Thursday, February 16, 2017
The Deep State has hit Trump at least twice at this juncture. The first time involved the Judicial Branch and his "travel ban" Executive Order. The second time was regarding Flynn and the Russian Ambassador. "Officials" in our Gov't brought the whistleblowing leaks (concerning Flynn) to the attention of the Acting Attorney General. Weeks before, Trump apparently knew about Flynn's lies to the V.P. and the public. So much for transparency in government.
King Donald is so thin-skinned and insecure that after about a hundred more hits by the Deep State, he'll probably have a nervous breakdown. If and when that happens, let's hope his finger isn't on the nuclear button. [This is the guy who asked, "If we have them (nukes), why can't we use them?".] Good grief.
His press/news conference today was one for the books. Whining, whining, and more whining. He's an embarrassment to this country. On top of that, he's still dwelling on the election...and still thinks he had some sort of massive landslide victory. It's as though he's trying to convince himself, not us. The man appears to be emotionally retarded. The piece on Frontline a short while ago (sorry, I forget the title...maybe, The Choice) about his childhood and upbringing gives insight into that. Trump always has to see himself as winning and as a success, even if he loses and/or fails. When criticized, he either attacks with lies... or whines... or both.
I'm certainly not in favor of The Establishment in American politics, but Trump is not the solution to that. This is the Buffoon Administration, and it's extremely dangerous. It's filled with Corporatists, Elitists, Militarists, and worse. The Don makes promises he cannot possibly keep, but he'll violate the Constitution, the Natural Rights of commoners, International Law, and any measure of common sense trying to fulfill those promises. He thinks he's the greatest thing since sliced bread... and can't stop talking about how great he is. When he comes up against the wall of Reality, he'll crack. Before he cracks up, he'll probably double or triple the National Debt (which already is obscene), get us into another major, unconstitutional war, and destroy what's left of our economy. On top of that, he'll generate more terrorism than did Bush & Obama combined and make enemies of allies around the world. This President is an unmitigated disaster. All he'll do is make the Super-Rich richer, poor people poorer, encourage the prejudiced, further hollow out the Middle Class, increase the pollution of the planet, continue Perpetual War, and in general, destroy America. Of course, he says he'll do the opposite of all that... but then, the guy is a Con Man. [And no, I'm not a Democrat...or a Republican.]
So, how many Americans really do support and/or approve of him? The polls I've seen indicate that the number is 1/3rd of all adults in this Land. One-third. As paltry as it is, look for that number to shrink before long. Why? The guy doesn't have a clue about American Government. I probably know more about the subject... and that's not saying much. Plus, as written above, the man appears to be emotionally retarded. That does not bode well for coping with the stresses and strains of the Presidency... or for making wise decisions. Finally, he's choosing people to fill his Administration whose actions are going to piss off the vast majority of Americans, never mind the world.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Monday, February 13, 2017
Chris Hedges is recognized as a genuine "Progressive" and well respected as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
This clip (below), only about 12 minutes long, is on a site deemed by the Democrats & Republicans to be a source of "fake news"...and also deemed by them to be a place where "supporters of Russian Propaganda" pontificate. It's RT, formerly "Russia Today". There are a few (very few) sites that really do put out fake news. The stories are complete fabrications. From what I've seen over the past two years, RT is NOT one of those sites. They do, however, have a certain "slant" to many of their presentations. That's easy to recognize and filter out...just as it is with any other news site.
Analysts on both the American "Right" and "Left" often appear there as guests. As one of many alternatives to Mainstream American Media, I've found it to be a very good source of analysis. All news sites are "slanted" to one degree or another, & this one is no more so than Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Democracy Now, PBS News Hour, The Washington Post, New York Times, etc., etc.
Democrats and Republicans have failed...utterly. The result is King Donald the First. He won the election because people were justifiably angry, desperate, & wanting change. [As a friend pointed out, there also was manipulation of the voter rolls by the Repubs with a program called "Crosscheck"; however, that does not explain why a lot of people voted for Trump.] Unfortunately, Trump is a Corporatist and a Con Man. He will violate the Constitution even more than Bill Clinton, Dubya Bush, & Obama. The Police State here will grow, more money will be sucked away from the Lower & Middle Classes, and once again, the Deep State/Shadow Gov't will prevail. The Super-Rich will get richer, and the economy will crash...more than it has already. The 7-10-year Boom-Bust Cycle, which benefits the Upper Crust & has been ongoing for about 45 years, will continue.
The good news is that it's likely we'll survive...and finally wake up & see through the Edward Bernays style Propaganda coming from the so-called "Right", the so-called "Left", and other Corporatists such as Trump.
This clip is a must-see; it's a brilliant critique---
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Friday, February 10, 2017
King Donald appears to think he's still a CEO, or worse, the owner of the American Gov't. This is somewhat understandable because there are few (if any) institutions more dictatorial than a Mega Corporation...and that's the atmosphere our President is used to. He appears to believe that he's the Boss of the entire Fed Gov't., and that being Commander-in-Chief entitles him to ignore Immigration Laws passed by Congress and other laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) passed into Law during the Nixon Era. [Just the other day, the Army cancelled/terminated the NEPA requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). That's a direct violation of NEPA.]
The Don appears to be ignorant of the fact that we have a government composed of three separate branches---all co-equal. He apparently doesn't believe in the concepts of Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers. This also is somewhat understandable. That's because going back at least to the Bill Clinton Era, the Executive Branch has pretty much embraced the concept of Unitary Executive Power (especially promulgated during the Dubya Bush Era). This concept purports that the President is allowed to set aside any laws that conflict with the Executive's view of actions necessary to preserve "National Security". It was honed into a weapon (against democracy) primarily by John Yoo and David Addington in the Bush Administration. In essence, it places the President above the law. Clinton, Bush, Obama, and it looks like Trump as well all believe in it. This is a big part of the reason for Presidential violations of statutory law and the Supreme Law of the Land, the U.S. Constitution.
This is the reason that recent Presidents believed they could spy on Americans without obtaining individual warrants signed by a judge. It's the reason that recent Presidents thought they could go to war without the approval of Congress. It's the reason they believed that people (U.S. citizens) can be arrested and held incommunicado without a warrant. It's the reason they all still believe that the President can order weaponized drone attacks whenever and wherever the Executive Branch so chooses...even if the target country says NO. This is the reason that FBI Agents now can write their own Search Warrants (called "National Security Letters"), and if you're served with one, you cannot reveal that to anyone (not even an attorney) or you're subject to five years in prison. That's a prime example of Fascism in action.
Trump's implosion is evidenced by his continual whining about judges, about "fake news", about Nordstrom dropping his daughter's clothing line (!), about lawmakers who wish to alter Asset Forfeiture laws, about anyone who criticizes or opposes him, and by his continual use of Twitter as a vehicle for all his woes & complaints. [He's acting like a teenager.]
King Donald, like all recent Presidents, appears to believe that no one in the Judicial Branch or the Legislative Branch has the right or duty to oppose him. He seems to think that he's the Head Honcho of the whole Shebang. He thinks he's the CEO of the Fed Gov't. Like the Presidents of our recent past, apparently he believes that being Commander-in-Chief of the military means that he's entitled to be above the law. Being the Head Honcho of the military does not entitle any President to ignore any part of the Constitution or any Law passed by Congress. There are limits on the Presidency...a lot of limits. Without strict observance of those limits, we have a Fascist government.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Trump beats out even Dubya Bush and Obama for the title, Lunatic King. I didn't think that was possible....especially so soon after the election. Naturally, I'm exaggerating with the title of this essay; however, exaggeration often drives home a valid point. Here are just a few of Trump's "lunacies"---
1. He's acting like an idiot with Iran. Trump claims that Iran is the greatest generator of terrorism in the world. In reality, that title belongs to either Saudi Arabia---with its spreading of Wahhabism (a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam)---or to the USA, with its weaponized drones and American Empire view of world relations. For about forty years, the Iranian Gov't has tried to turn its own people against the USA. It failed to do so. Trump has done it in ten days.
2. In a really dumb/lunatic move, King Donald not only placed a Gag Order on the EPA & other Gov't agencies, but he placed a freeze on any new contracts for the cleanup of SuperFund toxic/hazardous waste sites. There are over 1,800 such sites in our Land. This means that hazardous wastes will not only continue to leach into our groundwater and/or flow into our surface water, but overall will accelerate. Some of these sites are military installations with pollution dating back to the '50s and '60s. [As a HazMat Specialist with Sacramento County about 15 years ago, I conducted regulatory compliance inspections of one of those sites, McClellan Air Force Base. These pollution problems are real, and need to be addressed.]
SIDE NOTE: The pollution going back decades is a direct result of an almost total lack of environmental regulations and/or enforcement in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. Even today, enforcement of environmental regs is lacking to one degree or another in some areas of our country. It's a fairly safe bet that Trump & his Administration will worsen the situation.
3. The blanket ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries is making enemies around the world. Even many in Israel condemn it. Fortunately, the judicial section of the Deep State here is fighting Trump on this one, and for the moment at least, is winning.
4. Trump's (for the most part) Corporate Cabinet is beyond ridiculous. These people will favor Mega Banks, other Mega Corporations, and the Super-Rich over Main Street in a heartbeat. It all shows where Trump's true loyalties exist. In terms of the Oligarchy v. the rest of us, it's SSDD. On second thought, this time it will be on triple steroids.
5. King Donald's views (and already, actions) on Climate Change display an exponential amount of ignorance. He's not a stupid man, but he's quintessentially ignorant on too many crucial issues. Either that, or he's propagandized beyond the pale... or both.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Monday, January 30, 2017
Never mind the fact that Article II, Section 2 enumerates ONLY TWO Executive Orders permitted under the United States Constitution. The President may order Department Heads to submit reports on anything having to do with their respective departments, and may grant clemency/pardons to specified prisoners. That's it. No other Exec Orders are listed/described. Put that aside...because We the People apparently have accepted the Fed Govt's analysis which states that other Orders are IMPLIED. Some analysts have argued (to no avail) that the Constitution does not imply powers, but instead ENUMERATES them. [We have, after all, a government of Enumerated Powers.]
So for decades & decades, we have allowed past & present Presidents essentially to issue decrees (like a King) that instead should be ideas for legislative bills submitted to Congress. Never mind all that. Trump isn't the only guilty party.
The USA's Soft Fascism is hardening rapidly under this new King & his Administration. The recent blanket ban is proof of that. Here are a few of the results:
1. at JFK Airport, some moron kicked & punched a Muslim woman who was dressed according to her faith, and then said, "Trump is here now; he's going to get rid of all of you!";
2. a PhD candidate at Stanford, who had been visiting abroad, was detained upon return to the Land of the Free because the country visited was one of the "areas where we've had trouble" (the quote is from an Administration spokesman);
3. other students with Green Cards attending other universities had similar experiences;
4. Iraqis who helped save the lives of American soldiers, and thus were targeted in their own land, were denied entrance as refugees to the USA at the airport... because of Trump's "Executive Order".
So much for "extreme vetting". With this Order, apparently there is no vetting. There's only a blanket ban.
Pluralistic societies/countries, if they were to use Trump's reasoning, should ban all Americans from entrance to their lands... because some Americans are violent racists. That's the same flawed logic.
Trump already has demonstrated that he should be impeached. Keep in mind, the Impeachment process begins merely with an investigation by the House. It may end there. It's the Senate that has to vote for conviction (removal from office)...2/3rds of Senators must so vote...if the House votes to proceed.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
A couple of years ago, Moyers & Company had as a guest Mike Lofgren, who had been a Congressional Staffer for 28 years. During his long stint in Congress, he became aware of the Deep State (Shadow Gov't)...which is a conglomeration of like-minded public & private individuals. If you're not familiar with that group, simply Google/Bing the term.
As Lofgren pointed out, the Deep State doesn't care whether Repubs or Dems are in power at the national level... those labels are meaningless to the true Powers-That-Be. Genuine Repubs and genuine Dems don't exist anymore at the very top echelon of the Fed Gov't. Mostly Neoliberals exist there. That's Lofgren's conclusion after working 28 years in Congress.
Jump forward to today.
Trump will be squashed and/or completely marginalized by the Deep State, mostly because he has no ideology. He's nothing but an opportunist, and they won't abide that. Either that will happen, or he'll simply self-destruct.
One would think that the Deep State might favor a guy like Corporatist Trump. They favored Corporatist Clinton instead because she represented the status quo. Although Trump adheres to Corporatism, he also appears to be: against Globalization; too unreliable; too volatile; anti-status-quo; too thin-skinned; and too egotistical. None of that (if true) would bode well for Neoliberalism and Corporatist Globalization... the darlings of the Deep State.
Don't get me wrong---Trump will not be good for Main Street or the USA in general. He's not a Populist. He's a dangerous opportunist who says anything he thinks his audience wants to hear. He's a billionaire Corporatist, a Crony Capitalist, and an ego-maniacal flip-flopper. [I just watched a clip of his speech at the CIA. Despite all his previous denigrations (often vicious) of the intelligence community, he says he's their biggest fan. Typical Trump--- he says whatever his current audience wants to hear. In this case, I doubt that the audience believed him.]
Apparently, Trump has little to no idea what he's up against. The main point here is this: the Deep State runs this country. Elected puppets have very little to do with it. They primarily are figureheads. They give the illusion of a democracy. In addition, Trump now has an approval rating of 32%. Not only that, but he lost the popular vote by about three million. He has no "mandate". Finally, never mind the entire Fed Gov't, even only the Executive Branch is so huge that it's essentially unmanageable. It's nowhere near a monolithic institution overseen by one person. Half the time (I'm guessing), the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Getting around bombastic Trump won't be especially difficult.
I'll give Trump this much--- he did get us out of the TPP. That's significant... and it's one of the reasons that the Deep State will utterly marginalize the guy.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
p.s. For those who may not know: the Deep State is NOT a "conspiracy theory"; it's a well-accepted concept. Plus, for the most part, it's in plain sight and operates right out in the open. [Example: shortly after Trump issued memos suggesting that the DAPL (pipeline) and the Keystone XL Pipeline both should be restarted, an Administrator at the Badlands National Park tweeted scientific facts supporting the concept of Climate Change.]
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Here's (the above link) Obama's keep-out-of-jail card (because of the $ you gave my election campaigns) for JP Morgan Chase/Jamie Dimon and the other Mega Banks. [Dubya Bush was no better.] As W.K. Black points out, they all should have & could have been prosecuted.
Now we have Trump...who probably owes up to a billion $ to various Mega Banks. No problem there. :)
Democrats are talking about "resistance" to the new regime. That's all well & good, but Establishment Democrats need to be resisted as well. Most likely, 99.9% of them are promoters of Corporatist, Wall Street, Casino Capitalism. They're Crony Capitalists of the highest order.
Not only my opinion. Be Well