Posts Tagged Trump

ROBERT MUELLER: THE FILES ARE MOUNTING UP!

Satire from The Borowitz Report–from The New Yorker

Mueller Rents Giant Warehouse to Store Evidence Against Trump

Photograph by SWNS / Alamy

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Robert Mueller is renting a massive warehouse facility in suburban Virginia to accommodate the approximately forty cubic tons of evidence against Donald Trump that the independent counsel’s investigation is generating on a daily basis.

Employing over two thousand workers in a warehouse the size of seven football fields, the Mueller investigation has become the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Working twelve-hour shifts, the members of Mueller’s evidence-storage team rarely leave the warehouse, where the punishing task of filing mountains of evidence against Trump proceeds around the clock.

“It’s like a city all its own,” one warehouse worker said. “There are people working in the Michael Flynn section who’ve never met the people working in the Paul Manafort section.”

While the warehouse workers are well paid, there have been issues with burnout. “The team in charge of filing all of Donald Trump, Jr.,’s different explanations of his meeting with the Russians had to take time off,” one worker said.

As gargantuan as the storage space appears to be, an aide to Mueller said that the investigation would soon be seeking a second, even larger warehouse. “We need a place to put all the Jared stuff,” the aide said.

  • Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com.

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AMERICA NEEDS A CAPABLE DIPLOMAT—NOT A BUNCH OF AMATEURS!

Considering the way Diplomacy is being handled by the Trump Regime, its easy to understand why the rest of the world seems to view the goings on at the White House as being somewhat haphazard, at best.  America presents itself to the world through its diplomacy, starting with the President and his State Department.  With Donald Trump, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; however, its more or less: Here we are!

Prior to January, Secretary Tillerson was the CEO of Exxon-Mobil.  And, If his heart is not still back in the Oil Patch, it’s certainly not into diplomacy!  In Donald Trump’s original budget proposal, he had intended to slash the State Department by 31%, and Tillerson didn’t raise Holy Hell!  Such acquiescence doesn’t show the leadership that one would expect from a former Captain of Industry—let alone from our Nation’s Top Diplomat!

The most vexing problem with America’s Foreign Policy today centers on the mis-handling of the situation in North Korea.  Presidents Xi Jinping, of China, and Vladimir Putin, of Russia, appear more “presidential” than Mr. Trump, in that they have a better grasp of the overall situation.  The potential implications of each participating nation’s actions must clearly be considered.  But with Trump and Tillerson, the potential explosiveness of the Korean Peninsula seems to be disregarded.

Most importantly, America needs to speak with one voice, preferably that of an experienced diplomat, who can assume ownership of the problem in order to arrive at a peaceful solution.  The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is much too important not to give it our complete and undivided attention!

Over the past five months, the Trump Regime has been alternating one person after another, to speak for the U. S; but, without any one person with experience to assume the overall responsibility.  And, spurious comments and Tweets by Donald Trump have only escalated the problem to a whole new level.

In his book, “One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the brink of nuclear war,” Michael Dobbs corrected the general presumption that Kennedy and Khrushchev were engaged in a cat and mouse game during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.  Since his book was only published in 2008, however, Dobbs had access to previously unavailable documents from all three nations.

As it turned out, both President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev realized, once they had deployed their respective military forces, that they couldn’t insure that the stand-off wouldn’t escalate into a potential nuclear Armageddon. Luckily, the two rational leaders avoided such a possibility!  Castro, on the other hand, preached Death with Honor!

Where is our capable diplomat, who can assess the actual intent of North Korea’s original communique, which stated that it would only fire missiles “near Guam,” and there was no threat of a nuclear weapon?  A single capable and dedicated envoy would have attempted to interpret what that message really meant!  Surely, Kim Jong-Un knew that, if he targets the U. S. or an ally, North Korea would be totally annihilated.  Also, if Kim was truly seriously about striking America, wouldn’t he have targeted, let’s say, San Francisco, Seattle or, at least, Honolulu?

America needs a diplomat—a real one—to take charge of solving this problem, and see it through to a final solution.  Ignorant comments about “locked and loaded,” and threatening to impede the North’s energy supplies—especially with the harsh North Korean winter approaching—would just lead to mass disruption on the Peninsula.  We need that experienced envoy now—to engage with North Korea, along with all interested parties.

As President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev realized: No one wins when we all lose!

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DEFEATING THE NAZIS: A STORY ABOUT AMERICAN COMMITMENT, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!

Danny Westneat is a columnist for the Seattle Times.  This column is a wonderfully written story about a husband and wife team–he a Soldier, and she a Riveter (fastening B-29 wings)–who are members of “Our Greatest Generation.”  And, as the Matz’ question, with Donald Trump, do we truly have the commitment to insure that the Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and other Hate Groups do not succeed this time?  In essence, Silence is NOT golden!

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‘Greatest generation’ is fading, but it’s still got choice words for our own

Remember the greatest generation? The ones that beat back the Nazis?
Recently I sat down with two of them, to talk about everyday persistence, about stability, about things that abide.

But we weren’t five minutes in when it veered in the exact opposite direction — to the rise of neo-Nazis in the news today, the demagoguery of a certain president and to an eerily familiar chill.

“I remember back in the ’30s and ’40s, it was like people were hypnotized,” says Wilma Matz, 93. “I worry all the time it might be happening again.”

Numerically speaking, Wilma and Harold Matz are rarer around here than the endangered northern spotted owl.

At 95, Harold is a World War II vet, a medical technician who pulled the maimed off the line of the war’s bloodiest fight, the Battle of the Bulge.

All but 3 percent of his 16 million mates who beat back fascism are gone. The greatest generation has dwindled to just 0.2 percent of the American population.

Even rarer, Wilma was a Rosie the Riveter. She drove fasteners into the wings of B-29 bombers for Boeing in the 1940s, one of 300,000 bandana-wearing women who came out of housewifery to take over the nation’s airplane-factory work. Only about 10,000 Rosies are still alive today.

Then there’s this: As of Wednesday, the couple has been married 75 years. Fewer than 0.1 percent of all marriages in America are so enduring.

“It’s like they hit the trifecta,” says their daughter, Laura Matz.

When I caught up with them in their Normandy Park apartment, though, they couldn’t help contrasting their own stability with the turbulent state of the news today.

Harold was telling how they had to hand-haul thousands of wounded Allied soldiers out of the Battle of the Bulge on the border of Belgium and Germany, when he interrupted himself.

“This president today, if he’d been the president back then, we would have lost the war in the first three months,” he said.
Ouch. Why?

“No steadiness, no resolve,” he said.

Wilma said she’s been appalled that any American leader would wink and nod at Neo-Nazis, considering the lengths her generation went to fight it.

“I don’t know if he really means it — he seems to say whatever pops into his head — but this country sacrificed a great deal back then,” she said. “It feels like that’s been forgotten. It’s hard to describe what it was like. It was all hands on deck.”

When Harold was shipped to Europe in the fall of 1943, she, just 19, immediately signed up to help build bomber parts at a temporary Boeing war factory in Chehalis. At the peak of production, more than 70 percent of the workers there were women. It was her first job.

“I often maintain she did more to beat the Nazis than I did,” laughed Harold, who went on to become a chiropractor in Des Moines after the war.

Recently Tim Egan of The New York Times called these last living fascism fighters, quiet people like Harold and Wilma living out their years in senior homes, our “real American heritage.” As opposed to the statues and symbols people are fighting over today.

His point is that the monument fight is for phony patriots. We have among us a few “living memorials” to the best American story. The one where we were unambiguously on the right side of history.

It turns out it was about living old values. Such as persistence.

Speaking of which: What’s the secret to staying married for an incredible 75 years?
“I like to have someone to sleep next to,” Harold shrugs.

Wilma just rolls her eyes, and smiles. When you’ve beaten the Great Depression and the Nazis and made it three-quarters of a century together, no way a bad joke is going to get between you and the finish line.

 

 

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THE TRUMP QUESTIONS SHIFT—FROM INCOMPETENCE TO INSTABILITY

Donald Trump has threatened to shut-down the Government, by Vetoing the Debt-Ceiling increase if his Wall is not funded through the FY2018 Federal Budget.  Those are two unrelated, idiotic ideas, but in two totally different Bills.  Where did Donald study Government: Trump University?

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do not want to be blamed for a shut-down since—when their party controls both Houses of Congress, and the White House—they would have no one to blame.  And, such shut-downs never accomplish anything!  But, let’s consider what the inter-action is between the Budget and the National Debt and whether the Debt Ceiling is even necessary.

The Budget, as passed by Congress, cites how much the Nation is expected to spend, broken-down by Department, throughout the coming fiscal year (starting October 1). The Treasury Department monitors the respective in-flows and out-flows, making adjustments, as required, within existing Law.

Depending upon whether the actual Net Cash Flow is higher or lower than expected, the Treasury will either Pay-Down existing U. S. Treasury securities, if there is a Surplus, or sell more bonds when the Net Cash Flow is in a Deficit.  The Debt-Ceiling, established in 1913, is truly an anachronism, and serves mostly as a political football, since Total Spending can be controlled through the Budget Process!

Donald Trump has lately been lashing-out at Senators on both sides, and he has especially been attacking the Intelligence Community.  Even his own Republican Party in Congress has passed an Economic Sanctions Bill, in response to Russia’s interference in our Presidential Election.

The vote in both Houses, on the sanctions,  would easily overcome a Presidential Veto.  Similar Veto-proof legislation has been passed to make it virtually impossible for Trump to fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.  And, Senator Charles Grassley has also stated that he would not hold Confirmation Hearings, in the event Trump might need to replace a fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

More recently, Donald Trump has been at odds with a majority of Americans, as he sought to give support to White-Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and other Hate Groups, after a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va..  Surprisingly, each of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the heads of the four armed services—Tweeted their condemnation of Hatred and Racism.  Citizens of most countries tend to support their militaries; because, they are perceived as the apolitical representatives of The People.

Recently, the discussion has shifted from Trump’s ideological viewpoints and disruptive management style, toward his irrational behavior and temperamental mood swings.  It has risen to the point that Donald Trump has allegedly asked the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the NSA to push-back against the FBI, which leads the Russian Collusion Investigation against his campaign.  They both refused!

James Clapper, who had served as President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, and in every administration since Jack Kennedy, has recently come under fire from Donald Trump.  Based on watching various speeches, as different as night-from-day, Clapper has questioned whether Trump is fit for the job. Furthermore, Mr. Clapper wonders about the insanity of Trump having access to the Nuclear Codes!

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DONALD TRUMP JUST DEMONSTRATED HIS IGNORANCE ABOUT AFGHANISTAN AGAIN, AS USUAL!

I laughed to myself when I saw a NY Times headline, suggesting that Donald Trump’s Afghanistan Address, on Monday evening, had been “Masculine”.  My reaction was—Yes, with other people’s kids!   I have previously revealed my contempt for so-called “Wartime Presidents”: those who avoided service themselves, while keeping their own sons home. Let the Poor go to war:  What do they have to lose?  DUH!

One of Trump’s key themes, on Monday evening, was that we are going to help the Afghanistan people take control of their country back.  Really?   Afghanistan’s government has little relevance, once you venture outside of the capital.  Various Afghan presidents have often been jokingly referred to as the “Mayor of Kabul!”  That seems similar to the government of Iraq, where that nation’s leaders rarely strays outside of the Green Zone!

Very poor, pre-industrial nations such as Afghanistan, rely mostly on ancient agricultural practices, barter and the common person fending for themselves, and their families.  The per capita Gross Domestic Product of Afghanistan was only $594.32, in 2015.  There is one other agricultural crop, however, which for some reason, just doesn’t seem to be included in the usual GDP Statistics.  Poppy production!

One species of poppy, Papaver somniferum, contains the opium derivative, known as alkaloids, which is found in morphine.  Such opioids are currently a major cause in drug addiction in the U. S, and in other Western nations.  Afghanistan produces 555,750 acres of poppies annually, which is almost four times that of the next highest producer, Myanmar (formerly Burma), at 143,321 acres, followed by #3, Mexico, at 37, 056 acres. Would Afghan poppy growers really take money, to kill the means of their sustenance?

The poppy crop is so pervasive in Afghanistan that, after the imams warn that it is forbidden, they still take their ten percent.  Perhaps tithing is just tithing, huh?

I had written previously about traveling on a dirt road, in a very remote part of (then) South Vietnam back in 1968, and realizing that that one man, working his own rice paddy, was all by himself.  I could only assume that he had no idea who was ruling in Saigon, and surely, the government there knew, nor cared, little about his needs—infrastructure or personal.  But he was surviving—war zone, and all!

This is how the average person survives in such poor nations.  In fact, while these rural peasants are totally on their own, there are groups—somewhat like organized crime families in the West—who provide certain basic services, especially protection.  The local warlords and such, always receive their pound of flesh, however, in return for their “services rendered”.

We in the West cannot adequately understand what it means to take one’s country back, especially when our very presence there might have provided the very cause for its disarray.  The various groups that we assume to eradicate are not the ones causing the death and destruction that the people fear the most.  And when they and/or we are gone, there will be other groups, offering to help.  And that’s the way it has always been!

NOTE:  Another recent blog post, “Does foreign aid really work, or is it just another form of bribery?” takes another look at the life of the average rural resident from a different perspective

 

 

 

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YES, THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH ARE AT WAR

Lesson 1: History repeats itself.

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HOWEVER SUBLIMINAL THE RACISM, DONALD TRUMP PROVIDES THE SPARK!

Throughout history, mankind has been resentful of others.  Back in pre-History, various Hominoid species fought each other for supremacy.  Slavery came to America some 400 years ago as White men assumed to own Africans, brought forcibly to the Colonies.

Over the years since, various ethnic groups, peoples of other religions or beliefs arrived, and more recently, people of different orientations emerged.  Women had demanded equality!  Rather than accept, assimilate and take advantage of these changes, many Americans have preferred to maintain the established order—the status quo!

Enter the demagogue to provide that spark, hell-bent on instigating the “Divide and Conquer” strategy.  Adolf Hitler took that approach in 1930s Germany when he attacked, in succession: the Communists; the Socialists; the Trade Unionists; the Jews…and then, they came for “Me”.  The point of German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller’s eloquent poem “First they came…” was the cowardice of German intellectuals to speak-out, as the Nazi’s purged each successive target group, and thus conquered the entire population by dividing it.

Donald Trump has been using the very same Divide and Conquer strategy, that Hitler did some 80-85 years before, when he announced his candidacy, in June of 2015.  After making vague comments about ISIS, China and Japan, he laid into Mexico.  “They’re bringing drugs.  They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.  And some, I assume, are good people.”  How nice of Donald too acknowledge that not all Mexicans are bad!

After Mexico and the Mexican People, Donald Trump directed his hate-speech at ISIS, Syrians and the Middle East, seemingly tossing them all together as if to suggest that all Muslims are terrorists!  Notice the biased logic?  And of course, as he supports law enforcement, regardless of videos of violent action taken predominantly against Blacks, Donald Trump’s divisiveness is ever-vigilant, and always provocative.

Among Donald Trump’s questionable comments and actions, once he moved into the White House, was his appointment of Steve Bannon, as a Councillor to the President, and his Chief Strategist.  To the horror of many, Trump had also appointed Bannon as a permanent member of the National Security Council, which he has since rescinded.  Before joining the Trump Regime, Bannon had been the Executive Chairman of the Breitbart News website, which he had declared to be “the platform for the Alt-Right“ in 2016.

Besides spewing his own racist hate speech throughout his short political career, by positioning Bannon as one of his chief advisors, Donald Trump has brought a key symbol of White Supremacism into the White House with him!  In fact, Steve Bannon seems to be one of just a very small number of Donald’s trusted Advisors, along with First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.  No wonder the Hate Groups feel empowered!

Yesterday, when referring to the removal of statues of Confederate generals, Donald Trump suggested that: “(You) can’t change history, only learn from it.”  Unfortunately, Donald’s historical studies haven’t seemed to have progressed beyond “Hitler, Adolf!”

Question for Donald Trump:  You have vowed to eliminate the various Islamic terrorists groups, which are intent on harming us, just because we differ from them.  Well tell me: How do you differentiate ISIS, al-Qaeda and those other groups from the very White Supremacist elements in America, who also wish to cause harm to Americans who differ from them?  Can you explain that, Mr. Trump?

NOTE:  One of my more popular posts, “Who’s the Puppet Master behind Donald Trump’s Shadow_Government?”, written back in March, had suggested that Steve Bannon was, indeed, the Puppet Master, pulling the day-to-day strings behind Donald Trump’s Regime.  I still believe that!

 

 

 

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