Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Weasels, 3-D guns, and immigration.

And now, one of my favorite tweets of the day.
"BREAKING: Manafort trial begins, but questions remain about how to trap a jury of his peers."

Classic stuff. 

Anyway folks, please be careful out there in social media world. Apparently the Russian troll farms are working overtime to disrupt the upcoming midterm elections. (I already see some on this site.)

They did such a great job getting trump elected that it would definitely be worth another shot to launch another assault on American democracy via the Internet.  The stakes are high this time. If they lose the majority in Congress their guy trump could find himself out of a job. 

Speaking of trump, I see he had to get permission from the NRA to speak out against 3-D guns. Remember all his tough talk after Parkland? Most of us knew that he was lying then, and it was just going to be a matter of time before he was sucking at the tit of the NRA again. 

I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense."

Why do you have to speak to the NRA? 3-D guns?! Are you insane?! 

Thing is, the 2nd Amendment gun nuts are already saying that we should leave 3-D guns alone. The right to bear arms will not be compromised, even if they have to download a gun made of plastic. Unbelievable!

Finally, Jesse Watters (the funny looking guy with the big head on FOX), might have inadvertently let out trump's true intentions when it comes to immigration in this country. 

  "The Five held a conversation on Monday about President Donald Trump‘s demands that Congress throw support behind an omnibus bill that will provide funding for tougher immigration policies. 

When Greg Gutfeld argued that Trump has used the wall as an idea to spark more conversation about border security, Juan Williams countered by arguing that Trump wants to stop immigration altogether, both legal and illegal.

That’s when Jesse Watters made this statement:

“He wants merit-based,” said Watters. “That would cut legal immigration by bringing in the best and brightest. So we don’t bring in some guy’s uncle from Zimbabwe.”'  [Source]

Got it! So "some guy's uncle from Zimbabwe" couldn't be one of the "best and brightest" because he is from that shit hole of a place called Africa, or, for that matter, one of those Third World countries full of brown people. 

I am sure that the folks in this link would tend to disagree. 


Monday, July 30, 2018

The con game cloaked in Christianity.

TWEET MECan someone please explain to me what exactly is a "religious liberty task force"? I ask because apparently Jeff Sessions and the trump administration just formed one.

"WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced the Department of Justice's creation of a "religious liberty task force" to "help the department fully implement our religious guidance."

In a speech at the Department of Justice's Religious Liberty Summit in Washington, Sessions said the goal of the task force will be protecting religious groups from persecution.

"The task force will help the department fully implement our religious liberty guidance by ensuring that all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt and how we conduct our operations," Sessions said. "That includes making sure that our employees know their duties to accommodate people of faith."

Sessions cited "a dangerous movement" aimed toward stripping away the First Amendment right to freedom of religion as a basis for forming the new task force." [Source]

This is interesting, since it would seem to be that it is trump and his attorney general who are "stripping away" the First Amendment" by trampling all over the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. Some Americans love Thomas Jefferson but not necessarily his words: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof', thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Clearly Mr. trump and his overzealous AG have no intention of keeping the wall between church and state intact. A true president who cares about the Constitution would spend his time and energy protecting this wall, and not trying to build one to keep out immigrants coming in from our Southern border.

Make no mistake, folks, this latest stunt from the AG and the president is a lame attempt to push their version of religion down our throats.  "A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom," ...There can be no doubt. This is no little matter. It must be confronted and defeated." 

What movement? The movement of the people who might not believe in your god, and who might want to worship Allah, Buddah, or Haile Selassie I? Or, who might want to worship at the church of  Emayatzy Corinealdi for Christ sake?! (For the record, that happens to be my church.) What if you happen to be an atheist or agnostic? Will this so-called task force protect you then?

I wish I could say that this too will pass, but it won't. Because, as I write this post, trump is stacking the courts up and down with dimwitted conservative zealots. These are people who share some of his dangerous totalitarian views when it comes to religion and other social issues.

The irony is, of course, that there is not a religious bone in trump's body. This is all a scam to shore up his base and keep his 35% loyal to him. If these people were really as religious as they claim, and if they had some real connection to their god or whatever higher being they worship, they would be able to spot the con from a mile away.  Of course we all know that they won't, because the brilliance of the con is that it understands that deep down inside their love of power and control is more powerful than any religion that they claim to follow.

Fortunately, it doesn't take a task force to figure that out. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Shooting the messenger.

TWEET ME It would be really refreshing if folks started taking ownership of their racism and ignorance, whether it's now or in their past. I know it's not politically correct to be perceived as a racist these days, but let's face it, for many of you racism is so....well... a part of you.

Let's take the case of trump's former mouthpiece, Sean Spicer.

Recently at a book tour stop in Rhode Island, a man who is allegedly one of Spicer's old classmates in high school, approached him and accused him of calling him the n-word when they were back in  school.

'"Sean, I was a day student at [Portsmouth] Abbey, too, with you," Lombard said.

"Hey," Spicer replies. "Yes, how are you?"

You don't remember that you tried to fight me?" Lombard said. "But you called me a [n-word] first."'

Now I don't know if what the man is saying is true or not, and, quite frankly, we might never know. What I do  know is that Spicer was so upset at the AP for reporting the story that he is threatening legal action. Imagine that. He is threatening legal action against a news outlet for reporting a story that actually happened. The man did accuse Spicer of calling him the n word at the book tour event, right? So how is the AP being "reckless" for reporting it? Am I missing something?

Anyway, Spicer might or might not be a racist, but judging from her tweets, the wife of trump's new deputy director of communications certainly is. Mrs. Shine has a long history of tweeting racist things. Of course she tried to delete the tweets, but to no avail.

Sadly, this too shall pass (it already has), and her husband is now comfortably by the president's side, calling the shots and banning reporters  who he thinks are hostile to the president. (Wouldn't it be nice of wingnuts loved the First Amendment to the Constitution like they love the second one?) Frankly, I am surprised that other like minded folks on team trump chose to resign. It's not like trump would hold their racism or racist past against them. Mr. trump has made a calculation to embrace these types of people, and so far it has been paying off for him. He has a solid base who will not leave his side no matter what, and he is counting on folks who would't dare embrace him publicly to go into that voting booth and go with their gut. It's not the same as calling a classmate the n word, but it has the same impact without all the scrutiny.  

Finally, does anyone know why Mr. trump is so angry at Bob Mueller, and why he had this latest  twitter meltdown over him? It's a rhetorical question. We know why. With Michael Cohen about to sing like Aretha, and the feds getting more aggressive every day, Mr. trump is feeling the heat, and this is his way of lashing out.

“'Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend” Trump asked in a post.

“Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama….And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?”' [Source]

Those are not the tweets of an innocent man.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Caption Saturday.

  • Image result for GOP candidates images
I need a caption for this pic,

*Example: Did you hear what he said about my father?* 

*Pic from slate.com

Thursday, July 26, 2018

"The Lying King"

Image result for trump images  The following article is from one of my favorite writers, Matt Bai.

The Field Negro education series continues.

"Some former White House aides write memoirs so they can set the record straight for historians. Others do it to rehabilitate their reputations, or just to make some money while they figure out what’s next.

In the case of Sean Spicer, the once respectable Republican aide who became President Trump’s first press secretary, the main purpose for writing a book seems to have been to re-ingratiate himself to a boss who probably forgot about him 10 minutes after he left, mainly by repeating a bunch of things that were demonstrably untrue when he said them and haven’t gotten any truer since.

If you really need to know more, here’s a pretty brilliant review of “The Briefing,” which just arrived in stores, by ABC’s Jonathan Karl. (It appeared in the Wall Street Journal, so I’m afraid you’ll need a password to read it, and I’m not giving you mine.)

Personally, I don’t intend to read Spicer’s memoir, for the same reason I don’t call 1-800 numbers for personal injury lawyers who advertise on billboards along the interstate. Life is full of deceit — there’s no reason to go seeking it out.

Also, the world is full of other books, some of which I haven’t gotten around to yet, that don’t contain lines like this description of the president: “He is a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow.” I swear I’m not making that up.

As it happens, one such book offers a very different window into the contentious relationship between presidents and the press corps. It’s a recent memoir, simply titled “Reporter,” by Seymour Hersh, one of the most important investigative reporters of the last half century. Most of what’s in it is verifiably true.

“Reporter” does suffer from an inexplicable omission of unicorn tandems. What it has, though, is a fascinating chapter, among others, in which Hersh recounts his work from the early 1970s, when, as a young reporter at the New York Times, he did a series of stories exposing the mendacity of the Nixon administration.

Suffice it to say that Nixon and his secretary of state, the beguiling Henry Kissinger, lied a lot, and they lied about stuff that really mattered. They lied about bombing Cambodia. They lied about the existence of a secret White House team known as the Plumbers. They lied about covert efforts to topple the Chilean president, Salvador Allende.

Hersh’s account is made more chilling by some of the notes and transcripts that were later released. At one point, hours after Kissinger flatly told Hersh he didn’t know anything about a secret scheme to cover up the location of bombing runs in Southeast Asia, Kissinger spoke on the phone with his deputy, Gen. Al Haig, who suggested they shouldn’t be talking to Hersh at all.

“Well, you can take that attitude but I can’t,” Kissinger said. “I knew about the operation.”
What I found fascinating about Hersh’s revisiting of all this wasn’t that Nixon and Kissinger knowingly misled the press and the public (this has been long established, after all), but rather why.
They lied because they were afraid. They lied because they strongly suspected that if reporters like Hersh found out the facts and wrote about them, the public would recoil in disgust, and the administration’s policies, exposed to scrutiny, would have to change.

They feared the consequences of truth. And, as it turned out, they had good reason, since Nixon ultimately had to flee office to avoid impeachment, the lies having eaten away the foundations of his crumbling presidency.

(Kissinger, on the other hand, was allowed to graduate to the role of American statesman, in no small part because of relationships he had cultivated in the media.)

If you think about it, this has been more or less the norm in American politics, to the extent that it’s normal for the government to lie at all. When presidents aren’t truthful, it’s because the repercussions of telling the truth are thought to be unbearable.

Which brings me back to Spicer’s memoir and the Trump administration, which from day one has pursued an entirely different kind of systematic deception than Nixon or anyone else who came before.

Trump and his minions don’t fear the consequences of truth, because they don’t believe those consequences really apply to them. The president doesn’t habitually lie — about Russian election meddling, or about his paying off a concubine, or about what he said on camera or into a tape recorder just yesterday or the day before that — because he thinks the truth will be politically calamitous.

No, he lies because he’s pretty sure he can make you believe whatever he wants you to believe (it worked for a self-promoting developer in the New York tabloid world), and there doesn’t seem to be a penalty for trying.

To put it starkly, Trump is the first president in my lifetime to essentially say to the press that covers him: “Go ahead, jump up and down, prove all the lies you want with your fact checks and your transcripts and your phony outrage. Nobody believes you anyway.”

In fact, if there was any doubt that this was Trump’s basic philosophy, he put it to rest just a few days ago, during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Don’t believe the crap you hear from these people — the fake news,” Trump said. “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

Now, as I’ve written before, my industry bears a lot of the blame for making this possible. My colleagues in the media often seem to blame Trump for creating and stoking the public’s abject distrust, when in fact it was our own vanity and triviality — the glib cable punditry, the obsession with rumors and ratings — that created him.

When you look through a telescope and see the light from a supernova, you’re not actually seeing a star erupt in real time — you’re seeing something that happened eons ago, whose effects are only now reaching us. And, similarly, when you watch Trump undermine the idea of provable truth, what you’re really watching is the reverberation of something that began 30-plus years ago, a slow burning out of public faith that the president merely exists to exploit.

But if there’s a burden on journalists to rebuild that trust (and there is), then there’s a burden on you, too, to be a shrewder consumer. Because make no mistake: Trump and his acolytes disdain you, in a way Nixon on his worst day did not.

They don’t think you’re smart enough to recognize truth or care about it. They don’t fear your judgment, because they don’t think you have any.

So by all means, be skeptical of the media — we’ve earned it. But don’t be blind. Don’t be taken in by a demagogue, or the sycophants around him, who would have you believe that everything you read that doesn’t conform to your worldview must be nothing but garbage, because he says it is.
That’s just a unicorn riding a unicorn, spearing you in the back." [Source]

Speaking of trump telling lies, I have some BREAKING NEWS for you tonight.

"On Thursday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo dropped a bombshell at the start of his show, announcing that former Trump fixer Michael Cohen has said that President Donald Trump knew of the Trump Tower meeting with Russians in advance.
According to CNN’s report:
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.
 Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources." [Source]

This is what happens when you ban CNN from press conferences: They come for that ass.

*Pic from thenation.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Open thread.

MORE DISCLAIMERSI need your thoughts on a few things:

How far will house republicans get with their attempt to impeach Rod Rosenstein?

How do you feel about the police lying about their premeditated arrest of Stormy Daniels?

The White House is now blocking reporters that they don't like from events. 

Can the president control what his wife watches on television? 

Are racial slurs in the age of trump going way beyond just slurs? 

Do you think Sasha Baron Cohen is doing us all a favor by exposing the real America?

Will the black players on the Dallas Cowboys football team be house Negroes or field Negroes this season?  

Tell me anything else that you have on your mind.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The trump tape.

TWEET METhis is going to be a short post tonight, because  I am watching CNN play the secretly recorded trump tapes with his attorney, Michael Cohen.

Oh my! I just heard Mr. trump tell his fixer to pay his jump-off with cash.

Mr. trump's people are already trying to spin a tape that I can actually hear with my own ears. Not.Going.To.Work. At least not with moi.

Anyway, clearly trump must have known the tape was coming, because today he said this:

"Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening” 

OK, Donald, your supporters can spend the rest of their lives in trumpland, the rest of us out here in the real world will continue to believe our own eyes and ears.

Back to the tape. Come on CNN, I need more.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A president tries to silence his critics, and Trayvon Martin redux.

TWEET METhe president of these Divided States of America will do anything to silence his critics. (Remember when he said he would pull the credentials of members of the press?)

Now, in a stunning display of hubris, he has declared that he wants to revoke the national security clearance of folks like John Brennan, James Comey, Michael Hayden,and Susan Rice. If I didn't hear it from his press secretary I would think it's some kind of bad joke.

“For political reasons, this is a petty way of retribution, I suppose, for speaking out against the president, which I think on the part of all of us, are borne out of genuine concerns about President Trump,” 

Of course it's "petty retribution",  he has no other way of doing things. We all knew that  Mr. trump has very thin skin, we just didn't know that it was this thin.

Finally, there was another shooting in Florida by a white man of an unarmed black man. and like a more high profile case in our recent past, the killer said he feared for his life. The killer in this case is using Florida's "Stand-your-ground" law as a shield from prosecution.

By all accounts, this was simply a case of a man getting his ego bruised and retaliating with deadly force. I watched the video a few times, and there is just no other way to explain it. The local sheriff has already declared that he will not charge the man *Black man pushes white man to the ground in public. He deserves the death penalty*

"He had to shoot to defend himself," Pinellas county sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "And those are the facts and that's the law.  "

Watch the video, switch the race of the killer and the victim, and tell me if you think that Sheriff Gualtieri  would have made the above statement.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A standing ovation for a racist tweet, and a threat of fines and suspensions for taking a knee for social justice.

I will never understand the majority population's psyche when it comes to matters of race.

I give you the story of the aptly named major league baseball pitcher, Josh Hader (Pronounced H-a-t-er).

Mr Hader is now 24 years old, and when he was 17 years old he tweeted praise for the KKK and white power, dropped the n word,  and he made offensive comments about Gays. All of this came to light because he has now become a good pitcher in baseball and participated in the All Star game. Well, with fame comes scrutiny, and Mr. Hader's tweets of seven years ago is all of a sudden national news.

Mr. Hader was forced to address his past, and he even had, from all accounts, an emotional closed door meeting with his teammates,where he profusely apologized and asked them for their trust.

OK, here is the deal. Josh Hader should not lose his job because of his racist and insensitive tweets when he was seventeen. I get nuance and context when it comes to comments and actions on matters of race. I do think, however, that he should have to answer for his actions. He should be scrutinized going forward and we can judge just how sincere his apologies really are. He very well might be a racist, but so are a ton of other people who just d a better job of hiding their racism.

 But back to my opening sentence--- and this is where this story takes a dark turn for me. On his return to baseball in front of his hometown fans, Josh Hader was given a standing ovation. A standing ovation! Think about that for a minute. Why a standing ovation? I get that he should be able to continue playing baseball and that we should give him a chance to earn a living, but a standing ovation?

Was this trump's America saying f**k you to what they perceive as "political correctness" run amok?
I am not sure how being a flat-out racist is just being politically incorrect, but that's how we are rolling these days in this country. 

NFL players take a knee to bring attention to the need for social justice and they get booed and verbally assaulted by the president. A baseball player sends a racist tweet,  and he is given  a standing ovation.

That kind of sums things up perfectly. 


Image result for trump putin images

I need a caption for this pic.  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Cracks in trump's wall.

TWEET ME"I can't believe Michael would do this to me."

Those were the words of your president after hearing that his longtime henchman, Michael Cohen, was secretly recording his conversations with him over the years. (This could get ugly)

Mr. trump has a right to be concerned. Cohen was meeting with Al Sharpton of all people, recently.

Now I know why trump is freaking out over this Mueller probe. Consider this: Mueller has all of  Cohen's tapes and other goodies under wraps. And trump, more than everyone else, knows that there must be some pretty damaging stuff in that treasure trove of evidence collected by Mueller's men.

We are learning more and more every day that trump and the people in his circle are some pretty sick puppies.  Paying off his jump-offs to keep quiet about their affair might be the least of his problems. Mueller now wants to have a sit down with a former "Manhattan Madam"  (That's a fancy way of saying a female pimp.), who happens to be close to Roger Stone, and by extension , Donald trump. No one knows exactly what Mueller knows at this point, but if we connect the dots and use a little common sense we can see that something smells in trumpland.

"Cohen was already causing chatter for all of his recent hints about cooperating with Robert Mueller, but now that Rudy Giuliani confirmed a tape exists of Trump speaking to his ex-attorney about paying off Karen McDougal, Craig Melvin had Sharpton on to elaborate on what Cohen told him.

Apparently, Cohen has done quite a bit of soul-searching:
“I got the sense that his loyalty is to his family and country. That’s the direct quote, if he said it one time, he said it twenty times. Which gives me the real feeling that if there is, in fact, things of this president did, he ought to be concerned. I think Michael Cohen has made it very clear to me this morning that he’s not going to be some sacrificial lamb for something that was done wrongly. Did he say he was cooperating? No. Did he say how it was going to manifest? No. But he clearly said that he’s disappointed in the president with how he turned out…[and] he was going to do what’s right for the country as a patriot"
What is he waiting for? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Open thread.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's open thread night, field hands, and there is so much news to digest of late. Especially as it relates to your president.

trump continues to lie on camera, and the White House continues to try and play us like our own eyes and ears are lying to us.

For instance, what do you think he said in that private meeting with Putin? He says that he was tough on him. But if you believe that, you must be looking to buy some oceanfront property in Iowa.

What do you think of White Americans using the 911 service as their own personal customer service fear line? (A hard- check in basketball?)

Finally, why aren't we hearing more about Earl McNeil, and the recent shooting of an unarmed black man in Vineland, New Jersey?


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Damage control.

TWEET MEDonald trump actually believes that the rest of America is as gullible as his rabid supporters. (Although, to be fair,cracks are starting to show in the republican gang.)

Today he tried to make us believe that he meant to say "wouldn't" and not "would" in his grand butt kissing session with Putin. 

“I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” Trump told reporters, reading from a prepared statement. “The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative.”

The scary thing is that the White House actually believed that the American people would buy this lame attempt of an explanation. They have to be desperate these days. That performance from their president should have made them all dust off their resumes. The man is clearly not well. Even while trying to do damage control he managed to let his fear of Putin manifest itself.

"I have a full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies," Trump said, reading slowly from a page of written remarks -- a major break from his usual freewheeling style in these sorts of situations. Then, Trump added this: "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place -- could be other people also."

"Other people"? He really can't help himself. His poor aides are all saying this to each other: *That is not what we wrote for him*.

I guess, at this point, what everyone is trying to figure out is if trump's ego just won't let him acknowledge that there might have been forces beyond his control helping him to win the 2016 presidential election, or if the Russians have something so serious on him that trump knows that he cannot say something that would piss off the Russians.

On his way back to Russia from Finland, Putin and his crew were partying like it's 1682, and drinking Ruso Baltique vodka. Things couldn't have turned out better if they scripted that fiasco summit themselves. Of course having an American president under your control can do that for you.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The #TreasonSummit went as expected.

If you are still a trump supporter after that disgraceful performance in Finland today, I need to know why you have not been forcefully committed to an insane asylum. Folks in your own gang can't endorse his behavior today.

trump embarrassed his country, his family, his party, and himself....(I take that back, he has no shame, so he can't embarrass himself) today, and you have to wonder when it will all end. He stood next to a murderous dictator and trashed his own intelligence community and blamed his country as much as Russia for the attempts to undermine American democracy. (Good people on both sides.) I am now convinced that Putin and the Russians have some very damaging information on trump. Stunningly, when asked about it in the presser today, Putin did not deny it. With trump standing by his side, and Mrs. trump sitting across from him, Putin smiled and deflected the question. You just know that trump's heart was pounding in that moment, but Putin did not let him down and give up the goods. Not totally. He still needs him as his agent. 

I gotta tell you, I was never big on all this I word talk, but now, after today, I don't know.

"With #TreasonSummit now trending on Twitter, it’s probably a good time to revisit that whole “high crimes and misdemeanors” thing.

The calls for impeachment are coming from far and wide — even from some who are experts in fighting against treasonous  empires.

At this point, after seeing our president openly discredit American intelligence agencies in favor of sucking up to Vladimir Putin, impeachment as a consequence seems unfitting only in its disproportionate mildness. But since involuntary commitment seems to be off the table as a more immediate solution right now, we should talk about our options.

Under Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, a President can be impeached upon the “Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House brings those formal charges against the president, and then the whole circus moves over to the Senate, which acts as the trier of fact. The Senate then hears evidence and makes the decision whether to convict and remove from office (by a two-thirds majority).

Fun as it would be to use treason as the vehicle to rid ourselves of the Donald, it probably won’t work. The treason statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2381, reads as follows:

“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Trump’s post-Putin presser was an absolute disgrace, but it probably doesn’t clearly rise to the level of levying war against the U.S. That’s fine, though. We’ve still got “high crimes and misdemeanors” and those will do just fine, as long as Congress can find their backbones.

The battle between the #MAGA army and those seeking to oust Trump tends to come in the form of “that behavior is bad, but it’s not an impeachable offense,” versus the Maxine Waters view that”impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is.” Let’s elaborate a bit on what the Constitution actually meant by “high crimes and misdemeanors.”...

.......Since the 2016 election, the potential for Trump’s impeachment has come up many times, in response to Trump’s suppression of the press, his comments in Charlottesville, and his general, everyday, dismantling of our government and all that we hold dear as Americans. What we saw today, though, is next-level in terms of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  The House already had the authority to begin impeachment proceedings; now, though, with Trump’s cozying up to Russia for all to see, it has no sound basis for dragging its feet any longer.

Whether our elected representatives will act, though, is far from certain.  As Bradley Moss put it:
“In truth, however, no one truly knows for certain what would happen in that context. The Clinton and Johnson impeachment proceedings were far more conventional in that regard. Furthermore, the threshold to successfully impeach and convict a sitting President is so high specifically to minimize frivolous charges. For President Trump to actually be removed from office, it would require significant desertions by members of his own party in the Senate.”
Those of us on impeachment watch will be hanging our hats on just those “significant desertions.” [Source]

trump is certainly giving the I word folks a lot to hang their hats on of late. 

*Pic from abcnews.go.com

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 wikipedia.org