Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Marvin Gaye spoke about the Ecology when many artists were afraid to. His second single from the 1971 “What’s Going On” album was controversial and many stations initially wouldn’t play it. It won a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was both observant and prescient, also ignored. As ineffective as Donald Trump has been with major legislation. He’s literally killing us with small nicks and cuts.

a a marvinn

Photo: 45cat.com

 

Whoa, ah, mercy mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east

On February 17,2017, Donald Trump appointee Scott Pruitt is confirmed as EPA Administrator. He doesn’t believe in climate change.

Whoa mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury

On March 2nd, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rescinded a ban on lead ammunition which can poison birds and animals on Federal lands and waters. The EPA withdraws a request for more information on Methane gas emissions and other volatile compounds. Trump worried about the cost to oil and gas companies.

Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation underground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying

On March 24th, the State Department approves the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Oh mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?

On March 29th, the EPA stops trying to ban the use of Chlorpyrifos on up to 40,000 farms. The insecticide has already been banned for household use and can cause brain damage in children and farm workers, even at low levels. EPA chemical safety experts were against the decision. Trump’s Dept. of Agriculture said it was, “helpful to farmers.”

Oh, no no, na, na na, na
My sweet Lord, na, na, na
My Lord, my sweet Lord

On June 1st, Donald Trump announces the US will pull out of the Paris Climate Accords. One of the factors in his decision was not liking the way the new French President shook his hand at the recently concluded G-7 meetings.

Mercy, mercy me…

Featured Photo: twitter.com

Who Wrote The Senate Health Care Bill?

 

a health carrr

Photo: twitter.com

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed a 13-member committee to write their version of a Health Care Bill that has been secreted from the American Public although McConnell plans to hold a vote on the bill within a week. This committee consists of all white-males who are apparently better disposed to make decisions on behalf of women and minorities than they would themselves if given the chance. No Democrat to date have seen the bill. Most Republicans haven’t seen the bill. In an amazing statement yesterday from Sen. Mike Lee (R) Utah, one of the group writing the bill. He doesn’t know what’s in the Bill either. The Bill will be released for the first time tomorrow morning (6/23) to a Republican only group of Senators after which details are expected to start leaking to the public. With Mike Lee, one of the alleged authors saying he doesn’t know what’s in it. The fundamental question is, “Who is writing this Bill?”

a health care

Photo: mediate.com

Money Magazine recently posted an article on the 13 Senators including the primary sources of their political contributions. Most of them have Health Care firms listed in their top-five donors. Is the Bill being written by industry insiders, A.L.E.C., somebody in their mother’s basement? Who wrote this Bill?

This Bill affects 1/6th of the American economy and almost all of us individually. It’s voyage through the Senate has been less transparent than perhaps any other in American history. We will eventually find out what’s in it, although Mitch McConnell wants to hold a vote before any town halls and public input can be held. He’s refused to meet with national patient advocate groups about the bill. We’ll find out what’s in it. I want to know who wrote it?

If you want to know as well. Please share this widely.

Featured Photo: dailywire.com

When They Start Shooting Republicans

On June 14, 2017, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson shot up a baseball diamond where a Republican Congressional baseball team was practicing in advance of their annual game against the Democrats. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was critically injured and three others were shot by the assailant. Hodgkinson himself was shot and killed by the security detail that accompanied Scalise, a member of leadership in the House.

I had something to say at the time, but elected to wait, listen, and watch the fallout from the event. As America learned more about the shooter and Monday morning quarterbacks told us the reasoning behind his actions. We were told of his support for Bernie Sanders and his progressive leanings. I heard tales of the rise of left wing radical groups and the threat they present to conservatives Americans. I heard about how Democrats needed to tone down their anti-Trump rhetoric and hatred of Republicans. It seems everyone with something to say about the shooting had an agenda. I waited still.

We learned about James Hodgkinson’s history of domestic violence. In 2006 , he was arrested for domestic battery and discharge of a firearm. He punched his daughter’s friend, shot at another person present. He beat his daughter and threw her around a room. When she tried to flee in her car he choked her and tried to cut her out of her seatbelt. In what should be a story of it’s own, the charges were later dismissed.

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Photo: wsj.com

It seems that 54% of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016 involved domestic violence. After the shooting at the baseball park, there was a feeble attempt to once again raise the subject of sensible gun control. Like always it was a non-starter as the hold the NRA has on Congress is too strong. Even when they themselves start getting shot. But that isn’t what I wanted to write about.

We heard a lot about unity. How Republicans and Democrats need to come together, not letting partisanship come between us. How Americans should unite! The charity game the Republicans were practicing for was played the evening after the shooting. Over 25,000 people attended and money was raised for good causes. The Democrats won and handed the trophy to the Republicans, to be placed in the office of Steve Scalise upon his return. Predominantly old, white men hugged each other and proclaimed “unity” had been accomplished while their respective agenda’s went unchanged promising nothing of the sort.

Republican Senators went right back to trying to pass a Health Care Bill without debate, without hearings. 13 predominantly old white men are meeting in secret to come up with a plan that they will try to move through the Senate before anyone has a chance to understand it. When I said “predominantly old white men,” they were all white with no minority representation. They were all men. They just weren’t all old. So much for unity. I don’t want to write about that either.

What I did want to touch on was the narrative about the rising violence on the left. The alleged clear and present danger to conservatives who dare to stand up for American values. These would be the same conservatives who ignore the rise in right wing hate groups. Anti-Muslim hate groups. The reemergence of the Klan and White Nationalism. It’s presence in the White House (Bannon), the sons of the President who never met a Neo-Nazi or White Nationalist meme they didn’t like or in their case retweet. They justify the racist past and present of the President himself.

There is a prominent news network (Fox) that has done much to stoke the fears and hatred of  White Americans. They gave you the Tea Party and helped give us Trump. The truth was often obscured by a narrative that others are taking what is rightfully theirs. Not to give Fox sole credit, Breitbart, Infowars, even the National Review and The Wall Street Journal deserve their due. All of them helped to generate specifically White activism in behalf of White causes. They made heroes of extremist groups in standoffs against the government. They encouraged militias. They encouraged and motivated them by making them mad.   And now Republicans, I’m arriving the point I did want to get to. They’re mad at you!

In this instance it was a progressive fanatic who shouldn’t have been able to get a gun in the first place who was the shooter. He made sure it was Republicans he was shooting before opening fire. He carried a list with the names of several Republicans and their office information which some are calling a “hit list.” Congress has begun discussing how to fund additional security for it’s members. Almost all members including Democrats have at one time or another received threats. But back to the angry white people.

Republican Congressional Representatives and Senators have greatly reduced and in some cases halted altogether holding town halls. Their prime mechanism for communicating with the people. On the heels of their attempts to pass a Health Care Bill that will take Health Care away from 23 million Americans including many of their own supporters. They have literally became afraid of their own constituents. They have much more to fear than an inconsequential number of left wing extremists. Trump and by their silence Republicans in Congress, promised the return of coal mines that were never lost due to environmental regulations but by a technology that has made those jobs obsolete. They were promised “good manufacturing jobs, deportation of undocumented immigrants, Hillary would be “locked up” and they would be “great again.” They gave you Trump and those promises are now due.

Republicans made those people mad, they ensured they were armed and had the God-given right to own guns bigger than they could carry. You made promises you had no chance of keeping, the lone exception where you would give huge tax cuts to the rich while the rest of us suffered more. Steve Scalise’s last town hall was held by telephone where he only accepted screened calls from supporters.

a scalise2

Photo: romper.com

For all of the discord and rancor between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Unity isn’t really that hard to accomplish on many levels because most members have far more in common than what separates them. Your Congress consists mainly of rich white people or those dependent on the support of the same who get together and decide the fate of the rest of us. They are beholden to special interests and far more likely to favor corporate interests than those of their constituents. The unity that needs to be promoted is not among members of Congress but among the American people who would be better served by the type of Healthcare that focuses on service and not profits. The people would benefit by a reasonable immigration policy and a foreign policy that isn’t us against the world. The people would benefit from efforts to protect the ecology rather than elected officials ignoring it in favor of corporate greed and their own prospects for re-election.

I would say to Republicans and only to a slightly lesser degree Democrats in the Congress. Serve the people. The disapproval levels for the President has reached 64%, even more people disapprove of Congress. Start looking out for more than the rich because your biggest concern ought to be that your own are turning on you. Don’t believe it? Watch a town hall!

Photo: twitter.com

 

 

Suppose Comey Taped Trump?

In response to the testimony of ousted FBI Director James Comey who indicated the President lied multiple times regarding their private dinner. Donald Trump in a Rose Garden press conference went full Trump. He blustered, mischaracterized James Comey’s words and stated both that it was Comey that lied and that Trump himself would gladly testify under oath, “100 Percent!”

When asked by reporters about the alleged “tapes” that Trump may have of their conversation. Trump neither confirmed or denied but said he’d have an announcement to make in a “very short period of  time.”

While I believe that Trump has no such tapes, and if he did they would confirm Comey’s testimony. He wouldn’t be Trump if he didn’t lie and boast about some future event that will never take place. It’s almost certain that Trump has no tapes, but let’s imagine for a moment that Comey does?

a rose gardenn

Photo: huffingtonpost.com

The dinner where the meeting took place was held inside the White House. I don’t know all the security protocols the FBI Director would have went through when entering the building. He certainly would have been able to keep his phone (a recording device) and if anyone in the world could bring a discreet recording device into the White House I imagine the FBI Director would have access to the best technology.

When Trump first implied he might have tapes of their discussion. Could Comey have started a long game in which he gets Trump to testify under oath which he just promised and then produce tapes of his own? Proving Trump guilty of perjury.

a rose garden1

Photo: time.com

It’s already been established that in Washington DC, only one person has to be aware of the recording of a conversation. If that person was Comey and not Trump. By sticking to his lie, Trump just opened up yet one more path to his political destruction. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

Featured Photo: cnn.com

Did the Russians Hack Black Voters Because Nobody Would Care?

“I suspect a bit of both is true because the people most heavily impacted by the voting problems whether caused by Russians or Republicans, were Black!”

On June 5th, a Top-Secret NSA report was leaked showing Russia had done much more than was commonly known in their attempts to influence the US Presidential Election in 2016. The Russians hacked a Florida based software provider that helped manage voter registration programs in several states. The media duly reported the potential problems this could create including people showing up and finding they were removed from the voting rolls or processes could be slowed to create long lines in targeted areas. The narrative we were asked to focus on was that there is no evidence any votes were actually changed and there was nothing to see here.

a a vote

Photo: slate.com

While admittedly there’s a lot going on in the news including daily new reports on Russian ties to the Trump campaign or the President’s erratic behavior. Upcoming testimony from James Comey and other intelligence officials outlining possible obstruction of justice by Trump. With all that’s going on I want to stop a minute and take a look at what just happened. The press outlined the potential dangers without taking the logical next step to see if any of those things actually occurred? There were hundreds of thousands of people turned away from the polls. There were crazy long lines in many urban areas. These things were reported contemporaneously right after the election. How much would it have taken to link those events and at least question whether or not the Russians were successful in disrupting the voting process? I find it hard to believe that I’m the only one making this connection. There are only two other possibilities.

  1. The long lines and voters turned away raised no red flags because we expected to see precisely those things as a result of the voter suppression methods well known to be in place.
  2. People in power know… but don’t care.

I suspect a bit of both is true because the people most heavily impacted by the voting problems whether caused by Russians or Republicans, were Black!

a a voter

Photo: twitter.com

There has always been a bit of complicity regarding the suppression of Black votes in America. Voting rights have always been a negotiation where Black voters were allowed a certain amount of power and no more. When first given the widespread legal right to vote, Black people in Mississippi and elsewhere began sending Representatives to Congress and started to touch upon achieving true power. Their voting strength was only possible due to the presence of Federal troops in the South. When withdrawn as a result of the Compromise of 1877, Reconstruction was effectively over. For every Voter Rights Act that was passed there was a Supreme Court decision eventually gutting it. This is the history of our country. They giveth and they taketh away.

There is a pretense apparently acceptable to both Republicans, Democrats and the Supreme Court. It’s okay to have redistricting that nullifies Black votes if the reason is merely partisan and not racist. In other words, al long as they don’t call it racist, without regard to a racist effect, it’s not.

It’s very possible that Russian interference is hard to determine because what they may have attempted is exactly what current day Republicans and latter day Democrats have done to curtail Black votes. Black voters have always faced externally imposed long lines, limited polling locations, reduced voting hours. While attempting to vote is no longer likely to get a Black person lynched. There are as many forces in play to limit their votes as ever before. If Russia wanted to influence the last Presidential election. All they had to do was imitate Republicans and inhibit the vote of those that those in power are willing to overlook.

The story of Russian influence on voter registration programs is already fading into the background. I wonder if it’s because the results are compatible with the greater design?

Feature Photo: youtube.com

I Finally Agree With Donald Trump

After constant railing against all things Trump. I’m inspired to change tactics. It’s been proven time after time that Trump listens to the last person that talks to him and that he likes it when people say nice things about him. I can’t necessarily be last but I can talk nice and finally found something I can agree with him on.

It’s being reported that Trump has been disgusted with Jeff Sessions ever since he recused himself from the FBI investigation against Donald and many of his administration. He believes that there would be no Special Counsel or constantly expanding investigations had Sessions simply played his role and stifled all that stuff which was what he was appointed for in the first place.

Attorney General

Photo: photoapple.com

So yes Donald… you’re right. Had it not been for the ungrateful Jeff Sessions. You’d be spending your time banning Muslims, destroying health care and granting huge tax cuts to yourself, your family and rich friends. I agree with what in your genius you must have already thought of. You should fire Jeff Sessions who bailed on you instead of standing firm on the one thing he was hired to do. Protect your flabby behind. And while you’re at it. Try to remove his entire legacy like his name was Obama. Roll back the hyper mass incarceration he’s already reinstated. Undo the new levels of deportation and ICE raids along the border. Stop trying to void all the Consent Decrees between Cities and their police departments. Go with your gut Donald. You got this!

Featured Photo: wgntv.com

My Friend Donald Trump: The Final Chapter

I don’t often write about my “personal relationship” with Donald Trump. I first wrote about My Friend Donald back in 2012, I worried for him and the fall he was heading for. I wrote about him in 2016, prior to his surprising victory in the Presidential Election in Part Two. He surprised me with his will and determination, rising from deep humiliation. Although improbable at the time, I suggested what would happen should he actually become President and the inevitable sad outcome.

Now in the final saga in the trilogy, the end is near. Even sadder than I imagined. He roams the White House at night, unable to sleep. His lawyers have taken his phones, unable to tweet. He distrusts all around him and is even trying to resurrect the old gang including Corey Lewandowsky, one of it two former campaign managers who were forced out in controversy. Lewandowsky for assaulting a reporter (and lying about it) plus getting along with none but Trump. The other (Manafort) for his ties to Russia including millions in secret cash payments.

He now comes home from what he claims was a highly successful foreign trip where he managed to alienate all of NATO and is still in a nasty exchange of words with Germany. Waiting patiently like a faithful lover with open arms was the Russia Scandal which is growing ever closer and now consuming my friend’s every waking thought.

a departure

Photo: palmbeachpost.com

Son-in-law Jared Kushner is facing increased scrutiny regarding his previously undisclosed contacts with Russian banks and officials along with his slumlord past. Ivanka is giving him side-eye waiting for daddy to fix this, knowing this time it’s beyond his control. Melania won’t live with him, can barely muster up a smile even in public and refuses to hold his hand for show.

He’s shaking up his communications staff once again. Failing to realize it’s not the messenger it is he that’s the problem. People routinely question his intelligence, his judgment, even his sanity. He’s proposing to staff that the answer is to go to the declining number of places that support him and have more rallies. That’s it! Mo’ Rallies!

Escape From Air Force One

Photo: marketwatch.com

This is the way it will finally end for my friend. In the background, the House, the Senate and the FBI will continue their investigations. Every day there will be “Breaking News” with the latest bombshell revealing new acts of collusion, obstruction or self-dealing. The cries for Impeachment or resignation will grow louder. Trump will get less sleep and perhaps send a Secret Service agent to a 7-Eleven for several disposable phones he can hide throughout the White House for emergency tweets. He’ll have his rallies, lie about crowd size. When he can’t get supporters, he’ll order his staff to act as the crowd. Cheering on cue and chanting, “lock her up.” Just like old times.

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Photo: youtube.com

And then his Presidency will be over. Whether he’s ousted by Congress, led off in handcuffs by the FBI, quits and waves good-bye ala Nixon. Trump Tower will be renamed, the brand destroyed. The Trump International in D.C. will become a Holiday Inn.  And if he’s able, Donald will still have rallies. Telling any that will listen how great election night was, how he surprised them all. He’ll tell them he, “Made America Great Again!” Rail against “Fake News!” His children will visit less often. Melania long gone. Sleepless nights. #sad

Featured Image: cnbc.com