Thursday, September 6, 2018

White House "Resistance" Needs to Step Up

Two new revelations have come out this week about the Trump presidency. Venerable journalist Bob Woodward is publishing a book based on multiple interviews with administration principals called "Fear: Trump in the White House," and yesterday the New York Times ran an anonymous editorial written by a high-ranking administration official. Both reinforce the perception of an amoral and mentally unstable leader in charge of the world's most powerful nation.

The Times op-ed describes a network of administration insiders who like some of Trump's policies, such as deregulation, tax cuts for business and the wealthy, and an expanded military, yet who have formed a "resistance" to protect the country. These insiders are appalled at such things as Trump's lack of principles, affinity for enemy dictators, hostility to civil liberties such as freedom of the press, going off the rails at important meetings to neglect important business and turn proceedings into extended personal tirades, and penchant for issuing dangerous and reckless orders. The author relates that this internal "resistance" has "vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office."

Even more remarkable, the writer discusses how administration officials even considered invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump. The 25th sets out a procedure for removing a president from office in case the person is or becomes unfit for office and incapable of carrying out the responsibilities it entails, whether from physical, or more germane to this presidency, mental reasons. They decided not to because, "no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis."

The author portrays these administration insiders as heroes, saving the country from the excesses of an imbalanced and dangerous president, but that is not an accurate assessment. They are instead enablers, complicit in the danger and insanity. It is good they recognize the 45th president for the unfit menace he is. It is also good when they step in and get in the way of his crazier impulses. But real heroes would take the next step: knowing that a madman is in office who has the power to cause lasting national and even international havoc, up to and including the power to initiate global nuclear war, they would act to use the constitutional tools at their disposal to remove this menace from any position of authority in the government of the United States. Knowing what they know, anything less is only cowardice.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Manafort and Cohen Guilty: Does Trump Go Down Now?

Yesterday's news produced two bombshells. First, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted of eight counts of tax evasion, tax fraud and bank fraud. Minutes later, former Trump attorney and "fixer" (number one henchman responsible for making embarrassing things disappear) Michael Cohen pled guilty to eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and campaign finance fraud. Most important to the case against Trump in Cohen's plea was his disclosure that the campaign finance fraud was knowingly committed "at the direction of a candidate for federal office," in other words, Trump.

Personally, I feel there's plenty of evidence that proves Trump committed obstruction of justice numerous times, enough to justify impeachment and conviction. And as with yesterday, more shoes keep dropping all the time. But what happens from here depends on how the final Mueller report is written. If the report names Trump as a co-conspirator in obstruction with clear and simple evidence then he will be impeached and will go down. If it doesn't then he won't. 

Does Cohen have more recordings showing Trump conspiring with him to commit illegalities? Is there another witness to corroborate that Trump directed the illegal campaign hush money payments Cohen pled to? Does Mueller give the weight I do to Trump's lying cover stories about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian agents, and does he have witnesses willing to testify to Trump's knowing fabrication of these lies? Does Trump's admission to NBC anchor Lester Holt on national TV that he fired James Comey because of "the Russia thing" signify the intent to quash an investigation getting too close to home to Mueller as it does to me? If the answers are yes then this venial mobster is on his way out. If the report is less damning then he may be able to ride this out and continue to thrive on the chaos for another couple of years. Remember, it's got to be decisive enough that at least 16 GOP senators are willing to vote to convict a president of their own party who is still popular with the party's base.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Trump Attempts to Stifle Criticism

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Might Trump Be a Russian Controlled Asset?

Some are starting to wonder whether President Donald Trump might possibly be a controlled asset of the Russian Federation. Is that a preposterous supposition? Well, think about it. What would a Russian agent as president do? Here are some of the things Russian President Putin would want his stooge to accomplish: Sow dissension in NATO, start a trade war with the EU and China but not Russia, give assurances that aggression against certain allies might not engender a US response, attempt to discredit the reputations of the agencies that defend America from Russian espionage such as the FBI and State Department, refuse to recognize or order countermeasures against Russian threats to our social cohesion and our election system, praise authoritarian rulers everywhere in general and Russia's dictator in particular while finding fault with every freely elected leader, however friendly to America, insinuating that China's "president for life" constitution would be a good idea for the U.S.Yes, those are the kinds of things a Russian spy would do if one were ever to become president of the United States. I don't know whether Mr. Trump is a compromised tool of the Russian government. What I do know is that he is definitely acting like one.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trump Creating Serious Damage to World Order

Here's an astute observation from my friend Micah Escobedo:

Until Trump leaves office, the United States will remain one of the biggest destabilizing forces to the post-WWII global order. 

He found the following summative quote, which I share with you, from Heather Hurlburt, a Senior Fellow in National Security at Human Rights First:

“Our European allies may keep coming to the summits, politely tolerating his abuse, and even upping their defense spending — but they are getting the message. So are leaders in Moscow, Beijing, and elsewhere. Much more than about NATO, it’s a message that the leader’s personal pique means a great deal — and years or even decades of commitments and partnership may mean very little. That monumental shift in how the U.S. is expected to conduct itself cannot be “cleaned up” — not by Cabinet “adults” or staff, not by a good meeting in London or Helsinki, and definitely not by tweets.”

Monday, June 18, 2018

Immigration "Policy"

What kind of person would take a crying toddler away from its mother and lock it up in a cage? This is morally bankrupt on so many levels. Such people cannot be permitted to lead this nation. Let's do something decisive about this in November.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Election Recommendations

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 5, is primary election day in California. Here are my choices for the ballot. Feel free to consider each position on candidates and propositions as an endorsement. Sometimes there have been more than one good candidate in a race, so don't construe my selections as being "against" any particular candidate. As usual, I will be glued to the election returns tomorrow night. I've already sent in my ballot by mail awhile back, so if you haven't, please vote! Take your ballot in to any polling place in California and it will be counted in your proper precinct.


Governor: Gavin Newsom
Lieutenant Governor: Ed Hernandez
Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
Controller: Betty Yee
Treasurer: Fiona Ma
Attorney General: Xavier Becerra
Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond 
Board of Equalization, 4th District: David Dodson
Assembly, 77th District: Sunday Gover

U.S. Senator: Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Representative, 52nd District: Scott Peters

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 28: Herbert J. Exarhos
Superior Court Judge, Office No. 37: Matt Brower
County Board of Education, 5th District: Rick Shea
County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk: Matt Strabone
District Attorney: Genevieve Jones-Wright
Sheriff: Dave Myers
County Treasurer/Tax Collector: Dan McAllister

68: Yes
69: Yes
70: No
71: Yes
72: Yes