In Europe, surrounded by world leaders that detest him, Trump questions the integrity of our intelligence community, rants about “fake news,” and essentially blames Obama for not doing more to stop him and Putin

I want to say that it can’t possibly be true, but the New York Daily News is reporting that Donald Trump, who just arrived in Germany for the G-20 conference, doesn’t have anywhere to stay, as no one at the White House thought ahead to make arrangements. But, who knows? This is, after all, the same administration that was apparently meeting in darkness in the weeks after the inauguration, having fired everyone in the federal government who knew where the White House light switches were… Regardless of how true this particular story might be, by all accounts, it seems as though this international trip of Trump’s is already shaping up to be more of a disaster than the last one, where, after lavishing praise on authoritarian dictators, he shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro aside to be at the front of a group photo.

While the administration put the otherwise unemployable Sebastian Gorka in front of reporters this morning to announce that “American leadership under Donald J. Trump is back in the White House,” the only thing most people I know wanted to talk about was the fact that, absent any real leadership from the current administration, China and Germany are expected to emerge as the new leaders of the developed world, leaving Trump on the outside, looking like the pathetic loser that he is, as other world leaders do their best to avoid even the most cursory contact with him… that, and the fact that, in Poland yesterday, instead of taking the opportunity to come out forcefully against Putin, Trump used his time in front of reporters to rant about Obama, the so-called “fake news,” and the untrustworthiness of the American intelligence community.

[Here’s a little lesson for any of you out there who might be considering a career in politics. If you’re trying to rally international support for sanctions against a dangerous rogue nation, like North Korea, using evidence compiled by the U.S. intelligence community, it might not be so smart to talk at length about how our intelligence agencies can’t be trusted. Furthermore, it’s probably also not a great idea, for what it’s worth, to seek support from those NATO members who, just a few weeks beforehand, you accused of being deadbeats, going so far as to suggest that, if they were attacked, you might not honor existing mutual defense pledges.]

Here, in case you missed them, are two short videos of Trump addressing reporters on the subject on the “fake news,” how good his ratings were for The Apprentice, and the Russian interference in the election that placed him in the White House. [Trump, in this video, begrudgingly admits that it was “probably Russia” that hacked the DNC, but goes on to say, “nobody really knows for sure,” suggesting that other countries could have actually done much of it. He also suggests that, if indeed Russia was responsible, it’s more Obama’s fault than his, as the former president didn’t do more to stop it, not acknowledging the fact that, if Obama had interceded more forcefully, the GOP most surely would have moved to impeach him for having interfered in the election on Clinton’s behalf. And, furthermore, it also doesn’t acknowledge that Obama did, in fact, take steps to address the issue by imposing sanctions against Russia – sanctions which Trump, we’re told, is presently attempting to roll back.]

So we sit and wait to find out what happens tomorrow, when Putin and Trump meet fact-to-face… While Trump did call on Russia today “to cease its destabilizing activities (in Europe),” most folks, I think it’s safe to say, don’t think he’ll stand up to the Russian dictator and demand that he stop interfering here in America, where it’s now thought that the Kremlin had up to one thousand paid trolls spreading false stories about Hillary Clinton in swing states prior to the election. In fact, what most of us think is that, as reported last week, Trump will attempt to stay in Putin’s good graces by offering to help roll back the Obama sanctions.

And that’s where things are today in America, a little over half a year into the Trump administration, on the day when news broke that both Ethics Office Director Walter Shaub resigned and Trump’s Russian-born business partner, Felix Sater, has agreed to co-operate with an international money-laundering investigation.

But not to worry… As Trump told reporters in Poland yesterday that “everyone” in the United States is “getting very rich” now that he’s President. [So, how are you spending your fortune? On food? Health care?] Oh, and, according to Trump, no one at the G-20 is talking about his relationship with Putin, or the fact that the Russians helped put him in power. No, according to Trump, all anyone wants to talk about is how terrible John Podesta is.

update: Trust me when I tell you that more people at the G-20 summit this morning are talking about the fact that Trump just met with Putin, the man who essentially stole our last presidential election by way of cyber warfare, and patted him on the back… No one gives a fuck about Podesta… We’ve got a civilization to save.

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The closer Trump comes to impeachment, the more he’ll talk about God. Mark my words.

I know, during the campaign, Trump, on occasion, would talk about god, and the importance of faith in his life. If I recall correctly, he was especially eager to talk of such things just after the Access Hollywood tape surfaced in which he could be heard talking about how, because of his fame, he could simply “grab” unsuspecting women “by the pussy” without their consent, but there have been other instances as well, instances where he’d awkwardly play “the god card,” encouraging people of faith to pray for him or blathering on nonsensically about the Bible. It seems to me, however, that, these past few days, he’s been talking more about religion than he has since taking office, and I have to imagine that it has more to do with the Mueller’s investigation than in does about any newfound appreciation for the teachings of Jesus Christ. Following, by way of example, are two quotes taken from Trump’s speech at yesterday’s Celebrate Freedom Concert at Kennedy Center. If I’m right, there will be more like this in the days to come… We shall see.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Trump, picking up the ‘War on Christmas’ meme, then went on to say, “We’re going to start staying ‘Merry Christmas’ again” as a nation… Buckle up, America. The closer Mueller gets to Trump, the farther Trump will push us toward theocracy.

Posted in Politics, Religious Extremism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 57 Comments

How does one celebrate Independence Day in a country where our President has declared all out war on the free and independent press?

Well, it’s been about three months since Alex Morris’s “Why Trump Is Not Mentally Fit to Be President” ran in Rolling Stone, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a mental health professional to say that our President, in that time, has shown any signs of improvement. In fact, it would appear that, if anything, his narcism has grown even more malignant over this second half of his first six months in office. And, if reports are to be believed, some in D.C. are seriously considering the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlines how the sitting President, if he proves himself to be incompetent, can be removed from office. In fact, it was recently reported that two dozen Democrats had begun the process of laying the groundwork for just such a move. And, just a few days ago, Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin proposed legislation that would create an 11-member commission of physicians, psychiatrists and former high ranking government officials, called the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity, that would assess Trump’s competency. [“Raskin,” according to CNN, “is zeroing in on one section of (the 25th) amendment, which allows the Vice President to assume command if either the majority of the Cabinet or ‘such other body as Congress’ finds that the President is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of office.'” As others have pointed out, though, this would require that Vice President Mike Pence agree to the assessment of the group, which seems highly unlikely at present.]

And with Trump’s most recent tweet, which you can see here, it would seem that time may be of the essence.

I’m sure his supporters will say that he’s just having a little fun at the expense of CNN, which he’s taken to calling “fake news” since they truthfully reported the size of his inaugural crowd, but, make no mistake – given the context, this is an invitation to violence against our free and independent press. And it cannot be tolerated, especially at a time when Republican members of Congress are physically assaulting reporters, the head of the NRA is listing “media elites” as being among our “greatest domestic threats,” and people on the right are wearing shirts with slogans like “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Trump’s talk of the “lying press” (or, as Hitler would have said, “Lügenpresse”), is clearly being taken to heart by his followers, who seem to be thoroughly convinced that the Russian investigation is nothing more than a dishonest “deep state” attack against their beloved President, and I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time before we see an attack on CNN… Here, with more on that, is video of CNN contributor Ana Navarro, who, by the way, had been a lifelong Republican until Trump took over the party.

“It is an incitement to violence,” Navarro told viewers of ABC’s This Week. “He is going to get somebody killed in the media.

And Navarro wasn’t alone. Many of our elected officials came out and said what the President had done was uncalled for, potentially dangerous, etc., just like they did a few days ago, when Trump viciously attacked MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on Twitter. But it’s not likely that the conservatives who make up Trump’s base will do anything substantive about it. I’m sure that, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, they can fool themselves into looking at something like this and saying, “The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.

I mean, sure, he’s sharing video of himself punching what would appear to be a CNN representative to the ground, but it’s not a invitation to violence, right? After all, he never says, ‘Go out and kill a reporter.’ He just says that they’re liars who are keeping the truth from the American people, stopping him from making America great again, trying to put him in jail, and making all of us and our families less safe. If anyone decides to go that next step, though, and actually do something about it, well, that’s on them, right? Trump just threw the matches into the powder keg. It’s not like he actually struck one.

And, really, isn’t that what the American people want anyway? So-called ‘man of god’ Jerry Falwell Jr. just came out and said as much today. According to Falwell, this is exactly what the American people had been hungering for, “a bold leader willing to speak his mind.”

For what it’s worth, Trump today conceded that it wasn’t presidential. But he also said it didn’t matter, as he was essentially changing the definition of what it means to be presidential. “My use of social media is not Presidential,” he said in a tweet. “It’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” Or, put a little differently, ‘Yeah, it’s unpresidential, but fuck you. I’m resetting every political norm this country has ever known.’

And yet the Republicans stand by him, in hopes that he can accomplish what they’ve been unable to these past 75 years… the complete and total rollback of the New Deal. And, as long as he’s helping them move in that direction, he can literally do anything he wants. As he said during the campaign, he could literally shoot someone and it wouldn’t matter. There is literally no bottom.

But maybe all of this is part of the plan. Maybe he’s trying to get himself thrown out of office for being mentally unstable, as that might allow him the ability to live out his remaining days at one of his golf resorts, instead of in a federal facility. Or maybe this is all just a distraction from the stories that really matter about health care, tax reform and the Russia investigation. As David Frum‏, the senior editor of The Atlantic, said earlier today, maybe we’re just watching Trump brilliantly change the subject from his being “a Russian intelligence asset” to his being “a dangerously violent lunatic”.

Regardless of intention, he has to go, whether by way of the 25th amendment, or impeachment. We cannot allow him to keep pushing down the boundaries of what we consider to be acceptable societal norms. We cannot allow him to put us in hole that neither us, nor our children, are able to get out of. We need to stop this now. This is not normal… It is not normal for the President of the United State to tell the American people that the press is lying when they report facts about Russian interference in our election. It is not normal for the President of the United States to personally attack reporters by name. It is not normal for the President of the United States to post “funny” videos of himself physically assaulting journalists. This is all incredibly wrong, and anyone not working aggressively to stop it, is, in my opinion, an enemy of this great country we inherited from our predecessors.

But, yeah, it kind of sucks to be celebrating Fourth of July in a country where all of this is happening. How does one celebrate freedom from tyranny in a nation where freedom at every level is under assault? Personally, I intend to tell my kids that what we’re seeing right now is exactly why we celebrate the Fourth of July – to remember that we need to stay vigilant, and protect the freedoms that those who came before us fought and died for… And, then, maybe we’ll have a drink to the men and women of America’s free press, who really are on the front lines of this war to safeguard the concept truth and preserve the union.

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With his cruel attack against Mika Brzezinski, Trump demonstrates that he can still go lower in his war against the American press

Yesterday, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough commented on the fact that President Trump has a fake, framed Time magazine cover of himself hanging in over half a dozen of his golf resorts. [Brzezinski, among other things, had said, “Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself, lying every day and destroying the country.”] Well, apparently that didn’t sit so well with our President, who, as we know, doesn’t like to be laughed at. And, this morning, he lashed out with the following on Twitter.

While a number of people, including high ranking Republicans, have come out and chastised Trump for his behavior, which is clearly unbefitting the office of president, some have come to his defense, saying that he had every right to hit back, seeing as how he felt threatened by the 5’5″ television host some 250 miles away, in New York. Through her spokesperson, Melania Trump, who has told us in the past the she intends to use her position as First Lady to advocate against cyberbullying, said “when her husband gets attacked,” he’s within his right to “punch back 10 times harder.” And White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, after first saying that, “The President in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence,” which, by the way, we know for a fact isn’t true, added the following during a segment on Fox News.

“Look, I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him but to frankly everyone around him. People on that show have personally attacked me many times, this is a president who fights fire with fire. And certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media or liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.

Huckabee also pretty much said… and I find this even more incredible… that the President of the United States doesn’t need to be a role model to the nation’s youth, as they have Jesus Christ to look up to. [Can you imagine if any of this was happening during Obama’s administration, when, as you’ll recall, the right was attacking him for “demeaning the office” by wearing short sleeve shirts in the Oval Office?]

But, yeah, that’s where we’re are in America right now. Our President is viciously attacking the media, and he’s being defended by those like Huckabee, who claim that he has every right to stand up against the bullying of the anti-American liberal elites, lying press, etc.

And I hope it never comes to pass, but I can’t help but think that we’re building toward something even worse, what with Republican members of Congress hitting those reporters that they can’t hide from, and people on the right wearing shirts with slogans like “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” I mean, we’ve seen this before, in Nazi Germany, with the demonization of the “Lügenpresse,” or “lying press,” and one gets the sense that the same thing may be happening right now in America, as Trump attempts to suppress the truth of what’s actually going on, and both the language and actions of his supporters becomes more aggressive toward those journalists who are trying to get at the truth.

As for the language of the right becoming more violent, take for instance this recent quote by NRA head Wayne LaPierre… “Academic elites, political elites, and media elites,” he said. “These are America’s greatest domestic threats.” And, then, just yesterday, his organization put out the following call to (buy) arms.

I can’t believe we’ve allowed things to go this far. But this is the world we presently live in. This is the world we’re raising our children in… And we’ve got to stop it, whatever it takes. The future of not only our country, but humanity, hangs in the balance.

update: In a Washington Post op-ed this morning the hosts of Morning Joe suggest that Trump, prior to everything I noted above, had been threatening the release of a scandalous story about them in the National Enquirer if they didn’t tone down their criticism of him, pledge their loyalty, etc. And, now, the fight between them has moved to Twitter. [And, yes, I suspect this might be why, a month or so ago, the two hosts of the morning news program came out and publicly acknowledged their affair.]

update: And, guess what? The National Inquirer just posted this: “Joe & Mika: TV Couple’s Sleazy Cheating Scandal

update: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski discuss how Trump used the National Enquirer to blackmail them on MSNBC.

Posted in Free Speech, Politics, Predictions, Rants, Religious Extremism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

How shitty are you as a leader when the jobs you’re bragging about creating aren’t even on the surface of the earth, but in coal mines?

Maybe it’s just that my people come from coal country, but I have visceral reaction every time I hear either Trump or Pence bragging, as they both did again this afternoon, about their successful efforts to put more poor Americans to work below the surface of the earth… I get why the message resonates with the administration’s supporters, as they, no doubt, see coal mining it as a big “fuck you” to the liberal elite who believe in things like global climate change, but I can tell you for a fact, that, given the choice, the people in these small West Virginia coal towns would much rather earn a living wage up here, on the sunny side of the earth’s surface, with the rest of us. I would have thought that was obvious, but I guess it’s not, as Pence received a lot of applause today, when he once again bragged about opening more mines, like he’d just done something incredibly wonderful for the people of Appalachia. Granted, the people in these towns need decent paying jobs, but having to go deep beneath the surface of the earth every day, especially at a time when Republicans are attempting to roll back mining regulations and end black lung protections, probably isn’t the answer. Or at least it shouldn’t be. We should set our sights higher as a nation. Again, I don’t think I should have to be telling you this, but we shouldn’t be clapping for an administration that’s sending us in increasing numbers down into mine shafts to risk our lives in darkness. No, our applause should be reserved for announcements about new wind farms and solar fields, or new training programs in fields that align with what we, the American people, envision for our future. We deserve at least that much.

Posted in Environment, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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