Trump confesses

Here’s one of his latest tweets:

confess

Now let’s see… What’s it called when the police are investigating a crime and you “fight back”?  I know there’s a term for that, when you kind of obstruct a lawful investigation…  Hmmmm…..

Understanding Trump (the ultimate spoiled brat) and what we must do now

by Guest Blogger David Gerrold

The only way to understand the orange harangutan is that he doesn’t deal well with the word “no.”

He’s the ultimate spoiled brat — he’s learned that temper tantrums get him what he wants. That works everywhere in business, but nowhere in politics.angry trump

Because he’s been a spoiled brat for so long — all his life — he thinks that’s winning. He thinks he’s good at everything because no one says no to him, they’re afraid of him, and he perceives everyone around him as either an enemy or an object to be used.

He has no empathy.

It’s an alien experience.

He’s never had to figure anything out for himself, never had to solve a problem, never had to learn any of the real skills of success.

For those who came in late — the real skills of success are partnership, negotiation, contribution, generosity, self-awareness, rationality, and an ability to consider the consequences of every action and choose appropriately. Trump has none of these. He is an undeveloped human.

But he has been so good at conning people and bullying people that he looked like a white knight for all those people who were frustrated and angry — Trump knows how to con people, he knows how to bully people, he knows how to claim all kinds of things that he isn’t. It’s a shallow pretense, not backed up by anything he demonstrates — because he is a gigantic spoiled brat.

He didn’t want to be president, he didn’t want the responsibility, he didn’t want the challenge. He simply wanted the prize. He wanted to win for the sake of winning, not because he wanted to actually roll up his sleeves and do the job.

And 60 million Americans fell for it.trump evil

Are the coal miners winning? Nope. Are the steelworkers winning? Nope. Are the farmers winning? Nope. Are you tired of winning yet?

The only ones who are winning are the millionaires, the billionaires, and the Russians.

We are approaching the end of Act 2 in this farce — the badministration of the Screechweasel-In-Chief is being peeled back like the layers of an onion. More and more of the corruption and collusion is being exposed.

The precedent is Watergate, where the crimes of the underlings gave the investigators a ladder all the way to the top. There are indictments yet to come. There is evidence yet to be heard. There are crimes yet to be uncovered. There is so much more that will come spewing out of this nightmare.

But when enough has been laid out, there will be a sea change in the country, a shift in the wind, a moment in which the national conversation will turn from an outraged submission to process to an outraged demand for an end to the frightmare in the White House.

That could happen before the end of this month. It might not happen until some time in the summer, but it will happen. We are too far down this road for it not to happen.

Removing Trump from the levers of authority?

Well — because he has turned us into a gigantic banana republic, all bets are off. All of the political and judicial processes that we have depended on for so many years have been under assault by the neo-fascists in our midst. The political mechanism has been captured. The judicial mechanisms are under assault.

What’s left — unfortunately — is violence. Assassination? Either political or literal? It could happen. Even the possibility of a military coup cannot be dismissed. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that somebody in the Kremlin has blocked out various scenarios for taking out Trump — probably before the full extent of Russian meddling can be known.

But Trump represents the greatest existential crisis for the identity of America since the Civil War. Before this is over, all of us are going to be asking who are we? What are we up to? What does it mean to be an American? What is the American promise?

Myself — I’m old fashioned.

Donald Trump

I believe that the founding document of the nation, the Declaration of Independence, had a one sentence mission statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

(The words “by their creator” were added by the religion-imbued fuddy-duddies of the Continental Congress, pouring God over everything like ketchup over a burnt meat-loaf to hide the flavor.)

Notice, by the way, that the mission statement does not say that these are the only inalienable rights. It says “among these rights” with the implication that there are others — like, oh say, the right of privacy for instance.

Our Constitution has a bill of rights, affirming the freedom of expression in its very first amendment.

Our greatest president, the man who preserved the Union, said that this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. He also meant that this government must be accountable to the people.

The idea of America is that no government can exist without the consent of the governed.

The idea of America is that we are a land of opportunity — that we are the land of the free, the home of the brave.

The idea of the America is that we are a nation of immigrants, with the Statue of Liberty not only standing as a beacon of hope, but also as a welcome to those seeking a better life.

As a nation, we have not always kept our promises. We’ve been selfish, stupid, greedy, and dangerous. We have a history of slavery, genocide, and conquest. We’ve been at war for most of our history. We’ve exploited the resources of other nations. We have bases all over the world, we have become an empire.

And yet — we still give lip service to the promises of the past. Despite the efforts of the neo-fascists to rewrite the national conversation, most Americans have grown up with the promises of the past as a promise for a better future. It is up to us to remember the better angels of our nature, the greater goals that this nation has set for itself.loser

The words of John F. Kennedy are a good start. “We choose to do these things because they are hard, not because they are easy.”

That’s the spirit of America that has inspired us to greatness. This is the nation that ended polio and put men on the moon. There are greater challenges ahead of us. Economic. Ecological. Social.

But it’s in our Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Right there — that’s the promise of America. That’s what we need to remember. That’s what we need to recommit ourselves to.

Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. Novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. He also has a story in the anthology BAKER STREET IRREGULARS (edited by me!). His web page is here.

Search warrants on lawyers

There is indeed a lawyer/client privilege, but it doesn’t really apply when the lawyer is the one breaking the law.

Trump’s attorney was the subject of a search warrant last night, and Trump immediately called it a “Democratic witch hunt.”  Just to put things in perspective:

Republican Mueller, who was appointed by a Republican and approved by a Republican Congress, got a Republican FBI lawyer appointed by Trump to approve a warrant that was signed by a Republican judge.

Clearly a Democratic witch hunt.1ymb8t

But let’s discuss that warrant. Searching a lawyer’s office is much harder than searching anywhere else because of the risks of breaking into that lawyer/client privilege. Therefore, in order to get that warrant, you have these requirements (according to the Washington Post):

  1. Before obtaining a search warrant, investigators had to try to obtain the evidence in another way, such as by subpoena.
  2. The authorization for the warrant had to come from either the U.S. attorney or an assistant attorney general. (Rosenstein is deputy attorney general, a higher position than assistant attorney general.)
  3. The prosecutor had to confer with the criminal division of the department before seeking the warrant.
  4. The team conducting the search had to “employ adequate precautions” to ensure that they weren’t improperly viewing privileged communications between Cohen and his clients.
  5. The search team would have included a “privilege team,” including lawyers and agents not working the case, which would work to ensure that investigators conducting the search didn’t see privileged communications.
  6. The investigators had to develop a review process for the seized material

So here we go. Pass the popcorn.

stewart popcorn

This is not normal

“McCabe is retiring in two days and then will be out of your hair, Mr. President.”make america normal

“No, I have a better idea. Let’s fire him now instead. That will give him a huge public platform and lots of media coverage where he can discuss the whole investigation and bring it to everyone’s attention.”

“Uh… brilliant, Sir.” (walks away, mumbling) “…fucking moron…”

This is not normal. Trump isn’t qualified to run a Waffle House, much less a White House. If a Waffle House had this kind of turnover of employees, it would be a sure sign that the manager was incompetent.

 

Donald Trump’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Well. Yesterday (March 13, 2018) was certainly interesting.

It started when Rex Tillerson, the unqualified Secretary of State, made a comment about how Russia was doing evil things as usual. Now, you may recall that Tillerson called Trump a “fucking moron” months ago, but this was just too much, and Trump fired him over the factually true Russian statement.

Which makes Trump a fucking moron.

Tillerson’s assistant Steve Goldstein said something else true — that Trump had not spoken to Tillerson and had fired him without notice (and on Twitter, nonetheless). youre-fired

So it wasn’t too long before we learned that Goldstein was likewise fired. Can’t have people telling the truth in the Trump White House now, can we?

“Lots of Presidents have done this,” said Trump supporters. Yes, everyone remembers when Harry Truman famously tweeted “MacArthur no longer has a place in my administration. Sad.”

Then we discover that two more Trump higher-ups resigned, including the spokesman for ICE out in California, who said he “no longer could no longer spread falsehoods” for the Trump administration.

Then to make matters worse, at the end of the night the Democratic candidate in a special election in western Pennsylvania appears to have beaten the Republican. This is in a very red district that voted for Trump by 20% and where Trump went and campaigned in just days earlier.

Let’s hope Trump continues to have many more days like this, shall we?

Summarizing the Nunes memo

I’m trying to summarize this memo that has the GOP all a-twitter. Let’s see if I got it straight.

Our intelligence agents knew Carter Page was in deep with the Russians, had given speeches in Russia about how great Russia was, and was suspected to be a Russian agent. gettyimages-645342704crop

They knew he was also working with the Trump campaign and was probably involved with deals between the campaign and Russia. They had already been following him and had a legitimate warrant to do so.

Their job is to gather information from whatever sources they can. They got a hold of a document that had information first gathered by Republicans trying to stop Trump and then Democrats trying to stop Trump. They used that information to obtain a second legitimate warrant. And then a third.

I think that’s it.

The GOP claims that the investigators looking into this and suspecting Trump of being a part of this were “biased” and therefore the investigation into this conspiracy should be suspended because it’s all made up (despite the fact that we already have people who have pled guilty).

Nowhere do I see any claim that the information in the document was incorrect or that the warrant wasn’t justified.

As for bias, allow me to say that I work with police officers every day, and when they have a suspect, yes, they tend to be “biased” against them.  That’s kind of their job.

So. Can someone please tell me what all the fuss is about? What am I missing?

White House just can’t stop lying

The latest lie blames the Democrats for the government shutdown. This is despite the fact that the Republicans couldn’t even get enough votes from their own party to reach 50%.

Mind you, this isn’t just a talking point. In a completely unprecedented and childish move that is 100% away from “Presidential,” the White House has stopped answering the phone, and people who call get a message blaming the Democrats. I am not making this up.
angry trump

Let’s recap. The GOP said “If you don’t either kill the Dreamer program or CHIP which provides health care to poor children, and if you don’t let us build the wall, we’re going to shut the government down.”

Or, to put it another way, “We have hostages. Do what we say and we will only kill one of them.”

The Dreamer Program (DACA, which stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”) is supported by 87% of all Americans, who clearly think it’s a pretty good idea. This allows innocent children who were brought here illegally by their parents to stay in this country if they do certain things (don’t get arrested, stay in school, join our military, etc.). It has been wildly successful. People like helping children. But, of course, the GOP hates it for some reason. (Hint: it helps brown people.)

CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) similarly provides support for kids who, through no fault of their own, are poor.  It is supported by 75% of Americans because, come on, we’re nice people who think children deserve not to die. Once more, the GOP says “screw you” to what the vast majority of Americans want.

And then there’s the Wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for. Now he wants us to pay for it. This is opposed by 63% of Americans as it has been since Trump first started spouting it on the campaign trail. Do you think the Republicans care what Americans want? (And why only a border wall with Mexico and not Canada?  Hint: brown people again.)

The Democrats are standing up for what the vast majority of Americans want. Yet the GOP still claims it’s the Democrats’ fault.

The House came up with a compromise (because that’s what government is all about — compromising) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with the president and worked out a deal. Trump, of course, then broke his promise to Schumer almost immediately and then blamed Schumer. “Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with jello,” Schumer said.

Yet they still say it’s the Democrats’ fault.

You’d think a man who ran on the platform of being “the world’s greatest negotiator” would have been able to come to some sort of compromise, wouldn’t you? But of course, for that to happen, it would have meant that Trump would have told the truth.

And that’s just clearly not in his character.