Monday, January 15, 2018
The big news of this week will be Trump’s award show. Amendment 1, the first of 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights, written by our founding fathers, was surely the most important and foremost element of our democracy based on the prominent placing of this amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press defines our country and are essential to maintain our freedom in this country. These two freedoms separate our country from that of authoritarian governments. Of course, you know that! I’m simply refreshing your memory to ready you for Trump’s self-lauded Fake News Awards he says he will present on Wednesday.
TRUMP SAYS he will present these awards to the “dishonest and corrupt media.” Trump’s done a lot of despicable things in his short tenure as President, but his award show chips away at our democracy, not to mention how much it damages our standing in the world.
TRUMP HAS referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.” That was a term Joseph Stalin used to describe the media in the Soviet Union and we know what happened to the media there. Truth is, Trump probably isn’t aware of Joseph Stalin and will probably say he invented that term concerning the media. He has also called the media the “opposition party” and his favorite, the “lying media.” There is no doubt that Trump is at war with the press and as long as it is politically expedient for him, it will continue to escalate.
I FEEL Trump does not hate the media—he just wants their approval. Trump is attempting to bully the media to say great things about him like his friends at FOX News. Trump has used, and sought out press coverage his entire adult life. He is the most media savvy President’s ever. While a businessman in New York City, he did everything possible to be mentioned in the society pages. He was his own publicist using the fake name of John Barron to call media and brag about himself. He is still his own publicist and uses the fake name of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Without the fame given to him by the media, he would not be where he is today. He certainly wouldn’t be President without the nearly 24 hours a day campaign coverage, and for that, the media only have themselves to blame. Before cable, the equal time rule would have solved that problem.
FOR TRUMP to thrive, he has to have an enemy. Trump learned from his campaign that nothing gets his “base” supporters riled up quicker than castigating the media. When his rallies became boring, he would turn attention to the “lying media.” In one incident, his remarks were so incendiary, some press people had to be escorted out for protection from the crowd. So, as his poll numbers show even some of his base supporters have had enough, he is grasping at ways to bring them back.
TRUMP’S FAKE News Award’s show will be watched and talked about for the entire week. It is sure to break Trump’s own record for the most lies he has told in one sitting. One thing we know for sure, FOX NEWS and the Monroe County Reporter will not win one of these awards.
TA-DA, and the big story last week-- Trump made another nasty, racist comment. I don’t think I have to repeat the comment here in this family newspaper. Unless you live under a rock, you know what kind of hole trump called these countries and the context in which it was used. What I thought was, “The whole world is thinking about that word at the same time.” That’s probably never happened, and we must give Trump all the credit. Instead of the “shot heard around the world,” we’ll just call it the “s*** heard around the world.
Monday, January 8, 2018
For those of us who thought our country was headed down a black hole, those thoughts were confirmed this past week. The question is, how low can we go? We saw a President, surrounded by all his administration, defend his mental stability and tell us how smart he is, even telling us he is a genius. We heard a President bragging about the size of his nuclear button. More disturbing, it became clear as glass last week that we have a self-serving Congress who has chosen to put party and their personal career above the good of the country. In other words, we have a President who has demonstrated repeatedly he is unfit to serve, but the “powers that be” are unwilling to stand up for this truth.
ALL MY life, I have placed all my trust in the Constitution and those elected to preserve it. Those people are called the “powers that be.” I had faith that these “powers that be” would protect our Democracy and my role as a citizen was only to vote. After voting, whether my party won or not, I could go about my daily life, never entertaining the thought that our Democracy, with so many checks and balances would be threatened. As I watch every institution being destroyed and a President with little to no fear of war, I realize that we have been betrayed by the “powers that be.”
BY NOW there is no doubt that our election process was interfered with by Russia. There is little doubt that collusion by the Trump campaign existed. The only way we will know for certain if Trump played a direct role in this collusion is to allow an unobstructed investigation. The fact that Trump has tried so hard to circumvent Robert Mueller’s investigation gives any reasonably minded person cause to doubt. All that is true, but now the “powers that be” have decided it is more beneficial to them to have an unfit President than to do the responsible thing for our country.
MANY THINGS happened last week that leads to that conclusion. An all-out assault has been launched by the “powers that be” that jeopardize our Democracy. Trump’s Justice Department turned over investigative notes, e-mails, and witness lists pertaining to the Russia investigation, to Representative Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. You will recall last year Nunes side-stepped an ethics investigation by recusing himself from the Russia Investigation when he colluded with Trump and was caught. Now Speaker Ryan has allowed him back in and he is large and in charge. Don’t think for one moment that this information garnered by Nunes will not be couriered to Trump by Nunes immediately.
THE CALL to investigate Hillary Clinton for the umpteenth time is back. Trump is obsessed with Hillary (and Obama) and would like nothing better than to see her in jail, simply because she is his political enemy. Whatever the allegation against this Administration, Hillary Clinton is said to be worse. If we had all the money that has been spent on investigating the Clintons over the years, we could substantially pay down the national debt. Investigating Hillary is more important to the “powers that be” than our elections being controlled by a foreign power. Just another distraction from Trump and Russia collusion.
FURTHER DISTRACTION was provided by Senator Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley, the epitome of the “powers that be”. They referred Christopher Steele, the author of the Dossier, to the Justice Department for criminal investigation in a very vague memo. If there was any hope of Christopher Steele coming to this country to testify or explain his method, that will never happen now or he faces possible arrest for yet undetermined reasons. Further, the Group that hired Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, has lost a fight to protect their banking information which will reveal any and all of their clients. For a private investigation company, this will be the death knell for them.
SINCE AN out and out firing of Special Counsel James Mueller would be difficult for the “powers that be” to ignore since they were very gung ho on his hiring, they have decided there are more ways to “skin a cat.” They have launched a war to undermine the investigation from many directions and will provide Trump with defensive strategy to counter anything Mueller’s investigation may determine.
AND WE wonder how Hitler flourished. It started with propaganda and lies. The first thing he did was achieve full control over the legislative and executive branches of government. Then there was systematic suppression of the political opposition. Putin used these same tactics. He has jailed and executed his political enemies. He jailed and exiled the media. The only media left is his state-run television where everything is based on lies and half-truths. Much like Trump’s controlled FOX News.
YES, WE are in a dark time. If Trump is left unchecked, we are well on our way to being an autocratic society, or the unthinkable, destroyed by nuclear war. We can no longer think the “powers that be” won’t let that happen. We must not go quietly. We must protect Mueller’s investigation and in November, 2018, the American people will be the “powers that be.”
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
We made it out of 2017, even with a whack job as President. I don’t know about you, but my stomach churns when I think about what is in store for us in 2018. If you thought 2017 was bad, “you ain’t seen nothin yet!”
FOR THE next three months, the word DACA will echo in our ears. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is set to expire in March. DACA is also known as the Dream Act which was created by Obama. And that’s all you need to know. Obama created it, so Trump must tear it down. It’s too bad Obama didn’t build the wall because then Trump’s mantra would be “tear down that wall.” By the way, have you noticed when Trump says the word DACA, he spits it out like a sour persimmon? If not, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to observe that during the next three months.
THERE ARE 800,000 Dreamers in this country. They came to this country as children and know no other way of life. They went to school and church with your children. The only thing different from the Dreamers and your child is the place they were born. Their parents brought them here so they could have a better life—they did it out of love, the same way you make decisions out of love for your children. Now they will be sent back out of hate.
OBAMA’S DREAM Act placed stringent requirements for this program. To qualify as a Dreamer and get a two- year pass, the Dreamer must get a High School diploma or GED, have a job, and stay out of trouble of any kind. Some Dreamers are serving in our military and are veterans. How many of your children could pass the rules of DACA? Dreamers must requalify every two years. The punishment for violating these rules is deportation. It’s not like they will be going home. They will be returned to a country they don’t know, without their families and friends. It is beyond cruel and that’s not the way our country operated in the past. I grew up believing the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses longing to breathe fee.” That’s my America.
A BIG FIGHT over DACA is looming. Trump is going to hold DACA over the heads of the Democrats in Congress to get funding for his wall. You know, the wall he promised Mexico would pay for—believe me,” and Mexico said “hell no!” The wall will cost taxpayers $70 billion to build and $150 million a year to maintain. Talk about a “pig in a poke!” There is no value in that. However, with few illegals coming in from the South and Trump tearing our country down on a daily basis, perhaps he will use the wall to keep people IN this country rather than OUT.
THE MISTAKE that Obama made with the Dreamer Act was not providing a pathway to citizenship. I cannot fathom how it would be to never feel comfortable, safe, and secure in my own bed. The future of the Dreamers is so uncertain, they must never feel peace. That must be what it’s like to live under an authoritarian government like Russia, et. al. You constantly must be looking over your shoulder and never know when you will be pulled from your bed at night and placed in prison. In the case of Dreamers, be dumped in another country where they are not welcome and don’t know a soul. The America I know and love has a heart.
TRMP WANTS a deal on DACA from the Democrats. Here’s my proposal. I say, Democrats should go for the “full Monty.” They should require DACA be made permanent with a pathway to citizenship. A further requirement will be that Medicare, Social Security, veteran’s benefits, or children’s healthcare programs will not be cut to pay for it. In exchange, Democrats will vote overwhelmingly for his lame wall. After all, that wall is just a gargantuan waste of money but allowing Trump his “dream” will not change our life in a solitary way. On the other hand, hurting these innocent young people will forever be a blight on our country. One day we can tear down the wall, but we can never undo the hurt, pain, and suffering endured by these young people and their families.
THIRTY SHORT years ago, in a speech heard around the world, President Reagan, the idol of Republicans, called on the Soviet Union’s Gorbacheu to “Tear down that Wall!” He was referring to the wall built between East and West Berlin. Americans cheered. Wall bad then. Wall good now. Ironic isn’t it?