America Interrupted

The problems faced by American today will not be prayed away. There are no alternative facts to mask the daily damage being inflicted on our collective psyche. No election that will provide a magic elixir to undo the pain, anger and betrayal that comes when you are stripped of self identity and self worth. The time for cognitive dissonance and denial is past. America is broken. Our constitutional republic, and accompanying checks and balances has derailed.

From coast to coast America is comprised of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Our Main Streets lined with young, old, Muslim, Christian, Jews, atheists and other, Irish, Italian, Asian, African, European and Native Americans. Our workplaces filled with scientists and clergy, gun enthusiasts and gun control advocates, men and women. We are the great melting pot. That diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger can change its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants and and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over.

We are strongest when we respect and allow for all views but that doesn’t mean our leaders and media members need to promote them all. To solve school violence, immigration, terrorism, or even the opioid epidemic requires not just a change in Washington, DC., but a wider acceptance throughout this nation. An understanding that we are a nation built on compromise, trust and acceptance. The loudest voice isn’t always the right one. The dreams of our founders was a future in which all citizenry was united under common bonds that provided equal assurance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all. One nation, ruled by the people and in service of the people, to be the land of opportunity for all and a beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s underprivileged and oppressed.

Make no mistake, the American identity exists. To embrace the divisiveness that permeates our shores today is to reject that identity, as well as our nation’s past, present and future.

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It’s a Matter of Trust

The oncoming conflict was so obvious. Heck the most notorious American conman alive was the opposition. Did anyone with even half a brain really believe he was there to save America.

It’s truly laughable! We knew he was a pawn…the overwhelming majority of us. A man so repugnant that his own reflection screams back “ImPeach.” Some of us chose to turn a blind eyes for selfish reasons, others out of fear they’d be labeled an alarmist, but we knew he had the stench of caviar and old fashioned American whiskey all over him…a pawn for the rich and putinful.

Even Obama…chose to put his faith in our institutions…The dreams of his ancestors and the audacity of hope…til the end. We would have listened to him. The majority, the military, all of us had he taken a stand. Had he taken that microphone on January 20th, and passed on to the nation what the FBI had told him…how the Russians had interfered in our elections…attacked our most fundamental institution…an act of war.

We would have listened had he appointed an independent commission. Had he given them 90 days to confirm one question and one question only…had he conditioned the peaceful turnover of power on that one condition and that one condition only…

One question…ninety days.

Was Donald Trump fairly elected by and if he were to assume office would he be working for the American people.

In the interest of national security we would have listened. Ignored the rantings and protestations that would have followed. It would not have been easy, but we would have listened.

I honestly believe Obama considered it. It was his constitutional duty to protect our security interests until his very last day in office. McConnell and the GOP efforts to strip him of that power a year early notwithstanding. The fact is Obama allowed a known and imminent threat to slither into the most powerful office in the world.

Perhaps it was our fault, the majority of like minded Americans who hold the ideals of this nation so sacred. Perhaps it was our responsibility to push this great experiment in individual freedoms forward. Perhaps Obama would have fought harder had it not all been so difficult for him. From his first day on the job McConnell made clear that his number one priority was to obstruct the agenda of the most progressive candidate in our nation’s history. Think about the insanity of that!

Worse “we, the people” stood by in near silence as the GOP did just that. In February 2016 McConnell took it one step further and unilaterally declared a “3/4 Compromise” whereby duly elected African American Presidents will only get to fulfill the constitutionally enumerated duties of the Executive office for 3/4 of the term to which they were freely elected!

For some reason, still unexplained to me so I’ll just assume cowardice and corruption, this sounded like a good idea to the other Democrats in the Senate. No mass protests followed when the Senate announced they refused to even consider Garland’s nomination to the Court. What little outrage there was was quickly muffled by the outrageous headlines, tweets and sound bites being generated by the emerging candidacy of Mr. Birther himself. Impeccable timing maestro.

Who could blame Obama really if he grew disheartened, if he had enough. His loyal constituents and party backers abandoned him to stare at a clown show at the time he needed them most. So he chose to go high, as everyone else around him looked low, distracted by the shiny object, the hairy arm. Perhaps that explains why rather than put his trust in his constituents and political allies, the most respected man in the world put his faith in hope.

There’s still a chance he is right. That we avoid the worst of this.

It’s not the institutions that will save us though. As nice as it is to see the lowest branch of Congress flex it’s oversight muscle the truth is they hold absolutely no ability to hold this caravan of the corrupt to account. Try as they may I’ve seen this story enough times to realize that the legislative branch is no longer a separate and equal branch.

The same is now true of what once was our independent judiciary. As of today, our Senate has confirmed 146 Article III judges nominated by a man who remains an active target of a counterintelligence investigation, this includes 44 judges to the US Court of Appeals, 99 judges to the District Courts, and 2 Associate Justices to the Supreme Court. Nearly a quarter of the jurors who will ultimately determine the limits of Executive Privilege were hand selected by the Defendant himself. It still boggles my mind that our defenders of the constitution allowed such a blatant coup to take place.

Our system of checks and balances has failed. The constitutional crisis is here.

We all know of the historic turnover and corruption that has taken place at the highest levels of this administration. We know of at least 30 examples of high level advisors receiving security clearances despite the recommendations of our intelligence agencies. We know of the advisory ethic opinions that have been ignored and disregarded. Forget extreme vetting, there isn’t even routine vetting of these protectors of our freedom.

Our Comrade in Chief finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes. He uses it to his advantage to distract from the caste system being legislated in the wake of his tweetstorm. Security will not be found in a far off election. We must act now and stop turning a blind eye to the damage being done today. Take to the streets in a sustained peaceful protest and make clear that we are the majority.

To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must demand answers. Take comfort in the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account. The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success.

Remember, it’s as Billy Joel sings “The good old days weren’t always good. Tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” Resist the urge to look back, trust in progress, for it is never ending and infinite #HistoryHasItsEyesOnYou #RiseUp #Resist #NeverForget

The Ineptitude of No Deal

Donald Trump does not deserve any praise from walking away from a bad deal and leaving Hanoi. He deserves scorn and ridicule for showing up to Hanoi in the first place.

Let’s be clear: Donald Trump has achieved nothing of importance with Kim Un. In fact North Korea’s nuclear activities have only been allowed to further advance and grow without objection by the US for the past two years.

There was no indication North Korea was ever serious about denuclearization. Had The Dotard considered the consensus assessment of our intelligence agencies he would have known this to be the case long before his arrival at the summit. At a minimum he would have had American diplomats learn of North Korea’s position prior to boarding Air Force One. Seems like a basic due diligence would at least require the parties to at least agree to a definition of what “denuclearization” means, prior to putting on an international spectacle.

Instead much like he did with birthers and white nationalists, all Trump has done is legitimize another member who sits on the fringe of civilized society. In this case Kim Un, an unapologetic autocrat who starves his own people, orders the murder of his own family members and opposition members and who routinely threatens America and her Pacific allies.

In actions and words the leader of the free world has condoned all of this. Made clear that the freedom and inalienable rights of all humanity takes a back seat to the potential personal economic and political gains Trump may reap in a deal with “his friend” Kim. Once again we learn that there are good people on both sides.

More so in absolving Kim of any responsibility in the death of Otto Warmbier, an American citizen killed in North Korea custody, our so called President made clear where his loyalties lay. Putin, Crown Prince MBS, Erdogan, and now Kim Un; it seems our Dear Leader has more confidence in the words of notorious dictators and liars, known adversaries of America, than he does over America’s own leaders and intelligence officials.

This is a man who refused to believe the words of President Obama in regards to his own birthplace, but somehow believes we should now trust the word of Kim Un. Keep in mind the former Rocket Man once publicly referred to Trump himself as “mentally deranged” and a man “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”

On second thought, maybe Kim is trustworthy. Those words seems eerily prescient and a credible way to describe our current American President

The Many Faces of Donald Trump

Trump knows his audience. He always has. It’s the secret of his success. He understands what motivates his constituents so well that he is able to craft a message that speaks direct to whatever audience is in front of him in that moment. Offer up the deal of your dreams, designed to reward you with whatever it is you most desire, regardless of precedence or existing restraints. Quid pro quos with so many competing factions it takes a full time Consigliere to keep track of it all.

It is important to understand that at heart Trump is a casino man. He preys on the desperate. He knows that for the right price anything is negotiable and for the man who holds no core beliefs or morals there’s never been a price he isn’t willing to pay if it will advance his own self interests.

It’s actually fairly easy for a talented conman to rise to power. The difficult part is remaining there. To do that you need to make those various factions that promised support in exchange for influence that you will deliver. That they can trust you to continue to deliver on their behalf. So long as you do that, serve your purpose and advance all agendas, you can murder a man on Fifth Avenue in plain daylight and your so called base will continue to turn a blind eye. Once the naked emperor slips up though and loses the trust of any one bloc the entire pyramid quickly begins to crumble. Et tu Brute?

As a reality television star Trump is well aware of this. He knows the key to retain that trust is to continue to talk to every faction as individuals. Make them know he still cares about them. Is there to advance “their” agenda.

Pay attention. Each time he appears before the camera he plays a different character, a different instance of a GOP President. Each tweet or speech written by a schizophrenic clone of the same id. Let’s go through but a few of them.

There’s Evangelical Trump ready to shepherd the righteous to the Rapture they foolishly seek. He’s the anti-Muslim best friend of Netanyahu who fights for family values, Jerusalem and God in absolute ways. You’ll often find Preacher Pence staring doe eyed at this Trump.

There’s Military Hawk Trump who is interested to see what will happen with Rocket Man, stands for the National Anthem, and has a keen understanding that Cold Wars and calls for faux patriotism are great for recruitment and military budgets.

There’s Establishment Trump who awkwardly poses alongside McConnell and Ryan and promises to advance whatever legislation will secure the status quo of white Christian male dominance far beyond demographics would otherwise allow. Abolish regulations with the stroke of a pen as Executive Order after Executive Order is placed in front of him to be signed unread. Ambassadorships and plush Cabinet posts are often reserved for these folk.

There’s Comrade Trump who is more of a mute unless it concerns impending military operations. Unable to say anything negative about his PuppetMaster Putin. Alienating traditional allies at every turn and advancing Putin’s agenda in the Ukraine and throughout the European arena. A frequent tweeter, he screams WITCH HUNT and no collusion. He also places known foreign agents in charge of our national security.

There’s Tea Party Trump who you’ll frequently see at rallies. It seems to me like this character is often on coke as he sniffles a lot and tends to go off script more than the other characters. He’s Mr Anti-Establishment, but only to a degree. He often talks tough but backs down if a deal can be made – the no DACA, no treaties, no trade deals initial stance that he secretly negotiates against.

Finally there’s Deplorable Trump. The most dangerous and controversial of all the characters he plays a critical role. Though not as large as some of the other blocs they are disproportionately influential and necessary to hold the other groups together. A twisted mutation of Tea Party Trump, Deplorable Trump is the one who delivers the dog whistles and codes to what heretofore was an unrepresented fringe group. This is the Trump that promotes deep state conspiracy theory and casually dehumanizes entire minorities, religions, and countries. He builds walls not to stem illegal immigration but to protect us from Mexican rapists and drug dealers. He disparages shit hole countries and falsely equates klansmen, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists to protestors who seek peace and justice for all people. He wages war on a free and independent press, judiciary, or any attempt at checks and balances. He blatantly rewards loyalty and encourages corruption. God bless the Kakistocracy.

Whenever the noose tightens around Trump’s neck this is the character we see respond. It’s no coincidence Trump’s Charlottesville remarks happened days after the Manafort raid. This is the very constituency he counts on to keep him in office. The ones who troll our posts and claim to “own” us. Who challenge the liberal elites to just try to impeach their leader, silence their voice. They carry the tiki torches, display their Confederate flags, and no longer even try to cloak their appearance behind the white hoods of their ancestors. They threaten to “crush” anyone who disrespects THEIR President and are armed with military grade artillery.

Deplorable Trump knows this. He depends on them keeping their word. Relies on them to keep the other Republican blocs in line through threats and intimidation. He uses them to dig up compromising information on friends and foe alike to use to his advantage. He invites and encourages them by referring to his opposition as “animals,” “enemy of the people,” and “unAmerican.” Terms meant to dehumanize and promote the cognitive dissonance that will allow a fanatical following to justify future acts of horrific violence.

Even the most domesticated of animals grow dangerously unpredictable when they sense the end is near. Desperate Donald is one character we should all fear. Let’s not sit back and wait for his appearance

Trump Translated

Oh, Kim Un, my darling

I’ve hungered for your touch

A long, lonely time

Time goes by so slowly

And time can do so much

Are you still mine?

I need your love

I need your love

God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow

To the sea, to the sea

To the open arms of the sea

Lonely rivers sigh

“Wait for me, wait for me”

I’ll be coming home, wait for me

Oh, Dear Leader, lil Rocketman

I’ve hungered, for your touch

A long, lonely time

Time goes by so slowly

And time can do so much

Are you still mine?

I need your love

I need your love

God speed your love to me

Lonely mountains gaze

At the stars, at the stars

Waiting for the dawn of the day

All alone I gaze

At the stars, at the stars

Dreaming of my love far away

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