Sunday, July 15, 2018

Benedict trump?

A head and shoulders profile engraving of Benedict Arnold. He is facing left, wearing a uniform with two stars on the shoulder epaulet. His hair is tied back.The following article is from Charles Blow writing for the New York Times. 
The Field Negro education series continues.   
'Put aside whatever suspicions you may have about whether Donald Trump will be directly implicated in the Russia investigation.
Trump is right now, before our eyes and those of the world, committing an unbelievable and unforgivable crime against this country. It is his failure to defend.
The intelligence community long ago concluded that Russia attacked our election in 2016 with the express intention of damaging Hillary Clinton and assisting Trump.
And it was not only the spreading of inflammatory fake news over social media. As a May report from the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee pointed out:
“In 2016, cyber actors affiliated with the Russian Government conducted an unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign against state election infrastructure. Russian actors scanned databases for vulnerabilities, attempted intrusions, and in a small number of cases successfully penetrated a voter registration database. This activity was part of a larger campaign to prepare to undermine confidence in the voting process.”

And this is not simply a thing that happened once. This is a thing that is still happening and will continue to happen. As Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the committee in February, “Persistent and disruptive cyberoperations will continue against the United States and our European allies using elections as opportunities to undermine democracy.” As he put it, “Frankly, the United States is under attack.”
The Robert Mueller investigation is looking into this, trying to figure out what exactly happened in 2016, who all was involved, which laws where broken and who will be charged and tried.
That investigation seems to be incredibly fruitful. According to Vox’s tally:
“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has either indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies — that we know of. That group is composed of four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty.”
Twelve of those indictments came last week with a disturbingly detailed account of what the Russians did. As The New York Times put it:
“From phishing attacks to gain access to Democratic operatives, to money laundering, to attempts to break into state elections boards, the indictment details a vigorous and complex effort by Russia’s top military intelligence service to sabotage the campaign of Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.”
Whether or not Trump himself or anyone in his orbit personally colluded or conspired with the Russians about their interference is something Mueller will no doubt disclose at some point, but there remains one incontrovertible truth: In 2016, Russia, a hostile foreign adversary, attacked the United States of America.
We know that they did it. We have proof. The F.B.I. is trying to hold people accountable for it.
And yet Trump, the president whom the Constitution establishes as the commander in chief, has repeatedly waffled on whether Russia conducted the attack and has refused to forcefully rebuke them for it, let alone punish them for it.
In March, the White House, under pressure from Congress, seemed to somewhat reluctantly impose some sanctions on Russia for its crimes. As CNN reported that month, Congress almost unanimously passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act last summer, “hoping to pressure Trump into punishing Russia for its election interference.” But as the network pointed out:
“Trump signed the bill reluctantly in August, claiming it impinged upon his executive powers and could dampen his attempts to improve ties with Moscow.”
Instead, Trump has repeatedly attacked the investigation as a witch hunt.
Just last week at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump said:
“I think I would have a very good relationship with Putin if we spend time together. After watching the rigged witch-hunt yesterday, I think it really hurts our country and our relationship with Russia. I hope we can have a good relationship with Russia.”
Now Trump is set to pursue just such a relationship as he meets one-on-one with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on Monday in Finland. As Trump said earlier this month at a rally:
“Will he be prepared? Will he be prepared? And I might even end up having a good relationship, but they’re going, ‘Will President Trump be prepared? You know, President Putin is K.G.B. and this and that.’ You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people.”
Actually, none of this is fine. None of it! Trump should be directing all resources at his disposal to punish Russia for the attacks and prevent future ones. But he is not.
America’s commander wants to be chummy with the enemy who committed the crime. Trump is more concerned with protecting his presidency and validating his election than he is in protecting this country.

This is an incredible, unprecedented moment. America is being betrayed by its own president. America is under attack and its president absolutely refuses to defend it.
Simply put, Trump is a traitor and may well be treasonous. " [Source]
Tell us how you really feel Mr. Blow.

*Image from

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Caption Saturday.

Image result for trump in front of queen images

I need a caption fro this pic.

Example: *The Americans went from Obama to this?* 

Pic from

Friday, July 13, 2018

trump's divide and conquer tour.

Image result for trump protesters w up doll londonAs the American president continues on his European tour, here in America we are all left wondering, what the f**k did we do?

The man is a walking (talking) embarrassment, and to think, we put him in the position that he is in.

Consider the following: He trashes the British Prime Minister in some Rupert Murdoch owned outlet, just hours before he has to meet with her. Then, incredibly, he calls out the press for reporting "fake" news for reporting WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAID IN THE INTERVIEW. I swear you can't make this stuff up.
He broke a bunch of rules of etiquette  when he met the Queen today, and he acted like a dictator when trying to embarrass an American journalist on foreign soil. All bad things to be sure. But the worst thing he did was  to mainstream white nationalist rhetoric by telling Europeans that they are going to lose their "culture" because of immigration. Translation: *Letting all these brown people in your country will make you the minority. In America, we are doing our best to prevent this from happening.*  

No wonder all those protesters were out in London today. By all accounts there was more people protesting the American president on foreign soil than there was at his inauguration. They had a lot to protest.

Next week Donald trump meets with his best friend, Vladimir Putin, and it couldn't come at a better time. Today, Robert Mueller indicted a bunch more Russians for meddling in our 2016 presidential elections. (This is the guy who republicans claim is not accomplishing anything.) Clearly he is doing an outstanding job, and he must be getting close to the Orange one because republicans in Washington and the White House are in a full blown panic. If you don't believe me watch that fiasco of a hearing they held yesterday with Peter Strzok.  

 "I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."'

Sorry Peter, Putin doesn't have to do anything to "tear America apart". The American president is doing a pretty good job of that all by himself. In fact, he is also tearing us apart from our allies around the world.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Open thread.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's open thread night, and I have a few quick questions for you field hands.

First, why do you think white men have been killing themselves and their families of late?

It recently happened in Delaware and again in Alabama.

Why do you think the GOP is rallying around Jim Jordan? And why didn't the dems rally around Al Franken?

Do you think trump's behavior at the NATO summit earlier today was normal?

Is anyone surprised that Papa John's founder previously dropped the the n-word in a meeting.

Do you think John Kelly's reaction to trump's outrageous behavior was because he didn't get a full breakfast?

Is the behavior of Bill Shine's wife enough to disqualify him from his new White House position? 

Let me know anything else you have on your mind. 

I'm out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Foreign policy blunders, and trump picks his "man".

TWEET ME Remember when Mr. trump said that we could all sleep well at night because North Korea was about to get rid of their nukes? Well, as it turns out, that was a lie. The fact that trump told another lie is not surprising---- he does that every time he opens his mouth. The fact that he told one about something as serious as this should scare us all.

We are now learning that North Korea had no intention of denuclearizing, and they are calling America gangsters for the demands being put on them to end their nuclear program. Go figure. Clearly something got lost in translation.  My guess is that trump overstated the nature of his talks with the North Korean leader, and he wanted so much to create a positive spin on what his administration was doing, that he just forgot about the details. Because of this he signed an agreement that was just ceremonial in nature with no teeth. 

If you think that was scary consider the following: trump is  now getting ready to meet with his puppet- master one on one, and we are learning that there will be no one else in the room but those two and the interpreters.  I can just imagine how that exchange will go.

*Donald, you are doing a great job, keep up the good work.
Thanks Vlad, I hope those tapes are all in a safe place.*    

I will give it to trump, though, he has some balls. Knowing what we know about his relationship with Putin and Russia, and he still chooses to meet with him under these conditions.

The Europeans (our true allies) are pissed, but trump doesn't care, because he loves Putin and the Russians more than he does Western leaders. Something about Putin's management style really impresses the American president. Especially when it comes to journalists and the free press. Putin likes to kill journalists, and trump wishes he could. 

Finally, congratulations to D.C. Circuit Court Judge, Brett Kavanaugh, for being trump's pick to sit with the Supremes. He is very male and very white. Just like the "make America great again" crowd wanted him to be. He is also a " strict constructionist" like Scalia, Bork, and our favorite Uncle who is still thanking his lucky stars that the #metoo movement came about 27 years too late. 

I knew this was going to be trump's pick, because he checked all the boxes. The biggest box being that he pretty much believes that the president has a lot of power, and he cannot be indicted, nor should he be distracted by silly things such as a lawsuits.

We know why trump picked this guy, and it has nothing to do with his intellect and judicial temperament. 

The democrats of course are already gearing up for a fight, because they are certain that this particular jurist will have no problem overturning Roe v Wade, and setting back the clock on issues having to do with LBGTQ and voting rights. Good luck with that. This guy has been coached up, and he will know exactly what to say in those senate confirmation hearings to not seem as extreme as we know him to be.

The next few weeks should be interesting.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

What if there was a really big scandal and the media didn't notice it?

TWEET MEAnd now, possibly the worst scandal from a man who has given us plenty.

"This week, a giant political volcano has been showing signs that it is about to erupt, though most of the news media, and almost all of the public, are blissfully unaware of it.

Having previously written a couple of times about the bizarre saga of former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy and former Playboy playmate Shera Bechard, this whole story sure seems based either in the most amazing series of coincidences most people could possibly imagine, or it is by far the biggest presidential scandal of our time. Because it is either or, and because most of the news media is both dumb and extremely risk adverse, the latter possibility has been, this this date, almost completely ignored.

But just because the news media is pretending that it is not very possible that President Donald Trump was actually the man who impregnated Bechard, while president, and paid her, through Broidy, to have an abortion and keep quiet about it, doesn’t mean that the story isn’t still developing in rather significant ways. This week, numerous things happened, under the media’s radar, which deserve some legitimate analysis.

The first sign of the lava getting ready to blow was that Broidy announced that he was going to stop paying off the $1.6 million NDA he has with Bechard, which was supposedly created to hide their alleged affair and pregnancy. The media, led by the Wall Street Journal which has broken several elements of this story, took this as a further indication that Briody was indeed the person who had the affair with Bechard. After all, now that, thanks the raid on the office of Michael Cohen (who just happened to be Broidy’s lawyer for the Bechard NDA) causing the “affair” to become public, there is no need for him to keep paying good money to keep it quiet.

Like nearly everything in this case, however, there is how events appear if you look at them with no skepticism, and then there is a completely different reality which appears when they are viewed through the prism of a more seasoned worldview.

Law professor Paul Campos, who was the first person to publicly detail the theory that everything we know about this case makes far more sense if Trump had the affair than if Briody did, has written for New York Magazine again about what Broidy stopping the payments may really mean. In short, it appears Broidy is pretending that the NDA was made invalid—when it was not—as a ruse so that he can limit his criminal liability should the real truth of this story eventually blast into the public sphere.

The timing of this gambit by Broidy is particularly interesting because it coincides almost exactly with Cohen making it very clear that, barring some sort of presidential pardon, he is no longer on Team Trump. If Cohen, the highly un-respected lawyer the super-rich Broidy chose to handle this matter for no apparent reason, can no longer be counted on to keep quiet, then obviously Broidy and his new legal team must start thinking about the worst case scenarios.

The lawyer who is now representing Broidy in this matter, Chris Clark, is a very high-priced criminal defense attorney. Not only is Broidy using the high-class Clark the exact opposite strategy of the baffling hiring of low-rent Cohen (who, for some strange reason, Broidy grossly overpaid), but it is far more consistent with someone who now thinks they have serious criminal vulnerability rather than concern over what should be a fairly minor legal battle over an NDA. Of course, this begs the question, why didn’t Broidy just hire Clark to handle this situation in the first place?

Another significant event which occurred here was in reaction to Campos’ latest New York Magazine piece. Clark demanded the right to have a statement condemning the column placed within it, but what was really important is what neither Clark nor Broidy are willing to say.

According to Campos, during the editing process, Broidy and his team were given multiple opportunities to simply state that Broidy had an affair with Bechard, and they never did so. Think about how absurd that is. Broidy’s name is now very publicly linked to him having paid Bechard to cover up an affair and abortion, and yet, despite having nothing at this point to lose (if it is true) neither he nor his representatives have ever clearly stated that this actually happened.

So, to review, Broidy is no longer paying Bechard for this alleged affair, and he is not even willing to say clearly that it actually happened. Gee, I wonder why the group of people who aren’t buying this version of story is growing rather rapidly?

Weirdly, the two reporters on this story for the Wall Street Journal are not among them. One went on MSNBC this week and declared that Trump was not involved in this story. After the other, Joe Palazzolo, said via Twitter that there is “zero evidence to support the theory that Broidy is covering for Trump,” I asked him, twice, what evidence there was that Broidy and Bechard have ever even met.

I still have not gotten any response at all. This part of the drama is a classic case where the absence of evidence appears to be strong evidence of absence (of an affair between Broidy and Bechard).
This should be easily proven by now and yet not even one photo of the two of them together has ever been produced (what sixty-two year old non-celebrity having an affair with a prominent Playboy playmate has no photos of her, or even any correspondence between them?) Making this stunning lack of evidence even more mystifying is that Broidy’s computer was hacked, allegedly by the country of Qatar, and yet nothing indicating an affair was ever released (as if this element of the story could get any more peculiar, Broidy’s representatives originally suggested that the affair was exposed by this hack, even though the timing of that is nonsensical, but then immediately claimed that this was not true and that they never said that).

That question I asked Palazzolo is one of many very simple inquires which remain unanswered about this crazy situation. Many of them deal with the astronomical coincidences related simply to the lawyers involved here. Considering the following:
  • Shera Bechard’s original attorney here, Michael Cohen’s pal Keith Davidson, also happened to represent Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, both of whom clearly had affairs with Trump.
  • Like Daniels and McDougal, Bechard fired Davidson because she thought that he was working in cahoots with Cohen, whose primary (only?) client was, of course, Trump. And yet, Bechard, was still somehow able to leverage $1.6 million from the unknown but business-savvy Broidy (it is almost as if her story had something about it which made it exponentially more valuable than even an affair with Trump being divulged during a presidential campaign!)
  • Bechard’s new lawyer is Peter Stris, who just happens to also represent McDougal. He also has publicly offered to represent anyone who had an affair with Trump pro bono, and on Thursday night he retweeted a legal colleague cryptically promising Trump that the #MeToo movement was still going after him.
This retweet by Stris became even more significant on Friday when possibly the biggest bombshell of the entire case was detonated, with Stris suing, among others, Broidy, Davidson, and, most notably, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti. This facilitated incendiary statements from Avenatti which made it very clear that he does not believe the currently accepted version of the story, and that he intends to depose Bechard himself as early as July 16th.

There are those in the small legal community that have been riveted by this case who believe that Stris and Avenatti are neither co-conspirators nor the enemies they appear to be, but are rather engaging in an elaborate dance where each may get what they want. One which, assuming the truth ever comes out, will either leave a lot of close observers like me rather embarrassed, or President Trump suddenly facing the worst personal political scandal in modern American history." [Source] 

This week Mr. trump will make his pick to sit on the Supreme Court. His followers want a pro-life jurist to fill the spot. Wouldn't it be ironic if everything John Ziegler is speculating about is true? 

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Caption Saturday.

  • Image result for jeff session images
I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic from

Friday, July 06, 2018

A wild and dangerous night in Montana.

TWEET MELast night the president of the United States put on quite a show for his minions. He told lie after lie, and insulted a former president and a sitting senator from his own party. One of these men is dying, and the other recently lost his wife. As if that wasn't enough, he insulted women who have been sexually assaulted, and he made a racist comment about a congresswoman from a very large state .

What is equally as sad as what Mr. trump said was how the 5,000 plus people reacted when he said it.

I used to think that the people who fell under trump's spell were just a bunch of poor suckers who didn't  know any better. Sadly, I think I was mistaken. I have to give credit to a friend of mine who opened my eyes to the very real possibility that they know exactly what they are doing. They know that trump is lying but they embrace the lie and the deceit because in some sick way it empowers them. He is lying but they are going to make the lie true because they believe it. They hold the power to say what is true or not. Facts be damned.

The brilliance of trump's play to our darker angels is that it locks in --and focuses-- on the 35% of  people who support him no matter what. As long as he can keep them happy by throwing red meat to his base in the form of racism , sexism, and all other  kinds of isms, he will be fine. This is the new republican party. It is now trump's party.

Finally, the trump administration is now kicking out people who signed up to fight and defend our country because they are not legal immigrants. The irony is earth shattering. A president who was too much of a coward to go and defend his country, is now instituting a policy that will deport well meaning soldiers who want to do what he doesn't have the guts to.

 "In 2016, Zhao enlisted in the U.S. Army as part of a special recruitment program offering immigrants in the country legally a path to citizenship.
The future, he said, was bright.

Now, he is one of the dozens of immigrant recruits and reservists struggling with abrupt, often unexplained military discharges and canceled contracts. They traded being willing to risk their lives for the prospect of U.S. citizenship, a timeworn exchange that's drawn linguists, medical specialists and thousands of other immigrants to the military since the Revolutionary War.

"It's just like you're dropped from heaven to hell," Zhao told The Associated Press on Friday.
It is unclear how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been ousted from the Army, but immigration attorneys told the AP that they know of more than 40 recruits who recently have been discharged or whose status has become questionable.
Some recruits say they were given no reason for their discharge. Others said the Army informed them they'd been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.

The Pentagon said Friday that there has been no policy change since last year, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said no one could enter basic training without completion of a background investigation."  [Source]

Mr. Mueller please hurry. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A sex scandal, and the swamp gets restocked.

I work with a lot of  Penn State alum, so I am well aware of what a sexual abuse scandal can do to institutions and people in power. It brought down one of the most powerful people in college football, and it cost a flagship state university millions of dollars, not to mention the tarnishing of its athletic program. It wasn't pretty.

Fast forward to the present. Remember that grandstanding fraud of a congressman, who tried to play to trump's base by embarrassing himself on national television when he was checked on the law by Rod Rosenstein? Well, as it turns out, he might have a little Penn State like issue himself.

"Right-wing Ohio Republican  Congressman Jim Jordan’s sexual abuse scandal is getting even worse for him and it could cost him a seat in Congress and his party control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jordan has been accused of being aware that a team doctor was sexually abusing athletes while he was a wrestling coach at the Ohio State University (OSU). He is also accused of overlooking the charges and trying to cover them up instead of putting a stop to it. Although Jordan is not accused of any abuse himself, several former OSU athletes have said that Jordan of covered up the team doctor’s abuse." [More]

This is why people in glass houses should never throw stones. And they certainly should never try to draw attention to themselves and their house. Sadly for them we will always find out what's lurking inside. Those skeletons always seem to find a way to come tumbling out of the closet.

trump, of course, is standing by his man. (He always seems to stand by folks accused of sexual misdeeds. Hmmm, why is that?)

"Mr Rosenstein, why did you hide information from this congress?"

Mr Jordan, why did you hide information from the American people and the people of Ohio?

On a happier note, Scott Pruitt, probably one of the most corrupt individuals to ever come to Washington (and that's saying something) resigned today. 

That cheering you hear is from the thousands of EPA workers all over the country who couldn't wait to see that charlatan hit the door. He made a mockery of the agency that he was supposed to lead, and he allegedly used it as his own personal ATM machine.

trump, the man who promised to "drain the swamp" in Washington---- but who has been restocking it with his own parasites, accepted Pruitt's resignation, but not before praising the job Pruitt did.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this." 

trump will be replacing this charlatan with another: Andrew Wheeler,  a man who is a former lobbyist for the coal industry. The coal industry! And he will be leading the EPA.

America, you deserve better. Or, maybe not.

*Image from

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Open thread.

MORE DISCLAIMERSThe Mrs. and I visited The Museum of African American History Culture yesterday in D.C., and it was a wonderful and educational experience. The Mrs struggled with some parts of it more than I did, because she is a child of the South, and some of the harsh realities of the nation's history was hard for her to take. 

I would like to give a shout out to the folks in D.C., who always show us love every time we come through. I always enjoy spending time in The DMV.  

So today is the 4th of July, America's birthday, and I have to tell you, given all that's going on, I don't feel like doing too much celebrating. 

Anyway, it's open thread night, so in your own words please tell us what this day means to you. 

Monday, July 02, 2018

Mourning while black.

Image result for mourning blacks african americans imagesI blogged about this issue yesterday, and  thought that I was going to leave it alone for awhile. But an incident in Maryland recently forced me to revisit the issue of white folks freaking out on black folks and calling the police.

Let's go ahead and add mourning while black to the things that black folks can't do in peace anymore in Donald trump's America.

The following article was written in a numerous way, but there is nothing funny about what happened to this poor family.

"Despite having ample evidence that Jesus will work it out, a Catholic priest halted a homegoing service in Maryland to have a black family removed from the church. The servant of God even kicked the dead body out of the funeral, proving once again, there is no sanctuary when it comes to racism.

Aside from the fact that she was no longer alive, Agnes Hicks’ Charlotte Hall, Md., mass was going along perfectly fine on Tuesday until an attendee of the funeral went in for a hug and accidentally knocked over a chalice at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, angering pastor Michael Briese. 

“There will be no funeral, no repast, everyone get the hell out of my church,” Briese reportedly told the family. According to Fox 5, Briese then kicked the family out of the place of worship, telling them to remove the body of the woman who wished to be laid to rest in the church where she was baptized.

But Briese wasn’t done. Yea, though he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, the priest feared no evil, but he was a little bit scared of black people. Instead of getting Jesus on the main line, Briese decided to call his Lord and Savior from whom all white things flow: the police.

After the police responded to the call, the officers determined that the family had done nothing wrong and escorted the family to another church in a nearby county where they finished the service.
Following the incident, the Archdiocese of Washington issued a statement saying: “What occurred at St. Mary’s Parish this morning does not reflect the Catholic Church’s fundamental calling to respect and uplift the God-given dignity of every person nor does that incident represent the pastoral approach the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington commit to undertake every day in their ministry.”

Church officials said they are still investigating the incident." [Source] 

"My church." The Priest actually said that it was HIS church.

My wife won't mind if I tell you this story.

My wife was born and raised as a Catholic, and my mother- in- law, bless her soul, still goes to mass and church every Sunday. There are two Catholic churches in her small hometown in Louisiana. One is "the black church", the other is "the white church", and they actually have separate cemeteries for both congregations. I once asked my wife what would happen if a black person tried to buy a plot in the white cemetery. "It would never happen", she said. " Have you ever heard of it happening?", I pressed. "Nope. It's a white Catholic church in Louisiana!"

She didn't have to say another word. I totally got it. The disease of racism follows some folks, even when they are dead. 

*Pic from