The day before Christmas and chaos still reigns


Today, December 24, 2020 is like any other day under the Trump administration. The number of people who died from covid related illness is still over 3,000. December 23 saw 3,411 Americans die from the Trump scourge. Even though pharma companies have responded quickly with providing a vaccine to stop the spread of Covid-19 there’s news that it’s not being implemented as quickly as forecast or should be. While over 9 million doses have been distributed throughout the country, only about a million doses have been administered. The death rate continues to climb…….

Congress has passed a covid relief bill albeit entirely inadequate that Trump has promptly sabotaged leaving millions of Americans without hope of a decent holiday season. By inserting himself so late in the process and claiming he wanted a relief package that included more money than the Congressional bill, Trump has given himself three choices on how this could play out; he could sign the bill against his own desires for a more substantial bill; he could veto the bill outright which would be returned to Congress to override the veto or he could put the bill in his pocket for 10 days unsigned until it is too late for it to be dealt with during the current legislative session which ends on January, 3rd. After that if there is to be any covid relief bill the new Congress would have to start the process all over again. Remember the House passed legislation in May that has only now been written as legislation. To add insult to injury Trump has left town leaving Congress to send him their legislation there and hope for the best. Did I mention that along with the covid relief bill there was a omnibus spending bill attached that Trump is threatening to veto meaning the potential exists for a government shutdown? The irony is had such a prospect been suggested, that government be shutdown to fight the Corona virus, no one in the Administration would have agreed to proceed in the way Trump has now. Whatever the outcome there are too many in Washington who don’t sense the urgency of helping their fellow citizens and are quite comfortable not doing anything for now. Meanwhile people are without food, energy, drowning in financial insecurity.

How many Trump supporters who wanted to take back Christmas from……who or what ever…..could have thought that their President Trump was the one who stole Christmas from millions of Americans and in the process made the lives of an entire country miserable.

MUSINGS ON BARR AND HIS DOJ


Hapless Bill Barr

America’s Department of Justice under Bob Barr is a hot mess. Yes it is. As of today, Wednesday December 2, 2020 there are three stories coming from there that under an ordinary administration would be a big deal but under the criminal enterprise known as the Trump administration receive a regular ho-hum.

In the midst of Trump still contesting the elections in ways that are as scandalous as anything he’s ever done, Barr came out to say his department hasn’t seen anything that would change the outcome of the 2020 elections to say Trump should be the winner and not Biden. It doesn’t take much to know that would upset the petulant CiC. Barr has done whatever he could to please Trump; even before the Nov 3rd elections he gave US Attorneys Generals the ability to take overt steps to pursue allegations of “vote tabulation irregularities” in certain cases before results were certified. We know Trump took that as a sign to openly, unilaterally declare voter fraud throughout the process of the elections. It didn’t help that Christopher Cox Krebs the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency came out shortly after the elections to say the structural integrity of the elections was sound, there was no fraud and the results were certifiable. With that leg of government openly in defiance of Trump’s scheme to declare the process irredeemably null and void, Barr could more easily make his assertion that all was well with the vote.

Like most everything else about this administration, it can’t seem to get out of its own way. The news that the Attorney General thought the elections were legitimate was eclipsed by two other newsworthy events: Barr’s announcement he had appointed Connecticut US Attorney John Durham to act as special counsel investigating whether intelligence and law enforcement violated the law in investigating the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and the news coming out of the DC Superior Court of a criminal investigation into an age old Trump pay for play scheme involving presidential pardons. First off, John Durham was supposed to have completed his investigation if all went according to Trump’s plans just in time to influence the 2020 elections with news that the previous administration and by extension Biden had illegally conducted an investigation into Trump’s campaign and that all things Russia were really the hoaxes Trump always said they were. Trouble is Durham didn’t follow Trump’s timeline and his handling encountered what appeared to be an image problem when one of his assistants, an equally reputable Attorney General Nora Dannenhy quit during the investigation. An unidentified colleagues of Dannehy’s, said she resigned partly out of concern that the top of the Justice Department, i. e. Bill Barr was pressuring Durham’s team to produce results before the election for maximum effect for Donald Trump.

John Durham

I tweeted that Barr’s intent with this appointment was to leave Durham as a burr under the saddle of a Biden Administration, much like some viewed Robert Mueller’s tenure during the early period of Trump’s term a sort of ‘right back at ya’ gesture. Some said that the special counsel appointment means Durham will be around for as long as Trump’s Deep State-ers want him to be, playing the role of political gadfly to Biden’s flank providing information for demonic Republicans to enhance their own or Trump’s future political aspirations. Republicans have already lined up to say to Biden to allow Durham to do his apolitical work as if his appointment by Barr was about anything but politics. But once again, this Administration has proven itself to be inept because it could be argue Durham’s appointment is in violation of § 600.3 Qualifications of the Special Counsel which states in its entirety

(a) An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decisionmaking, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government. Special Counsels shall agree that their responsibilities as Special Counsel shall take first precedence in their professional lives, and that it may be necessary to devote their full time to the investigation, depending on its complexity and the stage of the investigation.

(b) The Attorney General shall consult with the Assistant Attorney General for Administration to ensure an appropriate method of appointment, and to ensure that a Special Counsel undergoes an appropriate background investigation and a detailed review of ethics and conflicts of interest issues. A Special Counsel shall be appointed as a “confidential employee” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 7511(b)(2)(C).

A Biden Attorney General could successfully, safely fire Durham because his appointment goes against the conditions for having a special counsel, that is he is within government as the Attorney General for Conneticutt and if Republicans insist appoint someone of his/her own choosing not a Trump partisan. Trump’s penchant for poorly selected appointees and acting directors has gotten him in trouble before. An acting Attorney General, Mathew Whitaker who was a shady spokesman for toilets for well endowed men or Chad Wolf who a federal judge in New York ruled that as acting homeland security secretary Wolf lacked the authority to limit the work permits of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children because his appointment to the top position in the department did not appear to be lawful are just some examples of how disastrous Trump has been about employing the best people to do the jobs for which they are appointed. One could make the argument that keeping Durham as special counsel would taint whatever conclusions he is able to make because his appointment is illegal; that would be par for the course for this inept administration.

Finally there’s this from Trump’s own DOJ

The Justice Department in August investigated a potential “bribery-for-pardon” scheme in which a large political contribution would be offered in exchange for a presidential pardon by the White House, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.

The documents show that U.S. prosecutors were scrutinizing whether two individuals approached senior White House officials as unregistered lobbyists, and a related scheme in which cash would be funneled through intermediaries for a pardon or reprieve of a sentence for a defendant apparently in Federal Bureau of Prisons custody at some point.

Is there any doubt who the “senior White House officials” are in the Trump White House? Who is it Trump trusts the most to help him maneuver in his daily life other than his family? When this latest news story emerged from the the DOJ talk of Trump pardoning his family members also surfaced and one has to ask whether the two stories are related. Regardless what’s extraordinary is a Trump justice department had opened an investigation into whether his family (yes I know it’s not revealed it was his family members who were approached but the original charge papers were heavily redacted) was the focal point for Trump’s customary pay for play, quid pro quo schemes he’s been involved in all his life. From his charities which have been shut down to other business ventures that were recipients of financial contributions for services promised that weren’t delivered like Trump University Trump has begged for money and promised to give something in return which he never did or he misled contributors into giving him money . In other words, not much has changed in the way Trump does business. His sole intent is to enrich himself at other people’s expense; he does so by seeking out people whose only job is to give him what he wants at all costs even that cost is illegal; he does not care how the ends are met. Trump has turned a professional justice department into an inept bunch of Trump spokes people who go about doing his bidding, sometimes at great risk to themselves for being insulted or thrown under the bus by Trump. The latest news coming out of DOJ is not pretty but it’s all Trump’s doing. No Deep State here, only Trump’s own ego, narcissism that’s gotten in the way and become his downfall.

Democrats! Really?


The reason why Trump’s authoritarianism will succeed in this country is because of a weak opposition party. After the 2018 mid term elections and the adults in the room for the Democratic Party took the reigns in the House I thought there would be a disciplined, mature, principled, effective opposition to the worst administration in American history that would lead to a restoration of normalcy in American politics. Sadly that hasn’t happened. This news headline is proof of the Democratic impotence in Washington. Wolf shouldn’t even have the job of Director of Homeland Security. He’s occupying it illegally. He’s just one of many Trump has handpicked to work in his administration with the only job to do Trump’s bidding regardless of what it is or the consequences to America. However, America and Democrats go on acting as if this is all normal and there is no threat to democracy.

This is why they kneel


There’s been another shooting of a black man by white police and it’s as hideous and outrageous as all the others

For many there are no words to justify what happened to Jacob Blake, Jr. Being shot 7 times in the back by one of three police officers on the scene is simply inexplicable but just like being shot while fleeing, as in the case of Rashard Brooks in Atlanta earlier this summer the faucet of death that flows over black male bodies seems to have been turned on full blast and too many Americans are clueless about the reason for black outrage and frustration.

A New York Mets baseball player, Dominic Smith seems to have embodied that frustration while talking to media the day of a scheduled baseball game that was cancelled by his team. Barely able to keep it together he talks about what has motivated him after seeing another man who looks like him victimized by police.

I struggled to find the beauty in his response. I applaud him for both giving in to and keeping his emotions in check. At the same time I am raging that a man has been forced to yield to those emotions in the face of hostility to his existence. People should not take Smith’s reaction as a kind of weakness because it’s not. It’s a fatigue that comes from realizing this threat will follow him and others like him around all their lives. No matter how good they are some white police officer will always question in ways that may turn out to be fatal, why he is at that place at that time.

However I am overjoyed that others have not given in to their fatigue just yet and have found other ways to express their anger and strive for substantive solutions. Players from the NBA have turned their frustration into positive political action in extraordinary ways.

The (NBA) has committed to create a social justice coalition, work with elections officials to convert NBA arenas into polling places for the 2020 election and create advertising spots to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”

The league has committed to create a social justice coalition, work with elections officials to convert NBA arenas into polling places for the 2020 election and create advertising spots to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”

“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” (a) statement said.

Using arenas as polling places will provide a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID-19, according to the statement. The plan, which applies to arenas that the franchise owns and controls, also includes using some facilities for voter registration and ballot receiving boards if the deadline to establish a polling place has passed.

Three teams already offered their spaces as polling places in July as election officials across the country scramble to find rooms large enough to allow for adequate social distancing. The Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and the Bucks have committed their arenas to be voting sites.

With just over two months before the elections athletes, like LeBron James, who was once told to shut up and dribble, have managed to come up with solutions that will enhance political participation in far better ways than Mr. Trump could ever imagine.

The disrespect of Donald Trump


It’s important to respect the office of the President of the United States but time has long since passed that people should respect Donald Trump.  I don’t understand why in this DAY people still have a modicum of civility towards a man in this highest office who has no appreciation for civil discourse and respect.

What draws me to post today is Trump’s latest faux pas which highlights just how disrespectful he treats the country and American citizens.  Appearing at an event in the White House to talk about a conservation bill which supposedly had bipartisan support by members of Congress Trump had prepared remarks to READ and among them this

When young Americans experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, when their eyes widen in amazement as Old Faithful bursts into the sky, when they gaze upon Yosemite’sYosemite’s towering sequoias, their love of country grows stronger and they know that every American has truly a duty to preserve this wondrous inheritance

Trump, however,  didn’t even come prepared. I no longer give him the benefit of the doubt. I know he wasn’t prepared and I don’t think for a minute he knows what Yosemite is or even where it is and more importantly I don’t think he cares. He just showed up and thought, correctly it appears today, there is something about himself that makes his appearances magical and that’s enough.  No need to be prepared, to know why he is doing what he’s doing or why he’s there, or even where he is; all he has to do is show up, shake a few hands and start reading.   If you didn’t know before you should know now that Donald Trump can’t read.  Don’t believe me? Watch

I’ve come to expect this from the man.  He’s a mental midget and more and more people who know him say that about him.  Apparently, not enough people know this about him and that’s extremely troublesome.  What bothers me about Trump’s remarks which I say occur every day and are quite common is this:

50% of White Americans Would Vote for Trump If Election Were Held Today

Trump’s issues with literacy and the English language are obvious for all to see. It’s no longer the “deplorables” who seem to inhabit Trump land as evidenced from this quote

the two political rivals ran very closely when paired among three demographics in particular. Biden led Trump by only one percentage point among Southern regional voters, voters over the age of 65 and voters with more than four years of college education

I expect the South would be pro-Trump. He can scare the hell out of white voters with his racist bullhorns, even though it doesn’t take much for that demographic to respond to the call to anyone’s racist dog whistle, their ears are so finely tuned. Senior citizens and the college-educated as groups that think there’s anything redeeming about Trump or if they had to choose between him and Biden, however, is simply mind-boggling.  What it suggests is idiocy is quite ok.  That not knowing why you are in a space to commemorate a national treasure and totally ruining it is ok.  It says it’s ok to talk openly about reducing social security and health benefits during a worldwide pandemic that has cost over 100,00 American lives and counting. It says Donald Trump only has to show up for over half of white America to approve of whatever else he does is ok. This is NOT ok America but this today’s America.  How far the mighty have fallen is yet to be determined. There’s still time to go even deeper or to save ourselves. I’m not optimistic Americans know how to make good choices.

The Swamp is everything Trump says and tweets. We’ve already established


he’s a prolific liar. It’s even embarrassing to say how many lies he has tallied because doing so is a testament to our tolerance for them. Normally anyone who was so well known for lying would at the very least be ignored or at the most not be given the time of day. But Trump is POTUS and is afforded all the trappings that go with it, unfortunately. That seems to include our attention.

What I want to talk about briefly here are not his lies but his gutter language. Stuff that comes out of Trump’s mouth more closely resembles a swamp than most things that come out of Washington. And when he gives us the double whammy of a profanity-laced lie like the one below it’s even worse for the American people. Take this whopper: “If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.” I guess he forgot the tax cut he’s enacted or even worse the tariffs he seems to impose for no apparent reason other than he’s mad with “someone”. There are other examples but C-Span has taken to add the disclaimer “The president used language that some may find offensive,” to its replay of his speeches/rallies. So, that’s pretty bad….a cursing AND lying president. But there’s more.

Since when did we become accustomed to an elected official who so blatantly insults in the most derogatory language elected American officials?!?!! Not only does Trump do that but to the delight of his audiences who seem to delight in being incited by his vile language. As only a demagogue can Trump’s abuse borders on the racially tinged using only those terms appropriate for people’s ethnicity, heritage, religion. He’s not even subtle about it. He reaps such terms as lyin’, cheatin’, “Shifty” at congressman Adam Schiff. Women are similarly denigrated in gender centric slurs. You all remember his ‘blood coming out of wherever’ when referring to a female moderator of a presidential debate. More recently he called the Speaker of the House and it seems the only one in government with the courage and guts to stand up to him Nervous Nancy Pelosi….this despite the fact the woman has nerves of steel and was seen doing this:

 

Trump ropes in other to his web of vitriol making them unwanted accomplices to his racism. After calling Senator Elizabeth Warren, Pochantas he repeated the slur at a native American veterans event held at the White House before a group of “real Americans” who should have been there to receive recognition for the bravery and sacrifice they gave in ways that Donald Trump never did to this country. Trump retweeted this barb aimed at Representative Omar, ‘CREDIBLE Evidence Ilhan Omar Married Her Brother–‘We’re Not Sure Her Last Name is Omar!’ after as strongly asserting with “credible evidence” that President Obama wasn’t really an American.  We all know how true that was. So what is it that keeps us going back to and entertaining even for a millisecond this abuse he throws on everyone that’s not a Trumpster or Russian government official? Have Americans so fully embraced reality TV a la Jerry Springer that we’re willing to let anything pass through the lips of Trump and into our ears??!?!  Trump came rolling into office promising to clean out the swamp and whatever he may have done to that end he has refilled it with public invective and abuse the likes of which America hasn’t seen in well over the lifetime of 99% of us. During the House Managers’ presentation before the Senate, several senators complained about the language used, especially by Rep. Nadler when he claimed the presentation made by Trump’s team was a lie. Would that EVERYONE was as vocal about Trump’s language.

There’s not much to be optimistic about concerning the impeachment of


Donald Trump. The contemptuous dismissal of the Senate Republicans to the impeachment proceedings is meant to show to the general public what little regard they have for impeachment. They also want to send the signal they will stick to their original plan of getting this over with as quickly as possible. Trump’s disruptive remarks about what’s going on in the Senate, how this is a hoax as if a constitutionally approved remedy for dealing with corruption is made up or his continued disparaging of his opponents in this process only muddies what should normally be a solemn, dignified act of government and turned it into a circus. However, the way Speaker Pelosi has dealt with the proceedings and the members of her caucus and the selection of the impeachment managers have been nothing less than stellar and inspiring. I’m almost afraid to mention the appearance her managers have with what one assumes would be appointees under Obama, but the diversity of the House’s managers is inspiring and more reflective of 21st century America. Unlike the group of 13 Republicans who managed their case against President Bill Clinton, who were all white men, this group of seven managers consists of three women and four men. Two are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and one is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Once again Americans of all stripes and colors can look at any one of the House managers and see themselves; they can feel proud that capable and competent people were selected for a task as great as reinforcing the Constitution of the United States.

Impeachment Managers
These are the House Impeachment Managers. You should know their names (from left) Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.

If you are not a white male and you are looking at the impeachment proceedings


and particularly at the GOP and how they manhandle the law you might have a feeling for what it was like for people like you who were around during the founding of this country. Granted the folks who were responsible for making the laws in the 18th century were unanimously from the same tribe, unlike today’s Republicans who are 81% white males. The heavy-handed way the Founding Fathers wielded power looks and feels like Mitch McConnell’s US Senate.

In spite of overwhelming evidence, the head of his party is corrupt McConnell et co choose to interpret the Constitution in a way that uniquely suits their purpose for power. I submit that same document was created with the same goal in mind…to lock down power for a segment of the American population even if it meant dehumanizing some and completely ignoring the rights of all but those who were lucky enough to have correct pigmentation and the “Y” chromosome that ensured their default qualities of superiority.

So callous is today’s GOP to the American population they are willing to legalize criminal behavior, codify it in a way to keep hold of the reigns of power and stave off the rule of law from Trump’s corrupt administration. America’s Founding Fathers denied the vote to more than half their citizens, women and made more less than human. What saved America was the likes of Adam Schiff today’s John Brown and Nancy Pelosi, today’s Quaker abolitionist Lucretia Mott who irritated, upset the conscious of the Founding Fathers and challenged their notions of American patriarchy.

How Donald Trump injected politics on MLK day


The convergence of white supremacy all came together this MLK Day of 01/20/20. A Virginia gun rights organization that was formed in the mid-90s during a Republican Virginia governor’s administration decided to have a gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia former home of the American secessionist and traitorous group known as the Confederacy on Martin Luther King day.


In today’s heightened political environment guns and politics are a volatile mix. Race an ingredient never far removed from current events in America makes that mixture explosive. Elected and “legitimate” authorities decided to treat this event with the seriousness it deserves. The governor of Virginia banned firearms in an area around the state capital building and declared a state of emergency. The FBI, despite being emasculated by Trump and his Department of Justice was diligent enough to arrest white supremacists who were members of a racist organization, The Base that is provocative and well known to federal authorities. Virginia’s House Republican leader warned attendees “Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn’t welcome here.”

America, however, is in the throes of the criminal enterprise known as the Trump administration and it didn’t take long for its boss to weigh in and inflame passions. Trump is racist and he knows the buttons that push his racism and he has no problem pushing them to engage his base to do things he wants doing but can’t do himself. So he acted irresponsibly and dangerously and tweeted:
“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia…That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away.”
The laws Virginia’s governor and legislature instituted DON’T take away citizens’ gun but Trump is the most lying politician in American history and facts never matter(ed) to him. What the absence of facts do is show America who is a fantasist and who is responsible when approaching the affairs of state.

Virginia gun rally, 01/20/20

America has been made worse with Trump being in office. One thing he did was open up, exacerbate the wound of the confederacy and America’s treasonous behavior that has since been excused and institutionalized by Americans. Trump turned a day of celebration into a day of politics meant to further the American divide, create animus among American citizens while ensuring his own political ascendancy. This is the Trump way; he believes in a scorched earth policy of clearing away any and all opposition to his way of rule no matter the cost to the American body politic. Employing lawlessness or unsavory characters to achieve this end is not a problem for him. If he escapes removal from office via the vehicle of impeachment America has to hold on for 10 months before they get the chance to rid themselves of him permanently and that should be the goal; get rid of Donald Trump within the constitutionally mandated way forever.

The Mueller Report


mueller reportIt finally arrived; it’s here.  The Mueller Report the world has been waiting for hoping it would tell us once and for all the truth about Donald Trump.  Is he as corrupt as it was reported or is all that was written about him a hoax the fake news Trump always claimed it was? No matter where you fell on the political spectrum everyone put their faith in what Mueller would produce because of his sterling reputation as a Washington institutionalist, his integrity, and experience as a soldier and federal prosecutor, the head of the FBI and his bipartisan appeal.  

Mueller amassed a team that worked for almost two years on the ‘Report on Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election’.  During that time his team produced scores of indictments against people surrounding the Trump administration and beyond. He also produced several convictions that hit very close to Trump proving to all his investigation was not a hoax and reports of Trump corruption were not fake news. More importantly during the entire time preceding the publication and release of the Report, there were no leaks from Mueller’s office.  There weren’t any rumors or speculations about what would be in his report which emanated from his office which was further testimony to the integrity of the process and its results.

Now that the Report is out and available for all to read it presents America with a problem that only has ONE solution.  Mainstream media, especially print media did a pretty good job of detailing a lot of Trump’s corruption and criminal behavior but what it printed could always be dismissed by Trump supporters with the appellation “fake news”.  Mueller’s report, however, put a stamp of authenticity on some of the reports that had been previously dismissed and exposed an even more brutal truth that the President of the United States was actively attempting to obstruct investigations into his criminal behavior. Names, dates, places were given the imprimatur of Mueller and his team with an irrefutable precision that can leave the government of the United States but one choice in response.  Impeachment.

How can the largest most powerful democracy have its standard bearer, its president constitutionand the titular head of the free world remain in office with sins so exposed and obvious for all to see and not make any moves to remove him from office in ways that its own system of governance say it can pursue. The Constitution of the United States has provided a mechanism to legally remove a corrupt President from office without violence while maintaining the continuity of governance.  What excuse can be legitimately offered NOT to impeach a president who has shown such disdain for the law and the legal process of governance that Trump has demonstrated so clearly and blatantly? What signal does it send to the world now and in the future to have someone who has been exposed to be engaged in criminal activity against his own government to allow that type of behavior to continue unchallenged when a legal remedy exists to stop and remove such a leader. What does America think will be the response of the world community that looks upon this predicament and sees a country impotent?  Doesn’t that diminish the stature of America in the eyes of the international community? America has to begin the process of impeachment. Whether it will lead to the removal of Trump from office is irrelevant; the legislative branch of government must claim the authority the Constitution has given it and assert its power in the face of an over-reaching executive otherwise the Constitution will have become an inert document that cannot save America from itself.

The GOP is no longer relevant


The dinosaur known as the Republican Party

I’ve been tweeting since 2016 and the election of Donald Trump that the Republican party is no longer a legitimate, relevant opposition party in American politics. The descent into the abyss of moral decadence lays squarely at the foot of those Americans who support the candidacy of Donald Trump, the most morally bankrupt and ignorant person to occupy any political office in American history. I am willing to give people who voted in the Republican primary for Trump because perhaps they were not up to snuff on who he is but in 2019 after all the media exposure Trump has had as a candidate and as President should leave no doubt how bad a candidate he is and how much worse the Republican party that props him up has become.

Personal responsibility used to be a bedrock of GOP ideals. Theirs was a  notion that honorable politicians propose a policy they think will benefit the American body politic and if things go upside down those same politicians will own up to their mistake and try to make things right. The buck stops here an expression used by Democrat Harry Truman was turned on its head by Trump whose incompetence means nothing he does will work but who’s smart enough to pass the buck and claim ‘the buck stops with everyone’.  In practical terms a government shutdown solely of his making which had disastrous effects on America is not his problem or responsibility at all…..it’s everyone’s fault.

The law and order mantra of Republicans in the ’60s barely got out of their mouths before it was defamed by the Nixon/Agnew ticket. It stands to reason Trump has even more egregiously made that idea meaningless. He ran a criminal enterprise as a real estate businessman and he’s carried that criminality into the White House. In the process, he’s laid ruin to bureaucracy by firing competent career public servants and putting in his cronies whose only priority is to protect him from the rule of law. Oh, and a benefit of their doing a good job is they are able to plunder the government largesse available to them as long as they don’t get caught. Republicans now find themselves making excuses for criminal behavior and they do so with a vigor that makes you wonder whether they ever really held on to the belief that law and order, the rule of law is important in civil society.

Family values of the Reagan years are out the window. Do we need to talk any more about pussy grabbing and extramarital affairs that were withheld from the public that Trump paid to make disappear or by corporate friends of his who paid his paramours for their silence? In days gone by such dalliances would keep an office seeker out of office but today’s Republican has no problem with a president who cheated on his wife BEFORE he assumed office, just don’t do it while in the White House. However, that vice is not for mere mortals only for Trump or those who surround and defend him; all others are held to the standards of morality that usually come with family values in sometimes very comic ways. This is today’s Republican Party; you’d be wise to avoid it. When you see it coming towards you get the hell outta the way!

This is what strength looks like in the face of adversity


president-barack-obama-talks-with-russian-president-vladimir-putin_a-g-14703664-8088923 We always heard from @realDonaldTrump about how strong a leader Vladmir Putin is and how weak a President Obama was, yet the evidence and the historical record shows just the opposite. Obama was confident, comfortable, prepared and domineering during his encounters with  Putin. Can the same be said of Trump?

Miracles Never Cease


gettyimages-3203656-a262205172148e6176a37370698b9d15b7fc621c-s800-c85
Jackie Robinson

I am always amazed how people who are the most oppressed by the American system are some of its most ardent believers and supporters and those who stand to benefit the most from America seem to be casually dismissive about what is America. While this might be an ugly thing to say, oppression can bring out the best in people.  It causes them to fight, to exert themselves in order to outdo in every way their opponents. I think that’s what propelled Jackie Robinson to pen this essay in the early ’50s. I was impressed with the hope, enthusiasm even patriotism he seemed to hold for a Jim Country country which sought to deny him every opportunity he chose to explore.  It was this spirit of hope, excellence and patriotism which seemed to mark the essence of African-Americans who fought white supremacy. See if you can feel it in Robinson’s words.

 

At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion, when the National Anthem was played. This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else. This is organized major league baseball, and I am standing here with all the others; and everything that takes place includes me.

About a year later, I went to Atlanta, Georgia, to play in an exhibition game. On the field, for the first time in Atlanta, there were Negroes and whites. Other Negroes, besides me. And I thought: What I have always believed has come to be.

And what is it that I have always believed? First, that imperfections are human. But that wherever human beings were given room to breathe and time to think, those imperfections would disappear, no matter how slowly. I do not believe that we have found or even approached perfection. That is not necessarily in the scheme of human events. Handicaps, stumbling blocks, prejudices — all of these are imperfect. Yet, they have to be reckoned with because they are in the scheme of human events.

Whatever obstacles I found made me fight all the harder. But it would have been impossible for me to fight at all, except that I was sustained by the personal and deep-rooted belief that my fight had a chance. It had a chance because it took place in a free society. Not once was I forced to face and fight an immovable object. Not once was the situation so cast-iron rigid that I had no chance at all. Free minds and human hearts were at work all around me; and so there was the probability of improvement. I look at my children now, and know that I must still prepare them to meet obstacles and prejudices.

But I can tell them, too, that they will never face some of these prejudices because other people have gone before them. And to myself I can say that, because progress is unalterable, many of today’s dogmas will have vanished by the time they grow into adults. I can say to my children: There is a chance for you. No guarantee, but a chance.

And this chance has come to be, because there is nothing static with free people. There is no Middle Ages logic so strong that it can stop the human tide from flowing forward. I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe — and with every fiber in me — that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past: to discover the truth of today; and perhaps find the greatness of tomorrow.

I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man’s integrity. I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it — and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.

My fight was against the barriers that kept Negroes out of baseball. This was the area where I found imperfection, and where I was best able to fight. And I fought because I knew it was not doomed to be a losing fight. It couldn’t be a losing fight-not when it took place in a free society.

And in the largest sense, I believe that what I did was done for me — that it was my faith in God that sustained me in my fight. And that what was done for me must and will be done for others.

Loyalty to Donald Trump


Anyone who is an appointee in the Donald Trump administration or anyone else within reach of his tentacles that he can fire will be required to ensure him they are ok with his extortion and treason. Please let there be no doubt about that and such an employee in the federal government is highly undesirable. That said the new attorney general is proof positive of this strategy; within a week of taking over that offsenate_attorney_general_57051-780x520ice he has sent out feelers that the Robert Mueller investigation should be drawing to a close and if you’re Donald Trump the timing couldn’t be better.

Mueller is the consummate professional and a beast. His office has been silent while he racks up convictions and charges of Trump’s inner circles. Given time Mr. Mueller would be knocking on Trump’s door BUT loyalty which Trump extracted from William Barr is at work here and will delay what should be an inevitable, the removal of Donald Trump from office. Barr isn’t an institutionalist he’s an ideologue who like the others in the administration can hold their nose just long enough to get what they want from Trump while giving him the protection (read loyalty by some) he needs to escape what should be a very long, as in for the rest of his natural life, prison term.

The commodity called Hope Hicks


 

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks

I will never understand how or why any woman would ever want to vote for Donald Trump for anything but a prison sentence. The way he treats women is nothing short of sexual harassment/assault. Hope Hicks and the treatment she has received throughout her time working with him the campaign and in the White House is a textbook example of an emotionally abused woman who found a way to escape from her abuser by resigning from her job working for him.

If it’s true she really knows who Donald Trump is her remaining with him for as long as she did is one sign of abuse where a victim remains with her abuser as a survival strategy during captivity or in her case during the intense partisanship that exists in Washington and national politics. Hicks sought solace in some rather unfortunate circumstances….romantic relationships with abusive men who were affiliated with Donald Trump, extensions of him in every way.  Whether they were abusive towards her is something we don’t know at this time but the abuse of her paramours is a matter of public record a record that Hope Hicks chose to ignore.  Donald Trump is a particularly aggressive sexual predator, don’t forget who likes to force himself on women or publicly shame them.  Talk of blood and women was a common rebuttal Trump used against his female detractors.

What is it that allegedly drove Hicks to find some sort of normalcy with the likes of Corey Lewandowski who was once arrested for carrying a handgun, three magazines, a holster and several rounds of ammunition into a federal office building? They were mixed up by accident, he said, with his dirty clothes in an overnight bag. Red flag!!! Definite red flag….that Hicks ignored. Lewandowski was also charged with inappropriate sexual behavior by Joy Villa. And when Lewandowski was released by Trump from his responsibilities with the Trump campaign it was Hicks, some would say, who wanted to help him in.  It’s amazing how one person encompasses all that is happening in today’s political discussion centering around firearms and who should, should not possess them.  Lewandowski is one who should not own firearms.

Yes, Hicks went on to have a relationship with another Trump aide who was twice married before being involved with her and who abused both of his former wives in a way that had to be known by Hicks but the thing that bothers me the most in all these trysts is how Donald Trump reportedly talked about this valued aide, Hicks in front of others. In what could only be described as slut-shaming Trump told Hicks not to worry about Lewandowski since she was the best piece of tail he would ever have…Said comment was embarrassing enough to send her out of the room but it also shows how Trump views people in his orbit and more importantly women. Pundits trying to understand and explain Hicks’ sudden departure from the White House talk about how important she was to Mr. Trump, how indispensable, important and well-liked she was yet none of those descriptions square with the language of slut-shaming Trump used in the presence of others as if she was a “thing” a commodity to be valued based on how well she sexually satisfied Lewandowsky. This is the sign of the times where the President of the United States sees people who work with him as sexually satisfying or sexually gratified. Those who voted for him have to figure out in which category they fall.

The human disaster known as Donald Trump


TrumpAs I write this it has been just over a year since Donald Trump was sworn in office as the 45th president of the United States.  This past year has seen un-paralleled disaster for the citizens of this country.  That disaster has included comical interludes with the media that began almost immediately after his inauguration about the size, not of his hands but of the crowds in attendance to the 98 times and counting  Mr. Trump has gone to his properties to play golf  after a campaign in which he heavily criticized Barack Obama for his golf trips to the insanely obnoxious and comical cabinet meeting  that was more servile and self-serving than substantive.

But Mr. Trump’s disasters are far more serious with far-reaching implications for Americans.  Woefully incompetent people he has nominated for offices whose services Americans have come to rely on a daily basis as well in times of need are unable to meet their responsibilities because of a limited grasp of what their duties are or because such departments are understaffed.

U.S. President Donald Trump throws rolls of paper towels to a crowd in Puerto Rico

The hurricane disaster which struck Puerto Rico and the inadequate relief efforts still plague the citizens of that island 150 days later. How is it that the country with the largest, most robust economy is unable to bring electricity to its citizens for a full 132 days after a natural disaster is an indication of how nonchalant the US administration took the crisis of  Puerto Rico.

Mr. Trump’s clumsy statesmanship vis-a-vis North Korea is not only troublesome but perilous.  Bringing America and the Korean peninsula closer to war with sophomoric insults aimed at a volatile and treacherous despot is not befitting the President of the strongest, mightiest country in the world. Yet ignoring all advice he most certainly has received from those he’s chosen to advise him, Mr. Trump seems determined to take the path most embarrassing and detrimental to the Nation he represents.

There’s the even worse spectacle that just after a year in office scores of people have resigned or been fired under Mr. Trump either because of ideological differences or because they weren’t inclined to bow far enough at the waist as a sign of allegiance to the person, Donald Trump and not to the institutions his office represents. Yet the country labors on with Trump as its head and the beginning of his second year in office seems destined to be as bad, if not worse than his first year.

How seriously can a president who wants to arm 20% of teachers in schools as a response to the school massacre that took place in Florida where 17 students/teachers were killed be taken? And this was not the first mass shooting Mr. Trump has had to deal with during his Administration….Indeed there have been 10 events over the last year involving firearms with 112 people killed yet he is no better able to deal with the latest massacre than he was with the first. Mr. Trump seems to take his direction from that fraction of the GOP that talks to chairs with the same results that there is no communication and as a result, nothing gets done. The country should be used to that happening whenever there is mass shooting……nothing gets done but the incompetence of the Trump administration makes it that much harder to accept.

Here is a #deplorable that feels kinship to, nay, enlisted by #DonaldTrump to attract like minded voters



My question to you would be what is attractive about an individual who expresses himself about the First family like this

Asked what he would like to see happen in 2017, Paladino wrote, “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture …..

Asked what he would like to see go away in 2017, Paladino turned his fire on Michelle Obama. “I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

Paladino’s relationship to @realDonaldTrump is he was the co chair for the Trump campaign for New York and now with the campaign officially over Palidino still insists he is involved in Trump’s transition efforts. He also ran for governor for New York; luckily for the people of New York he lost. He clearly identifies with Donald Trump despite calls from some for him to be fired from any capacity but that begs the question, why was he involved with Trump in the first place?

This is #AmericanMuslims’ reactions to the election of @realDonaldTrump


apex-masjidSomeone sent me a flyer from a masjid in Apex, North Carolina where the imam of that masjid addresses what should be the reaction of his group to the election of Donald Trump.  Contrary to what the average American may think about the presence of Muslims in this country, this cleric’s advise is full of calls to American civics, service and faith in the American process as well as in their religion.

It’s been a long, hard campaign and election season.  We’ve heard some incredibly divisive rhetoric, some of it aimed at us and some of it aimed at other minorities we call friends and allies.  Many of you have come to me and expressed your fears and sadness over the outcome of the elction.  Let me first say that as American Muslims, we should all respect the choice that has been made through our electoral process.  We should also continue to have a high level of self-esteem as we have always been good and loyal citizens of this country, not only out of respect for the laws and regulations of this country but because doing so is part of our faith.

The more I grow in this faith the more love and respect I have for our great Prophet and Messenger (prayer and peace be upon him); the more thankful to God I am for making me one of his followers in this time; and the better I understand God’s words, which are full of wisdom and mercy.  One of the verses of Quran that really inspires me is “Verily, you (the believers) have had in the Messenger of God a great example”.  It’s he who taught us courage, patience and trust in God.  It’s he who taught us to rely, in times of hardship and all times, only on God’ not anybody else. It’s he who taught us to be positive, no matter what the challenges are.  He also taught us that after making plans and taking necessary steps to achieve a certain goal, the final decision is still His.  It’s he who reported to us the verse of Quran in which Almighty God says “And perhaps you don’t appreciate something, while God would bring good through it”.

So I trust God.  And I ask that you do too, my fellow Muslims. I know it is hard given the divisive rhetoric we’ve heard throughout the campaign process.  But I ask you to walk with heads held high; we should not be pushed to hide our faith, our identity, nor our values.  This is not what our great prophet taught us to do.  Nor is it the principals that this Great Nation was founded on.  Our prophet taught us to face all kinds of challenges with courage, wisdom, pride and patience. Gentleness is the path of our great prophet so let us NOT find our path to equality and justice by drinking from the cup of bitterness.

Instead, here’s what we must do; we need to be more active civically, we need to get involved with volunteer organizations, we need to get out and meet our neighbors.  We need to get out of our “bubble” which finds us only socializing with those “like” us and show our neighbors and community who we are.  If you don’t leave the “bubble”, you cannot be upset when people stereotype you or fear you.  We need to be more active in the political process, meet our representatives and express our fears and challenges with them.  We need to work in tandem with government and our communities to form alliances and create a better world for everyone.

And to President Elect Trump—We will give you a chance.  Let not your Muslim citizens (nor any other minority) be your worst enemy.  Your worst enemies should be ignorance, poverty, inequality, crime, racism, discrimination and hate.

Two thousand sixteen is not an end, but a beginning.  Two thousand sixteen should be an opportunity to replace the fear, mistrust and suspicion that were infused in some American’s hears, with love, brotherhood and mercy.  Just like our Prophet taught us to do.  We’ve got a lot of work to do.  Let’s get started- Imam Khalid Shaku

Don’t let it be said you don’t know what Muslims are doing in this country.