Saturday, January 26, 2019

In No Way a Concession

Donald Trump tweeted Friday night that the deal “was in no way a concession.”

In the same way that this was not a concession:
In case you are not sure, Nancy is the one who is standing up.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Brief Comment on Nancy Pelosi

I do not want to take a thing away from Nancy Pelosi, whose actions have been virtually picture perfect since reassuming the role of Speaker of the House.  I do want, however, to point out one thing about her relationship with Donald Trump.

Throughout his life, Trump's success (such as it is) at being a dealmaker was largely based on the fact that throughout his business career, he always owned the business and had control of all of the money.  He could bully people into doing what he wanted, because they really had no choice.  It took no more skill for him to win an argument than it did for Hitler to beat down his generals.  Well, with Nancy Pelosi, that came to an end.  He had no threats to hold over her, so that, as long as she kept her temper and acted appropriately, she was bound to win.

I hope the Democrats realize this.  I hope that, at long last, after forty years cowering in the shade, they understand what kind of power they do have.  If so, our country is on a track to getting better, bit by bit, despite Republican dirty tricks, vote stealing, bad faith and treachery.  Otherwise, welcome to Trumpistan.

He Caved

He caved.  End of story.

Tell the Whole Truth, Ron

“This is your fault,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.“Are you suggesting I’m enjoying this?” McConnell snapped back."

No answer from Ron.  He should have said this:  "Of course, you are enjoying it, you malignant son of a bitch.  There's nothing in your whole misbegotten life that you have ever enjoyed more than your chance to show your naked power and run roughshod over the interests of the American people.  You are now going down as the worst majority leader in the history of this country, in order to satisfy your lust to hurt people."

Yeah, Ron stuck his neck out to tell half the truth, but right now, half the truth is not enough.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Venezuela Prediction

A prediction that absolutely nobody will remember several years from now, when it is proven to be true:

First of all, let me remind you that Venezuela has the largest proven reserves of oil in the world.

Over the course of my lifetime, and certainly under the Chavez government, we have seen periodic spasms of anti-government violence in Venezuela.  As the years pass by, the tiny minority of Americans who even remember problems in other countries discover that the United States precipitated economic collapse in Venezuela, through means such as its currently unjustifiable sanctions against the country, massively financed opposition to the government from rich businessmen and their paid henchmen, and often open support for rebel (i.e. terrorist, in U.S. government terms) armies.

Why? Because the Venezuelan people repeatedly elect governments that are determined to see that a fair share of the revenue of its oil goes to the Venezuelan people, instead of having all of it taken by American oil companies. That, in US terms, is called socialism-the notion that ordinary people have a right to a shred of their nation's wealth. 

Oh, there is enough left over to pay off the requisite number of Venezuelan rich sociopaths to create an impression that the opposition to their government is a real phenomenon, but other than that, the Venezuelan people are expected to just shut up and do nothing while their only real source of national income is pillaged.

Well, based on a long past history in Venezuela, and in many other countries around the world, that is going to turn out to be exactly what is going on today.  The US government, which is determined to see that its own people are stripped of every bit of our national wealth, is, under Republican rule, doing exactly the same thing in Venezuela.  If the past is any sign, of course, it will be years before the full truth is learned, and by then the Venezuelan government will be long gone, replaced by a more compliant one whose leaders are willing to sell their country down the river if it enriches themselves.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Suggestion for Nancy

Not that she needs my help.

So Trump is threatening that, if she holds firm on no State of the Union address until after the shutdown, he will deliver a "State of the Union" address to one of his rallies, which will be almost verbatim the same belligerent, racist blast of hatred as always.

Go ahead, Nancy, and then accept that demagogic piece of garbage as his official State of the Union address, to be forever enshrined with every other State of the Union address ever given.  That will serve as a perfect reminder to those who come after us, what kind of President he really is.

Solomon and the Baby

I've been thinking of this biblical story of the wisdom of Solomon lately.
The Wisdom of Solomon, by Rafaello

I'm sure you are all familiar with the tale:  Two women appeared before Solomon, each claiming to be the mother of a baby.  To decide,Solomon said, "Well, let's be fair here; we'll cut the baby in half and give each mother one of the halves."  One of the women said, "Fine."  One begged Solomon to give the baby to the other woman, as long as it could live.  Thus, Solomon discovered which woman actually cared about the baby.

Well, of course I am talking about the government shutdown.  We have one party that is willing to kill the country to prevent the other side from winning a battle with him, while the other side is trying a succession of agreements to save the country.

I'm not a religious person, yet I thought of this story.  Funny that the bible obsessed Christians who run the Republican party apparently never heard it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The CEO President

Well, if nothing else, hopefully the reign of Donald Trump will finally disabuse the nation of the idea that being a CEO is great training for being President.

Being a CEO is great preparation to head a country, but only a certain kind of country.  A CEO does whatever he wants.  He is perfectly justified in running his company for the sole benefit of himself and his close associates.  He has no legal obligation to spend one minute concerning himself with  the welfare of the people that are under him, except to keep their condition a hair's breadth above what would induce them into open rebellion, or as we call it in the private sector, going on strike.  He can punish them or ban them at will.

As I said, these are indeed the characteristics of a certain type of national leader: a dictator.  A corporation is essentially a dictatorship, and running one is the perfect training to run a country the same way.  Funny, the people who tout the CEO President never thought of that.  Or, maybe they have.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Dirty Trick?

In all the coverage of the Buzzfeed report about Trump's subornation of perjury, and the Mueller non-denial denial of it, I have yet to see a single mention of what, to me, seems to be a highly likely explanation of what happened: that this information was planted with Buzzfeed by Republicans to give themselves an opportunity to go on one more screaming tirade about the phony press, and in the process make this impeachable revelation radioactive, so it is just dropped.

The Republican party has, after all, a history of this sort of thing.  The Most notorious, and most successful of such schemes was the deliberate releasing, a couple of months before the 2004 election, of false evidence of George W. Bush's desertion from the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war.  And let me be clear that the evidence that Bush did desert is and was at the time absolutely incontrovertible; but this fake scandal made the entire issue, which could well have derailed Bush's reelection, out of bounds to the mainstream press.

There have been other examples of such behavior from Republicans over the years, the most recent of which has been the widely publicized effort by Republican operatives to gin up a phony story that Robert Mueller was a rapist. 

So, why do we not suspect that we have the same thing happening here?  The Trump people, knowing that they have now strayed into incontrovertible impeachment territory, acted swiftly to use a tried and true Republican tactic to make the issue uncoverable by the mainstream media.  Buzzfeed, obviously, does not have the fact checking resources that, say, the New York Times or the Washington Post do, so they were selected as the patsies in this plot.  That, to my mind, is simply by far the most likely explanation of what happened with this report, and it may very well work.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Bag of Cash

From today's Washington Post (although the story can be found all over at this point,) the following:

"We have, on Thursday, a story that perhaps serves as the best encapsulation to date of how the early days of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency worked, a summary that, itself, seems to explain much of what happened afterward.

It’s the details that are particularly compelling. It was, according to the Wall Street Journal, a Walmart bag, blue, containing somewhere over $12,000 in cash..."

So now we are down to passing out bags of cash, the ultimate caricature of the corrupt politician.  What next?

State of the Union

The Constitution- remember that?

"He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union"

A hostile partisan harangue is not "Information of the State of the Union,"  and we know that is all that Donald Trump is capable of doing with the cameras pointed at him.  It has been reported that his most extreme aides have spent weeks drafting a speech which is nothing but an attack on Democrats.  That sort of thing does not fall within the scope of what the Constitution requires.

For the greater part of our country's existence, the fulfillment of this requirement was done in writing.  That is a massive precedent for doing so in this case.  The country has no legal or sensible reason to give this man one more platform to repeat his lies
If he wants to have one more pathetic address from the Oval Office, let him.  If he wants to substitute his typical audience of screaming racists for the Congress, let him.  That is perfectly within his right to do.  What is not within his right is to pervert the Constitution to suit his purposes.  Sad to say, this would only be the latest, and the most minor, in the lengthy list of his Constitutional abuses, but it is never too early to start holding the line against what he is doing to the country.

Nancy Pelosi is entirely right to do what she can to prevent him from using the Capitol to advance his hatred.  I just hope she delivers on her threat.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Case So Far.

Just how damning is the case against Trump at this point?  I am going to take the very great liberty of repeating an astounding series of tweets by someone I knew nothing about, named Clint Watts.  Here is who he is, from Wikipedia:

"Clinton Watts (known as Clint Watts) is a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University and a Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow. He previously was an infantry officer in the United States Army, and was the executive officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at United States Military Academy at West Point (CTC). He became a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He has consulted for the FBI Counterterrorism Division (CTD) and FBI National Security Branch (NSB)."
The content below takes the point of view of the people who decided to investigate Donald Trump for being an agent of the Russians.  I find it distracting to read a long series of tweets as they are, so I have extracted the content from them.  Please take the time to read this:

"- you witnessed Russian hackers targeting a wide swath of Americans including the DNC, DCCC, former Secretary of State & a Presidential candidates staff
- someone previously targeted by Russian Intelligence joins the Trump campaign and then appears on a stage in Moscow supporting Russia policy and speaking negatively of US policy
- an Australian official contacts you and says the Russians have stolen emails of a Presidential candidate & may want to give them to the candidate’s competitor
- a Russian lawyer & others tied to Russian government visit a Presidential candidate’s son in the candidate’s building in NYC
- Candidate Trump stands on a stage and calls out Russia and asks about emails from his competitor, says they will be rewarded if they have them and release them
- website that’s released sensitive & classified documents from US for years, helped deliver a US insider to The Kremlin, begins publishing document & emails during Dem convention, content you know was stolen by Russia. Site administrator once hosted a TV show on Russia State TV
- A strange, unexpected policy change occurs at RNC convention, the change is a less supportive position toward Ukraine and is advantageous to Russia
- candidate’s campaign manager goes on CNN and asserts a false terrorist attack in Turkey, one tied to and advanced by Russian propaganda
- during this time, you watch a campaign associate tweet with a Russian account that’s pointing people to stolen documents from the opposing campaign. The campaign associate predicts something will happen to the opposing campaign manager- his emails are later released
After election, current President issues sanctions against Russia, but the incoming National Security advisor makes calls to Russian officials from 3rd country, when approached for clarification post inauguration, the advisor lies about contents of phone call w/Russian officials
During summer fall leading into the election, you receive raw intelligence from highly reliable source whose proven invaluable on other investigations. source provides intelligence on Russia’s efforts to support a presidential candidate, the info is consistent with other info
Before inauguration your bosses, your leaders from all intelligence agencies brief president elect on classified info showing Russia  influenced the election on behalf of President elect. President elect rejects intelligence from all your superiors and suggests Russia innocent
From the summer of 2015 all the way through the election and after inauguration, you watch as the candidate, president elect and now president offers overt effusive support for Vladimir Putin who you know has been helping the President get elected.
Shortly after inauguration, your new commander-in-chief spouts false information about Polish aggression toward Belarus. This is not supported by the Intelligence community you are in, and the only source for this viewpoint is Russian propaganda
After firing of National Security Advisor that lies to you agencies investigators, the President corners your boss 1-1 asks him to go easy on National Security Advisor who lies about his conversation with Russians
During this period, the President inexplicably and repeatedly asks your boss if he’s under investigation with regards to Russia, despite your boss and other intel heads going out of their way to brief the President about Kremlin efforts to potentially compromise & manipulate him
While Congressional committees investigate Russian interference, the President fires your boss for his handling of an email investigation into the President’s opponent, an investigation that helped elevate the President rather than hurt him
You later find out a draft memo from President to your boss regarding his firing cited the Russia investigation
The President then goes on national television and in an interview says he fired your boss because of the Russia investigation
A week after firing your boss, the President invites Russian leaders into the Oval Office, Russian photographers capture the moment, but US media is not allowed to observe. President then brags to Russian leaders about firing your boss
Sometime during the spring, if you’re not already aware, you read a news story alleging the President’s son-in-law may have sought a way to communicate with Russia via a back channel not monitored by you and your colleagues
During summer, you watch the President attend NATO summit and shove Montenegro PM, in an Interview claim Montenegro is aggressive, might start a war. This mirrors Russian propaganda & you know Russia backed covert operation destabilize Montenegrin election
For next year, either you, your colleagues and your organization, FBI, are discredited by President. He mixes true and false information in public disclosures which you are not allowed to respond to. If you do respond, your accused of leaking and could be fired or even jailed
Documents & information from confidential sources you’ve pledged to protect, are selectively leaked into public through those who are supposed to provide government oversight. These inappropriate disclosures make your job as an investigator nearly impossible & hurts your sources
At some point during the summer or before, you learn that the President’s son was receiving & responding to direct messages from website that was releasing emails stolen from the President’s opponent by Russia
1st two years President’s term, you watch him take a negative, adversarial stance toward NATO and particularly Germany. This strains your relationship with your most valuable intel partners, your Counterterrorism agent colleagues depend on them & they help fight war on terror
Over next 2 years, President aggressively seeks meetings with Putin who helped elect him. Need for  meetings is not clear. one President meets in private with Putin for 2 hours without witnesses but translator. To this day, you, your bosses don’t really know what was discussed
President emerges from private meeting with Putin and on world stage in Helsinki accepts and validates Russian denials about election interference & rejects years of your teams intel work. This badly damages your reputation and partner trust with your organization
Separately, your President publicly discusses a Russian proposed partnership on cyber security, this insane concept is mind boggling to you as an investigator as you’ve just spent years tracking these same Russians who just attacked your country
Even further, your President publicly mentions a possible exchange where Russian investigators might interview and interrogate you and other Americans about their attack on you and America. A crazy, frightening and bizarre threat to you as a civil servant.
Throughout your investigation into Russian interference, you watch as your President’s attacks on the Special Counsel, Justice Department & FBI are amplified and spread in America by the very Russian troll social media accounts and state sponsored propaganda you are investigating
Throughout the Special Counsel indictments, hearings and trials, you watch the President and his legal team publicly interject, discredit witnesses and discuss pardons, all subverting the rule of law and justice which you’ve dedicated your life to protect and defend
You either know or learn a parallel investigation shows Russians representing a bogus Russian gun rights movement penetrated the political party hosting members who’ve tried to discredit you - you recognize this as a TEXTBOOK espionage/influence op you learned at FBI academy
After two years, the Attorney General over you, who appropriately recused himself from Russia investigation, is fired for seemingly no clear reason after taking public lashings from the President
Your AG is replaced by an acting AG whose unqualified for position, has limited experience justify such high level appointment, you’ve watched him on TV discrediting your agency and your team’s investigation despite seeing none of evidence or knowing anything Russian influence
The same month, the President’s personal lawyer pleads guilty in federal court and says he continued negotiations throughout almost the entire Presidential campaign for a Tower in Moscow. This is in opposition to President’s public denials.
You read public reporting that the best apartment in the Moscow Tower project pursued by the President’s business was offered to Russia’s President Putin, the same Putin your President always sides with over you and your agency, the Putin who helped your President win
You either knew or learned through a redaction error that the President’s campaign manager was alleged to have lied about providing polling data to a Russian whom he owed money, via a former Russian GRU contact"

Watts goes on to say that all of the above is written totally from memory, and he is positive that more could be added to this list.  I can think of a couple of things myself, but there is certainly plenty here.

I would be remiss not to say that I first saw this at Crooks and Liars, and to at  least to provide you with a link to Clint Watts' website.  He has a blog too, but when I tried to go to it, I got a heavy security warning from Google. I presume this is some sort of Republican dirty trick, but I can't in fairness link to it.

Donald Trump is a traitor; in a way, far worse than the traitors Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, who at least abandoned our country and acted in the open and on their own against us.  Trump has secretly aligned himself with our nation's greatest enemy, allowed them to make him the head of our country, and then has gone on to sell us out to a foreign dictator every chance he gets. There has hardly ever been a crime in history that is as fully documented as this one. It's time to get past the Republican fog and recognize that fact.  It's time for Trump and all of his Republican enablers to face the consequences of his malignant actions.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The State of Wingnuttery Today

I think it is time to review the state to which those pathetic people who are still pro-Trump have had to descend in order to maintain their psychotic world view.  This is particularly relevant today because of yesterday's revelation by the New York Times that the Mueller probe was actually an outgrowth of an FBI investigation:

"F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia"

I have linked to this colossal story, in case you have not yet heard the details.  May I also mention a story today at Daily Kos, entitled  "Team Trump had over 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials and covered up every last one"

The tale of Trump's treason has been clear to those willing to see the truth since the day he took office.  The response of Republican voting "patriots?"  To invent a looking glass world in which it is the Democrats that are behind the most malignant conspiracy in all of history, and that it is Trump who is the champion of justice and morality who works every day to bring them to justice.  To illustrate this, I have selected one online article which seems to encapsulate a wide spectrum of wingnut delusions.  As usual with things like this, I will not identify its author or link to it.  The internet is filled with thousands of this sort of thing; you can easily find them yourself if you are interested.

I have a secondary motive in choosing this example, as it demonstrates a phenomenon that I have noticed several times in the last month, and which I have never seen before.  That is the incorporation into QAnon style conspiracy thinking of strong elements from the Sovereign Citizen movement, the most violent terrorist faction in the United States.  To me this is a bad portent of where the Trump supporters are headed as their delusions are continually unmasked.

Well, hold on; here we go:

"Around June 25 Military Tribunals were said set to begin with litigation on FISA crimes that named as defendants, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his mistress former FBI Agent Lisa Page – all of whom were believed to be presently incarcerated on FEMA Prison Barges headed to GITMO."

Claims that these people were on their way to Gitmo, or already there, have been a staple of right wing conspiracy thinking for half a year or so; when inevitably they appear in public, wingnuts just ignore their previous predictions, and like the crazies who predict the end of the world, move the date of their apocalypse further down the line.  May I also add that a staple feature of this claim is the assertion that John McCain and George H. W. Bush did not die natural deaths, but were executed by Trump's military tribunals.  The recently ill Ruth Bader Ginsburg is also said to be not sick but awaiting execution for something or other.

"Charges on over 71,000 indictments, most of which were filed in federal courts across the nation last year, were believed to include global elite roles in treason, the 9/11 Massacre, hijacking of Malaysian Air 370/17, March 11th, 2011 Fukushima nuclear and tsunami mass murders, Benghazi Massacre, mass murder in Haiti and elsewhere, gun and drug running, human trafficking, child exploitation, kidnapping, murder and harvesting victim’s organs for monetary gain; election fraud, blackmail for certain votes on political issues through recording of pedophilia parties where children were raped, tortured and murdered; selling U.S. uranium resources to Russia in exchange for bribes; money laundering; misappropriation and confiscation of US taxpayer monies through use of the illegal and privately owned Federal Reserve, IRS, US Corporation, City of London and Holy See, plus not implementing the freedom from debt GESARA Law signed into law by the US Supreme Court and President Bill Clinton."

Well, there you go, just about every crime on earth.  I have bolded one section of this insane rant because it is classic Sovereign Citizen doctrine.  Now, from Wikipedia, more about GESARA:

"GESARA was a “US Citizen Freedom from Debt” ruling by the US Supreme Court resulting from a Farmers Lawsuit that muddled through the courts during the 1980s. The case proved that since the 1600s, US Taxpayer dollars had been illegally laundered through what was known by 1871-1900s as the privately owned IRS, Federal Reserve and Cabal corporations of the District of Columbia, City of London and Holy See (US Inc, Queen Elizabeth and Vatican) who then controlled use of the monies through Central Banks across the globe – with political elites filling their pockets along the way."

Once again, I want to point out that the statement bolded above is a direct statement of Sovereign Citizen theories.

It should be hardly necessary to make this point, but this is a complete delusion. No such law was ever passed in the United States, as should be obvious to the most naive. From Wikipedia, GESARA or NESARA:

"has since become better known as the subject of a cult-like conspiracy theory promoted by Shaini Candace Goodwin, doing business as "Dove of Oneness", who claimed that the act was actually passed with additional provisions as the National Economic Security and Reformation Act, and then suppressed by the George W. Bush administration and the Supreme Court. Goodwin's conspiracy emails have been translated into several languages and have a large following online."

And on we go:

"The Cabal was a global criminal operation composed of private parties that has controlled the global monetary system since its inception in 1693. By the 1800s a Satan worshipping Vatican and Queen’s Bank of London were using their privately owned US Inc.’s Federal Reserve and IRS to funnel US Taxpayer dollars through their Central Banks, thus controlling the global monetary system, as well as filling along the way, their own pockets and those of politicians they wished to influence.

Their Vatican-controlled Satanic Ninth Circle Child Sacrifice Cult supported this criminal enterprise by holding regular Child Sacrifice rites across the globe to supposedly obtain the “power” to run all the criminal activities."

Combine Sovereign Citizen idiocy and a big dose of Satanic child abuse, and there you have it: the alternate explanation of what is going on in this country, which allows Trump supporters to still maintain that their champion is the good guy.  As I have suggested before, it is ironic that the worse people like Trump are, the harder it is for their followers to admit how wrong they have been; it is likely that a very significant portion of the American public will adopt views like this, rather than face the monumental fraud they have bought into.  What happens as their delusions become untenable?  Ah, that is the big question.

Note:  The Sovereign Citizen movement is not monolithic.  There are a number of similar but not entirely identical strains to their thought, pushed by various elements.  When I speak of "Sovereign Citizen doctrine" here, I am referring to notions that come directly out of that movement; however, you can easily find other Sovereign Citizen groups with somewhat different lunatic notions.  In particular, the notion of GESARA is not to be found in many Sovereign Citizen rants, but it is clearly on the spectrum, as it were, of Sovereign Citizen delusion.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mike Tyson Pounds Joe Lieberman Into a Coma

Oops, that should have read

"Ocasio-Cortez Shuts Down Joe Lieberman With Four Words"

Funny, you have a guy that dumped the Democratic party to run against them and win his last Senate seat with Republican votes, and he's telling Dems to turn their backs on their most popular new figure since Barack Obama.  You might almost suspect that he doesn't have the party's best interest at heart.

"New party, who dis?"

Guess that was all it took to put this has-been jerk in his place.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

He Chickened Out

Here's Green Eagle's guess about the dreadful waste of broadcast time by Donald Trump tonight; and perhaps more importantly, it's the guess of Green Eagle's wife, who probably has far more sense about things than Green Eagle himself:

Trump really did intend to pull the trigger today and declare a state of emergency.  He would use it to build his lunatic wall, and if he got away with it, I am positive that he would have just gone on escalating what he would do with his new-found power, like our Corgi dog, who is never happy with any new toy until he's found a way to tear it to shreds.  But somehow, some way, some one talked him out of it, at least for today.  Who knows what he will do in a few days, if the Coulters and Limbaughs of this world ridicule him for being weak?  But at least we can get one more night's sleep without having to think about our country having literally descended into dictatorship.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Trump Revises the History of Afghanistan

But why?

Well, we know that his new line, that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan was to prevent terrorists from swarming across the Soviet Union's southern border with that country.  We also know that Vladimir Putin has recently been making the same claim.  And we all know that the claim is completely false.

So, what's going on here  Is this just one more effort by Trump to promote Putin's interests at the expense of the rest of the world?  If so, it's a mighty tiny gift.  I am afraid that there may be a much more malign reason that Trump is suddenly pushing this ridiculous claim.

So, it's okay, according to Trump, to invade another country based on specious claims that terrorists are filing across their Southern border.  Well, I know one other country in the world where, according to Trump, the government is allowing terrorists to use their land as a base to launch attacks across their border, against another country.

We often hear that only Robert Mueller knows what he knows.  But someone else knows too, and that is the target of Mueller's investigation.  And we also know that the final hail Mary strategy for this President, and one he has always hungered to do in any event, is to start a war against a country too weak to put up much resistance.  Former Republican President Ronald Reagan pulled the same trick in a minor way when he invaded Grenada, but this would outdo Reagan by a country mile.  It would be a supreme act of bullying, and other than lying, that is the only thing Trump is good at.

Trump has already claimed his right to station troops at our southern border.  It was only 4,000 this time but what if next time it is 50,000 or 100,000?  Will anyone stop him, any more than they have up to now?  And he is now claiming the right to declare a national emergency for no other reason than to save political face.  So we have the troops on the border, and what happens when Trump makes more claims of terrorist attacks from Mexico; claims with no more substance that the German staging of attacks supposedly by Polish troops that preceded the invasion of Poland?  Does anyone think this would be a step too far for Trump?  Even if escaping from the consequences of his treason were the goal?

Well, we'll see.  The only argument against this scenario that I can imagine is that Trump is too intellectually infantile to put a plot like this together; he's far more likely to march right in, and damn the hindmost.  But it is a possible explanation of his behavior that should not be just ignored.

Update:  This comment from Daily Kos today:

"Trump’s declaration of an emergency is likely to be paired with an additional deployment of troops to the border, and a resolution that makes his wall not an immigration policy, but a “military fortification.”  And that is as scary as it gets. That’s not the dial being turned up another notch under the pot holding the national frog; that’s full boil.

This is government by fiat. And on this point alone, Trump should be subject to impeachment and removal."

Well, as I said above, we'll see.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Russian Soybeans

I read today that Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will produce all the soybeans that China needs to make up for the ones no longer available from the American soybean farmers that Trump destroyed.  No problem with that- they have a right to sell food to whomever they choose, but I have just one question:  Did Trump know that Putin was ready to do that before he wrecked the U.S. trade with China in that product?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

A North Carolina House Race Suggestion

As most of you probably know, there is one Congressional race in the country which is still not decided; that being in a North Carolina House district where the Republican, currently "leading" by a few hundred votes clearly hired a corrupt operative to rig the casting of absentee ballots.  With the North Carolina elections commission temporarily nonexistent, the struggle goes on, with Republicans, of course insisting that their candidate be seated despite his criminality, and the only other remedy proposed being a whole new election, which would allow the Republicans a redo with a different candidate, and massive outside spending to buy the seat.

Here's something that I have heard nobody suggest:  The fraud perpetrated by this Republican candidate was apparently limited to a scheme involving absentee ballots.  Since people must apply for these ballots, there must be a record of everyone in this district who applied for one.  Why not just contact all of this limited number of people and have them submit new ballots?  There would need be no campaign, the election would be limited to the two previous candidates, and the results would definitively resolve this issue with minimum stress and expense.

Well, that's my suggestion.