Quotes, Intro"Trump is undocumented--throw him out! His birth certificate is a fake. He was born in Russia. Why else the favoritism? Pass it on. #mentallyIllprez" - Colby Glass. posted 3/1/17
"Why does Trump hate undocumented people? Because he is one of them! His birth certificate is a fake. He was born in Russia. Why else the favoritism? Pass it on. #mentallyIllprez" - Colby Glass.
See #EarthToTrump below
99 Ways to Fight Trump great list, many links for action
Trump Is Full of Crap: Facebook by Left Action
Wall-of-us he promised a wall; he will be stopped by a wall of us. Concrete actions every week
'ald Trump is Corrupt tracks the corruption.
Master of Distraction; disgustingly makes fun of handicapped people
Articles, Latest First
Satire" Hardcore Hitler on Hitler in Helsinki By C.J. Hopkins July 11, 2018
Here it comes, the moment we’ve been waiting for, when Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki to officially launch the Destruction of Democracy, and very possibly the Apocalypse itself.
The plan is to do away with NATO, withdraw all American troops from Poland, let Putin rape and pillage Western Europe, and then have North Korea nuke both coasts of the US mainland (and Canada, of course) so that a Putin-Nazified Middle Amerika will have carte blanche to exterminate the Mexicans and make women wear those “Handmaid” costumes, or some other ridiculously paranoid scenario, possibly involving Susan Sarandon as some kind of Putin-Nazi triple agent.
Thank God at least the corporate media are raising their collective voices in protest. In a recent piece in The Washington Post, Max Bergmann of the Center for American Progress warns that “this is a summit about appeasement, and we should be terrified that Trump is going to sell out America and its allies.”
Not to be out-apocalypsed by The Post, Roger Cohen of The New York Times published a full-blown dystopian vision wherein Trump, Putin, Marine Le Pen, the AfD, and a variety of other globalist-hating Hitler-alikes form “the Alliance of Authoritarian and Reactionary States” (the “AARS”), disband the European Union and NATO, impose international martial law, and start ethnically cleansing the West of immigrants.
What we’re experiencing now is more akin to the kind of behavior that goes on in cults … where people are conditioned to surrender their reason (and, ultimately, to conform their perception) to whatever paranoid official narrative the leader of the cult has invented, and eventually to direct their fear and hatred, not only at the cult’s official enemy, but at anyone who questions the cult’s “reality.”
Everyone in the room was visibly cringing as Donald Trump badmouthed Germany at NATO breakfast July 11, 2018 Donald Trump continues to embarrass the United States, both at home and abroad. Ahead of his visit to the United Kingdom, the song “American Idiot” by Green Day shot up the charts to #1 this week, some 16 years after its debut. Watching this video, it is easy to see why. Here’s Donald Trump claiming (projecting) that Germany is controlled by Russia because of a pipeline and saying NATO member nations need to pay more.
To the cheers of right-wing militias, Trump issues pardon to child-abusers, serial arsonists July 10, 2018 In a press release, Donald Trump announced full pardons for Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. The pair have long been the focus of right-wing extremists who rallied to their side, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy who organized their supporters to take over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in January 2016. The standoff lasted roughly five weeks before the last of the supporters were convinced to lay down their weapons and surrender to the FBI.
Dwight and Steven Hammond have a history of arson in Oregon, setting fires to nearby properties to allegedly help their own ranch, despite being repeatedly warned against such action by Bureau of Land Management firefighters and law enforcement.
Pregnant women say they've been shackled, denied adequate care, miscarried in immigration detention July 10, 2018 Pregnant women in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention say in interviews and written affidavits that they have been “shackled around the stomach” and denied adequate medical care, some testifying that they were “ignored when they were obviously miscarrying,” according to Buzzfeed. “Those descriptions were backed by interviews with five legal aid workers, four medical workers, and two advocates who work with ICE detainees.”
Is the president above the law or not? July 11, 2018
Trump's court pick would be murder on the environment—and consumers wouldn't fare well either July 11, 2018 Nobody found it too surprising to learn that Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is, when it comes to his feelings on the government, a bit of a crackpot; being a crackpot is the only way you end up on the shortlist of the Federalist Society's list of potential Supreme Court justices most likely to crackpot their way back to an 18th century version of "civil rights," a robber baron-era version of "regulation", and an biblical-era interpretation of what the womenfolk are obliged to abide when the menfolk are in their oak and leather decision-rooms doing the decision-making.
“Donald Trump is a disgusting, concupiscent diaper full of ogre shit with a diseased lab monkey brain who preys on vulnerable underage girls” will likely not be the lead headline from the pr*sident’s upcoming visit to the UK, but it probably should be. Especially in light of the following (can we say “shocking” anymore in reference to ShOTUS?) report from the BBC.
Via Vice News:
A few days before President Trump heads to the U.K. to meet the queen and the prime minister, a BBC investigative program has revealed fresh allegations of sexually inappropriate actions by Trump during the 1980s and 1990s, comparing him to a “predator” at parties with girls as young as 14.
Yes, Trump is a narcissist. But it's literally millions of times worse than that. Daily Kos staff Monday July 09, 2018
Yes, the hallmarks of narcissism are painfully obvious in the president of the United States. The endless projection. The delusion of grandeur masking a paper-thin skin that punctures under the most benign criticisms. The nonstop gaslighting. But you know who else every single one of these attributes describes?
Trump’s deplorable, unmovable base are cult-like followers who could watch him shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and still follow him, who give no shits that he is a serial sexual assaulter and defender of molesters, who get fleeced by his tariffs, by his family’s blatant disregard for the emoluments clause, and yet continue to vote for him even when it seemingly serves no interest of their own. Kool-Aid drinkers in the most macabre sense of the metaphor, they will follow him right to hell and never look back. None of it makes any logical sense, until you realize they are serving their own interests. Because none of the details matter if you see yourself in the narcissist delivering the rhetoric that feeds your own sense of narcissism.
Trump’s base is nothing more than a collection of narcissists, and I find this a lot more interesting than the fact that Trump himself is a narcissist. Trump simply represents the abhorrent qualities of his entire base.
The Coming Collapse of the American Economic System By Richard Wolff and Chris Hedges July 10, 2018
Wolff: We have given a free pass to the capitalist system because we have been afraid to debate it. When you give a free pass to any institution, you create the conditions for it to rot right behind the facade, and that it what I think is happening..
Hedges: the top 1% globally controls 40% of the wealth.
This late stage of capitalism which the Trump administration is accelerating.
Wolff: Capitalism wanted to present itself in contrast to feudalism and slavery as a system which creates a massive middle class. That lifts everybody up. What we have, now that it has become the global system, is the exact opposite. It has reproduced the inequalities of history. It is a stunning expose' of what it could not promise and now wants to distract everyone from this harsh reality. It cannot deliver its own claims. Instead we have political theater.
Hedges: The assault is being exacerbated by the new tas code.
Wolff: The new tax code is an explosive excess. It is so grotesque that everyone sees what it is. We have had 34 years of corporations making more money, keeping wages stagnant. This is the last moment when they need another tax break.
A 40% cut in their taxes reminds you of the late Louis' before the French revolution when the level of excess reached the explosive social dimensions..
That's where we are.
email from Elizabeth Warren, 7/10/18
Brett Kavanaugh. That’s the name of Donald Trump’s awful Supreme Court nominee. As a judge, he has a long record of decisions that hurt women, workers, and consumers.
Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh last night puts rights we hold dear at stake like never before. Women’s rights to control their own bodies, workers’ rights, consumers’ rights – you name it. It could all get squeezed to the breaking point if Kavanaugh is confirmed.
Experts now rank the United States among the world's 'declining democracies' by Hunter Saturday July 07, 2018
A new report on the state of the world's democracies makes for some grim reading. Writing in the Washington Post, the authors say the study "shows that democracy's decline is gaining momentum: One-third of the world's population lives in a backsliding democracy," and within that tally of declining democracies is the United States itself.
The outlook in the United States is especially dark, say authors Anna Luhrmann and Matthew Wilson, with experts' ratings sliding downward in "precipitous and unprecedented" fashion.
Experts lowered their estimates of democracy in the United States because they began to be skeptical that the U.S. Congress will rein in executive overreach. Similarly, experts lost faith that the opposition party can contribute to overseeing, investigating or otherwise checking the majority party. The U.S. executive branch was assessed as showing less respect for the Constitution and compliance with the judiciary, two indicators that the judicial branch can restrain the executive.
There seems little room to argue any of these things. It is self-evident that the Republican Congress has no interest in curtailing corruption within the Trump administration or, in fact, even allowing full investigation of those acts. They are steadfastly blocking opposition efforts to do so, and will apparently continue to do so regardless of what else federal investigators discover. And the Constitution, apparently, has been reduced to a petty slogan.
Frustrated Dutch PM interrupts Trump to explain what a world leader is and how world trade works Donald Trump is a stupid insecure dummy of a man. The fact that he’s the head of a family is troubling enough; the fact that he’s the head of our executive branch is the reason there are people in the streets fighting for human rights.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands was in town on Monday to meet with the orange Putin doll, and during their photo-op Trump blathered away about all the good news (whatever lies he decided to spew forth today). During that rambling idiotic Trump drool, Trump began sort of talking about his “trade tariff” threats. Prime Minister Rutte was visibly frustrated, though he hid it behind an almost maniacal smile at how cavalier Trump was being about the sole reason these two men were in the same room taking pictures.
The Times finally gets to the bottom of Trump supporters: It turns out they're garbage human beings In the New York Times' quest to get to the bottom of what makes every last Trump supporter in America tick, we have been treated to endless interviews, loving tributes to downtrodden towns in which nary a non-white person is ever seen, and one particular day when the op-ed pages were turned over to Trump supporters to argue for Trump's genius directly. But this is still not enough, and so Sunday's paper included a zoological analysis from a journalist who grew up among them.
It is meant to be flattering, or at least neutral, but the short version is that the people who have been bleating about "family values" for the last half-century do not actually give a flying damn about family values and never did. It was all garbage from the get-go.
... all had harsh words for the crooked, lying, adulterous, misogynist trash-heap of a human being, the salt-of-the-earth Trump supporters back in Nebraska could not possibly care less about the bullshit-laden values attributed to them in fawning tributes to the heartland's common clay.
Email from Daily KOS7/5/18
Trump shouldn't just lose. He should be crushed. And the GOP with him.
Scott Pruitt is gone. In a puff of smoke. A trail of slime. And a hearty good riddance 7/5/18. With a set of scandals that seemed endless, zero hesitation about seizing any graft, and a willingness to lie openly to the press and Congress, Scott Pruitt was the Donald Trumpiest of Donald Trump’s cabinet members.
But now he’s out of there.
"Why Can't the US Just Simply Invade?" Officials Say Trump Pushed U.S. Military Overthrow in Venezuela "Happy Independence Day. Our f*%king madman in the White House really wants to go to war in Venezuela."
By Jon Queally July 04, 2018
Surrounded by his top military aides in a White House meeting less than a year ago, the Associated Press on Wednesday reports that President Donald Trump wanted to know why the U.S. military couldn't "just simply invade" the country of Venezuela.
Based on the account of "a senior administration official familiar with what was said," AP reports that the president's comments "stunned" those at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have now left the administration.
The Orange Elephant in the Room Public trust is eroding for plenty of reasons, but let’s not discount the man at the heart of it all
The presidency of Donald J. Trump and the campaign he ran to get to the White House have been fueled by lies and misinformation that undermine the public’s trust in government and the electoral process and subvert the very idea of objective truth. The implications could not be more serious. The barrage of lies and conspiracy theories we are being subjected to today?—?from President Trump, his Republican enablers, and the right-wing media that amplifies his message?—?are normalizing mendacity, suspicion, and disdain for the rule of law.
When nihilism is ascendant and when perpetual scandal and deliberate distraction claim people’s attention in a data-overloaded society, serious policy issues fall by the wayside, politicians elude accountability, and the abnormal becomes routine.
The fake news stories shared on social media in the run-up to the 2016 election accelerated just this sort of confusion among voters. Russian trolls sought to not only help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, but also amplify chaos and discord in America (trying to fuel existing racial, religious, and political divisions) in order to undercut their old Cold War adversary’s electoral system and to bolster their larger goal of subverting liberal democracy in the West.
In June 2018, the Washington Post reported that Trump had made 3,251 false or misleading claims in his first 497 days in office?—?an average of more than 6.5 claims per day. And those lies?—?along with his contempt for expertise, precedent, and norms of morality and common decency?—?have been shrugged off by roughly a third of the country.
Even as he has benefited from a growing populist hostility toward the establishment, Trump is willfully drumming up further mistrust?—?mistrust of the press, the judiciary, the FBI, any institution he finds threatening to his own autocratic whims. In the process, he is throwing sand into the gears of democracy and hacking away at the pillars that uphold the Constitution.
USA - The Failed State By Chris Hedges July 02, 2018
Our “corporate coup d’état in slow motion,” as the writer John Ralston Saul calls it, has opened a Pandora’s box of evils that is transforming America into a failed state. The “unholy trinity of corruption, impunity and violence,” he said, can no longer be checked.
The ruling elites abjectly serve corporate power to exploit and impoverish the citizenry. Democratic institutions, including the courts, are mechanisms of corporate repression. Financial fraud and corporate crime are carried out with impunity.
The decay is exacerbated by the state’s indiscriminate use of violence abroad and at home, where rogue law enforcement agencies harass and arrest citizens and the undocumented and often kill the unarmed.
A depressed and enraged population, trapped by chronic unemployment and underemployment, is overdosing on opioids and beset by rising suicide rates. It engages in acts of nihilistic violence, including mass shootings. Hate groups proliferate. The savagery, mayhem and grotesque distortions familiar to those on the outer reaches of empire increasingly characterize American existence.
And presiding over it all is the American version of Ubu Roi, playwright Alfred Jarry’s gluttonous, idiotic, vulgar, narcissistic and infantile king, who turned politics into burlesque.
Ubu Roi (Ubu the King or King Ubu) is a play by Alfred Jarry. It was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Œuvre, causing a riotous response in the audience as it opened and closed on December 10, 1896. It is considered a wild, bizarre and comic play, significant for the way it overturns cultural rules, norms, and conventions. For those who were in the audience on that night to witness the response, including W. B. Yeats, it seemed an event of revolutionary importance. It is now seen by some to have opened the door for what became known as modernism in the twentieth century. - Wikipedia
The two political parties are one party—the corporate party. They do not debate substantive issues. They each support the expansion of imperial wars, the bloated military budget, the dictates of global capitalism, the bailing out of Wall Street, punishing austerity measures, assaulting basic civil liberties through wholesale government surveillance and the abolition of due process, and an electoral process that has cemented into place a system of legalized bribery.
We elect politicians based on how we are made to feel about them by the public relations industry. Politics is anti-politics.
The Republican Party built its political base in these culture wars around Christian fascists, nativists and white supremacists. The Democratic Party built its base around those who supported workers’ rights, multiculturalism, diversity and gender equality. The base of each party was used and manipulated by elites. The Republican Party elites had no intention of banning abortion or turning America into a “Christian nation.” The Democratic Party elites had no intention of protecting workers from predatory corporatism. Everyone was sold out.
All despotic regimes, Saul said, carry out their final battle for control by contending against public officials and government bureaucrats, the so-called deep state, which views the rise to power of demagogues and their sleazy enablers with alarm.
Despots see these courtiers and democratic institutions, no matter how anemic, as a threat. This explains the assaults on the State Department, the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and the courts. Despots use their appointees to undermine and destroy these institutions, mocking their existence and questioning the loyalty of the professionals who staff them.
Once a process of deconstruction is complete, the system calcifies into tyranny. There remain no internal mechanisms, even in name, to carry out reform. This corrosive process is being played out daily in Trump’s Twitter rages, lies, smears and the barrage of insults he levels against public servants, including some of his own appointees, such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as well as institutions such as the FBI.
“Trump gives these astonishingly Mussolini-ish press conferences,” he said. “He says to the press, ‘Shut up. Stop!’ The press screams at him like a mob, a bunch of cattle. How can they be taken seriously?
It is like the end of the Roman Republic. Important political leaders from the Senate, along with their rivals, would move around Rome with 50 people to protect them. Scenes, exactly like Trump’s interactions with the press, defined the end of the Roman Republic. Nobody knew what was going on. There was no dignity. You can’t have a democracy without a level of respect and dignity. You only have chaos.
This chaos eventually leads to a call for autocratic order. Trump benefits from the confusion, even though he resembles a cartoonish figure out of a funny novel, a character from Jean Genet’s ‘The Balcony,’ although without the self-awareness.”
Trump’s decision to launch a trade war—Canada will impose punitive measures on $12.63 billion worth of imported American goods in response—is an example of the damage a despot who has little understanding of the economy, politics, international relations or law can do.
“I’ve always opposed trade deals not because I oppose trade,” Saul said, “or because I thought they were about getting a fair balance in the trade, but because the trade deals were about something else. They were about deregulation. They were about handing power to corporations and banks. They weren’t about trade. Trump has again and again attacked the Canadian dairy system. Nobody has stopped to ask him, ‘Why are you opposing this instead of adopting it for yourself?’ A lot of American dairy farmers would like to have the Canadian system.”
“The problem with the Western world is surplus production,” Saul said. “We’re in surplus production in almost every area. But there is a terrible distribution system where people around the globe suffer and die from starvation. This is a distribution problem, not a production problem.”
Saul said the imposition of tariffs and the crude insults Trump uses against American allies—he called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “dishonest and weak”—are rapidly destroying America’s clout and standing in the global hierarchy. This behavior is having very negative political, economic and social consequences for the United States.
People want to identify with the United States. It’s been that way since the Second World War. All this is being thrown away. Like or dislike Obama, he rebuilt a great part of the world’s admiration for the United States. I know what his failures were. But I also know his strengths. He was a president who was capable of acting and talking like the intelligent, civilized American that everyone wants to admire.”
“But there’s always a shadow to the bright tower,” Saul went on. “Trump’s feeding that shadow. ‘Americans are stupid. Americans are corrupt. Americans are not educated. Americans can’t be trusted.’ The whole list. The longer the chaos goes on, the worse it gets.”
The collapse of the legislative and executive branches of government has now been accompanied by the collapse of the judiciary. The loss of an independent judiciary, Saul warned, is especially ominous.
Saul despaired, at the same time, over the Trump administration’s attack on public education, which he called “the most fundamental service of government when it comes to a democracy.”
“What holds democracy up?” Saul asked. “What makes democracy work? Public education is number one. A well-educated citizen. [Secretary of Education] Betsy DeVos is undoing that. There is a special place for her in hell.”
U.S. trading partners and allies such as Canada and European states will, he said, reduce their dependence on the American market. The traditional strategic and political ties to Washington will be steadily weakened. And when the next financial crash comes, and Saul expects one to come, the United States will be bereft of partners when it needs them most.
Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism
To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism.
It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down.
Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.
Go to hell, Mitch McConnell Wednesday June 27, 2018
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is more responsible for the decay in basic American decency than any other person in that supposedly distinguished body.
When our intelligence communities were warning that Russian spies and propaganda teams were seeking to undermine a United States election, it was Republican Mitch McConnell who warned the last president that if our leaders tried to more fully warn the public about those threats, Mitch McConnell would claim those efforts to be partisan efforts aimed at hurting the stupid, amoral, crooked Donald Trump.
When a Supreme Court justice died in his sleep, it was Mitch McConnell who invented the new rule that the nation's first black president was not allowed to fill that seat, for over a year, simply because Mitch McConnell did not want him to.
It is Mitch McConnell who is guiding his party into slow-walking the investigation into whether the Trump campaign team committed an act of treason against their nation, despite ample public evidence that they did. It is Mitch McConnell who is stonewalling all efforts to hold the Trump administration to any ethical standards whatsoever, whether it be profiting from foreign governments funding Trump's own private hotel chain to the Trump refusal to abide by any other prior long-held national norm.
But more than that: Sen. Mitch McConnell, more than any other American senator, is a shameless, flagrant, and prolific liar. He, more than any other American senator, is a dishonest man. His speeches are Christmas trees ornamented with lies, half-truths, and fervent opinions he happens to have that he did not have yesterday and will argue bitterly against tomorrow. He is a living monument to the doctrine of party over country—that there is no law, no ethical boundary, no act of corruption or treason that cannot be overlooked if he, Mitch McConnell, can squeeze a little personal power out of the deal for himself.
America’s Caesar “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”… The piece of wisdom from Jesus of Nazareth finds new meaning in Friday’s Diary. Bill outlines what could come from rendering unto America’s new Caesar: Donald J. Trump
"The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit." - Proverbs 18:11
We’ll check out the odds of building a high wall around the American economy – turning it into an island of stability, calm, and high wages in an ocean of globalized competition and chaos.
We’ll take a look at North Korea and see what high walls have done for its economy.
And we’ll see how trade barriers expand the reach of the Deep State, replacing win-win private sector deals with the win-lose deals of the cronies and canoodlers.
Suicidal Business Strategy
Checking in with the markets first… we see that the Dow fell again yesterday, the eighth day in a row of losses. And on Tuesday, General Electric (GE) was booted out of the Dow after 100 years.
Under former CEO Jack Welch, GE – probably more than any other large company – led the swing away from manufacturing… that is, from honest output to financial hocus-pocus.
It borrowed money to buy businesses at the rate of one new company every five business days. As a business strategy, it was suicidal. There is no way managers could evaluate, understand, and absorb new enterprises at such a rate.
But as a financial strategy, it looked great. Each new business brought top-end growth and lazy, flattering headlines about what a genius Mr. Welch was and what a “dynamic” company he was running.
The share price rose, making it possible to borrow even more money.
But then, like all debt-financed spending sprees, the bills came in and it was hard to pay them. A lot of the acquisitions went bad, and GE executives had neither the time nor the talent to fix them.
Its share price has been falling for the last 18 years, down 55% in the last 18 months alone… And now, it’s back to where it began its spectacular rise in 1995.
President Trump has mobilized his entire administration to battle this problem by declaring it a National Emergency under federal law. And Congress just approved $6 billion to fight it.
GE was also a pioneer of outsourcing. That is, rather than make things itself at Appliance Park, its Louisville, Kentucky plant, it moved manufacturing to cheaper, foreign destinations. The Atlantic magazine was on the case:
The decision to offshore was made – more or less, honestly – by people in the private sector with some skin in the game. Nobody forced them to do it… and they hoped it would pay off.
But Caesar was already pulling strings. His central bank was providing fake money at fake, low interest rates. But that part of the story is for another day.
Today, we look at how Caesar is rigging the game even more directly. Yes, there were trade barriers on this and that… here and there… in Welch’s era.
But almost all economists had realized that they were a drag on wealth creation. Tariffs had generally been coming down for an entire generation.
Cometh now a new Caesar, in the person of the U.S. president, Donald J. Trump – along with his quack trade advisor, and four-time election loser, Peter Navarro.
And one thing they [economists] are right about is trade. It’s a fairly settled matter: Import taxes may be good politics, but they are very rarely (and perhaps never) good economics.
Okay. Let’s tuck in our underwear and think about this. This view may be widely shared among our readers. Can the nation – Caesar, using his win-lose power to wallop, whack, bludgeon, and bully – really help Americans earn more?
Email from Center for Biological Diversity
Trump Ready to Gut Key Environmental Law
The Trump administration this week launched the largest rollback in history to the vital protections for air, water and wildlife provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.
The president's Council on Environmental Quality began its assault on the 48-year-old law Wednesday, targeting its longstanding requirements for robust environmental review before federal projects are approved.
"The Trump administration is taking a sledgehammer to the process that gives scientists and the public a say on federal projects harming clean air, water and wildlife," said the Center for Biological Diversity's Paulo Lopes. "If this landmark law is gutted, the power plants and factories that corporations target for poor and underrepresented communities will routinely be rubberstamped."
Email from Daily KOS
Colby, I don't even know where to begin.
Friday morning, Trump walked out onto the White House lawn because he noticed his buddies from Fox and Friends were there. The next 60 minutes was nothing but a frightening deluge of authoritarian propaganda to the press.
He spewed lies that the FBI was plotting against him, that separating children from their mothers at the border was the Democrats fault, and about North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who Trump said "speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same."
It was a train wreck that I couldn't stop watching. Every time he does one these impromptu press conferences or sends a tweet that is filled with lies and propaganda, he erodes Americans' confidence in our institutions.
Trump's plan is working when you look at support for the Mueller investigation. Last year, 62% of Americans supported the investigation, this year only 54% support it. What's worse, few Americans even know that the investigation has already turned up evidence of illegality, and charged or indicted two dozen people and companies.
UN Report Says US is a “Shithole Country” By John M. Repp June 15, 2018
Instead of corporate media basically ignoring the UN report, there should be screaming headlines.
The report is a terrible indictment of our country and of the Trump Administration. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winning economist told The Guardian “This administration inherited a bad situation with inequality in the U.S. and is now fanning the flames and worsening the situation. What is so disturbing is that Trump, rather than taking measures to ameliorate the problem, is taking measures to aggravate it.” The U.S. has one in four of the world’s billionaires. But we also have 40 million citizens who live in poverty. Five million live in the absolute deprivation we usually associate with the developing world. Four in ten Americans are so broke that they could not cover an emergency expense of $400 without selling something or borrowing.
Caging Children, Separating Families: Has the War on Immigration Gone Too Far? By John W. Whitehead June 15, 2018
Rest assured, these same practices will be used against you.
There are some acts so wrong-headed, so immoral, and so inhumane that they simply cannot be defended on any grounds.
Be warned: the White House’s new “zero tolerance policy” for separating undocumented parents from their children at the border as a way of discouraging illegal immigration is pushing us into dangerous territory morally and otherwise.
IMF Warns US of 'Macroeconomic Impact' of Trade Policy Changes By Reuters-The Independent-CNN June 15, 2018
IMF predicts an economic crash by 2020 due to the cycle of retaliation tariffs likely to follow President Donald Trump's tax hike on imports.
Imposing trade tariffs to the European Union, Mexico, and Canada will only hurt the U.S. economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Thursday.
It noted that the U.S. government’s tax and spending policies during a time when the economy is already experiencing strong growth and low unemployment “increases the range and size of future risks” including higher public debt and the greater likelihood of a recession.
Trump stunned his counterparts by backing out of a joint communique agreed by Group of Seven leaders in Canada last weekend that mentioned the importance of free, fair and mutually beneficial trade.
email from ACLU, 6/11/18
The Supreme Court just rubber-stamped Ohio's voter suppression tactics in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute.
The decision gives Ohio the power to target voters who miss just one election cycle for removal from the rolls. This is despite the National Voter Registration Act's express prohibition on purging voters just because they don't vote. I'm furious, but I'm more driven than ever to defend our most fundamental right.
This decision is a gutting reminder that the Trump administration is determined to turn back the clock on our voting rights. For decades, the Justice Department maintained this type of voter purge was illegal, but under the Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions, the department switched sides and supported Ohio's unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote.
Ten Years On, Putin Told Them So By Finian Cunningham June 11, 2018
The group of Western industrialized countries plus Japan may reformat as the "G6" without the US, in order to counteract Washington's "hegemony."
More Than Just Russia — There’s a Strong Case for the Trump Team Colluding With Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE By Jeremy Scahill June 10, 2018
Trump has fully embraced both official, legalized corruption as well as good, old garden-variety individual corruption.
Over the weekend, Trump declared an autocracy Mark Summer, Monday June 04, 2018
On Saturday, the New York Times published information from a letter that had been sent by Trump’s attorneys to the special counsel’s office. In the letter, Trump’s legal team asserted not just that Trump can’t be prosecuted for obstruction, but that it’s impossible for Trump to obstruct—because Trump has the ability to nip any investigation in the bud. And should Trump not act quickly enough to prevent the start of an investigation, he can always act retroactively by pardoning anyone caught up in its findings.
Under this interpretation, Trump need not respond to a request for an interview by the special counsel. Or a subpoena from the grand jury. Or … anything at all. He is utterly exempt from legal actions.
If reporting around the letter seemed most focused on Trump’s ability to shrug off the Russia investigation, Trump’s principle public representative on these matters, Rudy Giuliani, went forth over the weekend to clarify the limits of Trump’s legal authority. What Giulani made clear is … there aren’t any.
The US Is Once Again Supporting Death Squads in Central America June 06, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - The United States has been quietly funding and equipping elite paramilitary police units in El Salvador accused of extrajudicially murdering suspected gang members, according to a forthcoming United Nations report reviewed in advance by CNN.
UN Calls on US to “Immediately Halt” Policy of Detaining Migrant Children June 06, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday demanded that the Trump administration “immediately halt” its policy of tearing migrant children away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, declaring that the practice “always constitutes a child rights violation.”
The U.S. Ambassador to Germany appointed by Donald Trump—Richard Grenell—thinks his job is political campaigning for the rising European far right-wing, instead of diplomacy.
Barely a month in his job, Grenell has publicly said he wants to use his position to "empower conservatives throughout Europe."
Given both the history of Germany and the Trump Administration's penchant for tolerating white supremacists, that is extremely dangerous language—and gives political cover to disturbing right-wing parties in Europe.
John Bolton Names Professional Islamophobe & Bush Official Fred Fleitz to National Security Staff By Democracy Now! June 02, 2018
War Of The Rich On The Poor By Mary Papenfuss June 02, 2018
American economist Jeffrey Sachs has written a scathing takedown of President Donald Trump, calling him a delusional, psychopathic "threat to the nation and the world."
He calls for removal of the president using the 25th Amendment.
He might be a "Manchurian Candidate" who is working as a "stooge" for some foreign power to destroy the U.S., Sachs wrote on CNN’s website Friday, referring to the spy movie thriller.
"Much more likely, Trump is just mentally unstable and narcissistic," he added, calling the new announcement of tariffs on exports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union part of a "psychopath's trade war."
Sachs, a renowned Columbia University professor who heads its Center for Sustainable Development and serves as a senior adviser at the United Nations, said no one expressed "a single word of respect for Trump" during his recent trip to Europe. Their question was: "How did America fall so far so fast?" Sachs wrote.
Trump’s "so-called policies are not really policies," he added. "Trade wars are on, off, on hold, on again, within the span of days. ... Foreign companies are sanctioned today and rescued the next. ... Global agreements and rules are ripped to shreds. Trump's garbled syntax and disorganized thoughts are impossible to follow."
Sachs has bashed Trump’s economic actions several times. Earlier this year, he said the president’s tariffs prove he "flunked economics" and makes "primitive errors because he hasn't a clue as to how the world economy works."
Regarding the steel tariffs, Sachs wrote for CNN, "whatever US steel producers might gain from a trade war would be offset by the losses to steel users and consumers, plus the social costs of protecting uncompetitive jobs."
One of Sachs’ biggest targets has been the massive tax cuts and budget deficit, which he has labeled part of the “war” of America’s rich on the poor. “We cannot afford tax cuts. The idea that somehow has gotten into our heads ... that 'oh, $1.5 trillion, that we can give away,' is unbelievable in any serious country," he told Bloomberg last year. He called the redistribution of wealth in the nation a “populism by the super rich" who "want more and more and more."
But Sachs' latest attack in CNN was far more personal about the president. The U.S. has “probably never before had a delusional president, one who speaks gibberish, insults those around him including his closest associates, and baffles the world. We strive to make sense of Trump's nonsense, implicitly assuming some hidden strategy. There is none," Sachs declared.
He warned: "Harming our closest allies, raising the prices on key intermediate products, and provoking retaliation cannot possibly deliver higher wages, better jobs, or an improved trade balance."
"The emperor had no clothes. This president has no sense," he concluded.
Trump Wants to Discourage the World From Using the Yuan as a Reserve Currency By Peter Koenig June 02, 2018
The US is broke. Everybody knows it. The US has a current debt of about 110% of her GDP, more than the Greek debt was in 2008.
Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods to combat what he has labeled unfair trade practices on the part of Beijing. Meanwhile, China has warned of equal retaliation, including duties on some of its most significant U.S. imports, like aircraft, soybeans and vehicles.
Trump hammers home nativist fear-mongering as the GOP's ultimate—and really only—midterm message Kerry Eleveld Daily Kos Staff Wednesday May 30, 2018
Donald Trump and the GOP have virtually nothing to sell the white working-class voters who helped elect him to office in 2016, other than his deep-seated racism and his commitment to immigrant bashing. It's an ugly populist playbook and Trump spent Tuesday night in Tennessee playing it to the hilt at a campaign rally for GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate bid.
Here's a brief montage of Trump’s anti-immigrant slurs from the Washington Post, including his broken campaign promise that Mexico will pay for wall that is clearly being funded by American taxpayers:
“In the end, Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” Trump said. [...] “They’re going to pay for the wall and they’re going to enjoy it,” Trump said. [...]
Trump's hate-filled immigrant bashing is what the GOP has left after their tax cut for the 1 percent has failed to gain traction with the other 99 percent of Americans and gas prices are spiking. In fact, in House races across the country, GOP candidates are driving the very same messages.
email from FightForReform.org: this bill could destroy Medicare
Trump just COMMANDED Republicans to GUT Medicare:
[I'll tell you, if anyone takes away my Medicare, WHICH I PAID FOR, I shall sue them - CG]
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to Donald Trump’s new U.S. tariffs issued Thursday morning. During a press conference Thursday evening, Trudeau seemed to hold nothing back in his response to Trump. The anger and resolve in eyes and voice make that perfectly clear.
“Let me be clear. These tariffs are totally unacceptable.”
Trump tried to get Sessions to un-recuse himself and keep investigation in hands of a 'loyalist' Mark Summer Wednesday May 30, 2018
Trump’s insistence that he needed “a loyalist” in charge of the investigation is now part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump attempted to obstruct the Justice Department from conducting a thorough look into his campaign.
Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Trump goes full white nationalist in service of the Republican Party. Greg Dworkin Wednesday May 30, 2018
the current WH Spencer Ackerman/Daily Beast:
Viktor Orban won reelection as Hungary’s prime minister last month through a blood-and-soil campaign that married antisemitism with Islamophobia. Donald Trump’s secretary of state is about to reverse years of U.S. policy and receive Orban’s chief diplomat at Foggy Bottom.
Trump Tests Midterm Message On Immigration, MS-13 'Animals' During Tenn. Rally
email from FightforReform.org: Republicans AMBUSH Democrats in Texas
TERRIBLE NEWS: Republicans launch Pro-Gerrymandering SuperPAC to rig elections against Democrats
Republicans are TERRIFIED of our Democratic WAVE. They’re pouring money into Texas to Gerrymander Congressional districts!
Email from Daily KOS:
This is bad, Colby. Trump has turned up his attacks on the FBI and Justice Department, inventing whole scandals to try and undermine them:
Here are the facts: The Washington Post reported that "a well-connected veteran of past GOP administrations" talked to three Trump campaign officials in 2016 and spoke with the FBI about his concerns. The FBI did not implant the source within the campaign, and he was not a "spy." But Trump and his Russian nesting puppets in Congress demanded the name of the source be revealed. Against the advice of national security experts, it was.
But this isn't the story Trump is peddling on Twitter and being gobbled up by his goose-stepping followers. The story in Trumpland is that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign to undermine him in the election.
Trump's version "Spygate" is complete fiction—a made-up scandal to discredit the only government institutions trying to hold him accountable.
Trump's attacks put the rule of law itself in jeopardy, and Republicans in Congress are aiding and abetting him. That's why we need to take back Congress this fall.
The Coming Collapse By Chris Hedges May 21, 2018
The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny.
If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.
Trump, like all despots, has no ethical core. He chooses his allies and appointees based on their personal loyalty and fawning obsequiousness to him. He will sell anyone out. He is corrupt, amassing money for himself—he made $40 million from his Washington, D.C., hotel alone last year—and his corporate allies. He is dismantling government institutions that once provided some regulation and oversight. He is an enemy of the open society. This makes him dangerous. His turbocharged assault on the last vestiges of democratic institutions and norms means there will soon be nothing, even in name, to protect us from corporate totalitarianism.
TOP STORY -- 314 ActionAdd contact: yet ANOTHER victory for Big Pharma 5/22/18
FIRST he appointed pharmaceutical industry insiders to lead the Department of Health and Human Services AND head his drug price reform plan.
THEN Big Pharma shattered lobbying record after lobbying record in the hopes of pressuring Trump to protect their interests.
NOW Trump is breaking his own campaign promise and refusing to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices -- which would save us money and SAVE LIVES!
Millions of Americans struggle to afford their prescription drugs. It’s never been more URGENT to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prices.
Yet, more than 2,500 drugs have increased in price by more than double digits since Trump became president -- and now, he won’t let Medicare step in!!
Mr. Trump, You Have Been Served 5/20/18
Top officials, including former CIA officers, Pentagon officials, US Army officers and former diplomats demand explanation of Israeli actions
In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump, with copies to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council, four top former officials at the highest level of the US government have given him legal notice about his duty to advise the US Congress, the ICC and the UNSC, among others, about Israel’s actions coinciding with the “70th anniversary of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.”
The War On Iran Has Begun. Russia Must End It The destruction of states such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran is about isolating Russia when its own turn comes
By Dan Glazebrook May 03, 2018
Things are escalating again in one of Syria's many wars. On 29 April, two massive strikes - presumed by Israel - reportedly hit the Syrian Arab Army's 47th Brigade military base and arms depots near Hama, as well as Nayrab Military Airport in Aleppo.
The strikes reportedly targeted Iranian surface-to-surface missiles intended for deployment in Syria, and killed between 26 and 38 people, including 11 Iranians.
The attack appears to have been coordinated with the US, coming just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Jerusalem - where, according to Haaretz, he had "thrilled Netanyahu with hawkish talk on Iran". That same day, noted the Times of Israel, "news also broke of a phone call between Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump", while Israel's defence minister, Avigdor Liberman, was meeting his US counterpart James Mattis in Washington.
The War On Iran Has Begun. Russia Must End It The destruction of states such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran is about isolating Russia when its own turn comes
By Dan Glazebrook May 03, 2018
Things are escalating again in one of Syria's many wars. On 29 April, two massive strikes - presumed by Israel - reportedly hit the Syrian Arab Army's 47th Brigade military base and arms depots near Hama, as well as Nayrab Military Airport in Aleppo.
The strikes reportedly targeted Iranian surface-to-surface missiles intended for deployment in Syria, and killed between 26 and 38 people, including 11 Iranians.
The attack appears to have been coordinated with the US, coming just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Jerusalem - where, according to Haaretz, he had "thrilled Netanyahu with hawkish talk on Iran". That same day, noted the Times of Israel, "news also broke of a phone call between Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump", while Israel's defence minister, Avigdor Liberman, was meeting his US counterpart James Mattis in Washington.
The White House-Mercenary Connection By Lawrence Davidson [retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA.] April 30, 2018
When the United Nations General Assembly met in December 1989, one of its most important achievements was passage of the Mercenary Convention – the “International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.” The Convention was subsequently ratified by 35 countries and went into effect as an international treaty in 2001.
Considering that, historically, mercenaries have, with rare exception (today’s Swiss Guard at the Vatican), proven to be lawless killers who both spread and thrive on anarchy, this move by the General Assembly was a prescient one. The problem was, and still is, that many of the world’s “great powers” are remarkably short-sighted and refuse to sign on. Among these is the United States. In the meantime the mercenary business has become a worldwide big business. So much for the UN Mercenary Convention.
Now, some 29 years later, we have a president of the United States, Donald Trump, who thinks the world’s most notorious mercenary – an American by the name of Erik Prince – can help achieve the misguided goals of the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East. It would seem that the answer to that perennial question, “Will they ever learn?” is no.
Under Prince’s leadership Blackwater was employed by the G. W. Bush administration to protect convoys of American diplomats in Iraq. It did so in a predictable “cowboy” fashion, leaving a large number of dead civilians in its wake. Most of Blackwater’s second-tier administrators ended up under indictment in the U.S., and some of its operatives in Iraq and Afghanistan have been charged with murder. None of this was surprising to anyone who knew the history of mercenary forces.
In 2010 Erik Prince decided he “needed a break from the United States” and moved to Abu Dhabi, where he now acts as a military adviser to the United Arab Emirates.
Donald Trump and Erik Prince are a good match. First, both men believe in the privatization of almost all activities (including military ones) that are, in truth, best carried on by responsible governments. The “free” market is their ultimate definition of freedom generally. As we will see, this really makes them both advocates for anarchy. Here they follow in others’ footsteps. Remember that Prince’s initial employer was the Bush Jr. administration, also made up of conservative “free” market ideologues.
Second, both men are immoral – they have no scruples. This is pretty obvious when it comes to Trump and his corrupt cohorts, and Prince is in at the fringes of that syndicate. He reportedly served as a go-between for Trump and Russian bankers with close connections to Vladimir Putin. This effort was allegedly made to establish a back-channel connection between the incoming Trump administration and the Russians. It is possible that, in sworn testimony before Congress, Prince lied about the nature of his activities in this regard.
Religious zealots, just like most ideological fanatics, are prone to violence, and some of history’s bloodiest crimes have been committed in the name of religion. That includes recent ones like G. W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. G.W. reportedly claimed he was told to invade by God. The problem is ongoing. To judge from today’s headlines, it would seem that violent religious zealots are the scourge of our age. So Prince fits right in.
President Trump’s present interest in Prince has to do with the bloody mess in Syria. Trump is under some pressure from the U.S. military to pull out the 2,000 or so U.S. troops still in that country. But in Trump’s view this would be a step toward turning the western part of that country (where the U.S. forces operate) over to the Assad government, the Iranians and the Russians. So he needs an alternative strategy. Trump has consulted with the Saudis and Gulf Arabs about funding and manning what amounts to a mercenary army to replace the U.S. troops in Syria. And who is the West’s expert in mercenary endeavors – the fellow who can put all of this together and make it work? It is Erik Prince.
The notion that the good society is the one that looks after the basic needs of its citizens so as to create a platform for the realization of their creative potentials is, if not dead, then in serious abeyance. Something has come along to undermine this ideal. What now competes with it is the idealization of anarchy. And, in this the United States leads the way. The main route to this end is economic – the privatization of just about everything while simultaneously destroying regulation. We know, again from history, that this can only lead to disaster, but the politicians who are leading this charge are themselves ideologues who don’t give a fig for any history that might call into question their free market preferences.
The main route opens into many tributaries and one of them leads to the mercenary – the gun for hire. It is hard enough keeping professional soldiers in line – those operating under rules of engagement put in place by states which have signed on to the Geneva Conventions. Bring mercenaries into the mix and, as Niccolo Machiavelli realized at the end of the 15th century, you are now tying your interests to untrustworthy and quite bloodthirsty barbarians. To grasp this fact you must know something about the history of warfare and be able to correctly learn from the experiences of others. Most politicians seem not to be able to do either of these things. It’s an old story and seems to be today’s story as well.
Trump Administration Sends a Dark, Threatening Message to Kim Jong Un By Alex Lockie Ap 30, 2018
President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, has said that the US will use Libya as a model for North Korean denuclearization — but it may have been a dark, even threatening message to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un.
Kim has displayed an about-face since he and Trump traded nuclear threats across the Pacific last year, now appearing to pursue peace and diplomacy broadly and willingly — though there has been little follow-through on several promises from the North Korean leader.
So far, Kim has agreed to denuclearize and seek a peace treaty with South Korea, but he has not taken verifiable steps toward disarming. Though North Korea announced it would invite the US and South Korea to watch the dismantling of its nuclear test site, it has taken similar steps before only to back out of deals later.
Bolton, a noted North Korea hawk who has vocally pushed for war with the country, made an unsavory comparison in an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation" that Kim is sure to have picked up on.
Of plans to denuclearize North Korea, Bolton said, "I think we're looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004."
Bolton added: "In the case of Libya, for example, and it's a different situation in some respects ... One thing that Libya did that led us to overcome our skepticism was that they allowed American and British observers into all their nuclear-related sites.
" Shortly after the US invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi agreed to have international inspectors visit his country to certify that his nuclear and chemical weapons programs had halted.
Trump Lied to the American People, 23 Times in 7 Minutes, Destroying his Presidency By Charles Bausman April 14, 2018
It was clear from the first few minutes of War secretary Mattis's press conference last night that these strikes were going to be symbolic. They change nothing on the ground militarily. Russia's threat to respond worked - the US essentially backed down.
Far more important is the damage Trump did to himself politically. One can only guess at the pressures brought to bear on him to take this suicidal (politically) act. I'm starting to think that this whole charade, starting with the Skripal poisoning a month ago, was an elaborate plot to mortally damage his presidency, not to achieve anything in Syria - well, if so, the plotters have succeeded.
Trump has said and done many things that can hurt him over the past 18 months, but nothing as bad as standing up in front of the American people, and with great solemnity and invoking WW1 gassings, 'nobility' of warriors, prayer, and all this sort of talk, telling one whopping lie after another, looking straight into the camera. He knows they are lies, and a good chunk of the American electorate knows they are - I'm guessing 30% of the whole, and a good 50% of his base. That is not something you can come back from.
He just burned his bridges with a lot of people who think telling the truth is important.
Watching the conservative wall lining up against the bombing yesterday I wrote with great conviction that Trump would not do it, and confidently called it a day. How mistaken I was.
Evidence Of No Evidence! French Declassified Intelligence Report On Alleged, Syria Gas Attacks
By Reuters April 15, 2018
How On Earth Would Killing MORE People Rescue Syria? By Peter Hitchens April 15, 2018
Why do so many people in politics and the media want to start wars? Since I toured a sordid hospital full of wounded people in Bucharest at Christmas 1989, and even more after I saw for the first time (in Vilnius in 1991) what a human head looks like after a bullet has passed through it, I have seen it as an absolute duty to warn against armed conflict. It is a filthy thing.
Any fool can kill a man in a second and ruin a city in a week. But it takes long years of nurture to raise a child to adulthood, and centuries to build a civilisation.
Trump Attacks Syria April 14, 2018
Cost Of War
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,455,590"
Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,801
Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 3,430
Total Cost of Wars Since 2001
TRUMP WON'T LET SYRIAN REFUGEES INTO THE US, BUT HE WILL USE THEIR SUFFERING AS AN EXCUSE FOR WAR - Adrienne
Our Twitter In Chief By Paul Edwards April 13, 2018
Donald Trump is the first president in U.S. history (even world history) to conduct the business of his presidency through frequent tweets addressed to those he considers his enemies.
He also uses them for personal, and sometimes even cruel and unnecessary personal attacks.
The Trump Regime Is Insane By Paul Craig Roberts April 13, 2018
Is it insane to push for war with Russia, a major nuclear power?
Is it insane to threaten Russia and bring false charges against her?
Is it insane to brag about killing “hundreds of Russians”?
A normal person would answer “yes” to the three questions. So what does this tell us about Trump’s government as these insane actions are the principle practice of Trump’s government?
Trigger-Happy Trump and Syria: “The Worst Case Scenario Is Now Our Reality.” By Felicity Arbuthnot April 13, 2018
Barring a miracle, Draft Dodger in Chief, Donald Trump might trigger a world war, over an incident in Syria which is entirely evidence free.
The discredited White Helmets – a “rescue” group only operating in areas held by “rebels” who routinely decapitate, including children, set fire to people and commit numerous unspeakable acts – have produced a video of an apparent chemical attack on 7th April.
The “White Helmets” are funded in millions by the UK Foreign Office, the US, Canada and various other Western governments. Coupled with this is: A UK government £5.3 million media activists programme included training Syrian independent journalists and activists, including for reporting of “White Helmets” activities across Twitter and Facebook. (See Foreign and Commonwealth Office: “Providing non-humanitarian assistance in Syria”, Updated 1 December 2015.)
No wonder every seemingly staged “rescue” always has a few convenient camera people handy, recording the “victims.” The duty of first responders of course, is to also protect the victim at all cost, in their vulnerable state, from public view.
It also seems to have escaped the Trumposphere that in 2013, Syria surrendered all stocks of chemical weapons, under the auspices of the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons and international observers and participants.
It is worth noting that those dealing with patients suffering the effects of a chemical weapons attack need specific protective clothing. Pictures have been shown of an allegedly affected toddler being sprayed with water, held and sprayed by people in jeans, t-shirts and without even plastic gloves.
Strangely at the site of an alleged chemical attack at Khan Sheikhun on 5th April 2017, just two days over a year before the latest allegations, pictures not only emerged of first responders with no protective clothing, gloves, but of the White Helmets in flip flops and casual clothing “gathering soil samples” from areas allegedly hit by the weapons.
'I'm A Holocaust Survivor—Trump's America Feels Like Germany Before Nazis Took Over' Jacobs thinks there's a "direct parallel" with Germany between the two world wars.
He worries about what’s happening right now in America, where he has lived and prospered since arriving a couple of years after Buchenwald’s liberation on April 11, 1945.
“Things just go from bad to worse every day,” Jacobs, a successful New York architect who designed the Holocaust memorial at Buchenwald, tells Newsweek. “There’s a real problem growing.”
“Things that couldn’t be said five years ago, four years ago, three years ago—couldn’t be said in public—are now normal discourse. It’s totally unacceptable.
In Trump, Jacobs says, the far-right sees an “enabler.”
“He’s a sick, very disturbed individual. I couldn’t say that Trump is a fascist because you’ve got to know what fascism is. And I don’t think he has the mental power to even understand it.”
“Fascism could have been won in Spain. It could’ve been stopped. But appeasement of fascism is what led to everything,” Jacobs warns.
On Easter Sunday, Trump rails against child immigrants [What a jerk! -CG]
Trump Picks His Former Caddy to Replace Hope Hicks as White House Communications Director Donald Trump's lack of any political experience or intelligence has manifested itself in a multitude of ways. Most troubling are those wherein he implements policies that are overtly idiotic and harmful. But he also demonstrates his inability to govern by his appointments to critical White House and cabinet positions. These include his daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Scott Pruitt, etc.
Now CNN is reporting that Trump has found a replacement for his departing White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. And he has managed to select another person who completely lacks the requisite skills and experience to do the job.
Trump’s Protectionism: A Great Leap Backward By James Petras, April 03, 2018
Washington's resort to excluding China from US markets has nothing to do with China 'stealing' US patents and secrets.
Rethink Weapons Exports By Kristin Y. Christman, April 03, 2018
Why has the United States, democracy's alleged leader, become the world's largest weapons exporter?
Is Trump Assembling a War Cabinet? By Patrick Buchanan March 27, 2018
Joe Biden When He Saw The Intelligence: “If this is true, It’s treason.” Tuesday Mar 13, 2018
Russia Says U.S. Plans to Strike Damascus, Pledges Military Response By Reuters March 14, 2018
Russia said on Tuesday it had information that the United States planned to bomb the government quarter in Damascus on an invented pretext, and said it would respond militarily if it felt Russian lives were threatened by such an attack. Damascus where he said Russian military advisers, Russian military police and Russian ceasefire monitors were based.
Trump’s Trade War – or “De-Globalization”? By Peter Koenig March 14, 2018
President Trump’s bold ‘protectionist’ move of introducing import duties of 25% and 10% for steel and aluminum, respectively – and possibly more to come – may be more than just ‘populism’ and fulfilling a campaign promise. And why is the term ‘populism’ always used with a derogative slant? As if it was way below the intellect of those who deride it as addressing the thoughtless and primitive behavior by the people? Aren’t politicians supposed to work for the people? Educate them with the truth instead of ridiculing them; giving them real news instead of ‘fake news’
Donald Trump's Nobel Peace Prize nomination being investigated for fraud The BBC is reporting that Donald Trump, best known for being a hate-filled, incompetent, rich, bloated windbag and fraud is having his mind-blowing Nobel Peace Prize nomination investigated.
Among those who have reacted:
Sheen’s Two and a Half Men mother Holland Taylor:
USDA officially withdraws organic standards In yet another blow to common decency from the Trump Administration, the rule that would have added animal basic animal welfare regulations for meat, eggs, and dairy that are labeled as “organic” has been officially withdrawn.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has eliminated Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices after deciding that it, “exceeds the department’s statutory authority and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program.”
What’s even more confusing with the “organic” label is how words and phrases like free-range, cage-free, natural, grass-fed, pasture-raised, humane, antibiotic-free, or no added hormones can be used in tandem with the organic label. These words and terms themselves, more often than not, have very little to do with whether the product was farmed or processed organically.
Every time you purchase a product, you are voting with your dollars. Rather than participate in a system that is responsible for rampant abuse, human rights violations, and environmental destruction, choose to go the only real “humane” route and opt for a plant-based substitute.
Exposing our “populist” president as a naked plutocrat Hightower Lowdown, February 13, 2018
Have you noticed that 'ald Trump constantly prefaces his outlandish lies with such phrases as: “To be honest with you,” “To tell the truth,” and “Believe me”?
Why? Because like a snake-oil salesman, he constantly needs to convince himself that he’s speaking the truth in order to perform his next lie convincingly. The show must go on… and on. In fact, he already ranks as the lyingest president in US history. And that includes Nixon!
Trump’s biggest whopper is that he’s an honest-to-God “populist,” standing up for America’s hard-hit middle class against Wall Street, corporate lobbyists, and moneyed elites. This prevarication has duped many working stiffs into thinking he’s their champion. The huckster doubled-down on this lie in his inaugural address last year, pompously declaring, “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
It’s not merely that he’s an irredeemable liar, but that Trump himself is a lie. The Public Citizen expose is titled “Forgetting the Forgotten: 101 Ways 'ald Trump Has Betrayed the Middle Class” and it drives the stake of truth through the heart of his populist pretensions. '’t just read it – use it like a Thomas Paine pamphlet to spread the truth. To download a free copy, go to CorporatePresidency.org/forgotten. [see immediately below]
Corporate Presidency Public Citizen tracks Trump damage
This Is Your Brain on Money: Why America’s Rich Think Differently Than the Rest of Us Economist Chris Dillow cites research by Cameron Anderson and Sebastien Brion, showing that overconfident individuals are seen by others as more competent. He argues that, “overconfident people are more likely to be promoted. And this could have positive feedback effects. Higher status will itself breed even more overconfidence. (E.g. “I got the job so I must be good.”) And if bosses employ like-minded subordinates, the result could be entire layers of management which are both over-confident and engaged in groupthink.” Many other studies cited.
Forgetting the Forgotten: 101 Ways 'ald Trump Has Betrayed his Populist Agenda Public Citizen, 2.20.18, Corporate Presidency
Last we checked, handing over our government to giant corporations and Republican mega-'ors was not part of 'ald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Unfortunately, it has been a defining feature of his administration.
More recently, Trump blurted out the truth about which interests he actually represents. “You all just got a lot richer,” Trump told friends at a holiday dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where the initiation fee is $200,000.
The sad reality is that decision after decision by the Trump administration will benefit ultra-rich elites — at the expense of everyday American families. It’s all a stark betrayal of the populist promises Trump made as a candidate.
We chronicled 101 examples of how Trump has contradicted his campaign’s populist agenda and betrayed the interests of his own supporters:
1. Failing to divest his businesses: Trump maintained ownership of his businesses around the globe, leaving him vulnerable to the influence of foreign governments and other corporate interests. While Trump has turned over day-to-day control of his business to his sons, he has spent roughly a third of his time at Trump properties.
In honor of Presidents’ Day, the New York Times published the results of an interesting survey today. Members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents and Executive Politics section – 170 scholars, in total – ranked each of the presidents from best to worst.
Here, for example, is the new top 10 list:
And here’s the list of the bottom 10:
When the scholars are broken down by party affiliation, Trump ranks #44 among Democratic scholars, #43 among independents, and #40 among Republican scholars. In other words, according to scholars of every stripe, our current president is off to a truly abysmal start and is well on his way to historical ignominy.
Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino, and Orlando: each one of these mass shootings was perpetrated using a version of the AR-15.
The AR-15 was designed to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible. It isn’t a hunting weapon; it’s not a self-defense measure.
Trump has been riling up racists—sorry, “white identitarians”—and encouraging violence even as he works to make it easier to get and wield assault weapons.
Trump’s quest to pack the judiciary—the most critical branch of late when it comes to gun safety—with judges who will lift rather than uphold gun restrictions is a much, much greater threat than any lawmaker’s bluster. Legislation can be repealed, but federal judges enjoy lifetime appointments.
How Did Trump Win? Follow the Dark Money A major new study says a last-minute infusion of "dark money," coupled with declining unionization rates, were among the key factors that handed 'ald Trump the biggest upset in US political history. We speak to co-author Thomas Ferguson of the University of Massachusetts
This is the real heart of the problem with both the Comey and the Russian internet story -- it's that when you actually look at what happened, not only did Hillary dip in the polls, but at the very same time the chances of the Democrats taking the Senate collapsed. When you've got two collapses, not one, and they very closely tracked each other, as we show in a figure in our paper, so, what's going on there? Well, when you look, first of all, you can take the Senate one very straightforwardly. There's no doubt about what happened. Mitch McConnell and company were going to 'ors and saying, as nice articles in Bloomberg and elsewhere on this that we cite, they're saying, "You guys can't afford to lose both the presidency and the Senate. So, you better help us."
They did. An enormous wave of cash came in for the Senate
in terms of investment, investor confidence in the Trump campaign, I'm sure was boosted when Robert Mercer, the hedge-fund billionaire, he was the one who brought in Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, essentially,
T. FERGUSON: Targets of cesspool anti-union drives
And more broadly, I have to tell you that whenever I hear Democratic Party politicians talking about bringing back the Democratic Party, making a big fight in states and local areas ... the truth of the matter is that for much of the United States where there's a Democratic Party, if you have no unions you have not much of a Democratic Party unless it's built on some ethnic organization, some of the Hispanic organizations in Texas or something like that. And I mean, there's an awful lot of self-deception in the discussions about rebuilding the Democratic party. It can't be 'e, I suspect, in any normal Midwestern, northeastern state while unions continue to just bleed members. It's just not gonna happen.
It's incomprehensible to many of us that people could support a president who, in Bernie Sanders' words, "is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation."
Based on various trusted sources and a dab of cognitive science, it's fair to conclude that there are three main reasons for this unlikely phenomenon.
1. Trump's Followers Believe They're Better Than Other People
Nationalism, exceptionalism, narcissism, racism. They're all part of the big picture, although it's unfair to simply dismiss Trump people as ignorant racists. Many of them are well-educated and wealthy. But well-to-do individuals tend to feel entitled, superior, uninterested in the people they consider beneath them, and less willing to support the needs of society. Thus many wealthy white Americans are just fine with Trump's disdain for the general population.
2. They're Driven by Hatred for Their Perceived Enemies
According to an ancient proverb, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. For many besieged Americans, the friend is 'ald Trump, the enemy of his followers' enemies, based on his belligerent put-downs of so many target groups that have been recklessly blamed for America's problems. He's been against a 'lying' media, 'job-stealing' immigrants, 'business-stifling' environmentalists, 'elites' like Hillary Clinton who are thought to look down on struggling middle-class whites, and the LGBTQ community and pro-abortion groups, which threaten the religious right's 'traditional' values to a point they consider much worse than Trump's moral depravity.
3. They Refuse to Admit They Were Wrong
In fact, the more they're proven wrong, the stronger their resolve. This is called cognitive dissonance. It's common for conservatives to construct their personal beliefs on a moral basis, to adhere to them in the face of any controversy, and if necessary to reshape the evidence to fit these beliefs. Many conservatives continue to fall for Trump's hyperbole about a "booming" economy and new jobs and better times to come.
The Deadly Rule of the Oligarchs By Chris Hedges February 12, 2018
Oligarchic rule, as Aristotle pointed out, is a deviant form of government.
Oligarchs care nothing for competency, intelligence, honesty, rationality, self-sacrifice or the common good. They pervert, deform and dismantle systems of power to serve their immediate interests, squandering the future for short-term personal gain.
“The true forms of government, therefore, are those in which the one, or the few, or the many, govern with a view to the common interest; but governments that rule with a view to the private interest, whether of the one, of the few or of the many, are perversions,” Aristotle wrote.
The classicist Peter L.P. Simpson calls these perversions the “sophistry of oligarchs,” meaning that once oligarchs take power, rational, prudent and thoughtful responses to social, economic and political problems are ignored to feed insatiable greed. The late stage of every civilization is characterized by the sophistry of oligarchs, who ravage the decaying carcass of the state.
[... perfect description of the thinking of Trump and his ilk.]
Oligarchs accelerate social, political, cultural and economic collapse. The unchecked plunder leads to systems breakdown. The refusal to protect natural resources, or the economic engines that sustain the state, means that poverty becomes the norm and the natural world becomes a toxic wasteland. Basic institutions no longer work. Infrastructure is no longer reliable. Water, air and soil are poisoned. The population is left uneducated, untrained, impoverished, oppressed by organs of internal security and beset by despair. The state eventually goes bankrupt.
They lose touch with reality. In the end, they are overthrown or destroy the state itself. There is no institution left in America that can be called democratic, and thus there is no internal mechanism to prevent a descent into barbarity.
“The political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media are the basics of the system, not excrescences upon it,” the political philosopher Shel' Wolin wrote in “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism.” The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation By James Petras February 12, 2018
Few government organizations have been engaged in violation of the US citizens’ constitutional rights for as long a time and against as many individuals as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Seldom has there been greater collusion in the perpetration of crimes against civil liberties, electoral freedom and free and lawful expression as what has taken place between the FBI and the US Justice Department.
The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump’s behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump’s early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists.
The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians!
The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible.
The FBI investigated the private lives of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, even threatening their family members. They illegally spied on and infiltrated civil liberties organizations, and used provocateurs and spies in anti-war groups. Individuals lives were destroyed, some were driven to suicide; important popular American organizations were undermined to the detriment of millions. This has been its focus since its beginning and continues with the current fabrication of anti-Russian propaganda and investigations.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. - https://petras.lahaine.org/
Email from Lauren DeRusha Florez, Corporate Accountability, 2.12.18
Trump's disastrous infrastructure plan
Trump’s plan isn’t about fixing ailing water systems, roads, and bridges in communities that need it most. No, this plan could open the floodgates for corporations to privatize the infrastructure and services we all rely upon, like our water systems. It would endanger basic services, threaten our communities and the environment, and enrich corporations at people’s expense.
Email, David Richardson, 2.12.18
Trump just unveiled his new budget, and it will pay for his tax cuts for the rich by cutting Medicaid by $1.3 trillion, slashing Medicare by $554 billion, AND taking $10 billion away from the Social Security disability insurance program!
This comes after the GOP health care bill would have thrown 30 million people off their insurance, ended Medicaid as we know it, eliminated protections for those with preexisting conditions, and raised premiums. It's like they intentionally are trying to hurt as many people as possible, while giving insurance companies and the wealthy what they want!
What’s Really Behind America’s Objections to Trump’s Military Parade By Finian Cunningham February 11, 2018
They know the spectacle will serve to illustrate to the American public and the rest of the world that the United States is a rogue military regime.
Email fro MySA: Dow Jones industrial average takes its biggest loss in more than 6 years
Dow plunges 1,175 points in worst day for stocks since 2011
Banks fared the worst as bond yields and interest rates nosedived [Yeeeah! - C]. Health care, technology and industrial companies all took outsize losses and energy companies sank with oil prices [Oil deserves to die - ].
[Tell us again, Trump. How is the economy doing better under Fascism--AKA disaster capitalism?]
Trump’s Financial Arsonists--The Next Financial Crisis -- Not If, But WhenBy Nomi Prins February 03, 2018
There’s been lots of fire and fury around Washington lately, including a brief government shutdown. In 'ald Trump’s White House, you can hardly keep up with the ongoing brouhahas from North Korea to Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation, while it already feels like ages since the celebratory mood over the vast corporate tax cuts Congress passed last year. But '’t be fooled: none of that is as important as what’s missing from the picture. Like a disease, in the nation’s capital it’s often what you can’t see that will, in the end, hurt you most.
Amid a roaring stock market and a planet of upbeat CEOs, few are even thinking about the havoc that a multi-trillion-dollar financial system gone rogue could inflict upon global stability. But watch out. Even in the seemingly best of times, neglecting Wall Street is a dangerous idea. With a rag-tag Trumpian crew of ex-bankers and Goldman Sachs alumni as the only watchdogs in town, it’s time to focus, because one thing is clear: 'ald Trump’s economic team is in the process of making the financial system combustible again.
Collectively, the biggest U.S. banks already have their get-out-out-of-jail-free cards and are now sitting on record profits after, not so long ago, triggering sweeping unemployment, wrecking countless lives, and elevating global instability. (Not a single major bank CEO was given jail time for such acts.)
Why the Notion of the Self-Taught, Self-Made Billionaire Is a Lie A look at the educational background of the 1 percent, courtesy of the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census, reveals that the “rags to riches” narrative we’re fed about the rich being “self-taught self-starters” is a fallacy. The world’s billionaires are “disproportionately likely” to have received a degree at one of several elite (and, one could add, elitist) institutions... “Education [is] the way that some people make their way up and it’s the way of consolidating privilege.”
Chris Hedges: The Myth of the Free Press The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes... The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses.
But to maintain this myth they have to destroy the credibility of journalists such as Webb and Assange who shine a light on the sinister and murderous inner workings of empire, who care more about truth than news.
Email from Action Required (via 314 Action)
Meet Trump’s Deputy Drug Czar, Taylor Weyeneth:
He's a 24-year-old campaign volunteer.
We need 25,000 signatures calling on this UNQUALIFIED hack to resign
Trump appointed an UNQUALIFIED, 24-year-old deadbeat to help lead America's fight against the opioid epidemic.
He MUST resign before any more damage is 'e.
Trump Has Lied Nearly 2,000 Times During His First Year in Office Over the past 347 days, President Trump has lied to or intentionally misled the public a staggering 1,950 times, according to The Washington Post's fact checker.
Email from Murshed Zaheed, 1/2/18
Trump siding with Big Pharma on Medicare
'ald Trump spent most of 2016 insisting he would attack the pharmaceutical drug companies behind skyrocketing prices. But ever since he seized office, he has been unsurprisingly missing in action.
Congressional Democrats who actually care about sick people have tried repeatedly to get Trump’s attention, and he has ignored them. Instead, the Trump regime has announced plans “hitting everybody except the drug industry.”
Now, Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive champions have introduced a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug price discounts.3 If they can shame Trump into helping, it would be a win for struggling Americans – and if not, they will expose Trump as a phony puppet of Big Pharma.
Julian Assange Just Warned of a Deep State Coup Meant to Install Mike Pence as President The founder of WikiLeaks is warning the public about a Deep State plot to overthrow Trump, and install Mike Pence as President of the United States.
Essentially, Assange is saying is that the aforementioned stakeholders who want to see Trump gone have played a long-game, whereby they have worked “to extract as many unpopular positions as possible (e.g tax cuts for the super rich), push the resulting political corpse to Mueller & install Mike Pence.”
This, of course, was 'e as means of severing Trump from his political base, which largely opposes CIA interventionism, Zionism, and globalist banking cartels. The idea behind it being that when Mueller moves to recommend impeachment, Trump will have strayed so far from the positions that got him elected that there will be a minimal public outcry in his defense.
Email from Daily Kos, 12/14/17
\ Colby, the FCC—headed by Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai—voted to end net neutrality on a party line vote this afternoon.
This is a huge loss to a years-long campaign waged by Daily Kos and partner organizations across the country, and it's a huge threat to Daily Kos' continued existence.
Net neutrality used to prevent internet service providers from blocking sites, throttling traffic, or offering so-called "fast lanes." But without these protects, internet users and small media outlets like Daily Kos are at the mercy of big telecom companies to be blocked or slowed down unless de facto ransom fees are paid.
But this fight doesn't end with the FCC. Lawsuits will be filed, members of Congress are demanding hearings and investigations, and you can sure as hell bet that Daily Kos will be there every step of the way, burying Congress in letters and calls to make our voices heard and stop this shakedown from Big Telecom.
Psychiatrists Sound Alarm: Trump Deteriorating By the Day. We Are All In Danger. Saturday Dec 09, 2017
It’s getting worse.
Before Trump decided to enflame the Middle East, just this past week he tweeted violent, fake, racist videos and said the Access Hollywood tape was faked.
Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee:
What we're seeing is someone mentally falling apart. This is what we mean when someone is coming unglued or unhinged. With stress, they will be less able to tell apart what is real from what is unreal, become more bizarre and, in the case of Mr. Trump, will likely become violent. He will have thoughts and reasoning that will be hard for us to follow because he is pulled more by his internal processes, what's going on in his head, be they fantasies, conspiracy theories or imaginary threats than what is going on in the real world.
Thing of it is—Republicans KNOW he is mentally deteriorating. They know he is not well.
His own cabinet says they actively ignore him—even faking bad reception to get him off the phones. The Secretary of Defense and Chief of Staff have said they would literally tackle the man with the nuclear football. White House aides are “terrified” about the President’s mental health.
For the first time in half a century, a Senate panel was convened on what would happen if a nutty president orders a nuclear strike. Some Pentagon leaders said they would ignore the president, but in reality, if Trump wants to start a nuclear war---NOTHING CAN STOP HIM.
email from Anerucans for Tax Fairness, 12/9/17
A new Americans for Tax Fairness report shows how the pharmaceutical industry will get an $80 billion tax break under the Trump tax scam while continuing to price gouge the American people.
If 'ald Trump and Congressional Republicans pass their massive tax cuts largely benefiting the richest 1% and wealthy corporations, a big winner will be the pharmaceutical industry, which wields enormous power through a small army of corporate lobbyists.
And, in 2016, the Pharma Big 10 had $506 billion in untaxed profits stashed offshore. These profits soared by two-thirds since 2011, as drug prices skyrocketed.
Senator Bernie Sanders said:
“This important new report highlights what we already know—pharmaceutical companies are gouging the public with outrageous prescription drug prices, while dodging tens of billions of dollars in U.S. taxes on their offshore profits. But instead of doing anything to rein in these tax dodgers, the Republican tax plan rewards drug companies with massive tax cuts on their current and future offshore profits. These corporations can no longer be allowed to rip off Americans, who already pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world. Instead of giving big pharmaceutical companies that are sheltering their profits overseas a massive tax break, we must demand that they pay their fair share of taxes so that we can rebuild the disappearing middle class.”
Petition against Trump On December 4, 2017, President Trump announced plans to reduce Bears Ears National Monument by a staggering 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante by 45 percent in order to open up the land for oil and gas extraction, mining, logging, and other commercial activities. This proposal is the largest reversal of federally-protected land in U.S. history.
Bears Ears National Monument was established as a national monument by President Obama in December 2016, and Grand Staircase-Escalante was set as a national monument by President Clinton in 1996. Both monuments are not only home to wildlife like bighorn sheep and elk and breathtaking natural wonders like towering rock formations, but they are also ecologically, historically, and culturally significant as the landscape holds fossils and ancient artifacts that existed long before the United States was ever established as a nation.
Several Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, consider the areas to be sacred, holding the history and burial grounds of their ancestors. Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, said this about Trump’s proposal: “We will stand and fight all the way…[the United States government has already taken] millions of acres of my people’s land.”
Donald Trump Is a Dictator in Training By Jim Hightower May 11, 2017
Posing as Patton-on-the-Potomac, President Donald Trump is out to "Make America Feared Again."
Comandante, Trump, El Jefe, the gringo strongman!
That's the image our current Commander-in-Chief seems to be cultivating. He has surrounded himself with generals, cavalierly threatens war with all "bad hombres," is drastically bulking up military spending, and imperiously slaps foreign leaders, whole ethnic groups and entire nations with demeaning tweets and public rants. Posing as Patton-on-the-Potomac, President Donald Trump is out to "Make America Feared Again."
Freaked out by Trump and his menagerie of mutants? Let’s focus our anger–and have a greater impact I’ve thought of that moment recently as I’ve seen instance after instance of the innate rebelliousness of the American people erupting across the country in surprising ways, unexpected numbers, and with astonishing intensity. No need to wonder where this comes from, however. The outbursts are a spontaneous, rapidly expanding mass rejection of Trumpism.
Our Twitter-president plays to his most frenzied partisans with his daily rata-tat-tat of executive orders and public fulminations–... no telling who’s next. But while some delightedly squeal at his wild moves, many more see Trump as not merely unpresidential, but bullgoose bonkers! And dangerous
The 'ald’s deep darkness has sparked a prairie fire of mass opposition, raging political activism, and movement organizing for the long haul. The rebellion is on!
After all, millions of our neighbors have long been disengaged, viewing the political scrum as somewhere between irrelevant and repugnant. But, suddenly they’re back–alert not only to Trump, but to their congress critters and to that menagerie of freaky, rightwing corporate mutants that Trump-Pence has put in charge of our government. In January, one red-district Texan told a reporter: “I think of politics the way I think of my car. I just want it to run [without my spending] a lot of time.” Only a few weeks into the Trump-Does-Washington spectacle, he’s now learned a fundamental lesson: “You get the politics you work for.”
Trump Sinks to a New Low--Even For Him. By Dartagnan Wednesday Nov 15, 2017
The Trump administration plans to allow hunters to import trophies of elephants they killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia back to the United States, reversing a ban put in place by the Obama administration in 2014, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official confirmed to ABC News today.
Zimbabwe is currently in a state of martial law.
From ABC News:Savanna elephant populations declined by 30 percent across 18 countries in Africa from 2007 to 2014, according to the Great Elephant Census published last year, which put their remaining numbers at just over 350,000.
The ban was originally imposed because Zimbabwe, one of the most corrupt nations on Earth, could not show that its management of elephants enhanced the elephant population, nor could they demonstrate any ability to implement or enforce laws designed to protect that population. However the regime did enjoy the influx of cash from “hunting advocacy organizations" shuttling in wealthy Americans eager to “hunt" endangered species and bring their severed body parts home to impress their friends and neighbors:
“It’s a venal and nefarious pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society.
That did not deter the Trump Administration:
Even though elephants are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, a provision in the act allows the government to give permits to import these trophies if there is evidence that the hunting actually benefits conservation for that species. The official said they have new information from officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia to support reversing the ban to allow trophy hunting permits.
Sick Fucks.Video: Trump Begging Countries To Buy Weapons The Young Turks
Articles Of Impeachment Introduced Against Trump By House Democrats By Associated Press November 15, 2017
A half-dozen Democrats on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against President 'ald Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice and other offenses, in a long-shot effort that stands little chance in the Republican-led House.
Email from The Intercept, 11/18/17
Much of the discussion on President 'ald Trump’s proposed border wall has focused on its cost and impracticality, as well as the anti-immigrant and racist world view it embodies.
Little attention, however, has been paid to who stands to gain from building the structure. But as Alice Speri reports, Wall Street is already profiting from the potential bonanza along the southwest border [https://theintercept.com/2017/11/16/trump-border-wall-sterling-construction-company-blackrock-jpmorgan-wells-fargo/].
One building firm, Sterling Construction Company, has seen its stock increase in value by 65 percent since it was chosen by Customs and Border Protection to build a prototype. Which means companies like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Blackrock — all of whom have increased their holdings in Sterling stock — are cashing in, even as their CEOs have distanced themselves from Trump's bigotry.
Far more corrosive than Trump’s pet border boondoggle has been the political corruption of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In the first installment of an ambitious data-driven investigation of federal prosecutors, Brooke Williams and Shawn Musgrave report that the DOJ is using plea agreements to pressure noncitizens to waive their right to an immigration hearing, including appeals for asylum or protection from persecution. The waivers are yet another sign of Trump's rapidly expanding deportation machine.
UN summit shows how 'ald Trump is doing more damage to world's climate than we ever realised Trump has committed to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement – but that won't happen until 2020. Until then, he threatens to wreck it from the inside out
As the UN climate talks drew to a close in Bonn on Friday, delegates will look back on these talks as the moment the US tried to present 'ald Trump’s vision for environmental action – and was met with outrage and derision.
These two weeks have seen nearly 200 countries come together to support the Paris agreement, in an unprecedented effort to coordinate against climate change. Now with Syria on board, the US is left as the only country outside of this global endeavour.
No one here has been slow to speak out against the US federal government. Yet the summit has also shown clearly how the US under 'ald Trump can continue to damage the Paris accord, and thereby the world, in ways we are only just beginning to understand.
“They [thd US] have decided that they are not going to be playing the game of the Paris agreement but they still want to be inside the room and decide the rules,” Harjeet Singh, Action Aid’s global lead on climate change, told The Independent.
But, according to Mr Singh, there is a danger that other rich countries in the EU, as well as the likes of Australia and Canada, use the general outcry against America as a “cover-up” to avoid genuine progress on key issues such as ramping up ambition before the Paris deal comes into effect in 2020.
“The US is becoming a punching bag. Everybody is focusing on what they are doing and nobody is noticing what other rich countries are doing,” said Mr Singh.
Massive Overkill: Brought to You By the Nuclear-Industrial Complex By William D. Hartung November 14, 2017
But give 'ald Trump credit. When it comes to nukes, he’s gotten our attention. He’s prompted renewed concern, if not outright alarm, about the possibility that such weaponry could actually be used for the first time since the 6th and 9th of August 1945. That’s what happens when the man in the Oval Office begins threatening to rain “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on another country or, as he did in his presidential campaign, claiming cryptically that, when it comes to nuclear weapons, “the devastation is very important to me.”
Trump’s pronouncements are at least as unnerving as President Ronald Reagan’s infamous “joke” that “we begin bombing [the Soviet Union] in five minutes” or the comment of a Reagan aide that, “with enough shovels,” the United States could survive a superpower nuclear exchange.
Whether in the 1980s or today, a tough-guy attitude on nuclear weapons, when combined with an apparent ignorance about their world-ending potential, adds up to a toxic brew.
Email from firstname.lastname@example.org 11/5/17
Rachel Maddow: "Our new president will FLAT-OUT LIE to us ... He blatantly, and overtly, bluntly, simply LIED."
'ald Trump has lied about nearly everything that has happened since he became president.
Email from Bernie, 11/2/17
The Republican tax bill is out today, and—as Senator Bernie Sanders warned us earlier this week—it's morally obscene.
Wealth and income inequality is the great moral, economic, and political issue of our time. The wealthiest Americans—the top 1/10 of 1 percent—own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Unbelievably, the GOP plan would make matters even worse.
Trump Is Killing Record Numbers of Civilians By Marjorie Cohn November 01, 2017
During the 2016 presidential campaign, 'ald Trump advocated killing innocent families of suspected terrorists. "When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families," he declared. Besides the immorality of killing innocents, the targeting of civilians violates the Geneva Conventions.
The George W. Bush administration unlawfully detained and tortured suspected terrorists. Determined not to send more suspects to Guantánamo, Barack Obama's administration illegally assassinated them with drones and other methods, killing many civilians in the process.
Trump granted increased authority to the CIA and the Pentagon to conduct drone strikes. He also loosened the targeted killing rules in large areas of Yemen and Somalia by designating them "areas of active hostilities."
In March alone, the Trump administration killed 1,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria, according to Airwars, a non-governmental organization that monitors civilian casualties from airstrikes.
We can expect to see increasing numbers of civilian deaths as Trump continues the "war on terror" he inherited from his predecessors. Since Bush launched this war after 9/11, we have become more vulnerable to terrorism. Civilian killings heighten anger toward the United States and lead to stepped-up recruitment of those who would do us harm.
Our Ever-Deadlier Police State By Chris Hedges October 24, 2017
None of the reforms, increased training, diversity programs, community outreach and gimmicks such as body cameras have blunted America’s deadly police assault, especially against poor people of color. Police forces in the United States—which, according to The Washington Post, have fatally shot 782 people this year—are unaccountable, militarized monstrosities that spread fear and terror in poor communities. By comparison, police in England and Wales killed 62 people in the 27 years between the start of 1990 and the end of 2016.
Police officers have become rogue predators in impoverished communities. Under U.S. forfeiture laws, police indiscriminately seize money, real estate, automobiles and other assets. In many cities, traffic, parking and other fines are little more than legalized extortion that funds local government and turns jails into debtor prisons.
Because of a failed court system, millions of young men and women are railroaded into prison, many for nonviolent offenses. SWAT teams with military weapons burst into homes often under warrants for nonviolent offenses, sometimes shooting those inside. Trigger-happy cops pump multiple rounds into the backs of unarmed men and women and are rarely charged with murder. And for poor Americans, basic constitutional rights, including due process, were effectively abolished decades ago.
Jonathan Simon’s “Governing Through Crime” and Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” point out that what is defined and targeted as criminal activity by the police and the courts is largely determined by racial inequality and class, and most importantly by the potential of targeted groups to cause social and political unrest. Criminal policy, as sociologist Alex S. Vitale writes in his new book, “The End of Policing,” “is structured around the use of punishment to manage the ‘dangerous classes,’ masquerading as a system of justice.”
The criminal justice system, at the same time, refuses to hold Wall Street banks, corporations and oligarchs accountable for crimes that have caused incalculable damage to the global economy and the ecosystem. None of the bankers who committed massive acts of fraud and were responsible for the financial collapse in 2008 have gone to prison even though their crimes resulted in widespread unemployment, millions of evictions and foreclosures, homelessness, bankruptcies and the looting of the U.S. Treasury to bail out financial speculators at taxpayer expense.
The grotesque distortions of the judicial system and the aggressive war on the poor by the police will get worse under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. There has been a rollback of President Barack Obama’s 2015 restrictions on the 1033 Program, a 1989 congressional action that allows the transfer of military weaponry, including grenade launchers, armored personnel carriers and .50-caliber machine guns, from the federal government to local police forces. Since 1997, the Department of Defense has turned over a staggering $5.1 billion in military hardware to police departments.
The Trump administration also is resurrecting private prisons in the federal prison system, accelerating the so-called war on drugs, stacking the courts with right-wing “law and order” judges and preaching the divisive politics of punishment and retribution.
The Praetorian Guard of the elites, as in all totalitarian systems, will soon be beyond the reach of the law. As Vitale writes in his book, “Our entire criminal justice system has become a gigantic revenge factory.”
This is what Trump is playing to. This idea that the only appropriate role for the state is one of coercion and threats—whether it’s in the foreign policy sphere or in the domestic sphere.”
Police forces, as Vitale writes in his book, were not formed to ensure public safety or prevent crime. They were created by the property classes to maintain economic and political dominance and exert control over slaves, the poor, dissidents and labor unions that challenged the wealthy’s hold on power and ability to amass personal fortunes. Many of America’s policing techniques, including widespread surveillance, were pioneered and perfected in colonies of the U.S. and then brought back to police departments in the homeland. Blacks in the South had to be controlled, and labor unions and radical socialists in the industrial Northeast and Midwest had to be broken.
Again, the direct connection between colonialism and the domestic management of workers. … It’s a two-way exchange. As we’re developing ideas throughout our own colonial undertakings, bringing those ideas home, and then refining them and shipping them back to our partners around the world who are often despotic regimes with close economic relationships to the United States. There’s a very sad history here of the U.S. exporting basically models of policing that morphs into death squads and horrible human rights abuses.”
The accelerated assault on the poor and the growing omnipotence of the police signal our transformation into an authoritarian state in which the rich and the powerful are not subject to the rule of law. The Trump administration will promote none of the conditions that could ameliorate this crisis—affordable housing; well-paying jobs; safe and nurturing schools that do not charge tuition; better mental health facilities; efficient public transportation; the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure; demilitarized police forces in which most officers do not carry weapons; universal, government-funded health care; an end to the predatory loans and unethical practices of big banks; and reparations to African-Americans and an end to racial segregation.
Trump and most of those he has appointed to positions of power disdain the poor as a dead weight on society. They blame stricken populations for their own misery. They seek to subjugate the poor, especially those of color, through police violence, ever harsher forms of punishment and an expansion of the prison system.
Sen. Flake's Scathing, Anti-Trump Speech Video and Transcript
"We must never regard as "normal" the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country - the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.
"None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that this is just the way things are now. If we simply become inured to this condition, thinking that this is just politics as usual, then heaven help us.
"Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as "telling it like it is," when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.
"And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength -- because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.
"A Republican president named Roosevelt had this to say about the president and a citizen's relationship to the office:
"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile." President Roosevelt continued. "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
"When a leader correctly identifies real hurt and insecurity in our country and instead of addressing it goes looking for somebody to blame, there is perhaps nothing more devastating to a pluralistic society. Leadership knows that most often a good place to start in assigning blame is to first look somewhat closer to home. Leadership knows where the buck stops. Humility helps. Character counts. Leadership does not knowingly encourage or feed ugly and debased appetites in us.
"Despotism loves a vacuum. And our allies are now looking elsewhere for leadership. Why are they doing this? None of this is normal. And what do we as United States Senators have to say about it?
"The principles that underlie our politics, the values of our founding, are too vital to our identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. Because politics can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity.
"There is an undeniable potency to a populist appeal -- but mischaracterizing or misunderstanding our problems and giving in to the impulse to scapegoat and belittle threatens to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking people. In the case of the Republican party, those things also threaten to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking minority party.
"We were not made great as a country by indulging or even exalting our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorying in the things which divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake. And we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how hard-won and vulnerable they are."
Washington, DC – With tensions continually escalating on the Korean peninsula, the U.S. Air Force is reportedly preparing to put its fleet of nuclear-armed B-52 bombers on 24-hour ready alert for the first time since the end of the Cold War in 1991.
WATCH: Illegal ICE Raid Shows How the US Is Starting to Look Like Nazi Germany A disturbing warrantless raid by ICE agents was captured on video this week showing how the US is quickly slipping into tyranny.
Just like the Nazis during their occupation of the Netherlands warrantlessly barged into private property like the place Anne Frank was hiding in, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, is increasingly doing the same thing in America. As the video below shows, the constitution does little to stop armed agents of the state from violating the rights of innocent people.
Capturing the Wisdom and the Beauty of 'ald J. Trump By William Blum October 22, 2017
Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of 'ald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth:
“Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far.”
Here the man thinks that everyone will be impressed that the American military has never been stronger.
And that those who, for some unimaginable reason, are not impressed with that will at least be impressed that military equipment is being added EACH DAY. Ah yes, it’s long been a sore point with most Americans that new military equipment was being added only once a week.
And if that isn’t impressive enough, then surely the fact that the equipment is NEW will win people over. Indeed, the newness is important enough to mention twice. After all, no one likes USED military equipment.
And if newness doesn’t win everyone’s heart, then BEAUTIFUL will definitely do it. Who likes UGLY military equipment? Even the people we slaughter all over the world insist upon good-looking guns and bombs.
And the best in the world. Of course. That’s what makes us all proud to be Americans. And what makes the rest of humanity just aching with jealousy.
And in case you '’t fully appreciate that, notice that he adds that it’s the best ANYWHERE in the world.
And in case you still '’t fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! Makes me choke up.
Lucky for the man … his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment.
He’s twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush.
The Iran Dilemma – The Tyrant Has Spoken The tyrant, of course, is 'ald Trump. He launched tirade after tirade, and keeps launching them, insult after insult, lies after lies after miserable lies at the Government of Iran
Since it is now difficult for Mr. Trump or any of his handlers to pretend that Iran has failed the agreement, Trump has changed his language. He, and some of his most ridiculous stooges say now that Iran is infringing on the “spirit” of the agreement, as if Trump even knew what spirit and spirituality means.
He, the tyrant, keeps insulting and hammering down on the Government of Iran all the same – spreading lies which even Iran’s enemies know are lies: Iran is spreading and funding terrorism in the region, and the world, they are[military] threat to the region – and they are even a ‘National Security Threat’ – 12,000 km away from Washington. Imagine, one of the most peaceful countries in the world. The only National Security Threat to virtually ALL the nations of the globe, minus Israel, is the only rogue state we know – the United States of America.
Iran is beyond sanctions. Iran is already part of the new economic system – the one emanating from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, and detached from the dollar hegemony. Therefore, slandering Iran, threatening Iran with war and sanctions or both, is one big bluff – and Trump, Netanyahu’s puddle, believe the world will go for it.
Both countries are trading with the world since quite a while outside of the fiat dollar system, using instead yuans and rubles convertible into gold. That’s the new currency standard offered to the world. The west can take it or leave it.. It’s like jumping on the fast train that has already left the Shanghai station, racing through Eurasia towards Europe, called the OBI – the One Belt Initiative, President Xi’s answer to the western economy of fraud, that will lay the tracks for a new and peaceful economy, possibly for the next few hundred years.
I have said it many times before, and will keep repeating it, the future is in the east; the west is passé. It is committing suicide, greed, war and lie-driven auto-destruction. Iran, India, Pakistan are already members of the SCO, others, including NATO Turkey, are vying to join and be no longer vulnerable to US imposed sanctions and sledgehammer policies.
Even far-away Venezuela has decided to trade her hydrocarbon resources with China in gold-convertible yuans. Hence, Venezuela is detaching herself from the dollar economy, freeing herself from the financial and economic shackles of Wall street, the FED and the Bretton Woods Institutions. Venezuela is a beacon illuminating a new economy for South America, as well as an example of a solid democracy, as demonstrated by this past weekend’s regional fully transparent elections to elect governors and state legislators – a new path to follow by other Latin American countries, who are still enslaved and trampled by the dictate of Washington.
Is Congress about to wreck the Grand Canyon and other national park treasures? The Antiquities Act has been used to preserve some of America’s beloved lands and landmarks but it is facing assault from Trump and Congress
One-hundred-eleven years and a few months ago, Theodore Roosevelt signed the landmark law that helped cement his place as America’s conservation president.
The Antiquities Act is brief – just two sentences allow a president to set aside for federal protection “objects of historic or scientific interest”. It’s been used dozens of times by 16 presidents from both parties to preserve some of America’s most beloved wild lands and historic landmarks, laying the foundations for national parks and generations of family adventures. Many national parks – including South Dakota’s Badlands, Alaska’s Kenai Fjords and Nevada’s Death Valley – began as national monuments.
Those lands are now facing a two-headed assault from Congress and the Trump administration, and the act itself faces an uncertain future.
If a bill quietly working its way through the House of Representatives right now were law 111 years ago, Devil’s Tower wouldn’t have qualified as a national monument. Neither would the Grand Canyon, which Roosevelt protected as a monument in 1908 before it was made a national park. Nor would the Petrified Forest national park, Utah’s Zion national park, Bryce Canyon or many of America’s other legendary protected lands.
under the bill, sponsored by Republican Rob Bishop of Utah. Like many monuments, it’s too big. The measure would cap the size of monuments and, critically, remove the ability to protect monuments of scientific interest, ruling out places selected for their unique formations like the giant sequoia trees of California and Wyoming’s Fossil Butte. In an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, Bishop called the Antiquities Act, “a menace to constitutional government”. Bishop targeted Barack Obama’s use of the act to protect 553.6m acres in two dozen monuments across the country. “Actions such as these are not the rule of law,” he said. “It is arbitrary rule by one man.”
Bishop’s bill, which has drawn united opposition from sporting and recreation groups across the country, could give legal authority to the Trump administration to shrink monuments. The interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, this summer recommended reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou monument, but he hasn’t made his review public.
Bishop’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the measure, which last week passed the House natural resources committee without public hearing.
Three million comments left by the American public
The vast majority – one appraisal says 96% – favor keeping current monuments for future generations. Zinke has dismissed the flood of comments, saying they were part of a “well-orchestrated national campaign”. And yes, many are repetitive; many are personal.
Trump Has Killed More Civilians with Illegal Drone Strikes in 9 Months Than Obama Did in 8 Years While the mainstream media focuses on anything but the current state of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, the Trump Administration is breaking records by accumulating a horrific number of civilian deaths.
Trump administration unveils the 'Fetal 14th Amendment' Sunday Oct 15, 2017
For the Trump administration, some persons are more equal than others. Some of them aren't persons at all.
In what is surely a first, the Secret Service had to intervene to protect someone from a presidential candidate. Or, to be more precise, from the consequences of his hate-filled rhetoric. The person was Katy Tur, a journalist for MSNBC. She tells her story in Marie Claire. Last fall she covered the Trump campaign for several months, and earned Trump’s extreme displeasure for reporting about protesters interrupting his speeches. He demanded an apology and she refused. So at a December rally Trump pointed out Tur to the crowd and said:
“What a lie. Katy Tur. What a lie it was. Third. Rate. Reporter. Remember that.”
The crowd of Trump supporters turned so fiercely against her that Tur says the Secret Service had to protect her while she was walking to her car, simply to keep her safe.
On Wednesday 'ald Trump signed an executive order that significantly damages the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It's purpose is to force people into the old "junk" plans that failed to provide necessary coverage. What's more, it will remove the protections for people with preexisting conditions. And he wasn't finished with his mission to deliberately destroy ObamaCare.
It's a monstrously cruel decision on Trump's part that defies reason. Except that Trump took a few questions from reporters Thursday morning wherein he helpfully offered the reason himself (video below):
"If you take a look at CSR payments, that money is going to insurance companies. To prop up insurance companies. That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price. And that's not what I'm about. Take a look at who those insurance companies support, and I guarantee you one thing. It's not 'ald Trump."
And there you have it. Trump is taking out his vengeance on an industry that he thinks hasn't been generous enough to him. Like almost every other decision he makes, it's all about Trump or go suck an egg.
Looks Like He's Just Going to Let Them Die In a series of—what else?--tweets this morning, the Bleeder of the Free World outlined his long-term plans for recovery and rebuilding in Puerto Rico. They can be spelled out with blank Scrabble tiles.
Trump tweet: "Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making."
[Actually, Trump cronies, Vulture bankers, scammed Puerto Rico into huge debt]
Trump tweet: "...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"
Surprised? Like DACA, like the ACA, Himself’s answer to the challenge of actually, you know, governing, is to do whatever he can as Executive to destroy systems already damaged, then pull a Pilate and say, “Congress better do something about this,”
Trump takes his rage out on Obamacare, again, with new executive orders Thwarted by the Republican Congress's inability to take health insurance away from millions of people, 'ald Trump is continuing his efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act from the inside. He's expected to sign executive orders on Thursday intended to siphon off healthy Obamacare enrollees into skimpy cheaper plans. The order will loosen rules for what these plans have to cover and who they have to cover, like people with pre-existing conditions. The cumulative effect of the new rules he's ordering will be to damage Obamacare's regulated markets, leaving just the sickest, most expensive patients there.
Trump would rather destroy American credibility than admit that something Obama did is working By Mark Sumner Thursday Oct 12, 2017
'ald Trump has constantly complained, both throughout the campaign and since occupying the White House, that the nuclear agreement with Iran is a terrible deal. A deal that damages the United States. An “embarrassment.” And it’s clear that there is a national embarrassment.
[Trump] was incensed by the arguments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and others that the landmark 2015 deal, while flawed, offered stability and other benefits. He did not want to certify to Congress that the agreement remained in the vital U.S. national security interest and that Iran was meeting its obligations. He did not think either was true.
“He threw a fit,” said one person
Trump’s refusal to listen to reason made White House staff come up with a plan that would let 'ald Trump stomp his foot and scream about the plan, but actually throw in a roadblock to eliminating the deal. Coming up with elaborate ways to soothe the fury of Trump while desperately working behind the scenes to stop the world from blowing up fits in with a series of actions where staff has attempted to keep Trump from either exploding, or blowing up the rest of us. That’s how things work at the White House daycare.
ZOMG ... Trump is not a moron, what Tillerson actually said will amaze you! Another day in the presidential covfefe-grinder
Trump suggested he could beat Tillerson at an IQ test. That remark follows a report from NBC News last week that Tillerson, frustrated with the president, called Trump a "moron."
Trump laughs and jokes during solemn “Retreat” ceremony This needs to go viral. It is perfect example of Trump’s (and Hannity’s) ignorance and false patriotism. They had no idea “Retreat” was being played and they were supposed to stand and respect the flag. Ironically he also brought the NFL player’s not standing for the National Anthem up in this interview.
Trump's Short Film About The Civil War see video a bit down screen
As the Trump team continues to stitch together their administration, efforts to certify the election results are also progressing. In an unprecedented display of support, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has raised over six million dollars for recounts. That's enough for Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and Michigan will require only a million more.
Not surprisingly, 'ald Trump is aghast at the potential challenge to his Electoral College victory. And consistent with his juvenile temperament, he is once again taking to Twitter to whine about the burdens of democracy. Terrified of being exposed as a loser, crybaby Trump is lashing out at Hillary Clinton for doing exactly what he planned on doing himself.
Climate deniers cheer study that shows Trump’s policies will destroy America Widely misreported study confirms that only immediate and deep cuts in carbon pollution can avert a climate catastrophe
JOE ROMM SEP 25, 2017
This study, which found that super-aggressive emissions reductions could prevent total global warming from hitting 2.7°F would raise alarm bells in a more normal media environment. After all, the world has not embraced instantaneous and sharp emissions reductions.
Instead, President 'ald Trump has said global warming is a hoax and has adopted policies aimed at undermining U.S. and global climate action.
In reality, the world has not come close to adopting such policies. Worse, Trump’s domestic and global climate policies, which include leaving the Paris climate agreement, make them all but unattainable.
The End of Empire By Chris Hedges October 02, 2017
The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits
Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts.
Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.
The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.
Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two.
The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states.
Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,” by “a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg” that will “forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.”
Under every measurement, from financial growth and infrastructure investment to advanced technology, including supercomputers, space weaponry and cyberwarfare, we are being rapidly overtaken by the Chinese.
The Department of Defense issued a sober report titled “At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World.” It found that the U.S. military “no longer enjoys an unassailable position versus state competitors,” and “it no longer can … automatically generate consistent and sustained local military superiority at range.” McCoy predicts the collapse will come by 2030.
Empires in decay embrace an almost willful suicide. Blinded by their hubris and unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. They replace diplomacy, multilateralism and politics with unilateral threats and the blunt instrument of war.
This collective self-delusion saw the United States make the greatest strategic blunder in its history, one that sounded the death knell of the empire—the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The architects of the war in the George W. Bush White House, and the array of useful idiots in the press and academia who were cheerleaders for it, knew very little about the countries being invaded, were stunningly naive about the effects of industrial warfare and were blindsided by the ferocious blowback.
The deep disillusionment and anger that led to 'ald Trump’s election—a reaction to the corporate coup d’état and the poverty afflicting at least half of the country—have destroyed the myth of a functioning democracy. Presidential tweets and rhetoric celebrate hate, racism and bigotry and taunt the weak and the vulnerable.
We are worldwide objects of ridicule and hatred.
“The demise of the United States as the preeminent global power could come far more quickly than anyone imagines,” McCoy writes.
“So delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly wrong, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, eleven years for the Ottomans, seventeen for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, just twenty-seven years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003 [when the U.S. invaded Iraq],” he writes.
Many of the estimated 69 empires that have existed throughout history lacked competent leadership in their decline, having ceded power to monstrosities such as the Roman emperors Caligula and Nero. In the United States, the reins of authority may be in the grasp of the first in a line of depraved demagogues.
“For the majority of Americans, the 2020s will likely be remembered as a demoralizing decade of rising prices, stagnant wages, and fading international competitiveness,” McCoy writes.
The empire will collapse and the nation will consume itself within our lifetimes if we do not wrest power from those who rule the corporate state.
Robert Reich: "'ald Trump Is No Longer The President Of The United States" By ursulafaw Sunday Oct 01, 2017
Oh sure, he has the title and he has the bully pulpit – from which he’s bullying everyone from NBA players to people protesting white supremacists to DACA kids.
But he’s not actively governing the United States. That work is happening elsewhere – in Congress, the courts, the Fed, the career civil service, lobbyists, and in the states. Or it’s not happening at all.
It’s not just that Trump lost the epic battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump never understood the Affordable Care Act to begin with, and played no part in developing Republican alternatives.
The budget Trump submitted to Congress in March was dead on arrival. House Republicans ignored Trump’s request for $54 billion in cuts to departments and agencies and decided instead to cut non-defense spending by just $5 billion, and explode the defense budget.
Trump’s relations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have become so strained they have no interest in looping him into policies before they have to.
Meanwhile, Trump has run out of Obama executive orders he can declare void. Major regulations, such as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, can’t just be repealed. They have to go through a legal process that could take years.
Trump doesn’t seem to be aware of this.
Recent Released Audio: Trump Mocks a Dying Man, Proving He's A Sociopath Sunday Oct 01, 2017
I asked myself who would think it a good idea to go golfing at a N.J. Country Club after a hurricane completely leveled Puerto Rico. Trump’s ill-conceived vacation was a large reason the federal response has been so deadly slow. 10 days later, Trump still hasn’t submitted a request for Congressional aid, still hasn’t visited the island, and refuses to call for an all-out relief effort—but he did return to the golf course this weekend.
The mayor of San Juan, after repeatedly being blown off, was literally begging Trump to save the lives of her dying citizens and tried to appeal to his compassion
Imploring Trump to feel something for his fellow man is a complete waste of time.
John McCain, who is dying from an aggressive form of brain cancer, cannot raise his arms because of torture by the Viet Cong. Trump thought it funny, and mocked him at the golf course. (BTW, McCain’s daughter was none too pleased when she found out.)
This isn’t just abnormal. This is sociopathic behavior.
I am not calling Trump a sociopath as an insult--I am stating clearly what is wrong with him and why appealing to his humanity is pointless.
This isn’t even the first time Trump has mocked a dying man.
CHIP Expired Today. Insurance For Nine Million Children...Poof. Saturday Sep 30, 2017
While Trump tweeted about football players and Republicans in Congress salivated over tax cuts for the already insanely rich, the Children’s Health Insurance Program expired today.
The Super Patriotic Draft Dodger’s Rag: “Fire the Son-of-a-Bitch” Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, racism – this is U.S. history, not the myths proffered by mythmakers, politicians, and schools. The system of exploitation is old and enduring, and the point of its spear is war. It is great that many players join in solidarity with Kaepernick. Racism must be opposed and freedom of speech exercised and defended. But it would be better indeed if more of those who rightly oppose Trump’s disgusting comments and support Kaepernick speak out about the triple devils King warned about. The system of racial exploitation does not stand alone; never has. Nor will it fall alone.
Descent into Barbarism: Trump Makes Virtue Out of War And Genocide at The UN By Finian Cunningham September 20, 2017
Trump's warning to "totally destroy North Korea is advocating the genocide of an entire people."
Thoughts on Trump’s UN Declaration of War Against Iran and North Korea By Paul Craig Roberts September 20, 2017
Trump’s UN speech makes it clear that Trump’s presidency, in terms of his campaign promise to remove Washington from the “policeman of the world” role, exit the Middle East, and repair the damaged relations with Russia, is over. The CIA and the military/security complex are in full control of the US government. Trump has accepted his captivity and his assigned role as the enforcer of Washington’s hegemony over every other country. Washington uber alles is the only foreign policy that Washington pursues.
The US has become the 4th Reich.
Trump’s “Mein Kampf” Tirade at the United Nations By Bill Van Auken September 20, 2017
The fact that nobody in the assembly moved for Trump's arrest as a war criminal, or even told the fascistic bully to sit down and shut up, is a measure of the bankruptcy of the UN itself.
Diseases of Despair By Chris Hedges September 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
The opioid crisis, the frequent mass shootings, the rising rates of suicide, especially among middle-aged white males, the morbid obesity, the obsession with gambling, the investment of our emotional and intellectual life in tawdry spectacles and the allure of magical thinking [https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/200911/magical-thinking "Magical thinking is defined as believing that one event happens as a result of another without a plausible link of causation. For example: "I got up on the left side of the bed today; therefore it will rain."], from the absurd promises of the Christian right to the belief that reality is never an impediment to our desires, are the pathologies of a diseased culture. They have risen from a decayed world where opportunity, which confers status, self-esteem and dignity, has dried up for most Americans. They are expressions of acute desperation and morbidity.
Plato wrote that the moral character of a society is determined by its members. When the society aban's the common good it unleashes amoral lusts—violence, greed and sexual exploitation—and fosters magical thinking. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus called those who severed themselves from the moral and reality-based universe idiotes. When these idiotes, whose worldview is often the product of relentless indoctrination, form a majority or a powerful minority, the demagogue rises from the morass.
The demagogue is the public face of collective stupidity. Voegelin defined stupidity as a “loss of reality.” This loss of reality meant people could not “rightly orient his [or her] action in the world, in which he [or she] lives.” The demagogue, who is always an idiote, is not a freak or a social mutation. The demagogue expresses the society’s demented zeitgeist. This was true in Nazi Germany. It is true in the United States.
“The fool in Hebrew, the nabal, who because of his folly, nebala, creates disorder in the society, is the man who is not a believer, in the Israelite terms of revelation,” Voegelin wrote. “The amathes, the irrationally ignorant man, is for Plato the man who just does not have the authority of reason or who cannot bow to it.
The stultus for Thomas [Aquinas] is the fool, in the same sense as the amathia of Plato and the nebala of the Israelite prophets. This stultus now has suffered loss of reality and acts on the basis of a defective image of reality and thereby creates disorder. … If I have lost certain sectors of reality from my range of experience, I will also be lacking the language for appropriately characterizing them. That means that parallel to the loss of reality and to stupidity there is always the phenomenon of illiteracy.”
A society convulsed by disorder and chaos, as Voegelin pointed out, elevates and even celebrates the morally degenerate, those who are cunning, manipulative, deceitful and violent. In an open society these attributes are despised and criminalized.
But the social, cultural and moral norms in a diseased society are inverted. The attributes that sustain an open society—a concern for the common good, honesty, trust and self-sacrifice—are detrimental to existence in a diseased society. Today, those who exhibit these attributes are targeted and silenced.
The deep alienation experienced by most Americans, the loss of self-esteem and hope, has engendered what Durkheim referred to as a collective state of anomie. Anomie is a psychological imbalance that leads to prolonged despair, lethargy and yearnings for self-annihilation. It is caused by a collapse of societal norms, ideals, values and standards.
Pope John Paul II in 1981 issued an encyclical titled “Laborem exercens,” or “Through Work.” He attacked the idea, fundamental to capitalism, that work was merely an exchange of money for labor. Work, he wrote, should not be reduced to the commodification of human beings through wages. Workers were not impersonal instruments to be manipulated like inanimate objects to increase profit. Work was essential to human dignity and self-fulfillment. It gave us a sense of empowerment and identity. It allowed us to build a relationship with society in which we could feel we contributed to social harmony and social cohesion, a relationship in which we had purpose.
The pope castigated unemployment, underemployment, inadequate wages, automation and a lack of job security as violations of human dignity. These conditions, he wrote, were forces that negated self-esteem, personal satisfaction, responsibility and creativity. The exaltation of the machine, he warned, reduced human beings to the status of slaves. He called for full employment, a minimum wage large enough to support a family, the right of a parent to stay home with children, and jobs and a living wage for the disabled. He advocated, in order to sustain strong families, universal health insurance, pensions, accident insurance and work schedules that permitted free time and vacations. He wrote that all workers should have the right to form unions with the ability to strike.
We will not bring those who have fled a reality-based world back into our fold through argument. We will not coerce them into submission. We will not find salvation for them or ourselves by supporting the Democratic Party. Whole segments of American society are bent on self-immolation. They despise this world and what it has 'e to them. Their personal and political behavior is willfully suicidal. They seek to destroy, even if destruction leads to death. We must organize our communities to create a new socialist order and overthrow the corporate state through sustained acts of mass civil disobedience.
Der Spiegel's New Magazine Cover: The True Face Of 'ald Trump By First Amendment Friday Aug 18, 2017
After Charlottesville, this is what the rest of the world thinks of 'ald Trump.
Michael Moore's Open Letter to Ivanka Trump is a Must-Read There’s some unavoidable snark in it, but a great deal of simple concern for someone who is destroying himself before our eyes — and feeding a dark hunger in America.
Blow: "Failing All Tests of the Presidency" Monday Aug 21, 2017
Charles M. Blow is a powerful writer, who has been on the attack after Trump since before the election.
We are leaderless. America doesn’t have a president. America has a man in the White House holding the spot, and wreaking havoc as he waits for the day when a real president arrives to replace him.
Blow goes on to land blow after blow, directly on Trump to be sure, but also in providing us with detail on the murderer in Charlottesville who killed Heather Heyer (I will not dignify him by repeating his name), telling those who did not know about his pro-Nazi paper in high school and his history of threatening his mother to the point that authorities had to be called.
Garrison Keillor writes 'Sermon On The Mount' mocking Trump the 'boy president' by Leslie Salzillo, Sunday Mar 05, 2017
Author and beloved radio producer/personality of Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor has been on a social media roll for months. He seems to have the right words when describing and destroying 'ald Trump relaying his prose with a twist of humor — and a whole lot of truth.
Below are some excerpted highlights from two of his op-eds in The Denver Post. The first titled, "What Mark Twain killed, 'ald Trump has revived." Keillor starts off with “The Constitution does not allow 13-year-olds to become president and after last week we can see why.” and in most of his pieces he addresses Trump as “the Boy President.” Keillor writes about how Trump “proudly holding his latest executive order up for the cameras, to show that he knows right-side-up from upside-down.” (The image Keillor is referring to has been mocked countless times showing the words of the EO saying things a elementary child would write and phrases like “I '’t know what I’m doing” — or really anything that makes Trump look like the ass he is.)
In his second op-ed by Garrison Keillor titled, 'ald Trump’s tremendous Sermon on the Mount, Garrison Keillor decides to write a mock “Sermon on the Mount” as if he himself were Jesus (as he’s been described by some of his supporters — or second to Jesus)
Religious Trump’ begins:
The Lord is my shepherd. OK? Totally. Big league. He is a tremendous shepherd. The best. No comparison. I know more than most people about herding sheep. And that’s why I won the election in a landslide and it’s why my company is doing very very well. Because He said, “I’m with you, 'ald. You will never want.
Keillor ends his second piece with Trump saying. “So it looks like I am going to be dwelling in the house of the Lord forever and I’m having a good time. I love this. I am having fun.” These are just samples of Garrison Keillor’s two op-eds.
It’s hard to stomach 'ald Trump, a man of such chest-beating, pompous evil, but Garrison Keillor helps get us through.
Robert Reich: We Can End Trump's Presidency Without Officially Removing Him from Office The Mueller probe could take months or even years. We may not have that long.
With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, it’s unlikely Trump will be impeached or thrown out of office on grounds of mental impairment. At least any time soon.
Yet there’s another way Trump can be effectively removed. He can be made irrelevant.
It’s already starting to happen. The howling manchild who occupies the Oval Office is being cut off and contained.
Trump defends white supremacist/neo-Nazi violence, says 'alt-left' also to blame by Kerry Eleveld, Tuesday Aug 15, 2017
'ald Trump tried on Tuesday to make an infrastructure announcement but the press conference quickly spiraled out of control when he justified his reprehensible handling of the Charlottesville violence by defending the supremacist/neo-Nazi protest and blaming "both sides," including what he called the "alt-left."
OUCH! Newsweek exposes Trump as the business fraud he is. Trump’s big line is he should be president because he is a successful businessman. After reading this devastating Newsweek story, no Trump apologist can ever say that again.
My favorite stuff from the article:
Trump lied to Congress.
Lost contracts, bankruptcies, defaults, deceptions and indifference to investors—Trump’s business career is a long, long list of such troubles, according to regulatory, corporate and court records, as well as sworn testimony and government investigative reports. Call it the art of the bad deal, one created by the arrogance and recklessness of a businessman whose main talent is self-promotion.
8 Ways Leading European Officials Perceive America's Big Embarrassment in the Oval Office By Kali Holloway / AlterNet August 10, 2017
Trump seems to think the world started when he took office.
How is 'ald Trump doing in his mission to impress the world’s Very Important People? Not so great
Trump Will Be the End of the GOP, and It Will Happen Sooner Than You Think By Michael Winship / BillMoyers.com August 11, 2017,
You’ve probably heard the story. It’s said that in ancient Rome, the emperor had a member of the Praetorian Guard who, amid all the pomp and all the accolades, would stand behind him and murmur: “Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.”
Sadly, the Little Caesar who currently rules the United States from the nearest Trump golf course is instead surrounded by guards who murmur enthusiastically, “Anything you say, boss. You’re a genius!”
Only Morons Believe What The US Government Says About North Korea By Daniel McAdams  August 11, 2017
Usually foreign analysts of the American political scene are either sycophantic or just annoying, but no one would dare say that about Aussie observer Caitlin Johnstone, whose punk rock style of cutting to the chase is as refreshing as it can be shocking (I am not a fan of the strong language, but I get it). Since President Trump's "fire and fury" explosion yesterday Americans have to an unsettling degree once again rallied 'round the (false) flag of war propaganda. Today Ms. Johnstone provided a much-needed slap in the face to the mind-numbed masses once again clamoring for US bombs on a country they could not find on a map if their lives depended on it.
Johnstone reminded anyone with half a brain of one eternal truth: Governments and their house servants (the mainstream media, neocons, deep state, etc) are murderous liars and the only way they dare flush a few hundred billion dollars -- and oceans of blood -- down the toilet of war is to first lie their brains out to the people they are confident will swallow the poison pills and call them candy.
Of course the United States government and its minions are lying about North Korea, Johnstone reminds us. They ALWAYS lie!
The United States power establishment has an extensive history of using lies, false flags and propaganda to manipulate its hundreds of millions of citizens into supporting needless military interventionism. From the Gulf of Tonkin incident to the false Nayirah testimony to the amazing network of lies spun about Saddam Hussein to the 'humanitarian' intervention in Libya to the unconscionable Bana Alabed psy-op in Syria, there is no depth to which the US war machine will not stoop in deceiving the public about the need to unload the military-industrial complex’s expensive inventory onto some third world country overseas, no limit to the evils that America’s unelected power establishment will commit in order to secure geopolitical dominance, and no end to the mass media propaganda machine’s willingness to report war propaganda as objective fact.
Blood's on your hands, not ours.
The Madman With Nuclear Weapons is 'ald Trump, Not Kim Jong-un By Mehdi Hasan August 09, 2017
The madman the rest of us should be worried about, however, is Trump himself, who — lest we forget — has the sole, exclusive and unrestricted power to launch almost 1,000 nuclear warheads in a matter of minutes, should he so wish.
'Stop the Insanity': Demand Grows to Strip Trump of Nuclear Authority By Jake Johnson August 09, 2017
Lawmakers urged Congress to revive legislation that would strip the executive branch of the power to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
Polls: US Is ‘the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today’ By Eric Zuesse August 09, 2017
WH correspondent & cronies: 'Native Indians' should 'go back to your country' By Mother Mags Wednesday Aug 02, 2017
Over at our favorite website for classy headlines and snarky stories, Wonkette, there’s a fall-flat-on-your-face article about a twitter exchange that begins with a post by White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich, who writes for the right-wing conspiracy blog The Gateway Pundit. Seems Mr. Wintrich was none too pleased with a photo of three Native Americans flipping off Mount Rushmore. Below is the photo with his response:
If you’ve been to Rushmore, you may have seen a protest by indigenous peoples. While most national parks have incorporated Native American perspectives into their exhibits, websites and other interpretative materials (histories that were often scrubbed in the past), the fact remains that the land was stolen from its original inhabitants. Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc.—Native people were living there when the federal government took possession, and most of them were removed.
In the case of Rushmore, located in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the mountain was a sacred place for the Sioux and other tribes. Not only was it taken by Europeans, renamed and then plundered for gold, but then the invaders’ icons were carved onto the hillside—a real slap in the face.
As awesome as Rushmore is as a work of art, it’s not too hard to imagine why indigenous peoples aren’t doing back flips over it, thus the picture of the three American Indians giving George, Tom, Teddy and Abe the bird.
History buff Lucian Wintrich, however, was having none of it, which prompted his boneheaded response about people who "break into our country" and "steal resources." That prompted a series of humorous, and truthful, replies, especially when it comes to “steal[ing] resources.” Excuse me?! Who stole the land, minerals, bison, wolves, fish and other natural resources?
The most braindead responses come from Wintrich’s cronies who believe, as he does, that ‘Native Indians’ snuck into the continent and stole the land and resources. This exchange is classic:
Why make the trip to do that, go back to your country if you '’t like the country or its history.
Another fellow griped about Hispanics who use the Mexican flag as their twitter avatar but '’t want to live in Mexico. Turns out this twitterman’s profile page is framed by a big Irish flag. (It’s okay if you’re white.) To borrow a question from one responder: “How do you not fall over more?”
Wait, it gets better. Mr. Wintrich saw the story about him on Wonkette and doubled down, responding to the website’s headline: Stupidest White House Correspondent On Internet Tells Native Americans To Go Back To Mexico. His reply? “And they should.”
The stupid, it hurts. And these are the people who voted for Trump so he’d build his stupid-ass wall.
Here’s what’s psychologically wrong with 'ald Trump (UPDATED) By Karen Wehrstein Thursday Jan 26, 2017
With all the talk of 'ald Trump’s mental health status, I’ve decided to do something I’ve put off for a while: write a diary that shows he is a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and spell out what that means in terms of what to expect from him and how to deal with it. Certainly the term “narcissist” is being applied to him a lot, but most people '’t know the entirety of what that means, psychologically.
If you find yourself completely baffled by Trump’s behavior, that’s because mentally-healthy people generally find NPD-rooted behaviors incomprehensible. The narcissist violates social norms that healthy people hold instinctively and therefore assume (usually correctly) that others hold—while at the same time he creates a semblance of normalcy, because being able to do so is part of the disorder. Because the rest of us cannot relate to, often cannot even imagine how a narcissist thinks and feels, it seems outside the realm of plausibility, and so his semblance of normalcy will fool us.
Bannon Admits Trump's Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies. By Dartagnan Thursday Feb 23, 2017
At CPAC this week Stephen Bannon, the Chief Advisor and intellectual heft behind the Twittering infant that sits in the Oval Office, provided a little glimpse of the future he has planned for all of us.
In the clearest explanation for why nearly all of Trump’s cabinet choices are known mostly for despising and attacking the very Federal agencies they’ve been designated to lead, Bannon explained—in very clear language--that they weren't appointed to lead these agencies, but to destroy them:
Atop Trump’s agenda, Bannon said, was the “deconstruction of the administrative state” — meaning a system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president and his advisers believe stymie economic growth and infringe upon one’s sovereignty.
The crippling or wholesale elimination of Federal agencies that ensure we receive such things as clean air, clean water, fair labor laws, fair housing standards, anti-discrimination laws, financial protections, food and drug safety, national education standards and the like, has been a goal of far-right “thinkers" for decades. Their rationale, propagated by corporate and industry-funded think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, has always been that that the existence of these “unelected" agencies represents a mortal threat to American “sovereignty and self-government."
Trump and Sessions turn Civil Rights Division into weapon to protect white privilege by Mark Summer Tuesday Aug 01, 2017
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice hasn’t always been as effective as it could be in extending rights to all Americans. Under some presidents, it’s been forceful and energetic. Under others, enforcement has been much more lax. But under 'ald Trump, the division’s whole purpose is about to be perverted.
The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.
Under 'ald Trump, the EPA has become a tool for degrading the environment and the Education Department has become a means of damaging public schools. Now the Civil Rights Division is being used to reverse Civil Rights.
Kelly and Mattis had a pact: One of them must remain in the US at all times to supervise Trump By Kerry Eleveld Tuesday Aug 01, 2017
As Trump filled out his cabinet, it became clear that we might actually be dependent on a triumvirate of military men—Sec. Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and then-Sec. Kelly—to do the job. So far, none of them have succeeded in curbing Trump's eccentric incompetence enough to offer a coherent foreign policy.
from an AP report:
Mattis and Kelly also agreed in the earliest weeks of Trump’s presidency that one of them should remain in the United States at all times to keep tabs on the orders rapidly emerging from the White House, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The official insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the administration’s internal dynamics.
But what of a more basic question: Can they protect the nation itself from destruction at the hands of Trump? The only one who appears to have not compromised his integrity in service of Trump so far is Mattis. He has not kowtowed to Trump, for instance, at moments like the "Dear Leader" cabinet meeting where everyone followed the lead of now-ousted chief of staff Reince Priebus in thanking Trump for the "blessing" of serving him and his agenda.
Hasan Nasrallah: Trump Must Be Thanked For His Stupidity [video] We should thank Trump for revealing the true face of the racist, cruel, criminal and murderous U.S. government. Posted July 27, 2017
Trump Faces Down the CIA and Co-Opts the Pentagon on Syria By Glen Ford [Exec. Editor of www.blackagendareport.com/; progressive news] July 27, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
The crazed, racist, stupid, boorish man in the White House “this summer defied the War Party and its corporate media mouthpieces, negotiating a cease-fire with the Russians in several regions of Syria, and possibly ending the CIA’s not-so-covert role as Grandmaster of Islamic Jihad.” Which makes him less dangerous to the human species than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“'ald Trump has taken the strangest, messiest route imaginable towards fulfilling his campaign pledge to curtail Washington’s urge to regime change, and to ease tensions with Russia.”
It’s not like 'ald Trump to “stifle” himself, as TV’s Archie Bunker used to say, but the president has been relatively subdued about his decision, reportedly made last month, to terminate the CIA program that has armed, trained, directed and protected jihadist fighters in Syria. Trump’s uncharacteristic reticence on the matter is understandable, given the agency’s homicidal culture and history.
'ald Trump... surrounded himself with generals before setting foot in the White House, perhaps to shield his presidency from falling prey to its own “Seven Days In May”-type scenario. Or, maybe Trump the Bully just likes the company of other crude and stupid men. At any rate, Trump this summer defied the War Party and its corporate media mouthpieces, negotiating a cease-fire with the Russians in several regions of Syria, to be followed by additional truces, and ending the CIA’s not-so-covert role as Grandmaster of Islamic Jihad. It seemed...unreal.
Peace-loving people around the world held their breath, waiting for the War Party’s revenge. Trump seemed to hold his breath -- and his tongue -- too, playing down the cease-fire arrangement, even as French President Emanuel Macron stood at his side in Paris, July 13, telling the press: “No matter who they are, we want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution. Against that background, I do not require Assad’s departure. This is no longer a prerequisite for France to work on that, because I can only tell you that, for seven years, we did not have an embassy in Damascus, and still we have no solution.”
Trump was remarkably low-key in Paris: "We are working on a second ceasefire in a very rough part of Syria,” he said. “If we get that and a few more, all of a sudden, you're going to have no bullets firing in Syria, and that is a wonderful thing."
“People around the world held their breath, waiting for the War Party’s revenge.”
“Neither paper is concerned that the CIA project violates international laws against unprovoked attacks on sovereign nations, or that half a million Syrians have died, as a result.”
Trump's presidency has been six months of pain and confusion.
But, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we might all be dead.
Astonishing idiocy on 7/25/17 by tweet no less; military in chaos
President Trump’s reckless Paris climate retreat has isolated the United States, weakened America’s position as a leader in the surging clean energy economy, and threatened our health and environment. -from email Sam Perry, Environmental Defense Fund.
How Trump signed a global death warrant for womenWith one devastating flourish of the presidential pen, worldwide progress on family planning, population control and reproductive
rights was swept away. Now some of the world’s poorest women must count the cost - Guardian 7/22/17
Brennan, Rice, Power -- Lock Them Up! By David Stockman [David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.] July 22, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
the unrelenting witch hunt that has been unleashed by Imperial Washington against the legitimately elected President of the United States, 'ald J. Trump. This campaign of lies, leaks and Russophobia is the handiwork of Obama’s top national security advisors, who blatantly misused Washington’s surveillance apparatus to discredit Trump and to effectively nullify America’s democratic process.
That is, constitutional protections and liberties were systematically breached, but not simply to intimidate, hush or lock up citizens one by one as per the standard totalitarian modus operandi. Instead, what has happened is that the entire public debate has been hijacked by the shadowy forces of the Deep State and their partisan and media collaborators.
The enabling culprits are Obama’s last CIA director, John Brennan, his national security advisor Susan Rice and UN Ambassador Samantha Power. There is now mounting evidence that it was they who illegally “unmasked” NSA intercepts from Trump Tower; they who confected the Russian meddling narrative from behind the protective moat of classified intelligence; and they who orchestrated a systematic campaign of leaks and phony intelligence reports during the presidential transition—-all designed to delegitimize Trump before he even took the oath of office.
So all three of them should be lockedup—-that’s for sure. But the more urgent solution would be to unlock and make public all the innuendo, surmises, assessments, half-truths and boilerplate intelligence chatter on which the entire false narrative about Russian meddling and collusion is based.
Stated differently, without the nation’s massive intelligence apparatus and absurd system of secrecy and classified information to hide behind, the RussiaGate witch hunt would have never gotten off the ground.
The purported Chinese threat is even more ludicrous. Notwithstanding the fertile imaginations of the Deep State fear-mongers who believe the South China Sea is actually an American Lake, the Red Suzerains of Beijing know fully well that without the continuous custom of Wal-Mart and Amazon warehouses, the Red Ponzi would collapse in a heartbeat. And that they would be hung by angry mobs from the CCTV (China Central Television) Tower shortly thereafter.
In fact, we '’t need the $75 billion Surveillance State to deal with the Taliban, the jihadist warlords of Somalia or any of the warring Sunni vs. Shiite (Houthis) parties of Yemen, either. They do not threaten America’s security in the slightest.
Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Killing Of 3,700 Civilians In Iraq By Adam Johnson July 21, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
Earlier this week, human rights group Amnesty International issued a lengthy report accusing US-backed forces of “repeated violations of international humanitarian law, some of which may amount to war crimes,” in Mosul, Iraq, causing the deaths of at least 3,700 civilians. Neither this report, nor the broader issue of the civilian toll in the US war against ISIS, has come close to penetrating US corporate media.
Neither Amnesty’s charges, nor the broader issue of civilian deaths in Mosul, garnered any coverage in television news, with no mention on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC.
The Torture-Friendly Trump Administration Only stupid people say torture works — and one of them is sitting in the White House.
By Medea Benjamin, 7/19/17
everyone from interrogators to researchers have repeatedly concluded that torture doesn’t work. People will say whatever you want them to say to make the pain stop, making torture not only inhumane but also bad for intelligence.
A 2009 Senate Armed Services Committee review concluded that torture “damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.” That’s why the Senate voted in 2015 to turn the presidential ban on torture into official law.
Is 'ald Trump Mentally Ill? 5 Professors of Psychiatry Say 'ald Trump is “unraveling” and Call on Congress “to remove him from office” By Richard Green July 17, 2017
On November 29, 2016, three distinguished Professors of Psychiatry from Harvard and The University of California decided to defy “The Goldwater Rule”, publicly diagnose 'ald Trump and to warn President Obama and the country about what they saw as his severe personality disorders and mental incapacities.
They shared their letter with me and I posted it in an article here in The Huffington Post, “Is 'ald Trump Mentally Ill? 3 Professors Of Psychiatry Ask President Obama To Conduct ‘A Full Medical And Neuropsychiatric Evaluation’”
Yesterday these three professors and two additional professors from Yale and Columbia University felt the need to inform The United States Congress that “The signs of the president’s unraveling are stark” and that “The power of the presidency has accentuated Mr. Trump’s failings with devastating effects”.
They urge Congress to “invoke the Constitutional provisions to remove him from office.” They shared this letter with me and I post it here.
"In your guts, you know he's nuts" - http://www.peacebuttons.info
War With Iran is Back on The Table - Thanks to Trump ~~~ Trump does not want to starve the beast of terrorism. His country created and reared that beast, and still does.
Trump’s Worst Collusion Isn’t With Russia — It’s With Corporations By Peter Certo [the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of OtherWords.org. ] July 14, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
The billionaires who backed Trump are making out a lot better than Putin.
“The effects of the crime are undetectable,” the legendary social critic Noam Chomsky says of the alleged Russian meddling, “unlike the massive effects of interference by corporate power and private wealth.”
The top priority in Congress right now is to move a health bill that would gut Medicaid and throw at least 22 million Americans off their insurance — while loosening regulations on insurance companies and cutting taxes on the wealthiest by over $346 billion.
Meanwhile, majorities of Americans in every single congressional district support efforts to curb local pollution, limit carbon emissions, and transition to wind and solar. And majorities in every single state back the Paris climate agreement.
Yet even as scientists warn large parts of the planet could soon become uninhabitable, the fossil fuel-backed Trump administration has put a climate denier in charge of the EPA, pulled the U.S. out of Paris, and signed legislation to let coal companies dump toxic ash in local waterways.
Meanwhile, as the administration escalates the unpopular Afghan war once again, Kushner invited billionaire military contractors — including Blackwater founder Erik Prince — to advise on policy there.
Elsewhere, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and other architects of the housing crash are advising Trump on financial deregulation, while student debt profiteers set policy at the Department of Education.
Chomsky complains that this sort of collusion is often “not considered a crime but the normal workings of democracy.” While Trump has taken it to new heights, it’s certainly a bipartisan problem.
The President is a traitor. By Kristina40 Sunday Jul 09, 2017
His malignant narcissism is spiraling out of control in real time for the whole world to see. He is clearly unfit and needs to be removed from office before anymore real, lasting damage can be 'e to the Republic.
America’s Embarrassment By Margaret Kimberley July 08, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
Trump is a truly repugnant human being, but he did not attack seven nations (Obama), destroy a major social welfare program (Clinton), or authorize massive new surveillance on Americans (Bush and Obama).
'ald Trump is a national embarrassment.
But when one considers what this country is like, the outrage over comportment doesn’t amount to very much.
Consider that the United States has the world’s largest prison population, more than two million people. Consider again that this mass incarceration system has been targeted specifically against black people, and that one eighth of all imprisoned people on the planet are black Americans.
Death at the hands of police is the fate of an average of three people every day in the United States.
Many Americans love to brag that theirs is “the richest country in the world.” There are certainly big banks, rich individuals and trillions of dollars in the treasury but the masses of people rarely benefit from this wealth. This country routinely ranks near the bottom when compared to other “developed” nations in any measure of how it treats its people. It is now considered a “second tier” nation in terms of the wellbeing of its citizens.
It is certainly unusual to have such a decidedly boorish president. Trump literally pushes other presidents aside, engages in public feuds with celebrities and makes anyone an enemy who dares to oppose him or his policies. He makes up terms like “bigly” and “modern presidential” and excoriates the press when they criticize him. Condemning this kind of behavior is the lowest hanging fruit.
Trump is putting into practice Republican Party voter suppression schemes. He has established what he calls an election integrity commission and asked every state to provide names, Social Security numbers and party affiliation of their voters. The inevitable result will be the removal of black people from voter rolls.
The list of reasons to be embarrassed about America is very long and it existed before Trump was inaugurated. He has surely added to that ledger but legitimate cause for concern shouldn’t be pushed aside in favor of phony outrage about optics. President Trump is an ill- mannered, impulsive, happily uninformed bigot. Most of his predecessors were better behaved and followed rules of public relations. But they filled the jails, ended the right to public assistance, killed millions of people abroad, kept wages low and used a variety of schemes to make the rich even richer. Despite his obvious shortcomings 'ald Trump is not the worst among them. And that is the most embarrassing fact of all.
Trump alone at G20, too egotistical to work with anyone; isolating our country
Ethics watchdog at Justice Department resigns over Trump's corruption Monday Jul 03, 2017 A former federal prosecutor and veteran ethics officer at the Department of Justice left her job in June because she said it felt hypocritical to ask companies to comply with rules that 'ald Trump and his administration are evading himself. Hui Chen had served in the agency's Fraud Section of the Criminal Division for more than a year and a half
There's no other way to slice it: 'ald Trump appears to be decompensating at an alarming rate
After the shooting of a Congressman during their congressional baseball practice, Trump made a call for unity, and others made calls to tone down political rhetoric. Too bad Trump and his followers didn't do that last year, or for the previous eight years when they hypocrite-in-chief called for political violence, made racist accusations and generally was basically the most divisive political figure in generations. - DailyKos 6/28/17
A day in the life of Trump's man-made disaster of a White House By Kerry Eleveld Friday Jun 23, 2017 Daily Kos
'ald Trump's White House is positively toxic. Friday's news alone was a tour de force of the all-encompassing virulence that's now seeping from Trump throughout the entire executive branch and everything it touches.
Trump's days start with a crack-of-dawn phone call about everything Russia that's clearly aimed at distracting him and his thumbs from Twitter. Why his aides aren't just jingling some keys in front of him is a mystery, but the call is nothing but a venting session intended to soothe a sulking and brooding pr*sident.
This is all based on Friday reporting alone and, frankly, it’s not even the half of it. Trump's exceedingly dark world view and his sense that everyone is out to get him is infecting every level of government. Unfortunately, Trump has no ability to distinguish between his real and imagined threats.
“What’s playing out is a psychological drama, not just a political drama or a legal drama,” said Peter Wehner, who was an aide in George W. Bush’s White House and has frequently been critical of Trump. “The president’s psychology is what’s driving so much of this, and it’s alarming because it shows a lack of self-control, a tremendous tropism. .?.?. He seems to draw psychic energy from creating chaos and disorder.”
A simple and horrifying way to explain Trumpcare's impact on all Americans By SquireForYou Friday Jun 23, 2017 Daily Kos
Now we have the vaguest outline available for the Senate's version of Trumpcare, it pretty much confirms that it's as bad as we thought it was. Long story short- cut as much care as possible to enable funding of huge tax cuts, with amazingly interesting corporate handouts to boot. Some of it would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic- like the "party of personal responsibility" trading the "No Free Rider" amendment that forced everyone to pay at least a little, with a $50b handout to insurance companies- and on top of that, they get to completely deduct executive salaries that’re greater than $500k. What a deal! I'm glad we have a master negotiator for a President!
US Gov’t Proves Loyalty To ISIS As Bill To ‘Stop Arming Terrorists’ Gets Only 13 Supporters By Matt Agorist [Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Matt is the founder of The Free Thought Project. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/] June 21, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
Tulsi Gabbard [D-HI], author of the bill
One of the most rational bills ever proposed, barring the Feds from giving money and weapons to child murdering terrorists, has almost ZERO support.
For the last several decades, the US government has openly funded, supported, and armed various terrorist networks throughout the world to forward an agenda of destabilization and proxy war. It is not a secret, nor a conspiracy theory, America arms bad guys.
Given the insidious history of the American empire and its creation and fostering of terrorist regimes across the globe, it should come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of politicians would refuse to sign on to a law that requires them to ‘Stop Arming Terrorists.’ And, that is exactly what’s happened.
H.R.608 – Stop Arming Terrorists Act was introduced by Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI] on January 23 of this year. The bill doesn’t have any crazy strings attached and its original cosponsors are a mix of Republicans and Democrats — highlighting that it transcends party lines.
After nearly 5 months since its introduction, only 13 of the 535 members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors. What this lack of support for the bill shows is that the federal government is addicted to funding terror and has no intention of ever stopping it.
To add insult to treason and murder, Senator Rand Paul [R-KY] introduced this same legislation in the Senate. He currently has zero cosponsors.
Given the overwhelming lack of support for a bill that simply asks the government to stop giving money to people who behead children and video it, it should come as no surprise that 'ald Trump signed hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons deals with other countries who also fund these people.
As Americans bicker over Trump’s bogus and non-existent Russian scandal, he’s signing a deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars with the largest state sponsor of terror in the world — ensuring decades of future wars and the continuation of the cycle of terrorism.
What’s more is the fact that less than one week after publicly reprimanding Qatar for terrorism, President Trump signed off on the sale of $12 billion in weapons to the country he referred to as a “funder of terrorism.” This move, in Trump’s own stance, makes him a de facto funder of terrorism now.
What this lack of support for the bills and the recent moves to arm the terrorist regimes illustrates is the fact that the US has no intention of ever stopping terrorism. Trump, just like Obama and Bush before him, will continue to foster the growth of terrorism to enrich those who profit from war.
Terrorism is necessary for the state. War, is the health of the state.
Without the constant fear mongering about an enemy who ‘hates our freedom,’ Americans begin questioning things. They challenge the status quo and inevitably desire more freedom. However, when they are told that boogeymen want to kill them, they become immediately complacent and blinded by their fear.
While these boogeymen were once mostly mythical, since 9/11, they have been funded and supported by the US to the point that they now pose a very real threat to innocent people everywhere.
Trump is proving that he can lie to get into power and his supporters ignore it. If you doubt this fact, look at what Trump did by calling out Saudi Arabia for their role in 9/11 and their support for terror worldwide prior to getting elected. He now supports these terrorists and his constituency couldn’t care less.
Trump’s Claws Penetrating Bali By Andre Vltchek [a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. ~ This article was first published by NEO from Moscow] June 16, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
“America first” and “to hell with the rest of the world”! One single stroke of hand, one signature, and over 1,000 hardworking people in Bali, In'esia, suddenly ended up on the pavement. No second thoughts, no mercy. American savage capitalist ways met and embraced that fabled In'esian feudalism, which was implanted into this country several decades ago, precisely after the 1965 military coup sponsored by the West.
U.S. President 'ald Trump, always on the lookout for some great business opportunities, finally found one in Bali (and one more in West Java), a tropical, once paradise-like In'esian island. And not just somewhere in Bali, but right next to the holiest and the most spectacular Hindu temple in the country, Tanah Lot.
Mr. Trump is now planning something truly monumental here, in the middle of the iconic rice fields and dormant rural countryside: a shout of he'ism, a 6-star opulent, a concrete monstrosity, which will certainly and irreversibly dwarf the local culture and the traditional Balinese aesthetics.
School bullies are using the words and name "Trump" to harass & attack their classmates Buzzfeed News has confirmed more than 50 incidents in 26 states where students have been harassed at school using themes they picked up from the Republican president’s campaign and administration.
Uneducated, childish bully, Trumpf
Trump Pulls U.S. From Paris Climate Accord "We're getting out," Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in which he decried the Paris accord's "draconian" financial and economic burdens.
Trump only thinks of his voters; no reality; no facts
Trump Steals Money from Children? Shame!
Trump lost and clueless
Trump Flunky Henchmen: Incompetent traitors!
Trump's Budget Boosts Defense, Cuts Trillions in Spending
5/24/17 obscenity--vastly enlarge military budget; cut drastically everything decent
It strikes me that Trump is a pirate, only interested in rape and pillage, ignoring both the laws and the norms of human society. A freebooter, a marauder, a charlatan, a mercenary, a brigand, a hooligan, a pillager, a plunderer, a villain. -Colby
Trump fired Comey 5/8/17; final straw?
Is Trump Really President? By Jack Rasmus  May 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
Is Trump being allowed to “play at President” for public consumption, while the generals, spooks, and financial pirates run the show?
These are strange times in U.S. politics. And stranger still is the emerging character of the Trump presidency. Events are appearing with growing frequency, raising the question who is really running the White House and the U.S. government? Is Trump really the president?
Trump, president of banana republic
Trump sits there on the second floor, spending late evenings into early mornings tweeting to the world. In itself, that’s politically weird. But even more strange is what he’s tweeting and the next day fallout.
We hear about the aircraft carrier task force in Asia that was reportedly steaming at full speed to the North Korean coast a few weeks ago, only to learn soon after it was actually headed in the opposite direction to Australia. Did 'ald imagine that? Was the U.S. Navy informed or requested by its titular commander in chief to turn around and go north … and then didn’t? Was Trump’s command to go north perhaps countermanded by some head of Naval operations, or maybe someone else in the White House or government?
And then there was the announcement by Trump that his big budget was going to be announced in a few days. It wasn’t even prepared. Government bureaucrats had to quickly slap something together in a couple of pages to provide to the press.
Trump did it again, tweeted announcing his big tax cuts. Again the bureaucrats were caught off guard and had to throw some general outline together and issue it to the press. All this happened after it was generally known that the tax cut proposals were not going to be developed until late summer, and that the Obamacare Repeal bill had to go forward first.
Or perhaps Trump is being allowed to sit up there on the second floor of the White House and do his tweet thing, while others actually run the government. By others, perhaps it is vice-president Pence in charge, working with some inside committee of key cabinet officers and the intelligence spooks in the NSA-CIA-FBI?
Is Trump being allowed to “play at President” for public consumption, while the generals, spooks, and Goldman Sachs financial pirates run the show?
It’s hard to believe that the members of his administration and the government State bureaucracy knew in advance of Trump’s recent tweets welcoming Philippines President Duterte to the White House. Or that Trump would tweet recently that he’s willing to meet with North Korea’s president, for whom he, Trump, had great respect. You can imagine the political constipation that comment caused the spooks and the generals in charge of State, Defense, and National Security.
Nov. 30, 2016, this writer wrote a piece predicting that Trump the right wing populist would be successfully ‘tamed’ by the political elites of this country that really run the show. I laid out some ideas how that would be accomplished. (see my blog, jackrasmus.com). But I didn’t think it would happen so fast and so easily.
The past month has witnessed Trump doing a total about face on virtually all his right-wing populist proposals during the election. He’s backtracking so fast it’s a wonder he hasn’t tripped over himself. (Check that, he has). What explains his 180 degree turnabout?
Was his talk of right wing populism during the campaign all political election hype?
So what we actually got so far from Trump during his first 100 days is government by ‘executive orders’—i.e. repealing environmental protections, gutting immigrants’ rights, going after sanctuary cities, opening up national monuments and parks to mining and cattle exploitation, subsidizing killer coal companies, attacking consumer protection, smoke and mirror changes to H1-B skilled worker import quotas that haven’t changed, gutting K-12 education and shifting funds to private schools from public, opening up offshore drilling, and so on. But elsewhere it’s been a wholesale retreat from his election positions, proposals and promises.
Is this a presidency where the 'ald gets to sit on the second floor of the White House and do his late night tweets, and the bureaucrats scurry the next day to clean up? Where 'ald is brought downstairs to the oval office for Executive Order signings or occasional reporter interviews and then trotted back upstairs? Is it a presidency where he makes his late night calls to his moneybag friends, like the billionaire Mercers and others, to find out ‘how am I doing guys’? While the rest of the representatives of the economic and political elite run the show?
The quality of the American presidency has been in steady decline for decades. From the crook Nixon to the inept peanut farmer, Carter; from the movie-actor, camera friendly Reagan to the morally sleezy opportunist Bill Clinton; from know-nothing George Bush to the super-cautious false progressive Obama; and now to the fake right populist, blowhard, tweety-bird called 'ald Trump.
Hightower Lowdown, Vol. 18, No. 4, Apr. 2017
Most presidents get an honeymoon of 2-3 years. Trump's was 8 days.
"Some politicos grow in high public office. Some just bloat. Trump earned his precipitous slide in public opinion by putting bloat on spectacular display from Day One. He has proven routinely irrational, plunging into prolonged fits of petty paranoia, succumbing to delusions of imperialist grandeur, conjuring enemies, spouting absurd tales fabricated by right-wingnuts, denying facts, and being pathologically addicted to lying."
The Trump Administration After 100 Days: A Second-Rate Salesman Surrounded by Con Men and Losers By Gary Legum / Salon April 28, 2017
At the rate Trump is going, the internet could run out of space cataloging all of his administration’s deficiencies as a functional entity, its destruction of governing norms and the hash it has made of both domestic and foreign policy, long before he leaves office. But two observations from the first 100 days stand out to me.
The first is the extent to which Trump’s struggles can be attributed to his pronounced tendency to staff his administration with mediocre, two-bit hustlers and con men whose careers indicate they have a lot more luck than smarts or talent.
The second observation that stands out about the president’s first 100 days in office is just how thoroughly his self-created image as the consummate dealmaker has been punctured and deflated.
A World in Turmoil, Thank You Mr. Trump! By Philip Giraldi April 12, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "Unz Review"
The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges. His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be confused.
Trump, regarded by many including myself as the sensible “peace candidate,” appears to be preparing to engage militarily on multiple fronts worldwide. And things are particularly heating up in the Middle East and South Asia. More U.S. troops are being deployed to Iraq and also to Syria, in that latter case without any invitation from Damascus or legal justification or even a phony United Nations mandate, and thousands more soldiers will be returning to Afghanistan to “stabilize” the situation. Meanwhile Yemen continues to suffer as the U.S. supports Saudi aggression.
Russia meanwhile is indicted without evidence for trying to overthrow our democratic system and the recent terrorist attack in St. Petersburg would have been reported more extensively but for the fact that those Soviet holdovers probably deserved it. No one is asking why the United States should believe itself to be empowered to intervene anywhere unless it is actually being directly and seriously threatened by some other nation.
So it is all a mess, largely of our own creation due to our tendency to get involved in places regarding which we know nothing and could really care less about. And by supplementing all of that with our inclination to believe in the myth of our national Exceptionalism as a genuine force for good, you wind up with a witch’s brew that has fueled anti-Americanism worldwide, led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and emptied our treasury. Ambassador Chas Freeman has aptly perceived the U.S. government as the “foreign relations equivalent of a sociopath – a country indifferent to the rules, the consequences for others of its ignoring them, and the reliability of its word.”
Trump installs worst justice in history
77 celebtraties who went broke 'ald Trump Not only did one of the most powerful people in the world filed for corporate bankruptcy, he did it 4 times.
Trump introduces worst budget ever
President Andrew Shepherd has a quick word for those who think dropping bombs is presidential [The American President is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Dreyfuss. In the film, President Andrew Shepherd (Douglas) is a widower who pursues a relationship with environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Bening) – who has just moved to Washington, D.C. – while at the same time attempting to win the passage of a crime control bill. -Wikipedia] by Lawrence Lewis Saturday Apr 08, 2017
So, the guy who has tried very hard to prevent refugees from a hideous war from entering the United States suddenly cared enough about the victims of that war to bomb an air field, inflicting so much damage that the air field was used the very next day to bomb more victims, just not with nerve agents. And for the Fareed Zakarias of the world, that made him presidential. War makes even the personification of a daily disaster presidential.
Matthew Yglesias says: "Trump is an unstable, ignorant, madman with no regard for democracy but I'm glad he's shooting missiles" is a bizarrely popular take.
President Andrew Shepherd: Leon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor's working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence Headquarters. He's going about doing his job... because he has no idea, in about an hour he's going to die in a massive explosion. He's just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You've just seen me do the least Presidential thing I do.
Trump just placed the worst justice ever on the Supreme court 4/7/17
Colby: Listener on Thom Hartmann show, referring to Boss Tweed, the most corrupt politician in American history, said we should call Trump "Boss Tweet."
It's Time to Dismantle Trump's Murder Budget and Defund Militarism By Maya Schenwar [Maya Schenwar (born November 10, 1982) is the editor-in-chief of Truthout, and a writer focused on prison-related topics.] March 22, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
During the last three years of the Bush administration, I reported on the military budget, following the supplemental spending bills for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since Congress has not formally declared war since World War II, these budget bills were the mechanism that was keeping our wars going.
Every time the war budgets came up for a vote, I held my breath. Even though I knew better, I watched C-SPAN for hours, hoping for a surprise. There were a few stalwart Congress members who usually held out -- Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Dennis Kucinich -- but for the most part, Republicans and Democrats alike got in line to flood the war coffers, again and again.
The predictable passage of blank checks for war was an expression of the acceptability of the status quo. The status quo was murder,..
From the US's early days, the military evolved largely as a vehicle for colonialism and genocide. As Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes in An Indigenous People's History of the United States, "the Iraq War was just another Indian war in the US military tradition."
The way in which US militarism is taken for granted mirrors the ways in which other forms of mass violence are deemed inevitable -- policing, deportation, the genocide and erasure of Indigenous peoples, the exploitative market-driven health care system, the vastly inequitable education system and disastrous environmental policies.
The proposed budget doesn't simply represent an act of deprioritization or neglect of most people's needs. It is an attack on the lives of poor people and people of color. It is a call-to-arms against the environment, and thus, against the long-term survival of most species on Earth. It is a battle against the arts, against learning, against recreation, against shared space -- against the things that help give us life beyond mere survival.
We should not be surprised that these attacks on civil society and fundamental human rights are accompanied by a surge in military spending. The cuts and the hikes are part of the same murderous project.
We have to choose life-giving priorities over violent ones. We have to stop taking all forms of state violence -- war, militarism, deportations, prisons, surveillance, colonial destruction, disinvestment and deprivation -- for granted.
One way to start might be to imagine how we could reroute the money currently funneled toward this violence. For example, the National Priorities Project suggests that instead of increasing the military budget by $54 billion, as Trump suggests, we slash the military budget by that same amount. That $54 billion could provide Medicaid for 15 million adults, or grant 1.6 million students a free four-year college education, or create 1 million infrastructure jobs, or fund the Meals on Wheels program for 7,180 years.
Taking this a step further, military cuts could easily help fund programs that we ''t yet have but desperately need, such as Medicare for all. With real cuts to the budgets of murder and devastation -- including not only the military, but also police, prisons, ICE and other violent institutions -- we could set viable plans to end homelessness, dramatically step up climate justice efforts, provide universal child care and more.
This should serve as a reminder for all of us that rising military budgets are not a prescription for "public safety," as Trump has claimed. They are a prescription for murder. As long as taxpayers continue to be complicit in filling that prescription, it seems that we have a responsibility to act against it.
A Last Chance for Resistance By Chris Hedges March 20, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "Truth Dig"
The crawl toward despotism within a failed democracy is always incremental. No regime planning to utterly extinguish civil liberties advertises its intentions in advance. It pays lip service to liberty and justice while obliterating the institutions and laws that make them possible.
The current administration’s budget proposes to give the war industry, the domestic policing agencies, the fossil fuel industry, Wall Street, billionaires and the national security and surveillance agencies more than they could have imagined possible before the election. These forces, as in all fascist states, will be the pillars of the Trump regime. They will tolerate 'ald Trump’s idiocy, ineptitude and unbridled narcissism in exchange for increased profits and power. Despots are often buffoons.
If Trump’s budget is approved by Congress, there will not even be a pretense of civil society. Trump and his family will profit from his presidency. Corporations will profit from his presidency. Wall Street will profit from his presidency. And the people will be made to pay.
Despots demand absolute loyalty. This is why they place family members in the inner circles. The Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, whose vanity rivaled that of Trump, and Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein filled their governments with their children, siblings, nephews, nieces and in-laws and rounded out their inner courts with racists, opportunists and thugs of the kind that now populate the White House.
Despots distrust diplomats. Diplomats, often multilingual and conversant with other cultures and societies, deal in nuances and ambiguities that are beyond the grasp of the despot... Despots replace diplomats with sycophants with no diplomatic experience, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who promise to impose the despot’s will on the rest of the world.
It will be increasingly difficult to carry out mass protests and civil disobedience. Repression will become steadily more overt and severe. Dissent will be equated with terrorism. We must use the space before it is shut. This is a race against time.
It Begins: Trump’s FCC Launches Attack on Net Neutrality Transparency Rules The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to eliminate open internet transparency protections for millions of consumers, in the Trump administration's most overt salvo yet in its nascent campaign to dismantle net neutrality protections.
As a result of Thursday's action, "thousands" of small and medium-sized internet service providers (ISPs) around the country are no longer required to give their customers detailed information about broadband prices, speeds and fees, according to the FCC.
The Age Of Trump Is the Age Of Disaster Capitalism video from Thom Hartmann
Trump’s “Moderate” Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War By Mehdi Hasan [a British political journalist, broadcaster and author. As a journalist and author, Hasan is the co-author of a biography of Ed Miliband and the political editor of the UK version of The Huffington Post.], March 02, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "The Intercept"
Did you know that the Trump administration almost went to war with Iran at the start of February?
Perhaps you were distracted by Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser or by President Trump’s online jihad against Nordstrom. Or maybe you missed the story because the New York Times bizarrely buried it in the midst of a long piece on the turmoil and chaos inside the National Security Council.
Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the paper, had wanted the U.S. Navy to “intercept and board an Iranian ship to look for contraband weapons possibly headed to Houthi fighters in Yemen. … But the ship was in international waters in the Arabian Sea, according to two officials. Mr. Mattis ultimately decided to set the operation aside, at least for now. White House officials said that was because news of the impending operation leaked.”
Get that? It was only thanks to what Mattis’s commander in chief has called “illegal leaks” that the operation was (at least temporarily) set aside and military action between the United States and Iran was averted.
Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. "Defense" Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget By Alex Emmons, February 28, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "The Intercept"
The U.S. government already spends $600 billion dollars a year on its military — more money than the next seven biggest spenders combined, including China and Russia.
On Monday, the White House said it would request $54 billion more in military spending for next year. That increase alone is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country, and it’s more than 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget in 2015.
U.S. military spending has been at permanent wartime levels since the 2001 terror attacks... U.S. military spending in 2015 remains at 190 percent of what it was before 9/11.
Trump orders military to prepare for world war By Tom Eley [Freelance journalist. Lives in Nottingham, England] 28 January 2017, WSWS.org
During a visit to the Pentagon on Friday, President 'ald Trump issued an executive action calling for stepped up violence in Syria and a vast expansion of the US military, including its nuclear arsenal, to prepare for war with “near-peer competitors”—a reference to nuclear-armed China and Russia—and “regional challengers,” such as Iran.
The US currently spends approximately $600 billion on its military annually—excluding expenditures on the intelligence agencies and Veterans Administration— more than the next nine largest military spenders combined. American “defense” spending accounts for, by itself, over one third of all global military spending, and it consumes the great majority of the federal discretionary budget.
Increases in military spending, coupled with Trump’s promises to drastically lower taxes on corporations and the rich, must inevitably be paid for by cuts to education, health care and infrastructure, and by plundering Social Security and Medicare.
Mikhail Gorbachev: Appears 'The World Is Preparing for War' 'Wars must be outlawed, because none of the global problems we are facing can be resolved by war,' writes former Soviet leaderSome Might Call It A “Palace Coup” Trump’s term will last less than 200 days — the second shortest ever
By Ronald L. Feinman [author of Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015)] February 18, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "Raw Story"
The news of the forced resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, due to the scandal that he, as a private citizen, spoke to the Russian ambassador in December after President Barack Obama issued sanctions on Russia for their aggressive behavior, has rocked the 'ald Trump Presidency.
Many foreign policy professionals are shaking their head at Trump’s inappropriate behavior and language every time he speaks in public, or issues a Twitter comment, and his instability and recklessness.
His having a security meeting over the North Korean missile test in public space at dinner in full vision of other guests is a sign of his failure to act responsibly.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: "Some terrible things have happened in the United States... we are not as mindfull of what makes America great"
His abrupt ending of a phone call to the Australian Prime Minister, our loyal ally in four wars in the past hundred years, is alarming. His inconsistent message in his dealings with China, first indicating he accepted the idea of two Chinas, and then backing off under pressure, is disturbing. His inconsistency on the two-state solution in the Middle East is a major problem, as is his seeming lack of respect for Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, and lack of strong support for NATO.
The fact that Vice President Mike Pence played a major role in pushing Flynn out is a sign that Pence is already asserting himself with Trump, and it seems clear that Pence will not stand by and allow our foreign policy to be damaged, or our national security to be endangered.
Pence knows how to play “hard ball” and it is clear by his demeanor and body language that he is often uncomfortable with Trump’s freewheeling and careless behavior. An investigation into the Flynn matter will develop, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promoting it.
Additionally, Senators John Cornyn of Texas, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and John McCain of Arizona all are pushing for hearings. As the FBI investigates this situation further, which would be expected to occur as a normal procedure after such a high level and immediate scandal, the earliest ever in any Presidential term (25 days), there will be calls for Trump to resign or be impeached.
Pence could, even if Trump vehemently opposed it, invoke the 25th Amendment, Section 4 with the approval of a majority of the cabinet, which would make Pence “Acting President.”
Some might call it a “palace coup” but Pence could make a convincing case that it is too risky to leave Trump in power. Pence faces a great burden, and whether one agrees with his own agenda on domestic and foreign policy, it seems clear that the Vice President would do what he feels compelled to do if the situation further deteriorates. The Pence Presidency seems inevitable.
There Is a Growing Movement Across the Legal Community to Plan a Nationwide Walkout Against Trump The legal professionals whose careers are premised on working within the system are now taking aim at the system itself, throwing their weight behind a call for a strike on Friday, February 17 to oppose the Trump administration.
“Lawyers, legal workers, law students, paralegals, court interpreters, investigators, social service advocates and others who work in the courts will gather in front of courthouses across the country in coordination with the nationwide #GeneralStrike planned for the same day,” reads a statement from the National Lawyers Guild. “This is an opportunity for the legal community to express our solidarity with the growing movements against the new regime and its white supremacist agenda.”
ACTIVISM: We Will Not Pay: The Americans Withholding Their Taxes to Fight Trump The new president has driven some to make a statement with their bank accounts—despite fears such a protest could send demonstrators to jail.
A nascent movement has been detected to revive the popularity of tax resistance – last seen en masse in America during the Vietnam war but which has been, sporadically, a tradition in the US and beyond going back many centuries.
President Trump exhibits classic signs of mental illnessThere is something psychologically wrong with Trump; mental health pros are finally speaking out
Time Is Already Running Out on Our Democracy, Says Expert By Kali Holloway / AlterNet February 13, 2017
We may have a year or less, and it has happened to countries like us before, says a Yale professor.
Timothy Snyder, a Yale scholar and an authority on European political history, has spent decades studying the rise of fascist movements. With the ascension of 'ald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Snyder sees echoes from history, and warns that the time to save America from autocracy is in short supply.
“I think things have tightened up very fast; we have at most a year to defend the republic, perhaps less,” Snyder stated in an interview with German outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung. “What happens in the next few weeks is very important.”
Post-Fascist Europe Tells Us Exactly How to Defend Our Democracy Have your passports ready, watch your language, and other advice from a Yale history professor.
by Timothy Snyder posted Jan 13, 2017
Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.
1. Do not obey in advance.
Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given... Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.
2. Defend an institution.
Institutions '’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.
3. Recall professional ethics.
When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.
4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words.
Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. .. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. '’t fall for it.
6. Be kind to our language.
Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. ('’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom. Read.)
7. Stand out. Someone has to.
It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.
8. Believe in truth.
To aban' facts is to aban' freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.
10. Practice corporeal politics.
Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.
11. Make eye contact and small talk.
This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.
12. Take responsibility for the face of the world.
Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.
13. Hinder the one-party state.
The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.
14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can.
Pick a charity and set up autopay.
15. Establish a private life.
Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.
16. Learn from others in other countries.
Keep up your friendships abroad or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.
17. Watch out for the paramilitaries.
When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a leader, the end is nigh.
18. Be reflective if you must be armed.
If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no.
19. Be as courageous as you can.
If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.
20. Be a patriot.
The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.
The Inevitability Of Impeachment Trump has been trying to govern by impulse, on whim, for personal retribution, for profit, by decree ? as if he had been elected dictator. It doesn’t work, and the wheels are coming off the bus. After a week!
Impeachment is gaining ground because it’s so horribly clear that Trump is unfit for office. The grownups around Trump, even the most slavishly loyal ones, spend half their time trying to rein him in, but it can’t be 'e.
Only with his lunatic effort to selectively ban refugees (but not from terrorist-sending countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt where Trump has business interests) has Trump discovered that the American system has courts. It has courts. Imagine that.
Another Trump lie: I'm smart
The only two words 'ald Trump has
uttered more frequently than “you’re fired” are “I’m smart.”
According to an Internet article, our presidents have varied in IQ, most in the mid 120s. Some were outstanding; the smartest was Thomas Jefferson at 150. This article says Trump is at 120. An overestimation in my opinion.
American Psychosis By Chris Hedges Posted on Jan 29, 2017
Demagogues always infect the governed with their own psychosis.
Reality is under assault. Verbal confusion reigns. Truth and illusion have merged. Mental chaos makes it hard to fathom what is happening. We feel trapped in a hall of mirrors.
Our new president, a 70-year-old with orange-tinted skin and hair that Penn Jillette has likened to “cotton candy made of piss,” is, as Trump often reminds us, “very good looking.” He has almost no intellectual accomplishments—he knows little of history, politics, law, philosophy, art or governance—but insists “[m]y IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it!
... even in the face of a rising despotism, the Democratic Party refuses to denounce the corporate forces that eviscerated our democracy and impoverished the country... No one speaks about the destructive force of corporate power. The warring elites pit alternative facts against alternative facts. All engage in demagoguery.
Trump and those around him have a deep hatred for what they cannot understand. They silence anyone who thinks independently. They elevate pseudo-intellectuals who adhere to their bizarre script. They cannot cope with complexity, nuance or the unpredictable. Individual initiative is a mortal threat.
The order for some employees of several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research service, the National Park Service and the Department of Health and Human Services, to restrict or cease communication with the press or members of Congress, along with the attempt to impose 10-year felony convictions on six reporters who covered the inauguration protests, signals the beginning of a campaign to marginalize reality and promote fantasy.
The Christian right’s magical thinking will merge seamlessly with Trump’s magical thinking. Idiocy, self-delusion, megalomania, fantasy and government repression will come wrapped in images of the Christian cross and the American flag.
OFFICIAL He's Not My President Facebook
Johns Hopkins’ Top Psychotherapist Releases Terrifying Diagnosis Of President Trump Almost daily, Trump tweets about the “biased media,” “fake news,” or a world leader who has suddenly 'e something so terrible that he must take to Twitter to publicly berate them. Notice, however, that it’s always someone else with the problem. It’s never him.
However, John D. Gartner, a registered psychotherapist from the renowned Johns Hopkins University Medical School seems to think Trump may, in fact, be the one with the problem.
Gartner says “'ald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president.” ‘We’ve seen enough public behavior by 'ald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably,’ Gartner claims.
Malignant narcissists are: ‘Determined to gratify their wishes and furious if thwarted. Their desire can be so consuming that there is little comprehension of, respect for or ability to empathize with the other. They lack guilt or remorse and tend to feel or pronounce that it is they who have been mistreated.'
I posted to Facebook 1/28/17
Trump is a typical business manager, ignorant and inept. When I started at JCPenney I had to start at the bottom and learn every aspect of the business. Nowadays, however, the consensus is that you learn to be a business manager by going to "business school." So you end up in charge of a business with no experience and no respect for those below you. Your ego swells because you are "in charge." Based on no merit, no knowledge. You can't see what's coming because you ''t really know the business. Trump's frequent reversals and mistakes come from his ignorance and lack of experience. He is a typical new age "manager."
Trump orders military to prepare for world war By Tom Eley [Freelance journalist. Lives in Nottingham, England] 28 January 2017, WSWS.org
During a visit to the Pentagon on Friday, President 'ald Trump issued an executive action calling for stepped up violence in Syria and a vast expansion of the US military, including its nuclear arsenal, to prepare for war with “near-peer competitors”—a reference to nuclear-armed China and Russia—and “regional challengers,” such as Iran.
The US currently spends approximately $600 billion on its military annually—excluding expenditures on the intelligence agencies and Veterans Administration— more than the next nine largest military spenders combined. American “defense” spending accounts for, by itself, over one third of all global military spending, and it consumes the great majority of the federal discretionary budget.
Increases in military spending, coupled with Trump’s promises to drastically lower taxes on corporations and the rich, must inevitably be paid for by cuts to education, health care and infrastructure, and by plundering Social Security and Medicare.
"Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, hoping to make the target question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief. The term owes its origin to Gas Light, a 1938 play and 1944 film, and has been used in clinical and research literature." [Wikipedia]
1944 film, Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotton
Gaslighting: Destructive Behavior “Gaslighting” is manipulation, an attempt to skew reality by telling people that what they know happened did not happen, and what they know is true is not true.
It comes from literature — most popularly, the 1944 film “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman as a woman whose husband makes her doubt her sanity. A piece of jewelry goes missing, and he blames her. A painting disappears, and he says she moved it. She sees gas lights flickering, and he denies they are.In real life, perpetrators use gaslighting — lying, denying, contradicting, misdirecting, blaming the victim — as a way to throw victims off balance. Slowly and insidiously, spouses who have been “gaslighted” start to question their every thought and decision... victims blame themselves for their abuser’s handiwork. Psychology Today: Gaslighting We as Americans are in a committed relationship with our leaders. We expect our government to be truthful with us. We rely on facts being true when the government passes along information. Our sanity as individuals as well as a nation depends on a climate of basic trust.
We are not living in a movie: if we are repeatedly lied to in the political arena, there are consequences to our national emotional health, whether we realize it or not. Individuals who have a personal history of being betrayed or lied to may be especially vulnerable, but every person is at risk. Everyone’s brain is traumatized when it is forced to continually reconcile what it knows to be fact with falsehoods it is being told.
You may think it doesn’t matter; that we’re all able as adults to discern the facts. But that is to underestimate the very real effects of gaslighting. The perpetrator gaslights because he knows how effective and disorienting it is. He does it because it is a powerful way to manipulate others. He does it because it takes the focus off whatever he is doing that he doesn’t want you to know about. And he may well get away with it because there is not always either a detective or a therapist—or in this case, a news outlet or a governing body—available to help pick up the pieces.,p. Psychology Today: How to Deal with a Narcissist ...particularly those of the grandiose type may share the larger “Dark Triad” traits, along with so-called "Machiavellianism" (manipulativeness) and psychopathy (lack of remorse and empathy).
Trump Issues Media Blackout at Multiple Federal Agencies Moves come amid growing concern that Trump and his appointees will suppress scientific innovation and research to advance their own ideological agenda
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed broke the news that scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are no longer allowed to share information about taxpayer-funded research with the public.
At the same time, Trump surrogate Myron Ebell, a climate change denier who has led the transition for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has confirmed reports that the new administration has ordered a "freeze" on grants and contracts at the agency—a move that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) warns "could seriously impede the agency's work...protect[ing] our health and the environment from pollution."
"These actions ''t just threaten scientists—they threaten everyone in the country who breathes air, drinks water, and eats food," said Rosenberg. "These agency scientists carry out research in support of policies that protect our health and safety and help farmers, and it makes no sense to put up walls between them and the public, or unilaterally halt the work they do."
"That the administration has moved so quickly to clamp down on scientists shows that the Trump administration is more focused on lifting rules on polluters than keeping our air and water clean," he added.
But that's not all. It has become apparent that the Trump administration has also ordered a media blackout at the EPA, as well as at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Trump Administration Tells EPA to Cut Climate Change Page From Website The Trump Administration has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) communications team to take down the agency's page on climate change, Reuters reported Tuesday.
According to an anonymous source in the agency, staffers are rushing to save some of the information, which represents "years of work."
Government Agencies Defy Trump by Tweeting Climate Facts In a political era where "alternative facts" are used in place of actual facts, several government bodies have been tweeting doses of reality in defiance of President 'ald Trump and his many controversial stances. That is, until someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. notices and forces them to delete their social media missives.
Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, January 24 2017, The Intercept
We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.
Trump's Disaster Capitalism
Trump and Pence come to power at a time when these kinds of disasters, like the lethal tornadoes that just struck the southeastern United States, are coming fast and furious. Trump has already declared the U.S. a rolling disaster zone. And the shocks will keep getting bigger, thanks to the reckless policies that have already been promised.
What Katrina tells us is that this administration will attempt to exploit each disaster for maximum gain. We’d better get ready.
How the GOP Is Playing Trump Until They Can Dump Him By Robert Reich January 22, 2017 "Information Clearing House"Republican: They’ll get as much as they want – tax cuts galore, deregulation, military buildup, slash all those poverty programs, and then get to work on Social Security and Medicare – and blame him. And he’s such a fool he’ll want to take credit for everything. Pence is their guy. They all think Trump is out of his mind. So the moment Trump does something really dumb – steps over the line – violates the law in a big stupid clumsy way … and you know he will ...
'ald Trump Preaches Angry Nationalism, While Practicing Goldman Sachs Capitalism [The Intercept]
Email from Roots Action, day of inauguration,
We are calling upon Congress to pass a resolution calling for the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of 'ald John Trump, President of the United States.
As of January 20, 2017, President Trump’s refusal to divest from his business interests has placed him in direct violation of the United States Constitution.
The nation is now witnessing a massive corruption of the presidency, far worse than Watergate. Indeed, Nixon White House Counsel John Dean told reporters: “I '’t think Richard Nixon even comes close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.”
Given the opportunity of ten full weeks between the election and the inauguration to divest his business interests, Mr. Trump chose instead to announce, just nine days before inauguration, a wholly inadequate plan to step away from operations, but not ownership or income streams, of the Trump Organization. Instead, he has chosen to profit from the presidency at public expense, in violation of the United States Constitution. The violations, the corruption, and the threat to our republic are here now.
Among those who have reacted:
Sheen’s Two and a Half Men mother Holland Taylor:
'ald Trump Will Cause US Power to Collapse By Harriet Agerholm [journalist for the Guardian, The Independent, Muck Rack] December 08, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Independent"
A sociologist credited with predicting the fall of the Soviet Union has warned that US global power is in a phase of accelerated decline under the leadership of 'ald Trump — and will collapse while the property mogul is the White House.
Norwegian professor Johan Galtung is known as the "founding father" of peace studies as a scientific subject and is recognised for correctly predicting numerous historical events, among them the Tiananmen Square uprising in China and the September 11 attacks.
He attracted controversy in 2000 when he predicted US global power would collapse by 2025.
But under the Bush administration he revised his forecast for the collapse to 2020. Now, he says that reality that is materialising following election of the bombastic billionaire.
From Liberty Tree Foundation
'Silence Not an Option': Calls Grow to Disrupt Trump Inauguration 'The Majority have spoken—by nearly 2.7 million votes & counting!' Michael Moore tweeted, linking to grassroots group's website planning direct actions on January 20
The organizers, known as the D.C. Counter-Inaugural Welcoming Committee, "call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies. If Trump is to be inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the true face of the security state Trump will preside over. It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United States do not support his presidency or consent to his rule."
"Trump stands for tyranny, greed, and misogyny," they write. "He is the champion of neo-nazis and white nationalists, of the police who kill the black, brown, and poor on a daily basis, of racist border agents and sadistic prison guards, of the FBI and [National Security Agency] who tap your phone and read your email."
In addition to the #DisruptJ20 movement, the inauguration will be met with a women's march on Washington, with thousands of people expected to join from all over the country to protest Trump's history of misogyny, including bragging about sexually assaulting women.
#Earth2Trump: Campaign Kicking Off to Galvanize Resistance The call-to-action states: "We must stand and oppose every Trump policy that hurts wildlife; poisons our air and water; destroys our climate; promotes racism, misogyny or homophobia; and marginalizes entire segments of our society."
Santa Claws gives Trump his opinion on his environmental policies
Degeneration Nation: It Takes a Village of Idiots to Raise a Kakistocracy Like 'ald Trump’s By Sophia A. McClennen / Salon December 17, 2016
Ever since 'ald Trump launched his campaign last year we have searched for the right word to define the sort of government he would lead. Would it be populist or fascist? Would he be a demagogue or a dictator? Would he be the first reality TV president? Would his new administration be an oligarchy, a plutocracy, or a kleptocracy?
Now that he has been elected and he and his minions are busily filling slots in the cabinet and government, we now have an answer to what form of government he will lead. And the answer is all of the above.
Luckily we have one word that sums it all up: a kakistocracy, which literally means government by the worst element of a society. A kakistocracy is a government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens. Trump plans to bring us the worst of both. The word’s first known appearance was in 1829 in “The Misfortunes of Elphin,” written by the English satirical writer Thomas Love Peacock. In the United States the word is first recorded from American poet James Russell Lowell, who wrote in a letter in 1876: “Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?”
Lowell nails our current situation just right.
President-Reject: '’t Say His Name Instead, we might consider refusing to acknowledge him altogether. If he craves the spotlight, pull the plug. If he desperately needs attention, starve him of it. If he wants to be the boss, go out on strike. If he demands obedience, conscientiously object. If he profits from publicity, simply stop watching him. If he wants power, render him superfluous. If he seeks to be in the center, then let’s place him in the margins. If he builds a Cabinet out of defective materials, let’s not place anything important in there. Indeed, this spirit is reflected in #notmypresident and other forms of rejection, offering a glimmer of noncompliance. We can take this a symbolic step further by refusing to even invoke his name, and thus curtail the brand. The hashtag #'tsayhisname offers an opportunity to turn the tables without inviting him in.
Trump Campaign Is Threatening Electors To Vote For Him Or Else Salon reports "Trump goons are contacting the GOP electors one by one and threatening them with "political reprisal" if they dare consider voting against the Fuhrer."
Trump Trumpets His Real Plans byRalph Nader Only if there is a superlative to the word “nightmare” can the dictionary provide a description of his bizarre selection of men and women marinated either in corporatism or militarism, with strains of racism, class cruelty and ideological rigidity. Many of Mr. Trump’s nominees lack an appreciation of the awesome responsibilities of public office.
As the profiteers of Wall Street and the war hawks blend with the corporate statists, the super-confident Trump is telling us what their products will be like and that he’ll be their salesman.
Bernie Sanders: Look Beneath the Surface When Trump Attacks People "[Trump was] sending a message to the entire trade union movement.. 'Do not stand up and fight for working people, we're going to go after you.'"
Bernie talks to Chuck Jones about the Trump attack on him
WSWS.org By Eric Lon', 8 December 2016The unprecedented prominence of the military in the incoming cabinet is a dangerous sign that the American ruling class is preparing for war abroad and repression at home.
In counterterrorism speech, Obama hints at danger of dictatorship
Robert Reich Facebook post 12/7/16:To date, Trump has picked an Attorney General who doesn’t believe in the Voting Rights Act; a Secretary of Heath and Human Services who doesn’t believe in government-provided health insurance; a Treasury Secretary who wants to “strip back” the Dodd-Frank Act, designed to prevent another bank meltdown; a Secretary of Education who’s against public schools; and, now, a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who doesn’t believe in the Fair Housing Act.
Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I '’t think the Senate should confirm people who are on record as being against the laws they have a constitutional duty to implement.
Waiting for the Barbarians by Chris Hedges, 11/28/16
We await the crisis. It could be economic. It could be a terrorist attack within the United States. It could be widespread devastation caused by global warming. It could be nationwide unrest as the death spiral of the American empire intensifies. It could be another defeat in our endless and futile wars. The crisis is coming. And when it arrives it will be seized upon by the corporate state, nominally led by a clueless real estate developer, to impose martial law and formalize the end of American democracy.
When we look back on this sad, pathetic period in American history we will ask the questions all who have slid into despotism ask. Why were we asleep? How did we allow this to happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why didn’t we resist?
The failure of our capitalist democracy was collective. It was bred by ignorance, indifference, racism, bigotry and the seduction of mass propaganda. It was bred by elites, especially in the press, the courts and academia, who chose careerism over moral and intellectual courage. Our rights as citizens were taken from us one by one. There was hardly a word of protest.
Where were the lawyers, judges, law professors and law school deans who should have ferociously defended our rights to privacy, due process and habeas corpus? Why didn’t they challenge Barack Obama’s signing into law Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act? Section 1021 overturns the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibited the military from acting as a domestic police force. The section also permits the military to carry out extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers.
And where were all the economists pointing out the absurdity of the neoliberal ideology that told us that human society should be governed by the dictates of the market—that is, until the market collapsed in an orgy of fraud and corruption and needed the government to bail it out?
The desiccation of our liberal institutions ensured the demise of our capitalist democracy. History has amply demonstrated what was to come next. The rot and political paralysis vomited up a con artist as president along with an array of half-wits, criminals and racist ideologues. They will manufacture scapegoats as their gross ineptitude and unachievable promises are exposed. They will fan the flames of white supremacy and racial and religious bigotry. They will use all the tools of legal and physical control handed to them by our system of “inverted totalitarianism” to crush even the most tepid forms of dissent.
The last constraints will be removed by a crisis. The crisis will be used to create a climate of fear. The pretense of democracy will end.
Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath 'ald Trump’s triumph How a ruthless network of super-rich ideologues killed choice and destroyed people’s faith in politics
The events that led to 'ald Trump’s election started in England in 1975. At a meeting a few months after Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative party, one of her colleagues, or so the story goes, was explaining what he saw as the core beliefs of conservatism. She snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared book, and slammed it on the table. “This is what we believe,” she said. A political revolution that would sweep the world had begun.
The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek. Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism.
It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone.
This, at any rate, is how it was originally conceived. But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap.
He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands.
Democracy, by contrast, “is not an ultimate or absolute value”. In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take.
He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.
The ultra rich are “scouts”, “experimenting with new styles of living”, who blaze the trails that the rest of society will follow. The progress of society depends on the liberty of these “independents” to gain as much money as they want and spend it how they wish. All that is good and useful, therefore, arises from inequality.
Hayek insisted that there is “an overwhelming case against a free health service for all” and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel prize for economics.
It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek’s triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair’s expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton’s repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act, which had regulated the financial sector.
As I warned in April, the result is first disempowerment then disenfranchisement. If the dominant ideology stops governments from changing social outcomes, they can no longer respond to the needs of the electorate. Politics becomes irrelevant to people’s lives; debate is reduced to the jabber of a remote elite. The disenfranchised turn instead to a virulent anti-politics in which facts and arguments are replaced by slogans, symbols and sensation. The man who sank Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency was not 'ald Trump. It was her husband.
The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism’s crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek’s “independent”; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow.
human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish. The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.
1. Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states. Take a stand. Call your senator and your representative (phone calls are always better than writing).
2. March and demonstrate—in a coordinated, well-managed way.
3. Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands.
4. Letters to Editors: A national letter-writing campaign, from people all over the country, every walk of life and every level of society, from celebrities to sports heroes to grassroots Americans. In most papers, the Letters to the Editor section is the most-read part of the paper.v 5. Op-Eds: A steady flow of arguments about the fallacies and dangers of Trump’s First 100 Day policies and initiatives, from name-brand thinkers and doers to ordinary folk writing for their city’s or community’s newspaper.
6. Social media: What about a new YouTube channel devoted to video testimonials about resisting Trump’s First 100 Day Agenda? Crowd-sourced ideas, themes and memes. Who wants to start it?
7. Website containing up-to-date daily bulletins on what actions people are planning around the country, and where, so others can join in. Techies, get organized.
8. Investigative journalism: We need investigative journalists to dig into the backgrounds of all of Trump’s appointees, in the White House, the Cabinet, ambassadors and judges.
9. Lawsuits: Our version of “Drill, baby, drill” is “Sue, baby, sue.” Throw sand in the gears. Lawyers, get organized.
10. Coordinated fund-raising: Rather than having every public-interest group appeal on their own, have a coordinated fund-raising program to fill the coffers of the most endangered and effective opposition groups. Is there a way to do a televised fund-raiser with celebrities raising money for the resistance?
11. Symbolic opposition: Safety pins are already appearing. What else? What more? Make the resistance visible with bumper stickers, a label pin, a branding campaign that has great language, great logo, great wristband (remember the Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” yellow wristband—it sold millions!).
12. Intellectual opposition: Take Trump on where he’s weakest—with serious ideas. I’ll try to do my part. You do yours, too.
13. Serious accountability: Establish performance metrics to evaluate his delivery on his campaign promises. An updated website of promises made and not kept. This is one especially suited to public policy students.
14. Your idea goes here. Call a meeting of family and friends this weekend.
Stop Calling It the Alt-Right The right-wing movement doesn’t deserve such a neutral description.
Jim Hightower: When The Mourning is Over, Join the Revolution It's time to build on progress and grassroots structures of Sanders' seminal run.
How the Trump Presidency Is Killer News for the Military-Industrial Complex Get ready for bigger bombs, bigger armies, and Reagonomics on steroids.
'The Slime Factor Is Overwhelming': Charles Blow Obliterates Charlatan President-Elect Trump Nov. 8, 2016, Trump was elected U.S. President
We thought the uneducated ilk would back him. But 1/3 of the college graduates voted for him. A surprising number of blacks and Hispanics voted for him. People wanted change; the status quo was anathema to them. Reminds me of Berlusconi in Italy, and Reagan here.
A chilling encounter with a German student left me shaking... By scamperdo Sunday Nov 13, 2016
No encounter has ever left me as shaken as my Saturday ride with a German student coming home from a goodbye party. His parents came to the painful and hard decision some grandparents did not make 80 some years ago. He departs for home on Monday, without finishing his semester because fear is spreading across Germany.
I was honestly and sincerely just stunned speechless to hear that his parents screamed at them, "the unthinkable has happened and America has fallen, you need to get OUT NOW before it's too late."
They needed no more proof than France's far right, fascist party invited to Trump Tower and Le Pen announcing they are collaborating together.
I heard how many old and wise Germans are sounding the clarion call.
A fascist taking over America will topple France next Germans are warning. France falling will destroy the European Union which in turn, will topple Merkel and without her strong, reassuring voice the once unthinkable will happen again in Germany. Without American support against Putin, European democracies will tumble.
Throughout his campaign, 'ald Trump exploited existing racist and xenophobic sentiments across his base. Since he launched his election bid 18 months ago, a number of hate crimes have carried out by whites who openly admitted being inspired by Trump’s rhetoric. Since the election, racial and religious minorities have reported being targets in an unprecedented number of attacks.
President-Elect 'ald Trump Has Time For Celebrities, But Not Crucial Federal Agencies 'ald Trump’s team hasn’t contacted the State Department, Pentagon or several other federal agencies to discuss details of the transition to a new administration, but has had time to speak with a number of well-wishers, including celebrities and noted conspiracy theorists.
John Oliver Has A Whole Post-Election Plan For You To Follow John Oliver summed up many people’s feelings on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” when he named 2016 “the fucking worst,” and tried to make sense of 'ald Trump’s victory.
“We’re going to need to stay here and fight.”
"Trump is ab-normal."
So this is kind of cute. While most of us were tearing our hair out over the FBI and Hillary Clinton's emails last weekend, 'ald Trump's campaign quietly released a plan to privatize new infrastructure development in the United States.
The Rules For Survival In A Trump Administration By Dartagnan 11/12/16
"I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now..."
During the Presidential campaign, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen wrote this article [below] for the New York Review of Books, predicting what America would look like immediately in the wake of Trump's election.
Massive protests after Trump election
She presciently described a period of protests and counterdemonstrations, much like we are seeing right now, and most strikingly captured the feeling of unreality during the transition when the stock market, for example, would chug along unconcerned, much like it has over the past few days, and people went about their daily lives, much as we all are now starting to do. The article described what would come next as well, as Trump mobilized certain segments of the American populace to support his policies. [article below]
After November 8, 2016 (a calendar date which may end up etched in the world's consciousness as September 11, 2011) Gessen wrote another article for the NYRB, originally titled “Why We Must Resist" and now bearing the heading of "Autocracy : Rules For Survival”.
As we await the inauguration of the first President to be accused of child rape, the first President who has successfully prevented Americans from seeing his tax returns, the first President who won the office on a platform of hatred and rhetoric intended to divide and inflame Americans against each other, and the first President to rely on Twitter-bots masquerading as grassroots support, the natural temptation is to cleave to illusions of normalcy, if for no other reason than to preserve our individual sanity.
Gessen, who has lived under autocracies, is having none of it. And neither should we. Her rules for surviving the coming onslaught are terse and to the point.
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable.
The entire rise of Hitler was predicated on assumptions by other world leaders and a hopeful media that he did not mean what he said. While Trump is not Hitler, he now has the power and tools of government to make life as miserable and fearful for many Americans as if he was.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality. Consider the financial markets this week, which, having tanked overnight, rebounded following the Clinton and Obama speeches. Confronted with political volatility, the markets become suckers for calming rhetoric from authority figures. So do people.
Americans' short attention span and the normalization of Trump by our news media is exactly what got him elected in the first place. Although it may be counter-intuitive in our media cycle-centric world, the fact that things take time to get worse does not prevent them from getting worse.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed. The capture of institutions in Turkey has been carried out even faster, by a man once celebrated as the democrat to lead Turkey into the EU. Poland has in less than a year un'e half of a quarter century’s accomplishments in building a constitutional democracy.
The problem with reliance on the strength of American institutions, Gessen points out, is that those institutions require a modicum of good faith by our political representatives to survive. The Republican Party has already demonstrated that it would hold the Judicial Branch hostage in an election. It has vowed to default on the national debt if the whims of its most radical members are not catered to.
Rule #4: Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.
Gessen warns that the easiest way to enable an autocrat and diminish whatever power you have is to compromise for the sake of "expediency.”
Rule #5: '’t make compromises. Like Ted Cruz, who made the journey from calling Trump “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” to endorsing him in late September to praising his win as an “amazing victory for the American worker,”... Democrats in Congress will begin to make the case for cooperation, for the sake of getting anything 'e
Autocracy: Rules for Survival by Masha Gessen, Nov. 10, 2016.
Michael Moore Nails Every Racist, War-Mongering, Pseudo-Christian, RW Gun Extremist - In One Tweet tweeted a sentence that put the full scope of Right Wing extremism into its proper place of chronic, historical hypocrisy.
One proud White American, in less than 2 minutes, has killed TWICE as many Americans as ISIS has in 2 years. White Terrorists. #WISIS.
He's one of the most outspoken activists in America. Most people either love Michael Moore, or they hate him. Death threats and assaults have followed him with every '''t Go There' issue he tackles - especially over Bush and the Iraq war. He's brave, compassionate, intelligent, brash, poignant, and sometimes very amusing. It's easy to see why many Republicans despise him.
The Trump-Putin Fallacy by Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen. 11/12/16.
'ald Trump's Victory Speech video 'I will not let you down': Trump's victory speech
Trump Victory speech / The Nightmare of victory
'Trump's Election Is a Disaster' Totally freaked out is the best way I can explain how I'm feeling right now knowing 'ald Trump has won the presidency. Yes, the billionaire television personality who denies climate change, has ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and has promised to "renegotiate" the Paris agreement and completely dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be the next President of the United States!
Trump’s Terrifying Pitch: It Was Better Than You Think byRichard Eskow 22 July 2016
To be fair, this speech needed to be long. Trump needed to present a number of false and contradictory identities to the electorate, and that takes time. He was both a firebrand populist and a rock-ribbed Republican. He was an enemy of big business, and he swore to deregulate industry. He was compassionate toward all people – but he’ll build a wall to keep millions of people out.
Trump also needed time to present an America that’s a study in contrasts: a war-torn landscape with a bright future, a desolate wasteland filled with untapped potential, a desperate and dangerous dystopia that will become an Eden as soon as he is sworn into office.
Trump in 1998 / Trump at the RNC, 2016
That’s Demagoguery 101: Terrify, then reassure. Threaten people with destruction, then reassure them with the warm embrace of your fatherly arms. It’s what kidnappers do to instill Stockholm syndrome in their prisoners. And Trump’s eerily good at it.
It’s true that Trump’s speech was filled with lies – sweeping, stunning, audacious lies. (We list some of them below.) But there was truth in it, too. A good con man mixes truth with lies for the same reason an assassin mixes sugar with strychnine: The poison goes down easier that way.
And underlying it all, a jingoistic credo: “… our plan will put America First.”
At the mention of this phrase, born of anti-Semitism and unwillingness to fight Hitler’s Germany, the crowd erupted in wild cheers: USA! USA!
“Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo,” Trump continued. Americanism: a word that can mean whatever the listener wants it to mean.
The United States is not “one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” The Tax Policy Center concluded that total U.S. tax revenue came to only 24 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), “well below the 34 percent average for developed countries.” And the OECD, an organization of developed nations, found in 2015 that the U.S. ranks 31st out of 34 countries in its level of taxation. (Only South Korea, Chile, and Mexico scored lower.)
While Trump claims that we have “no proven vetting system” in place for Syrian refugees, refugees are screened by several different agencies and the process takes 18 to 24 months.
RNC 21 July 2016 / Trump at the RNC, 2016
5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win byMichael Moore 23 July 2016
This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”
Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now.
You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – “77% of the electorate are women, people of color, young adults under 35 and Trump cant win a majority of any of them!” – or logic – “people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests!” – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma.
Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:
1. Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.
I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat)... he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.
2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man.
Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them... Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!
3. The Hillary Problem.
Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again.
4. The Depressed Sanders Vote.
The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her.
5. The Jesse Ventura Effect.
Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything.
Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show.
Jon Stewart on Colbert show 22 July 2016 / Ugly white people listening to Cruz behind the itty-bitty wall LA street artist Plastic Jesus built around Trump's Hollywood Star of Fame, complete with razor wire and a sign urging, "Stop Making Stupid People Famous."
Confronting our national catastrophe, Stephen Colbert brought out his old buddy Jon Stewart to likewise offer some historical perspective. Stewart ripped the hypocrisy of right-wing media figures like Sean Hannity - aka Lumpy - who've spent years bad-mouthing Obama as "a divisive thin-skinned narcissist with no government experience," but who fall silent before their own divisive thin-skinned narcissist with no government experience, and a racist bully to boot.
He blasted those like Rep. Steve King arguing that Black Lives Matter and other "subgroups" are "divisive" for demanding their rights: "You've got a problem with those Americans fighting for their place at the table?...Take it up with the founders...Those fighting to be included in the ideal of equality are not being divisive. Those fighting to keep those people out are."
Stewart saved his most righteous rage for the duplicity and empty, ugly, nationalistic rhetoric of Trumpsters who pretend to take the moral high ground when their beliefs are in fact unconscionable. "You ''t own patriotism," Stewart told them, his voice rising. "You ''t own Christianity. And you sure as hell ''t own respect for the police and military" - especially, he added furiously, when so many fought against giving 9/11 First Responders the rights and benefits they deserve.
"This country isn't yours," he proclaimed. "It never was." Jon, we've missed you. Now that we're faced with the bitter, shoddy prospects of the future - Trump and Hillary and WTF?! Kaine, such a betrayal - please come back to help us through.
Trump Apocalypse / Trump mad
Send comments to email@example.com, Colby Glass, MLIS, PhDc, Professor Emeritus