Monday, October 30, 2017

Mueller Begins Separating the "Wheat From the Chaff"

I made my debut in this newspaper on August 25, 2014, as a columnist representing the left-leaning views of its readers, all two of them.   I accepted this task with much trepidation and angst.  It wasn’t because my friends told me I may be “burned out,” but because I never considered myself a “writer.”   After doing this now for over three years, I had an epiphany.  I must be a writer because I have writer’s block!  

THIS ISN’T the first time I’ve had writer’s block, heaven’s no!  However, this time it’s very different. This is a weekly newspaper and my deadline is four days before you see it.   I have used my opportunity as a columnist in this newspaper to share my opinions on all things Trump from the time he walked down the escalator in 2015.  Now perhaps the most important news in this continuing saga of Russian Collusion is happening after my deadline.  The Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller, makes his first arrest stemming from his investigation on Monday.  My writer’s block stems from the fact I want to write about THAT!  There is a myriad of other things going on in this country that is worthy of a column.  However, my mind won’t go there.   My mind is on THAT!

THE TRUTH is, it doesn’t matter who is charged first.  The real story will be in the aftermath—what will Trump and the lemmings on Capitol Hill do?  Last week we saw an outright conspiracy between Trump, his network FOX, and Trump’s Republican Party, to distract and divert the attention from the real threat to America.  Their brainstorming surely went something like this.  “Guys, we need to find something else to blame on Hillary.  We have so demonized her, people will believe anything if we just say her name.”  So, they pulled something out of their anal cavity that happened over seven years ago.  They say that Hillary is the one who actually colluded with Russia and gave Putin uranium resources.  Give me a break!  The uranium deal was approved by a nine-agency government panel and Hillary wasn’t even on the committee and had nothing to do with it.  But in Trump and FOX style, say it enough times, regardless of how ridiculous it is, and people will buy it hook, line, and sinker.

NOW TRUMP offers up proof that Hillary is the real “Russian Colluder” by pointing to the fact her campaign helped to pay for the infamous dossier.  The dossier was first commissioned by a Republican candidate for President.  When Trump became the nominee and they lost their funding, the company, GPS Fusion, approached Clinton’s lawyer and offered them the opportunity to continue the investigation.  Of course, they accepted.  That was authentic opposition research.  When the Russian’s offered the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary, they accepted, too, and said it was opposition research.  They admitted doing exactly what they are accusing Hillary of doing.  Except there’s a major difference between Fusion GPS and Russian agents.  Accepting information from a foreign government is “collusion,” not classified as opposition research.  Besides, ask yourself the common-sense question—Why would Hillary collude with Russia to lose the election?   

BY THE time you read this, FOX News’ Hannity, Carlson, and Pirro will ramp up their rhetoric to a fever pitch.  There will be calls for firing of Robert Mueller.  The Republicans on Capitol Hill will not only dance around the subject, but do a jig around it.  They will tell you they are only interested in doing tax reform for YOU.  The truth is, they are only interested in preserving their own power.  Trump’s tweets will become more insistent in having you believe his lies, and will become more desperate.  On Sunday he tweeted a long diatribe about Hillary Clinton and then said, “Do something!”  Coincidently, that’s the same thing I yell every day— “Do something!”

THERE’S AN old nursery rhyme that keeps me going and gives me hope.  “All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Trumpty Dumpty back together again.”  

SPECIAL ELECTION day in Monroe County is in a week, Tuesday, November 7th.  As a resident of the Fourth Commission District, this is perhaps the most important election affecting the future of our district and our county in my 18 years of living here.  

I HAVE never been outspoken in my column about any particular local candidate, especially a Republican.  However, this election is too important to stay silent.  I know George Emami from my church as a hardworking Deacon.  I know him to be a man of faith and grace.  I have never had a political conversation with him.  I only know him to be dedicated to all his endeavors, whether it be his realty business or his service to his community.  And, I think it’s time we had some younger people on the Commission with fresh approaches and ideas.  If you live in the 4th District, it’s your civic duty to vote and make your voice heard. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Who is the real empty barrel?

Last week’s news brought a shocking revelation to those of us that put our trust and hope into one man—General John Kelly.  We trusted General Kelly to protect us from an unhinged President.  Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) had previously told us that General Kelly and two other officials in Trump’s White House were the men that stood between Trump and chaos in our country.  I believed him because our culture puts Generals on a pedestal and ingrains in us they are to be respected above most other humans.  Generals don’t lie.  Right?  Sadly, we learned last week that General Kelly is merely a human and being a 4-Star General does not make him less susceptible to the corruption of politics.

MYSELF AND many other Americans feel duped by General Kelly.  You should, too. We found out that he will lie for the President, and use the deaths of those killed in action, even his own son, to distract from the lies.  We have little hope that anyone is a buffer between Trump and chaos.  General Kelly diminished his credibility and Uncle Sam is crying.

WHILE CONGRESSWOMAN Fredrica Wilson (D-FL) was riding in the car with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson and his mother, Mrs. Johnson took a call from President Trump and placed the call on speaker phone.  Congresswoman Wilson reported that Trump said, “He knew what he signed up for but it hurts anyway.”  She and the family thought that was disrespectful.  Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, it is not always what you say, but how you say it.  Instead of saying, “I’m sorry you misinterpreted what I said,” Trump crossed his arms and emphatically repeatedly said, “I never said those words.  She’s lying and I have proof.”

THE PROOF of who was lying was revealed when General Kelly took the podium in the briefing room.  He started the well-crafted speech by describing the entire process of what happens to a soldier killed in action, even how many times the body is packed in ice.  Why did he feel we needed that information, in that setting, if not to disarm and distract us emotionally to make us receptive to what other information he may impart?

KELLY STATED he told Trump those words are what his casualty officer, who was his best friend, told him when his son was killed.  That was confirmation that Trump lied; he obviously said those words.  Instead of saying Congresswoman Wilson told the truth, General Kelly castigated her for “listening in” on the “sacred” conversation between the widow and the President.  Listening to a phone call on speaker phone in a closed car is not sinister as Kelly would have you believe. 

KELLY DIDN’T stop there.  He proceeded to tell a whopper lie himself.  He said at the dedication of the new FBI building in Miami, Congresswoman Wilson bragged about lobbying President Obama to get the $20 million in funding to build the building.  He talked about how he and FBI agents were stunned.  He called her an “empty barrel,” meaning she didn’t have a brain. She was not even in Congress when the building was funded and if what General Kelly said was true, that would have been a sign she was an empty barrel.

HOWEVER, I know Kelly lied because I watched the video of Wilson’s speech made that day that was posted online by the Miami Sun Sentinel. From her comments, it appears she was the keynote speaker.  She was gracious in her effusive praise of the FBI, her colleagues, and the two FBI Agents for whom the building was named.  She only spoke of her role in the naming of the building for two FBI agents killed.  She told the story of how she became involved.  She was approached by the FBI who asked her help in getting legislation to name the building after the killed agents.  They told her it had to be done before the dedication service in four weeks, but they had been told it would take seven months to a year to get that legislation passed.  She said she went into attack mode and got it done before the ceremony, giving credit to all who helped her.  She gave a moving eulogy to the fallen agents and received a standing ovation. That’s a good story and entirely appropriate and common for a Congress person to speak of their role in an accomplishment.  If it’s not appropriate, we have a legislative body of nothing but empty barrels.  Kelly’s version begs the question, “Who is the real empty barrel?”  Remember, Kelly works for a man who is not only an empty barrel, but an empty suit.

IN THE movies, it’s always the General/Colonel that is being subversive.  There’s a reason for that.  Americans never suspect a General because of the ingrained respect we have for them, and it provides a shocking ending to provide a “wow” moment.

WHEN ASKED by a reporter about the false statement Kelly made about Congresswoman Wilson, Trump’s spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded to the reporter, “If you want to go after General Kelly that is up to you.  If you want to get in a debate with a 4-Star Marine General, that would be highly inappropriate!”   As I said, “It’s Ingrained.”  I rest my case.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump and Freddy Krueger Eerily Similar

Last Friday’s date was the 13th, Friday the 13th.     We all know Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest day of the year.  It’s a superstition so wide-spread, it even has a name, paraskevidekatriaphobia (seriously).  Most of us treat it like any other day but somewhere in the back of our mind we think “I need to be careful today—it’s Friday the 13th.  No one knows for sure why Friday the 13th is so vilified, but it is believed that it was derived from Judas being the 13th guest at Jesus’ Last Supper and Jesus was crucified on a Friday.  For whatever reason, it is believed that bad things happen on Friday the 13th. 

AND, SOMETHING bad did happen on this Friday the 13th.  The modern-day version of Freddy Krueger, the horror movie villain from Nightmare on Elm Street, announced his plan to yet again attack and destroy anything created by President Obama, his nemesis.  After being on the receiving end of Freddy’s birther conspiracy for years, Obama cracked a joke about Freddy at the White House Correspondence Dinner in 2011, and it bruised his very large, fragile ego.  That’s when Freddy decided to run for President and wipe Obama’s legacy from the face of the earth.  In so doing, he is destroying our country and its people.

FREDDY ANNOUNCED the death of Obamacare on Friday, the 13th.  Freddy is holding our health care hostage to get his way.  When the Republicans in Congress tried to get rid of Obamacare, the American people said, “No, we like it.”  He has been chopping off the equivalent to fingers to make the American people come begging at his knees.  Chop! He cut funding for navigators to help people understand how to get health care.  Chop!  He declined funding advertising for the Open Enrollment so people would not know when to sign up.  Chop!  On Friday, the 13th, he cut the heart out of Obamacare when he announced he was cutting off all subsidies.  He said it was because the subsidies were a pay-off to the insurance companies.  No, Freddy, subsidies allowed those that could not afford to pay the full premiums for health insurance to have healthcare.  These subsidies were for hard working Americans struggling to get by.  People not in Freddy’s income bracket. 

THIS IS A quote from Freddy after his election and many times since, “I’d like to see Obamacare implode.”  When repeal did not work, he decided to kill it himself, one piece at a time.  He explained it on Friday, the 13th, like this, “Repeal didn’t work, I decided to go another route, bit, by bit, by bit.”

THE IRONY in this destruction of health care is the demographics of Trump’s base will be hurt the most.  In Georgia where Governor Deal refused Medicaid expansion, losing the subsidies will make health insurance premiums go up 54.2%.  Georgia is headed for a healthcare crisis and our Monroe County hospital will fail in spite all our county has done to save it. 

FREDDY COMMITTED another dastardly deed this Friday, the 13th by bringing America to the precipice of a disaster with Iran.  You know, the Iran Deal that Obama worked on to keep Iran from having nuclear weapons.  He laid the onus on Congress to fix and said If he doesn’t get a better deal than Obama did, he is going to renege on the agreement.  The United States was not the only country who signed this agreement with Iran.  The other countries were the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the European Union.  All countries, even the USA, agree that Iran has not violated the terms of the agreement.  If we end up in a war with Iran, which appears where Freddy is taking us, it’s going to be very lonely there without our allies. 

FREDDY HAS continuously promulgated a lie about Iran, just as he did with the birther conspiracy.  Obama DID NOT give Iran 1.7 billion dollars!  It was money and interest from Iran held by the U.S. since the 1970’s.  It was payment of a settlement claim resulting from arbitration.  Not a dime of our tax dollars went to pay this money to Iran as Freddy would have you believe.  I am certain that Freddy would never have given Iran back their money based on the fact he didn’t pay contractors on work performed on his own property.  But unlike Freddy, Obama has morals.

FREDDY IS so spiteful and vindictive, I also learned on Friday, the 13th that he still maintains, and has not retracted his remarks about not helping Puerto Rico re-build or even live for that matter.  Nearly a month after the hurricane, and people are dying from water-borne diseases. The death toll has risen from 15 to 45 since Freddy’s visit when he tossed paper towels to the thirsty, starving people and said “adios.”  Remember Mayor Carmen Cruz?  Freddy kinda, sorta, doesn’t like her…Okay, he HATES her!  He hates her so much in fact, he is willing to let an entire island of American citizens die to show her who’s boss.  You see, she was the only one with the guts to address his incompetent handling of their dire predicament.  And she’s a woman, too!

SILLY ME!  Everyone knows that Freddy Krueger only appears in people’s dreams and he is a fictional character.  When I awoke from my nap, I realized I wasn’t dreaming—there was not a fictional Freddy Krueger, but a real President Trump.  Sad.