TRUMP MAKES ME MEAN – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I don’t consider myself a mean spirited or a vindictive person. I avoid conflicts with others and I don’t think about revenge when someone slights me. My friends and family consider me a nice, decent, even sweet person. I even stayed friendly with my ex-husband after our divorce for many years.

But suddenly, I’m finding myself positively gleeful at the sudden and dramatic downturn in Trump’s (and all Republicans’) fortunes. I not only cheered, but gloated when I saw only one third of the seats filled at Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Especially after his people bragged about the huge number of tickets requested. They even created a second rally venue outside the stadium and planned additional speeches by Trump and Pence for these anticipated overflow crowds. That made their failure more gratifying when only 6,200 people showed up in a building that had 19,000 seats.

I was so happy imagining Trump’s shock and horror as he looked out on the sea of empty blue seats. I was chuckling and fist pumping as I watched Trump’s dejected walk of shame later that night, morosely slouching back from his plane with his tie undone and his crumbled MAGA hat in his hand.

I am elated as I watch Trump’s poll numbers drop so far that even his people have to admit that he’s trailing Biden pretty much everywhere. But I feel more than the usual relief and hope that I would feel in normal times when my candidate is ahead in the polls. I feel vindication knowing that Republicans may have to face the reality that their years in the sun may be over – hopefully for a very long time.

Trump also created a problem for himself by stating that if he loses the election, it will be because of massive election ‘fraud’ or ‘rigging.’ So now anti-Trumpers can’t just be happy beating him by a respectable but small margin. We need to win in a landslide that he can’t possibly contest. We have to crush him like a bug.

I gather that others feel the same way I do because I’ve heard the phrase “Democrats will crawl over broken glass to get to the polls to defeat Trump,” even in a global pandemic.

I’m feeling some of the same glee and vindication watching Confederate Statues come down all over the country. The fact that Trump is livid about this makes the trend that much sweeter to watch. But I never understood the concept of honoring generals and other confederates who not only committed treason by trying to break away from the United States of America, but lost a war trying to do so. No one puts up statues to the people who lose the wars! We don’t have German or Japanese names on anything that I’m aware of.

Confederate Statue pulled down by protesters

Even in Germany, there are many monuments to WWII, but none are of Nazis! They are for the VICTIMS of the Holocaust, not the perpetrators! And the Holocaust is taught in German schools as the horror it was so it will never happen there again.

Statue in Germany to concentration camp victims

So when Trump (hopefully) loses big in November, I will not only be cheering for Biden’s win, but for Trump’s loss. I will also be hoping for the total humiliation and despair of Trump’s supporters and enablers, who always claim to be the ‘real’ Americans. I want them to feel the range of horrific feelings much of the country has been feeling for almost four years. I will be ecstatic as they watch in horror as the country repudiates them, their horrible values and their disgusting, shameful leader.

If that makes me a mean person, I can live with it.

WHAT WE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN – RICH PASCHALL

From the battleground, by Rich Paschall

With the continual unrest across the country and the prospects that in some places it will not end soon, many may be asking themselves, “How did things get to be like this? When did our country become so racist, so divided?”  I have an unfortunate answer for those who would be asking. It has always been this way.

The division of authority and power between black and white Americans goes back to the beginnings of the colonies.  In 1565 the Spanish explorer who founded St. Augustine Florida brought African slaves with him. African slaves were brought to the British colonies by 1619. Massachusetts legalized slavery in 1641. Companies were set up to deal with the slave trade as if the people brought here were just commodities.

Landing of Negroes at Jamestown from a Dutch Man-of-war, 1619. In this image, the Dutch sailors, who have captured slaves from a Spanish ship, are negotiating a trade with the Jamestown settlers for food. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

In 1705 the Virginia Slave codes stated that anyone brought in to the land who was non-Christian could be a slave. Apparently, they thought this included Native Americans. Well, there is a whole host of regrettable “milestones” along the bumpy road to becoming a nation.

It’s no secret that the authors of the Constitution struggled with the idea of slavery. The Southern colonies were much more dependent on the free labor to work under the hot sun. Their booming agricultural economy relied on the slaves they had bought. Rather than have no country, the compromise was to allow this system of racism and slavery, mostly in the South. When slavery was put to an end by a horrific civil war, the racism did not end. In fact, in many places, it has not ended yet.

With a war ripping America apart in the 19th Century, you would think things would change by the 20th Century. Unfortunately, the story of the first 65 years of the 20th Century is one filled with white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Klu Klux Klan. They terrorized black citizens and any white person who would dare to stand up for them. Whipping and lynching were a way of life in some communities. By the way, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky seems to be blocking an anti-lynching bill in 2020. You read that correctly. 2020!

All the racism and discrimination in schools and housing and employment were put to an end, on paper anyway, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. It did not, however, put an end to the racism taught in the home and in certain school districts across the land. With no national standard and decisions on curriculum made in every community, school boards were free to incorporate whatever version of history and sometimes religion that they approved. Even some local pastors perpetuated the myth that some people are superior to others. You still hear it today.

When children hear hate and lies as they grow up, in the home, in school, and in church, these lessons become the beliefs that they cling to in adulthood. Racism is taught. It is the only way people will grow up to be such haters. It is passed down through the generations.

Many police departments, big and small, have officers who believe they must keep “those people” in line. At one time that meant black, but with racism spewed by many of our national politicians, it could also mean immigrants, non-Christian religions, gay, or any other “non-conforming” groups.

Those who do not see it, do not care to see it. It is an ugly part of our history some would like to hide away, but like the Nazi atrocities of World War II, we can not hide what has been going on, nor should we ever forget.

When there have been protests and riots in the past, they usually die down after a few days, but this time they continue, as a nation weary from a pandemic and unemployment looks on. One thing that keeps the people fired up is the childish and hateful tweets of the orange one in Washington. His tear gassing of protestors to have a picture taken of himself in front of a church holding a Bible, could not have been more ridiculous. Does anyone think he has ever read it? Any of it?

In a scary development reminiscent of a sad time in the 20th Century, Attorney General Barr deployed a special detail of police in black shirts, without any identification, to patrol the area around the White House. If you can not identify them in their helmets and dark glasses and no uniforms, are they free to commit crimes on behalf of the WH?

Some people ask, how can anyone follow Trump? Don’t they see what kind of person he is? I even wondered that here in “What We Don’t Understand.” Some people even think of his followers as some sort of cult, and perhaps some of them are. But here’s the thing. They are him. They are just like him. They grew up with racism in their hearts and they finally have a leader that will allow them to express it. It’s not that they don’t see it.  They do see and they are pleased. The more he tweets and lies to them, the greater he is in their racist eyes.

Those who were taught racism will be hard to win over, but perhaps we can at least silence them again. If the orange one is to return for another term, however, …

Sources: “Bill Barr Deploys His Own Army Of Federal Correctional Officers,” by Emily Goodwin, Daily Mail, dailymail.co.uk June 4, 2020.
Civil Rights Act (1964),” ourdocuments.gov
Slavery in the United States,” en.wikipedia.org
See Also: “What We Don’t Understand,” SERENDIPITY, teepee12.com May 12, 2019.
Black Like Me,” SERENDIPITY, teepee12.com June 5, 2020.

THE MAKING OF AMERICA – RICH PASCHALL

It Isn’t Great, by Rich Paschall

After 100,000 have died, millions have lost their jobs and America’s cities burn, we can hear the right-wingers now. “You can’t blame this on Trump. This is not Trump’s fault.” But here’s the problem. It IS Trump’s fault, just about all of it.

LIAR in Chief

The amount of lies Trump has told the American people is staggering. This is not just a wild assertion as some on the right side of the aisle may claim.  It is a well-documented fact. This is not just put out there by the Washington Post, but also by many fact-checkers around the country. If the Post is too liberal for you, you can find a variety of sources. If he is talking or tweeting, he’s probably lying. Now he wants to stop Twitter from fact-checking him.

Opportunist  in Chief

Despite something known as the Emoluments Clause, Trump has taken the opportunity to further enrich himself and his rich friends. He plays a lot of golf on the taxpayer’s money, then has the secret service and others in the entourage stay at his lodging, also at taxpayers’ expense. This is the way to funnel your money to himself.

Clause 7   The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

He would not know the meaning of this, nor would he care.

Tax Cutter in Chief

OK, this was never meant to help you.  This was all about giving himself and his rich friends a tax break. In other words, the rich got richer.

Hater in Chief

You may think this one is pretty strong. Am I actually calling out someone as a hater? His whole term in office is about hate speech and defending “some very nice people” with confederate or Nazi flags and automatic weapons.

Anarchist in Chief

The statements by someone already in an office that are meant to undermine local, state, or even federal government are outrageous, to say the least. He has used his position of authority, not to work with others, but to bad mouth mayors, governors and US Senators, and Representatives. His provocative speech has indicated to his base of supporters that it is OK to “Liberate” states. It is ok to challenge public officials. That white nationalist protestors include some very nice people. White Racists, including the KKK, favor Trump. In fact, the KKK endorsed him in the last election.

Mis-manager in Chief

He had the opportunity to take the lead in times of crisis. He blew it. He blamed China, he blamed governors, he blamed scientists, he blamed Obama. He blamed everyone for not getting out in front of this crisis but himself. As we write this at the end of May, the virus is on the rise in many states. Trump encourages the opening of states because it would help the economy. The only thing it may help is the death toll.

Leaders of some countries took early and decisive action. Trump dismissed it
“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”  – January 22nd.

The World Health Organization warned of a worldwide pandemic, Trump called it a Democratic hoax: “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power … to inflame the CoronaVirus situation.”  – March 9th

Other countries took action to help their people. Trump and the Republicans blocked a second stimulus payment. They work toward legislation to protect companies from any liability for forcing employees back to work. They threatened to cut off unemployment benefits. Trump refused to cancel student loans.

Nero in Chief

He may not know how to play the fiddle, but he is doing a good job of pretending to be Emperor while the cities burn.  Here is why it is his fault:

Robber in Chief

Yes, there are people who are taking advantage of a bad situation to do bad things. Some are looting stores for their own personal joy or gain. Some are causing destruction to make one side or the other look bad. As I write to you, my emergency alert on my phone is not announcing bad weather, it is announcing a city curfew.  There is violence in the streets.

There are lawbreakers among the protestors and rioters, that’s for sure. And no matter what any of them may steal tonight or in the days to come, Trump has already stolen from them the most important thing necessary to make and keep America great. He has stolen HOPE. He has left many Americans broken and alone while he sits on his toilet, or wherever, sending tweets of hate into cyberspace. Meanwhile:

  • Is there any hope that situations will improve between big-city police departments and communities of color?
  • Is there any hope that economic opportunities will come to the communities of color?
  • Is there any hope that gun violence and people violence will subside in our country?
  • Is there any hope that immigrant families, ripped apart at the border, will be united?
  • Is there any hope that a leader will step forward and unite America with one voice through this pandemic?
  • Is there any hope that that the poor and middle class will find more assistance during extended unemployment, as other countries have done for their citizens, or will stimulus really be a way to hand more money to the rich?

People who take to the streets in protests that turn violent have lost hope that change will come by any other means. They have been driven down and stepped on and had a knee put to their collective throats. They are sick and tired of it. The words from the Orange Menace in Washington signals to the people of the nation that indeed, there is no hope.

On Monday Limbaugh and Hannity and Trump will all rage away. Will anyone offer hope to the masses?

SUNDAY MORNING IN AMERICA: THE MANY DEAD AND WHO KILLED THEM – THE SHINBONE STAR

It’s Memorial Day and this page says too much about this nation and everything you need to know about Donald Trump. Less than you need to know about Memorial Day — which used to be Decoration Day — and far too much about Der Drumpf.


 

THE SHINBONE STAR

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Hey Mr. Trump, Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor Gloom Of Night… NAT HELMS

From natshouseblog

Published by Nathaniel R. “Nat” Helms

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” – Herodotus, Greek historian, 500 B.C.

Donald J. Trump apparently hates the United States Postal Service (USPS), along with dogs, and women (particularly minority women), although any will do in a pinch. Fortunately, this missive is about Trump’s sudden need to kill off America’s postal service, whether it is coincidental that the USPS is led by a woman is merely conjecture.

The post office was officially created in 1792 as the Post Office Department. It is based on the Constitutional authority empowering Congress “To establish post offices and post roads”.

$.39 cent Commemorative Stamp

The real deal began 17 years earlier when reliable Benjamin Franklin was appointed the colonies’ Postmaster General in 1775. His plan was to build a reliable mail service that would bring our nation together.

It didn’t hurt that Ben used his position to cheapen the postal rates for newspaper publishers – including himself – so they could cheaply send the news of the day around the country. For 228 years it has managed to do so despite being an object of political plunder whenever the country’s fortunes wane.

The Pew Research Center conducted a poll March 24-29, 2020 asking 1,013 participants to rank federal government operations. The intent was to determine if Americans trusted their government during the pandemic emergency. Through it all the people depended most on the post office to see them through. The poll also revealed that all the major federal bureaucracies that sustain and torment us are still received favorably by most Americans.

Aptly named “ICE”, the unpopular U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was the goat of the group, followed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Both received relatively low marks.

Somebody forgot to tell Trump that 91 percent of the respondents in the Pew poll believed postal people are the federal employees closest to the hearts of their countrymen. Both Republicans and Democrats expressed their undying love of America’s humble messengers. It is an opinion not shared with any other federal agency.

So what’s the deal, Mr. Trump? Is it Megan J. Brennan, the marvelously appreciated 74th and first female Postmaster General of the world’s largest postal organization? Is it because she is a woman or head of the largest postal service in the world? A lot of Trumpians would love to see the USPS dismantled, shared among the delivery big dogs that pay low and charge high for convenience the postal service tries to compete with. Venal Trump would sell it in a heartbeat if it gained him political advantage except for loss of trust is already eating his lunch. For the moment Trump is merely bloviating.


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IT’S NOW PERSONAL. TIME FOR A ‘GIVE ME FREEDOM FROM TRUMP’ MOMENT – SHINBONE STAR REBLOG – WRITTEN BY MACINELLI

IT’S PERSONAL.
TIME FOR A ‘GIVE ME FREEDOM FROM TRUMP’ MOMENT
WRITTEN BY MACINELLI

Patrick Henry

As an old-school journalist — just the facts please — and a descendant of Revolutionary War-era orator extraordinaire Patrick Henry (I’m related to one of his brothers, not the man himself), I accepted an invitation by the founder of The Shinbone Star to craft articles expressing my views on the state of our nation with Impeached President Donald J. Trump occupying the Oval Office.

Unlike my long-ago ancestor, however, I promised myself not to fire off personal rhetorical attacks against Trump designed to encourage my fellow citizens to revolt against this corrupt administration.

Instead, my posts provided truth when Trump lied; facts when he foisted fiction surrounding his anti-American actions; and pleas for standing up against his warped sense of patriotism as he deconstructed our country, executive order by executive order.

There were no “give me liberty or give me death” ultimatums on any of my more than 130 items written for The Shinbone during the past three years.

Until today. Now it’s personal.

It’s time — no, past time — for a revolution in our country against Trump and his anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-human form of government. The emperor has been laid bare — he wears no clothes, he possesses no heart — by the deadly COVID-19 disease that has so far killed more than 700 Americans with thousands more in danger of dying before a light can be seen at the end of a tunnel.

Trump’s inaction earlier this year when the virus first appeared on the world stage and his determination to make little of the deadly impact about to wash over our country and wipe out millions of jobs was criminal and intended solely to promote his re-election campaign.

It’s time now for me to borrow from Patrick Henry’s famous speech:

I know not what course others may take but as for me give me freedom from Trump who wants to be king or give me death.

Turn off the White House press room cameras. Shut down his self-promotional, lie-infested media briefings used to paint a picture of our coronavirus infected country coming back to life by Easter Sunday. Ignore his false pronouncements about all the “great” work he has done.

None of it is true. He is criminally lying, building false hopes among his political base and many frightened Americans, with his nightly misinformation campaign.

Laugh out loud and often as he challenges medical and scientific authorities on just how long the coronavirus will be with us and how many Americans will die before this callous man, this sorry excuse for a president, will be tossed on the garbage heap of history as someone more worried about staying in office — and out of jail — than the deaths of our citizens.

Trump should also be remembered as the man who — with states struggling to do battle on the front lines against coronavirus — somewhat jokingly told governors of those states that they had better treat him well if they expected to get any federal help in their fight to save their citizens’ lives.

Even half-joking, I want freedom from this man who would say anything even close to that to public servants trying desperately to minimize the death count. Someone find a legal way to shut down this soul-less, this inhuman person passing himself off as the leader of the free world, the promoter of a republic, a democracy founded on the principle of government by and for the people of this once great nation.

During this perilous time, we need leadership that understands the enemy attacking us, how that evil invisible force is disrupting our way of life, killing loved ones indiscriminately, putting at risk the lives of heroic men and women — doctors, nurses, hospital staffs, first responders — charged with leading our counterattack against the virus.

Trump needs to go today. Not tomorrow. Not in November. Today.

The longer he remains in office, the longer Americans will die from coronavirus. The longer he remains in office, the longer the federal government focus will be on keeping numbers low, on bringing the stock market back to the record levels of just a few weeks ago, on getting Trump re-elected. It won’t be on doing everything possible to save lives, to support workers ravaged by the economic impact of the deadly virus.

I want freedom from Trump today. Is anyone with me? Is anyone out there listening?

Here’s how my ancestor, Patrick Henry, summed up his desire for liberty and freedom from the king of England nearly 250 years ago:

“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

“Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” — Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE ORIGINAL POST ON THE SHINBONE STAR WHERE YOU WILL FIND MANY GREAT POSTS WRITTEN BY
EXTRAORDINARY JOURNALISTS.

UNWELCOME VISITOR – Rich Paschall

45 Comes To Town, by Rich Paschall, Chicagoan

The day after being booed at a World Series game and listening to chants of “Lock Him Up,” the Tweeter-in-Chief came to another place he is not welcome. The Supreme Windbag came to the Windy City to hurl insults and hate at the locals. By the way, it is believed that the term “Windy City” came about as a description of past politicians rather than anything to do with the weather. If that belief is true, than he fit in with the liars of another era.

He likely felt it was OK to insult us. No dignitary met him at the airport. They would not want to be seen with him. None showed up to his hate filled speech later in the day. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, methinks.

The orange one probably took great delight insulting the city he was visiting. After all, President Obama lived here. Hillary Clinton is also from this area. Anything to do with those two politicians is likely to bring baseless insults from the one who never took the high road in his life.

Chicago Water Tower (Photo credit: Nicholas G. Mertens)

We have been down this road before when number 45 promised to “Send In The Feds” to deal with the violent crime here. Although there is crime here, just like any major city, it is nothing like the resident of the White House claims it to be. Imagine, if you can, the following insult claimed by Trump while in Chicago:

Trump: “Afghanistan is a safe place, by comparison, that’s true.”  

Obviously, it is not true. BBC research pegged the death toll in Afghanstan at 2307 in the month of August due to violent crime. That is about the number for the last 5 years combined in Chicago. Yes it is too high here, but it has come down in each of the last three years without help from any federal troops.

Trump: “Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the United States.”

False. The restrictions are actually less now that a decade ago. Attempts by the city to strenghten guns laws end up in court. Fights against the city are often led by the NRA.

Trump: “I’ve done more than any other president has done for the police”

OK, you be the judge.

The orange one claimed that Chicago was embarrassing to the nation due to the crime here. If that is true, there are many other cities providing the orange one with greater embarrassment. USA Today puts Chicago at number 21 on the list. Their statistics and methodology are well explained. Indianapolis is at 13.

As methodology changes for studies, sometimes the order of cities changes on the list. This may depend on the size of cities included, the type of crime classified as “violent,” and the source of the figures. Most use the FBI numbers in their rankings. World Atlas puts Chicago at 17, while Indianapolis climbs to number 10.

If we are just talking about murder rates per capita, then Chicago is 24th on the list, while two Indiana cities are higher. I mention the Indiana cities because it is the home state of the vice president. I don’t hear Agent Orange promising to send troops to help out Mike Pence.

If Chicago is not at the top of the violent crime list, as the supposed leader seems to suggest, than the real problem is not Chicago. It is gun violence in America. The president and the Republicans certainly do not want to tackle that issue. The NRA might stop contributing to their campaigns.

The vindictive one does not seem to want to do anything presidential. Instead he continues to try to divide Americans through insult and accusation. Our recently elected mayor was having none of it and responded:

The Superintendent of Police Eddie Johnson responded to the lies and insults against the city, the police force and the superintendent himself. He came to a press conference with the facts and conducted things in a professional manner, including thanking those police for doing their job protecting a man who was busy insulting them.

Chicago is a world-class city with big city, urban America problems. Its challenges are worse than some but better than many. Rather than taking vindictive potshots at one of America’s best, a leader should be lending a helping hand here and to the many other cities where help is needed. Perhaps it is the lack of support or the volume of protestors that has the orange one riled up. He received about 13 percent of the vote here in 2016. His performance here recently makes it unlikely he will do any better next time around.

SOURCES: 25 Of The Most Dangerous Cities In America, USA Today, August 14, 2019.
The Most Dangerous Cities In The US, worldatlas.com, October 21, 2019.
The 30 cities with the highest murder rates in the US, The Bismark Tribune, April 15, 2019.
Gun rights lawsuits take aim at Illinois, Chicago, by Dahleen Glanton, Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2012.
Is Chicago worse than Afghanistan? Fact-checking President Trump’s critiques of the city, BY  AND , wgntv.com, October28, 2019.
See also: SEND IN THE FEDS, “The Streets of Chicago,” by Rich Paschall, SERENDIPITY, February 5, 2017.

THE SHINBONE STAR – REBLOG ON WHAT’S FUNNY AND WHAT’S NOT

IT’S NO JOKING MATTER WHEN TRUMP SPEAKS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN

by MACinelli

Donald Trump stands on the White House lawn and asks China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter

Donald Trump stands on the White House lawn and asks China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Put a sock in it, Jim Jordan.

It wasn’t a joke — as you suggested — when Donald J. Trump while standing on the White House lawn, called on China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential rival in the 2020 presidential elections.

But just to be fair, let’s look at exactly what Trump said on live TV as he prepared to leave Washington late last week for another round of golf in Florida.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

The request came just moments after he discussed upcoming trade talks with China and told the same gaggle of reporters, as cameras rolled, that “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.”

Trump has never been a Jerry Seinfeld. Nor has he ever had the chops of a Ray Romano or Billy Crystal. He might come close to Pee Wee Herman, but that’s another story.

Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio and staunch defender (read lemming) of Trump, ran out the “joke” defense over the weekend when asked Sunday by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” if Trump’s suggestion to China was appropriate.

“I’m just telling you what the statement is. You asked me about the statement,” Jordan responded. “I don’t think anyone in America really believes — except people may be in the press and some Democrats in Congress — really believe that the president of the United States thinks China is going to investigate.”

That wasn’t the question, Mr. Jordan. Answer the question: Do you think Trump calling on China to investigate a political rival is appropriate?

Jordan dodge the questioned again. “You really think he was serious about thinking that China is going to investigate the Biden family?”

Not the question, congressman. Answer the question: Do you think it was OK for Trump to violate the rule of law by calling on a foreign government — one that in this case is a sworn enemy of our country — to launch a probe of a political rival and his family?

Jordan’s response — after 10 minutes of ducking and dodging: “Well, I don’t think it’s going to happen. . . . I just don’t think that’s what the president was really saying.”

It’s not important what you think will or won’t happen, or what you think Trump “really” was saying.

Here’s what matters: Are you — an elected official of our government sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States — supporting Trump’s thumbing his nose at laws that form the foundation of our republic?

This is not a joking matter. This is not a time for Republicans or any other elected official to ignore the obvious — Trump believes he can get away with being lawless because that’s how he has operated all his life.

And you, Mr. Jordan, and your GOP brethren in and out of office are enabling this man-child, this wannabe dictator, to run roughshod over a democracy that is meant to protect all of us and provide a quality of life that for most of the 240 years of its existence has been the envy of the world.

For nearly three years now Trump and his minions have used the “joke” defense when his blathering results in showcasing his lifelong battle with foot-in-mouth disease. Remember the Russian request back in 2016? Trump said:

“I will tell you this: Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

What a knee-slapper that one was, right? No collusion with Russia. Just joking. He even went further in a written response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s question about that ask. Trump’s explanation was that he “made the  . . .  statement ‘in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer.’ ”

No, it was made as part of a political smear effort against his Democratic opponent in the upcoming general election, Hillary Clinton.

Jokes from a president, any president, are allowed and often times can be quite funny in the proper forum, such as the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner. Let’s flashback to 2011 when then-President Barack Obama dropped a few funnies on then-citizen Trump, who at the time was questioning Obama’s citizenship. Said Obama from the lectern:

“Donald Trump is here tonight. Now I know that he’s taken some flak lately. But no one is happier — no one is prouder — to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter: Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

That was funny stuff. The crowd cracked up. Everyone, that is, except Trump, who sat fuming at his table. But Obama wasn’t through cracking funny, as is the privilege afforded a sitting president at this event:

“All kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example . . . no seriously, just recently, in an episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership, and so ultimately you didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meat Loaf, you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled. Say what you will about Mr. Trump, he certainly would bring some change to the White House. Let’s see what we’ve got up there.”

Laughter erupted across the dining hall, but unfortunately for our country, the jibes by Obama angered Trump so much that he not only decided to mount a presidential campaign but managed to secure Russian assistance to steal the Oval Office for a four-year term.

The difference between Obama’s jokes at a news media event and Trump’s calls on live television for investigations of political opponents is blatantly obvious. Obama delivered his punches at a time and place where humor was expected and is often entertaining. Trump’s attempt at “jokes,” as Jim Jordan would have us believe, were delivered on the White House lawn in front of television news cameras as part of his never-ending political campaign.

No joke, Mr. Jordan, you are supporting illegal activity by a president who considers himself above the law, a person who thinks that as president he can do anything he wants, to anyone he wants, at any time he wants, and he won’t suffer the consequences.

DIETING WITHOUT DIGNITY – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango – Dieting Without Dignity

While Wearing Hand Cuffs, Leg Irons,
an Electronic Ankle Bracelet and a Muzzle

So I open Daily Kos this morning and read this:

Wednesday morning, Trump followed it up with a series of tweets thanking Wayne Allyn Root for praising him, quoting Root as having said that “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him… ….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!”

Like he’s the King of Israel. Like he is the second coming of God. Trump heard someone say that and instead of rolling his eyes, he tweeted it like these rantings were something we all needed to hear. And who’s Wayne Allyn Root? He’s a conspiracy theorist who, like Trump, spent the Obama years as a birther. He pushed Seth Rich conspiracy theories. He said that the Las Vegas mass shooting, which turned out to have been committed by non-Muslim white guy Stephen Paddock, was “Clearly Coordinated Muslim Terror attack.” So at least we have a clear guide on how reliable Root’s assessment of Trump is. 

If you wonder how in the world people who call themselves Christians could be following Trump, by now you have got to realize you are probably not delusional. It’s those so-called fake Christians. The crazies have taken over the asylum, but we are all living in it.

I don’t even know where to start. I’m pretty sure Saul was the last “King of Israel” and there hasn’t been any since. And Trump’s special Christians worship him as if he is the second coming of God.


The King of Israel. Second Coming of God.
Trump really IS the antichrist. One of a small troop!

Doesn’t that make someone else’s hair stand on end? Does he think he is the antichrist or is that just one of his many goals? Has his mental vacuity and derangement gone over the wall and dropped into Nevernever NEVER Land?

I’m not even sure who he thinks he is attacking at this point. I am pretty sure that this isn’t the way to any White House I’ve heard about — and if it is, we deserve what we get because we really are too stupid to run a country.

I don’t know whether I’m insulted because I’m a Jew, insulted because I’m a human being with normal intelligence without a bump-stock AR-15, or just insulted because we have a president who has the IQ of an earthworm.  That’s probably an insult to earthworms.

For a man who has never taken a risk for his country, never taken up arms, has insulted the military, the FBI, the CIA, not to mention all of our national security, and refused to protect the country he was supposed sworn to serve  — and now he’s mad at Denmark because they are disinclined to discuss selling Greenland to Trump (he’d bankrupt it anyway plus he’d never pay Denmark the money he owed).

If he wasn’t causing so much damage to animals, humanism, the Earth’s climate while refusing to protect America from its enemies it’s own terrorists, he would be hilarious. He is hilarious. It’s just my sense of humor isn’t working as well as it used to.

He may be the greatest president ever because I think he’s going to be the only one who managed to disassemble the country leaving only a pile of ashes and plastic straws by which to remember us.


By the way, did you know that ashes are very good for getting water stains off wood surfaces? If you rub it on the damaged wood, it will lift the watermark. You might as well get some useful information out of this.

So you see? He isn’t worthless. He could be a housemaid. In handcuffs and leg irons with someone following him around with an AR-15, bump stock and all, just to make sure he doesn’t try to run away. Should we also add one of those electronic leg bracelets? Maybe include a micro-identifier under his skin so, like a dog, he can be scanned by the local veterinarian?

I bet my dogs would bite him and they don’t bite anyone who isn’t holding a hamburger.

He can be our very first slave. Since he seems sure we never had any slavery, he can be the first and surely the only one with orange hair.

My house needs a very thorough cleaning. Send him my way. After he gets done with the dusting, floor washing, laundry, and tidying up, he can do some of the neglected yard-work.

While we are at it, we’ll put him on a diet. I’m sure it will improve the state of his gigantic ass.

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST, A REALLY IMPORTANT POST THAT EVERYONE SHOULD READ

Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert


From left, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr. (From left: Charles Dharapak; Jabin Botsford; Bill O’Leary/AP; The Washington Post)

May 6 at 2:00 PM


More than 450 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he held.

The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William P. Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.

Mueller had declined to say one way or the other whether Trump should have been charged, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted, as well as concerns about the fairness of accusing someone for whom there can be no court proceeding.

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the former federal prosecutors wrote.

“We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment,” they added. “Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here. . . . But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.”

How Barr appeared to misrepresent Mueller’s findings

Attorney General William P. Barr repeatedly appeared to misrepresent or misstate special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings on May 1. 

The statement is notable for the number of people who signed it — 375 as of early Monday afternoon, growing to 459 in the hours after it published — and the positions and political affiliations of some on the list. It was posted online Monday afternoon; those signing it did not explicitly address what, if anything, they hope might happen next.

Among the high-profile signers are Bill Weld, a former U.S. attorney and Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who is running against Trump as a Republican; Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush Administration; John S. Martin, a former U.S. attorney and federal judge appointed to his posts by two Republican presidents; Paul Rosenzweig, who served as senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr; and Jeffrey Harris, who worked as the principal assistant to Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was at the Justice Department in the Reagan administration.

The list also includes more than 20 former U.S. attorneys and more than 100 people with at least 20 years of service at the Justice Department — most of them former career officials. The signers worked in every presidential administration since that of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a federal prosecutor before he became a lawmaker, joined the letter after news of it broke, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted his support for its premise .

The signatures were collected by the nonprofit group Protect Democracy, which counts Justice Department alumni among its staff and was contacted about the statement last week by a group of former federal prosecutors, said Justin Vail, an attorney at Protect Democracy.

“We strongly believe that Americans deserve to hear from the men and women who spent their careers weighing evidence and making decisions about whether it was sufficient to justify prosecution, so we agreed to send out a call for signatories,” Vail said. “The response was overwhelming. This effort reflects the voices of former prosecutors who have served at DOJ and signed the statement.”

What’s in the Mueller report?

A redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report was released to the public on April 18. Here’s what’s in it. 

Weld said by the time he reviewed the statement, it already had more than 100 signatures, and he affixed his name because he had concluded the evidence “goes well beyond what is required to support criminal charges of obstruction of justice.”

“I hope the letter will be persuasive evidence that Attorney General Barr’s apparent legal theory is incorrect,” he said.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department referred a reporter to Barr’s previous public statements on the subject.

Many legal analysts have wondered since Mueller’s report was released whether the special counsel believed he had sufficient evidence to charge Trump and was just unwilling to say it out loud.

By the report’s account, Trump — after learning he was being investigated for obstruction — told his White House counsel to have Mueller removed. And when that did not work, according to Mueller’s report, Trump tried to have a message passed to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller’s authority. Of that episode, Mueller’s team wrote there was “substantial evidence” to indicate Trump was trying to “prevent further investigative scrutiny” of himself and his campaign.

“All of this conduct — trying to control and impede the investigation against the President by leveraging his authority over others — is similar to conduct we have seen charged against other public officials and people in powerful positions,” the former federal prosecutors wrote in their letter.

They wrote that prosecuting such cases was “critical because unchecked obstruction — which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished — puts our whole system of justice at risk.”

Mueller’s team, though, wrote that it decided not to make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” in part because of the Justice Department opinion on not indicting sitting presidents and because the evidence obtained “presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved” if they were to do so.

“At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” Mueller’s team wrote.

After receiving Mueller’s report, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed the case themselves and determined the evidence was not there. He offered a robust defense of that decision at a recent congressional hearing, detailing for lawmakers possible defenses Trump could have raised in each episode.

“The government has to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt,” Barr said. “And, as the report shows, there’s ample evidence on the other side of the ledger that would prevent the government from establishing that.”


I do not usually reblog items from the Washington Post, but this article is so important, I felt it deserved the bigger airing. I am a subscriber and I find it frustrating that I can’t make some of these posts available, but usually, I assume someone else will post the same material. I’m sure someone else will post the material, but nobody writes it better or with more clarity than the Post. 

This is a completely non-profit blog (I wish it were a little less non-profit) so this is truly public service!

ENMITY? NO THANKS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Enmity

I saw this and I thought about writing to it. Except aside from how I feel about Trump, I don’t think I’ve ever felt enmity towards anyone.

Anger? Absolutely. Very, very angry? A lot more than once. Even rather furious and enraged? Uh huh. But nothing that lasted longer than the event. Nothing long-term, permanent, or unforgivable.

So unless I’m going to write about the president and how much I really hate the man — and is “hate” the same as “enmity”?

Junco with our sundial

Regardless I felt that writing about this was going to ruin my day which has been going pretty well, all things considered. Garry vacuumed and dusted — without my asking, which has to be a first in our very long relationship. I took a few bird pictures that I think are kind of cool.

Do I need to write about enmity?

No, I don’t. So instead, please accept this lovely photograph of a Junco having an emotional moment with the toad and our sundial.

STEADIER THAN ANY ROCK – Marilyn Armstrong

STEADY AS HE GOES


Trump will never abandon Russia. He can’t afford it. And he might not live long if he tried.

From highly reliable sources.

Putin’s got the goods on Trump’s massive money laundering with the head of the Russian Mafia in the US. The head who is #1 on the FBI’s most wanted list. His headquarters is a social club in little Russia in Brooklyn that was until very recently co-owned by Michael Cohen. Trump’s fixer. You can’t make this shit up.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Follow the money. Forget “sex scandals” because Trump doesn’t care and neither do his people. But huge amounts of illegal money being laundered by the Russian Mafia? Through a club that was recently co-owned by Trump’s now indicted fixer? That might make a big dent.

That is why, despite his behavior sitting on the knife-edge of treason, Trump is quite literally owned by Putin and his fellow oligarchs. For Trump, there’s not pulling away from this. There’s no safe way out. There’s a giant trail of money leading to his tippy toes.

Owned and operated by the Russians.

So talk about steady? Trump is as steady as you can get because he is owned and operated by Russia. He will continue to be O&O by the Russians, no matter what anyone in any party or department says about it. That is, until they finally put the cuffs on him.

High crimes and misdemeanors? You think?

AMIBIGUITY – Marilyn Armstrong

The Ambiguity of Our Times

Ambiguity. That’s when you say “I love you,” but pause afterward and think (out loud) that you used to love other people and you don’t love them anymore, so maybe loving you doesn’t really mean very much.

That’s how I feel about “Our Power President.”

He is making America great. Again. Because our previous greatness wasn’t “his” kind of great.

He has solved all our problems, yet somehow, none of them seem solved. But that’s only because the press lies all the time and refuse to admit all the important fixes he has made in the world.

Trump and Putin

Meanwhile, the kids are still living in baby jails. Kim Jun Un has a lot of rockets and no intention of giving them up. Russia is taking over the United States and our Chief Moron doesn’t seem to notice. We are going to be a new — and really BIG — satellite of Russia. Cool!

Russia is very good at taking over other countries. It’s one of their “things.” At one time, they dominated more than half of Europe and were working on Asia and Africa, until the Chinese beat them to it.

We used to be pretty good at it ourselves, but now, we bow and suck up to Putin.

Dave Granlund / politicalcartoons.com

I’d like to know why this is true. What does Putin have on Trump? It can’t just be something sexually embarrassing. It’s got to be something seriously illegal in an international kind of way. Will we ever know what it is?

Thoughts on the matter?

SKEWED LIBERTY (THIS COUNTRY FOR SALE) – Judy Dykstra-Brown

DSC00967

 SKEWED – Judy Dykstra-Brown

Everything is tilted. Slightly unaligned.
The constitution set askew. Liberty maligned.
Some of the well-heeled citizens think that this is fine.
They cannot see that everything is slightly out of line.
All the pretty Philistines queue up at their tees
while their flunky lawyers determine what to seize.
Contracts with the Russians. Schemes to sell off national land.
Cronies helping cronies. Off-shore drilling by demand.

Rivers being sullied and oceans compromised
while insuring rights to bear arms are exercised.
Certain pious preachers line up behind the svelte,
proclaiming to the masses that they know what Jesus felt.
Indeed, the smallest sparrow  no longer matters much
so long as all the mighty increase their greedy clutch––
all the money-changers, corrupt to the core,
filling all their pockets with the money of the poor.

Surely it is clear that at ruling they’re inept,
and if he was watching, surely Jesus wept
as all the pearls of liberty were cast before the swine
with each self-serving libertine declaring  what is “mine.”
What is true no longer matters. What “they” say is now what now counts.
They say it’s holy scripture as they settle their accounts.
People, take off your blinders. Consider what is real.
One nation, under God, was not set up for them to steal!

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