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Trump Must Go

Recent Twitter rants and campaign rallies have convinced me that this country can no longer afford the luxury (can you see the sarcasm dripping?) of having Donald Trump or anyone else who shares more than a few of his notions of how to properly lead us forward. Just as almost nobody would care to be driven by a blindfolded cabbie, the people of this country deserve more from their Commander-in-Chief than government of the few, by the few and for the few. The list of faults that make Trump unfit to serve which are widely known only pales in comparison to those which he has managed to keep hidden from us.

The most recent exhibitions of our President’s shortcomings when it comes to dealing with the myriad problems which face us on a daily basis involved a serious of tweets this past weekend attacking four first-term members of the US House of Representatives who happen to be women of color who not only disagree with most of his policy positions but are also not shy of publicly stating such in the course of representing the interests of the people who elected them. This is anathema to the man who seems to firmly believe that those who voted for him in 2016 did so with the understanding that it is acceptable for him to rule as he sees fit – in his own interest and those of his family and cohorts. His bullying and authoritarian nature when faced with opposing viewpoints become more apparent as his campaign for re-election in 2020 begins to ramp up.

His targeting of these four individuals ( Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib) allows him to display his least appealing personal characteristics all at once. His blatant racism, misogyny, lack of any empathy for others less fortunate than himself, determination that the future needs to be his way or the highway all blended nicely for him in his tweets and produced a chant of, “Send her home” at his recent campaign rally in North Carolina, which he paused to enjoy (despite his protestations to the contrary once he knew how it was received in hindsight).

There are many other members of Congress who are white males born in the USA (only Omar among his “squad” was born outside this country, and she IS an American citizen) who share opinions diametrically opposed to those espoused by Trump. He choses to ignore that fact while accentuating racial and ethnic divisions and  hatred towards those who wish to immigrate from what he refers to as “shithole countries” where they are often in imminent physical danger should they remain there. In fact, it often seems as if Trump is intent on transforming the United States of America into another of his “shithole countries” as he uses heavy-handed tactics to terrorize undocumented immigrants along with their citizen family members while simultaneously creating concentration camps to detain those seeking asylum at the border. 

His attacks on these individuals, who unlike him were elected by actually receiving more votes than their opponents, seemed to be having the effect he desired, at least in his most recent rally. He knows he is setting the stage for someone even more unhinged than he is to act violently towards a person he has identified as a nemesis. Will it take an assassination attempt by one of his followers on one or more of his political opponents to get Trump to reassess the way he communicates? I doubt that would be anymore than another excuse for him to throw yet another of his followers, no matter how misguided, under a proverbial bus to escape having to take responsibility for an act which practically asks them to perform for him.

Since taking office, Trump has done little to advance any policy agenda, with the possible exception of massive tax cuts for big business and the super-rich. His and Congressional GOP health care proposals, such as they were, would’ve provided for less, rather than more, health care for the people living here. Promises of jobs returning from abroad were merely words read from a teleprompter. His foreign policy, such as it. His forays into negotiations with North Korea on nuclear weapons and China on trade have yielded very little, if any, results other than a chance for him to blow his own horn in public speeches. His tariffs have harmed more than helped our economy.

If Trump manages to get through the end of his term without causing massive social conflict in his effort to win another election it will be a minor miracle. His mantra of Make America Great Again promised to take us back to an imaginary time during which our predecessors lived idyllic lives that the passage of time and the hordes of envious illegal immigrants (their term, not mine) have eroded to the sad state of affairs we face today. Given the choice of his way or the highway, the latter would probably be far preferable. 

His attitude seems to echo the 1960’s and 1970’s Vietnam era counter-protest notion of “America, love it or leave it”, where to love it meant to acquiesce to American government policy, Many did choose to leave. Plenty of draft dodgers left the country rather than fight in that war. Rich folks like Trump tended to get deferments (some of questionable validity, right Cadet Bone Spurs?) Others chose to do neither, but remained instead to fix the perceived problems through protest and other actions intended to persuade elected officials to change the offensive policies – as permitted by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. US citizens do not need submit silently to misguided government policies. All four members targeted by Trump’s tweets and speeches fall into this category. If Trump wants to accuse anyone who disagrees with him or his Administration’s policies do not deserve to have any President tell them to shut up and do as they’re told – especially when they were elected to a co-equal branch of government Constitutionally charged to check and balance the King, er, Executive Branch.

Fortunately, that particular either/or proposition is not the end of the story. Trump keeps upping the ante on the pranks he is willing to pull in trying to stage an authoritarian coup on our government and way of life. His closets have become so overloaded with skeletons he’s trying to hide that he will be unable to keep them from us much longer. Whether Mueller’s testimony, his income tax returns, his past business practices or even the way he has manipulated the system to make sure he is enriching himself even more at taxpayer expense than he did before he was in office, something will ultimately cause his downfall. I only hope he is stopped before he does too much more damage than he has already caused.

Ideally, Trump would take the Nixon way out. His name being on the 2020 Presidential ballot would be even more of an abomination than it was in 2016. Another four years of Donald Trump’s total disregard for the rest of humanity and the situational ethics which allow him to unabashedly lie concerning just about  anything imaginable while treating the vast mass of humanity as pawns in his insatiable desire for his own personal gratification and financial aggrandizement  would likely produce worse results for the world, and this country, than any previous natural or manmade disaster. His political rallies are already being compared by some to Hitler’s in the 1930’s. I would not care to witness one in person. We certainly don’t want to go down that particular rabbit hole.

Further Suggested Readings:

‘I Stand With Ilhan’: Outpouring of Support for Rep. Omar Counters Racist ‘Send Her Back’ Chant by Trump Crowd

Trump outdoes himself with latest display of rank hatred and rancid bigotry

Trump Readies His Mob for the Race War

Where Will Trump and His Followers Thoughts, Words, and Actions Lead?

Why I’m Glad About Trump’s Latest Twitter Tirade

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The Deplorable Stain of the Detention Camps

The article linked to here is certainly a better representation of the views held by far more people in this country than the compassion-free demagoguery spouted by President Trump and illustrated by the treatment of innocent children seeking to escape insufferable conditions in their homelands. It’s a shame that such treatment at the hands of our government at the behest of its alleged leader is allowed to shape the way in which the world beyond our shores views us. Enough is enough. Stop the senseless cruelty and help these people rather than continue their undeserved abuse.

Thank you, Sally, for eloquently putting into words the outrage felt by so many of us the more we hear and see of the insanity being perpetrated in our names and with our tax dollars to further the aims of the Despot in Trump Towers as he rules for his temporary perch in the White House. More reason than ever to make sure he does not receive another term in office to wreak even more insane cruelty on the world’s most desperate and helpless people. – rjc

Envisioning The American Dream

Migrant children in Detention Centers 2019

There is a stench in America; a foul stain so deep on our country no amount of soap can wash it away.

The noxious stink emanating from our southern border is less from the unsanitary camps holding these poor abused migrant children, than from the rotting corrosion of our core values.

They are decaying in plain sight in the hot sun.

Trump and his sordid administration has sullied and befouled what our great country once stood for, and this may be the most heinous of all.

The bright and shiny post war country left to us by the greatest generation is now deeply tarnished, the dark layers of filth so widespread it feels unrecognizable. Our country has more than lost its luster. We have allowed our moral compass to crumble as we permit the inhumanity to continue to be perpetrated upon innocent children at these camps on our soil.

Not…

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Big Pharma Holds My Life In Its Hands | OurFuture.org by People’s Action

A true tale that is way too common in this country to remain unresolved. The exorbitant cost of life-saving prescription medications has been getting worse in recent years instead of improving. Big pharma holds the power of life and death over the heads of way too many people in this country. The Affordable Care Act did not fix it, nor did the Medicare Prescription coverage added under George W. Bush.

GOP proposals for repeal of the ACA under Trump have done nothing to even replace it, let alone do anything to provide for more affordable prescription drugs. Medicines that cost a forune to procure legally in this country are cheap and affordable by comparison in countries with advanced economies and saner approaches to health care than ours. We even go so far as to make it illegal to purchase cheaper prescription medications in Canada.

The time has come for Congress to stop propping up the enormous profits of Big Pharma and start providing for more affordable medications to improve the health, well-being and financial security of so many people in this society who are falling into the black hole of pharmaceutical companies who seek ever more protections from the US Government for their exorbitant profits. Pay more attention to the real needs of voters and less to the legal bribes (in the form of campaign contributions) of these companies to maintain a status quo that threatens the very lives of many of us on a daily basis. – rjc

 

My name is Carrie McBane, and I live in Sylva, North Carolina. I have Type 2 diabetes, so my life depends on daily access to drugs I can’t afford out of pocket…

Source: Big Pharma Holds My Life In Its Hands | OurFuture.org by People’s Action

All Of The Mueller Report’s Findings In Under 30 Minutes! | Crooks and Liars

Another way to get more of the report out to those for whom reading a 400+ page report is a bridge too far. Perhaps even members of Congress can spare half an hour to educate themselves instead of blindly following Trump over the cliff. Maybe even Trump would watch this, despite the fact that it isn’t produced by Fox News. – rjc

PBS does a national service, outlining the Mueller Report in a half hour video.

Source: All Of The Mueller Report’s Findings In Under 30 Minutes! | Crooks and Liars

Transcript: ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos’ exclusive interview with President Trump – ABC News

Typical Trump throughout. At times, seems like he thinks he’s directing his own campaign video. Replete with evasions, outright factual fabrications and numerous examples that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he read very little, if any, of the Mueller Report. Not only should American voters refuse to give another four-year term to our 45th President, we deserve a refund for how he has been wasting our time and money on this one.

Kudos to Stephanopoulos for his ability to wrangle the interview and withstand 30 hours with the Man of Steal. I doubt it will change many minds or votes in 2020, but it may help raise awareness somewhat for those among us who haven’t been paying attention. Now, we face the daunting task of selecting the best replacement possible and preventing Trump from stealing another election. – rjc

 

Below are the unedited transcripts of the president’s exclusive interview with ABC News from

Source: Transcript: ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos’ exclusive interview with President Trump – ABC News

Trump’s Attack On Congressional Oversight

For someone who has on several occasions claimed to have the most transparency of any administration in the history of this country, Donald Trump is doing his best to indicate he has plenty that he wants to hide from both the American people and our elected representatives in Congress. Since Democrats achieved a majority in the House of Representatives as a result of the 2018 midterm elections and the submission of the Special Counsel’s report earlier this year, there has been far less cooperation between the White House and Congressional oversight committees than existed when both houses of Congress were dominated by individuals more interested in whitewashing questionable activities in the Executive Branch.

As far as the Mueller Report is concerned, the total misrepresentation of that lengthy and thorough report by new Attorney General Barr ( in his four page summary report to Congress and subsequent release of a heavily redacted version of the complete report) has resulted in a degree of delay, distraction and non-compliance with requests for personal testimony and documents important to a thorough investigation by committees with a clear Constitutional oversight role than has been displayed by any US Administration since President Nixon. A complete  stonewalling of testimony and release of documents pertaining to Trump personal and business activities has taken place – at the direction of the President -  claiming a degree of Executive Privilege that will require court intervention to resolve.

Even the President’s personal and business tax returns are being withheld from being given to appropriate Congressional oversight in contravention of a federal law mandating such release upon request by the appropriate Committee Chair. The Attorney General and former White House Counsel Don McGahn have thus far refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, under threat of being held in contempt of Congress for such refusal. The President has basically called for no further cooperation with the Congressional Investigations resulting from the Mueller report, either in the form of testimony under oath before Congress or submission of documents requested.

The refusal to release tax information alone places President Trump in a league of his own when it pertains to convenient secrecy among even those who have merely run for the office for at least the past 50 years. As President, he has even less standing to refuse to submit the information, in light of the law passed almost a century ago highlighting appropriate procedures for obtaining that information. His position that he cannot release the returns because he’s under IRS audit is irrelevant even if he is under audit ( which to the best of my knowledge has not even been verified). For some reason, he wants the information contained in these returns to remain secret. Perhaps there is information there that could be used as evidence against him in a criminal case. Perhaps he believes information contained there would ruin his spotless reputation as a superior businessman and a model worthy of universal emulation. At the least, perhaps it would make one or two people reconsider his fitness to serve as our elected President for another term and damage the future profits he could make by publishing his memoirs.

None of us really knows for certain why Donald Trump does what he does when he does it. Millions more of us did not want him to become President after the 2016 elections than did. He wants to make sure that number doesn’t become even greater before November of 2020, so he can continue trying to shape the country to his liking for at least another four years and keeping as much information muddled as possible increases the likelihood that he can succeed in accomplishing that. Can this country and humanity as a whole afford to give him four more years of ruling the way he has been since he was inaugurated? Just because he was able to ascend to the position of power he now occupies does not give him the right to hide evidence that may rightly lead to his having to abandon that position – be it to pay for illegal activities he has engaged in or to lose his bid for re-election as a result of a more fully informed electorate expressing its preference for a different leader with fewer skeletons in her or his closet.

Congress needs to do its job in legislating to improve the lives of the American people, keep us safe from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and preserve the very planet as a place suitable for life in general. The trends that our economy, foreign relations and human rights have taken under this President have not been positive for most people living here or being affected abroad by US policies. Constant distractions caused by this President reflect badly on this country and detract from our ability to lead productive and fulfilling lives. We need to put an end to his constant lying to justify actions he takes that hurt rather far more people than they help. Impeach him or don’t, but make sure we get the information we need to have in order to obtain the governmental leadership necessary to achieve morally acceptable and sustainable goal in the future. We don’t need to Make America Great Again. The notion that it ever was great is easily disputable. The directions he has been heading for definitely are not an improvement over what his predecessors left him.

Trump’s attempts to improve health care, fix tax policy, address immigration and deal with the myriad issues facing us now has been a miserable failure so far. He has shown no inclination to govern rather than rule. Everyday he remains in office with a totally compliant Senate helping him to remake the judiciary to suit his own ends takes us closer to a world where most of us are mere pawns serving the desires of the few at our own expense. This neither makes America great nor improves the conditions for the world at large. Stop him in his tracks when he tries to play tin horn dictator who needs answer to no one other than the one he sees in the mirror when he looks up from his most recent twitter rant. Obstructing justice is wrong. A person holding a position of power under false pretenses is denying justice to us all. No executive privilege should allow corruption and abuse of power to not only exist but thrive as it is now doing in the form of the Trump Administration. Stop mouthing the talk of governmental transparency and start actually practicing it. There are millions of people in this country better suited to being its President than Donald Trump. Let’s make sure we inaugurate one on January 20, 2021.

Further Suggested Readings:

Steve Mnuchin says the courts can settle the debate over Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Are We in a Constitutional Crisis?

NYT: White House plans to tell McGahn to skip House Judiciary testimony

Republicans growing increasingly frustrated with Trump for stonewalling Congressional oversight: report

Democrats ridicule Trump’s absurd claim he’s ‘the most transparent president in the history of this country’ with a  series of snarky letters

Robert Mueller says he didn’t clear Trump on obstruction of justice in dramatic statement — it’s up to Congress to act

Mueller directly refutes White House claim that his report exonerates Trump

Mueller intended to break Democrats’ impeachment stalemate

Trump Vows Stonewall of ‘All’ House Subpoenas

The White House Shows That It Can Ignore The Judicial Branch Just As Well As The Legislative

White House blocks Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson from complying with House subpoenas

Welcome to the Fourth Reich: Donald Trump’s assault on the rule of law will not end well

Robert Mueller Breaks Silence [Video]

Robert Mueller, former FBI Director and Special Counsel in charge of investigating the 2016 Presidential campaign of Donald Trump and alleged Russian interference in that election, gave a speech announcing his resignation from the Department of Justice and pointedly referencing the Report he and his team compiled and submitted upon completion of that investigation.

Mueller in intent upon letting his report do the talking when it comes to further Congressional investigation as to what went on with the Trump campaign and has continued to transpire in the Trump Administration to this day. He challenged the summary Attorney General Barr submitted to Congress prior to his submission of the complete (except for redacted sections) Report subsequently submitted for Congress and the general public to study.

The ball is now in Congress’s hands to deal with in determining future actions to be taken on the matters involved, including potential Impeachment Hearings, Impeachment itself and a subsequent Senate Trial if impeachment articles pass votes in the House. Contrary to pronouncements make publicly by the President, others in his Administration and GOP Congressional leadership, this matter is far from settled. The President has not been exonerated either in Mueller’s Report or his speech today. Time will tell what eventually comes of this, but more hearings, subpoenas and public testimony of key witnesses, along with bitter court fights are likely to ensue.

Will Trump’s fate more closely resemble that of Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton once this is completed? How will this affect the 2020 elections? These and many other questions remain to be resolved. We certainly do not live in uninteresting times. Stay tuned. For what it’s worth, I sincerely hope that, at the very least, we won’t have to deal with the chaos of a second Trump term in office. – rjc

Robert Mueller spoke publicly about his findings in the Trump collusion investigation. CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports.

Source: Robert Mueller Breaks Silence [Video]

Why I Got Arrested For #MedicareForAll | OurFuture.org by People’s Action

Powerful message addressing why we need vast improvement in our health care system. Enough with the platitudes and excuses offered in defense of a system that puts corporate profits above the needs of the people in our society. The time arrived long ago to reform this system and stop using a person’s access to money as a gauge of how much effort will be expended to meet their health care needs. – rjc

A few weeks ago I was in handcuffs, one of six People’s Action members arrested at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office in Washington, D.C.. We engaged in a peaceful…

Source: Why I Got Arrested For #MedicareForAll | OurFuture.org by People’s Action

Abortion Before Roe v Wade Risky Business

Donald Trump, his recent judicial appointees and the predominantly GOP men in charge of way too many state governments in this country are bound and determined to return us to a dystopian land while calling it Making America Great Again. The bill passed and signed into law in Alabama is the worst example of this. Sally Edelstein in her Envisioning The American Dream blog does an excellent job of explaining this. More reason (if more was needed) to send Trump and the men of his ilk packing at the earliest opportunity. – rjc

Envisioning The American Dream

Donald Trump Handmaids Tale

I came late to the game watching Handmaid’s Tale, having only recently begun binging it. A totalitarian society that strips away a woman’s physical autonomy and reproductive rights in the former United States originally seemed too darkly dystopian for my tastes.

But now it feels as if the storylines are no longer confined to HULU- it is streaming free in real life in real time on CNN and ABC, The N.Y. Times and the Daily Beast. A 12-year-old girl raped by her uncle must bear the child to term- “Hallelujah,  Praise God” – or face prison time. Or a doctor who performs an abortion on a rape victim could receive 99 years imprisonment, longer than the actual rapist’s sentence.

How can this be in 2018? Who knew this cautionary tale would be the gospel for Alabama senators, now the latest state to morph into Gideon.

This is more than…

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Earth Day, A Green New Deal & Donald Trump

Since taking office on January 20, 2017, President Donald J. Trump has done a remarkable job of disregarding, refusing to abide by, and otherwise totally rendering asunder a great number of treaties and other bilateral and multilateral agreements between the USA and other national governments which came into existence before he was elected to his current office. Some of the more visible of these include the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, the Iran nuclear deal with the five permanent UN Security Council members, Germany and Iran, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the US and the USSR  (now Russia) and the Paris Climate agreement dealing with global climate change.

When it comes to climate change, President Trump has done everything he can to exacerbate the crisis while claiming loudly and clearly that the whole issue is nothing but a hoax. Back in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated to emphasize ways in which we could enhance the condition of the planet by curbing human behaviors that cause pollution and endanger the health and well-being of humans and other lifeforms alike. Air, water and land pollution of all kinds threatened us all in the long run and exposure to high doses of toxic materials were literally becoming hazardous to humans living in close proximity to poisons produced by human activities.

Toxic waste sites were discovered in places where any number of industrial endeavors were producing goods and services that provided benefits to consumers and profits to those making them (wages for workers and salaries for corporate executives as well as investment income for stockholders).  Often, poisonous byproducts of these processes were not understood to be part of any calculation of the true cost of making and consuming them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  was created to reduce toxic wastes entering water air and land. Legislation was enacted to regulate emissions of substances harmful to people and wildlife. Manufacturing processes, transportation, mining,  agriculture and virtually every large scale human activity were examined to determine how they affected the environment over time. Polluters were held to account with a goal of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle for future generations.

As he did with his claim of massive voter fraud plaguing the American electoral system, President formed a group of scientists to refute the voluminous scientific studies (backed by the vast majority of members of the international scientific community) which were used to draft the protocols designed to forestall and prevent the devastating effects of global climate change which has been building momentum over the years due to human activity which radically alters temperatures and weather patterns over time. His voter fraud group quickly dissolved when it became apparent it would not succeed in making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to voter fraud in our elections. We have yet to see any convincing evidence of mainstream scientific fraud when it comes to climate science, either.

President Trump has gone out of his way to basically destroy the ability of the EPA to serve the purpose it was created for. He has appointed leadership to people hellbent on reducing and eliminating regulations seen to be depriving private industry of profits that could be increased enormously if no heed were paid to deleterious impacts of their activities on people directly affected by their pollution. One major trend has been to rapidly expand fossil fuel  extraction on land and in the seas – including highly controversial opening up of public lands and coastal areas to oil and gas drilling, along with hydraulic fracturing to extract even more fossil fuels with increased toxic waste.

Increasing production of fossil fuels as well as their use worldwide will obviously also increase the environmental damage they cause, including even more production of greenhouse gasses contributing to global climate change. Wealthy people like our President and those people who benefited the most from his much-ballyhooed tax cuts may think the can buy their way out of the most severe aspects of climate change. Maybe they think when push comes to shove, they can use his space force to colonize Mars or some other planet and leave the rest of us to try to survive on this one once they’ve maximized their personal profits at our expense. His speeches, tweets and cabinet appointments dealing with such matters demonstrate a profoundly short-term approach which definitely places the welfare of the vast majority of humanity and life in general at great risk. He simply does not show even the slightest interest in the future of the people he is supposedly leading, let alone of humanity as a whole. We deserve better than another year and a half of his autocratic rule, let alone another four year term. Are we better off now than we were before he took office? I doubt most of us can answer that in the affirmative.

The Green New Deal offers a forward-looking alternative to the Trump plan – one which, if carried out with the enthusiasm that Trump’s vision of our future is taking shape, can lead to real improvement in the health and welfare of humanity and life on earth in general. The naysayers will say we can’t afford to do it. I say we can’t afford not to.

Suggested Further Reading:

Critics of the Green New Deal dismissed it as a campaign ploy. AOC just showed them it’s for real

‘This Is What Hope Feels Like’: Green New Deal Resolution Hailed as ‘Watershed Moment’ for New Era of Climate Action

A Green New Deal Is the First Step Toward an Eco-Revolution

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Is a Product of Youth Uprising

WATCH: This Viral Video of Ocasio-Cortez Explaining “Fundamentally Broken” US Democracy Has Been Viewed More Than 16 Million Times

A Response to Sen. Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Nuclear power has a large carbon footprint

‘Now Is the Time to Be Bold and Unapologetic’: Progressives Building ‘Unprecedented Political Coalition’ Around Green New Deal

‘Bring It On’: Green New Deal Champions Welcome McConnell’s Cynical Ploy for Up-or-Down Vote

The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the Green New Deal

Youth Climate Leaders Launch Campaign to Make McConnell Regret ‘Shameless’ Green New Deal Ploy

The Green New Deal Is Indeed a Big Deal

Climate Change Is Scary—Not the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal Can Work – Here’s How

The Green New Deal Must Transform the Economy

The Green New Deal Is Not a Choice

Chris Hedges: Extinction Rebellion, Part 2

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