Another Government Shutdown

The government has shut down – again. Who’s to blame? The American people, those who voted to put Congress in the hands of the Keystone Cops and the Presidency in the hands of a posturing, utterly dishonest narcissist who surrounds himself with sycophants and xenophobes, and who can’t stop pandering to his “base” of bigots.

Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives since January 3rd, 2011, and the Senate since January 3rd, 2015. They ignored the DACA issue until Trump made it an emergency by rescinding an Obama executive order that protected more than 700,000 “dreamers,” and putting them at risk for deportation in March of this year. They continue to ignore the problem, whining that they don’t want immigration to be a part of a funding bill, i.e., a “continuing resolution” to keep funding government without a budget – and the Republican majority has chosen to ignore the budget issue since October 1st of last year, when a new fiscal year began.

Trump’s position is that he doesn’t want that “CR” unless he gets funding for his idiotic border wall, the one that he insists Mexico will pay for, making immigration “reform” a part of a major budget crisis, a crisis created by the Republican majority in both houses. And nine million children are on the brink of losing health insurance by CHIP not being funded, the CDC will not have funding to fight the worst, most lethal flu outbreak in decades. Trump, McConnell and Ryan are calling this the “Schumer shutdown,” ignoring the fact that all of these issues could and should have been resolved by the majority party – their own.

Trump was thoroughly and rightly criticized for his recent “shithole country” remark, but an even worse tragedy is that he’s turning this country – my country, whose uniform I proudly wore a long time ago – into a real shithole. But the far right continues to adore him. What an appalling state of affairs.

Trump is a liar and an idiot – as always

Donald Trump is incapable of getting his facts straight; in a speech to the “March For Life” gathering of pro-life (anti-choice) marchers he stated that the first right guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence is the “right to life,” using that misinformation to justify his recent “conversion” to a “pro-life” stance. That’s bullshit – the first right mentioned in the Declaration is the right of oppressed men to dissolve the government they have adhered to and establish a new government, one that will guarantee “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – in that situation, rights for white men with property. Women were not mentioned in the Declaration and at the time were considered little more than chattel property. That view is consistent with “right to life” attitudes; women are seen as little more than reproductive engines, incapable of functioning as independent moral agents equal to men. Trump went on to say that only 12% of Americans favor abortion on demand. More bullshit – the most recent Pew poll (from 2017) indicated that 57% of Americans are pro-choice on abortion rights. And finally, it should be noted that the Declaration of Independence is not the governing law of the land. The Constitution is.

Donald Trump is semi-literate, completely lacking in knowledge of history and law, and overall a fucking idiot.

Sexual misconduct in and out of Congress

Republicans (and some Democrats) are calling for John Conyers to resign his seat in the House because of some clearly reprehensible sexual harassment and probably sexual assault while he was a member of Congress. Some Republicans are calling on Al Franken to resign because of his sexual misconduct (some of which he’s admitted) before he was elected to any office. But those same Republicans seem to take the position that it’s up to the voters of Alabama to decide if they want to elect Roy Moore to the Senate, despite compelling evidence that he’s a pedophile and sexual predator. Wouldn’t it be more consistent if they let the voters in Conyers’ district decide next year if they want to return him to Congress, and let Minnesota voters make the same decision about Franken?

Roy Moore

During his presidential campaign Donald Trump boasted that he could walk out to 5th Ave and shoot someone and not lose any votes – apparently he was right, just as his history and his own words clearly indicated that he’s a serial sexual predator who hits on women, kisses them against their will, gropes them and grabs them by the pussy. So why wouldn’t he endorse Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate? Moore has supported keeping segregation in the Alabama constitution, he has written that women are unfit for office, he claims that anyone criticizing his pedophilia is a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or a socialist, “socialist” apparently being defined by Moore as anyone who is not a white male Southern Baptist Republican. Listening to the female governor of Alabama, it’s their choice if they support him, and no one’s business outside Alabama. I wonder if he’d lose much support if he formed a lynch mob and went after Muslims, African Americans or Democrats? Probably not. He’d probably still be in a dead heat in the polls if he molested a 14-year-old girl on Alabama public access cable. Fucking amazing.

Caligula Trump

Mike Flynn was fired by the Obama administration, and his security clearance was revoked. Trump was advised that Flynn was a security risk, yet Trump made him National Security Adviser, even though Flynn had already sold out to foreign governments, particularly Russia. Paul Mantafort is awaiting indictment for selling his soul as well – and managed Trump’s campaign.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are using a private email server, both are White House advisers and on the federal payroll – after Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing, and continues to attack her.

Trump wants more violence and harder hits in pro football, at a time when football at all levels is working to reduce injuries, especially brain trauma. Aaron Hernandez killed himself at age 27, and yesterday it was announced that he suffered from stage 3 CTE.

We don’t have a president, we have a self-defined emperor – Caligula Trump.

Free speech and hypocrisy

My digestive system can only take Trump speeches in short bursts, but Friday night I took some Pepto and toughed it out longer than usual, watching and listening as he campaigned for Luther Strange in Alabama. Of course he never really campaigns for anyone but himself, he feeds off the frenzy of his followers, wallowing in their ignorance, hatred and blind adoration.

I’ve been trying to categorize our 45th President. Is he a narcissist? Definitely. Is he a sociopath? Arguably. I see elements of a televangelist preaching absurd interpretations of the Bible and lining his own pockets as he does so, as well as an old-time snake oil salesman, peddling toxic waste as a panacea for every ill in the country. “Drink my message, only I can make America great again!” I also see a carnival barker at a freak show, though in this case the freaks aren’t inside a big top tent, they’re sitting in Trump’s audience. Yesterday morning when I got up it finally hit me, what I really see in Donald Trump – a hybrid of Huey Long and Benito Mussolini; poor speaking skills, exaggerated and inappropriate gestures and pandering to the lowest elements in the audience, just as Long and Mussolini did. Long and Mussolini never had the best interests of their respective countries in mind, nor of their fellow citizens, certainly not of humankind. And neither does Donald Trump.

The current controversy stirred up by Trump is about NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem, and it’s amazing Trump is critical – this is the same Donald Trump who hid behind rich kid deferments throughout the Vietnam era. He equated his attendance at military school to active duty, ignoring the fact that his teachers didn’t shoot students who missed class or didn’t get good grades. He criticized John McCain, saying he preferred heroes who didn’t get captured. And he said his most difficult decisions during that awful time were about which starlet or socialite he was going to pick up at trendy clubs, then take them home and fuck them.

Nearly 9 million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam era, 2.7 million in Vietnam – Donald J. Trump was not among them, and apparently never gave it a thought. More than 60,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and some are still dying because of Agent Orange. And Donald Trump has the audacity to tell anyone how they can use their first amendment right to free speech, and tell team owners who they can employ? What a fucking hypocrite.

Angels among us, of all colors

Why does it take the worst that nature can throw at us to bring out the best we are as people, as a nation? I read the story of the 31-year-old DACA immigrant from Mexico who died in Houston, trying to save people from the horrific floods. He wasn’t a “first responder,” he was a disc jockey – and he put himself in harm’s way to save strangers. Yesterday I saw the story about a Florida woman who needed a generator for her father’s oxygen generator, he’s too frail to move to a shelter. The last generator was already in the cart of a man ahead of her, and when her heard her crying and found out why she needed the generator, he let her take his cart and generator. He has a heavy Spanish accent and Latin name, clearly an immigrant – and the white woman he helped called him “an angel from God.” There were no borders between those people, on either side. This morning I came across a recent story; a teacher was buying classroom supplies out of her own pocket because her school district had run out of money. The total was $97 – and the man in line behind her handed a $100 bill to the checker. The teacher is white, the man is a black minister. Color differences disappeared.

I know there are countless stories like the three above, and there will be so many more during hurricane Irma. We won’t hear about most of them because acts of decency and kindness will be everywhere that disasters hit. During Harvey, Mexico offered help to flood victims in Texas, putting aside Trump’s idiotic call for a border wall that he wants our southern neighbors to pay for. When a massive earthquake hit Mexico as hurricane Irma strengthened and headed for land, Texas offered help to Mexico, setting aside the vicious racism and intolerance that we so often hear from some Texas politicians and Texans. And too many Americans.

There will likely be neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen who will refuse to help “people of color” in emergencies. I doubt there will be many of them who will refuse help offered by the people they hate, especially when families are at risk. To those people who hate – stop it! Stop hating, right now. We’re all facing these disasters together, whatever color our skins may be, whatever languages we speak or accents we may have. We are vastly more similar than we are different; we want our families to be safe, our children to prosper and be happy, their futures not limited by circumstances of birth or income.

To Trump and his supporters, followers, current and past administration, including but certainly not limited to Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon, stop using immigration and race as political leverage, stop pandering to the cruelest elements in America, stop listening to the demons that haunt your own damaged souls. Find some decency, even if you have to borrow it, and stop hating right fucking now!

Trump, the Confederacy and Mt. Rushmore

With all the controversy about statues and monuments to heroes of the Confederacy, has anyone wondered how many statues there are honoring King George of England, or British generals who fought against the Revolution? Zero………… there was a statue of King George, located in New York. It was lead, and pulled down in 1775 and melted to make more than 60,000 bullets that were fired at British troops. Why are we worried about honoring the Confederacy? It was a treasonous uprising that failed, and it was formed specifically to protect slavery. Most of the monuments under debate now were erected well after the Civil War, and they were erected to enforce Jim Crow, segregation and oppression. We currently have a president who cannot understand that, but who thinks he might someday be on Mt. Rushmore. If that ever happens, we would only have to carve out the part of a horse that goes over the fence last.

What America is becoming

Donald Trump recently advanced the idea that one day he’ll be on Mt. Rushmore, but why wait – the time is right to honor him for who and what he is. We should find a child labor sweat shop in a third world country (The Donald and Ivanka are familiar with those) and contract the creation of a huge white sheet to drape over the Statue of Liberty, with a tall, pointed hat complete with eye slits. It’ll cover the Emma Lazarus poem about welcoming “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – the Trump administration has made it clear they’re no longer welcome here. It’ll be the real Trump Tower. And we’ll put up a huge cross at the base and set fire to it, a perpetual Trump Flame to replace the “shining beacon on the hill” that America once was.

Trump victory

The Disaster Of A Trump Victory in November

It should come as no surprise that Donald Trump is out of control and seems hell bent on destroying America, and is completely indifferent to wrecking his own party along the way, win or lose in November; he is the Trump Tower that the Republican Party has been building for nearly forty years, starting with the Nixon campaign’s “dirty tricks” in 1968, moving on to using Joseph Goebbels’ “big lie” theory, i.e., tell a lie loud enough and long enough and people will believe it. Republicans in general and the ultra conservative wing of the party especially have spewed out incredible lies and distortions aimed at anyone opposing them, demonizing everyone they perceive to be “liberal,”, “progressive” or just a little left of center.

Just a few weeks ago the Republican convention trotted out Patricia Smith, who holds Hillary Clinton “personally responsible” for the death of her son Sean in the Benghazi tragedy. Her speech was painful, her story very moving, and letting her deliver that speech was cynical and morally reprehensible. She ignored the fact that repeated, highly partisan “investigations” could not place legal or even moral culpability on Hillary Clinton. The Benghazi tragedy was more investigated than the JFK assassination or even the 9/11 horror, and still the Republican attack squad could not place blame on Clinton. But convention shouts of, “Lock her up!” at times drowned out speakers, and one campaign official stated she should be put in front of a firing squad and executed for treason – and there was no rebuke from Trump or the Republican party.

When Khizr Khan spoke at the Democratic convention, his wife Ghazala at his side and in obvious emotional distress, his point was that Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants was immoral and unconstitutional. Trump responded with anger and counter attacks, claiming that their son, Army captain Humayan Khan, who died protecting his men and was given the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was killed because of failed Obama and Clinton policies in Iraq. But Capt. Khan died in 2004, during the first term of the Bush/Cheney administration, and while Colin Powell was Secretary of State. The Kahn’s showed no bitterness, only unyielding grief; their son was the best this country had, and he was a Muslim immigrant.

Trump and the Republican party ignore clear, unbiased statistics about the declining crime rate, the improving economy, immigration impact and the unrivaled strength of the American military. Trump himself insulted veterans by accepting a Purple Heart medal to which he had no claim of any kind, and his claims of “sacrifice” for his country are skewed; profiteering and bankrupting out of debt repeatedly, hurting small businesses in the process, are sacrifices only in the mind of a narcissist. Trump and his party ignore systemic racism, sexism, hatred for the LGBT community, and income and wealth inequity, and seek election by creating divisions among us.

If Trump wins in November, our allies will pull back at the thought of an American leader devoid of any moral compass, wrapped up in his delusional, ignorant and intolerant polices, both foreign and domestic. Our enemies, starting with Vladimir Putin and other sociopaths like him, will rejoice. And if he wins, the majority electing him will get exactly what they deserve. Sadly, the rest of the country, those of us who tried to be an “informed electorate,” will be dragged down too. And this country will no longer be the “beacon on the hill,” it will likely deteriorate into a laughing stock. A Trump presidency will move us closer to climate disaster by ignoring clear and compelling evidence that we have to address global warming. But maybe that will be moot – the moment he takes office, the odds increase astronomically that we could soon face a nuclear winter.