Making a Fool Out of Myself

I heard an interview last weekend with a conservative commentator — one who opposed Trump, actually — and he said smugly that “liberals are just making fools of themselves over Trump’s win in the election.” (Or words to that effect). So, I was thinking today of the “liberals” I know who have spoken to me about their post-Trump realities.

Among them are several women who work in our home as caregivers for my elderly mom. Most are immigrants; all are ethnic, racial or religious minorities. They tell me that among their family members there is talk of where to go if things get really bad in Trump’s America; or of possible deportation of friends, though they have young children born here. I’ve had caregivers tell me that, because I still display my Clinton/Kaine campaign sign in the front yard, they felt safe speaking honestly with me about what this election means to them. Many of their other clients are older people and Fox News is on all day in those homes. It pains me to think that these ladies, who with dignity and professionalism take care of people’s loved ones (and not for high wages), often have to endure hours of trumpeting of a political “victory” that is not just personally offensive, but legitimately raises fears for their future.

Other “liberals” have shared with me their fears of what’s to come under the Trump and GOP healthcare regime. These are friends who finally have decent health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. They have serious medical conditions that require on-going treatment or surgical intervention — medical care made affordable for them only because of their ACA insurance. For some, the fear of losing access to necessary medical care raises real life or death fears. It’s heartbreaking.

On November 9, I woke-up to the reality that our election process, and many of my fellow citizens, put into the presidency an openly misogynistic, shameless, narcissistic, bullying, authoritarian, vindictive, impulsive, unqualified, mentally unstable person who invites hatred against ethnic and religious minorities. A saying has come to my mind many times since then: “The political IS personal.” How brutally true that is for many. So, yes, I am prepared to make a fool out of myself over that.

I know there are those who wish to give Trump a chance and are (it seems to me) willing themselves into forgetting everything that we learned about him over the course of the election: the scams he’s pulled, the ugly and aggressive words he’s blasted to rabid hordes, the countless lies he’s told. It is, in fact, uncomfortable to stay fully aware of who he is, especially now that inauguration day looms near. But please don’t let your discomfort lull you into complacency. We all need to continue to make fools of ourselves, loudly, for the sake of the many out there for whom this election may have devastating personal implications.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them ….” – Maya Angelou

#NotNormal #TheResistance

Don’t be like this silly bird.  🙂

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The Definition of Treason

18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

 

True to form, Obama has been careful and measured in characterizing the political and legal implications of Russia’s scheme to put Trump in the White House.  But while Obama may feel constrained by the weighty obligation to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, neither the media nor we citizens are similarly limited.   If Trump or members of his campaign had knowledge of or where complicit in Russia’s scheme, we can and should call that by its rightful name:  treason.

Here’s what is known to date.

Russia illegally hacked the DNC and selectively released content to Wikileaks with the intent of promoting a Trump win in the US presidential election.   The CIA, FBI and Director of National Intelligence agree on this.

At the same time, Trump has taken surprising steps — surprising especially coming from the historically anti-Putin GOP camp — to soften the US position on Russia.  Indeed, due to influence of the Trump team, a softer position on Russia was even made part of the GOP’s platform.  Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, has had extensive political dealings with the Russian government, as have Trump surrogates Carter Page and Jack Kingston.  Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s future National Security Adviser, has appeared as a commentator for Russian state television and sat with Vladimir Putin at a Russian gala.  Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, also is quite simpatico with Putin, even having received Russia’s Order of Friendship award from Putin. Trump himself has openly praised Putin and Donald, Jr. has touted Trump Inc.’s extensive business interests in Russia and the “money pouring in from Russia.” Russia’s deputy foreign minister stated that Moscow had contacts with members of the Trump campaign during the election and that Team Trump folks have been staying in touch with Russian representatives since then.  The latest news is that a former Trump surrogate is in Russia preparing American businesses operating there for the soon to come lifting of the US sanctions against Russia. (Sorry, Ukraine!)

In other words, the connections between Trump & Co. and Russia are known and multiple.  How then can we ignore the obvious possibility that Trump or members of his campaign conspired with the Russians on their scheme?  And how can we deny what appears to be a possible quid pro quo in which Russia is receiving benefits due to its help in getting Trump elected?

Given the seriousness of these implications, it would be fully justified for the Electoral College to delay its vote until this matter can be fully investigated.   In any case,  we who love this country, regardless of party affiliation, should insist that the Obama administration thoroughly investigate not just what happened in regard to the Russian hacking, but why and with whose knowledge.  In the end, saving our democracy may be the greatest legacy of the Obama administration.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/12/16/trump-raises-specter-treason/zdwgXRuJBMChEXmX5kchhP/amp.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-blames-putins-personal-grudge-against-her-for-election-interference/2016/12/16/12f36250-c3be-11e6-8422-eac61c0ef74d_story.html?utm_term=.201d27bbbc8c

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/14/505581348/trumps-men-in-moscow-trump-disciples-suddenly-showing-up-in-russia

http://www.newsweek.com/rex-tillerson-warm-relationship-putin-chills-kremlin-critics-hopes-533329

Blackmail, Russian Style

Not worried about the whole Russiagate thing yet?  Then read this Daily Beast article and see how truly plausible it is that the next POTUS will be a puppet of Russia.  The DB article has many details and sources, but here’s the gist:  (1) RNC emails were hacked by Russia, but (2) have not been disclosed like the DNC emails were, (3) meaning that whatever dirt — ranging possibly from merely embarrassing to illegal — might be in the RNC emails is in Putin’s possession, and (4) Putin could well be exacting cooperation and concessions from Trump and the GOP with whatever dark secrets lurk in those emails as leverage.  Note that it was separately reported by the WaPo, LA Times and others back in July that it was Trump’s team who pressured the GOP into softening its anti-Russia/pro-Ukraine platform language.  Suddenly Trump’s consistently pro-Russia stance (which threatens NATO) takes on a whole new, terrifying light. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/10/how-russian-hackers-can-blackmail-donald-trump-and-the-gop.html?via=desktop&source=facebook

Trump Shows He is Ruthless and Dangerous with his Tweets

We should not dismiss Trump and his Twitter habit as just being goofy and clueless. I heard Trump characterized as “ruthless and dangerous” by someone in a position to know. True to that characterization, he clearly uses his Twitter account strategically — to divert attention from news stories that he wants us to ignore — and as a weapon, to exact punishment against those who cross him.

In the recent Fresh Air interview with Megyn Kelly about her new memoir, Kelly discussed the 9 month period during which Trump made her enemy #1, tweeting often against her. Those tweets resulted in her being not just harassed, but credibly threatened by Trump’s brown shirts, the deplorables and fanatics for whom he can do no wrong. This included death threats against Kelly and her family, for months. Senior people at Fox, and even Trump’s buddy Hannity, asked him to call off the dogs, to no avail. Clearly he was intentionally riling up his followers against Kelly in a purposeful way. She even recounted a telling comment he made before all of this got started, saying to her, “If you’re not careful, I will unleash my brilliant Twitter account against you.”

Consider now another possible example of this type of retaliation. The Chicago Tribune published a story this week quoting Boeing’s CEO as making statements that could be interpreted as being critical of Trump’s trade policies. Within a matter of hours, Trump unleashed his now well-known tweet about canceling a contract with Boeing due to, in his view, the overly high cost of new Air Force One jets from Boeing. Boeing’s stock price dropped sharply after his tweet, though the stock recovered later in the day.

Shall we just consider that a warning shot across the bow? Trump has made it clear that he can and will use his tweets to exact revenge against those who displease him, and apparently that even includes corporate giants like Boeing. Surely CEOs all over America, if not the world, have taken note and will be more likely to silence their criticisms of Trump’s policies in the future. That cannot be a good outcome.

Whether he unleashes his hordes of fanatics against a journalist or causes a company’s stock price to tumble with inflammatory accusations, it seems that the “ruthless and dangerous” characterization is an apt one.

Captain Twit Freak vs. China

Capt. Twit Freak keeps picking a fight with China and keeps getting his facts wrong. No, they are not devaluing the Yuan. The exact opposite.

And, as usual, the real problem is that Trump is as thin-skinned as they come. He can’t handle the fact that he got tricked into a diplomatic blunder by having a phone call with the leader of Taiwan. So, his response to being caught being a doofus is to cover his tracks by firing off a half-baked missive via Twitter — which might be forgivable if he were (i) just some half-crazy billionaire with a reality show instead of US Pres Elect, and (ii) actually trying to learn what he needs to know to do his damn job without getting us blown up instead of refusing most of the daily intelligence briefings he’s offered (who needs actual information and facts when you have Alex Jones on speed dial).

Based on the mortal danger of giving this guy access to the nuclear codes alone, the electoral college should dump his orange ass. But that won’t happen because willful ignorance has become a cultural norm — maybe a cultural imperative — for much of the GOP fan base. The emperor has no freaking clothes on, but they continue to fawn over his sartorial brilliance. #NotFreakingNornal#NoClothes

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/09/27/trump-says-china-is-the-best-ever-at-devaluing-its-currency-thats-no-longer-true/?utm_term=.ed60e5e4cbf6

A Message to Irrational Hillary Haters: You Did Us In

Some days when I wake up in Trump’s America, I just want to cry. I really feel that those of us who did not support Comrade Drumpf — the majority by 2.5 million — were literally betrayed by those who ignored the stench of his perpetual sh** and pushed that lever in the voting booth — “Trump for President of the United States” — just because you couldn’t stomach Hillary.

That’s not all Trump voters. Some of you had other reasons. But let’s be honest here, just among friends. For many it was that she just wasn’t perfect enough for you. You could never forgive her for sticking with Bill — you chose to judge their marriage as being a politically expedient lie, though no outsider can really know the inner workings of any marriage (oh, but you’re so much smarter than everyone else). You could never give her a f***ing break for being guarded and private after having been mercilessly vilified for every sideways glance for the past 30 years.

Do you even know that she had policies and proposals for everything under the sun that might have mattered to anyone? Jobs, homelessness, healthcare, terrorism, mental health, animal f***ing welfare for god sake — but it wasn’t enough compared with . . . What? The endless stream of vulgarities and provocations from Trump? His “I’m gonna fix it but won’t tell you how” bullsh** promises? What a shame she wasn’t good enough to counter the glory of the grand lump of steaming hot sh** that Trump produced daily on his golden throne. She was only whip smart, only uniquely well-qualified, only brave and classy enough to jump into the fray of our dysfunctional politics with her head held up. Not good enough. You still had to put the groper in chief and his KKKronies in the White House.

Boy, that’s just sad. And — though I’m working every day to fight the corrupt and hateful values of the Trump regime and will continue to do so — some days, like today, I just want to let you all know how very, very wrong you were and that by handing our democracy over to a pack of liars and thieves — because of your irrational hatred for her — you will hurt many people.