Friday, July 19, 2019

Narcissist or racist? You decide.

Image result for trump images       The following article was written by William Saletan for slate.com 


"Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, has a theory about President Donald Trump. The president is a “narcissist,” not a racist, Graham told reporters on Wednesday. A racist hates everyone of a certain color or ethnicity, said Graham. A narcissist, on the other hand, makes exceptions for those who flatter or support him.

That’s an accurate assessment of how Trump thinks. But it’s an elaboration, not a refutation, of the president’s bigotry. Trump is a narcissist and a racist. He uses racism as a weapon to serve his narcissism. And his narcissism, in turn, shapes his racism. Because Trump equates love of America with love of himself, he treats his domestic critics—particularly those of African, Middle Eastern, or Latin American ancestry—as enemies of the United States. 

In his latest attack, Trump tweeted that four Democratic congresswomen—one black, one Latina, one Palestinian American, and one Somali American—should “go back” to the countries from which they “originally came.” Reporters reminded Trump that all four women were citizens and that three were born in this country. He refused to back down. At a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night, the president lambasted the congresswomen, particularly Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia. He paused for effect as the crowd chanted, “Send her back!”

None of this, according to Graham, was racist. “A racist says, ‘Go back to Somalia because you’re a Somalian or you’re a Muslim or whatever,’ ” Graham told reporters on Wednesday before the rally. Trump doesn’t operate that way, said Graham. “If you’re a Somali refugee who likes Trump, he’s not going to say, ‘Go back to Somalia.’ … It’s not about being from Somalia. It’s about whether you support him or not.” On Thursday, Graham presented a similar defense of the “Send her back” chant. “If you’re a Somali refugee wearing a MAGA hat, he doesn’t want to send you back. You’ll probably have dinner at the White House,” said Graham. “If you embrace his policies, it doesn’t matter where you come from.”
It’s true that Trump makes exceptions for people of color who are nice to him. In 2016, he praised a black man at one of his campaign events, telling the audience, “Look at my African American over here.” Trump called the man “a fan of mine” and commended him for punching a protester. To Trump, the loyalty was personal: my, mine. But when Omar criticized the president, he accused her of disloyalty to America. On Monday at the White House and on Wednesday at the rally, he smeared her as a traitor and terrorist sympathizer. He baited the rally crowd into its “Send her back” chant by telling lies about Omar, including a fabricated quote: “Al-Qaida makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America.”

The president is waging a similar campaign of character assassination against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a congresswoman of Palestinian descent who was born in Michigan. In January, Tlaib called for Trump’s impeachment, referring to him as a “m—–f—–.” Trump declared her language unpatriotic, calling it “highly disrespectful to the United States of America.” At Wednesday’s rally, he framed Tlaib’s contempt for him as contempt for America. Tlaib “used the F word to describe the presidency and your president,” Trump told the crowd. “She was describing the president of the United States and the presidency with the big fat … vicious F-word. That’s not somebody that loves our country.”

Trump has been playing this l’etat, c’est moi game for years. Throughout his first presidential campaign, he impugned the patriotism of people who disagreed with him. He targeted Latinos, Muslims, Arab Americans, and African Americans. Even giving one’s life in military service wasn’t enough, in Trump’s eyes, to overcome the sin of opposing Trump. When Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim U.S. Army officer, criticized Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Trump repeated his warnings about “radical Islamic terrorism” and suggested that Khan’s wife, as a Muslim woman, “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” Trump justified his smear by complaining that Khan had “viciously attacked me.” 

The clearest case of Trump’s narcissistic racism was his 2016 slander of Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge in California. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump declared Curiel unfit to preside over a lawsuit against Trump University because, although Curiel was a U.S. citizen born in Indiana, the judge was “of Mexican heritage.” According to Trump, this presented “an inherent conflict of interest” since “I’m building a wall. I am trying to keep business out of Mexico.”

Trump said he had no problem with most Latinos. “I employee thousands of Latinos,” he told Tapper. “I employ, over the years, thousands of Mexicans. They’re great. … I sell them apartments.” Trump said he wouldn’t have had any issues with Curiel, either, if Curiel had treated him better. “If he were giving me fair rulings, I wouldn’t be talking to you this way,” said Trump. But Curiel was handling the case in a way Trump didn’t like. And that, according to Trump, raised a sinister question: “Why?” The answer, according to Trump, was that Curiel was Mexican—and, on that basis, “should recuse himself.”.

Everything in Trump’s rant against Curiel matches Graham’s diagnosis. If Curiel had ruled in Trump’s favor, Trump would have treated him no differently from a white judge. But when Curiel made trouble, Trump played the race card. He framed the judge’s unfavorable rulings in a private fraud case not just as anti-Trump, but as anti-American. It’s the same racist-nationalist-narcissistic maneuver Trump is now attempting against Omar and Tlaib.

Graham understands this. Three and a half years ago, he excoriated Trump for proposing the Muslim ban. “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot,” said Graham. “He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for.” But now, as Trump vilifies two Muslim congresswomen and tells them to leave the country, Graham says it’s not racism. Trump is the same man he was then. It’s Graham who has changed.

Trump has no principles. He doesn’t believe in white supremacy any more than he believes in equality, pluralism, or civil rights. All he has is a set of resentments—his and his supporters’—that he’s willing to deploy whenever they suit him. He’ll go after whatever he can use against you: your ancestry, your religion, your disability, your sex. Racism is part of his narcissism, and narcissism is part of his racism. That’s his sickness. And the sickness in his party is that to men like Graham, the narcissism somehow counts as a defense." {Source}

So to answer the headline of this post. He is both. 

*Image from thenation.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

And a pig shall lead them.

Footage of Trump and Epstein together at a party in 1992 emerges
I am so sick and tired of this debate about whether Mr. trump is a racist or not. The fact that we are still debating that question tells you all you need to know about where we are in America in 2019.

Yes America, your president is a racist. He has told you so with his deeds and words over the years, and yet you still refuse to believe it.

This might be because quite a lot of you are perfectly fine with that, and you share a lot of his views about people of color and where we belong in this American melting pot. When he tells American citizens who were born here to go back where they came from, what he is saying is that they should go back to the continent of their ancestors. The fact that they were born here is irrelevant, because their country of birth is not the point; their race is.

When Kellyanne  Conway snapped at a reporter and asked him about his ethnicity, she was carrying on with  a familiar theme with this White House: White identity politics. It's something that worked for Mr. trump to get him elected, and now that he finds himself down in the polls (even while the country enjoys economic prosperity) he is going to that playbook again. Mr. trump doesn't care about the sixty percent of the people who find his behavior execrable, it doesn't bother him because he has his "base". These people would stick with him if he was caught dropping the N-word on live television. Sadly, republican elected officials would stick with him as well. "OK, so he called the reporter a Nigger, but to be fair, she was rude to him as well." They will always make excuses for this guy.

Interestingly,  I also think that there is something else going on here. I do believe that Mr.trump is worried about something more than just being called a racist, and that is the criminal case involving his buddy, the alleged sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein.

Remember when Donald said that he hardly knew Epstein and that they were not friends? Well, as it turns out, he was lying (shocker) and MSNBC showed us the video tape to prove that he was lying this morning.

This entire Epstein saga might not end well for Mr. trump. I watched him feel and grab women on the video while picking out the women that he wanted like they were a bunch of cattle, and it was disgusting. To say that this guy is a pig would be a great disservice to pigs. After watching him in that video it makes it easier to see why scores of women have accused him of sexual assault and even rape. 

"What follows is then private citizen Trump enthusiastically gesticulating with a denim shirt clad Epstein, as the two laugh together, point, and comment on what they see before them. It’s not clear what exactly they are discussing, but it appears that they are assessing the women dancing before them.

Trump has publically claimed that he knew Epstein, who plead guilty in 2008 to two sex crimes, including one with an underage girl, in a sweetheart plea deal that ultimately led to the resignation of Trump administration  Alex Acosta. The soon to be former Labor Secretary served as US Attorney in Florida in 2008 and oversaw the federal prosecution of Epstein."

Just remember the old adage: Where there is smoke there is fire. 

*Image from MSNBC

   

Monday, July 15, 2019

And a racist shall lead us.

Image result for the squad democratic women images

I know that I write a lot about racism and racists on this site, and I always enjoy pointing out racists when they rear their ugly and vile heads. The truth is, though, that racists don't bother me that much in my every day life. For the most part I ignore them, and I try not to let them affect my life in any meaningful way.

This all changes when the racist in question is the most powerful man in the world. There was a time when most people in this country would not say that their president is a racist. The thought that we elected a man to lead us who holds racist views was just so abhorrent to most people that they could not bring themselves to believe that Donald trump is actually a racist.

That has changed, as most people are finally starting to realize that Mr. trump is actually a racist. Of course it took trump himself telling them as much, and going all David Duke with some of his recent tweets for folks to acknowledge it. 

Of course most black folks have known all along that Mr. trump is a racist. We knew when he started questioning the legitimacy of the first African American president. We knew when he called for the death penalty for five very young (and innocent)  men in New York city after an attack in Central Park.  We knew when he declared that Mexicans were rapists, and that a Mexican Judge could not be fair. And we knew when he called countries being led by brown people, shithole places. 

Black folks are still surprised that our white brothers and sisters won't acknowledge the obvious when it comes to Mr. trump's racism, but we understand that talking about racism and pointing out racism tends to make white folks uncomfortable.

The sad thing about trump is that not only is he a racist, but he is an ignorant racist. He is the type of racist that's not smart enough to defend his racism or to understand the roots of it. Clearly he is not very smart, because he pretty much told three Congresswomen who were born in this country to go back to their own countries. 

But we have come to expect this from Mr. trump. What's sad is that his republican pals, for the most part, have been silent about his racist and ignorant screed. And the ones who had the courage to speak out have been few and far between.

Sadly, this too shall pass, and the racist- in- chief might even get a second term because there are a lot of people (particularly in his own party) who agree with him.  They applauded him today at the White House when he doubled and tripled down on his racism, and leaders in the GOP like Lindsey Graham actually came to his defense.

Over the next few days cable news outlets will play the outrage card, a few people will make statements and write opeds condemning trump, and we will all clutch our pearls and act shocked that the man we elected to be our leader is an ignorant xenophobic bigot. But we have seen this rodeo before ("good people on both sides"), and I am pretty sure that we will see it again. 

*Pic from huffingtonpost.com

    


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Caption Saturday.

Image result for president trump lady liberty image*

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: "I moved on her like a bitch."  

*Pic from american-buffoon.com


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Faith based lunacy.

TWEET ME

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."~Matthew 15:8 ~ 


I'm sorry, but these white Christian evangelicals are not driven by love of Christ, they are driven by something else. Their love for all of Mr. trump's policies prove this.

I read a fascinating article by Peter Wehner about this issue, and I want to share it with you:

  "Last week, Ralph Reed, the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s founder and chairman, told the group, “There has never been anyone who has defended us and who has fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump. No one!”

Reed is partially right; for many evangelical Christians, there is no political figure whom they have loved more than Donald Trump.

I recently exchanged emails with a pro-Trump figure who attended the president’s reelection rally in Orlando, Florida, on June 18. (He spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, so as to avoid personal or professional repercussions.) He had interviewed scores of people, many of them evangelical Christians. “I have never witnessed the kind of excitement and enthusiasm for a political figure in my life,” he told me. “I honestly couldn’t believe the unwavering support they have. And to a person, it was all about ‘the fight.’ There is a very strong sense (I believe justified, you disagree) that he has been wronged. Wronged by Mueller, wronged by the media, wronged by the anti-Trump forces. A passionate belief that he never gets credit for anything.”

The rallygoers, he said, told him that Trump’s era “is spiritually driven.” When I asked whether he meant by this that Trump’s supporters believe God’s hand is on Trump, this moment and at the election—that Donald Trump is God’s man, in effect—he told me, “Yes—a number of people said they believe there is no other way to explain his victories. Starting with the election and continuing with the conclusion of the Mueller report. Many said God has chosen him and is protecting him.”

The data seem to bear this out. Approval for President Trump among white evangelical Protestants is 25 points higher than the national average. And according to a Pew Research Center survey, “White evangelical Protestants who regularly attend church (that is, once a week or more) approve of Trump at rates matching or exceeding those of white evangelicals who attend church less often.” Indeed, during the period from July 2018 to January 2019, 70 percent of white evangelicals who attend church at least once a week approved of Trump, versus 65 percent of those who attend religious services less often.

The enthusiastic, uncritical embrace of President Trump by white evangelicals is among the most mind-blowing developments of the Trump era. How can a group that for decades—and especially during the Bill Clinton presidency—insisted that character counts and that personal integrity is an essential component of presidential leadership not only turn a blind eye to the ethical and moral transgressions of Donald Trump, but also constantly defend him? Why are those who have been on the vanguard of “family values” so eager to give a man with a sordid personal and sexual history a mulligan?

Part of the answer is their belief that they are engaged in an existential struggle against a wicked enemy—not Russia, not North Korea, not Iran, but rather American liberals and the left. If you listen to Trump supporters who are evangelical (and non-evangelicals, like the radio talk-show host Mark Levin), you will hear adjectives applied to those on the left that could easily be used to describe a Stalinist regime. (Ask yourself how many evangelicals have publicly criticized Trump for his lavish praise of Kim Jong Un, the leader of perhaps the most savage regime in the world and the worst persecutor of Christians in the world.)

Many white evangelical Christians, then, are deeply fearful of what a Trump loss would mean for America, American culture, and American Christianity. If a Democrat is elected president, they believe, it might all come crashing down around us. During the 2016 election, for example, the influential evangelical author and radio talk-show host Eric Metaxas said, “In all of our years, we faced all kinds of struggles. The only time we faced an existential struggle like this was in the Civil War and in the Revolution when the nation began … We are on the verge of losing it as we could have lost it in the Civil War.” A friend of mine described that outlook to me this way: “It’s the Flight 93 election. FOREVER.”

Many evangelical Christians are also filled with grievances and resentments because they feel they have been mocked, scorned, and dishonored by the elite culture over the years. (Some of those feelings are understandable and warranted.) For them, Trump is a man who will not only push their agenda on issues such as the courts and abortion; he will be ruthless against those they view as threats to all they know and love. For a growing number of evangelicals, Trump’s dehumanizing tactics and cruelty aren’t a bug; they are a feature. Trump “owns the libs,” and they love it. He’ll bring a Glock to a cultural knife fight, and they relish that.

Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, one of the largest Christian universities in the world, put it this way: “Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing ‘nice guys.’ They might make great Christian leaders but the United States needs street fighters like @realDonaldTrump at every level of government b/c the liberal fascists Dems are playing for keeps & many Repub leaders are a bunch of wimps!”

There’s a very high cost to our politics for celebrating the Trump style, but what is most personally painful to me as a person of the Christian faith is the cost to the Christian witness. Nonchalantly jettisoning the ethic of Jesus in favor of a political leader who embraces the ethic of Thrasymachus and Nietzsche—might makes right, the strong should rule over the weak, justice has no intrinsic worth, moral values are socially constructed and subjective—is troubling enough.

But there is also the undeniable hypocrisy of people who once made moral character, and especially sexual fidelity, central to their political calculus and who are now embracing a man of boundless corruptions. Don’t forget: Trump was essentially named an unindicted co-conspirator (“Individual 1”) in a scheme to make hush-money payments to a porn star who alleged she’d had an affair with him while he was married to his third wife, who had just given birth to their son.

While on the Pacific Coast last week, I had lunch with Karel Coppock, whom I have known for many years and who has played an important role in my Christian pilgrimage. In speaking about the widespread, reflexive evangelical support for the president, Coppock—who is theologically orthodox and generally sympathetic to conservatism—lamented the effect this moral freak show is having, especially on the younger generation. With unusual passion, he told me, “We’re losing an entire generation. They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church.”

Coppock mentioned to me the powerful example of St. Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, who was willing to rebuke the Roman Emperor Theodosius for the latter’s role in massacring civilians as punishment for the murder of one of his generals. Ambrose refused to allow the Church to become a political prop, despite concerns that doing so might endanger him. Ambrose spoke truth to power. (Theodosius ended up seeking penance, and Ambrose went on to teach, convert, and baptize St. Augustine.) Proximity to power is fine for Christians, Coppock told me, but only so long as it does not corrupt their moral sense, only so long as they don’t allow their faith to become politically weaponized. Yet that is precisely what’s happening today.

Evangelical Christians need another model for cultural and political engagement, and one of the best I am aware of has been articulated by the artist Makoto Fujimura, who speaks about “culture care” instead of “culture war.” [More here] 

Just think about this for a minute: These so called Christians declare that there is no man that they love more than a man who has been accused of raping a 13 year old girl, cheated on his third wife with a porn star --right after she gave birth to his son---, and publicly bragged about assaulting women.  

"Jesus wept"~John 11:35~








Monday, July 08, 2019

The billionaire "pedophile" and his presidential friends.


Indictment Alleges Jeffrey Epstein Created ‘Vast Network’ of Underage Sex Victims as Young as 14
This Jeffrey Epstein story just keeps getting bigger and scarier. Memo to rich powerful guys: If you used to run with old Jeffrey back in the day, you might want to call your lawyer.

We know that former president Bill Clinton used to run with him (and he has since called him out for his alleged despicable behavior), and so did the current president, Donald trump. In fact, Mr. trump had some very interesting things to say about Epstein not too long ago.

"I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” - Donald Trump, 2002"

Given what we have come to know about Mr. trump of late, you would think that this would be a bigger deal. But then we are talking about a man who was credibly accused of rape recently, and that story has long left our collective memories. The media treated the story like just another day in trump land.

Which leads me to believe that even if there is some credible information or evidence that Mr. trump and other rich powerful people were taking advantage of what Mr. Epstein had to offer, it would be somehow buried by the mainstream media and the cowards who are charged with following a story no matter where it leads.

Mr. Epstein has (had) a lot of powerful friends who seemed to do everything in their powers to protect him. One of those friends is the current labor secretary, Alex Acosta, who was the US Attorney in Miami that allowed Mr. Epstein to cut a sweetheart deal and get back on the street to allegedly rape and molest underage girls. Some of them as young as 14.

"It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."

I think its' time to get some more towels. There is going to be a lot of sweating going on. 









Saturday, July 06, 2019

Caption Saturday.

Illustration for article titled Planes, Tanks, & Space Force: Scenes From Trump's Soggy Fourth of July Extravaganza

I need a caption for this pic.

*Image via Getty.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Not a time to celebrate.

Children are being held under inhumane conditions at our Southern border, while Mr. trump holds a rally to celebrate himself and stroke his ego with a spectacle that is disguised as something celebrating our country and honoring our military. We the people are not fooled.

Today is America's birthday, but given everything that is happening in our country I don't feel like celebrating right now.

Instead, I am posting Fredrick Douglass's words, and his feelings about the 4th of July: 

"The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for it is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall, seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable—and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say. I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence, I will proceed to lay them before you.


This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. I am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young. Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would, certainly, prove nothing, as to what part I might have taken, had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day, plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right, against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. [Source]

*Pic from timemagazine.com