The Playground Bully Strikes Again …

The headline in the New York Times

British Ambassador to U.S. Resigns After Leak Enrages Trump

The condensed version is that Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., Sir Kim Darroch, had included in some of his memos, less than flattering words about Trump & Co.  What exactly did he say?  He described Trump as inept, insecure, and incompetent.  All true.  He said that Trump’s administration is uniquely dysfunctional.  Again, true.  According to the UK’s The Mail, Sir Kim …

  • Describes bitter conflicts within Trump’s White House – verified by his own sources – as ‘knife fights’;
  • Warns that Trump could have been indebted to ‘dodgy Russians’;
  • Claims the President’s economic policies could wreck the world trade system;
  • Says the scandal-hit Presidency could ‘crash and burn’ and that ‘we could be at the beginning of a downward spiral… that leads to disgrace and downfall’;
  • Voices fears that Trump could still attack Iran.

Every single one of those things is a true statement of fact.  Call a spade a spade.  He also said …

“We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”

Again, every single word in that statement is fact-based … the truth.  One of the duties of an ambassador is to keep his own nation’s leaders informed about the situation in their host country.  That was what Sir Kim Darroch was doing – his job.  He was informing his government about the chaos and ineptitude that now defines the U.S. government.  He did not leak those memos, but somebody else did, no doubt with the intent of stirring the cauldron, and that is exactly what happened.  My best guess is that it was an associate of either Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage who leaked the documents, but that is for the UK intelligence agencies to determine.

It should be noted, however, that shortly after the 2016 election, two months before Trump was to take office, he suggested that the UK send Nigel Farage as their ambassador to the U.S.  He was promptly informed that he doesn’t get to choose who he would like as UK’s ambassador to the U.S.

In a statement, the British Foreign Office, upholding Sir Kim’s position said …

“The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country. Their views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government. But we pay them to be candid. Just as the U.S. ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities.”

Donald Trump can dish out the insults hour after hour on Twitter, day after day.  Not a day has gone by during his term in office that he wasn’t calling some perceived enemy nasty names.  But … like the playground bully, he can dish it out, but cannot take it.  He is extremely thin-skinned and flies into a rage at the slightest hint of disapproval.  And predictably, that is exactly what he did.

He described the ambassador as “wacky,” a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool,” and called Prime Minister Theresa May “foolish” for ignoring his advice on Brexit.  Wow, such maturity, eh?  And then Trump said that he would no longer “deal” with Sir Kim.  Trump, never running out of nasty things to say, then continued, via a series of unhinged Twitter messages …

“The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled. I told her how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way – was unable to get it done. A disaster! I don’t know the ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool. Tell him the USA now has the best economy and military anywhere in the world, by far and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger.”

Let that one sink in for a minute.  The ‘man’ who has failed this nation in every single foreign policy aspect thus far, “told” the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom how to handle a situation about which he is even more clueless than my cat.  A buffoonish, playground mentality is running this ship, folks … and there is an iceberg dead ahead.

Unfortunately, Boris Johnson, one of two candidates in the running to become the next Prime Minister later this month, pandered to Trump rather than supporting Sir Kim.  As one writer for The Guardian aptly said …

“The national interest would hardly be served by Her Majesty’s chief representative in Washington sending back sanitised and euphemistic dispatches. Governments rely upon thorough, honest and frank information and advice from their diplomats.  If the memos are unusually strong stuff, that is because the US administration is a wholly abnormal one. Indeed, the ambassador’s verdict of a dysfunctional, faction-riven and inept White House is not only blindingly obvious to any observer but looks decidedly diplomatic when set beside some of the accounts which have emerged from the leaky Trump administration itself. There are multiple reports of senior figures describing him as an idiot, a moron or unhinged.”

It is the opinion of this writer that Donald Trump has made yet another serious faux pas, another in a long string of foreign policy blunders that are putting us on a collision course.  Such juvenile behaviour coming from the ‘man’ who sits in the highest seat in government is inexcusable and unacceptable.  There is no doubt that he has single-handedly driven a wedge in US – UK relations, even if his buddy Boris does become the next Prime Minister.  I call on Nancy Pelosi to stop waiting for some perfect moment and open an impeachment inquiry NOW, before the United States has no friends left, and is left with only a warmonger whose itchy finger is moving closer and closer to the button.

There He Goes Again …

Tomorrow, Donald Trump goes to visit our friends in the United Kingdom.  I offer my apologies to my UK friends in advance for all the terrible things he is sure to say and do, and I hope you won’t hold it against us … or at least those of us who did not, could not, and would not vote for him.  But really, you guys invited him … what were you thinking???queen-elizabeth-iiLast July Trump visited the UK and was honoured with a visit to the Queen.  I shuddered when I heard that would take place, for he is known for being crude and crass, without a shred of grace or dignity to his name.  And, true to form, he disrespected the Queen in numerous ways, humiliating and embarrassing us.  He began by arriving late, looking sloppy as usual, and keeping Her Majesty waiting for a full ten minutes.  Then he shook her hand instead of bowing.  But the most glaring faux pas by far was as they were preparing to review scarlet-clad troops assembled in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle. He turned his back on her and walked ahead of her.  Now, to people in the U.S. that may not sound like a big deal, but there are protocols in the UK about how one addresses the Queen and how one acts in her presence.

So, now he is returning at a time when the UK is already having serious troubles and really doesn’t need Trump and his ignorance to add to the mix.  But, if you are holding out some hope that he will behave and act like a world leader, splash yourself with cold water and wake up from that dream, for he has already insulted the nation in the days leading up to his trip … let me count the ways.

Trump has an obnoxious habit of sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong … in UK politics, namely the Brexit situation.  First, speaking about that which he knows less than nothing, he said that Theresa May “messed up” Brexit.  Then, he said that he supports Boris Johnson who he believes would be “an excellent choice” to become the country’s next Prime Minister.

Boris-Donnie

I think Boris and Donnie both buy their toupees at the same place

“It’s something that I find very interesting. I actually have studied it very hard. (He has never even read the U.S. Constitution, but he has studied Brexit “very hard”?  I think not.) I know the different players. But I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent. I like him. I have always liked him. I don’t know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person. He has been very positive about me and our country.”

He sees himself as being very influential in UK politics, claiming that other contenders had approached him asking for his public support …

“Other people have asked me for an endorsement too. I have been asked for endorsements. Well, I don’t want to say who but other people have asked me for endorsements, yes. I could help anybody if I endorse them. I mean, we’ve had endorsement where they have gone up for forty, fifty points at a shot.”

Despite the protests by the British people, the huge Baby Trump balloon, Donnie thinks the people in the UK love him!

“Now I think I am really, I hope, I am loved in the UK.”

I’m still laughing over that one!  Somehow, he who cannot make a single trade deal thinks he knows best about Brexit …

“Get the deal closed. If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away … If you don’t get the deal you want, if you don’t get a fair deal, then you walk away.”

And because he is so bloody smart and knows so much, he says that the UK’s #1 idiot Nigel Farage should have been put in charge of negotiating Brexit …

“He is a very smart person. They won’t bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did. They just haven’t figured that out yet.”

Nigel-Donnie

I think Donnie and Nigel go to the same fake tanning salon

And as if it weren’t bad enough that he is sticking his bulbous nose into things that a) he does not understand, and b) are none of his business, he had the unmitigated gall to call Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “nasty”.  Meghan, a U.S. citizen by birth, married Prince Harry in 2018 and the couple have a son who was born on May 6th of this year.  So, what is Trump’s beef with the Duchess?  Back in 2016, while Trump was on the campaign trail, Meghan supported Hillary Clinton and, calling a spade a spade, she said Trump was “misogynistic and so vocal about it”.  I’m betting that no U.S. president in the history of this nation has ever before publicly called a member of the royal family “nasty”.  Too bad we aren’t still in the times when the Queen could have said, “Off with his head!”

Trump baby blimp-2I hear the good people of the UK have some great surprises planned, like an even bigger Baby Trump balloon than last year’s, and something to do with a milkshake dowsing!

Oh, and by the way … in case you’re interested, this trip is estimated to have a total cost to U.S. taxpayers of $22 million.  Trump is taking all three of his adult children AND their spouses which will require a second plane.  But we cannot afford to fix our highways or feed our poor, right?  And with 10,000 police said to be protecting Trump, you can imagine what it is costing the UK!  Why they ever invited him, I will never know.  They were hoping to negotiate a trade deal, but frankly … look how well that has worked out for other nations, such as China, Canada and Mexico.  His way of ‘dealing’ is to hit the other country with tariffs, so look out Ms. May and whomever succeeds her!Trump-Boris-NigelCan we hope he wakes up with blisters on his feet or something tomorrow so that he feels too poorly to make the trip?

Greta Thunberg Speaks Out …

Back in December, one of my ‘good people’ was a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden named Greta Thunberg.  She is the originator of the movement that has young people all over the world leaving their classes on Fridays to participate in protests against governments that aren’t doing their part to protect our planet.  Ms. Thunberg is a courageous and caring young woman who refuses to ‘sit down and shut up’, as some wish she would do.

Yesterday, Ms. Thunberg gave a speech to the UK’s Members of Parliament, and she pulled no punches.  I would like to share that speech with you today, and I really wish she would cross the pond and give that same speech to our Congress!  Prime Minister Theresa May did not attend, though a seat was saved for her.


Greta-ThunbergMy name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations.

I know many of you don’t want to listen to us – you say we are just children. But we’re only repeating the message of the united climate science.

Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. Is that really too much to ask?

In the year 2030 I will be 26 years old. My little sister Beata will be 23. Just like many of your own children or grandchildren. That is a great age, we have been told. When you have all of your life ahead of you. But I am not so sure it will be that great for us.

I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; I could become whatever I wanted to. I could live wherever I wanted to. People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could ever wish for and yet now we may have nothing.

Now we probably don’t even have a future any more.

Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once.

Greta_Thunberg_pissed-800x450You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard.

Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?

Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.

Furthermore, these calculations do not include unforeseen tipping points and feedback loops like the extremely powerful methane gas escaping from rapidly thawing arctic permafrost.

Nor do these scientific calculations include already locked-in warming hidden by toxic air pollution. Nor the aspect of equity – or climate justice – clearly stated throughout the Paris agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale.

We must also bear in mind that these are just calculations. Estimations. That means that these “points of no return” may occur a bit sooner or later than 2030. No one can know for sure. We can, however, be certain that they will occur approximately in these timeframes, because these calculations are not opinions or wild guesses.

These projections are backed up by scientific facts, concluded by all nations through the IPCC. Nearly every single major national scientific body around the world unreservedly supports the work and findings of the IPCC.

Did you hear what I just said? Is my English OK? Is the microphone on? Because I’m beginning to wonder.

During the last six months I have travelled around Europe for hundreds of hours in trains, electric cars and buses, repeating these life-changing words over and over again. But no one seems to be talking about it, and nothing has changed. In fact, the emissions are still rising.

When I have been travelling around to speak in different countries, I am always offered help to write about the specific climate policies in specific countries. But that is not really necessary. Because the basic problem is the same everywhere. And the basic problem is that basically nothing is being done to halt – or even slow – climate and ecological breakdown, despite all the beautiful words and promises.

The UK is, however, very special. Not only for its mind-blowing historical carbon debt, but also for its current, very creative, carbon accounting.

Since 1990 the UK has achieved a 37% reduction of its territorial CO2 emissions, according to the Global Carbon Project. And that does sound very impressive. But these numbers do not include emissions from aviation, shipping and those associated with imports and exports. If these numbers are included the reduction is around 10% since 1990 – or an an average of 0.4% a year, according to Tyndall Manchester.

And the main reason for this reduction is not a consequence of climate policies, but rather a 2001 EU directive on air quality that essentially forced the UK to close down its very old and extremely dirty coal power plants and replace them with less dirty gas power stations. And switching from one disastrous energy source to a slightly less disastrous one will of course result in a lowering of emissions.

But perhaps the most dangerous misconception about the climate crisis is that we have to “lower” our emissions. Because that is far from enough. Our emissions have to stop if we are to stay below 1.5-2C of warming. The “lowering of emissions” is of course necessary but it is only the beginning of a fast process that must lead to a stop within a couple of decades, or less. And by “stop” I mean net zero – and then quickly on to negative figures. That rules out most of today’s politics.

The fact that we are speaking of “lowering” instead of “stopping” emissions is perhaps the greatest force behind the continuing business as usual. The UK’s active current support of new exploitation of fossil fuels – for example, the UK shale gas fracking industry, the expansion of its North Sea oil and gas fields, the expansion of airports as well as the planning permission for a brand new coal mine – is beyond absurd.

This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.

People always tell me and the other millions of school strikers that we should be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished. But the only thing that we need to look at is the emission curve. And I’m sorry, but it’s still rising. That curve is the only thing we should look at.

Every time we make a decision we should ask ourselves; how will this decision affect that curve? We should no longer measure our wealth and success in the graph that shows economic growth, but in the curve that shows the emissions of greenhouse gases. We should no longer only ask: “Have we got enough money to go through with this?” but also: “Have we got enough of the carbon budget to spare to go through with this?” That should and must become the centre of our new currency.

Many people say that we don’t have any solutions to the climate crisis. And they are right. Because how could we? How do you “solve” the greatest crisis that humanity has ever faced? How do you “solve” a war? How do you “solve” going to the moon for the first time? How do you “solve” inventing new inventions?

The climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue we have ever faced. The easiest because we know what we must do. We must stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. The hardest because our current economics are still totally dependent on burning fossil fuels, and thereby destroying ecosystems in order to create everlasting economic growth.

“So, exactly how do we solve that?” you ask us – the schoolchildren striking for the climate.

And we say: “No one knows for sure. But we have to stop burning fossil fuels and restore nature and many other things that we may not have quite figured out yet.”

Then you say: “That’s not an answer!”

So we say: “We have to start treating the crisis like a crisis – and act even if we don’t have all the solutions.”

“That’s still not an answer,” you say.

Then we start talking about circular economy and rewilding nature and the need for a just transition. Then you don’t understand what we are talking about.

We say that all those solutions needed are not known to anyone and therefore we must unite behind the science and find them together along the way. But you do not listen to that. Because those answers are for solving a crisis that most of you don’t even fully understand. Or don’t want to understand.

You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don’t exist any more. Because you did not act in time.

Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.

Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfil something, we can do anything. And I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses.

We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created. We have not taken to the streets for you to take selfies with us, and tell us that you really admire what we do.

We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.

I hope my microphone was on. I hope you could all hear me.

Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

The sheer arrogance and ignorance of some within the Trump regime, including Trump himself, is astounding, jaw-dropping and mind numbing!  Keep in mind that U.S. foreign policy is in tatters at the moment.  Donald Trump is literally despised by all truly democratic nations and loved only by autocrats and strongmen dictators.  Trump has no idea how to conduct foreign relations.  Well, given that he is on wife #3, and has cheated on her at least twice that we’re aware of, I think it’s safe to say he has no idea how to conduct relations.  Period.  However, that doesn’t stop him from sticking his nose into others’ business and telling them how to run their countries.  Three examples in the news just this week …


Dumb

For starters, we have Richard Grenell back in the news.  You may remember the post I did about him last June when he first went to Germany as the Ambassador from the United States.  Grenell is a former Fox ‘News’ commentator, which should tell you something.  When he first arrived in Germany, he made a fool of himself by criticizing Chancellor Angela Merkel on just about every and any issue he could think of, including immigration.

grenell

Richard Grenell

Grenell is back in the news this week, and at least one German lawmaker is calling for his expulsion, saying he is acting like “a high commissioner of an occupying power.”  In his remarks, Grenell criticized the budget of Germany’s finance minister and said it was unacceptable that the country was once again going to miss its NATO defense spending target.

This is not the role of a diplomat and in fact flies in the face of the very definition of the word ‘diplomacy’!  I hope Germany does send him packing, for he is further damaging relations between the U.S. and Germany that Trump has already rent with his frequent criticisms of Ms. Merkel.  Imagine if Pete Wittig, Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. tried to tell Trump that, say, he is wrong to declare a state of national emergency just to rob the U.S. of funds to build his ego wall.  Trump would expel him in about 2 seconds flat, right?


Dumber

Then there was Trump himself, who in all his narcissistic arrogance offered President Macron an unsolicited lecture.

“How is the Paris Environmental Accord working out for France? After 18 weeks of rioting by the Yellow Vest Protesters, I guess not so well!”

After similar comments by Trump last December, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian appropriately said …

“We do not take domestic American politics into account, and we want that to be reciprocated. I say this to Donald Trump, and the French president says it, too: Leave our nation be.”

It seems to me that Trump’s own nation is in worse shape under his reign than those nations he chooses to criticize and condemn.  Perhaps he should clean up his own house first.


Dumbest

And finally, the very definition of ignominy, is Don Trump, Jr.

Don Trump, Jr., who has proven more than a few times that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and he is truly as much of an idiot as his father, had the unmitigated gall to criticize UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her handling of Brexit.  He went so far as to actually write an OpEd piece published in Britain’s The Telegraph, chastising May … taking her to task for not following the advice of his father! It would be funny, except it isn’t.  He claims that …

“… and ultimately, a process that should have taken only a few short months has become a years-long stalemate.”

A ‘few short months’???  And he knows this because …???  Junior’s international experiences are limited to colluding with the Russians to get his father elected and murdering wild animals in Africa! don-trump-junior.pngTrump the Younger went on to inform the land of the Magna Carta, John Locke and Oliver Cromwell that, in his “expert” view, “democracy in the U.K. is all but dead.”  Say WHAT???  Savvy readers will note that it is the U.S. where democracy is ‘all but dead’ and his father is the very one to have pulled the trigger!  This is simply beyond words … this young idiot, this “chip off the old block”, this killer of beautiful animals … has the nerve to give his unsolicited and unwanted opinion on a topic of which he knows nothing!  Junior has no role in our government, is not a member of the cabinet nor the administration … why does he even speak???  My apologies to all my friends in the UK for this abomination … and his father.


Never before has a United States president acted with such reckless abandon, seemingly intent on destroying every relationship the U.S. has worked toward building since it’s founding.  Never before has a president’s family member taken it upon himself to stick his nose into the business of our allies.  Never before has a madman taken the helm, determined to plow into the largest iceberg he can find at warp speed.  To all our allies, on behalf of We the People, I apologize for the terrible behaviour of the ‘man’ in the White House, his family members and appointees, and hope you will bear with us until we are able to rectify this situation.

Friend or Foe???

Friend: a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Foe: an enemy or opponent.syp-v-spy


Shouldn’t be too hard to tell the difference, should it?  Sure, sometimes we think somebody is a friend, only to learn later that they weren’t at all, but most of us are pretty fair judges of character and we don’t often make serious mistakes in choosing our friends.  Donald Trump is the exception to that rule.  But then, Donald  Trump is the exception to most every rule in the book, so why are we surprised?

On Saturday, Trump was interviewed by CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor in Scotland.  The full interview will be broadcast on Monday, but a few snippets have been released. Asked who he thinks is the biggest foe the U.S. has right now, he replied …

“Well I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union but they’re a foe.”

President of the European Union Donald Tusk had a good comeback: “America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.”

I imagine Trump considers Canada and Mexico among the other foes. Lest you fall into the trap of believing a single word this man says, allow me to clarify.  The European Union and the countries that comprise it are our allies – our friends.  The UK is also our friend and ally. North Korea, China and Russia are not.  They are foes.  They are our antagonists.  They do not seek an alliance where both sides stand to gain.  Russia, in particular, has a goal, an endgame in mind whereby Russia dominates a large portion of the globe, and because of the ignorance of Donald Trump, Russia – specifically Vladimir Putin – views the United States as a pawn in their game.

Typically, a president has many advisors, each an expert in his or her field, and the smart president will listen to those advisors, process the information they are given, then make what seems the best decision at the moment.  By ‘best decision’, I mean that which will keep the world safest, and benefit the citizens of the U.S.  That style of leadership went out the window the day Trump took office and because of it, the world becomes a little less safe every day.

In the past week, Trump has been rude & crude – his trademark – to the Queen of England, to Prime Minister Theresa May, and to German Chancellor Angela Merkel – all are leaders of nations that are our friends, our allies.  On the flip side of that, he has praised DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, saying, “He’s very smart, great personality, he’s funny and tough, good negotiator.”

And, of course, he is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow, just three days after indictments were handed down for 12 of Putin’s henchmen who are accused of having acted as agents to sway the 2016 election in favour of Trump.  Many things are concerning about his meeting with Putin, not the least of which is his insistence that the meeting take place without advisors, staff, note-takers or other witnesses.  This is highly unorthodox and should not be allowed.  Presidential conversations are a matter of record – documented.  Period. One might speculate that Trump has an agenda for the meeting that is not in the best interest of the U.S.  Yep … one might just speculate that …

Trump is very angry over the indictments of the 12 Russians on Friday … angry, but not at Putin, not at Russia … no, he is angry with his own people, angry with Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein.  He says he may ask Putin about the data theft conducted by the 12, but will absolutely not ask for their extradition to the U.S.  Ask yourself “WHY?”

Trump claims the data theft was solely the fault of the Democratic National Committee (DNC):

“I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked.”

Oh yes, I forgot … the democrats are also a foe.  And it was all Obama’s fault for letting it happen.  Barack Obama is also a foe.

The world should be concerned about the Trump-Putin meeting without credible witnesses or documenters.  Trump says he has low expectations for the meeting, but that nothing bad will come of it.  Sorry, folks, this man’s ‘word’ has about as much value as the rotten milk in my refrigerator.  He cannot even tell the difference between a friend and a foe, and in truth, the U.S. may not have many friends left after the past week.  Think about it.

Protest ahead of Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki

Protesters in Helsinki, Finland, ahead of Putin-Trump ‘summit’

The “president” is a Son-of-a-Bitch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bullpoop.

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

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

The Biggest Bully …

As we all know, last week Donald Trump reneged on our commitment to the Iran nuclear agreement, calling it a ‘terrible deal’.  It was an extremely poor decision – nay, it was a disastrous decision.  Within 24 hours after his announcement, tensions in the Middle East increased and Iran, Israel and Syria were playing a game of ‘chicken’.  Our allies looked at us as if we had two heads, shook their own heads, and then began frantically scrambling to salvage the deal, if possible, without the U.S.  Frankly, we have now become a non-player, a pariah in the global world, an albatross to our allies, and a danger to global peace, such as it is.  But there’s more …

Donald Trump, with advise from his new National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has announced that he will impose sanctions on any of our allies who conduct business with Iran!  Just who the Sam Hell died and left him boss of the world???  Donald Trump has absolutely no concept of how global relations work, and worse, he has surrounded himself with warmongers who advocate bombing first, asking questions later.  Diplomacy is not in their vocabulary, apparently.

According to The Guardian …

“Trump’s most senior foreign policy aides signalled that the US would continue pressuring allies to follow Washington in backing out of the pact, which gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for halting its nuclear programme.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, predicted that “the Europeans will see that it’s in their interests to come along with us” rather than continue with the 2015 deal, under which major European corporations have signed billions of dollars of contracts in Iran.

US sanctions on Iran reimposed following Trump’s withdrawal not only block American firms from doing business in the country, but also bar foreign firms that do business there from accessing the entire US banking and financial system.

Trump’s decision to scrap the nuclear deal was sharply criticised by European leaders, who have pledged to uphold their side of the agreement.”

This is bullying, pure and simple.  A simple example … five children are on the playground:  Rouhani, Donnie, Theresa, Angela and Emmanuel.

The children are playing companionably, when all of a sudden Donnie gets mad at Rouhani and jerks the toy out of Rouhani’s hand.  Then Donnie kicks sand in the other children’s faces and stomps off.  The other children remain and try to start playing again, but Donnie stomps back over and jerks the toys out of the hands of Theresa, Angela and kicks Emmanuel in the face before taking his toy also.  This is beyond being a bully … this is a kid with psychopathic tendencies.  This is exactly what Trump is doing … to our allies!  Our friends!!!

The United States ceded its role as a global leader.  Donald Trump made it perfectly clear in May 2017 when, at the Nato summit in Belgium, he refused to reiterate the U.S.’ support of Article 5, which affirms that NATO members will come to the mutual defense of any member that is under attack. Every president since Harry Truman in 1949 has pledged to honour Article 5 … but Trump refused. That wasn’t the first sign, but it was the first major red flag to our allies that he was planning to kick sand in their faces.

The very next month, he announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, making the U.S. the only nation on the globe that is not committed to doing its share to protect our planet.

It was only three days after his inauguration that he signed an executive order ending the United States’ participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and United States that had been signed one year prior.  This was, perhaps, the beginning of the end – the first move away from being a player in the global economy and a step toward isolationism.

And then, of course, there was the announcement that we would not fulfill our responsibilities on the Iran nuclear deal, formally Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  With all these moves, plus many more less far-reaching, Trump has signaled to every other nation on the globe that he doesn’t plan to be a global player, that he is not a part of the team, and he plays only by his own rules, nobody else’s.

Trump’s decision to isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world, even wishing to build walls on our borders, is a very dangerous move, but any way you look at it, there is nothing … nothing … that gives him the right to dictate to other nations with whom they are allowed to do business.  Not only, would it seem, is Trump determined to escalate tensions in the Middle-East with his poor knowledge and judgment, but now he is trying to cause the very nations that were once our allies to declare war on us!

Meanwhile, he panders to the likes of Saudi King Salman, Russian President Putin, and President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.  And he practically falls to his knees when he hears the name Netanyahu. Dictators all, to a greater or lesser degree.  While he bans immigrants from other predominantly Muslim nations, claiming they may be terrorists, he leaves the borders open to the Saudis, even though 15 of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia!  When he visited Saudi Arabia in May  2017, he told King Salman that they “will never question our support,” adding, “We are not here to lecture.”

There are plans for Trump to visit the UK and meet with Theresa May, and possibly, though it is not yet certain, meet the Queen on Friday, July 13th (think about that date, folks!).  But, in light of his multiple slaps in the face to the UK and other European nations, I would not be surprised if the invitation is rescinded.  Frankly, I hope it is, for the British people emphatically do not want him there, and I don’t imagine that Ms. May is any too happy with him at the moment.

Donald Trump has become every bit as much a bully as any dictator in the world.  He is leading the U.S. down a path toward being a lone island, with few who will stand beside us.  Economically, between his horrendous ‘tax bill’ last December, the tariffs he is imposing on our allies, and pulling out of the TPP, we are likely to see our economy in far worse shape by the end of this year.  Everything he has touched, he has destroyed.  The United States should hang her head in shame, for we have lost everything we could once be proud of.  Our leader is a bully and we will pay the price.

** A brief footnote:  Because of Donald Trump’s poor decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem with all due haste, last night, at least 52 Palestinians protesting at the  border were shot dead by Israeli soldiers and more than 1,700 were injured.  Those 40 deaths lie directly at the feet of none other than Donald Trump. 

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

During his 2015-2016 campaign, Donald Trump vowed to dismantle our Affordable Care Act (ACA) that, while not without flaws, provided millions an opportunity to obtain health insurance that they would not otherwise have been able to afford.  After taking office, Trump, with the aid of many congressional republicans, attempted to relegate ACA to the bins of history with no viable replacement plan.  And most recently, Trump and the republicans in Congress snuck a repeal of the ACA individual mandate into their already-abominable tax bill in December.  The effect of this is expected to be a sharp increase in insurance premiums, and millions of people losing coverage.

All of which proves that Trump, a) understands nothing about healthcare, and b) cares not a whit, as long as he has his.  And yet, he had the unmitigated gall to criticize the UK and Theresa May for its National Health Service???

His tweet:

“The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!” –  Feb 5, 2018

The National Health Service in the UK is not going broke and it works just fine.  I have a number of friends in the UK who benefit from this system and are able to visit a doctor, endure a hospital stay, receive home nurse visits, and purchase prescription medications … all at no cost!  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada. I, meanwhile, must spend most of my monthly earnings to purchase my insulin so that I may stay upright and breathing.

The marches in the UK that Trump refers to were actually in support of the National Health System and were calling for greater government funding.

Understandably, the Brits did not appreciate the uneducated words of our embarrassing leader:

“I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover. NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage – where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance.” – Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s health secretary

Responding to Trump’s tweet, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that “the prime minister is proud of our NHS, that is free at the point of delivery.” The spokesman said that funding “is at a record high and was prioritized in the budget with an extra 2.8 billion pounds. In the recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, the NHS was rated the best in the world for a second time.”

The organizers of the weekend march, People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together, said they were campaigning against a U.S.-style health-care system that they said is “expensive, inefficient and unjust.”  BINGO!  Our friends across the pond see our system more clearly than Trump, the republicans in Congress, and most citizens of either party.

Will the U.S. ever have universal healthcare?  I have my doubts, and the further we move toward a plutocracy, a governemt run by the wealthy, the less likely it becomes.

Perhaps one day, Trump’s handlers will find a way to either educate him or else shut him up.  Once again, I am deeply ashamed of and embarrassed by the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.

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A New Low …

Have you ever asked yourself just how low Donald Trump can go?  Of course you have, we have all asked ourselves that question, most of us on a daily basis.  And, on a near-daily basis he proves to us that there is no floor to the depravity of his mind … it just keeps sinking lower and lower.

This morning, apparently without a single moment of thought occurring, he re-tweeted a series of three videos … for no apparent reason other than to stir his followers to rage, for perhaps they have been too quiet of late and he wanted them to make some noise.  The videos were originally posted in the UK by a woman named Jaydan Fransen, who is the deputy leader of British far-right group Britain First, a political group with only about 1,000 followers and no seats in Parliament. The videos purport to show Muslims committing acts of violence, though at least one is already proven to be a falsity.

British leaders are appalled, as well they ought be.  Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “I hope our government will condemn far-right retweets by Donald Trump. They are abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society.” He also suggested that Trump’s planned state visit should be cancelled.  While I am not a huge fan of Corbyn, I applaud his response, for he is quite correct.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said, “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance and respect.”

Other MPs also spoke harshly against Trump’s ignorance.  Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames said Mr Trump had finally proved he is “wholly unsuited” to the role of president. He is also correct, and most of us have known that from the start, yet Trump seems to feel a need to prove it over and over again, ad nauseam. Labour MP David Lammy accused Trump of “promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group”.

And what, you may wonder, did Trump’s mouthpiece, Sarah Huckabee Sanders have to say, in light of the fact that at least one of the videos is a falsehood?  She said, “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real. [Trump’s] goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”  So there you have it. It matters not whether it is true or not.  He cannot get widescale support for his Muslim ban, few have any interest in his wall along the Mexican-U.S. border, so to renew the energy he thought he had during the campaign, he posts these abhorrent videos.  To re-stir the pot of hatred that is already simmering and near to boiling.

Reactions here at home were predictable – condemnation from the sensible, but this from white supremacist and former KKK grand poobah, David Duke:

“This is why WE LOVE TRUMP and WHY the FAKE NEWS MEDIA HATES TRUMP. He brings to light what the lying, Fake News Media Won’t. The truth is the media covers up horrific numbers of racist hate crimes against White people!”

If the only people who agreed with or supported me were trash like David Duke, I would consider myself a total failure in life.

Jaydan Fransen, the original poster of the videos, is a marginalized UK politician who received only 56 votes when she ran for Parliament in 2014.  Since then, she has run afoul of the law more than once. She was convicted of the racially aggravated harassment of a Muslim woman in Luton last year and has been charged with the same offense following an appearance at a far-right rally in Belfast this summer. She is due to appear at a Belfast court on the latter charge next month. Somehow I doubt that Trump knows, nor even cares who she is or what her background is.  He doesn’t seem to mind flirting with the riff-raff.

In the entire 10+ months of his term in office, Donald Trump has not done a single thing that reflected in a positive manner on the office he occupies.  He has acted as a juvenile, with no thought of a filter for his mouth or tiny fingers, he has made abominable decisions, has denigrated and insulted our friends and allies, while praising our enemies.  I do not understand how his approval rating even remains in the 30 percentile range, nor will I ever understand the support of the republicans in Congress, let alone his base.  But this latest is a new low, even for him.  I sincerely hope the UK does rescind their invitation, since if he travels there, he can only further embarrass us and I, for one, am already deeply ashamed.

Who Says Protest Doesn’t Work?

In recent months we have seen a number of protests in the U.S., from the Women’s March on January 21st, to the People’s Climate March on April 29th, and most recently the March for Truth on June 3rd. Some have said these protests accomplish nothing, but I have disagreed, and today I have proof that organized protests DO sometimes make enough waves to bring about change.

uk-petition.jpgIn January, just a week after Trump’s inauguration, UK Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to make a state visit to the UK later this year, which he gladly accepted.  However, the good citizens of the UK do not want Donald Trump to visit … understandably.  Early on, citizens and members of Parliament called for May to rescind her invitation, which she refused to do. In February, a petition circulated and was signed by more than 1.8 million people, calling for Trump to be denied a state visit, saying he is not worthy of the honour. The petition prompted a debate in Westminster Hall, a debate that ended without a vote.

Since then, Trump has done absolutely nothing that would make him more palatable, more welcome to the citizens of the UK.  In fact, his announcement that he plans to withdraw from the Paris Accords did nothing to endear him to any other western nation, certainly not the UK, where even Theresa May, who has appeared to cozy up to Trump, was disappointed in his decision.  But then came the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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Mayor Sadiq Khan

A few short hours after the devastating terrorist attack in London on June 3rd, Trump took to his favoured communication tool, his twitting machine, and made false and highly critical claims about London Mayor Sadiq Khan.  The Brits, needless to say, were not amused.

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” tweeted Trump.  But that was not at all what Mayor Sadiq said … he was telling Londoners not to be alarmed by the extra police presence they would see in the coming days.  Trump either did not bother to read what the good mayor said, or deliberately twisted his words.  Either way, he stirred outrage against the citizens in the UK and many of us here in the U.S. as well.

The Guardian reported this morning that Trump’s state visit had been “put on hold”.  Both Prime Minister May’s office and the White House deny this, though the White House spokesperson hemmed and hawed a bit, saying, according to the New York Times, that there may be other reasons Trump might delay his visit.  According to the story, Trump called PM May and indicated that he did not wish to visit if large-scale protests were likely, and that he preferred to wait “until the British public supports him coming.”  He will likely have a long wait!

Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said on Twitter that Trump’s decision was “welcome, especially after his attack on London’s mayor & withdrawal from #ParisClimateDeal.”

An editorial yesterday in The Observer, the world’s oldest newspaper, established in 1791, begins …

“Donald Trump is not a fit and proper person to hold the office of president of the United States. That is a view widely held in the US and among America’s European allies, by politicians and diplomats in government and by rank-and-file voters repelled by his gross egoism, narcissism and what Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has rightly termed his “stupefying ignorance”. It is a view we wholeheartedly share and have repeatedly expressed, before and after Trump’s narrow election victory last November.”

Trump has never before shied from contentious rallies and public events, but those were on his home turf, one in which he had ensured there would be enough of his supporters to muzzle the protesters.  But in the UK, he likely has few, if any supporters and would literally be hung out to dry.

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Hugh Muir, The Guardian

Guardian Associate Editor Hugh Muir made an interesting point when he said that if any other world leader backed out of a state visit for fear of his image, Trump would tweet, ““RAN from critics. A gift for crooked MSM. TOTAL pathetic loser!”  And we know Mr. Muir is right!  He can dish it out, but he cannot take it. Muir went on to say that “If he can’t bomb it or tweet against it, the cupboard of responses seems bare.”

As I said, there is some dispute about this conversation, though both sides confirm that there was a phone call, but both deny that the subject of Trump’s visit was discussed. I strongly suspect that it was.  There is rarely such a direct link to be drawn between public action and response from those with power, but each public protest speaks to the strength and tenor of opinion. Every one sets out a position and raises the stakes. So, protests, rallies and marches … they DO sometimes work!

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