highest profit ever, and paid not a single dime in income taxes.  In fact, they recorded a $22 million federal tax rebate.  Then there was Amazon who nearly doubled their pre-tax income from $5.6 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion in 2018, yet paid $0 … that’s right Zero, Nada, Zilch … in income taxes. trump-tax-memeThe tax cuts for the wealthy in 2017 lowered the maximum corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and allowed companies to write off the total cost of capital equipment in the year of purchase, rather than via a depreciation schedule over the course of the life of the equipment.  Look at the results for the top earning Fortune 500 companies …

Company

U.S. Income (millions)

Federal Tax (millions)

Effective Tax Rate

Amazon.com $10,835 –129 –1%
Delta Air Lines $5,073 –187 –4%
Chevron $4,547 –181 –4%
General Motors $4,320 –104 –2%
EOG Resources $4,067 –304 –7%
Occidental Petroleum $3,379 –23 –1%
Honeywell International $2,830 –21 –1%
Deere $2,152 –268 –12%
American Electric Power $1,943 –32 –2%
Principal Financial $1,641 –49 –3%
FirstEnergy $1,495 –16 –1%
Prudential Financial $1,440 –346 –24%
Xcel Energy $1,434 –34 –2%
Devon Energy $1,297 –14 –1%
DTE Energy $1,215 –17 –1%
Halliburton $1,082 –19 –2%
Netflix $856 –22 –3%
Whirlpool $717 –70 –10%
Eli Lilly $598 –54 –9%
IBM $500 –342 –68%
Goodyear Tire & Rubber $440 –15 –3%
Penske Automotive Group $393 –16 –4%
Aramark $315 –48 –15%
AECOM Technology $238 –122 –51%
Tech Data $203 –10 –5%
Performance Food Group $192 –9 –4%
Arrow Electronics $167 –12 –7%

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy                                            

Still feeling really good about that extra $20 on your weekly paycheck? Let’s take a look at your tax rates.  If you were single and earned between $38,701 and $82,500, your effective tax rate was 22%, or between $8,514 and $18,150.  Sure, you probably paid less if you had any deductible expenses, but still … look again at the chart above.

ITEP’s Five Things To Know on the One-Year Anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will substantially increase income, wealth, and racial inequality.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will continue to substantially increase the deficit.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is not significantly boosting growth or jobs.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to be very unpopular.
  • Despite the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s lack of popularity and ill effects, many Republican lawmakers are calling for even more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

Next time somebody tries to tell you that the 2017 tax cuts were to benefit the middle class, remember this post and tell them in your loudest voice:  HOGWASH!  And in case your blood pressure isn’t already through the roof, take a gander at this …Corporate tax cuts

Dear Senators …

For quite some time now, even for years before the current administration invaded the White House, we have seen a Congress so divided that it almost makes a mockery of the words “democratic process”.  We have seen a Congress that pays little, if any, heed to the will of the people, the betterment of the nation, but rather are acting in their own best interests.  It speaks volumes when even former members of Congress are speaking out against the uber-partisanship and asking Congress to step up to the plate and do what they were elected to do.

A group of 44 former senators has penned a letter to the current and future senators, asking them to set aside their partisanship and self-interest for the sake of guarding our democratic principles.  Will they listen?

Dear Senate colleagues,

As former members of the U.S. Senate, Democrats and Republicans, it is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security.

We are on the eve of the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the House’s commencement of investigations of the president and his administration. The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability.

It is a time, like other critical junctures in our history, when our nation must engage at every level with strategic precision and the hand of both the president and the Senate.

We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld.

During our service in the Senate, at times we were allies and at other times opponents, but never enemies. We all took an oath swearing allegiance to the Constitution. Whatever united or divided us, we did not veer from our unwavering and shared commitment to placing our country, democracy and national interest above all else.

At other critical moments in our history, when constitutional crises have threatened our foundations, it has been the Senate that has stood in defense of our democracy. Today is once again such a time.

Regardless of party affiliation, ideological leanings or geography, as former members of this great body, we urge current and future senators to be steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy by ensuring that partisanship or self-interest not replace national interest.

Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Richard Bryan (D-Nev.), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), Max Cleland (D-Ga.), William Cohen (R-Maine), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.), John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), David Durenberger (R-Minn.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Wyche Fowler (D-Ga.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Gary Hart (D-Colo.), Bennett Johnston (D-La.), Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), David Pryor (D-Ark.), Don Riegle (D-Mich.), Chuck Robb (D-Va.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), John W. Warner (R-Va.), Lowell Weicker (I-Conn.), Tim Wirth (D-Colo.)

Bursting the Bubble …

I’ve talked and listened to a lot of people in the past few days who are convinced Donald Trump will be out of office before the 2020 presidential election.  Some are applauding, others are more concerned that the blatantly bigoted Michael Pence will prove to be more dangerous than Trump (highly unlikely).  A few nights ago, I said I would be writing more about the Manafort/Cohen situations after the dust settled and I had time to sit back and ponder the long and the short of it all.  Although the dust has not quite settled, I have pondered, and here is my take.

Donald Trump has undoubtedly broken the law, as confirmed by former lawyer Michael Cohen, and he is a sleazeball, to boot.  He has robbed this nation of many things, not the least of which is a fair and honest election. But folks … put away the party hats and put the champagne back in the fridge, because it doesn’t look as if Donald Trump is leaving the Oval Office any time soon.  Please … stop throwing the tomatoes at me … I know I am bursting your bubbles and raining on your parade, but that is no reason to throw rotten fruits at me.  Don’t shoot the messenger. Let me explain …

First of all:  impeachment.  As I told you in my post from July titled No Dancing in the Streets … Sorry! Donald Trump is very unlikely to be impeached as long as Congress remains divided almost completely along party lines.  Impeachment proceedings could be introduced in the House, and might even pass, depending on the demographics of the House after the November mid-terms.  But that does not remove him from office, does not even tie his hands.  Remember Bill Clinton’s impeachment?  It had no effect on his presidency, except to cast a dark cloud.

The Senate, even if every one of the 35 seats up for grabs in November goes to a democrat, still will not be able to garner the 2/3 majority required to remove the impeached president from office.  It would require a minimum of nine republican senators to find their cojones and vote to remove him, and at this point, I do not see it happening.

Next:  resignation.  I’ve heard a few say, “Well, he has to be feeling the pressure … perhaps he’ll just resign to save face”.  Sigh.  Think about it, friends.  Save face?  He lost that a long time ago, and his ego, his megalomania, keeps him convinced that he is Donald The Invincible, The Terminator, and The Incredible Hulk all rolled into one.  No, he is many things, but a quitter is not one.  He will not be like Richard Nixon and say “Good-bye” and ride off into the sunset.  He will stay until he is physically removed, dead or alive.

Third:  criminal indictment.  The Justice Department has taken the position twice that the president is not subject to indictment while in office and that no criminal charges can proceed against him unless he’s either removed from office by impeachment or has served out his term.  As a constitutional issue, it remains to be seen, but the precedent set by the Justice Department is clearly against indicting a sitting president.

The question then becomes:  Why are the republicans in Congress still supporting Trump, unwilling to even talk about removing him from office?  And the answer to that is simple … Trump’s base is as supportive as ever.  They have decided that he is their man, and thus far they haven’t heard anything that has changed their mind. Trump’s approval rating from Wednesday, when Paul Manafort was found guilty on 8 of the 18 charges against him, and Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 charges, until early this morning, dropped by … one-tenth of one percent … no more than the normal fluctuations of any average day.  And 80+% of all republican voters are supporters of Trump.Red state Blue stateNow, if you’re a republican senator from Iowa, a red state, and you’re up for re-election this year, the only way you stand a snowball’s chance in hell is if you are seen by the republican voters in your state as being a Trump supporter, for they definitely are.  And if the republicans won’t vote for you, who will?  Damn sure not the democrats or the independents, for you have been screwing them over for nearly two years now!  And thus, do not hold your breath waiting for any republican in Congress to do the right thing where Trump is concerned.

But why is he still popular?  His popularity with the republicans hinges on some of the very things we find most repugnant about him.  A Pew Research poll* released this month summarizes what Trump supporters most like about him:PEW pollAll of which goes to prove that the most ardent among Trump’s supporters are more interested in his personality than his policy positions.  Okay, frankly I don’t get it, for I find his personality thoroughly disgusting, but … different strokes for different folks.  But seriously … “he’s draining the swamp”?  NO … he has made it worse than it has ever been in the history of this nation!!!  And they’re still hung up on that old “he tells it like it is”.  NO … he has no clue how it is!!!  But anyway, all of this is irrelevant, for the bottom line is that his supporters still love him.

Jean Sickler of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was asked last week how she would rate Trump’s presidency. She gave him a 9 out of 10, and when asked why he lost a point, her reply was, “A little bit of the things in his tweeting.”  This, folks, is what we are up against.

Then what will it take … ??? 

The only thing that is going to see Trump leaving office before January 20th 2021 is if his base finally turns the tide against him.  Once his base, his loyal supporters realize that maybe, just maybe he isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, then the dominoes can begin to fall, the republicans in Congress will play to the masses and step back away from Trump, and we can begin to have serious discussions about impeachment.  I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking these past few days, and I have concluded that there is only one thing that is going to sway his base:  jobs and the economy.

When Trump’s policies start to hit his base in an up-close-and-personal way, they will open their eyes, stretch, yawn, and enlightenment will begin.  I say it will begin, because even at that point – and make no mistake, that day will come – if Trump can blame it on someone or something else in such a way that his followers buy his excuses, they may still support him.  It’s hard to say, for my crystal ball is in the shop this week, but I truly believe that when, due mostly to the tariffs he has imposed on friends and antagonists alike, jobs are lost, prices of food and other goods rise, the cost of health insurance goes up, and they suddenly find they are struggling just to provide the basics for their families, their eyes will begin to open.  I do not see anything else that will have that effect, for they frankly don’t care about his morals, they don’t care about his honesty or lack thereof, and they don’t care that he is a crass, vulgar cheater.

So, no my friends, much as I wish I could claim otherwise, Trump will not be leaving the White House soon.  I leave you with two parting thoughts:

  • Trump registered on the day after his January 2017 inauguration to run in 2020. He could very well actually win that election.
  • I’ve been wrong before … remember that I was the one who swore there was no way he was going to win in 2016. Let’s hope I’m wrong this time too!

* The article from which I took the Pew data has a number of other graphs and some interesting information about Trump supporters, so here is a link in case you’re interested.

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.

We, The Unrepresented Majority …

The concept of representation in government has become skewed.  This has flitted across my consciousness frequently for months … nay, for several years, truth be told.  But in the last week, the thought has repeatedly smacked me hard upside the head, and a short piece in the Opinions section of The Washington Post this morning was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

When we vote for the candidate of our choice on election day, we assume that the winning candidate will represent us.  Now, it may be the case that a candidate is put into office almost exclusively by the votes of the wealthy, the white, the Christians, the republicans … but once in office, he represents us all.  His job is not simply to ensure that the laws are written to enhance and protect the specific groups that voted for him.  But that concept has been lost along the way … not by all politicians, but absolutely by almost every single republican in Congress or the White House.  Nowhere in the oath he takes does it say he will uphold the Constitution to the extent it supports only the minority.

The divide between democrats and republicans has become so great that perhaps neither can see what they are doing to this nation.  Certainly the republicans in Congress have all but forgotten that their allegiance is to this nation and its people … ALL of its people.

Outgoing republican Senator Bob Corker was asked yesterday why he does not support crafting and enacting legislation that would protect the Russian investigation under Robert Mueller from the idiosyncrasies of Donald Trump, who could essentially fire Mueller and close down the investigation at any time.   And he answered …

“The president is, as you know — you’ve seen his numbers among the Republican base — it’s very strong. It’s more than strong, it’s tribal in nature. People who tell me, who are out on trail, say, look, people don’t ask about issues anymore. They don’t care about issues. They want to know if you’re with Trump or not.”

Think about that one for a few minutes, folks.  The republicans in Congress will refuse to do what they know to be the right thing, for it may anger the 35% or so of the nation who still support Trump.  Mid-terms are coming up in a short eight months, you know, and we wouldn’t want to do anything to anger our base.  Mr. Corker just made it as plain as the nose on your face that the only people he and his cronies believe they need to represent are the minority of citizens who support Donald Trump.  I don’t support Trump, therefore Mr. Corker feels no obligation to give a royal whit about my best interests, or yours.

The first three Articles in the U.S. Constitution outline the responsibilities of the three branches of government.  Article I is the legislative branch – Congress.  Do you know why it came before the executive branch – the president?  Because the framers believed Congress was the more important.  They were the ones who would defend this nation … and We The People.  Congress would make laws, it was believed, in the best interest of all the people.  Note that today, the majority of the people in the United States are convinced that the investigation by Robert Mueller and his team is of particular importance, given the growing evidence before our eyes that the Trump family and campaign had extraordinary ties to Russia.  And the majority is more convinced than ever that Donald Trump has much to hide, given his obsessively erratic behaviour of the past week – behaviour that reeks of guilt.  But the majority of the country does not matter … not at all … to the republican lawmakers who are more intent on stroking and appeasing the minority, because they do not wish to risk losing voters.  Is this all that matters?  Apparently so.

And equally infuriating is the fact that some 35% of the nation “don’t care about issues”.  They only care whether a legislator supports Trump, not whether he supports them or their families.  A few short hours ago, I told Hugh that I really needed to stop referring to Trump supporters in negative language, for perhaps I had been unfair in judging them based on their vote.  Too bad I cannot stick to that, but at this point, I will go on record as saying that anybody … man, woman, Christian, atheist, straight, gay, white, black … anybody who cares more about supporting Trump than the many crucial issues we face today, such as health care, immigration, education, infrastructure, foreign relations, climate change, and much more, is ignorant.  If Trump dies tomorrow, our lives will go on (and be better for it).  If our air becomes unbreathable or our water undrinkable tomorrow, we will all die.  If millions of people cannot afford healthcare, they will die.  But 35% of this nation don’t care about the issues???  Wake up and smell the coffee, people!  Wake up and see how you have been manipulated and used for the personal gain of one ‘man’ and his family!

The world will never be perfect, nor will this nation.  But once we stop striving to make it better, as our representatives and their blind followers have done, then we are doomed.  We elect representatives based on how well we feel they will represent us and the things we most care about.  Some in this country have lost sight of that concept, and in so doing have handed over the lives of every single person in this country to a corrupt, selfish individual.  In the past few weeks, I have asked myself why I write this blog.  I needn’t ask any more.  This is why I write this blog, for I cannot sit idly by and allow the ignorant to rule our world without at least trying to make a difference.

What’s All The Republicans’ Hullabaloo About An FBI Secret Memo

Two days ago, I wrote a post about ‘Integrity’. It was inspired by a couple of stories I saw in the news about republicans inventing conspiracy theories and doctoring false information in an attempt to discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation into the connections between Donald Trump and the Russian abduction of our election in 2016. The sheer dishonesty, the brutal lies created by the republicans that WE elected to serve US, is appalling and disgusting. Gronda has summarized this abominable situation better than I could have, so please take a moment to read her post, share it with your friends. We need to shine a bright light into the dark corners that are being created. Thank you, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of Trey Gowdy and Rep. John Ratcliffe

As far as I can determine, it looks like all the hullabaloo that the republican President Donald Trump and his sycophants operating in the White House, the US Congress and right wing media outlets, is about some questionable text messages that they have uncovered and whipped up into a conspiracy theory about how the deep state within the FBI have been out to get the president at all costs.

It seems that on the day after President Trump was elected, there was a single text sent by a senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page to Peter Strzok (both were involved in an extra-martital affair), the top counterintelligence officer at the FBI and a key figure in the bureau’s past investigations into President Trump and Mrs. Clinton.

Image result for photos of robert mueller

The text message is as follows: “Are you even going to give out your calendars?,” Page asks Strzok. “Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should…

View original post 1,723 more words

Trump’s SHITHOLE Moment …

Since Donald Trump took an oath that he did not even understand on 20 January 2017, I have been referring to the federal government collectively as a ‘circus’. Tonight, I amend that assessment, for a circus at least has the illusion of fun, of brightness, and it has certain appeal.  Tonight, I re-name the government of the United States under the ‘leadership’ of one Donald Trump, as a Freak Show.  That’s right, a Freak Show.

The man who claims to be the leader of the United States, a once-respected Western naton, made the following statement:

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

The remark was reportedly in reference to people from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.  The White House did not bother to deny the comment, but rather excused it, put a spin on it …

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people … He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans.”

What a load of, please pardon my language, bullshit. These ‘stopgap measures’ save people’s lives, people who are fleeing for safety, for an opportunity to survive, to have a life for themselves and their children! I don’t know about you folks, but I do not wish to have Trump fighting for me or my rights, if that means he so rudely and obnoxiously speaks of people who come to this country for a better life for they and their children.  I would rather spend a day in the company of 100 Haitians than a single minute with a member of the Washington elite.

Donald Trump should have studied a little harder, perhaps taken some history classes when he was a youngster, for he obviously does not realize that this nation is built on the foundation of immigration, of diversity, of welcoming with open arms people from all nations, of all cultures, races and religions. Has he forgotten, or did he ever know, the words engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

liberty-words“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I am not alone in my outrage:

“Trump’s comments about the immigrants from “shithole countries” is among the worst statements he has ever uttered. It might very well be the worst.” – Dan Rather, journalist and former news anchor

“What’s the word for a country that elects a racist, serial lying, profiteer who revels in conflicts of interest’ brags about assaulting women; attacks freedom of the press, freedom of religion, private citizens, & law enforcement; and calls for investigations of political rivals?” – Walter Shaub, former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics

“… are further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda” – Cedric Richmond, Democratic Representative, Louisiana

“I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency.” – Elijah Cummings, Democratic Representative, Maryland

“… unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.”Republican Representative Mia Love, Utah

“The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future, Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world. To deny these facts would be to ignore the brightest part of our history.”Republican Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina

“America was built on the backs of immigrants from around the globe. We must honor that history, not reject it. It starts with respectful rhetoric and signing bipartisan DACA legislation.” – John Kasich, Republican Ohio Governor

“@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?” – Vincente Fox Quesada, former President of Mexico

Quesada put a poll on Twitter asking whether, if Trump had made this comment during the campaign last year, it would have changed the outcome of the election.  See for yourself the sad results …

Trump poll election

It would have been the same.  Sad, but almost certainly true.  It did not phase his lemmings when he called for violence at his rallies, it did not matter to them that he admitted to sexually abusing many women.  It did not matter that he was a liar and a dishonest businessman, that he was a racist and a bigot.  And so, sadly, this would not mattered to them, either.

We have seen Donald Trump at his worst … or so we thought.  Every time we think he cannot possibly sink to any lower depth of crassness, of inhumanity, of utter stupidity, he proves us wrong.  Donald Trump is the absolute most disgusting president we have ever had in the 230 year history of this nation, bar none.  If this, in combination with his other several thousand disgusting, racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic comments does not convince his lemmings that he is highly unqualified for the office he holds, then I wash my hands of those lemmings, for they have brought an abomination beyond my wildest imaginings into our midst and given him the keys to our lives with impunity.

Any member of Congress who condones or ignores this better be voted out of Congress in November, for this is not the nation we are, and if they support this, then they do not … I repeat they do not … represent We The People.

Trump has been abominable before … mostly every day … but this is a new low  and I suggest we work toward getting him and his cronies out of the White House before he shows us how much lower he can go.  All those in favour, please raise your hands.  🖐️