What Happens If …

There are a number of opinion writers I greatly respect, and Charles M. Blow is in the top ten.  Mr. Blow writes for the New York Times and his work is most always level-headed and thoughtful.  Amid the many calls for impeachment to remove Trump from office, cooler heads must sometimes prevail.  In Blow’s column from December 2nd he explains why removing Trump from office is not a likely scenario, but would be the beginning of a new nightmare.

What Happens If …

The possibilities ahead in the Russia investigation suggest we are not reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather entering one.

Charles BlowBy Charles M. Blow

I no longer think that anyone in America, including Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters, can afford to put off the consideration of the central question of this administration: What if Donald Trump or those closest to him were compromised by the Russians or colluded with them?

There have always been those of us on the left who viewed his presidency as compromised, asterisk-worthy if not wholly illegitimate, because of the Russian interference.

A crime had been committed by Russia and Trump cheered the crime and used the loot thereof to advance his candidacy. That is clear.

The Russians made repeated attempts to contact people in Trump’s orbit and in some cases were able to meet with members of the team, as evidenced by the Trump Tower meeting. That is clear.

Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide. That is clear.

And since assuming office, Trump has openly attempted to obstruct justice and damage or impede the investigation into what the Russians did and whether anyone in his orbit was part of the crime. That too is clear.

But for the people who support and defend Trump, this has already been absorbed andabsolved. They may not like it, but they are willing to overlook it. Indeed, they are so attached to Trump that his fortunes and his fate have become synonymous with theirs. There is a spiritual linkage, a baleful bond, between the man and his minions.

But what happens if the evidence that the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, uncovers reveals a direct link between Trump and the Russians? How do Trump’s boosters respond?

Last week, when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline and the extent of Mr. Trump’s involvement in negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow, the political earth shifted.

If Trump was lying to or misleading the American people about his efforts to do business in Russia while running for president and the Russians knew — and presumably had evidence — that he wasn’t being completely honest and forthcoming, then he was compromised.

While it is by no means clear that the Russians ever used any information that they may have had to blackmail or otherwise pressure Trump, Cohen’s plea makes clear that they had the material to do just that.

This brings ever more clarity to Trump’s curious inclination to go soft on Russia condemnation, to take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence agencies, and to drag his feet in acknowledging that Russia attacked our election in 2016 and may continue to do so in the future.

How would Americans who support Trump now respond to evidence that Team Trump put their own personal and financial interests over the national interest? Would they break from their blind support and turn away from him and turn on him? How could they justify wearing the blinders for so long and countenancing so much? What language would they use to correct their complicity?

There is a precedent in the Nixon investigation. When the evidence of wrongdoing was clear and incontrovertible, people began to peel away, tails tucked and full of shame.

But that was a different time, one in which media wasn’t so fractured and partisan, before the advent of social media and our current dissociable mentalities.

Nixon had no propaganda arm. Trump has one. It’s called Fox News. There is little daylight between the network’s programming and the White House’s priorities. If Trump goes down, so too does Fox, in some measure. So the network has a vested interest in defending Trump until the bitter end, and that narrative-crafting could impede an otherwise natural and normal disaffection with Trump.

Furthermore, Trump does not strike me as a man amenable to contrition or one interested in the health and stability of the nation.

I expect Trump to admit nothing, even if faced with proof positive of his own misconduct. There is nothing in the record to convince me otherwise. He will call the truth a lie and vice versa.

I also don’t think that Trump would ever voluntarily leave office as Nixon did, even if he felt impeachment was imminent. I’m not even sure that he would willingly leave if he were impeached and the Senate moved to convict, a scenario that is hard to imagine at this point.

I don’t think any of this gets better, even as the evidence becomes clearer. I don’t believe that Trump’s supporters would reverse course in the same way that Nixon’s did. I don’t believe that the facts Mueller presents will be considered unassailable. I don’t believe Trump will go down without bringing the country down with him.

In short, I don’t believe we are reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather we are entering one. This will not get easier, but harder.

The country is about to enter the crucible. This test of our republic is without a true comparison. And we do not have a clear picture of how the test will resolve. But, I believe damage is certain.

Is ‘Rule of Law’ Dead?

Whether Trump’s firing of Jeff Sessions was warranted or ethical is not the question.  Whether Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General is constitutional is not the question, nor is the question whether Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. The question tonight is whether this nation has become one where ‘rule of law’ applies only to those without wealth & power?  I would begin by asking just what gives one single man, Mitch McConnell, the power of life and death over the Mueller investigation?

It’s funny how just the day before, Mitch McConnell wrote that OpEd piece promoting bipartisanship and bemoaning the fact that he didn’t believe democrats would be willing to reach across the aisle … not that Mitchell has ever once reached across that aisle.  But now, there is a bipartisan effort by Republican Senator Jeff Flake and Democratic Senator Chris Coons to pass legislation that would offer protection to the investigation that has been ongoing for a year-and-a-half, but McConnell has blocked that legislation.  Single handedly he stamped it “null and void”without consideration. 

“As you can imagine, I talk to the president fairly often, no indication that the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish, and it should be allowed to finish.  We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation, but he’s never said, ‘I want to shut it down.’ … I think it’s in no danger, so I don’t think any legislation is necessary.”

I cry FOUL!  This legislation is very necessary and if Trump can get by with it, he will shut it down in a heartbeat.  Just listen to Trump’s latest rant against Mueller and the investigation …

“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to  our Nation and don’t care how many lives the [sic] ruin. These are Angry People,including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years.They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

For the record, Bob Mueller is a registered republican, and a much-decorated former Marine who served in Vietnam and came home with a Purple Heart from being shot in the leg. 

“I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have made it out of Vietnam. There were many—many—who did not. And perhaps because I did survive Vietnam, I have always felt compelled to contribute.”

Trump mixed up his facts a bit … Mueller was Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for twelve years … eight under President George W. Bush, and four under President Barack Obama.

The only … the one and only thing that has kept Trump from taking action sooner was the fact that he cannot fire Mueller directly, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General had recused himself, so he couldn’t fire him, and Rod Rosenstein is a man of integrity and wouldn’t fire him.  But now, with Whitaker in the position of Acting Attorney General, and Whitaker having licked Trump’s boots more than once already, echoing Trump’s rhetoric about the investigation being a ‘witch hunt’, the conclusion is obvious.  The only question is ‘when’?

There is no ‘witch hunt’, else Mueller would not have brought indictments against 32 people and 3 companies thus far, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time attorney and ‘fixer’, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman. 

Even Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, another who has stayed in Congress far too long and is a Trump sycophant, has said that he would back the bill to safeguard the investigation.  Jeff Flake has, perhaps, used the most important leverage of any in saying that he would refuse to advance any judiciary nominees until or unless the bill is passed. McConnell really wants to get as many of Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed as possible in order to stay in Trump’s good graces, if in fact there is such a thing.

Mitch McConnell has been in the Senate since 1984 … thirty-four years, and at least 22 years longer than he should have been or would have been if limits of two or even three terms had been in place.  Unfortunately, there is no recall provision such that the people of Kentucky could vote to recall McConnell from the Senate.  However,  Under Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a Member of Congress may be removed from office before the normal expiration of his or her constitutional term by an “expulsion” from the Senate (if a Senator) or from the House of Representatives (if a Representative) upon a formal vote on a resolution agreed to by two-thirds of the Members of that body present and voting.  Okay, so we all know that this is about as likely to happen as my cat growing wings, but it should.  If McConnell ever had a conscience or a soul, he has long since sold it downriver and he does no service to the people of his state nor to the people of this nation. 

If the Mueller investigation is halted, or if it is shackled in such a way as to render it pointless, then it will serve as proof that Trump and his minions are all considered to be above the law and have always been, for the crimes being investigated took place before Trump’s election … he was not president at the time he and his campaign staff conspired with the Russians to adversely affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  Trump’s lawyers would argue that you cannot indict a sitting president, so … does that mean that if it were discovered tomorrow that Trump had killed an entire family and buried their bodies somewhere under Mar-a-Lago, Trump could not be charged?

Rule of law is defined as …

“The authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; the principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.”

The principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject …  ALL members.  Is Donald Trump above the law?  If he is, then he is not a member of this society, therefore cannot be a president, and instead is a dictator.  Can’t have it both ways, folks.  I have attempted to contact Mr. McConnell by phone and by email to let him know in no uncertain terms that We The People want this investigation to continue to its logical conclusion, that we want to know the results, and we want every single person who acted against the law to be held accountable by a court of law.  EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.

The Morning After …

Donald Trump claimed that this election, the 2018 mid-term election, was all about him.  He was right, but not, perhaps, in the way he meant it.  The very narrow taking of a majority in the House of Representatives was all about Donald Trump … it was a referendum by democrats … a statement that said, “We have had enough.”

Contrary to what many predicted, it was not a sweep, there was no ‘blue wave’.  And in fact, at several points it looked rather dim, and I had even written a morning post based on the assumption that the GOP maintained their control over the House — it was a glum post and I was happy to send it to the trash about 2:00 a.m.!  There were some mega-disappointments, albeit not unexpected:  Andrew Gillum, Stacy Abrams and Beto O’Rourke.  At this writing, there is still a slight chance for Stacy Abrams, for the margin is narrow enough that a run-off election might be called for … we can hope, although I suspect the odds are slim.celebration.jpgNow, we’ve had a moment of relief … some, no doubt, celebrated with champagne and noisemakers … it’s time to take stock, time to take a sobering look at the reality.  The newly elected 116th Congress will not be seated until January 3rd, 2019 … nearly two full months from now.  Have you considered what might happen during that two-month period?

I have no inside information and speak only as a decades-long observer of the political scene, and a more recent observer of Trump-antics.  As such, it appears to me that the main thing Trump would like to see put to bed before he is actually held to account for his actions in two months, is the Robert Mueller investigation into possible criminal interactions between Trump, his campaign, and Russian manipulators during the 2016 presidential campaign.  I will not be surprised to see some staffing changes at the Department of Justice in the next two months.

Trump, in his usual fashion, started the ‘morning after’ with threats …

“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!”

“They can play that game, but we can play better because we have a thing called the United States Senate and a lot of questionable things were done between leaks of classified information and many other elements that should not have taken place.”

Whoa … wait just a minute … you don’t own the Senate, and they don’t even work for you, Donnie boy! Would somebody please inform him that this is not junior high school???

And later, this …

“According to NBC News, Voters Nationwide Disapprove of the so-called Mueller Investigation (46%) more than they Approve (41%). You mean they are finally beginning to understand what a disgusting Witch Hunt, led by 17 Angry Democrats, is all about!”

Funny, isn’t it, that the mainstream media of which NBC News is a part is “the enemy of the people” and “fake news” until they report something that suits his purposes?

Is there no work for Trump to do … has he nothing better to do than play childish games?  Or is he simply petrified of what investigations into his tax returns and his business’ finances since he took office would reveal?

Another sobering thought is that the Senate seats gained by the republicans last night may make a democratic majority in the Senate improbable anytime before 2022 … another four years.  It is true that the majority in the House has given democrats an opportunity to insist on some oversight, will put an end to the free ride he has had thus far and hold him accountable for his actions.  However, the importance of the Senate should not be downplayed.  First, it is the Senate that confirms or denies Trump’s cabinet choices and, even more importantly, Supreme Court nominees.  If the republicans hold the majority in the Senate for another four years, it is almost a certainty that Trump will place three more justices on the Court, making 5 of the 9, Trump picks.  For life.

Second, it is the Senate that must come up with a two-thirds majority in order to convict and remove Trump from office if the House were to vote to impeach.  I keep hearing people say that once there is a democratic majority in the House, Trump will be impeached.  He might be, but he will remain in office just as Bill Clinton did.  The difference is … consider Trump’s temperament … you think he’s abominable now?  Imagine if he were to be impeached, and yet still remain in power.

It is not my intent to spoil the party here, but just to remember that while last night’s win was a positive step, it is not the end of Trump’s reign of idiocy.

He Who Would Be King

It must be galling to Donald Trump that he has to sit tight on the things he has planned.  He is one who filters neither his speech nor his actions.  If he thinks it at any given moment, it free-falls from either his mouth or his thumbs on Twitter.  If he wants to say it, he says it.  If he wants to do it, he does it.  Rarely in his life has he seen any lasting consequences for his speech or actions, so why stop now?  But now he is being strongly cautioned by his top advisors, lawyers, and the GOP that to act now would almost certainly doom the Republican Party on November 6th, and likely bring about the ultimate end of the Reign of Trump.  Democracy hangs in the balance, and if he wishes to defeat it, he must bide his time.

What are those plans he is being forced to sit on?  All the steps that would lead to ending the Mueller investigation, the last remaining impediment to his autocracy.  Plain and simple.  Listen to what he had to say on Fox and Friends this morning when asked if he is planning to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

“I’m not doing anything — I want to get the elections over with, we’ll see what happens. I’m very disappointed that we go through this witch hunt, this ridiculous witch hunt… there’s no collusion. There is no collusion. There’s no collusion. There is collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Russians, but there’s no collusion with the Republicans, and there’s certainly no collusion with Donald Trump. And everyone knows it, and they ought to get it over with and save a lot of money, and a lot of time.”

‘Everyone’ knows it?  Who, exactly, constitutes ‘everyone’?

More of what he’s been saying all along?  Sure, but … remember a couple of weeks ago when he had summoned Rod Rosenstein to the White House, everyone was certain he was about to fire him, then … nothing?  My best guess is that he had every intention of firing him that day, but people with functioning minds strongly warned against it so close to the mid-term elections.  The stakes are high next month for the GOP and they are not about to let Trump blow it if they can help it.

We already have enough evidence pointing to the Russians having intervened on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2016 elections.  Where there is smoke, there’s bound to be a fire.  Robert Mueller’s team is under the gun to make certain they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they report is true, for their report will no doubt be subject to the highest scrutiny, held under the strongest magnifying glass and picked apart many times over.  The ‘I’s must be dotted and the ‘T’s must be crossed.  That takes time.  Trump’s goal is to make certain they don’t have that time.

What happens if Trump has his way, if the mid-term elections result in an ongoing republican majority in both the House and the Senate, if he fires first Sessions, then Rosenstein?  Trump does not have the legal authority to fire Rosenstein directly, although he thumbs his nose at the limits of his legal authority, and in many cases gets by with it.  Solicitor General Noel Francisco is next in the line of succession if Rosenstein were gone, and he would then have oversight of the investigation.

Trump could legally pursue a number of options from telling Francisco to stop Mueller from pursuing any avenue of inquiry that involves Trump’s financial records or other sensitive topics, or he could order him to fire Mueller and either allow the investigation to continue with a replacement (or without a special counsel at all) or shut it down entirely.  In the past 21 months, Trump has neatly skirted the law more than once, has taken the stance that he, as president, is above the law, that it simply does not apply to him, and, because of a consenting majority in Congress, has pretty much had a free reign.

The Mueller investigation is not a witch hunt, is not a hoax, and is very much a legitimate investigation that is expected to produce eye-opening results that should lead to some changes in our government.  If it is shut down, or Mueller’s hands tied tightly as the FBI’s were in the sham of a Kavanaugh investigation, then folks … we are in trouble.  Today we still have a voice … we can vote the sycophants who have given Trump free rein out of Congress in less than four weeks. We can work to convince others to vote to remove that boot-licking republican majority from Congress so that Congress can once again become what it was intended:  an oversight on the power of the executive branch.  I predict that if we fail in this mission, we may not have another chance in our lifetimes.  Many will argue that the Constitution will protect our freedoms, but I believe that the strength of the Constitution has already been chipped away and eroded by the current administration and it is only a matter of time before it is burned.

The moral of this long-winded story:  VOTE!!!King trump

Open Letter to Members of the U.S. Congress

Dear Members of Congress …

Once again, I am compelled on behalf of the citizens of this nation to ask you to please do the jobs you swore to do when you took that oath of office and swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  I urge you to recall, if you will, that Donald Trump is not your employer … We The People are, in fact, your employers.  As such, we are very concerned when we hear Trump threaten to interfere with the business of the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and most importantly, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s influence into our election process in 2016.

Never before in the history of this nation has there been such corruption as we have seen these past 19 months, not even during the Watergate scandal, which pales in comparison to Trumpgate.  If Donald Trump is allowed to continue his worrisome tirades unchecked, there is a very real possibility that we will never know the truth about what happened and who was involved. In that case, elections may well never be fair and honest again in this nation.

There is already more than ample evidence that there was communication and camaraderie between Russian officials and members of the Trump family & campaign, and yet when he calls the investigation a “witch hunt”, you turn a blind eye.  We the People have not only a right, but also a responsibility to find out the truth and act accordingly.  YOU … the members of the legislative branch, the people who are supposed to provide the “checks and balances” on the executive power, certainly have a responsibility to ensure that the facts, the truth, comes out.  Thus far, you have not done the job for which you are being paid!

I, on behalf of every citizen of this nation, call on you today to introduce and pass bi-partisan legislation protecting the integrity of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  For once in your term in office, please do the bidding of the people who voted you into office and whose hard-earned tax dollars are feeding your children.  This is, quite possibly, your last opportunity to do the right thing.

Sincerely,

We The People of the United States of America

Letter from Newtie!

Yesterday afternoon, as I was flipping through my AOL spam folder to make sure nothing had gotten in there that shouldn’t have, I came across an email from, of all people, Newt Gingrich!  For my non-U.S. friends, Newt represented the State of Georgia in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1999, and was Speaker of the House for his last four years in office.  Since Trump took office last year, Newt has hung on his coattails and is yet another of Trump’s bootlickers, although he seems to have no official capacity within the administration.

I was fairly excited to see that he had emailed me, for I was a bit stressed and needed a good laugh, which I was sure anything coming from a republican politician would provide.  Here is the text of the letter …

**************************************************

Fellow Conservative,

I have alarming news. This year, Senate Democrats have built a substantial fundraising lead over Republicans. Democrats are strategizing ways to use their fundraising advantage to bombard Republican candidates with attack ads on television, radio, and online.

With only 3 days until the August fundraising deadline, we don’t have much time to catch up.

Unless we take immediate action, Republican Senate candidates in battleground states will not have the resources needed to respond to negative and misleading attacks from the left. Donate today and a generous group of donors will quadruple-match your contribution.

Liberal elites are throwing everything they have towards winning races in battleground states. There is a real possibility that Republicans could lose the majority in the Senate and Chuck Schumer could take over as Majority Leader. If this happens, this would be disastrous for President Trump’s agenda. Please contribute now to stand with Senate Republicans as they fight to stop Schumer and the liberal establishment from taking over.

Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and all of their cronies are utilizing every underhanded tactic available to prevent President Trump from accomplishing his plans for Making America Great Again.

It’s crucial that we have the resources to respond to deceptive attacks from the left. Otherwise, Democrats could sway public opinion towards their side, and President Trump’s Majority could be lost.

Defeating Democrats and securing our Republican Majority will require all of us doing our part. Make a Quadruple-Matched Donation today!

Chip in $250 immediately >>>

Chip in $100 immediately >>>

Chip in $50 immediately >>>

Chip in $25 immediately >>>

I hope you will help us fight back against relentless attacks from the left and achieve conservative victories in this year’s midterm elections.

Thank you,

Newt Gingrich

**************************************************

And I shall now reply to Uncle Newtie …

Dear Newt (I hope you don’t mind that I do away with formalities here),

First of all, I think your information machine needs to go to the shop for repair, or perhaps even be replaced, for whoever told you that I am a “fellow conservative” was dead wrong.  I am, if you insist that I must have a label, a democratic-socialist.  I used to be fairly moderate, but you guys have pushed me far to the left.

I have news for you … Democrats do not need to do a whole lot of work or be particularly devious in order to out-fundraise you republicans.  People are fed up with you guys.  People are willing to give ‘til it hurts to ensure that the sycophants in Congress are sent packing in November.  You guys had a chance to do something good.  You had an opportunity to rise above the trash in the White House and stand for the people you represent.  Instead, every republican in Congress with the occasional exception of the late Senator McCain, sold out our country, failed to stand for doing the right thing, and chose instead to lick the boots of the man whose stench is so bad it crosses oceans.  And that, dear Newt, is why people are donating more to the democrats than the republicans.

Republicans in battleground or any other states don’t need money to win the election so much as they need something that not a one of them has:  integrity.  Sorry, old chap … money cannot buy integrity, it cannot buy respect.  You guys have lost our respect with your constant barrage of lies and your blind support of Donald Trump.

Yes, if democrats win a majority in Congress, we will certainly do everything in our power to put the brakes on Trump’s ignoble agenda.  First on the agenda will be to reinstate environmental regulations, for we rather like having clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and a home that is capable of sustaining life.  Second, we will begin working on serious sensible gun regulations to try to ensure that our children can go to school safely, and be taught by teachers who teach, rather than having to play armed guard.  Other issues on the agenda are: to confirm only people who are qualified for the job for which they are being considered and, in the case of the Supreme Court Justice, are very moderate, non-partisan judges; to protect the investigation by Robert Mueller and his team from the whims of the madman in the Oval Office; to consider a repeal of the tax bill that was passed in December that has cut revenue to a critical point such that our national debt and deficit are inevitably going to spiral out of control soon.  You will notice that I did not mention “impeachment”.  That is not the plan at this time, though I wish it were, but we are smart … smarter by far than you give us credit for, and we realize we could not remove the clown from office just yet.

Trump’s agenda was never going to “make America great again” by any stretch of the imagination.  His agenda was only going to “make the wealthy wealthier” and to hell with all the rest of us.  In order to get and keep the backing of his 40% or so base, he has proven he is willing to give them what they want … a white, Christian, straight society with no room for those of us who are different in any way. Thus far, not a single thing he has done has been to the benefit of the average citizen.  Not. One. Single. Thing.  His agenda needs to be toasted until it is naught but ashes.  He is in the process of selling the soul of this nation for his own enrichment … and yours.

As regards your request for a donation, first of all, you are barking up a dead tree, and secondly, I wouldn’t contribute to the evil that has become the GOP if I did have money to spare, for the reasons noted above.  I’m sure your wealthy donors, as well as your bedfellows in the NRA will be more than happy to continue shelling out money for your agenda, since it benefits them.  It does not benefit me, or frankly anybody I know, and I am appalled on a daily basis by the shenanigans you guys are pulling.  It’s time to stop the madness.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison

P.S.  Your book on Pearl Harbour was very good, as was the one on Gettysburg.  Perhaps you should have stuck with writing historical novels and stayed out of politics?

TREASON!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Sinclair + Trump = State-Run Media

You may remember that back in April I wrote a post titled Freedom of the Press … Abused!!!. The subject of that post was Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of 193 television stations nationwide.  Sinclair struck a deal with the Trump campaign in 2016 that granted them extended access to Trump in exchange for running all his speeches without commentary.  Sinclair stations lean toward conservative ideologies as it is and have come under fire before for biased news reporting.  When I wrote in April, it was because Sinclair had come onto the radar for what Dan Rather referred to as “an assault on our democracy”.  They were sending scripted ‘must-run’ segments.  The one in April was about ‘fake news’ and implied that Sinclair stations were the only ones not biased.  How can that be true when they are tied to Trump?

Once again Sinclair is back in the news, this time because of controversy surrounding a ‘must run’ editorial by Boris Epshteyn, Chief Political Analyst at Sinclair, that each station is being forced to air (I am so glad I do not watch television!!!). This latest segment blames the media for ‘overreacting’ to the separations of immigrant children from their parents.  OVERREACTING???  Excuse me, Sinclair Broadcast Group, but there can be no reaction too strong to the horror, the abomination of 2,300 children taken from their parents for no reason!  Freedom of the press … remember that???  That is where the press is free to report the news as it sees fit.  Not to be dictated to by a corporate giant who is in bed with Donald Trump!

I am including both a clip of the forced segment, as  well as the written transcript:

“Our immigration system is undeniably broken and the discourse around this topic is toxic.

A perfect illustration of these facts is the recent firestorm surrounding President Trump’s decision to enforce a “zero tolerance” policy and prosecute all adults illegally crossing our borders.

Many members of the media and opponents of the president have seized on this issue and have worked overtime to make it seem as if those who are tough on immigration are monsters. Let’s be honest, while some of the concern is real, a lot of it is politically driven by the liberals in politics and the media.

Some have even gone as far as comparing American immigration policies to the Holocaust.

It should go without saying that keeping children in a shelter is not equal to the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews and millions of others.

President Trump has correctly decided to step in and sign an executive order that will stop the separation of children from their families at the border. The president is working to show that it is possible to balance humanity with security for our borders.

Here’s the bottom line: the view that border security and humane treatment of families are mutually exclusive is wrong. That narrative is also incredibly harmful to finding a comprehensive solution to the problem of illegal immigration.

President Trump did the right thing by addressing the separation of families from their children on his own, but it is shameful that members of Congress continue to drag their feet on addressing all of the many holes in our immigration laws.”

Toeing the party line, isn’t he?  Of course, he fails to mention a few dozen facts, but guess what else he failed to mention?  Epshteyn is a former Trump advisor who is part of the investigation by Robert Mueller and his team into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia.  Ahem.  Epshteyn is a Russian-born republican strategist who resigned from a White House communications job under Trump after only two months. He confirmed that he has been contacted for information for the House investigation, but little is known about his suspected campaign activities.

Freedom of the Press.  Most people never realize what a tenuous thing it is, how easily it can be undermined, shattered.  Sinclair, along with Fox News, has essentially become state-run media. My personal recommendation here is to boycott all Sinclair stations completely.  Unsure which stations are owned by Sinclair?  Check it out here.  If nearly 200 stations nationwide can make false claims, eschew facts, and convince their viewers of the lie that is being promoted by none other than Donald Trump, America’s #1 liar-in-chief, then freedom of the press is in grave danger. And make no mistake, folks, without freedom of the press … well, The Washington Post logo says it best …Democracy dies in darkness

Random Thoughts from a Bouncing Mind

There are so many truly horrifying news stories today, most of which have some connection to Donald Trump, that I didn’t know where to even begin this morning as I sat down to write my afternoon post.  So, instead I cleaned house, did laundry, and cooked.  My hope was that doing something more physical, stepping back from the news for a bit, would help me gain focus, help my mental state achieve balance.  Instead, I wore out my body and my mind is still on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  Ah well, at least the house is clean, and we had a nice roast chicken with my world-famous stuffing, mashed potatoes and fresh green beans for dinner.  Let’s see if we can squeeze some coherent thoughts from this mess.


First, let us talk about healthcare for a minute.  An estimated 130 million people under the age of 65 have some sort of a “pre-existing condition”, whether it be as simple as high blood pressure or arthritis, or more complex, such as heart disease, diabetes or even cancer.  Even pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition! One of the most important features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was that applicants could not be denied coverage or charged higher premiums based on a pre-existing condition.

It is the duty of the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law, to defend federal laws.  Yet on Thursday, the Justice department announced that it will no longer defend the ruling under ACA that people with pre-existing conditions will not be discriminated against in health care.  It all began in Texas, where a lawsuit has been filed claiming that certain provisions of ACA were “unconstitutional” and should be struck down, including the pre-existing condition clause.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a letter to Congress on Thursday that Trump, who campaigned on repealing the law and nearly did so his first year in office, approved the legal strategy.

Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who had been a Justice Department lawyer, says DOJ’s move is troubling.

“The Justice Department has a long-standing, durable, bipartisan commitment to defend acts of Congress. It’s a cornerstone of what they do. For the Trump administration to crumple that up and throw it out the window is galling.”

So, want to know what your illustrious republican representatives on Capitol Hill have to say about it all?

“We need to let that go forward and see if it goes anywhere.  I don’t know if that legal logic will fly or not.” – Representative Tom MacArthur, New Jersey

Most legal scholars think the lawsuit stands very little chance, which is good news.  BUT … the Trump administration and the Department of Justice have sent a loud and clear message to We The People that they have no interest in protecting our health and well-being.  Look for this issue to arise again and again until finally, if he remains in office, somehow Trump will repeal the entirety of ACA, even if he has to do it piece by piece.


puppet-2The G7 summit began this morning.  Trump arrived late, missing a scheduled meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, and intends to leave early tomorrow, before discussions of climate change.  I will have more on the G7 in the next day or two, but for now, one point stands out.  Trump made it clear that he wants Russia re-instated, changing the G7 back to G8.  Russia was expelled in 2014 after annexing the Crimea.  Trump’s insistence on Russia being brought back into the fold tells me that my instincts have been right all along … Trump is indeed a tool, a puppet, of Vladimir Putin.


Paul Manafort.You may remember that in October 2017, Robert Mueller charged Paul Manafort with tax evasion, money-laundering and fraud, to name only a few.  Manafort was confined to house arrest pending trial.  Well, while on house arrest, Manafort and a Russian co-conspirator, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, made some phone calls.  Who did they call?  Potential witnesses.  Why?  To ask them to lie, to coach them for their future testimony.  It’s called “witness tampering”, and thus, Bob Mueller has now added additional charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Two observations:  First, I see no way out for Manafort.  His guilt is as palpable as a tomato thrown in one’s face, yet he continues to proclaim he is but an innocent lamb.  B.S.  Second, house arrest should be automatically terminated and he should be sitting in a nice cell by nightfall.  Mueller has asked a federal judge to tighten the conditions of the house arrest Manafort has been under — or revoke his pretrial release altogether.


Charles Krauthammer says he has 'only a few weeks left to live'On a sad note, long-time columnist, author and political commentator Charles Krauthammer wrote his final piece for The Washington Post today.  Mr. Krauthammer has been battling cancer and a series of related illnesses for the better part of a year.  Recent tests show that the cancer has returned, and his doctors have estimated he has only a matter of weeks left to live.  He will be missed, for he was always, whether I agreed with him or not, the voice of reason.


There is much more detritus left bobbing around inside my head, but the rest can wait for tomorrow, by which time there will be still more annoying news to add to the mix. Hasta mañana.