If You Think Being President Ages You… Try Being In Jail

It’s been well documented that being President of the United States rapidly ages the office holder. The never-ending responsibility, the pressure, loss of sleep. None have escaped the toll that four or eight years as President takes on a person. Barack Obama may have cracked a bit less than his predecessors but the evidence is still clear.

There’s another kind of episode that will take a toll, especially for one ill-suited for the experience. Going to jail. Donald Trump wouldn’t do well in jail. When you realize he thinks of the White House as, “a dump.” He can’t possibly feel good about any of our Federal Prisons. The good news is that it will cost us less to protect him there than at Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, or any of his other estates.

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Photo: tw2sl.com

We know from watching celebrities that have preceded him, he’ll be unable to use his orange dye and make-up which allows him to pass for 70 now, (he’s 71). On the positive side for Donald, he’ll probably lose weight by being placed on a strict diet although I don’t picture him making use of the exercise area in “the yard.”

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Photo: dailymail.co.uk

No U.S. President has ever gone to jail before. There is the precedent of Ford pardoning Nixon to prevent that possibility, “for the good of the nation.” If Trump is found to have conspired with an enemy power to influence our elections? If he’s found to have willfully laundered money from the Russian mob? An example must be set. He must go to prison!

The bright side is he’ll likely be near his son and many of his loyal acolytes. When George Papadopoulos was charged with having lied to the FBI it must have sent shivers down the spines (can the spineless have spines?) of Donald, Jr., Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, and others who we know have lied to the FBI. Maybe it will be a big reunion of the campaign team, Trump can greet them, “Hey, we’re getting the old gang back together!” None of them will age well.

Featured Photo: twitter.com

The Tell-Tale Tweets

The old man’s obsession began right after the election. Everywhere he went people were talking about Russia. He thought “winning” would make the talk go away. Instead, the voices grew louder, speaking of collusion, a dossier, and a urine-stained mattress. With all the power he possessed, he couldn’t make the voices stop. After a time he came upon a solution, get rid of James Comey. That would make it all stop. He met with Comey and requested his loyalty but Comey did not agree. He asked Comey to publicly proclaim his innocence but Comey would not. The old man wasn’t sleeping well and when he did sleep he had nightmares of losing all he had worked for. It was Comey that would be his undoing. He had people watching Comey for signals he might be ready to attack. The old man would get him first… he must… so he fired him. Bragging to his Russian friends he had made his problems go away. But they did not.

Too Little Too Late

Within hours he realized things had only gotten worse. People were saying he “obstructed justice” and Comey was still out there. Information leaked to the press that could only have come from Comey. His hand-picked Attorney General recused himself, removing the sole barrier from future attacks. Congress was reacting to the leaked information and the little man that replaced Sessions appointed a Special Counsel without telling him, Mueller was the Special Counsel’s name.

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The old man was sleeping even less. Wandering the halls of the White House late at night. Calling all his friends, though his calls more frequently were going to voice-mail. The only release he had from this madness was his tweets!

They started slow, talking about “fake news” and “no collusion!” He wanted to fire Mueller too but his worthless aides kept telling him not to. It would only make things worse. The old man’s tweets started coming at a faster pace. They were becoming more deranged, with clarity missing and spelling worse than before. He knew he was out of control but he couldn’t help himself.

Then an announcement came on a Friday that one or more indictments would come on Monday. His tweets became frantic, he blamed Clinton… and Obama. He didn’t know who they would be coming for. Would it be Flynn, Manafort, Kushner, his own son? Would they already be coming for him?

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Monday came and there was an early announcement that Manafort and his man Gates were being charged. The old man scoured the charges and saw nothing about Russia. He tweeted, “NO COLLUSION” in all caps. Then a third indictment was announced. Another man, Papadopoulos, had been arrested way back in July. He’d plead guilty and been secretly working with the prosecution. The old man had a rat in his organization. What did he know, what had he learned?

#HimToo

The old man couldn’t take it any more, he has a picture of Mueller he constantly stares at, now thinking of him as he once thought of Comey. He noticed a pale blue, vulture-like eye which appeared to be staring at him. Mueller must be gotten rid of. He thought to himself, “I’ll fire him! Yes, how could that go wrong?

To be continued…

Trump Word For The Day: Indictment(s)

What is an Indictment?

An indictment is a formal accusation against an individual suspected of committing a crime. Indictments are generally only obtained for felony charges. An indictment is used as an alternative to a complaint in a trial court. A complaint is also an accusation against an individual, but the individual generally must have been arrested as a result of probable cause against him before the complaint can be entered.

However, an indictment against an individual can be obtained before any arrest is made. Further, while a complaint is an affidavit signed by the prosecutor, an indictment is the product of sworn testimony, sometimes by several witnesses, and therefore holds more weight in court. Indictments are used most in the federal court system but can be used in the state court system as well.

What this means to Donald Trump?

It means he won’t be getting much sleep while he waits to see who among his people are being indicted. Will it be one of his Campaign Managers? A treasonous General, his son-in-law, or his son? Once you find out who’s charged, you then have to start figuring out what they know about you? Are they so loyal to you that they’ll go to jail in your place? Will they flip on you faster than an IHOP pancake?

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This is only the beginning… They’re coming for you Donald and this is but the first act of the play!

Donald Trump: #HimToo

When Mark Halperin went to work on Monday he was riding high. By the end of the week, he’d lost his cable news gigs, had a major book deal canceled along with an HBO miniseries, and been disavowed by friends and employers after several women came out and accused him of sexual harassment.

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It began with anonymous allegations reported Wednesday on CNN. Halperin issued a statement denying the specifics of the allegations but then more women came out including one publicly. Halperin responded with a statement, “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.” In can certainly be disputed that he “stepped back” because he was certainly fired in most cases. He still, of course, must explain all this to the girlfriend he lives with.

This comes on the heels of Harvey Weinstein who has been accused by dozens of women of sexual assault ranging from unwanted touching, forcing them to watch him masturbate, and rape. Weinstein has been fired by the company that bore his name and multiple law enforcement agencies around the globe are looking at possible prosecution. Many of the women that accused him are famous, some because of Weinstein. Some we’ve never heard of and Weinstein had a role in that too. Because of his stature in Hollywood, the spotlight on him has swept up his partners and associates whose behavior is being questioned like Ben and Casey Affleck and others who at least knew and said nothing.

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For at least a couple news cycles, bad behavior by men is being highlighted and with some consequences. Congress has threatened investigation, but their own rules require accusers to undergo months of counseling and mediation before filing a lawsuit. If a settlement does take place, it’s paid from a special US Treasury Fund and not the pockets of the accused. Between 1997 and 2014, the Treasury paid settlements to 235 people in the amount of $15.2 million for “workplace violations” including sexual assault and harassment.

The message that corporations, Congress, Hollywood, and others are trying frantically to send to women is that “we hear you!” Sexual harassment and assault are no longer to be accepted and offenders will quickly be dealt with. Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, and Harvey Weinstein were rich men with power and were taken down. Bill Cosby will be undergoing a second trial. Things are better now, and everything can go back to normal. We might even believe that if not for that glaring exception, Donald Trump.

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To date, Donald Trump has been accused by at least 13 women (and one 13-year-old child) of sexual harassment and even rape. His money and power have apparently been enough to ward off his critics. His business relationships with people like Mark Burnett who before being recently named President of the MGM Television and Digital Group, was the Executive Producer for Trump’s, “The Apprentice.” Several people have reported taped incidents while on the set of Trump engaging in boorish behavior and harassing women. Burnett refuses to release the tapes, so we’re left with the tape we know exists where Trump admits to sexual assault and his ability to, “grab women in the pussy” because he’s a star.

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Twitter has a hashtag trending called, #HimToo where women are calling out men who have abused them and for various reasons felt they could say nothing. For those adding names to the list. Don’t forget Donald Trump, for if he’s allowed to exist, others will remain as well. There are things we can do if you aren’t willing to accept Donald Trump bragging about his abuse with no penalty and others who have abused their power to assault women. Pressure can be applied to Burnett. MGM Studios and NBC to release the Trump tapes. We can demand Congress update it’s 1995 rules that protect themselves as opposed to the women (and boys) who need protection from them. We can never again elect a known predator to any office. And we can name Trump and others for what they are, #HimToo!

The Breeding Farms: What America Doesn’t Want You To Know

In 1808, America banned the import of slaves from Africa and the West Indies. The impact on actual slavery in America was almost non-existent. There was still some limited smuggling of slaves but the majority of new slaves in America came from what Professor Eric Foner called, “natural increase.” One could reasonably ask, “Why ban slave imports and not slavery itself?” The answer is because, for many of the proponents of the prohibition including Thomas Jefferson, the reason was not based on humanitarian concerns but on economics. The South was producing and selling enough slaves internally that the slave trade was reducing prices for slaves and cutting into profits.

In 1819, another act was passed allowing US ships to not only patrol its own shores but the coast of Africa in an attempt to stop slave ships at the source. Not for concerns about ending slavery but in protectionism for American slave owners. Everything was contingent on the fact that there was a “self-sustaining” population of about four million slaves in America at the time. Southern legislators joined with northern ones in passing both the acts that banned the external slave trading but ignored slavery.

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Most of us are aware that slave owners often bred their slaves to produce more workers. We are taught almost nothing about the breeding farms whose function was to produce as many slaves as possible for the sale and distribution throughout the South to meet their needs. Two of the largest breeding farms were located in Richmond, VA, and the Maryland Eastern-Shore.

As far as cities I’ve never lived in, I’ve spent as much time in Richmond, VA as anywhere. I traveled there multiple times a year, often for a few days or a week at a time. Richmond is serious about most of its history. I’ve visited the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. Monument Avenue contains several statues mostly of Confederate Civil War heroes; Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee are honored there as is the late African-American tennis star Arthur Ashe who was from Richmond. In August 2017, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said Richmond would consider the “potential removal” of the statues glorifying the legacy of the South after issues raised in nearby conflicts and protests involving white supremacists. One major part of Richmond’s history is barely remembered, hardly spoken of and taught publicly nowhere.

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Richmond is a port city. Unlike the scenes, you may have seen on television of slaves being off-loaded from ships and sold at auction. Richmond exported between 10,000 to 20,000 slaves a month to states further south and west. Slavery, not tobacco was Virginia’s primary domestic crop. Yet you never hear the names of the industry leaders, Robert Lumpkin ran his “jail” which was a compound surrounded by a 12-foot fence with iron spikes. Should a slave escape, by law, The Fugitive Slave Act, they would be returned courtesy of the Federal government. The slave population of the breeding farm was mostly women and children not old enough to be sold, and a limited number of men whose job was to impregnate as many slave women as possible. The slaves were often given hoods or bags over their heads to keep them from knowing who they were having forced sex with. It could be someone they know, perhaps a niece, aunt, sister, or their own mother. The breeders only wanted a child that could be sold.

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Richmond also had five railroads. Slaves could be shipped both by rail and boat which allowed slaves to arrive in better condition and thus fetch a higher price. Slavery was always about something more than man’s inhumanity towards man. It was always about economics. Cheap labor that allowed America to compete with other nations. Much of America was literally built on slavery. Texas schoolbooks are now trying to make it sound not quite so bad. The breeding farms receive no mention at all.

What If Trump Chopped Down The Cherry Tree?

There is a myth when George Washington was six-years-old he received a gift of a hatchet from his father. Trying out his new hatchet, he chopped on and severely damaged a cherry tree on the plantation. George’s father confronted him and George said, “Father I cannot tell a lie, I did cut it with my hatchet!” George’s father embraced him, George’s honesty being worth far more than the tree. Can you imagine if Donald Trump cut down a cherry tree?

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Fred Trump said, “George… come here!”

“Yes, father.”

“I see the cherry tree has been cut down, Did you do it?”

“Why no father, it wasn’t me! A lot of people say it was a slave! I saw hundreds of slaves in New Jersey cheering when the tree fell.”

“You know we’re in Virginia George?”

“It was reported,”

“Where is your hatchet?”

“I gave it to Ben Carson.”

“You gave your hatchet to a slave… why?

“Daddy, you know Ben Carson is free?”

“Hmmph, can’t tell it by me. So where is he?”

“I’ve got some private investigators looking for him and they’re reporting back unbelievable things.”

“Are you sure you’re telling the truth, Donald?”

“Of course father, my friends Sarah, Sean & John Kelly say I always tell the truth.”

“Somebody cut down the tree and I’m going to get to the bottom of it. Who do you think did it?”

“Illegal immigrants?”

“George, we’re all second and third generation, illegal immigrants, except the Indians.”

“They don’t count!”

“True.”

“I’ll be issuing a press conference probably by next Wednesday and you won’t believe the things I’m finding out about the tree.”

“Can’t you tell me now George, I can’t be late to the Klan meeting anymore this month, we have bylaws.”

“Enjoy your meeting father, I’m all over this tree thing… bigly!”

 

A House Without Honor

We’ve officially run out of hope there was anyone in the White House with some semblance of honor. None we can trust in discussing the smallest of matters, let alone the big ones. The nation knew what it was getting in Donald Trump, serial cheater with an extensive background of sexual assault and financial bad faith. Liar extraordinaire.

Let Them Eat Cake

There was some hope that those around him would do better, perhaps appeal to his better self should it exist. We were told he’d assembled an excellent National Security team. Men of honor who would put country first ahead of politics. Flynn, Tillerson, Pompeo, and Mattis. Gen. Mike Flynn lasted 24 days before resigning after reports of undisclosed meetings with Russians and being an undeclared foreign agent for Turkey. Tillerson has presided over the gutting of the State Department and the world sees him as castrated, unable to speak for the President without being overridden by a tweet. Pompeo recently proclaimed the Intelligence Agencies concluded Russia had no impact on the Presidential election when they said no such thing. Mattis initially fought the good fight but soon crumbled. becoming just another sycophant. Pence sold his soul long ago and Sessions is on a one=man tear to bring back mass incarceration and further legalize voter suppression. Carson is a joke!

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The professional liars that speak for the President; Spicer and Scaramucci are long gone, soulless Sanders misinforms us now with guest appearances on television by Kellyanne. Bannon left but exerts more power on the President and his Party than ever before. Someone has to coordinate with the Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and white supremacists.

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They told us Ivanka would be a good influence, promoting women’s issues, child care and protecting dreamers. Having influence on none of those things, she’s settled for her new business deals with China. Her free time is spent on her hidden e-mail account on a private server and talking with her new criminal attorney.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

Jared was that bright young man that was our next, best hope. It seems he’s had even more Russian contacts than Flynn and almost as many conflicts of interest as his father-in-law. He hired some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country, beating the run on criminal lawyers by pretty much the rest of the Administration as they ready themselves for Special Counsel Mueller’s questions. We won’t mention Manafort who didn’t even make it through the campaign before millions in Ukranian cash payments from pro-Putin oligarchs tripped him up. The FBI assures him he’ll be indicted.

Manafort under the bus

It seemed the only honorable person left in the White House was Gen. Kelly. That was before he stood behind the White House podium and lied about a speech by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Of course, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands by the lie which makes it doubly false. He was “stunned” that the Congresswoman, “listened in” to a call from the President to the widow of a fallen Green Beret. This while Kelly and “several others” according to Sanders were listening in when the President made the call.

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There is nobody left we can hope to believe about anything. I’m waiting patiently until we get to the stage where we have public testimony in the Russia hearings. Lie then!