Friday, January 19, 2018

Are RepublicaNs and the Trump Administration Taking on Water?...



By a 20-point margin, more Americans blame President Trump and Republicans rather than Democrats for a potential government shutdown, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

2018 mid terms could prove to be VERY Exciting. As in a sea wave displacing insanity with some common sense. Please keep on being a jacka*s president Trump.

Full article BELOW THE FOLD

This Is Very Indicative of Your Rightwing "Liberty and "Anti PC" Folks...

Weblog Header At None Other Than ...'s .... .....

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Liberty has apparently morphed into Tyranny in the warped minds of some on the right.

The Donald knows his base well.

Is the President Mentally and Emotionally Fit to Serve?...


This is not 'armchair psychiatry.' It's a call for a responsible, thorough and accurate assessment that prevents irresponsible conclusions.

Given the erratic, impulsive, often immature, and occasionally irresponsible behavior of Donald J. Trump it is understandable that a large percentage of the American people are concerned whether the president is fit to serve in the office he now holds.

It is not necessarily the president's intelligence that is of concern, rather it is his behavior that is being questioned. Most of us have known individuals that are quite smart but lack the emotional maturity and intelligence to lead.

The subject of the debate is Trump’s behavior — impulsive, inappropriate, offensive, reckless and shocking — which we as a nation have tolerated. Is it something more than a mere departure from decency and historical norms? How concerned should America and the world be if the nation’s chief executive acts this way?

As a forensic psychiatrist and a government ethicist, we believe those questions of public health concern should be asked publicly. Indeed, to some extent the president seems to agree with us. Not to frame and discuss these questions leaves public officials, the press and the people — the president’s ultimate employers — to fend for themselves without the benefit of the special expertise of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals. That can only raise anxiety levels. Nothing is more disconcerting than being left in the dark.

When psychiatric professionals see signs of danger and alert the public about the need for a full evaluation of a government official, that is not “armchair psychiatry.” It is, instead, a call for a responsible, thorough and accurate assessment that prevents irresponsible conclusions. Accordingly, given what we have all observed over the past year, the president’s request for testing in his annual physical should have been met with an in-depth neuropsychiatric evaluation by experts.

Unfortunately, all that he received was a brief screen, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, used to determine whether additional testing is needed for cognitive or Alzheimer’s issues. Here, there are already ample indicators that additional testing is indicated, and the results prove little more than the limitations of a single simple screen. ...

American's, both liberal and conservative, have a right to know whether the President and CIC are stable enough to serve in one of the most demanding jobs in the world.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

So, the Political Gamesmanship Continues...

As a continuation on the preceding post, particularly on comments therein, what is your take on the following short excerpt taken from THE HILL. 
President Trump bashed a bipartisan immigration proposal on Wednesday, raising fresh doubts about Congress’s ability to strike a deal to save protections for young immigrants living illegally in the U.S.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump called the Senate proposal “horrible” on border security and “very, very weak” on reforms to the legal immigration system.

“It’s the opposite of what I campaigned for,” Trump said.

Skip

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he would not put an immigration bill on the floor for a vote until Trump declares what proposal he supports.

"I'm looking for something President Trump supports, and he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign. As soon as we figure out what he is for then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels,” he told reporters.
The nation awaits a rational and reasonable solution. Does it seem within the realm of probability that one will be found?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Question Worth Pondering...

The following short excerpt from the L.A. Times was posted by Silverfiddle over at the Always on Watch weblog. His question at is an interesting one and deserving of honest consideration.


“Everyone has the Right to Be Here”

From the El Lay Times...
"Federal immigration agents targeted nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across the nation for audits and inspections Wednesday, including several locations in Los Angeles, as the Trump administration ramps up workplace raids to punish employers hiring people who are in the country illegally."
Here’s the money quote, provided by “Imelda Vargas, who works for the dry cleaner across the street,” and “said it wasn’t right for immigration agents to target the store’s workers.”

“Everyone has the right to be here, to work,” she said in Spanish.


Why would this woman believe and espouse such an absurd statement that has no basis in law or fact?

I answered the question over at AOW with an admittedly flippant reply, Because she can? This is obviously the truth, but the reasons why she can, and why she believes it reasonable, is laying at the root of the nation's quandary over immigration policy.

The real answer to Silverfiddle's closing question of course is, because the US government for years has managed to botch immigration policy and management. The way our government has managed immigration, or mismanaged it depending on your viewpoint, has resulted in certain beliefs being held by some Americans as well as immigrants such as Vargas.

Crying over spilt milk is futile. Just as kicking the immigration problem we face down the road ad infinitum is foolish and ultimately dangerous to our economic security and national well being. Therefore we must arrive at a sane and ultimately fair immigration policy.

Before going further I note that, 1) immigrants that are currently here, many with children that were born here, should be given the easiest possible reasonable pathway to permanent US citizenship. 2) Immigrants that have broken the laws of the US and have a criminal record ought to be deported. 3) Temporary immigration permits intended for temporary relief must end and the recipient sent back to their country of origin when the circumstances for which he permit was given have been resolved. 4) A border wall is not needed, is an unnecessary cost, and is nothing more than a rallying cry for conservatives.

Illegal, or undocumented aliens do not have a guaranteed  right to live and work in the USA, or, in any other country for that matter. Rights of that nature generally have to be earned and there is a process by which a person earns that right. It is called successfully applying for and receiving US citizenship.

Perhaps it is time to return to quotas and sponsorships, or similar mechanisms following a temporary freeze on all immigration. There is no easy solution to resolving our immigration dilemma or it would have been done by now. But resolve it we must. The first step should be getting the goddamn stain of politics and political gamesmanship out of the process. Given the state of our nation at this juncture that is likely impossible.

Silverfiddle is the owner of the now inactive libertarian weblog Western Hero. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK, Jr... 1963



Rings as true today as it did 54 1/2 years ago.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Trumptorian Guard on the president's shithole remark...

For the 36%'ers it's okay, because they believe it true. End of story, move on. As they continue to ignore reality.

Some White House aides and outside advisers who have been working with Trump for the past two years have also become indifferent to the bumps along the way. “We have had 18 million of these, and nothing came of it other than he won,” shrugged one Republican operative. “They can add up, and that becomes a risk, but on its own, and I don’t know that it’s a good thing for our country, but a lot of people kind of agree with what he said.”

A Republican strategist who serves as an outside adviser to the White House also waved off the whole controversy — and embraced the substance of the president’s argument about immigration to the U.S. “It’s not racist,” the strategist said. “There’s a reason why they all want to come here — these places are shitholes. If they were great and we were a shithole, we would want to go there. Trump says something stupid, two camps erupt, rinse and repeat.”

Excerpt from, Demoralized Trump aides grapple with 'shithole'-gate

As Trump Recognizes MLK Jr., He Does So Without Passion...

In all candor, it is obvious Trump's remarks were prepared by someone other than the president. Remarks he read without passion, causing them to sound insincere. It was merely a photo-op for Trump. He may have fooled some.



Is There Any Doubt As To Why?...

The Telegraph - US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, telling the State Department he no longer feels able to serve President Donald Trump.

"As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come," Mr Feeley said, according to an excerpt of his resignation letter read to Reuters.

A State Department spokeswoman confirmed Mr Feeley's departure, saying that he "has informed the White House, the Department of State, and the Government of Panama of his decision to retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 of this year."

A man with honor and integrity. We Salute yo Ambassador Feeley

President Trump is a Racist...,

Following Trump's characterization of nations in Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa as shitholes there is no longer any doubt but what Trump is a racist, unfit to occupy the office to which he was elected. It is understandable why many folks chose to vote for Trump in November 2017, however, anyone who continues to support him following his remarks on Thursday may very well be racist themselves.

Economics, security, policy, regulations, etcetera certainly are important, and, debate over how best to strengthen America in these areas is necessary. Heated disagreement over these important issues, as well as others, is needed. Through such debate is how decisions affecting all Americans are made. But, when the President of the United States of America, the leader of the free world, uses language again and again that exposes him as a racist all the other stuff seems less pressing.

Donald J. Trump is a racist, a misogynist, a sexual predator, a xenophobe, and a narcissist, the evidence for all these allegations is overwhelming, and, it has been there all the while. One only need be awake and inquisitive enough to find it. Actually, most of it has stared America in the face at some point over the last 2 plus years. Many Americas have simply refused to accept the truth. We wonder why that might be.

Some articles worth the time spent reading them:

Experts call for Trump physical to include mental health exam

Time to Say It: Trump Is a Racist

John Lewis: Trump administration 'is a major setback' for the nation, world

Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention

There is nothing ‘professional’ about this president



It is time for America to decide who and what she really is today. Trump has directed the glaring spotlight to the racism that has always been present to one degree or another in America. With the president openly demonstrating overt racism, and, indirectly giving his stamp of approval to it, the nation now has the opportunity to confront in a way it hasn't had for over a 150 years.

Lets Do the Right Thing America

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We're Already Talking...

Well folks, this certainly didn't take long. We knew it wouldn't. Didn't we?

Is it possible that America has arrived at the point where personality and celebrity is as important as qualifications and character when selecting our Cheif Executive? It certainly seems so.

Or maybe this will simply burn out. But as one media "expert" familiar with this kind of stuff said last night on CNN, these things tend to take on a life of their own.

Rasmussen Reports - TV personality Oprah Winfrey is the likely winner over President Trump if the 2020 election were held today, but there are a lot of undecideds.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters would opt for Winfrey, while 38% would choose Trump. But a sizable 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Winfrey has the support of 76% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans and 44% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. The president earns 66% of the vote from Republicans, 12% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliateds.

We'll have to wait and see if this gains traction.

Friday, January 5, 2018

When You Have Something (or Much) to Fear, Go On the Offensive...

Trump's actions, and those of his surrogates in congress, point to a man guilty of corruption, possible collusion, and possible obstruction of justice. The fact he sits in the Oval Office is mind boggling.

New York - There are two ways for a president to corrupt the vast powers of federal law enforcement. The one that has commanded the greatest attention so far is the defensive corruption of curtailing investigations into the administration and its allies (by, say, firing Robert Mueller). The other is offensive, by directing investigations into the administration’s political critics. And while this form of corruption has attracted less attention, Trump appears to have made far greater headway here.

Republican senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham have made a criminal referral to the Justice Department against Christopher Steele. It is unclear what crime they have in mind. Steele’s underlying offense is having been hired to investigate Donald Trump’s murky connections with Russia, and then having the leads he compiled published without his knowledge. While the FBI had other reasons to investigate Trump besides Steele’s reporting — reportedly the investigation began after Trump aide George Papadopoulos shot off his mouth to an Australian diplomat — Steele’s dossier became a source of humiliation for Trump. The president has been raging for the last year about the “fake” dossier — the veracity of which has been unverified, though many of its elements have been borne out by subsequent reporting. And now two Republican senators, one of whom chairs the Judiciary Committee, have taken up Trump’s demands to treat the dossier’s author, a well-respected British intelligence agent, like a criminal.

In the meantime, the FBI is investigating the Clinton Foundation.

SKIP


Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is reportedly probing Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server again.

SKIP

At minimum, the effect will be to feed the right-wing news media’s message that Trump’s opponents are the real criminals, in order to supply a distraction for his base. At maximum, the “charges” will allow Trump to have something to trade away — he could fire Mueller while “magnanimously” pardoning his enemies in the alleged spirit of letting old feuds die. In either case, the threat of investigation can be used to make any potential Trump critic think twice.

Smells like the politics of the swamp Trump pledged to drain.

Complete article BELOW THE FOLD

AG Jeff Sessions and His Misguided Judgement...

As the individual states of the United States of America move steadily towards legalization of marijuana the feds, you know the ones, those that scream the loudest about limited government and giving more power back to the states, are moving to restore federal control over marijuana laws. There are likely several reasons for this. Continue reading below to find out the major reason why.

The Washington Post - Attorney General Jeff Sessions's move to enforce federal marijuana laws may be the latest chapter in the arguably failed war on drugs, his critics say. And this time, as his actions may be directed at the marijuana industry, people of color will be disproportionately harmed, some fear.

Sessions's directive makes it easier for American prosecutors to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where the substance is legal, such as California, which just legalized pot for recreational use on Jan. 1.

Now lets see what today's more enlightened views on marijuana use are:
Pew Research Center - About six-in-ten Americans (61%) say the use of marijuana should be legalized, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The survey, conducted in October, finds that the share of U.S. adults who support marijuana legalization is little changed from about a year ago – when 57% favored it – but it is nearly double what it was in 2000 (31%).

As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization. Majorities of Millennials (70%), Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (56%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Only among the Silent Generation does a greater share oppose (58%) than favor (35%) marijuana legalization.

Back to the Washington Post Article: :

The Justice Department move drew swift criticism from jurisdictions and has caused confusion among entrepreneurs in the multibillion dollar industry. Lawmakers from both parties have criticized the move as a disregard of states' rights and a waste of DOJ's resources.

According to the ACLU, 8 million people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes between 2001 and 2010, and 88 percent of them were for possession. Marijuana use is roughly equal among blacks and whites, but blacks are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

SKIP

A Human Rights Watch report found that nearly half of all drug possession arrests in 2015 were for marijuana possession. And while the report also confirmed black and white Americans use marijuana at the same rate, in 2014, black adults accounted for just 14 percent of those who used drugs in the previous year but close to a third of those arrested for drug possession.

Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.), who often discussed the need for criminal justice reform in his 2016 presidential bid, said Sessions needs to put the department's energy elsewhere.

“I continue to believe that this is a states’ rights issue, and the federal government has better things to focus on,” the senator said.

Rand Paul is right on this, as are 61% of the American Public. Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump, as well as all preceding administrations, save President Obama's are, and have been, wrong. PERIOD




What Wolff's "The Fire and The Fury" Has Right...

Reproduced in its entirety the AXIOS article below acknowledges there are things wrong, sloppy, and even unethical about Wolff's book. But nonetheless, he does get a couple of things right.

There are definitely parts of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" that are wrong, sloppy, or betray off-the-record confidence. But there are two things he gets absolutely right, even in the eyes of White House officials who think some of the book's scenes are fiction: his spot-on portrait of Trump as an emotionally erratic president, and the low opinion of him among some of those serving him.

Why it matters: Wolff captures the contempt some Trump aides have for the president and his family. Axios' Jonathan Swan notes that this includes people you see trumpeting their loyalty to him.

So Wolff's liberties with off-the-record comments — while ethically unacceptable to nearly all reporters — have the effect of exposing Washington's insider jokes and secret languages, which normal Americans find perplexing and detestable.

In the past year, we have had many of the same conversations with the same sources Wolff used. We won't betray them, or put on the record what was off. But, we can say that the following lines from the book ring unambiguously true:

How Trump processes (and resists) information:

* "It was during Trump's early intelligence briefings … that alarm signals first went off among his new campaign staff: he seemed to lack the ability to take in third-party information."

* "Or maybe he lacked the interest; whichever, he seemed almost phobic about having formal demands on his attention."

* "Trump didn't read. He didn't really even skim. ... [H]e could read headlines and articles about himself, or at least headlines on articles about himself, and the gossip squibs on the New York Post's Page Six."

* "Some ... concluded that he didn't read because he just didn't have to, and that in fact this was one of his key attributes as a populist. He was postliterate — total television."

* "[H]e trusted his own expertise — no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else's. What's more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention."

Instinct over expertise:

* "The organization ... needed a set of internal rationalizations that would allow it to trust a man who, while he knew little, was entirely confident of his own gut instincts and reflexive opinions, however frequently they might change."

* "Here was a key Trump White House rationale: expertise, that liberal virtue, was overrated."

Ill-preparedness:

* "[T]he president's views of foreign policy and the world at large were among [his White House's] most random, uninformed, and seemingly capricious aspects. His advisers didn't know whether he was an isolationist or a militarist, or whether he could distinguish between the two."

* "He was enamored with generals and determined that people with military command experience take the lead in foreign policy, but he hated to be told what to do."

* "In the Trump White House, policy making ... flowed up. It was a process of suggesting, in throw-it-against-the-wall style, what the president might want, and hoping he might then think that he had thought of this himself."

Low regard by key aides:

* "He spoke obliviously and happily, believing himself to be a perfect pitch raconteur and public performer, while everyone with him held their breath.

* "If a wackadoo moment occurred on the occasions … when his remarks careened in no clear direction, his staff had to go into intense method-acting response. It took absolute discipline not to acknowledge what everyone could see."

* "At points on the day's spectrum of adverse political developments, he could have moments of, almost everyone would admit, irrationality. When that happened, he was alone in his anger and not approachable by anyone."

* "His senior staff largely dealt with these dark hours by agreeing with him, no matter what he said."

Be smart:
More than half a dozen of the more skilled White House staff are contemplating imminent departures. Many leaving are quite fearful about the next chapter of the Trump presidency.

These are the things that worry most Americans. Even many who like and agree with some of is positions. And it is why Trump is considered unfit for The Office of the President of the United States of America.

Feel free to leave your thoughtful and serious comments.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

When Lunatics Bluster...



There are sounds, for those who can hear them, of the preliminary and muffled drumbeats of war. The Chinese are reported to be preparing refugee camps along North Korean border. Resources are being shifted to observe and analyze the North Korean military. Mundane logistical processes of moving, stockpiling and updating critical items and preparing military personnel are under way. Only the biggest indicator—the evacuation of American dependents from South Korea—has yet to flash red, but, in the interest of surprise, that may not happen. America’s circumspect and statesmanlike Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, talks ominously of storm clouds gathering over Korea, while the commandant of the Marine Corps simply says “I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming.”

Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe Donald Trump, he of the five draft deferments during the Vietnam war, will flinch from launching a war as commander in chief, in which case the United States will merely suffer an epic humiliation as it retreats from as big a red line as a president has ever drawn. Still, lots of people have an interest in war. For Russia, the opportunity to set the United States and China against each other over Korea is a dream come true. For narrow-minded American strategists, it is the only way of cutting the North Korean nuclear Gordian knot. For Kim Jong Un peeking over the edge of the precipice may cause South Korea to break with the Americans, or the Chinese to fight them. For Donald Trump it may be a moment of glory, a dramatic vindication of campaign promises, and an opportunity to distract American minds from Robert Mueller’s investigation of his campaign’s ties to the Russians. And so threats and bluster may turn into violent realities. And if they do, not tomorrow or the next day, but some time in 2018, a Second Korean War could very well make it one of those years in which history swings on its hinge.

Be concerned, be VERY concerned.

Full article BELOW THE FOLD ,

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Will Bannon Continue His Fight In Utah and Elsewhere To Methodically Dismantle Our Republic ?...

Stephen K. Bannon. (Brynn Anderson/AP)



Bannon sure does look like your hard core alcoholic doesn't he? Which could very well explain why his grey matter is so pickled. And to think the President of the United States views this old drunken fool worth listening to. Scary sh*t, eh?

On to today's featured article.

From the The Washington Post

Stephen K. Bannon needs a new project, and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) might have just given him one by announcing Tuesday that he will not seek reelection this year.

Bloomberg News reported in October that Bannon was planning to play in almost every Republican Senate primary contest, anyway, but a couple of the Breitbart News chief's would-be targets — Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — have said that they plan to leave Washington without a fight.

What fun is that?

The race to succeed Hatch in Utah could represent an irresistible challenge for Bannon, especially if Mitt Romney runs. As I have noted before, Romney and Breitbart News were very friendly in 2012, when the former Massachusetts governor was the GOP presidential nominee. But since Romney lost to Barack Obama — an event that roughly coincided with Bannon assuming control of Breitbart — Romney has become a symbol of the political establishment Breitbart reviles.

When Romney opposed Roy Moore, Bannon's favored candidate in last month's special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, Bannon hit Romney with a personal attack.

“You hid behind your religion,” Bannon said at a rally for Moore, referring to Romney's Mormon faith. “You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

Ayup, personal attack, the way bully Bannon and bully Trump roll. All day long as they depend on the public buying their BS without so much as even a cursory check for accuracy and truth.

Truth has a way of surfacing and eventually winning the day. Good people in Utah, working on the side of right and truth can win the day for Utah and America. Time and truth is on our side.

More BELOW THE FOLD

Monday, January 1, 2018

As Trump Gallups Into 2018...

As the new year gets off to its running start some things to consider.

Please feel free to comment on any or all of the linked articles. Keep comments on topic, relevant, respectful, and free of vulgarity. Failure to do so will be responded to with immediate deletion when detected.

In response to protests in Iran, President Trump is calling for regime change:

Yup, we know from experience how well that one worked out.

Former Joint Chiefs chairman: Nuclear war with North Korea closer than ever


Probably what tRump's regime change will require.

Trump says U.S. has gotten 'nothing' from Pakistan aid

Anyone else see a trend developing here?

This new year, tell Trump: Enough


We should certainly give it our best shot. But, won't it kind of be like talking to a wall and expecting it to answer you?