Thursday, April 12, 2018

FLEAS

My father always said, “When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” There is solid truth in that old aphorism. It was visibly on display last night when Fox News Sean Hannity showed just how flea infested he has become, by orchestrating a program with other flea invested Trump cronies, to smear, denigrate, and tarnish the reputation of honorable men like Bob Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, and James Comey, and their professional associates who have stood up for the rule of law against a lecherous, lurid, and lame chief executive who will stop at nothing in his quest to pay off those who have dirt on him, silence his critics, and continue his unbridled narcissistic reign of shame.
I am sure the FBI agents who conducted the lawfully authorized raid on Mr. Trump’s lawyer/fixer/crony were not thrilled to be there to dig into the morass of misdeeds and misrepresentation that follow this President. Who wants to have to investigate the claims of salacious conduct by porn stars, playboy bunnies, and N.Y. doormen?
FBI agents are an honorable lot. They put the law and the country above themselves. They investigate crimes. They keep us safe. They are there for all of us in our time of need. They do not deserve to be trashed by tabloid tv hosts and sullied by soiled politicians like Newt Gingrich. They are men of honor who serve this country with dedication and distinction.
They are heroes who history will look kindly upon , once this band of two bit boorish bandits find their rightful place in the dustbin of history.
The “Mueller crime family” diagrams used by Mr. Hannity to tar and feather law enforcement personnel are tools being used by fools to protect against the revelation of their own perfidy. They label others for behavior that they themselves engage in. They are projecting. They are pretending to be patriots.
They are as phony as three dollar bills, and unworthy of serious consideration. They are the sideshows in a circus carnival being manipulated by an unprincipled and desperate ringmaster, whose ignominious demise awaits him. Sooner, hopefully rather than later, the truth shall set us all free.


Friday, March 23, 2018

The bottomless pit

The bottomless pit

“When you’re in a hole, stop digging!”, as the old saying goes. That sounds simple enough. It might even work, unless we are in a multiplicity of holes, and digging furtively to deepen each of those holes, to the point where the holes converge and we discover that we are not only in several holes, we are sliding down into a bottomless pit.
      That appears to be the case some 400 plus days into the ersatz Presidency of Donald J. Trump. I say ersatz Presidency because hope as we may have from January 20th 2016 going forward, that a real President and Presidency would somehow emerge, we are now beginning to realize that that is not about to happen. Not now, not ever. 
     Behaving as other Presidents have, is simply not in Mr. Trump’s DNA. He is just not wired for conventionality. He thrives on chaos and confrontation, then personally ducks it’s consequences . He resorts to his twitter account to fire people. He doesn’t deliver the news personally. If you don’t believe me, just ask HR McMaster. He was sitting only 100 feet away from Trump when he got the phone call that he was done. At least he got a phone call, which was then confirmed by a tweet. 
    The list of those hired and fired is several pages long. It has grown from platoon to company to battalion sized in little over a year. Who’s on first?. What’s on second, and I don’t know is on third. And the dervish continues to whirl, spinning nearly out of control. 
    It’s not just the” You’re fired!” reality tv show we are enveloped in. We are knee deep in sexual scandal and denial. We are mired in the muck of mediocrity and malfeasance when it comes to many of the cabinet heads. We are antagonizing our friends and mollycoddling our enemies. The overarching question is why has the President given everyone a nickname except Vladimir Putin. Why, we ask, is that? This President and his family are profiteering from the Presidency and violating the emoluments clause in aces and spades. 
Add to that, we have started a tariff war that may end up tanking the stock market and raising the falling prices at Walmart. And a constitutional crisis looms over the role of the special prosecutor who is charged with finding the bottom to this pit. 
We do indeed need to get to the bottom of all of this, but sadly, there appears to be no bottom to get to. 
    So if there is no bottom to the pit of this Presidency, where does the buck stop ? On whose desk lies the final denouement? 
     The answer seems obvious: Congress. But they too seem incapable of stopping their slide into the same bottomless pit. 

     So where does the buck finally end up? On the desks of the American people. We alone can solve this problem. And we can do it in November of this year. There is a way if we have the will. The ballot box is the key. If we can last that long. God save the people who can save the Republic. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Okeefenokee on Steroids

So let me get something straight. Trump, during the campaign, and even now, enjoys riling up his audiences to cheer “ Lock her up!” about Hilary Clinton. Why lock her up? Because she allegedly was careless about possible security breaches in her e mails, and may have withheld certain relevant e mails from release which would constitute further evidence of the alleged cavalier manner in which she dealt with top secret information. Ok. Got that.

Fast forward to Jan 20, 2017 until now. The President’s son in law, who does not have the requisite security clearance to handle highly classified information, and never will, according to top Trump security officials, has been allowed on a daily basis to read the top secret daily briefing for his father in law, who WH aides claim, does not bother to read it for himself. Kushner, has also been caught by US Intelligence talking up his private business interests with high officials of the Chinese government, and failing to disclose those meetings. 
   He is viewed as highly susceptible to blackmail, as was the  dismissed and now criminally indicted and convicted felon, WH Security Adviser,  Gen. Mike Flynn. 
     Kushner is still there. He is still in the West Wing. Apparently he has been reduced to reading the comic sections of local newspapers, which is ok, because he doesn’t get paid a salary, and he is married to the President’s daughter, and is a “good boy”. 


Ok. Now , who should be chanting lock who up? The temerity, brazen bold faced double standard of the current occupant of the White House could not be more shamefully in display. The swamp he claimed he would drain has become the Okeefenokee on steroids. And the Republicans remain silent. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

NRA

We are not safe. We are not united. We are not indivisible, and we are not capable of forming a more perfect union.
That is the sad state of our reality in 2018. It has taken us nearly twenty years to get to this state of craven insularity. Until 2004, assault style weapons like AR 25 rifles were illegal to buy, Illegal to own, and illegal to possess. No more. The NRA and its lobbying arm has seen to it that the second amendment is unbridled, unlimited, and unchecked. We have become a nation of the people, for the munitions industry, and without defense against the crazed Gunman. It didn’t have to come to this.
Most Americans who respect the second amendment rights of their fellow citizens to keep and bear arms, do not oppose reasonable regulations, such as background checks , before obtaining a firearm. There are some people who should not be allowed within ten feet of such powerful weapons. Finding them, and restricting the otherwise unbridled right to keep and bear arms is a challenge, but it is a challenge we can meet if allowed to do so. When even the mention of restrictions on firearms raises the ire of a powerful and well financed group such as the NRA, we need to find a way to meet and overcome the opposition. The united display of pain by the victims of this latest mass casualty might be just such a key. They are not babies. They can and do speak clearly, and eloquently, and their voices are being heard. They might just make an actual difference.
We need more than voices, however. We need money. Lots of it, to mount an effective and coordinated campaign against those who would otherwise be inclined to do the bidding of the NRA. We need to make them do the bidding of the American people, and failing that, we need to roust them out of office, and replace them with fair minded and reasonable legislators who are not bought, lock , stock and literally barrel, by the sinister forces of the munitions industry and their sympathizers.
Can this be done? Yes. Will it be done? That is the question of the hour. All things are possible if we remain true to purpose. It will require lots more than thoughts and prayers. It will require focus, fortitude and funding. Now, where to send a check?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Regular order

As Sen. John McCain says, “ We need to get back to regular order.”
Indeed there is much wisdom in that admonition.
     The way government is supposed to work is when we identify a problem, we analyze the cause. And then try to fashion a reasonable remedy to address that problem. Unless , of course, that problem is massive carnage caused by our loose regulation of high powered guns and ammunition. In that case, we are told not to “politicize” the issue, and to simply pray instead. 
    I don’t disagree that prayer is powerful, and needed, but so is sensible gun registration and regulation. Our Legislative bodies are told by the NRA that any regulation is unacceptable, so Congress refuses to go there. That is far from “regular order”, and it is lamentable, because it makes us incapable of addressing a major issue, to wit: the proliferation of massive gun violence which is unique to our country. No other country is experiencing such gun related carnage. Clearly, they have problems created by terrorists with explosive devices and weaponized vehicles, but not from the guns which bedevil us. 
   Is it not time to try to draw new lines in the sand when a crazed wealthy gunman can shoot nearly 500 people like fish in a barrel out of a hotel window with legally obtained weaponry by the dozens, that may face been illegally modified? Their only sin was enjoying a country music concert, which , in America, we should be free to do without risking our lives. 
     Are we to simply observe a moment of silence, pray, and  and go about our lives as powerless eunuchs who cannot use “regular order” and common sense to do something about it? I think not. We have to take on the gun lobby to take back our country and restore sanity and “ regular order”. If we fail to do so, we have only ourselves to blame. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I am every bit as much a yankee doodle dandyish guy as anyone, and I always love to wave the flag on the Fourth of July , and any other patriotic occasion. I get a lump in my throat when I hear the star spangled banner being sung at the beginning of sports events , and my eyes mist up when Kate Smith sings God bless America during the 7th inning stretch. 
    This year, however, I have been getting a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read tweets from the current occupant of the Oval Office which are inconsistent with our democratic values, and contemptuous of a free press and the First Amendment. His conduct is not just unseemly, it is downright un-American. I will still wave the flag on the Fourth, but my unabashed enthusiasm for the expression of my patriotism is tempered somewhat by the reality of the intemperate conduct of our current President. 
He does not make us proud to be an American . He makes us embarrassed by the reality of his juvenile tit for tat reaction, which is not only Un-Presidential, but Un-Christian as well. There is no  turning of the other cheek here. 
it's all about striking back at your enemies.
      I believe it was Richard Nixon who , at the end of his Presidency, famously said, 
Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.".
So hate not America. Love what is best about our country. And navigate around our current President. The best thing that could happen is that we simply pay him no heed. 
    May God continue to bless America in spite of it all. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

39 states had their electoral databases hacked by Russian spies. That is a fact. The Attorney General has not been briefed on this? The President met 9 times with the head of the FBI, and never asked about the "Russian thing", and is photographed laughing and joking with Russians the day after he fires the FBI head, and only Russian photographers were let in to film that moment. Huh?
     I know. It strains credulity. But so does that Dear Leader cabinet meeting. And to think the President was thrilled by it and furious at those who mocked and criticized it. Unfortunately his world has become our world, and we are all upside down as a result. And the blind partisanship of the "see no evil Republicans" is Trumping our constitutional democracy. A sad state of affairs indeed.