Paul Manafort Goes To Jail

Paul Manafort has a certain sense of style, his fashion sense might not be for everyone, but records show he paid $849,215 to a men’s clothing store in New York. He paid New York tailor Eugene Venanzi almost $100,000 on items including two sports coats made of silk and custom cashmere at $8,500 each, along with several $7,000 suits. Over six years he paid $520,440 to a Beverly Hills clothing store. In his several court visits, he was always well-groomed and properly accessorized. As of today, he’s forsaking his tailored suits for a prison uniform as a Federal Judge ordered him jailed while awaiting trial based on his attempts to contact and influence witnesses. At 69-years-old, Manafort likely hadn’t anticipated going to jail at this point in his career for even a brief time. He may now never see another day of freedom, based on the average sentences for the crimes he has been charged with by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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The additional charges against Manafort, which led to his jailing. Have no doubt sent shock waves through the remaining uncooperating witnesses, not yet giving Mueller what he needs? Michael Cohen must be feeling increased pressure to sell out the President. Manafort may decide that real jail wields far more influence than a potential pardon. Until now Manafort has been inconvenienced, house arrest and occasional trips to court… two ankle bracelets. Now he has to worry about dropping the soap in the shower? That’s a whole different scenario.

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Michael Cohen has told friends he feels like he’ll be arrested in the near future. Rumors are circulating that Mueller will announce a new round of indictments so as not to be too close to the mid-term elections. Donald Trump Jr… are you ready? Jared Kushner? For all those for whom potential charges were just a mental exercise, shit just got real!

Trump Makes It Clear, Black and Brown People Are From “Shithole Countries.”

Photo: cnn.com

In a meeting with lawmakers on immigration in the Oval Office. Donald Trump asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” He finally said out loud which few others have said directly when he suggested we should bring more people “from countries like Norway.”


His comments came after lawmakers floated the idea of restoring protections for people from Haiti, El Salvador, and some African countries after Trump unilaterally rescinded them, sending hundreds of thousands of people back to those countries beginning next year. There are predominantly white countries receiving the same sorts of protections which weren’t rescinded and the answer is now very clear. Their people look more like those from Norway.

Trump’s and Sessions immigration policy has always been about race and now there can be no doubt. We always knew what, “Make America Great Again” meant, and now he’s gone and made it official that he means, Make America White! While Trump is the poster boy, its long been part of the Republican Platform to oppose immigration from countries of color as they’ve been blocking comprehensive immigration reform for well over a decade. No doubt some elected officials will come forward and denounce the President’s words yet continue to adopt the policies supporting them.


Since he took office I’ve been wondering if I would ever find something this President did I could support. I can now say yes, he told the truth for all to see. May he be Impeached and deported to a shithole country and given the reception he deserves.

Dear Omarosa,

I don’t know you Omarosa, I am writing to send you a word of encouragement after your resignation firing from the Trump administration today. I want to commend you for navigating the seven steps of grief so quickly, although in an unusual order. Giving you a chance to clear your mind of the past, and make your way into that bright future that certainly awaits you.

a a a a omaroosa

 

 

  1. Anger – When White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly fired you, you didn’t passively say, “I serve at the will of the President.” You got pissed, screaming and cursing your head off. You sacrificed your dignity to get that job and you were right not to let it go lightly.
  2. Denial – Surely, they must not know who you are? Didn’t they ever watch you on The Apprentice? For a year you’ve walked around the White House with no job description and no specific duties. Yet you still made yourself invaluable to the President of the United States, ratting out your co-workers and passing along fake news. And now this Johnny-come-lately Kelly thinks he has the power to fire you? WTF?                                                                                                                                  a a a a omarrrosa
  3. Bargaining – Your immediate problem was that you had nobody to bargain with. That fool tryin’ to fire you wasn’t trying to hear you. It was only natural for you to try to get to Donald Trump who must not know this foolishness was going on. You might have gone a little too far, trying to run through the White House and get to the President in the Residence. You do know the Secret Service exists to keep crazy people from getting to the President? They say it wasn’t them that stopped you and dragged your ass out of the White House physically. They didn’t say it didn’t happen, just that it wasn’t them.
  4. Shock – Many people experience this step first. Unfortunately, this one is likely to last a while because you apparently didn’t see this coming. Your problem is that so much of your self-esteem is tied up in what others think of you. I’m not going to lie, people are laughing at you but in time, this too can be overcome.
  5. Isolation – This is a recommendation that you spend some time alone. Whoever was telling you what a great job you had wasn’t doing you good anyway. Go sit down somewhere and think about how you got to this point? What can you learn from this experience? Where do you go from here?                                                    a a a a omarosaa
  6. Depression – It’s only natural you will feel a bit depressed. I encourage you to embrace it because you have a lot to be depressed about. I’d say look to all your friends like all those you met at the Black Journalists Convention, but that didn’t really work out well. You can’t go visit your friends at the White House because they deactivated your pass. And they need some time to get over all that back-stabbing you were doing. You could try the wonderful people at your new husband’s church because church folk never talk about anybody.            a a a a omarosa
  7. Acceptance – This is the part you’re good at. They all hated you on The Apprentice but you were able to accurately assess your strengths and make it work for you. Just start telling yourself, “I is smart, I is kind, I is important,” over and over again. It worked for the little girl from, “The Help.”

Like the Phoenix, you will rise. I’d refer you to the poem by Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise,” but black people still aren’t feeling you like that so give us a little time. You sided with the evil orange thing against… the rest of the world and that takes a bit of time to forget. But you can do this, you’ve gotten up before and I know you can do it again.

Signed,

A Friend

The Trump Youth (Their Parents Must Be So Proud)

I was watching a news program this evening when they broke in with live coverage of Donald Trump’s speech/rally in Nashville, TN. I went to college in Nashville and have a feel for the community. Had I spent all my time on the campus of the HBCU I attended (Fisk University) I might have had a skewed perspective but I spent a lot of time in the city. I spent three summers in Nashville and was dragged by my Assistant Basketball Coach to every nook and cranny to play in summer leagues and pick up games. I spent time in tiny Portland, upscale Brentwood and Green Hills, West End near Vanderbilt, rough South Nashville and a number of other college campuses that were as predominantly white as Fisk was mostly black.

Nashville was definitely “The South” which was made clear to me the first meal I had in a city restaurant when the waitress walked up and said, “Can I help ya’ll,” in a drawl that seemed almost a parody of how I imagined Southerners talked. I remember my first visit home to Minneapolis where I was born and my friends let me know I had acquired a Southern accent. I personally experienced almost no racism during my four years in Nashville. My perspective was perhaps unique because I was a basketball player. A friend of mine said we couldn’t go anywhere without being recognized. I was tall and despite my gentle demeanor, physically imposing . I wasn’t the likely candidate to be confronted randomly with verbal or physical abuse.

I know people in Nashville that are now part of the establishment. Lawyers, ministers, doctors, judges, businesspeople. I didn’t really expect to see any of them in the Trump crowd but was amazed at what I did see. Standing together, just a couple rows behind the President as he spoke were several young men similarly dressed in dress shirts and ties with either a sports coat or jacket. One in particular wore a brown jacket eerily similar to those worn by the Hitler Youth of another era.

Trump Youth

 

Photo: twitter.com

I was transfixed watching them as they cheered every Trump statement. One on my right was always looking around to see who could see him in his prominent place directly behind Donald Trump. When Trump referred to the power of the President in the area of immigration. He mentioned that he… or she had certain powers. He added, “Fortunately it isn’t she Hillary Clinton!” On cue, the “Trump Youth” burst into a chant of “Lock her up!” which caused the President to turn, face them, and smile.

I’m fairly certain the people placed directly behind the President at a rally are not there accidentally. Their attire was not coincidental. They were all clean shaven with rather similar hair. I scanned the rest of the crowd with their red hats as they booed news the Muslim Ban had been blocked again by a Hawaii judge. I turned back to the line of youth and wondered where they would be a year from now? Where in ten? The better question perhaps is what will they be? Will they be teachers, elected leaders, law enforcement officers or judges. I wondered what their parents will think when they inevitably see the video of their sons?

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Photo: twitter.com

I went to the Internet to see if pictures were available yet to include with this post. There weren’t, but I stumbled on a live YouTube feed of the speech and wondered if I could grab a screen shot. To the right of the screen was live feedback where people could post their comments. The running feed was all hatred and vitriol. Mostly from the right but occasionally from the left as well. Many were glad there was “no longer a nigger in the White House.” One commenter referred to Trump supporters as “the Klan.” The reply was, “Damn right we’re the Klan.” The comments were scrolling by almost too fast to read. The general theme was unmistakeable.

 

 

Trump Youth

Photo: republicbuzz.com

I don’t blame Donald Trump for what is happening in America. He didn’t cause this divide, nor did his predecessor Barack Obama. Each in their own way, Obama by existing and Trump by exhorting his base; exposed America and it’s racial warts. I fear for America because I see the immediate future getting worse before it gets better. As Donald might tweet… #Sad!

Featured Photo: ezine.com

Time To Move Forward: Step Three

Time to Move Forward: Step Three

 

Strengthen the Democratic Party or Leave it: One undeniable truth exposed in the recent election was that Republicans despite all their alleged misgivings… voted Republican. They didn’t stay home… Democrats did. Leading Republicans called Trump a “con man,” said his actions were, “the definition of racism,” they called him a “sexual predator.” And still they voted for him. Given the size of the Republican base. A third party would have a difficult time in beating Trump in four years or Mike Pence should Trump choose not to run again.

That said it’s not impossible if there were a true coalition of like-minded people and groups that started now. A movement could swell to the point where it could defeat the Republicans. It’s not impossible but not the best option either. The best option would be to build on the infrastructure of the Democratic Party while changing it from within to reflect its membership.

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The next step forward requires new leadership within the Democratic Party. Harry Reid is retired and Chuck Schumer has taken his place. I don’t know if he represents real change but time will soon tell. In the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi wants to stay the head of the Minority Party. Others are challenging to take her place. The Democratic Party needs leaders that can appeal to the various constituencies that make up the Party, millennials included. Schumer and Pelosi have contributed much over time and been steadfastly loyal to the Party. I think they should move to advisory roles and let youth be served. The DNC needs a new Chairperson. Keith Ellison is one of several announced candidates. Howard Dean another. Let new blood be given a chance.

The Democratic Party is a coalition of many groups. They must resist the urge to focus for example on the White Working Class for example and ignore the rest of the coalition. What’s needed are policies that represent the whole Party and not just certain constituents. Democrats need a strong economic message and must exhibit no tolerance for voter suppression and the normalization of White Nationalism.

Lastly the process for choosing candidates must be fair. There must not even be the appearance of favoritism for establishment candidates and a rigged system. Let the Democratic Party select its candidates and not its leaders and donors. This means the DNC should not be in the business of helping determine the nominee or making rules favoring one candidate over another. It also means the Caucus states should consider holding elections for the populace instead of letting a limited number of people determine the winner.

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Democrats have a strategic advantage going into the midterms and the next Presidential Election. Donald Trump! Make no mistake he is already pursuing an immigration policy that will appease much of his base but most Americans will see it for what it is. When he and his Chief Strategist Steve Bannon develop policies that only help Americans of a certain hue. The rest of the Nation will take note. If he is effective in killing the Affordable Care Act and removing healthcare from twenty million people. If he builds a wall. If he enacts a massive tax cut for the rich as he promised. These things will alienate many Americans. He will insult foreign leaders, the media and anyone who disagrees with his views. He will demean women. He will send stupid tweets. The number of people reviled by Trump will only grow. What is needed now is a Party that stands for something to embrace them.

Should the Democratic Party fail to make positive changes, demonstrate transparency and reach out to all its members. It will be time for a change.

No Skin In The Game!

The Democrat Party is not a monolithic body. Instead it’s a group of various interest groups working under the same umbrella to accomplish mutual goals. Allies if you will. After assessing the numbers after the Presidential Election; one thing became clear. All the allies didn’t come thru. The reason being they had no skin in the game.

Donald Trump was portrayed to be one of the worst nominees of a major Party to run for President. He began his campaign by claiming he’d “build a wall” and threatened immigrants and Latino families. Hispanics responded by increasing registered voters and turning out the vote. Trump disparaged Black Americans, threatened to flood their communities with police and to implement “Stop & Frisk” nationwide. Black voters showed up like they always have despite dozens of laws attempting to block or dissuade them. A lie was spread about apathy among Black voters. The numbers proved they showed up. Muslims voted for Hillary because their lives and future in this country depended on it.

One bloc of voters that did not show up was Millennials, many of whom voted for Third Party candidates. The votes for Johnson would have been enough to change the outcome in Florida and elsewhere. The majority of the millennials making that decision were white. For them there was no fear of a Trump Presidency. No family members under threat of being deported. No increased chance of being shot with their hands up with no chance of justice. Their privilege allowed them to let a Trump and his Alt-Right cronies into the Oval Office. No Skin in the game.

Then there were White Women who gave Trump a 10% edge despite all the Trump misogyny and admission on tape to being a sexual predator. Many women were indeed concerned about what it says about giving such an unfit individual such power. Trump may appoint multiple Supreme Court Justices during his term(s) and women’s rights may suffer as a result. The right to choose. Planned Parenthood and all the healthcare it provides in addition to abortions which were getting no Federal funds. Equal pay for equal work. All will suffer for your choice in the election. Assuming some of the things Trump has done and those he will do resonate somewhat with the women who voted Trump. What was it that made the difference that allowed you to vote Trump as opposed to Clinton? It wasn’t based on Trump policies as he pretty much had none. He has some promises with no visible way to get there.

I’m left with the conclusion that the real fear and suffering experienced by your Black, Latina and Muslim sisters didn’t matter to you. It brought back thoughts of Women’s Suffrage where the White leaders distanced themselves from Ida B. Wells and others who hoped the alliance would work both ways. It didn’t then and doesn’t now. Like the Southern Belles of the Confederacy you remained aloof to the real issues facing your darker sisters. You don’t have a fear for your son’s lives. You don’t worry about raids that might take away a family member. You need not worry about voter suppression, and the inroads of the KKK, Neo-Nazi’s and White Nationalists. These things are the concerns of others. You have no skin in the game.

When Trump talked about “Making America Great Again.” It doesn’t conjure up negative connotations to you as it does to those who know discrimination, lynching and fear. It didn’t bother you when Trump winked and nodded to the White Nationalist groups because when it comes down to it. They are your friends and neighbors.

I want to give a pass to the millennials who chose idealism over pragmatism. They’ll hopefully learn and maybe realize that when any of us suffer, they’re impacted as well. To the women who chose Trump. You’ll one day need allies to reach the goals that do matter to you down the road. Why should you get more than a shade and side-eye combo?

Featured Image: Saltlakeculinarycenter