Trump’s Day In Review (2/28/2017)

Busy day for 4.5; Executive orders, Address to Joint Houses of Congress, tamping down scandals. Today’s review slightly morphed into a running commentary on his speech.

Donald Trump

  1. Signed Executive Order to review and ultimately dismantle the “Clean Water Rule” designed to protect wetlands, streams, and waterways. Stock sure to rise for giant polluters that can’t wait to make our drinking water unsafe again.
  2. Signed Executive Order to move the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the Department of Education to the White House directly. He can now personally implement his version of Separate But Equal!
  3. Discounts persisting reports that the first raid he authorized that led to the death of a Navy Seal and several children; gathered no useful information.
  4. Starts his address to Congress by mentioning Black History Month, attacks on Jews, rejects bigotry, embraces unity. Makes a note to self to send Steve Bannon flowers and will later promise to make it up to him in racist policies, voter suppression and a Muslim ban.
  5. Went in with “America First” and “Make America Great Again.”Took credit for companies investing in America and creating jobs that were planned before the election. Drew laughter from comments about “draining the swamp” while his very swampish cabinet looked on. Suggested “coal miners’ would be great again. Promises to “build the wall.” Says nothing about Mexico paying for it.
  6. Rare appearance noted of Rex Tillerson who hasn’t had a press conference since his appointment.
  7. Somebody get Trump better fitting dentures!
  8. Promises to destroy ISIS, intends to rely on “all our friends in the Muslim world,” obviously forgetting he has no friends in the Muslim world. Only a few remaining business partners.
  9. Blames Obama for the mess he inherited. Criticizes debt racked up in the last eight years. Also forgetting his proposals including a $21 Billion wall, dramatically increasing the military, overhauling the Nuclear Arsenal, huge infrastructure investment and tax reductions for corporations and the rich will totally blow the budget.
  10. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan having WTF moments as Trump starts babbling about merit based immigration system.Ryan relaxes when he realizes nobody knows what Trump is talking about. Even Trump. He’ll go back to writing all the plans Trump proposes that don’t exist. Proposes a trillion dollar infrastructure bill. Promises to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” Talks about the false promises made and goes on to make super false promises.Wants to keep coverage for those with pre-existing conditions with easy transition. Promises tax credits, state resources for Medicaid, reduce price of drugs, purchase health insurance across state lines. Note: All Congressional members in the tank for the Pharmaceutical Industry clapping slowly.
  11. Promises accessible child care and paid family leave. Promises clean water and air on the day he signed an Executive Order to reverse the Clean Water Rule.” Promises help in fighting rare diseases, highlighting a guest with an affliction. Makes note to self not to mock her until alone.
  12. Promotes Charter Schools as a blessing for Inner-City youth. Part of his master plan to “Make Segregation Great Again!”Glides over his plans to flood the cities with additional police while freeing them from the burden of Federal supervision as Jeff Sessions recently promised the nations Attorney Generals.
  13. Goes all in on illegal immigration by creating a new organization to funnel McCarthy like hatred against immigrants. Justifying his mass deportation which is already underway which of course his administration denies.
  14. Claims about the great amount of information obtained in raid where a Navy Seal and several children died. Fighting back against reports saying the information gained was old and useless.
  15. Comes close to accurately quoting John 15:13 from the bible.As it’s not horseshoes or hand grenades he gets no credit. Takes a roundabout way of saying we won’t be accepting many more refugees. Rambles about a more peaceful world. Tries to speak of dreams and hope. Words seemingly getting stuck in his dentures.
  16. Throws shade on different religions who worship a God of another name. Draws laughter by saying, “The time of trivial fights is behind us.” This from the king of trivial fights. When the speech was over. Republicans stood and cheered. Democrats headed for the exits. Trump cheered himself.

While We Weren’t Looking

While President Trump was hosting Presidents of HBCUs. Jeff Sessions was about the work of taking away voting rights. Separately signaling to police forces to return to the good old days because the Federal Government is no longer watching and doesn’t care. Trump wants us talking about Kellyanne Conway with her feet on the Oval Office couch and her legs open because we will miss what his Attorney General was doing.

Sessions and the Justice Department officially reversed their position in the suit against the State of Texas, responding to their new law suppressing  votes. After six years of litigation, the government is abandoning its position that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities. When the Supreme Court gutted the Voter Rights Act. Then Senator Sessions said, “Good new I think, for the South.” The lawsuit will continue without the Justice Department’s participation.

US-POLITICS-CONGRESS

 

Photo: politico.com

Not content with fighting against minorities at the ballot box. Sessions told a group of State Attorney Generals the Federal Government would be pulling back from suing them for patterns of discrimination. After giving lip service to “of course” wanting police officers to “do the right thing.” He made sure they knew they need not fear the Justice Department lurking over their shoulders. Translated: When the police violate the civil rights of anyone, the Fed no longer cares. Sessions indicated the need to work with and support local police departments.

 

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Photo: businessinsider.com

Jeff Sessions and his boss Donald Trump are exactly who we thought they were. Don’t get distracted by Trump’s promise of support for HBCUs. His list of meaningless promises and even broken contracts is nearly endless. He was merely holding up a shiny ball so we can look the other way while he gouges our rights and reduces our safety.

Featured Photo: time.com

 

Justice Denied! (When Rape Isn’t Rape)

I have nothing but wonderful memories of Idaho. When I was thirteen I attended a Boy Scout National Jamboree at Lake Pend Oreille along with thousands of Scouts and leaders from around the world. I saw no prejudice, watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon on an amphitheater big screen. Joined hands and sang songs with other youth and was hopeful about the future of mankind.

Randy J. Stoker, now a Fifth District Court Judge in Twin Falls Idaho was nineteen at the time and could have attended the Jamboree as an Explorer Scout as he was of age. If he were there we might have crossed paths, been in the same crowd watching the moon landing, traded patches, even prayed together. He might have been hopeful for the future as well. Unfortunately, in his position as Judge, whatever of the Boy Scout ideals I learned are displayed quite selectively in his case. He’s TRUSTWORTHY, but only the rich can depend on him. LOYAL, to those who support him. REVERENT, he no doubt does God’s will as he sees it. Through a clouded lens.

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Judge Stoker recently heard what was seemingly a heinous but straightforward case. In tiny, Dietrich, Idaho, a community of about 330 people. Tim and Shelly McDaniel filed a charge against three football players; alleging they engaged in the racist bullying of their mentally disabled adopted teenage son. He was also a member of the football team… and he was black! The final act of bullying began with one of his teammates beckoning him for “a hug.” Believing his teammates to be his “friends,” he came to the individual who held him while the others pulled down his pants and inserted a clothes hanger in his anus. John K Howard, the one student who was not a minor, kicked the hanger, pushing it further into his rectum. In his testimony, the victim described it as, “Pain that I have never felt took over my body. I screamed… but afterwards I kept it to myself.”

During the months of bullying. His mother went to school administrators and was, “just shunned.” John K Howard was a football star and had ties to a prominent Dietrich family. The victim reported that his teammates taught him a KKK glorifying song calling for the lynching of black people. They called him, “watermelon,” “Kool-Aid,” and “Grape Soda.” During the attack they called him “nigger.”

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Several days after his teammates were named in a civil lawsuit. Football coaches taped the victim, urged on by other teammates saying, “we love you,” and “tell the truth.” The mentally challenged victim made statements later admitted into evidence in court saying his parents pressured him into testifying to support their lawsuit. He later recanted those remarks saying he told the coaches what they wanted to hear because he wanted his friends back.

The two minors involved in the attack were criminally charged and tried in Juvenile Court where their records are sealed. John K Howard, tried by Judge Randy Stoker. Received probation and community service after taking an “Alford Plea” under which he admits no guilt but concedes he likely would have been found guilty in a court of law. When giving Howard a slap on the wrist. The Honorable Randy Stoker declared both “the act didn’t constitute a sex crime” and “the assault was not racially motivated.”

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In remarks announcing sentencing he expanded on his thoughts. “Whatever happened in that locker room was not sexual. In my view this is not a case about racial bias. People from the East Coast have no idea what this case is about. But I’m not going to impose a sentence not supported by the law.” In an unrelated case he gave probation to a man who raped a 14-year-old girl, blaming the whole thing on “Social Media.”

Randy J Stoker is unfit to be a Judge. Whatever his allegiances he had demonstrated little concern for victims and no sense of justice. A petition is circulating advocating his removal. Otherwise he is up for re-election next year. While I may be jaded by my “East Coast” values. I know that justice will indeed be blind to allow him to continue to preside. Please sign the petition and share this post so that others may do the same.

The Fall Of Trump

Mike Pence thought he was nearing the end of his day. He’d spent the day on the Hill trying to lobby for a Bill that would all but destroy Planned Parenthood. He’d spent all morning in the Rayburn and Longworth buildings meeting with House members and most of the afternoon in the Hart Senate Office building meeting with Senators. He got a call from Mitch McConnell who asked if he could stop in for a few minutes before leaving. Pence looked at his watch, sighed and walked back down the hall to Mitch’s office.

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Photo: newsmax.com

He was ushered back to the inner office and was surprised to see a collection of leading Representatives and Senators, some of whom he’d met with earlier in the day. Mitch McConnell said, “We need to talk to you Mike. It’s time!”

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Photo: nytimes.com

Pence was certain he knew what Mitch meant but for clarity’s sake he said, “Time for what?”

“It’s the Russia thing” said McConnell, “we can’t control it any longer. The Post has the whole story and it’s running in the morning. They have everything, Manafort, Flynn, a couple others. They’re all gonna say Trump order them to work with the Russians. He’s done!”

“So what’s next… impeachment?”

Paul Ryan stepped forward, “Hell no, it would take a year and there’s no telling what he could do in that amount of time. Clinton was embarrassed but he rolled the dice and won. Nixon knew he couldn’t win and quit. Goddamn Trump will cling to the Presidency until the last hour and might start a war with Russia or China as a distraction.”

“So what, the 25th? It’s never been done” said Pence. “Walk me through it.”

Ted Cruz spoke up, “It’s up to you Mike. You have to declare that Trump is ‘unable to discharge the duties of the office.’ That should be easy enough to demonstrate. You inform Paul here and Orrin Hatch in the Senate. We get half the Cabinet to agree with you and he’s done. If he tries to fight that. Congress decides who ends up as President.”

Pence said, “What about Schumer and Pelosi?”

McConnell said, “Oh they’ll raise hell! We have to make the issue Trump’s mental health. If it’s about collaboration with Russia they’ll demand a new election and God knows which side the public lands on. Some of Trump’s base will stick with him no matter what. We can ram you through any votes in Congress. We’ve done all we can to keep your name clear in all of this. We’ll make you the hero that saved the Republic.”

“Like Brutus, eh?”

Ryan said, “What was he thinking anyway, dealing with Russia?”

Cruz said, “We knew he was a man with no morals or conscience. Maybe the question is, What were we thinking?

Pence said, “yeah… what were we thinking.”

Featured Photo: storify.com

Log Cabin Republicans… Sellouts?

So, the other day President Trump rescinded President Obama’s order protecting Transgender students in schools. The earlier order although held up in the courts; would have allowed Transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identification. Because the original order was signed off by the Justice Department and Department of Education. The same two Departments needed to agree to it being rescinded. Apparently Betsy DeVos had misgivings and initially withheld her consent until pressured by Jeff Sessions the Attorney General and Donald Trump.

I decided to check and see what the response was of the Log Cabin Republicans, the organization within the Republican Party that advocates for the LGBT community. I have previously sympathized with the Log Cabin Republicans and had the perception over the years that they were a long-suffering group. Fighting to make headway within an organization that often publicly and privately rejects them. I’ve watched them fight during Presidential election years against language in the Republican platform which was ultimately included. They may have had some victories along the way. I’m certainly not clocking them 24/7 but I’m not aware of any major victories.

I went to their website and read article after article along with an interview of the organization’s President, Gregory T. Angelo. I looked for their response to Donald Trump reversing gains achieved under the Obama Administration and they said… nothing. Now there were congratulations for Donald Trump for not signing an Executive Order that had apparently been written and presented to him which reversed a different Obama order providing protections from Federal contractors. There were hopes for what a Trump Presidency would mean to the gay community. They were invited by the transition team to submit a White Paper which would be duly considered. They acknowledged they were unsuccessful in keeping the Republican Platform from being as hateful as always but they apparently decided not to take them literally.

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Photo: salon.com

There was talk of progress and a great Utah compromise where they worked together with the Mormon Church to carve out some protections while allowing for “religious exceptions.” When Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Slate and the New York Times immediately found Gorsuch’s anti-LGBT views and rulings but Log Cabin Republican Republicans promised only to “review his record.” They rely on the hope that President Obama’s order involving contractors will ultimately only be amended as opposed to rescinded. In their only action with even a minimal return, they were all in for Betsy DeVos. And she had their back for a brief moment before ultimately caving.

The thought of what Log Republicans could be is apparently much greater than what they have become. They have become a full-throated voice supporting all the programs of the Republican Party including full repeal of Obamacare, 2nd Amendment rights, and opposing “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” The issues they forgot to stand up for were their own. They are excited about being a full-fledged sponsor at CPAC for the second year in a row which is something I guess.

I don’t presume to tell the Log Cabin Republicans how to be gay. I do recognize when an organization has sold out and they have at least on the leadership level. I say the same thing about Project 21. The “leading voice of black conservatives” which was founded and bankrolled by the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) which is a white right wing advocacy group. They have a website where half the articles are contributed by black members, the other half by their white overseers and no black conservatives can ever be found in the comments section of any post. Need a Project 21 speaker? Call their Speaker’s Bureau and the NCPPR will take your call and hook you right up. I don’t believe the Log Cabin Republicans are wholly owned by some faction of the Republican Party but it seems they might as well be.

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Photo: twitter.com

Something the Log Cabin Republicans are good at is asking for money. If I were to seeking the best organization to fight for LGBT issues I’d look long and hard for an independent group not beholden to the Party. Appeasement doesn’t seem to be getting them anywhere.

Featured Photo: mobile.twitter.com

Trump’s Day In Review (2/23/2017)

“58% of people report being ’embarrassed’ by Donald Trump. The other 42% were too embarrassed to admit it.”

4.5 struggling to control the news cycle as potential scandals unfold all around him.

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Photo: businessinsider.com

  1. Reince Priebus violates rules by attempting to influence an ongoing FBI investigation. He contacted both the Assistant Director of the FBI and Director James Comey to try to get them to refute claims that Trump officials had multiple contacts with Russian Intelligence officials during the campaign. Comey refused!
  2. Scott Pruitt, just confirmed as EPA Director had thousands of E-mails come out showing his ties to big oil including copying and pasting industry provided propaganda and sending it out on State letterhead. The State of Oklahoma will be releasing other information about Pruitt’s role in a botched execution in 2015 that he’s lied about since.
  3. Steve Bannon confirms “Nationalism” is the guiding force behind the Trump administration while at CPAC. He didn’t say White but it was implied. Officials there threw out White Nationalist Richard Spencer yet allowed Steve Bannon to speak with Donald Trump scheduled later in the week.
  4. Information comes out that Donald Trump didn’t personally oversee his first authorized raid which resulted in the tragic death of a Navy Seal and several children. He was instead tweeting about an upcoming television appearance.
  5. Jeff Sessions reverses Obama Administration policy to phase out Federal Prisons. Instead plans to gear up to accommodate holding people being processed for deportation.
  6. Mexican officials meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. On camera afterward, they insult the Trump immigration plan. Tillerson offers no defense.
  7. After finally reading the 25th Amendment (He’d never previously gotten past the 2nd). Trump realizes Mike Pence can quickly remove him from office by declaring he can “no longer perform the duties of office.” Starts planning an unfortunate accident for Pence… not realizing any replacement will have the same power.
  8. 58% of people report being “embarrassed” by Donald Trump. The other 42% were too embarrassed to admit it.

Featured Photo: trumpfollow.com